Saturday, August 30, 2008

Baby, you are the best

So my most recent non-sensical real life ranting and ravings have been about my cat, Stuart. I made up, I mean, I intuited,(would someone please teach me how to strike) this whole crazy thing about Stuart becoming very, very jealous of Micheal Phelps while he watched the olympics.

I am guest poster over at today, and you can read all about Stuart and his olympic dreams on this blog, which belongs to my new blog buddy and northeast neighbor, Kristine.

While most of my friends and family have laughed at me/ with me when I tell them this story, my one friend, Meredith, has actually fully indulged me in this flight of fancy. Meredith is an artist, and has even agreed to draw the illustrations for my children's book, Introducing Stuart the Cat. I have been writing this in my head for a very long time as Stuart is almost nine years old. I am sure after this post, many, many publishers will be contacting me.

Last night, while hanging out with Meredith, my brother and some other friends, Meredith presented me with a gift. This, in itself, entitles her to the compliment that is the title of this post. I was so appreciative of her thoughtfulness. When I opened it, I nearly fell to the floor in hysterics.

It was purchased at Cafe press. The bowl was in stock, and not a custom order. The journal, she hand created. She also showed me t-shirts that she has had made on the sight. My only concern is that she is going to develop the type of unhealthy relationship with cafe press that some people have with the home shopping network. Don't worry, Mer, I will reign you in if you get out of control. For now, these are definitely some of the best gifts I have ever received. And next time, we'll go to karoke and I'll actually sing you my go to song by Carly Simon, Baby, you're the best. Now head over and read guest post and leave many, many comments/compliments

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Being Laurie of the seven stories

To my readers who have never seen this movie, Being John Malkovich(sp?) I apologize, this post is not for you. Those of you who have seen the movie, this is what it is like being Laurie of the seven stories. Yes, I am working on a half floor and subsquently,constantly bumping my head on shit.

8:45 A.m. Baby Tasha wakes me up by screaming MA MA MA- my usual reply on a Saturday- Daddy will get you breakfast is met with vehement opposition. I must climb the steps to the first floor, and pretend I know how to cook. Luckily pouring milk on a bowl of separated frosted mini wheats is like a gourmet breakfast for my 1 yr old.

10 AM my oldest daughter informs me that only I can take her to her hair appointment. I am simulataneously scared to death and flattered. I know nothing good can come of this, and yet WTF she is wanting me. Isn't this like Armstong on the moon?

10:45 A hairstylist says to me, "is that what she wants?" I laugh diabolically. Thank Fing God this is not my job. "Oh no, I say,whatever she wants, I will not be to blame.

12:00am I am the target_ I call my husband- I am going to run errands until she is done at the hair dressers. OK, I guess I am housebound he says. Yes I say,that's what my whole week is like. Yes , he says, but I have a job. Oh right and I am home with five kids doing nothing, how silly of me (I say gasping for air)

12:25 I try to text msg my friend who has now sent me three texts out of guilt for not attending my party last week. The last one is ome peace, and I have no idea what the f this means? I want to text her back to her let her know I am not really really mad, but secret, I have no idea how to text. I am practicing and accidentally send her a message telling her - not ready for school 2 much work bthweieas256343. I do not know how to erase.

12:45 Run into my cousin at TaRget, whom I haven't seen in awhile. Last time I saw her she was at my front door demanding I write her a check for something like a walk athon. I see her in the target- she has tears in her eyes. Her husband is pushing the cart smiling and laughing like a hyena. I say Hi and my friendliness is met with animosity. Bye then , she says, pushing me and my empty cart aside. leaving her husband to smile at me bewildered. WTF, again.

1:00 Msg from my daughter. I hate my hair and told the stylist. She is redoing it. I wonder if I can call the hospital and find my real child. The one who looks in the mirror while in the chair, screaming inside, and says, it looks great, I love it, until she gets home and tells her mother how her visit to the hairdresser has destroyed her life.

1:15 Call my cousin Jennifer who reassures me our other cousin is crazy. She tells me she is making Team Laurie shirts for the family wedding next week. I tell her that if I have inadvertently offended her in any way, that I am sorry, but ya know...

1:45 After having her hair redone, daughter proves she is mine by acting just as I once did. ANother one bites the dust.

2:45 Get kids ready to go over to Moira and Chaz's house for dinner and swim. Will these people stop at nothing for publicity?

12:15am arrive home- tired, distraught, banging my head on the low ceiling and lookin forward to my anniversary- not of my marriage, but of the night that Moira and I drank on her patio until 5 am without realizing it was past say 2 am. Chaz reminded us tonight it will be a yr this week. He is offering again to take the kids to the baseball game. I am expecting a candle light dinner....

And this folks is what it is like to be me. Talk about your major motion pictures

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Spohrs may be multiplying, but we're producing on the playground as well...

Isabelle, the Diva
No, I wasn't in pageants(shocking) Aidan, Ethan and Sierra
The little girls


Tasha take two

Okay, so here's the deal. I want to be a successful blogger, writer; etc.; etc. I have joined many groups- all mediocre, local philly mommy bloggers, blog nut, I am a blissfully domestic diva- and still I am not quite where I want to be or where I think I should be.

There are a lot of blogs that seem to get quite a bit of attention. I think these blogs are great and deserving, but I think my blog is equally great and deserving, so hey give a girl a chance.

Recently, when visiting the blog of another all mediocre member, I wondered if, for a moment, what is missing from my blog are more pictures of my baby beauties.

One blog in particular, The Spohrs are Multiplying seems to get a lot of attention because it includes some very cute pictures of baby Maddie. But here is the thing- while the Spohrs may have multiplied and made one heck of a cute kid- over here at the playground, we are freaking mass producing. I mean, not only do we have one adorable baby, we also have four other reasonably cute kids.

So all you Spohr lovers, mommy bloggers, baby lovers and kid connoisseurs, won't you consider spending some time on the playground? It's really fun, I promise- I'll be your best friend, I'll share, and I'll always give you a push when you need one.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dealing Drugs at the Park

Hello again, loyal readers. I'm glad to see that all four, oh and you in the back make five, of you have returned. I have a moment, of which I am excessively proud, to share with you for today's tale.

Allow me to mention first, however, that when I returned home tonight, I checked my email only to find that I have been asked to join a blogger community called blognut. I have added a button link on my sidebar. The Universe must be in proper alignment, as clearly my peers are now easily able to find me, and to invite me to join them.

Loyal readers, you will remember me telling you about my fabulous beyond fabulous friend Moira. Remember, the one married to the handsome, and excessively charming Chaz. They attended the eighties party with me, and yet Moira was quick to point out in my comments that though she had a good time, most of the music was from the nineties. It was at that party also, if you recall me mentioning, that both Moira and Chaz, loyal readers and real world friends told me that my blog would improve ten fold, if I made more mention of how fabulous the two of them are, and if I talked about all of our awesome times together.

This evening I have the perfect opportunity to mention Moira again, and to test her theory.

This morning was a crazy morning. While lounging in bed at ten of nine with the little girls, since the boys were still sleeping, I decided to check my voice mail. There was a message from our Dentist, who happens to be my Uncle, who happens to hate lateness and missed appointments, which was a reminder call for the boys' dental appointments. They were today! At 9:45 a.m.!

All hell broke loose. Showers were turned on. Clothes were gathered. Hair was brushed in the car. As we pulled away, the girls sat in their car seats, still in their pajamas, drinking from sippy cups and eating granola bars for breakfast.

After I took the boys to the dentist, dropped them off, ran home, bathed and changed the girls, dressed myself, and returned to pick the boys up, we went out for a late breakfast/ early lunch, before returning home. I was sitting at the computer, trying to balance my checkbook, pay bills, assemble school papers, and deciding what uniforms I still needed to order when Moira called.

We talked on the phone for a few minutes...
Yes, the kids are making me crazy, too. No, I forgot to take the dental forms to be filled out for school with me to the office this morning. Yes, I did find a good place to buy massive quantities of navy Knee socks; my house also looks like a bomb hit it; and pretty much I can not stand the thought of having to go back to school. No matter what, I am not volunteering for anything this year.

Finally, I say to Moira, as I can hear her kids chanting in the background, "Can we go to Petco?", Do you want to take these kids to the park for a bit?

Initially, she says, "No, I can't". She starts to list all of the things that she really has to do. The lizards need live crickets to eat. At 11cents a cricket, she reasons she may spend more feeding the lizards this year than we currently spend to send our children to private school. Sounds impossible to me, but they could be very hungry lizards. Perhaps, it is the thought that all of her money will either be spent educating the children or feeding the lizards that makes her decide to say, "I'll meet you in a half an hour."

We arrive at the park at about the same time. We have three kids, the same age and the same sex, so instantly they all run off and go play. We would like to sit in the shade and just bitch, but I still have Tasha to traipse after. When the rest of the gang decides to include Tasha in their escapades, we begin to discuss everything from what teacher our kids got, to what class got more "bad"kids, to how difficult it is to get all the back to school shit together. We wonder if it's all worth it.

We talk about the flurry of activities about to begin. Monday thru Friday nights will again be booked up by sports, religion classes, homework, dance and music lessons. The lazy days of summer sure are fading fast, and we both agree that we feel like we are drowning in a sea of registration forms, plaid kilts, and navy blue polo shirts. Why neither of us has brought a flask to the park is really puzzling.

At the end of our spur of the moment play date, our kids play the "I'll hide in the other mom's car" game. No one wants to leave- no one wants to go to their right house. Everyone wants one more sleepover, one more game of hide and seek, one more afternoon of unplanned fun. We look at the kids and realize how big they are getting. When we first met, her oldest, and my second oldest were four; her second son and mine were under two, and we were both pregnant with the girls, who have grown up to be best of buddies. Sadly, this is the first year they won't be in the same class year. Time changes absolutely everything.

As we try to remove the kids from each other's cars- we exchange other items with one another. A toy her daughter left at our house, my daughter has brought along to return. She has extra uniforms for me, since someone gave her a lot of girls clothes. We say goodbye, and as she begins to pull away, I jump from my car waving my pill bottle, "wait"...

That was the other thing we were going to exchange. I was going to give her some xanax; she was going to share her atavan. She wants to feel normal, not sleepy; and I can't sleep lately, worrying about pretty much everything. I stand at her car window, in the park parking lot, pill bottle in hand. She pulls hers from her purse.

This is really bad, she says. You gotta write about this on your blog.

It's a damn good thing we are not celebrities being stalked by tabloids. There would be tons of pictures of this exchange everywhere, I tell her.

We laugh, do our drug deal in the parking lot,and then part ways.

We may be getting older, we may be moms of school aged children, but we are still incorrigible and crazy. At least, some things in our lives have stayed the same. And for the things that are in flux, thank god we have the meds.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Last night, I did something that I don't normally do- I had a home party, a.k.a., a demonstration. For the past couple of days, I was really dreading it, for several reasons. First and foremost, it meant that I had to clean up my entire house; second, it meant I had to invite my friends to spend money on my behalf; and third, it was stressful having to worry if everyone would mesh and if the party would have a good flow. I mean, I like to entertain, and most of the parties that I have had are fun, but demonstrations are different. I have been to some that are a smashing success, and others that have been downright disastrous. Fortunately, my party wound up actually being fun,.

The bonus of the whole event was that I invited some of my "new" neighbors and got to meet quite a few of them. Last year, we moved out of our 70yr old home to new construction in a development neighborhood. At first, I was a bit skeptical. I had never really lived in a "planned community" before, but I had heard horror stories. I thought that I was an "old home" kind of girl. I imagined transforming my house into a home featured in the centerfold of country living. In fact, my life in the old house more resembled scenes from the film the "Money Pit" than it did pages from a decorating magazine, and so alas, we decided moving would be our best.

Last summer, when we moved in, we were the third house. The landscape of our new neighborhood was filled with dirt piles, bull dozers and empty lots. In this less than stellar real estate market, we did not see as many new neighbors move in as we would have liked to, but gradually houses were built, and people moved in. There are now probably about ten occupied houses, although one is up for sale because the homeowner failed to incorporate the tax bill into their monthly payment. I wonder how this could happen, but I suppose anything is possible...

In any case, I now know three of my lovely neighbors. They are all quite different from one another, and yet I really feel like I could have a friendship with each and every one of them. None of them are from around here, and they are all looking to make new acquaintances and friends. I am from here but know and understand the importance of always meeting new people. Making new friends, and meeting new and different people enhances perspective, and ultimately life.

After coming to my "party", one of my new neighbors even invited me to come in and see her house while I was out for a walk with Tash. Tash played with her daughter and had a snack and we talked for awhile about kids, houses, motherhood, the neighborhood;etc. When we left, I pushed Tash home in the stroller, waving to my next door neighbor whom I have known for sometime, but now know better, and thinking, "gee, I feel like I'm on the set of desperate housewives", minus, of course, all of the murder, and most of the scandal. Who knows, maybe in a couple of months, we'll have a weekly card game going?

As I am thinking all of this, I am simultaneously trying to match my new found friends, and myself, with the characters from Wisteria Lane. I'm not sure exactly who I'd be. I' d like to Bree, but I know I'm much more like a combinations of Teri Hatcher and Lynette. A scatterbrained, crazy mom of many kids, trying to survive disaster. Yup, that's me.

Which housewife would you be? Do you watch? Did you see the final show, and if so, have you heard this season will be set five years in the future. Personally, after losing interest in past seasons, I have found my love of this show to be renewed. What do you think? I'd love to know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends...

As I mentioned earlier this week, we just returned home from two weeks at the Jersey Shore. SO FABULOUS, it was and I will get the pictures up in the next couple of days! During the second week of our vacation, my cousin, yes I do have a lot of cousins, Tony and his wife, Heidi came in from Chicago to stay at his parents' shore house. They brought their two little girls, Emma and Lilly, who are two and a half and one and a half, and of course, my kids nearly ate them up. They don't have any first cousins yet and they just love these girls to pieces, especially Isabelle, my five year old.

Emma really enjoyed Isabelle as well. Everywhere we went, Emma wanted Isabelle to push her in her stroller. Emma would say to Isabelle, "Emma is going to the beach, does Isabelle want to go with Emma to the beach?" IDK, but there is something so amazingly cute about a kid who talks about herself in the third person. Lilly is almost exactly the same age as Tasha, and they two, were best of buds. Tasha really loved to hug Lilly, and kiss her, and share her sippy cup with her.

Naturally, with the kids getting along so well, Heidi and I wound up spending a lot of time together. A new mom who is living away from friends and family, Heidi doesn't really spend much, if any time, around other mothers of young children. She anxiously asked me many questions about what is normal for children; how to get through the day; what discipline strategies work; etc. She confided in me that she is often lonely and alone, because my cousin works long hours, and because she doesn't really know any other mothers.

As my children mixed cheezits with sand, she looked at me and said " you are so laid back, I wish I could be that way." By contrast, I am laid back, and she is more wound up and up tight. Little things like how many ice creams the girls had during the week, or whether or not they napped for exactly three hours did seem to bother her. Emma saying "no" and not always obeying, as most two years I have ever seen do, was embarrassing to her. I could sense her unease with motherhood in general, and I wanted to give her some advice- not that I am expert in anyway, but I could sympathize, I have been there.

I spent the first six years of my daughter's life, and the first two years of my son's, living in the foreign land of South Carolina, which to a Yankee, who had only ever gone south to Florida, was like another world. When I had my first born, I was terribly alone and often felt isolated. These are not good conditions for a mother. What's more, for a long time, I had no friends who were also mommies, so the only meter by which I could measure my success as a mommy was my own mother.

Mother's from other generations have selective memories, and often revise history. They do not remember how their children actually acted, but rather they remember how they thought their children should have acted.

My mom does not remember us fighting, or not sitting still in restaurants, or talking back, or throwing our clothes on our bedroom floors. She remembers us as good, well-behaved children, which sometimes we were, but just as often, we were not. Not that we were bad, but we were normal. My mom also remembers herself as the perfect wife, always with dinner on the table when my dad came through the door, beds made, clothes clean and put away. She forgets that we had a full time housekeeper, and that she did not work. My mom doesn't remember that she needed time away from us, which was why she was involved with various committees, the president of the PTA, and the junior league; or that she and my dad went out at least one night every weekend while we were babysat. Since she doesn't remember any of this, she doesn't today understand why moms need nights out...

When my mom was my only sounding board, and I spent many days without talking to another soul over the age of five, other than my husband who just didn't get it, I was a lot like Heidi. I was uptight, always wondering in my mind, are my kids normal? Am I doing the right thing? I would sit in my house thinking that everywhere else, moms were doing things better than I was. Their houses were cleaner, their kids better behaved, their lives, in general, were running better than mine.

And then gradually, I started to meet some of the other moms in the world. The ones that I imagined did not exist. Moms in reality were a lot like me. They had trouble juggling the housework and the kids. They lost their minds from day to day trying to get their kids to share, to put their toys away, to go to bed at night. Gradually, I began to realize that as a mom and a wife and a person, I was ok, I was normal- if there is such a thing, and it was then that I really began to relax, and motherhood got just a little bit easier. (As I say this, I am knocking on every piece of wood I can reach from my computer chair)

The advice that I gave to Heidi was that she should return to Chicago and join a moms group. I told her to find other mothers with whom she could trade babysitting so that she can get out alone once in a while. I also told her to watch other moms with their kids so that she can see that her kids act normal, and above all else, I advised her to make some friends with moms in her same boat, so that she can have some people to commiserate with.

I don't know the secrets to discipline, or diet, or how to make your house sparkly clean while serving a gourmet meal to bright eyed, appreciative children, but I do know the secret to surviving motherhood, and that is without a doubt, to have friends with whom you can share your struggles and successes. Motherhood can be a very isolating job- especially for SAHMs who don't have co-workers or human resource departments to help us out when we are feeling blue. We have to recruit, and sometimes this can be hard work, but it is worth it.

I hope things get better for Heidi. I promised myself that I would do a better job of being a long distance relative. Talking to her made me realize how truly grateful I am for the friends I have. Shout out to all of you I know in the real world, and those of you who support me in cyberspace, I couldn't get by without you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

No costume can save her from looking bad...

So my cousin Phil's ex girlfriend, ex is in italics because it is on again off again, and as of this moment I'm not sure which it is, is a costume designer in NYC. I believe she works primarily in off Broadway productions, but who knows maybe she has even done some Broadway productions. If I remember correctly, my other cousin Elyse, Phil's sister told me something about Sara, the costume designer, buying t-shirts for Michelle Pfeiffer for some performance.

For this reason, everyone wants to know Sara.
Everyone loves Sara-because Sara is a costume designer, and has met and perhaps worked with famous people, and thus she must be wonderful.
Everyone loves Sara, except perhaps my cousin, who in his defense is truly a very nice guy, me, and my friend, Meredith- who is a mutual friend of mine and my cousins.

To me, Sara is obnoxious, crass, and downright nasty. For this behavior, I have heard many excuses. "That's how New Yorkers are", someone said to me. Others, some my actual relatives, defend her in virtue of the fact that she is a costume designer, as if this gives her some type of license to be a miserable. nasty. bitch.

The first encounter that I ever had with the girl was when my cousin brought her to my house. We were having a get together and watching football. She came in, looking extremely annoyed, sighed,stuck her nose out, and said, "I can't believe people really watch this." Then she proceeded to tell me how she couldn't understand how we could possibly live in the small town that we do. I'm sure that we lacked sophistication and savvy. I, on the other hand, thought she lacked manners and authenticity. How trite to play the sophisticated New Yorker who can't fathom life in a small town. If you are going to be obnoxious, at least be original. At least, that's my motto.

I made up my mind that I didn't like her.

Elyse encouraged me to give her another chance. Some how she was certain that I misread her. I don't know why. Actually, I think I'm pretty sound minded and a good judge of character. What I am not is phony, and the type of person that says that I like everyone. Everyone in this world can not like everyone else in this world, and some people really are terrible. Nevertheless, I did give Sara another chance, at a family wedding.

My other cousin was getting married in Rhode Island, and my husband and I, and my siblings and all of my other younger relatives were staying in a hotel, and we all decided to go out on the town. The kids were not invited and were staying with my FIL. Elyse and I knocked on Sara and Phil's room door to ask them if they wanted to go out. Sara stared at me hard when she answered the door.

Oh, Laurie, she said, I didn't recognize you without your gaggle of children.

That was strike two.

Last year, Phil moved back from NYC and broke up with Sara. The news delighted me, especially because as I said, Phil is a really nice guy, and I have no idea why he is with Sara. NO, she is not pretty, and yes, he is cute. Kind of looks like Jason Bateman. I thought my days of even thinking about this beastly girl were over... and then last month Phil had a party at his house here for his thirty third birthday, and yup you guessed it, Sara was there.

Fortunately, for all parties involved, I could not make it. The gaggle needed to be tended, and I couldn't get another goose to sit on them for me. My friend, Meredith, was, however, able to attend. She had never met Sara before. I warned her, but she seemed to take my admonition with a grain of salt. I could tell she was thinking, how bad could she be?

At the party, this question was answered, almost immediately for her.

Phil introduced Meredith to Sara, who was complaining about the bugs.

Sara asked Meredith, "What do you do?"

Meredith, who is also an extremely nice person, soft spoken and mild mannered, told Sara that she is a stay at home mom.

Sara's response was a deadpan, "I'm sorry."

Meredith was stunned, and began to stammer about apologetically, trying to explain why she has made such a poor decision for her life's direction.

Sara continued on, Don't you want to do something with her life that would make your children proud of you?"

When Meredith recounted this interaction to me, I was aghast.

What you should have said to her was yes, I do want to do something to make my children proud and that is why I am going to knock you out. Naturally, I was kidding, and I wouldn't honestly resort to violence, but seriously this chick is terrible.

Here is what I'm wondering, and I would love to her thoughts on this- is it just me or do you all find that people held in esteem by others for their perceived success are often allowed to get away with outlandish, outrageous behavior?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So long Shore, Hello home

Last night, we finally returned home from two weeks at the shore. I swear, I barely remembered what our real house looked like, and to be perfectly honest, for those two weeks, I sincerely did not care.

The shore was a "busy" vacation in the sense that taking kids to the beach everyday is actually a lot of work, and yet it was so relaxing to be away from everything, and to need so little to get through the day. Most of the time, I didn't need my car, my keys, my purse, my shoes;etc. I didn't feel constantly at odds with myself about how to best spend every minute of my day, and I only went to the grocery store one time on the whole vacation.

It was wonderful.

Today, on the other hand, I am back to reality. Being back to the blog, which may or may not qualify as reality, is for sure one of my favorite things about being home. Less exciting is to see that while I was away the laundry I left did not wash itself; bills and other mail continued to accumulate; and the refrigerator did not purge itself of spoiled dairy products.

My husband, who was home alone for the entire first week of our vacation told me he cleaned up the house and handled the mail. I'm not sure what the word clean means to him, but what he did, I can not call cleaning. He may have handled the mail in the sense that he touched it, but he did not return papers that were sent by school and were due back before today; nor did he open, respond to, or inform me of two invitations that we received while I was away, and he was still home- one, for a party that has already happened, the other for my cousins wedding, which hasn't happened, but for which a response was required on August 2. Granted, I think in the case of the wedding, more time should have been given to respond, but still...I was single-handedly managing five children at the beach, and he was?

Right- working, but only til five- which means that he had many nights all to himself. I'd even cut him some slack, but here is the thing. When he did arrive to vacation with us, he told me how rough his week had been. Naturally, I rolled my eyes and said, you have got be kidding me- but he protested my jest, standing firm on the grounds that he did so much at home while we were gone.

So today, I have been scurrying about like a mad woman. I am filling out forms due today, trying to return some of the seventy phone messages that I came home to, and throwing out old gogurt, and sighing loudly as I unpack and repack because three of the kids are going away with my FIL, until Friday, tomorrow morning.

And he keeps saying, "relax, there is really not that much to do."
Maybe he's right, maybe I've been spoiled by my beach bum lifestyle and now reality is too overwhelming, but when he told me this afternoon...
"I'm mowing the lawn and then I'm done, because tomorrow I have to go back to work"
...I had wonder where he thinks I'm going tomorrow- what he thinks I have to do tomorrow?
Why is it that a mother's work is never done, but a father can be finished after he mows the lawn? Because he has a job? If I don't have a job, how can my work never be done- if I don't have a job, why do I have work?
Maybe I have had too much sun.
Tomorrow, I will be back in business. Not sure what business that is, since I don't work, but if I find out, I'll be sure to let you know.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A quick hello...

Hi, Just stopping in to say I am still alive. Am stealing a moment btw the water park, the beach, the rides, shoving ice cream in my face, desanding four children, yes I still have five but the oldest can shower herself, catching crabs, enjoying my cousins children, dealing with my cousins wife, kidding, and generally just having a great time and plotting what I will do with my life so that I can buy myself a beach house and spend the entire summer at the jersey shore.

I don't want to hear about hypodermic needles. I love jersey!

I have so many stories, pics etc. to share with you when we return on Saturday. My kids, minus the baby and the oldest, are spending all next week with my FIL, and his crazy common law wife, so I promise many worth while posts...please come back to read them, you won't be sorry.

I haven't forgotten also that I owe a story about the woman who said to one of my friends, don't you want to do something to make your children proud, when my friend told her that her job swas to be a stay at home mom.

Tune in.