28 December 2011

What's with the toothpaste

After my last post, I decided it was best I keep my whining about the holidays to myself.  Now that Christmas is all unwrapped and there is very little on tap for New Year's, I can move on to other kinds of whining.

I've compiled a list of complaints/questions regarding toothpaste.  It may seem silly, but I encounter the tube at least 2 times per day and what I see drives me crazy.

  • What is with the toothpaste and why are women the only people capable of using a tube of toothpaste without turning it into a disgusting mess in some way?  (Grown women only because Zoe is as much of a culprit here as Rob.)  
  • Seriously, how very hard it is to squeeze the tube from the bottom?  
  • And can you not yet judge the force of squeeze you'll need to get the toothpaste out without also getting it all over the top of the tube?  
  • And one more question, is it really so hard to rinse the toothpaste residue from the sink when you're done brushing your teeth?
Any insight here would extremely helpful.  And please don't tell me I am OCD.  I have lived with other women and I know they do not behave like this with toothpaste.  

Maybe I need some more post-holiday rest?

13 December 2011

< whine >

I want to enjoy the holidays, I really do.  But there is just so much to do and think about and spend.

I just keep fantasizing about the day after when I may finally get to rest and possibly be left alone for 4 or more hours with nothing to buy, wrap, cook or prepare in any way.

I hate being this way.  Gifts and parties are supposed to be fun.  So when did it get so exhausting?

< /whine >

09 December 2011

Letter to Santa

This year's letter from "been good all year (almost)" Zoe, now on it's way to the North Pole.

08 December 2011

Its the most craziest time of the year

Not much blogging from me these days.  Seems like there has barely been time to breath since the week before Thanksgiving.  OK, I did some breathing during the week of Thanksgiving because we were on vacation, but I didn't blog then although I probably should have.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few thousand words from our Dallas road trip vacation:

from The Peeps Store in National Harbor, MD
Yes, we went out of our way to go and it was worth it!

Ashton demonstrating the proper way to drink martinis

Zoe and Samantha playing DJ Hero

Zoe looking gorgeous as photographed by the uber-talented Ashton

And the stars of the Dallas show -- Karen and the newest Mr. Smith (Scott)

09 November 2011

Zoe Writes About Me

Zoe had a writing assignment where she had to write about someone close to her and she chose to write about me! She decided to type her final version into the computer so I don't have it in her handwriting, but this is still great.  I love it...
My mom

In my book my mom is the best thing since peanut butter. She is my role model. She has taught me many life lessons. She is always there for me and has never made me sad, angry, or forgotten. She says she loves me everyday and I always say the same thing back. She fills me heart and makes me smile almost everyday. My mom is always there for me. She always makes me happy before she is. My mom is one of the best people in my life and I am lucky to have her. 

I have and always will be my mom’s little girl. She has told me she loves me more times then the earth has trees. She loves me and I love her. I always will. She gives me hope and she gives me confidence. My mom is one of a kind and I don’t think anyone could even be like her.

My mom loves me. I love her. She has friends that love her too. My mom is my mom is my mom and that is not why I love her. I love her because she is a nice wonderful person. My mom is one person and if that person is her then I’ll be happy.

08 November 2011

Working from home vs. Working at work

I've been at my new job for about 10 weeks now.  Things are going well and I am very glad I made the move.   I was nervous about adjusting back to work in an office, but that hasn't been too difficult.  However, I have made some observations about the differences (some good, some not) which I will share with you now.

  1. When you are in the office no one expects you to simultaneously work at your job and do housework or errands.  
  2. When you are in the office most of the week you have to set aside time on the weekend for getting the laundry done.
  3. When you are in the office it is not unusual to spend 15 minutes or more just chatting with your co-workers about this and that.  You can actually spend time getting to know each other.
  4. When you are in the office your co-workers can interrupt your work any time they step up to your desk or into your office.
  5. When you are in the office all day you can sometimes come home to find someone else preparing dinner and that is a wonderful thing.
  6. When you are in the office all day you cannot run out to the supermarket at lunchtime and get the [fill in ingredient] you need for the dinner you'd planned.
  7. When you are in the office and have a meeting in a conference room it can be just as hard to concentrate as when you're on the phone at home.
  8. When you are in the office and have conference calls all day you can't help thinking you could have stayed home for that.
  9. When you are in the office (at least in my office) people do look at you funny if you wear jeans.  
  10. When you are in the office no one looks at you funny if you are wearing fabulous high heels and you are likely to be complimented.  

03 November 2011

Halloween 2011: A Pictorial

We started the night with Guacamoldy and Chips.

The dinner menu included Monster Meatloaf and the ever-popular Mummy Hot Dogs:

The costumes were put on. I never got a good shot of Zoe as a Bumble Bee. I think this is the best one:

Trick-or-Treating and Halloween Decoration Admiring began promptly at 6:30.  This was the best jack-o-lantern.

Finally the nigth was topped off with Tombcakes (because yes, in addition to candy, you need dessert).

29 October 2011

Book Review: Fathermucker

I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

Fathermucker is an interesting, sarcastic, humorous, and slightly depressing look at both modern fatherhood and modern parenting. Josh, our hero, is a stay-at-home Dad, or as he calls it a SAHD and the book tells the story of one tumultuous day in his life with two young children.

The story starts a little unevenly, but by halfway through it picks up steam and the tale that unfolds is one I think both modern mothers and fathers can relate to. I enjoyed the Dad's point of view as much as I enjoyed seeing a man struggle with raising young kids while keeping a marriage intact just as many women I know, myself included have.

Overall this is a thoughtful and enjoyable book that I think any parent can appreciate.

20 October 2011

Loafer Loveliness

I guess I should save this for Tuesday, but who can wait? 

Back in July I blogged about the gorgeous penny loafers from Tory Burch.  But in all honesty, they were a bit out of my price range so I never got them ... until today when they were on SALE!  I felt I had to share such good news. 

I am happy to report that these beautiful red loafers are on their way to me as I type.  Joy!

19 October 2011

Check out Heather!

So exciting!  My friend Heather is in a TV commercial for Kettle Chips:

How awesome is that!!

16 October 2011

12 Years Ago Today...

...I married the love of my life.

Lucky me.  Yes, of course, Rob is lucky to have me, but it really goes both ways.  I'm not sure I really understood feeling loved until Rob and I got together.  I can't imagine having faced parenthood and so many things without him by my side.

Happy Anniversary my love.

12 October 2011

Halloween Costumes Update

So we went to the party store to look at costumes.  (I always feel guilty just buying costumes since I, of all people, former costume designer, should really make her costumes, but I can't do everything.)  The costume we went looking for was that of Mixed Martial Arts fighter.  I didn't have much hope, but I did think we could find a boxer's costume or some accessories that we could use.  The closest thing available was this:

But I think this might be a little too, um, sexy for a 9 year-old.  

There were a lot of other great costume ideas at the party store.  I made a ton of suggestions.  All of them were shot down.  Including this Athena costume which I thought we could easily turn into an Artemis costume:

But Zoe wanted no part of it.  She's convinced no one will know who she is supposed to be if she wears it and I think she despises the idea of wearing a dress.  Sigh.

Somehow Zoe was ultimately taken in by a set of bumble bee wings and so that is her costume, bumble bee.  It is kind of disappointing in a way that doesn't make sense.  I mean, it is her costume so she should be happy with it and that should be enough for me, right?  Yeah, right.

I'm still thinking of ordering the Athena costume, just in case she changes her mind.  Sigh.

03 October 2011

I Don't Know How She Does It

A couple of weeks ago I went to see the movie I Don’t Know How She Does It, the movie based on the book of the same name by Allison Pearson. It was cute, somewhat trite, yet entirely perfect for a girls’ night out. Despite it’s forgetability, something about it stuck with me, some voice in my head said something wasn’t quite right. I listened to the audiobook of this title when it first came out in the U.S. sometime in 2003 and I haven’t carried the best impression of the book with me. If you had asked I would have said it was just an OK book, but I couldn’t tell you why exactly. After seeing the movie, I was pretty sure the moviemakers had either missed something or not quite gotten the story right. No surprise in that happening in a movie adaptation, but I couldn’t remember the book well enough to recall the problem.

Luckily Audible saves your purchased library for all time so I was able to download the book and give it another listen and alas I was able to discover what was missing. In the book (SPOILER ALERT) Momo, Kate’s (the protagonist) protégé, is subjected to sexual harassment in a particular nasty way. The slimy Chris Bunce (played right on target by Seth Meyers in the movie) puts her head on pictures of naked women performing lewd acts. This spurs Kate into action setting up the evil Bunce to get fired and then resigning herself (this does not occur at all in the movie and Kate does not resign). Second, her husband actually leaves her, instead of just implying that he might.

Lastly, and most important, the overarching message of the book seems to be that working too hard and succeeding is not a good thing for a woman – or at least not for her family. Kate and all the other likeable women characters eventually end up either as stay-at-home Moms or working at much less demanding (high-paying) careers. Kate, smart, powerful, highly paid woman, gives up her job so her husband doesn’t leave her and so her kids don’t hate her. This is what brings happiness to husbands and children.

The movie, on the other hands, ends on a note that says women can do it all (except an affair, of course, even if it is Pierce Brosnan), it is just a careful balancing act. I guess I subscribe more with that version of reality for obvious reasons.

In reality I suppose both conclusions are true, depending on who you ask and when. In this current economic climate, I don’t think a story about a woman giving up a high-paying job to spend more time at home would go over well since most don’t even have an option. And while I know for a fact that most stay-at-home moms actually work much harder than I do, I don’t think that staying at home necessarily makes a better mother as the book seems to imply. That’s my gamble, anyway.

At least now I know why my recollection of the book was iffy and I have a new appreciation for the movie rendition.

The one good thing that the book and movie share is how annoying that statement really is, "I don't know how you do it."  I do know.  It's not magic, it's not really anything special.  It's just living.

30 September 2011

Halloween Costumes

It's that time of year when a young mind's fancy turns to thoughts of candy and most of all costumes. What a big decision that costume is.   In fact, Zoe has been contemplating her costume since about November 1, 2010. She is still firmly undecided, but I've been keeping track of her ideas since spring.  First came the barbarian. I have no idea where this came from.  Then it was all about Artemis. This was an idea I could get behind because she is so into Greek mythology. We even bought a plastic bow and arrow set over the summer.  Next up was a Viking. Another idea that I have no idea about.  The next strong contender, so strong that I almost ordered part of this costume, was an M&M dressed as rapper Eminem. Since Zoe doesn't even know a single Eminem song, I am completetly clueless on where this idea came from. She seemed so committed to it. Until last night... When she informed me she wanted to be a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. Really? I was hoping yo buy a costume this weekend, but now I'm not so sure. 

28 September 2011

9 Years and Growing Fast

The change from baby to toddler and toddler to kid are obvious, marked changes, but the change from little kid to just plain kid happens so slowly that you don't notice it until one day you're folding laundry and you realize that your daughter's t-shirts aren't much smaller than your own.

Zoe turned 9 over 6 months ago now, but with the new school year underway and watching Zoe in her various activities and interests it has hit me lately that she's so damn grown up now.  She's in 4th grade -- a grade I really remember.  I think its an age when you start to come into your own as an individual.   Or maybe I was a slow starter because I think Zoe has known herself for awhile now. 

In any case, she has her own interests, her own likes and dislikes, her own tastes in books, movies, etc.  I love seeing these things develop in her -- especially as she pursues things like Greek Mythology and softball -- things we really don't share.  I'm pretty sure the Percy Jackson series of books will be to her what the Little House books were/are to me.  At the same time, I have to admit to being also saddened to see her so obviously grow away from me.  I know that's part of the overall goal behind raising a child -- to send a good person out into the world, but it hurts a little to think at some point, she won't need me.  Of course, I hope she'll always need me, but it won't be as a baby or kid needs their Mommy.  She won't ask me to get her milk or tie her shoes.  She won't want me to wash her hair. 

However, whether she needs me or not, I'm not ready to lend her my t-shirts.  Thank goodness her feet are still way too small for my shoes!

12 September 2011

Zoe and the Babysitter

Saturday night Zoe's favorite babysitter came over so Rob and I could escape to dinner at a restaurant that has no chicken nuggets and an R rated movie.  (We saw Contagion which I thought was great.)  The next morning  I asked Zoe what she and the babysitter did -- watch a movie, play Wii, play cards?  She said, no, they made YouTube video.  Now that is something new! Luckily I trust the babysitter so I know it wasn't inappropriate and I was sure it was just silliness. Which in fact is exactly what it is.

Here's the video (which, I think is funny if you are 9):

10 September 2011

Neglect Part 2

OK, so now it seems I am neglecting my blog.  With everything going on all at once I've been wiped out.  So much so that I find myself with a cold this weekend.  Yuck.  However, it has given me the perfect excuse for afternoon naps so I am not completely knocking it.

Here's a quick report card on the last month:

Vacation:  B (would have been an A if Rob could have joined us)
Hurricane Irene:  C (we were fortunate enough to not lose power or sustain damage, but too many other people were affected badly)
Start of new job:  B (might have been better if Hurricane Irene didn't make things screwy the first week)
Start of school:  A+

And here's the newly minted 4th grader herself looking pretty rad if I do say so myself:

Overall average: B+  (Not bad, but room for improvement)

OK, I promise I am committing to getting back to normality, reality, and all that stuff on Monday so blogging should then resume with regularity.

18 August 2011


I've neglected a lot of things lately and obviously my blog is clearly one of them.  I am on the path to correct my ways, but first let me say it's been one crazy summer in which I learned a rather important lesson.

I pride myself on my multi-tasking abilities and while I am constantly busy being Mom, employee, daughter, friend, etc. I often forget to pay attention to myself.  As a result I woke up one day in June and found I was suffering severely from my own self-neglect.  I was both physically ill and rather depressed and the stupid thing is, I didn't even know it until I reached the point when I just wanted to stay in bed all day.  Anyone who knows me, knows staying in bed all day is not ever my M.O.  I prefer to go, go, go until I drop and then get up early and start again.

A small miracle occurred in mid-June that helped propel me out of my funk and into change.  An old boss of mine emailed me about a potential job.  I know I've already shared that I got a new job, but my reaction to that initial email made me realize just how unhappy I was in my job and seeing a light at the end of the tunnel elevated my mood.  Somehow that also inspired me to finally call the doctor as well.  I described earlier my health scare which luckily turned out to be something simple.  Earlier this week I had (very minor) surgery to fix the problem and I am happy to report that I now feel better than I have in months.  It is pretty amazing actually.

So, now that I am feeling energetic again and excited about my life changes and generally much happier,  I realize how foolish I was to neglect myself for so long.  How could I have been the best Mom, employee, friend, etc. I could be when I was feeling so awful?  Sometimes taking care of yourself is not selfish.  Who knew?

26 July 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: I Need Shoes!

OK, no pictures of actual shoes today, but I am happy to report that I actually need to buy shoes so I'll be going back through past posts.

How can I need to buy shoes, you ask?  Well, I'm kissing my work-form-home life good-bye because I got a new job!

Anyone who knows me well knows I've been pretty unhappy in my job for awhile, but anyone who's been searching for a job lately knows how tough the job market is these days.  I've been looking on and off for awhile, but not having any luck.  Then lightning struck about a month ago and just yesterday I resigned from my current job.  I'm excited about the new job and that alone is a good feeling, but they also made it clear after the interviews and in the offer that they really want me.  That feels great.   I mean, I know it is a job, but it is good to feel valued at your job and I think (I hope) I am going to feel that way at the new job.

I am going to have to get used to commuting again, but only 3 days a week and there is an option to take a train so I'm not too worried about it.  Before I start I'm going to get almost 2 and a half weeks off.  I haven't had that much time off in a row since my maternity leave.  That's good because I'm going to need some time for shopping for shoes -- and clothes, of course.

20 July 2011

Lucky Me

The past couple of weeks I've had a bit of health issue that involved a biopsy and waiting for the results of that biopsy.  I am very fortunate that I can say the results of the biopsy were negative, but it was so hard to keep my head on straight while waiting.  Most of the time I tried not to think about it, but every once in awhile my mind would go there.

What if I have cancer?

What if I die?

And in thinking about those questions I was really thinking about Zoe.  I can't leave her -- not yet.  She still needs me.  Just contemplating that thought was, still is, a lot to take.  I know if the results had been different that I would hardly have been the first mother of young children diagnosed with cancer and I know I could fight it and have good chances being youngish and healthy, but in the waiting moments that stuff didn't matter.  All that mattered was who would take care of Zoe.  Who would buy her tampons and help her with her first heartbreak?  Who would take her prom dress shopping or help her choose a college?  Who would cheer her on the whole way? It has to be me.

I am so lucky that I can be relatively sure it still will be.

12 July 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: More Love of Loafers

Looks like loafers are in for fall.  After the complete drought of shoe love this spring and summer this makes me so happy.  Here are some fabulous pairs I've seen lately:
Anne Klein Walnut

Enzon Angiolini Balinia

Kate Spade Connie

Me Too Nerissa

Looks like I am going to need some space for shoes.  I don't think Rob really needs his own closet, do you?

05 July 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: I Love Loafers

OK, maybe summer shoes just aren't my thing, but fall shoes are definitely squarely in the "my thing" category especially since they often include variations on the loafer.  As much as I don't want to rush summer along, I do like ogling the coming fall fashions.  One of my favorite early looks is this penny loafer from Tory Burch.

Are those gorgeous, or what? They are on the top of my "want" list right now.

30 June 2011

Getting Old

I do agree with the idea that age is more a state of mind and I personally feel "young" for the most part.  However, since I've turned 40 I've noticed some things about getting older that make me feel, for lack of a better word, old.
  • Muscles get sore that never got sore before -- muscles I don't think I ever knew I had
  • Taking Advil (or similar) becomes a much more regular thing
  • Hair color goes from a nice to have to a must have
  • It takes more than an extra cup of coffee to make up for one late night
  • The 5 pounds you put on over a week's vacation, don't just disappear a week or two after you return from vacation
  • The amount of stuff you don't know seems to grow
  • People in their twenties now really do seem like they come from a different generation and, frankly, I think of them as kids
  • I sometimes have to question if a skirt or a pair of shorts are too short
  • I sometimes have to question if an item of clothing or accessory is too trendy or "young"
  • I often have to choose between skin care that fights wrinkles and skin care that fights pimples
  • Kids' movies make me fall asleep
  • Kids' TV shows drive me away from the TV
  • I frequently ask Zoe to turn down the volume
Since I'm still about 30 years away from being able to take Social Security I think I'll have to work more on the list of the ways I feel young.  

29 June 2011

The Cosmetics Counter: Surf Spray

Since I have rather short hair I don't use much in the way of hair products.  My hair usually requires very little in the way of styling and I tend to not go in for expensive shampoos, conditioners or other styling products.  However, last time I got my haircut my hair dresser used a new product (or at least new to me) called "Surf Spray" on my hair and the results were really great so I decided to go ahead and buy it.

When I first got home with it I felt like I had probably blown $25 since everyone knows there is some kind of magic that happens to your hair in the hair salon that can never be re-created at home.  I am happy to report that I was completely pleasantly surprised.  This stuff magically adds thickness and texture.  I spray it on and then just rub my hair while drying it.  What could be easier?  I thought maybe it only worked in short hair, but a few weeks ago Zoe let me try it on her longer hair and it also had great results.

So, if you're looking for something to give your hair texture (not smooth, sleek, straight) give it a try.  It is supposed to be the texture you get after a day at the beach.  Not sure that is exactly true, but it is still pretty cool stuff.

27 June 2011

Tea at the Plaza

Last week was a pretty terrific week.  The school year ended, I hosted a successful party/book swap with my reading friends, the always lovely Emily came for a visit, I waived to Barack Obama, I rode in one of the new MetroNorth train cars, and, best of all, I was taken for tea at the Plaza.  Really everything that comes before on this list pales in comparison because tea at the Plaza is a truly special event.

Going to tea at the Plaza is not something I would have thought of doing, but the aforementioned lovely Emily gave me this wonderful experience as my 40th birthday present.  We arrived in New York City in the late morning and did a bit of this and that including some fabulous window shopping at Tiffany's and Henri Bendel.  Before we knew it it was almost our reservation time so we made our way up 5th Ave to The Plaza.

I'd never been inside the Plaza before and the lobby did not disappoint.  We were seated immediately and we ooh'd and ah'd over the menu, the setting, the lovely piano music playing softly in the background.  And after a somewhat hilarious search for the restrooms, we relaxed into what is basically a spa-like experience that involves food and tea instead of facials or massage.

Of course I made good use of my iPhone to document the experience so here are some pictures:

The tea service including champagne. 

Close up of the most delicious cucumber sandwich.

The Lovely Emily and her champagne.

The portrait of Eloise that hangs in the hallway off the lobby.

It truly was a magical experience that I will never forget.  When we left The Plaza I felt like I was returning to Earth after having been in some magical place.  I highly recommend the experience as a special treat or to celebrate a special occasion.

Thank you again Emily!

21 June 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: The Purse Edition

My failure to find inspiring shoe designs has led me to two related conclusions.

1. I need to do more than just shop online
2. I need to find new shopping sites/stores

As a result of my desire to branch out I've spent a fair amount of time online looking at Etsy.com and some other similar sites. I'm sure it is not news to say that Etsy is a great site. There are some really interesting things to be found on that site -- certainly from the sublime to the ridiculous and most certainly in overwhelming quantity.  I decided to narrow my exploration to an area I love almost as much as shoes.  Purses, of course!

There are about a million great bags, but I picked out a few I really liked. They are all fairly affordable especially compared to a Coach bag or Kate Spade despite the fact that they are some of the more expensive bags to be found on the site.

If I were in need or particular want (since "need" rarely is a factor with purses) of a a new tote this one would be high on my list.  The details and colors are modern and casual, but at the same time the bag looks like it would work for a lot of occasions.

This bag is all about the details. How great is that lining? Click the link to see how gorgeous it is closed up too. If this were a "designer" bag I am sure it would sell for at least $250.00 or more.

This is a gorgeous evening bag.  I already have a couple of dresses this would work with.  Now I just wish I had somewhere to go!

Next time I think I'll look at jewelry.  

20 June 2011

Father's Day Poem

This was Zoe's gift to Rob for Father's Day:


My Dad

my dad is blue
he smells like yellow cake
with [chocolate] frosting
he looks like green beach
he sounds like [his] goofy
laugh after I say
the word [guinea] (gin-e)
he feels [like] the warm and
tight hug he gave me
when it was the first day
of [kindergarten] as I got
on bus 14
he taste[s] like Barbecued
steak and [whoopie] pies
my dad make[s] me [feel] [confident]

I think I may just have to have this framed.

14 June 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: Complete Lack of Inspiration

I've been wanting to do a Tuesday Shoesday post for a couple of weeks now and the fact is I can't find any shoes to get excited about.  I am completely sick and bored of strappy, wedges, gladiator style, impossible architectural styles, espadrilles, cork and ankle wrapping.  The only relief is in the classics and even there, I can find no real joy.

I am just going to come out and declare that this is the summer of bad shoes.

I would never say this for any other reason, but I am looking forward to what fall will bring.

13 June 2011

The Corrections

I can't believe it, but  I actually finished all 576 pages of The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.  It took me 21 days to get through it and there were many points where I felt like giving up.  And now I am just trying to make sense of what I read.

When I declared yesterday that I had  finished the book my mother asked me if I liked it and I couldn't really answer the question.  After a rather slow start it did become compelling reading.  There is no question that the writing is excellent and that Mr. Franzen is quite gifted.  There were sections that I could not put down.  One morning Zoe almost missed her bus because I was too engrossed in reading to notice the time.  From that it sounds like I really liked it, but the big problem I'm having is that I pretty much despised all of the characters and had only fleeting sympathy or empathy for them.

The novel is a story of an American family, but possibly the worst American family ever.  I mean, there's no incest or physical abuse, but the psychological dysfunction, the dishonesty, and the complete lack of warmth and compassion was just harrowing and disgusting.  We all do or have done some colossally stupid and self-destructive things in our lives, but typically (or hopefully) these moments are limited and we live through them. The characters in this book are all like the darkest story in your family history.  Am I so naive to think most people and most families are not really like this?  Yes, families struggle, but do family members really treat each other this way?  Yes, no one can hurt your feelings like your family can but do they feel the same hatred and loathing for each other?  I don't know, but I hope not.

I am left utterly confused by the point of this epic story.  In the end hasn't this family basically sacrificed one of its members and laid all the blame for everything that has gone wrong at his feet so that they can move on with their lives?  Mr. Franzen names the town they are from St. Jude and, of course, St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes.  It seems to me they are all lost causes wether they pick themselves up and move on or not.  Partly I was left feeling afraid that some day Zoe would drop me off in a nursing home and be glad to be rid of me.  And partly I was left feeling grateful that my family is more honest and loving than this one.

I still can't tell you if I liked the book.  As an antidote I am now reading Names My Sisters Call Me by Megan Crane which I stole from the shelves of Becky when there was nothing she could do about it.  [Cue evil laughter]

Anyone else out there read The Corrections who can help me out with some insight?

06 June 2011

Ten Things I Can't Do Without

Trolling around the internet this evening, I got this idea here and I really liked it so here goes: (Zoe and the internet just have to go without saying.)

1. Chapstick.

Yes, it probably is addictive, but I don't care because I love it and use it multiple times per day and I'm not sorry.

2. Coffee.  Duh.

3.  My iPhone.  I rarely go anywhere without it.  I love it more than any gadget I have ever had and I have had a lot of gadgets and given them a lot of love.

4.  Clinique All About Eyes concealer.  Without it I would be frequently mistaken for a raccoon.

5. Email.  Sad, but true fact is I would have no friends if it weren't for email.  I am simply horrible at picking up the phone to talk.  I am just not good at chatting, but if you email me, I will email you back.

6. Reading.  What else would I even do with that time?  I have no idea.  (Notice I didn't say books.  I am all about eBooks and e-reading at last.)

7. Ice Cream.  Yes, I love candy, but my most favorite treat is ice cream.  I would give up candy for ice cream almost every time.

8.  The Gym.  I should hope so given my love of ice cream and candy, but also I am just plain addicted to working out.  I would not make it through the week without the stress release that a good workout can be.  I go to the gym or the Pilates studio 5 to 6 times per week, no fooling.

9.  Sirius Satellite Radio.  Or as I like to call it, crack-radio.  I've had Sirius in my car for the past 7 years and I really can't imagine how I would go back to listening to the regular radio ever again.  Forget CDs or iPods too.  Sirius is the only way to travel.  Plus, since starting to work from home, I also can listen while I work via their website.  It's just awesome listening and I have discovered so much great music because  of it.

10.  Rob.  Maybe I should have listed him with the obvious, but just in case, you should all know that, crazy as he is, he really helps me stay sane.  I couldn't love him more.

31 May 2011

Mystic (no pizza)

With softball, all of Zoe's other activities, work, and family stuff life has been pretty busy lately so we decided to declare what we like to call "family day" this past Sunday.  This is when Rob, Zoe, and I spend an entire day together doing something fun.  We chose a visit to Mystic Seaport for our "family day" adventure.  Zoe is still into Moby Dick and Mystic Seaport seemed like a good way to bring a bit of the story to life.

We were fortunate enough to have no traffic and pretty good weather.  It was a fun day walking around and seeing the re-enacters and getting to walk on board the tall ships.  The re-created Amistad is especially powerful to see.

When you go to amusement parks and zoos and the like they often have those murals or just animals that are made with face-sized cutouts expressly designed for pictures.  At Mystic Seaport they had one of the best of these I've ever seen.  I think Zoe and Rob really bring it to life here:

Sadly we did not get to Mystic Pizza for dinner, but we did stop in at the shops at Old Mistick Village and got our requisite fudge and other trinkets before heading back home.  All-in-all it was a great family day.

27 May 2011

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

You know how when you're a smug twenty-something you are sure you'll never do or say certain things as a parent?  Yeah, me too.  Until I had my own kid, of course.

I didn't actually say it, but I really wanted to say it.  It is one of the worst Mom lines there is.  It is the one that always made me cry harder and feel more miserable.  The one that made it crystal clear that you did not have an ally in Mom.  Can you guess?

Zoe was crying over some minor injury which I felt was mostly imagined and then as my mother was trying to soothe her she started searching for more things to be upset about.  It is a special talent of Zoe's to find things to cry about.  Since I was already annoyed with the first reason she was crying the adding on was really getting to me.

And that's when it happened.  The words formed in my head and were on their way out of my mouth.  It was a miracle that I was able to stop myself from saying...

If you don't stop crying, I will give you something to cry about.

20 May 2011

Week in Review by Memolane

I love Memolane! It creates these great timelines of all your online activity. Here's my timeline for this week:

Be sure to scroll left and right using the arrows at the top.

19 May 2011

My Slugger

Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook already know that Zoe is playing softball this year.  It is her first year and she is in the "A" Division which is for the youngest girls.  She is actually oldest among the youngest, but that is a whole birthdate thing that probably works in her favor. (If you've read Malcolm Gladwell's The Outliers, you know what I mean.)

Zoe never really expressed an interest in softball, but I really thought she should try a team sport and I don't know why, but I thought she would be good at softball as well as really enjoy it.  Happily I have been right on both counts (so far, of course).

Turns out this has also been good for me.  In some moment of weakness or maybe it was something else, I volunteered to be the team manager.  I don't know the first thing about softball, but Zoe's team had no manager and since managing is definitely in my skill-set I agreed (a little begrudgingly, I must admit).  I have never really been a big volunteer at school or other kid-related activities.  Its just not my thing.  So label me surprised because I have to say it has actually been, well, fun.  I've made some new friends in the team coaches and parents and feel like I am part of a new community plus I feel like I am helping to make the experience special for Zoe since it is our thing together now.

I'm really proud of how Zoe has done on the team so far.  I enjoy the fact that it really is about learning the game for the girls at this age so the competitive factor is low.  I was told at my first managers meeting that the goal of A Division is to get the girls to want to come back and play again next year.  I think our team, The Purple Bulldogs, is doing a good job working toward that goal.  Overall, despite the fact that it has given both Zoe and I very busy schedules this spring, softball has been a great addition to our lives.

All this has really been so I can post this photo:

18 May 2011

The Brown T-Shirt

Did you ever get it into your head that you had to have something in order to make your wardrobe complete?  Perhaps it is a particular pair of shoes or dress, but it is something and there are exact details in your head about what it has to be.

Last fall I fel that way about gold ballet flats.  I had a mental image of what I wanted, but I had to do a fair amount of research and shopping in order to find a pair that lived up to my mental image. After and exhaustive several mall, many website search I finally found them at the Cole-Haan outlet I did feel temporarily as though my wardrobe was complete.

Now it is a brown t-shirt.  Not just any old brown t-shirt, but a nice brown t-shirt, what I like to call a "dressy t-shirt."  Not a grey t-shirt, not a beige t-shirt, but a brown t-shirt.  The added complication is that it has to come in petite sizes.  I am short and regular t-shirts are usually way too long.  Unfortunately brown is not a big color for spring and early summer clothes.  At least not from what I've seen in stores.  I've seen a few options that almost qualify such as:

from Ann Taylor Loft
And this one:
from Eddie Bauer

But I'm still not in love.  Not crazy about the beige-ness of the shirt form Ann Taylor Loft even though I do like the design.  I like the color of the Eddie Bauer shirt, but I'n not crazy about the detail around the buttons.  Last night I went so far as to order these two t-shirts from Old Navy because I had a 20% off coupon and their petite sizes fit me well.

But I am not convinced either of these will be the t-shirt I am after. Anyone have any suggestions? I am willing to spend a little more than I usually would to fulfill this clear wardrobe need.

17 May 2011

The Ennui

How do you know when it is time to move on?  (No, not from Rob.  He may not be perfect, but I sure do love him.)

I may never have used or thought of the word "ennui" correctly until now.  That really seems to sum up how I have been feeling about work lately.  I don't want to go into a whole long list of details about why I am feeling this way because you never know who's reading this (my biggest fear being boring to tears anyone reading this), but it is becoming increasingly clear that I need to think about making a change.  And, of course, what is the only thing worse than being dissatisfied?  Change!

Here's the thing...I work from home.  There are pros and cons to working from home, but certainly some of the biggest pros have to do with Zoe.  I am always here for her before and after school.  I can pick her up when she is sick, I can help her with her homework, I can take her to after school activities, and I never have to worry about picking her up from after in time.  In other words, I get to have the best of both worlds  for a working mom and a stay-at-home mom.  If I have to go back to commuting to an office that will all have to change and that is the biggest thing holding me back from seriously pursuing a new job.

I've updated my resume.  I've updated my LinkedIn profile.  I've asked for recommendations.  I've perused many job postings.  I've tweaked my resume and my profile.  I think I'm technically ready to start putting myself out there.  Now I just have to get mentally ready.  (And I'll have to get wardrobe ready too, naturally.)

09 May 2011

The thing about Mother's Day

The thing about Mother's Day is that you have to figure out how to celebrate all the Moms in your life and realistically that is not always possible.  When you are like me and have a mother of my own and a mother-in-law both nearby things can get complicated.  Very often, dare I say almost every time, Mother's Day is never about me.  It is about my Mom or Rob's Mom.  Sometimes it is about Aunts and sisters-in-law too.  Don't get me wrong, I am pleased to celebrate all the mothers in our life, but there's only so much time in one weekend and when you're in a situation like mine, you don't usually end up getting to do something for yourself.

I know I am not alone in this situation therefore I really think there needs to be one set strategy or hierarchy for dealing with this.  Perhaps each family needs to set their own and maybe it should be decided when you get married?  I don't know how it would work though.  When I even start trying to think about it my head hurts.  Every year we hit the same problem:  too many mothers and not enough time.

I know I should be grateful that I have my mother, my mother-in-law, my sisters-in-law and my daughter who all want to celebrate Mother's day with me and I am.  And I am very grateful and consider myself lucky.  I know a time will come around when my mother and my mother-in-law won't be around just as I know a time will come when Zoe wishes me "Happy Mother's Day" via text message from wherever life has taken her.

Perhaps the problem is really with the holiday itself?  Do we really need Mother's Day?  I mean we all know it is a Hallmark invented occasion  that is fully supported by the florists and jewelry stores, so why do we invest so much into it?  I really don't know.  I guess we're suckers for marketing.

All I do know is that almost every year on Mother's Day (since I became a mother, of course) I end up feeling like all I did was run around to please others which leaves me feeling simultaneously taken for granted and selfish and that just seems completely counterintuitive to the spirit of the day

29 April 2011

Kids love lists

I used to think it was only Zoe who liked to make lists of everything from her favorite colors to places she'd like to visit to potential band names, but it turns out my niece, Sophia, is also quite the list maker.  We had the pleasure of having her as a sleepover guest last week and prior to her visit, she made this list of things she wanted to do while staying with us.

Unfortunately the actual list got wet when a cup of water was spilled on it in the night, but here is an annotated transcript:

  1. See Rio [the movie -- lucky for Sophia and Zoe Grandma was in charge of most of the activities so they even got to see it in 3D]
  2. Order Govie's Pizza [Actually it is Giove's and for reasons that remain a mystery to me and despite the plethora of really good pizza places in our area, it is a favorite with kids.  They deliver so that was dinner.]
  3. Play puppies [I can't say for sure if this took place, but it is checked off on the list so I guess it did.]
  4. Acrobat show [We opted to skip this one.  I wanted to return Sophia to my brother and sister-in-law in one piece.]
  5. Talk [Oh, there was no lack of talking with a 7 and a 9 year old.]
  6. read Books [Now this is one I can really support.  Both Zoe and Sophia are voracious readers.]
  7. take a bath [Nah, they weren't that dirty]
  8. go get our nails done [Again lucky for the girls that Grandma was in charge.  Sophia got pink nails, and Zoe got highlighter green.]
  9. draw [Again, I have no proof, but it is checked off]
  10. watch a movie [Not including Rio, I guess.  They did watch the available for free on Netflix streaming Imagine That starring none other than Eddie Murphy.  I'm not sure, but I think Zoe and Sophia could have made up a better movie on their own with 2 hours and a video camera, but they really enjoyed it so what do I know?]
  11. ride scooter [They did, in fact, ride scooters, but only for 10 minutes.  Maybe less.]
All-in-all I'd say it was a pretty successful sleepover according to Sophia's list.  

26 April 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: Espadrilles

When the going gets tough, the tough go shoe shopping.  Things got kind of tough last week so ...

Now that the weather has finally turned warm I am ready to think seriously about warm weather footwear.  As opposed to sandals I have been drawn to the flat espadrilles I've been seeing around (not the skyscraping wedge variety).

Here are some that I like:

Franco Sarto

Kate Spade

Michael Kors


The nice thing is that all of these are relatively affordable.  I guess since they are primarily constructed from canvas and rope, that makes sense.  That and they probably don't last more than one summer.  

Naturally my favorites are the Kate Spade pair although I'd like to try on the Stevens to see how those stay on your feet.  

18 April 2011

Questions for 3pm on a Monday

  • When can I take a sick day that's really what I like to call a "sick of work" day?  This entails much calendar analysis.
  • What should I read next?  I very often finish a book or come close to finishing a book on the weekends.  Right now I am trying to convince myself not to buy a new book for my Nook, but to read one of the books I have stacked on my shelf or by my bed that are unread.  
  • What should I make for dinner?  As often as not this is the first time I've thought about it for the day which means I probably haven't defrosted any meat.  The other times, like today, I've usually taken out chicken breast so it is a matter of what chicken recipe to use.  Nothing too ambitious, I am sure.
  • What activities does Zoe have this week?  I must check my meeting calendar against my taxi calendar.
  • What's the deal with tumblr.com?  Who uses it and what's good about it and/or better than my Google reader?  I'm not sure I get it and I'm sure I don't like that I don't really get it.
  • Why isn't there a shopping site (like Land's End or Piperlime or Sephora) that would give me stuff for free if I would blog about it?  I really would blog about it.  
  • Is there anything worth watching on TV tonight?  Mondays so often are the worst night for TV shows, but it is also the night I most want to zone out in front of the TV.  
  • What can I have for a snack?  I want something filling, but not too caloric or sugary.  
  • How much Diet Coke really is too much?  Because I think it is Diet Coke or nap right about now.
  • Is this list of questions long enough for a decent blog post?  I hope so because I can't think of anything else I am pondering this Monday.  

15 April 2011

So Beautiful or So What

I'm a music fan, of course, but I am a Paul Simon devotee.  I am pretty sure my father played Simon and Garfunkle records for me while I was in utero.  There isn't a time I can recall that listening to the music of Paul Simon (or Simon and Garfunkle) wasn't completely appropriate.  His music is probably the soundtrack of my life and I have a million memories wrapped up in so many of his songs.

I don't know how many albums (or whatever they are called these days -- releases?) he's had and I certainly don't have them all, but this week he came out with a new one, So Beautiful or So What, and I have to say it is seriously fabulous.  Possibly the best complete album I've heard in a very long time.  The single that was released a few weeks ago, The Afterlife, has been playing in my head since I first heard it.  It's rare that I feel so strongly about music that I feel the need to write about it, but for some reason, in this case I really do feel the need.  Probably because one of the things I love about Paul Simon's music is the poetry of the lyrics and this album is chock full of poetry.  (What is a song without the lyrics, anyway?  Don't actually answer that.)  Here's an awesome excerpt from The Afterlife:
Buddha and Moses and all the noses
From narrow to flat
Had to stand in the line
Just to glimpse the divine
What’cha think about that?
You can find all the lyrics along with all the lyrics to all Paul Simon songs here:  http://www.paulsimon.com/music/so-beautiful-or-so-what/afterlife 

And if you're interested in previewing the album before purchase, the whole thing is on constant streaming here:  http://www.paulsimon.com/news/so-beautiful-or-so-what-online-listening-party

14 April 2011


6 years of ZoesMom!  I can't believe I've been blogging for so long.  Thanks to everyone who's reading!

For fun, here's where it all started:  http://zoesmom.blogspot.com/2005/04/new-job-day-1.html

12 April 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: Pucci Please

I'm sure I need these:

Now I am off to find:

  1. The money to afford them
  2. A place to wear them

I'll let you know how it turns out!

10 April 2011

Book Review: Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain
by Portia De Rossi.

I don't know why I was drawn to reading this book.  Fortunately I don't have an eating disorder, I was never a big fan of Ally McBeal or Arrested Development or even Portia De Rossi, but even so something drew me to this book and I'm glad for it.

First of all, I am now a Portia De Rossi fan.  Her honest and compelling writing made this book impossible to put down.  It was good that I knew there was happiness in store for her or I think I would have been sobbing much of the time I was reading this book.  It is always amazing to learn the truth about something or someone that appears so different on the outside.  Her fight against herself even when it seemed like she should have been sitting on top of the world is an utterly heartbreaking account and it says a lot about the message sent to women and what it means to be successful.

I have been on a number of diets.  I have felt bad about eating something "bad" and I have exercised as a counteraction for that.   I always thought that anorexia was born out of some abuse either mental or physical or some other trauma, but now I see that is not the case.  I don't think I am in danger of becoming anorexic, but I can see now how it can happen and it does make me worry that much more for my own daughter who is on the verge of entering those tender years of body changes.

I can't recommend this book more highly to women as well as to men who love women who struggle with weight issues.

07 April 2011

Is that alll there is?

Did you ever have one of those days when you:

  • Get up early to shower and dress
  • Wake your husband so he is not late for work
  • Wake your kid(s) up for school
  • Make sure your kid(s) get dressed, hair brushed, etc.
  • Make breakfast for your kid(s)
  • Feed the dog
  • Pack lunch for kid(s)
  • Put in a load of laundry
  • Take kid(s) to the bus stop
  • Take something out of the freezer to cook for dinner
  • Go to work
  • Work all day
  • Scrounge something for lunch
  • Eat while working
  • Drive kid(s) to and from after school activities
  • Cook dinner
  • Do dishes and clean up the kitchen
  • Fold a load of laundry
  • Make sure kid's backpack is ready for the next day at school
  • Sign permission slips
  • Write check to the PTA for fundraiser
  • Make sure kid(s) bathe, get pajamas on, get into bed
  • Pay bills
  • Return phone call from your mother-in-law
  • Sit down on the couch and fall asleep 10 minutes into your favorite show
  • Drag yourself up to bed
  • Set alarm to start all over tomorrow
  • Lay in bed and think just before you fall back to sleep "is that all there is to my life?"

(Of course not every day is like that at all, but sometimes it feels that way.)

03 April 2011

5 Things that make me fall asleep

Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep, but usually my problem is staying asleep. However, in case I do ever find myself in need of something to help me fall asleep I have composed this list of 5 things guaranteed to bring on sleep almost instantaneously:

1.  The opening monologue of Saturday Night Live
2.  Any segment of the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart before the guest
3.  The last 5 pages of a book
4.  Animated movies
5.  The "reveal" portion of any reality show, but especially "What Not to Wear" or "Top Chef"

29 March 2011

Tuesday Shoesday: Old School

After my disappointment in the sandal selections I've seen so far this year I've decided that this spring I'm going old school.  Classics always work, right?

So, I'm thinking I'll start with some new docksiders:

Throw in some flat espadrilles (not the 5 inch platform type):

Some simple wedge peep-toes for going out or work stuff:

And top it all off with some real old-school kicks:

Now that's a shoe wardrobe I could be proud of!