From the I-should-have-known-this Department

This morning my husband told me that our son, who is fast approaching ten, was complaining of a tooth being loose. I checked out the accused chomper which was midway back on the right side, and sure enough, it was loose. Hmmmmmmmmm, I thought to myself, I thought he was done loosing his baby teeth.

I know, having gone to med school that one would think I'd have this type of basic knowledge of the human body. However, I am pretty sure I recall this lecture, and during it I sat in the back playing my Tetris on my GameBoy. Like I always did when forced to go to lectures. Another story for another day.

Anyway, back to this morning. I called out to my husband, "Honey, "does he still have baby teeth to loose?"

"I don't think so," he responded.

So that settled that. One of our our son's adult teeth was officially loose. He recently had a palatal expander removed and the offending tooth was one to which the device was attached, so I figured it was related to that. Just to be a safe and thorough mom (patting self on back), though, I called the orthodontist and they squeezed him early this morning.

I was working in my daughter's preschool (it's a co-op, all parents must participate), so hubby took him to the appointment. As the first couple of hours ticked by, I cooked quesadillas for the children's snacks and worried about my son's teeth.

At just past ten, my husband called.

"It's a baby tooth! You can see the other one coming in behind it. Man, that orthodontist is nice. Oh, and he needs to be more diligent about his brushing and flossing."

(Our son, not the Orthodontist.)

First thought: Phew.

Second thought: How could I not know that my sweet son hadn't lost all of his baby teeth? Forget the medical school bit...how could I, his Momma, be that oblivious? When did those details start slipping out of my grasp? Away from my attention?

Have I been so wrapped up in worrying about money and moving and laundry and whatever to pay attention to the details? The beauty is in the details!!!

And I'm letting him slack on the brushing and flossing.

No longer patting myself on the back.


Fish out of water

You know what I don't have?

A camera.


In a nutshell, my camera broke.

*weeping silently*


*weeping audibly*

We can't afford to replace it, not anytime soon.

*downright crying*

Not having a camera makes my soul ache. Sounds melodramatic, but it's true.


I'm a photographer without a camera and this leaves me somewhat disoriented. With each passing day I feel a sense of loss as my eye sees photographs that I won't shoot.

*deeeeeeeeeeep breath*

Someday, this will be mine:

I've been obsessing about this camera. Just having decided which camera will be my next companion makes me feel a bit better...like I'm involved in a long-distance relationship and I know when we'll be together again. Or, rather, that we'll be together again. Or something.

Whatever. I'm going to go read the specs on my new baby again.



Feel the bloggy love. Really, FEEL it!

The thing I love most about blogging is YOU.

This amazing, ever-expanding community full of wonderful people...coming together despite the miles, building strong friendships without meeting in person, and changing the world for the better together. I can't imagine what my life would be like without all of you.

To that end, I'd like to share a few things with you:

Have you heard about Lotus (aka Sarcastic Mom...that's her rack to the right by the way), the mold that was infesting her home, and the landlord who refused to do anything about it despite the fact her family was getting sick? Bloggers to the rescue! Angie from A Whole Lot of Nothing, Dawn at KaiserAlex and Victoria at VDog and Little Man have teamed up and provided the interwebs a few different ways to help Lotus and her family get some cash together to help them get out of that mold pit and into a new home. Wanna help? Click the link below (or if you're feeling randy you can click on that aforementioned rack ---------->).


I also suggest visiting the sites of these amazing women who are banning together to help a fellow blogger...I know I am. It's what it's all about.


On a more personal level...

Jill at Caffeine Court was kind enough to bestow upon me her Slammin' Post Award for one of my pee stories (I am soooooooo highbrow): "One more time when I really, really had to pee."

I'd like to hand it over to Marjorie at 280 Main Street for her touching post Random Kindness. Her kindness, warmth, and humor ooze out of her every post; this one is no exception.

I'd also like to extend it to Sarcasta-Mom at The Adventures of Sarcasta-Mom for her oh, so perfect post about being broke. Not frugal...broke. As I know all too well, there's a distinction and she not only explains the difference, but offers up some tips on dealing with it.

"Slammin' Post" doesn't do this post from Casey at Moosh In Indy justice. This is one of the most gut-wrenching and yet inspirational things I've ever read. It's haunted me since I first read it back in November. It starts with this, "I overdosed on prescription medication when I was seven months pregnant.

On purpose."


The love continues...HRH at June Cleaver Nirvana awarded me this:

How awesome is that? I'm extending this bloggy love to one of the most beautiful (inside and out) bloggers I know and am honored to call 'friend.' Loralee from Loralee's Looney Tunes...I puffy pink heart you big time!

I'm also sending it to Domestic Chicky...for a lot of reasons including the fact that her blog is always a fun read and the fact that she loves Eddie Izzard (whom I've met and is super nice. And hot).

And Jennifer from Playgroups are No Place for Children for a consistently hilarious and touching blog. Plus, she's genuine and loyal. You just have to love her.


And yet more love: Liz at Pink Lemonade of Life was kind enough to send this one over:

Now, I'm just blushing. Robin from Around the Island, this one's for you. I can't read her blog without feeling a little better about the world, knowing there are people like her in it.

Mrs. Flinger gets one as well. If you don't read her, you should. She's funny and insightful and super nice and she looks great first thing in the morning, too!

And last, but MOST definitely not least, Mrs. Incredible from In the Fast Lane because her writing is super and entertaining and I after reading her posts I sometimes wish I were her. Or at least, that I'd written what she did.


Now, time for a meme!

J over at Take a Walk on the Childside, a loooooooooontime online friend from my pre-blogging days and a big part of the reason I started blogging, has tagged me for a meme.

So here are the rules for this little one.

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open it to page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.
4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

"No, precisely no!" He leaned forward of their coffee cups, his voice low and fervent. "What could be rarer, more precious, more compelling than unmasking these hacks for what they are? Than an instrument to trumpet that the emperor has no clothes, and the grand vizier has not clothes, and the empress is starkers, to-do you get my point? Debunk the lot of them."

Oddly, that paragraph speaks to the title, which is The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud. I just started it and am really enjoying it.

And in the spirit of bloggy love, consider yourself tagged! Unless you don't want to, then you aren't tagged!


Peep of the Week

I'm copying joining Loralee in her Peep of the Week where she highlights a particularly fabulous commenter.

And it's funny, because today is Easter, and, you know...Peep! Peep! Easter chicks and whatnot. But it's not THAT type of peep, it's peep like the cool kids say, like, "Have your peeps call my peeps and we'll do lunch." Or something like that.

It's also ironic because this, my first peep of the week, has a flipping hysterical peep show pic on her blog for today. I only wish I'd been wise enough to post it when FBNOML sent it to me. My peep is funny AND wise. Word.

Who is this wise and funny and master commenter? Hair Girl of My Life Behind the Chair commented on my post about how I crashed my car just enough to not jack up the driver's side door.

I am so sorry! At least the door is closed. Now you have a choice- you can either climb across the seat or pull a "Dukes of Hazzard" and go through the window.
I can laugh with you because I have been there (both the door and the broke.) I hit (or reversed) into a pole at a drive thru backing up to get the money that the girl dropped. My husband said I was a bad driver and made me slide across for 2 weeks to prove a point.

This comment made my husband laugh so hard he had to explain to our nine-year old all about the Dukes of Hazzard. So not only was this comment just plain funny, it was educational, as no child of my hubby won't be well versed in pop culture trivia.

Thanks, Hair Girl.

Happy Easter!



Moonvertising, Cutest Puppy Ever Style

It's a full moon this evening. I plan on using that to my full advantage.

After all, Rolling Rock is doing so by shooting a laser beam featuring their logo onto the moon's surface this evening. Check it!

Moonvertising just makes sense:


And of course, there's this:

Still not convinced? Watch the moon this evening and get back to me tomorrow.

So, here is my plan...I am going to sneak into the Rolling Rock Laser Headquarters this evening and switch out the laser image:



Shiny happy blogging

I'm doing something I've never done before...reposting a post. This one, however, never ran here; it was a guest post over at Velveteen Mind. I thought it fitting to run it now, in honor of Megan's return to the blogosphere.


Last week I was at our storage unit, paying our bill (late again). The guy who runs the show there is pretty bitter and jaded; he's told me that himself. The only thing he loves and can count on, he says, is his dog. The elderly dachshund sits on what little bit of lap isn't appropriated by His Person's belly, and His Person scowls at me as I explain why we are yet again late with our payment (our deal is we pay a few months in advance and forget when we need to start paying again; their deal is they don't send out invoices and instead just threaten to sell your shit if you are a week late in paying).

So, I'm getting pissed at his attitude. But the thing is, part of my brain is telling me that I could schmooze him, lighten the mood, make him smile. I know I can turn on the charm and ingratiate myself and make him smile. I could, but I have no desire to. I don't give a flying anything about what he thinks about me, I couldn't care less if he smiles.

But ZOINKS! I realize from where this schmoozing thought comes. When I was in high school I worked at a pharmacy; we had a regular customer who looked very much like this wiener-dog-holding dude in front of me. This customer was always grouchy and Archie Bunker-ish...the young, optimistic me loved the challenge of making him smile despite his gruffness. It made my day if I could coax a grin out of that old man's face. And after the months went on and he knew I was good for some banter, his smile would make it's way up to his eyes in the form of gratitude.

From there it became my personal challenge...to try to elicit smiles from even the most unhappy customers.

ZOOM. Back to today. The weary old man in front of my face today isn't giving up a smile easily. And I'm stunned, wondering when exactly it was that I switched from that girl who found joy and fulfillment in a ragged old man's smile to the one who was annoyed by his bitterness.

Maybe it was the same time that my optimism gave way to being worn-down, when happy stopped being my baseline, when I stopped laughing at jokes if I already knew the punchline.

I'm tired of being the type of person who says, "That's funny!" instead of laughing.

Don't get me wrong, if you met me you'd think I was super DUPER happy. Just not the overwhelming kind of happy I used to be. This happy requires me to swim past the crap and remember how lucky I am. The old happy just KNEW I was lucky.

So I made myself schmooze the guy. And I got a smile from him, and he asked me if I had a dog, and when I told him about our puppy his face broke out into a smile like I'd never imagined it could. He asked me all about our pup, told me about those he'd had in the past...he needed to talk and was thrilled to have someone care to listen. I pushed away the part of me that worried about the rest of my errands and smiled, nodded, commented.

It's a start, getting back that old me.


Toga! Toga! Toga!

When I was in college, I was so broke that I took my measly paycheck to the local Meijers to cash it and have money orders made for my share of the rent and utilities. For my most broke six months, I was left with about ten dollars for food and bus fare for the following two weeks.

I bought a lot of eggs and cheap bean burritos.

I'd always thought those days were far behind me. The reality is, though, that these recent months have been so financially difficult that we're dangerously close to reliving my college experience. Frankly we are barely making it paycheck-to-paycheck. We're fortunate that we have money trickling in from here and there (and some super great friends (especially this one; she just started blogging today) who've helped out in a pinch or two), otherwise I don't know what I'd do.

Sometimes the idea of reliving college years is appealing. NOT the scrimping and saving part, though.

Anyway, today as I was backing out of our driveway, I realized I'd forgotten something inside the house. As always, I was running late, so I hurriedly threw the car into park, opened the door, and stepped out.

Except that instead of putting the car in park, I had put it in reverse. I realized this as my foot shot out from under me and I started to fall and stumble backwards. I was hopping on my left foot, trying to get back into the car and find the brake with my right foot. As I struggled, I had visions of the open door knocking me over and the car continuing on without me. With my four year-old daughter strapped into her car seat.

But instead of hitting me, the open car door caught on a decorative column on the side of our house. There was an odd, groaning sound as the door bent; at that moment I made it into the car and slammed on the brakes.

I had to pull forward so that I could close the car door. It was stuck waaaaaaaaaaay open. I briefly considered ditching it and biking to her preschool, but we were already late and I was working. Plus I didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting out of the car, extricating my bike from the garage, emptying the variety of things I'd packed into the car for the school day and shoving it into the bike trailer, so I said, "EFFF it!" and yanked as hard as I could.

The door budged by about six inches.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEF IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!" I yelled and pulled with all my might. It closed!

Well, almost. The 'door is ajar' light is still on. Whatever. The door isn't going anywhere right now.

So, now we'll have to scrape up the money for the deductible. Fun, fun times.

And not a keg party in sight.


Some things a certain group of moms at my son's school like to do during pick-up

Make off-hand comments about being an 'advocate' for their child.

There seems to be an unwritten rule that the family who has the most meetings with the principal to complain about the teaching staff WINS.

Too much homework? Meeting with principal.

Not enough homework? Meeting with principal.

Don't like who your kid sits next to in science? Meeting with principal.

Feel their child doesn't get called on enough in class? Meeting with principal.

Their child got a C on a test? Clearly they weren't properly instructed on the material in class. Meeting with principal.

Bitch about the parents who run the school's fundraisers.

Mom One, "Can you believe how many fliers come home with our kids about *insert name of school's fundraiser here* asking for help? Enough already!"

Mom Two, "Yeah, no kidding. It's not like *insert name of fundraiser volunteer here* didn't have a huge article in the newsletter last month!"

Mom One,"Pffffft."

Mom Two,"Oh, look, there she is now."

Mom One, "Speak of the devil"

Mom Two, "Crap, she's heading over."

Volunteer Mom, "Hi! How are you two doing?"

Mom One, "Great! How's the *insert name of school's fundraiser here* going?

Volunteer Mom, "It's coming along. Will you be there? I think it will be fun!"

Mom One, "We're going to try." (read: No.)

Mom Two, "I think we're out of town that weekend." (read: Hell, no.)

Volunteer Mom, "Well, that's a drag. We're hoping to make enough money to *insert name of underfunded program*. I do hope to see you there. Gotta go!"

(pause until Volunteer Mom is out of earshot)

Mom One, "She never lets up."

Mom Two, "I know. She's so pushy. No way am I helping her with this fundraiser."

Mom One, "I'm boycotting the event, too. I'm sick of them asking so much of us at this school."

Mom Two, "No kidding!"

Mom One, "Especially when they keep making cuts. Did you hear that the entire district might eliminate the music program because the state is cutting funds? I'm so over this school."

Wear babydoll tee-shirts with sparkly designs on their boobs.

Just an observation. I have a couple myself. I don't wear them anymore, but I have them. Remind me to donate them, won't you?***

Greet their kids while talking on their cell phone.

I want to bitch slap them and yell, "Get off the phone, people! Give your kid a hug and focus on them! Ask them about how their day went and interact with them for a minute or two."

But I'm not 'advocating' for my child because I know he can handle the little things...so my words would fall on deaf ears.


***edited to ad: I actually do love some of my sparkly tees...it's just that I find I am choosing NOT to wear them at pick-up so as not to be associated with the Judgmental Moms. Maybe I need to start a campaign to Take Back the Sparkles.


Where I get all political. Fur shizzle.


I'm sick of them all.

Are you disappointed, too? I thought you might be.

Soooooooooo...as a public service, I decided it was high time to take matters into my own hands. Rather, Cutest Puppy EVER's paws:

Cutest Puppy EVER, aka Bruno, is launching a write-in campaign for the presidency. He may not be able to balance things on his head, but he's a really great snuggler.

(Bruno is asleep on the couch enjoying an afternoon breeze, but he approves of this ad.)



Remember FBNOML? I haven't talked about her much recently...mostly because as she's twenty years-old, I kinda I figure I owe her some privacy. FBNOML is my first born; although I didn't meet her until she was six. She is my daughter from my husband's first marriage but there is nothing step about our relationship...we have such a tight bond that sometimes WE can't believe we aren't related biologically. We understand each other so well that it's borderline scary. We can and do have lengthy conversations merely by locking eyes. It freaks my husband out. FBNOML and I just laugh. She's amazing.

She'd been going through a lot of stuff this past summer, facing big decisions. No, not just big, but HUGE life-altering decisions. It is so hard to watch your kids struggle and be unable to fix things for them. For her, gone are the days when a kiss on a boo-boo and some snuggle time can make it all better (although, sometimes, that's what a mom NEEDS to do...she lets me. I told you she's amazing).

Some of her choices went against my best judgment, other times they broke my heart, usually I was in total agreement, but always I was proud. One of her decisions took her across the country; she's going to a university in another state, living with relatives, repairing some relationships. It's been difficult, to say the least, not having her around, but she was right. She made the right decisions. Every last one of them. To say I am proud is such a gross understatement it's comical.

She just spent a week staying with us; early this afternoon my husband drove her to the airport. My four year-old daughter was sobbing because her big sister was leaving; I was barely keeping it together. My son went in the other room and began to play Pink Panther on the piano.


I miss her already.


And they ain't Popeye!

Before I had kids, I had visions of serving healthy meals full of organic produce to my family who would, of course, be thrilled and gobble down every bite.

Yeah. Didn't turn out that way.

If your kids are like mine, they aren't very into a lot of fruits and veggies; in particular, leafy greens. And no amount of pleading, "But they are so GOOD for you!" helps. However, I've devised a sneaky way of incorporating them into their everyday diets without them even knowing! Bwahahahahahaaaaaa! I'll let you in on my secret, but only if you promise not to tell my kids!

I take fresh spinach, or any cooking green such as collard greens or kale, remove any tough or stiff stems, and then chop it up SUPER FINE. That's the key, you need to get the the leaves need to be just this side of pulverized. Actually, I don't literally chop it, I puree the dickens out of it in my food processor. I've also thrown whole spinach leaves into the freezer and crumpled them once frozen; the pieces get pretty small that way, too.

Then I just add it to whatever I'm cooking that's savory: scrambled eggs, soups, pasta or rice dishes, etc. Since the pieces are so small, the spinach flavor is lost amongst it's culinary companions (as long as you don't use too much!) and it is easily overlooked by little ones.

The first time I pulled this fast one on my kids, it was sort of accidental. I'd put some spinach that I'd pulled from the freezer into a stew I'd made. When my son asked, "What's this green stuff in the soup, Mama?" I nonchalantly answered him as vaguely as possible, "Just flavoring and decoration, like parsley." He's used to seeing green flakes in canned soups and whatnot, so he totally bought it. My daughter did, too.

I'm thinking about trying it in their mac-n-cheese.

That might be pushing it.

By the way, I linked this post here...there are other fun and informative tips to be found there! For example, while clicking links, I found this amazing one about self-defense. Coincidentally (or eerily, I dunno but I sure hope not), I was at a similar lecture myself earlier this evening. This post is full of great information...check it out!

(ps...I got the spinach photo from stockxpert. My camera is broken. Nooooooooooooooo!)


A River Runs Through It

I live in a college town and the influence of the university is everywhere...from the scores of inexpensive restaurants, to a bunch of independent music and bookstores, to fliers for bands stapled to phone poles, there is not mistaking this town has plenty in the 18-25 year-old crowd.

Yesterday I went for a long bike ride; I hopped onto a bike path right by my house, went through some neighborhoods, hit downtown, then through an arboretum which ultimately dumped me onto campus.

This campus is, coincidentally, much like the campus I spent all of my college years at (undergrad, post-baccheloriate, and med school). It has huge expanses of green lawn peppered with mature trees and well-maintained landscaping. The buildings ooze history, and the walkways crackle with a lingering energy generated by the of hundreds of thousands of earnest (and not-so-earnest) matriculated who have shuffled along them.

Both of these campuses I have come to know so well also have rivers that bisect them nearly exactly in half; there are many ornate pedestrian bridges. The perimeters of each of these university campuses are agricultural, and it's pretty common to see horses and cows as you go about your day. This town I live in is just so similar to the one in which I lived while in college that it is sometimes spooky.

And then there are the students. Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon, and they were outside in droves...studying, picnicking, studying, making out, studying, walking hand-in-hand, studying, riding their bikes, and of course, studying.

As I biked along, memories that I hadn't revisited in years came flooding back. I suddenly vividly recalled studying, picnicking, studying, making out, studying, walking hand-in-hand, studying, riding their bikes, and of course, studying. Can it really have been so long ago that I was one of them?

It's been a dozen years since I've claimed a college campus as truly my own. As I rode amongst the students, I as struck by the fact that I was an outsider...I didn't belong anymore. I'd spent nearly all of my adult life a college student, it can be odd to realize that THAT time of my life is over. Oh, sure, I could go back to college and get another degree (sounds like a nightmare to me, but still, I could). But that's not the point. The bitter pill to me is that even if I did so, I'd still be an outsider.

That's the rub. I'm (relative to them) old now. It was obvious as I rode along those bike paths; I was invisible to those whipper-snappers. Yet as I watched them walking purposefully towards a building, or laughing together, or lounging by the river soaking up the sun pretending to study but really waiting for that moment when the first kiss would arrive, or making plans for the evening...all I could think of was, "Wow. Is it really not yesterday?"


Guiness anyone? Murphy's? Wanna celebrate St. Patrick's Day old school?

If you can't celebrate St. Patrick's day in an authentic pub (or geeze, even if you can), how about heading over to my Me Old Shoppe and checking out my St. Paddy's wares? Just on click one or both of the images below!

Guiness for Strength!


Murphy's...Irish Stout!


There are cards, mugs, STEINS and a few other fun things with these photographs on them.

Me, I'm partial to Guiness. Solely for the strength.


Seriously, these aprons ARE saucy

I love me my daily fix of Loralee...she's a loon, you know that, right?

She's got a touching post about reconnecting with an old friend that has inspired me to work on one a bit similar. That, however, is not what this brief post is about.

Her re-found friend has an etsy shop with adorable aprons. I don't pretend to be much of a cook, but I do take my turn in kitchen now and then, and when I do...well, I'd like to be wearing one of those aprons. IS THAT SO WRONG?

If you hurry over, you can be entered to win one, too. I'm not usually one to plug give-aways, but this is a special one...all friend-esque and handmade and bloggy and other things rainbow and puppyish.

Sometimes it's a cliché for a reason (and a personal message to my mum)

When it comes to purchasing new clothes, we've all heard it before...buy the size you are, not the size you want to be.


I didn't want to go down that route. I worried that if I caved and bought a size up, I'd just outgrow that and go up yet another size. But, last week I was desperate. I had a couple of events I had to go to and I just couldn't imagine squeezing into my (fat) jeans.

So, I did it. I went out and bought a pair of jeans one two sizes up.


I'm wearing jeans that fit. There's no muffin top! They aren't stretched across my butt. They fall smoothly over my hips. I can sit down comfortably. There is loose fabric at the top of my thighs.


Best of all, I look SO much better. I look far slimmer in this larger size. I never thought I'd hit the double digits, let alone admit it...but that's where I'm at right now. Looking at myself in the mirror, I feel better about myself in these jeans than I have in ages. The best news is, when I feel better about myself I am far more motivated to push the exercise and make healthier food choices.

I'm a believer...Fight the Frump! Don't look like a sausage in your too-small jeans. Buy the size that fits you now and look forward to growing out of them, rather than buying the size you want to be and hope they will fit you better later.

For more fun Friday Fight the Frump posts, head over to Fussy's place.



I love you and miss you and can't wait until you're out here next!!!


The one in which I've been interviewed

"i am nobody
who are you
are you nobody too?"

That was a comment by V-Grrrl on one of Neil of Citizen of the Month 's posts. Her thoughts spawned a wonderfully eloquent follow-up post about the nature of blogging, and the blogosphere, and bloggy cliques and relationships and...really, you should just go read it. In fact, you should read everything he's ever written; he's brilliant.

Anyway, this particular post ended with Neil creating a potentially never-ending interview chain (thus far there are well over 500). He wrote:

I know most of you won’t agree with me, but I think anyone who decides to write about their life online is interesting, even those who may not do the best job yet of conveying that on paper. We all should be interviewed, at least once.
It works like this: if you comment on the post, you become both an interviewer and interviewee. August over at Girl on the Run was my interviewer, and she did an amazing job with the questions (I'm still working on the questions for my interviewee, who is ElizaF at the appropriately named ElizaF ).

So, without further ado, here it is...my interview:

1. Let's start out by talking about blogging. When did you first learn about blogging? Why did you start your own blog? What did you hope to accomplish via your blog and is this your only blog or do you have others?

A private message board I used to frequent had a few bloggers. After some encouragement from a couple of them, I decided to jump in. I've always been one to keep journals, although often my "journals" have been random scraps of paper shoved into various drawers. I liked the idea of organizing my thoughts in one place, as well also the ability to document the minutiae of my everyday life in such a way that I could find it later.

The only other blog I have is a photoblog which has about five photos on it and has been ignored forever. It's on my to-do list. Right behind lint rolling our finger puppets.

I am now also the Healthy Family Editor at Blissfully Domestic. Might as well put that medical degree to use somehow.

2. You mention in your profile that you are a former physician. I gathered from your posts that you never got to practice since your first child was born before you were able to do so. Is that correct? If not, which field of medicine did you practice and if you didn't practice, what field were you looking to practice in?

In a nutshell, almost exactly one month to the day after I graduated from medical school, my son was born. I delayed my internship for six months to be at home with him, and when that time was drawing to a quick close, I requested six more. When that time was up, I just walked away from medicine, which was a tough financial decision for us, but easy because I hated working in that world. So, I became a stay at home mom officially.

3. As a "stay at home mom" do you find it hard to schedule your time the way you would if you worked in a secular job? When and how do you find or make time for yourself to pursue your personal interests?

I think if I worked outside of the home I wouldn't be as disorganized as I am. Well, now that I think about it, maybe not. I don't know...I'm not organized enough to be able to noodle that one through.

Actually, the thing is, I'm just not a schedule type of person. I avoid itineraries whenever possible. In fact, if I make a do make a plan, even if it something I really love doing, it usually ends up that I'm just not in the mood for it when the time comes. I much prefer being spontaneous and winging it. Fortunately, my husband is the same way. Our kids aren't being raised with mass quantities of structure in that regard.

My husband is really supportive of me doing my own thing, whether it's photography or blogging or painting or whatever. We each have our own interests (most of his revolve around music) and we know it's important to retain some sense of self. Earlier in our marriage we weren't so wise, and it wasn't a good thing...but we've learned and we're all the happier for it!

4. Besides photography and blogging, do you have any other hobbies?

I love interior design; ever since I was six years-old and able to shove my bedroom furniture around and reach the top of dressers, I've been decorating. I've done a bit for friends, and recently it's turned into a (very) part time business for me in the form of home staging for a couple of Realtors in the area. I also really, strangely, enjoy event planning. I've chaired a couple of fundraising auctions for my kids' schools, and plan on doing more. It's a lot of time, but really fulfilling. I paint occasionally...let's see...is reading a hobby? I'm a big reader...mostly novels, but I can get into political biographies and other non-fiction dealing with politics and history.

I sound boring.

5. You call yourself a "sketchy homemaker" in your profile. Would you like to elaborate on that?

My house is a mess (not dirty, just messy)(okay, a little dirty now that I think about it). It's hit or miss as to whether I'll cook dinner...often my husband does once he's home from work. I have mountains of laundry piled up everywhere. It's common to hear someone say, "Is this pile clean or dirty?"

6. What are 3 things you would like to pass on to your children?

Hmmmmmm...well, first of all, my husband and I laugh together a lot and don't take ourselves too seriously (usually). I'd like for my kids to carry that trait with them...if you can laugh even in yucky circumstances, it makes the good times all the sweeter.

Secondly, I'd like for them to try to live their lives so that they have no regrets. I've lived my life that way as best as possible...and while the choices I made haven't always been the best in the long run, I wouldn't do things differently. For example, medical school was one expensive mistake; however, if I hadn't done that I'd always think that I should have, and wish that I had. Does that make any sense?

Lastly, I want them to have a strong sense of self, to truly like themselves and not be afraid to buck a trend or have opinions that might be unpopular. In essence, I want them to be independent thinkers and the confidence to express their thoughts.

7. I love photography and I think it's so cool that you have turned your interest into a living. Tell me about some of your favorite photography "gigs" that you've had. Have you ever visited www.photofriday.com?

One of my favorite gigs was a wedding I shot for friends of a friend. Their photographer had to back out a week prior to the wedding, and the bride and groom were frantic. I'd only done a couple of weddings prior, and I was a bit nervous because with weddings you don't have a second chance if you mess up! That wedding turned out wonderfully; what they wanted dove-tailed perfectly with how I like to shoot. It is one of the best events I've shot.

Another job that is turning into something I love is doing a huge family portrait for a friend's extended family when they get together for the holidays (Chanukah and Christmas for them). I've done it twice so far; it's fun seeing the children grow. I love being part of their tradition.

8. You recently did a post about things that you would love to get paid for. If you could pick your dream job, what would it be?

Seriously, I love doing home staging; I can't believe people are paying me to do it, because it's something I've done for free many times out of the sheer enjoyment of the process.

Other than that, I'd love to do consulting of some sort. For example, I've done a few charity auctions now, I'd love to help others streamline their events. When I was in eighth grade I read Cheaper by the Dozen. The dad in the book was an Efficiency Expert; he went around to different businesses, evaluated their organization, and told them how they could increase profits. Usually that meant modernizing, which today is called downsizing and isn't cool. But I've always thought that would be an awesome gig.

9. You've been to Ireland (so have I, twice ;). Why did you go there and what was your favorite city? Where else have you been outside the US and where would you like your next foreign visit to be?

I've been to Ireland twice as well! The first time was when I was backpacking around Europe...I ferried to Ireland from France and spent a couple of weeks there. The second time was for a wedding; we took our son who was three at the time. I absolutely love it there; we've often dreamed about moving to a little old fishing village.

I'd have to say my favorite city was Dingle in Co. Kerry. I went there on my first trip to Ireland, and chose it because it was one of the last Gaelic speaking communities in Ireland. The fact that it is rumored to have the highest ratio of pubs per capita than anywhere else in the world didn't hurt, either.

Anyway, when I got there I found out that a wild dolphin lives in the harbor. The story is that a baby dolphin came into shallow water with his mother because she was ill. She ultimately died, and he stayed as Dingle Harbor was the only home he knew; the fishermen and locals are now his adopted family. He knows the routine of the fishermen and often escorts the boats in and out of the harbor; they've named him Funghi and he often responds when they call his name out to him. He'll play in the water with the locals, letting people he knows touch him and interact with him.

One afternoon while I was there, I rented a wetsuit and went to a spot at the mouth of the harbor because the locals had told me that Fungi liked to play there at that time of day as he waited for the fishing boats to come home for the evening. The beach (actually, calling it a beach is a stretch...it was really simply the end of a path that dumped out at the inlet to the Dingle harbor); I gingerly stepped into the chilly water and paddled and floated and paddled and floated. At one floating point, I was belly-down, looking at the water flowing underneath me. Suddenly, there he was. Funghi. He was swimming belly-up, not six feet away from me, and I swear, he looked like he had a big old smile on his face. His sleek dolphin body was shimmying below me, hovering like an underwater helicopter; our eyes met for what seemed like...I don't know, a long time. I was floating, he was underwater helicopter hovering. What I do know, for sure, is that we were both curious about each other, and neither one of us was scared.

Eventually he started to circled around me; I shifted my position and began to doggie paddle. At times he was so close to me I could have touched him with my hand or fin if I'd reached out. But I didn't...back to the idea of me not wanting to startle him. After a bit, he swam away. Our sensitive dance was over.

I considered going to Dingle with my son and husband years later on our trip to Ireland for the wedding; it didn't fit into out itinerary. I'm kind of glad that I didn't, because it seems that Fungi has become quite the tourist attraction in Dingle, with boat rides out to see him all day. I'm glad I got to "meet" him one-on-one and would rather have that memory not be trumped by a more commercial one.

Wait, does that mean Dingle isn't my favorite city in Ireland? No, I'm sticking with it as my fave.

Other than the Ireland trip for the wedding, and my backbacking around Europe when I was twenty-seven, I went to Greece once for a month, I've been to the Caribbean several times, Mexico, and Canada. Nothing too thrilling.

I'd love to go to Montreal...I've heard the Old Montreal is gorgeous and I'd like to see if I have any ability to speak or understand French anymore. I'd also REALLY like to go to Rio deJaneiro...I have yet to see a photo from that city that isn't stunning. I also think it would be really cool to go to Cuba.

10. Do your husband or real life friends read or know about your blog? Have you ever met any bloggers face to face? If you could, who would it be and why?

There are only a few friends who read my blog along with a few family members. I like having enough anonymity to post vaguely about my everyday life. I do think that those days are coming to an end, though.

I haven't ever met a blogger face-to-face! However, I will be soon as I'm heading to San Fransisco next month for Bossy's Excellent road trip! Woohoo!

11. What do you like most about yourself? (Go for it... I'm looking for total honesty with no apologies honey ;)

Oh, I could go on and ON! Okay, seriously, I'm proud of the fact that I've accomplished things in a variety of disciplines...my mom always stressed that it was important to be well rounded.

12. Are you a shopper? If you could pick 3 places to have an all expense paid shopping spree, where would that be?

I'm too broke to be a shopper. If money wasn't an issue, I'd pick Williams Sonoma, Zappos, and Sephora. House stuff, shoes, and beauty products...oh my!

13. What are your biggest pet peeves?

I'm really particular about chewing. I hate people chewing with their mouth open, audible mastication (ew!), super crunchy sounds. I'm ridiculous about it. My poor family.

14. And finally, how did you come to know Neil of Citizen of the Month fame?

I first 'met' Neil at NaBloPoMo where he had the audacity to suggest that SoCal bloggers were going to kick our NorCal blogger's butts in the challenge. Once I read his blog, I was like, "Oh, great. Another fabulous blog to read!" I love his Great Interview Experiment and am happy to be able to take part in it. Thanks for the great questions and for being so patient in waiting for my answers!


Fight the frump, hit the sack

See that new avatar picture over there? You know what I hate about it? The circles under my eyes. Why do I have circles under my eyes?

Because I am tired all too often.

I wake up tired. I slop through my day tired. I look forward to going to bed ALL DAY! And yet...what happens when the kiddies are in bed and I could be crashing as well?

I watch TV.

I read a book.

I do some laundry.

I clean the kitchen.

I blog.

I read blogs.

Before I know it, it's waaaaaaaaaay past my bedtime and I slink to bed, knowing I'll be sorry in the morning. And I always am (although it is nice to wake up to a clean kitchen). So, in honor of fighting those frumpy bags under my eyes, I am going to practice what I preach and vow to get a good night's sleep for one solid week. I'm betting I'll feel so much better -and look better- that I'll sign on for more sleep.

Ooops...forgot to say...for more Fight the Frump tips, visit Fussy!


Andrew McCarthy. All growed up.

Earlier today, I joked to my husband that I didn't see how Andrew McCarthy could actually be taken seriously as a love interest in Lipstick Jungle. After all, he looks like this:

and this:

and, yes, this:

But as I caught up on DVR'd Lipstick Jungle shows (teehee, I just Freud-enly typed shoes) I slowly became entranced by the fact that HE HAS GROWN UP. And you know what else, he's one of those bastards who get better looking as they get older. Seriously, the older the better.

Then, to make matters worse, I found this. So, nice. He's actually a sweetie as well as being cute. Still. Again. Whatever.

Dang. I have a crush on Andrew McCarthy. Again. Still. Whatever.