trying to find myself and humor in life

Archive for the category “humor”


I was having lunch with someone the other day when we got to talking about kids’ Halloween costumes.  Since I have 4 boys, my family’s costumes usually lean toward a superhero or video game character. In years past we have been Super Mario, Spiderman, Blue Power Ranger, some guy with a bow from the Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Leo and Raph) and The Creeper from Minecraft.

During the conversation my lunch mate made a comment about princesses and the movie Cinderella and how the fairy tale went against some of her feminist beliefs. I made a sarcastic comment about Prince Charming (shocking I know) before changing the subject but her comment stuck with me.

Cinderella is my FAVORITE Walt Disney “princess”. When I was little I loved the Prince Charming aspect – heck, I love that now and would not turn down Charming if he appeared at my doorstep in a fully loaded SUV.

However, the real reason I really loved Cindy was her dress. Seriously have you looked at it? It is the BEST princess dress. It’s got tulle, bows, ribbon AND a hoop skirt! What else could a princess ask for? She even managed to get a diamond tiara and an updo before she left for the ball. Cindy was styling!

Cinderella premiered on February 15, 1950 so yes, I can see how its themes are not feminist friendly. However, there were some good things that came out of that movie that we should appreciate and applaud.

  • Survival
    Cinderella was a survivor. She was a teenage orphan forced to live as a servant with her horrible stepmother and 3 stepsisters (also in their late teens or older) after her dad died. The dad clearly did not have a will or a good attorney since his only daughter was a servant in her own house but I guess everyone makes mistakes right?

    Anyway, Cinderella should have been a bitter and depressed person moping around and hating life. However, the girl was always smiling and singing and making the best of her situation. Teens today sulk for a week if they lose their iPhone or Wi-Fi connection and here’s Cindy trying to make the best of her situation. Cindy did what she needed to do even if that meant being nice to the evil people who made her to live in the attic and wear a ratty brown dress every day.

    Cinderella never lost hope that someday she would be able to escape her miserable life and essentially live happily ever after.

  • Confidence
    Cindy went to that ball all alone, think about that. She walked into a packed ballroom and did not know a single person. Could you do that?

    When I was 23 I went to a co-worker’s wedding alone and let me tell you, it is no easy feat, especially before the alcohol kicks in! Everywhere you turn there are people in groups laughing and talking and there you are all alone trying to find somewhere to sit or lean.

    Cindy didn’t even have an iPhone that she could pretend to check. Nope, she had to go into that ballroom with her head held high and own that room! Plus, when the Prince was chasing after her (as the clock was striking midnight) she just left him on the steps (see even then this girl played by The Rules)!

  • Sense of style
    When Cindy first heard about the ball, she and her friends gathered anything materials they could find to help her make the perfect dress – very similar to Molly Ringwald’s character Andy in the movie “Pretty in Pink.” The result was a beautiful dress that would have blown up Instagram.  Plus she could run in 3-in glass heels which is amazing in and of itself!

I know that you cannot live your life waiting for a fairy-tale because real life problems can’t be solved with a glass slipper. But every once in a while wouldn’t it be nice if they did exist?

Thanks for reading and have a Happy Hump Day!

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Say Cheese!!

Back in the day when I was a newbie mom,  I always made sure that the boys had professional pictures taken. When the twins were babies, I did the obligatory photos at 3, 6, and 12 months old.

I would spend hours planning the “perfect” outfits making sure everything down to their socks matched. The day of the photos I would give myself a heart attack worrying how the boys would, or more likely would not, behave.

It was always a disaster with someone (usually me) leaving in tears.

The years went on, more kids arrived and soon anytime I had to think about professional pictures was long gone! Besides, I had an iPhone so if there was anything I was NOT lacking in, it was photos of my kids – ask anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram.

Life went on.

Then this past fall I had an idea. The boys are older, they sorta listen and I have no pictures of them all together looking “happy” let’s take them to have pictures taken!!!!!! (no I was not drinking when this idea popped into my head).

I booked the appointment for a Sunday in October and tried to block it out of my head – not a hard thing to do with 4 crazy boys, school, soccer and work. My mom and the husband thought I was totally insane.

Why would you do this to yourself? You know that you will be disappointed when no one listens? Well if you are going to do it…just prepare yourself for the worst.

Those were just a few of the little pick-me-ups that were offered in the days leading up to picture day.

Before I knew it, it was the day before the pictures and I had NOTHING ready. In my mind I assumed it would rain and the pictures would be canceled since we had planned to take them outside at a college campus.

Well what is the saying about assuming???

Yeah, here is was Saturday night and the weather forecast for Sunday was going to be warm and sunny – YIKES!

Off to the mall I went to try to find 4 perfect “look at what I just threw together don’t my sons look amazing like they just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren print-ad” outfits.

Needless to say I struck out at every store I went to. Why can you NEVER find something when you really need it?????

Somehow I was able to buy a white button-down for L and a pair of jeans for J. On the ride home from the mall I crossed my fingers and said a silent prayer that the twins had something decent (and clean) to wear in their closet.

Sunday morning I woke up, saw the sun and listened to the boys downstairs screaming and fighting over nothing. I

Immediately began to panic OMG….am I out of my fn mind taking these kids out in public to have their pictures taken????!!!!!!

I went downstairs to make coffee and the husband was checking his phone. Ya ready for today? he asked with a huge smirk.  Good luck he said laced with sarcasm as the twins started crying because the 3yo was yelling at them and chasing them with a pirate sword.

All morning I prepped bribed and threatened the boys. What? Don’t judge.

Hey, I had a lot riding on this and I didn’t want M crying about his hair or J screaming he wanted to go home to ruin the experience AND I deserved at least 1 nice picture of my boys all together god dammit!

The car ride was good, I played some Kidz Bop cd and kept the kids talking and happy. We pulled up to the college and saw Mr. D waiting for us. I took a deep breath before opening the van doors and letting the monsters out.

Mr. D made the boys line up and handed gave them “the rules” for the day. Everything they listened they would get a blue marble. At the end of the day, each boys could turn in his marbles for a prize bag AND candy!

Never have I seen the boys smile so big for a total stranger as they followed him (walking single file) down the path on campus.

It’s going to be fine, stop worrying he told me as he posed them on the steps of a building.

Here is a small sampling of what the boys said that day (please picture it said in a whiney/annoying voice):

L stop touching me! Mom, L is sitting too close to me! Ewwww J’s leg is touching mine and I don’t like it! Mom..there are people looking at us.  Mommy…can I have a lollipop? NO I WANT A RED LOLLIPOP this is blue!! Hey look over there…it’s a huge pile of leaves!!!!! I don’t want to smile. I am tired, can we go home? Mom, can I play with your phone? Why does J get to play with your phone and I can’t. Why do you hate me? My mouth hurts, I can’t smile anymore. Can I go play in the leaves? Mom? Mom? Mommy?? Can we play in the leaves? Hey J I bet you can’t catch me!!!!!

At the end of the photo shoot, I was completely drained. A few hours trying to get 4 boys to smile, stay clean and look happy will do that to a grown woman.

Mr. D has assured me that we had at least 1 great shot – and that wrangling 4 kids was WAY harder than he had anticipated (lol).

On the car ride home as the boys played with their prize bags – that contained containers of slime that made fart-like noises when they squished it with their fingers – and congratulated myself on surviving.

A couple of days later the proofs arrived in my in-box. I was a nervous wreck opening the attachment. I had no idea how the pictures had come out and if the boys even managed to smile for one.

The minute I saw the pictures my eyes welled up with tears…the pictures were beautiful!! OMG how my babies have grown up.

Mr. D made me a special mosaic picture which I attached below, it’s my favorite! (his work is absolutely AMAZING!).

Thanks for reading 🙂

ps – Thank you Mr. D!!

Me and The Boys

Me and The Boys

Got pens?

Last week I was asked by our Regional Human Resource Administrator (i.e. “Office Manager”) if I would be willing to take part in a focus group on office services.

Always looking for an excuse to get away from my desk, I whole heartedly agreed and waited for the email with all the “fun” details.

Being a paralegal, naturally I assumed I would be grouped with the staff – the norm in my office. Imagine the look of shock on my face when I read the email advising that I was in the attorney group instead. Ugh.

Being a mature, para professional, immediately I tried to think of a way to get out of the focus group. Sitting with attorneys, most of which were partners, just did not seem like a good time.

Finally, after exhausting all options, I decided to suck it up and go to the damn group at 11am.

I took a seat in the back and prepared myself to be bored.

Bob, the focus group leader, introduced himself and explained a little bit about why we were there before starting the discussion on the basic functions of “office services” (i.e. the mailroom).

We took turns giving our opinions on faxes, document scanning (too many steps on the copiers), mail delivery, food services (adequate depending on where food is ordered from but more quality control is needed for expired beverages) and conference rooms.

Considering the group was made up of attorneys, we were all in agreement on most things. However, that soon changed when the topic of office supplies came up.

I don’t remember who brought up office supplies but it was a HOT topic in my group. Everyone had very strong opinions on brand, style, type and color.

Suddenly the room was alive with talk about how blue ink  is better than black (I totally disagree with this); ball point pens are not as “fast” as a roller ball pen; Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils and Paper Mate medium point pens are standard issue in the firm’s offices throughout the country (with the exception of our Princeton office); when attorneys from other offices visit Princeton, they “borrow” pens from our mailroom before leaving; imitation Post-it Brand sticky notes pale in comparison to the original and fall off of exhibits;  and lastly, the return of Bic Wit-out (in a bottle) is a necessity.

Funny how something as little and insignificant as a pen can “unite” a room.

For now, I will keep a close eye on my Paper Mate fine point black pens and my Bic Matic Grip mechanical pencils as well as my many Post-it notes in all sizes and colors – shhhh I have stash hidden in my desk.

my personal Post-it stash

my personal Post-it stash

Enjoy your Wednesday 🙂

Random Monday Thoughts

Happy Monday everyone and welcome to another edition of Random Monday Thoughts (in my head this is said like the “Wheel of Fortune” opening followed by applause).

It’s sunny but a little chilly in the Garden State today and all the women in my office seem to still be on a Mother’s Day high from yesterday (gee, I wonder what they got as gifts??).

Mother’s Day at Casa Chaos was actually quite nice. I was treated to many homemade cards and gifts from all my men, fresh bagels for breakfast AND an afternoon spent with my mom at the mall with NO KIDS!! I bought myself a new Bobbi Brown lip gloss (High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Naked Plum) and ate a cupcake for desert while watching The Vampire Diaries – it was a “perfect” day.

and now onto my random thoughts:

1) Black Pants are a girl’s best friend:

Well it’s Monday and I am feeling a little fat today (probably from all the margaritas on the rocks with salt that I consumed from Friday night until Sunday) so you know what that means….it’s a black pants kinda day. Ask any woman what their one wardrobe staple is and 9 times out of ten you will hear black pants.

Really, what is there not to love? Black pants match everything, they are slimming, forgiving and can be worn multiple times before laundering (not that I would EVER do such a thing but just sayin’). This morning when I checked the weather on my iPhone and saw it would be a high of 57 degrees, I quickly pulled my black pants off the pile on my bedroom floor, shook them out, ironed them, paired them with my super cute leopard open cardi from The Loft and VOILA – a happy monday outfit was born.

2) It’s margarita weather!

Last week, I talked about flip-flop weather here and now I am proclaiming it Margarita Weather!!! I am usually a big red wine drinker, that is my drink of choice when out to dinner or at home. However, once the weather turns a little warm and the daylight lingers a little longer red wine just does not cut it in Casa Chaos.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE red wine but  it’s just not refreshing in warm weather. So what is a mom of 4 to drink in the summer months????? Jose Cuervo Margaritas – the alcohol is in the bottle!!



Just pour over ice, add a piece of lime and some salt and it’s heaven in a glass.

3) I had forgotten how much I LOVE vampires

Some time back, I did a post on my deep, heartfelt love of Edward Cullen here. Seriously, I LOVED Edward, he was/is just THE perfect male species – aside from the fact that he’s a vampire that subsides on blood and a work of fiction.

Before I read the Twilight series, I feared vampires and thought they were all ugly with slicked back black hair and a cape. However, Twilight introduced me to the “sparkly”, hot, world of vampires and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Last week I mentioned that the husband and I had started the CW series The Vampire Diaries on dvd and after 2 episodes we were only feeling “Meh” about the show. Mrs. Jeter told me to stick with it and now, 2 disks in, we LOVE it!!

The Salvatore brothers Damon (bad boy) and Stefan (very good boy) are just dreamy and make for THE best vampire eye candy on tv. Throw in Alaric the handsome vampire hunter and this girl is in!! I can’t wait to start the next dvd.

Oh and btw, me and the husband find the character Elena (the super skinny, gorgeous with great hair love interest) to be rather annoying. In fact, I think she is equal parts Katniss and Bella Swan in her back and forth feelings for Stefan thus far.

4) Channeling my inner-Mrs. Brady

My son M has recently become obsessed with death. I know this is a phase all kids go though, and watching his father fight zombies on his PSP surely does not help the obsession.

Still, I taken aback the other night as I was tucking M into bed and he started crying. Startled, I asked what was wrong and through the tears he told me his brain could not stop thinking about dying and being buried.

Super!! I thought to myself.

With a little coaxing I was able to convince M to come into my bed with me to talk about what was bothering him. As we walked into my bedroom I was freaking out!

 What the hell am I going to tell him about death? I can’t tell him it’s just for old people. What if I drop dead tomorrow, he will forever think I lied to him. He will be scarred for life and wind up in a miserable marriage to some shrew all because his mom couldn’t tell him about death when he was 6.

Immediately, I began thinking about every sitcom I had ever watched and what all those super sitcom moms used to tell their “kids” about death. My mind was a blur of tv moms ranging from June Cleaver, Carole Brady and Claire Huxtable.

Finally, I took a deep breath and calmly tried to quell M’s fears. I told him that he had nothing to worry about, that when people die they go to Heaven to be with the angels and Pop Pop and Bella. I told him it’s a happy place where they have all your favorite foods and that there was nothing to be afraid of.

M seemed ok with that explanation but started crying again telling me that he would miss me when I died. Crap, now what???! I thought??

I don’t know if it was all those years of watching tv or what,  but suddenly a thought hit me.  I told M that Mommy would always be with him forever and ever in his heart and that he had nothing to worry about.

Then I hugged him tight and let him sleep in my bed as we talked about all the happy places we have gone his “whole life” and all the places he still wants to see.

I don’t know if those were the right answers for M but I guess they will have to do for now.

Have a good week everyone, thanks for reading 🙂

Laughing out Loud – a sorta movie review/recommendation

imagesSaturday night I went to an actual movie theater, at night, and saw an adult (i.e. non-animated) movie. It was a rarity and very eye-opening – OMG tickets cost $11?!!

I got to the theater a little early and was able to people watch as I waited for my friend Fergalicious (Fergie for short). WOW is all I can say. The theater was one of those gazillion-plexes and it was a Saturday night but seriously, where do these people come from???

I saw women wearing everything from a velvet mini dress (in her defense she paired it with leggings) to a mini skirt and heels to pajama bottoms and Uggs.

The guys’ attire was mostly jeans accessorized with either a high school varsity jacket (not 2013 btw), NFL football jersey or leather jacket (Carson Kressley would be so proud – not!).

Anyway, Fergie finally arrived and we set off to find theater #25 to see “This is 40” with Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann.

I didn’t know much about the movie beforehand, except that the couple were turning 40 and it was a comedy. Fergie was bringing wine so I figured it was basically win-win for me even if the movie wasn’t great.

The theater was packed as we scoured the aisles for 2 empty seats. Finally at the very top we found 2 seats in between 2 teens on a date and a couple sitting practically on each others laps.

After probably 45 minutes or trailer and commercials  – wtf, when did they start showing commercials for TBS television shows in movie theaters? I don’t care that “Cougar Town” has switched networks – really and truly I don’t (sorry for the rant) – the movie started.

Like I said, I wasn’t sure what to expect and probably thought it would be a more laugh-out-loud kind of movie. And while there were several parts when I did LOL (Debbie and Pete fighting like the marriage counselor taught them, Melissa McCarthy and them in the principal’s office, Debbie bullying a boy from her daughter’s FB page, Pete and his hemorrhoids) there were also some “serious” plots to the movie – well serious for anyone who turned 40 or is nearing that “great” milestone.

Overall I liked the movie and was glad I got the opportunity to go. Sunday was a blur of errands, cleaning and baseball clinics so I didn’t really give the movie much thought other than me telling my mom it was good.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon. I am sitting in my humble cubicle, reviewing emails from 2006 in an online database (I am VERY important) when suddenly my mind started to wonder. My thoughts were all over from telling myself NOT to online shop to what to make for dinner.

Then all of a sudden, the scene of Pete and Debbie fighting popped into my head. This scene was SO well done but could only really be truly appreciated by someone who has been in the company of a mental health care professional (either socially or professionally).

First I chucked to myself (…when you dismiss my feelings it really hurts me) but before long I was literally crying from laughter (yes, I was still sitting alone in my cube). I decided I had to share Pete and Debbie getting high off stale medical marijuana cookies with someone else.

So I texted Have you seen my starfish? to Fergie (Pete asking the room service guy as he walks around with a decorative starfish in his underwear – LOL).

Still eager to share (and completely unmotivated to work) I decided to email IT Guy. Earlier in the day I had attempted to explain the scene to him, however, I am one of those people who ALWAYS messes up the punch line(s) when retelling a story/joke so IT just stared at me and said Oh…that’s funny.

Apparently I am better at writing things because IT wrote back (in all caps) that he was LOL AND LMAO and that he could actually picture Pete and Debbie in his head.

In the meantime, Fergie texted back about a scene in the principal’s office with Pete, Debbie and Melissa McCarthy (…they look like a f’n couple from a bank commercial..).

By this point I was a mess from crying and decided I needed to see this movie again if there were parts that I missed.

It was then that I realized that the movie was REALLY funny. I guess it just took me a while to process or absorb everything that happened. There were SO many scenes that rang true of real life – Debbie crying that she is not old enough to shop at J. Jill and Chicos, Pete telling Debbie his cholesterol was 300 or Pete hiding in the bathroom to play Scrabble on his IPad or the Pete and Debbie’s 13yo daughter crying in her closet, in a pool of clothes, that she has NOTHING to wear!!!!

I doubt that I will actually go see “This is 40” at a theater again, it’s easier to wait for it to hit the Red Box or Netflix, but I know I will definitely watch it again (and laugh).

I am hoping I can channel a little of Pete and Debbie back into my day today as well, a good LOL sure makes the day go faster.

Seriously am I funny?

Growing up I was not thought of as “the funny one” in the family, or even in general. I was a bunch of other things – shy, quiet, easily intimidated, fat, sensitive, sarcastic and nice  – but never funny.

In school we had our share of “class clowns.”  In grammar school it was usually a boy, someone who would would fall down on purpose or make another kid hit him or throw something at his head to make everyone else laugh. 

In high school we were mature adolescents, young adults, and we were far too “cool” to be funny. However, there was still the “class clown” (J.G.) or the kid who always had a funny, sometimes sarcastic, comment (M.H.) to a teacher that would garnish a huge laugh out of the class.

This was not me, although I was the butt of several jokes in grammar school.

Sure, my close friends would laugh at my stories or things I would say, I can be a tad sarcastic,  but even then I was not the funny one. R was (and is) funny. She doesn’t even have to try, she just is.

Not funny in an LOL way but in the way she can tell a story or make a comparison or reference. Whenever I see R, even if it has been years, I am laughing within minutes.

In college, I came out of my shell,  a teeny, tiny bit, and learned to detract attention from myself by simply making fun of myself. This was easy and I was VERY good at it. I could make fun of my hair (Jersey Girl hair), an outfit or any social situation (let’s just say dating was NOT my forte).

I felt like it people were laughing at me (or with me), they wouldn’t realize what a mess I was or see all my faults. They would like me more if they thought I was funny right?

But does making fun of yourself count as being funny?

I will admit to having a way with sarcasm and, over the years, I have honed my craft.  I may not always be the quickest (I blame this on moving to Central New Jersey, Mrs. Jeter will agree), but I can usually come up with something.

My close friends, and even co-workers, almost expect if from me and as I result, don’t believe when I am actually being sincere. I can not tell you how many times Midgie has told me to Shut the hell up when I am being 100% sincere.

I will let you in on a little secret though, I use sarcasm as a defense mechanism. You are shocked right? I know, those who really know me had no idea right?

I have found, over the years, that it’s waaaaayyyyyy easier to throw out a sarcastic comment during a bad work review or a fight with the husband, rather than face the problem.

If I am in a situation where I feel uncomfortable or nervous, one or two words, tinged with sarcasm, can make all the difference – unless the people you are with don’t “get” what you are saying and then you have to explain yourself and it becomes a disaster.

Once I had the boys I noticed I started using sarcasm more as an excuse for my parenting, or lack thereof. With the twins I had ZERO idea what I was doing (hell, I still don’t know) and I didn’t want anyone to know. I wanted, needed, the approval of family, strangers and the pediatricians so I constantly made fun of myself or made sarcastic comments to lighten up any situation.

If someone was laughing at the way I dealt with holding a newborn while simultaneously taking a london broil out of the oven, it masked the total and utter incompetence I felt. Me telling the story of hiding in the closet (and being discovered) by 4, screaming boys, sounds funny and way better than me admitting I was at the end of my rope and wanted to run away.

Does this really qualify as making me a funny person?

Last night I got to kettle bell class early, and the instructor and I were chatting in the waiting room. I started telling her about my aches and pains and how I had showed everyone my bruise to prove that I was “a bad ass”. She was laughing and said You are funny! and I thought Me?

Since I have started this blog I have had friends and complete strangers tell me my blogs are funny. In keeping with my insecure, unconfident way, I ALWAYS assume they are just being nice. I don’t know, maybe I am just a good storyteller or maybe I really am funny.

Either way I guess I will just keeping doing what I am doing until someone complains (very loudly). After all, to know me it so love me 🙂

My Kingdom for…..a cleaning lady

When I was younger one of my favorite shows to watch was The Brady Bunch. It was fascinating to see these 2 families blend together so nicely and live happily ever after.

The Brady Girls were skinny,  pretty and popular (well not so much Jan) and the Brady Men were cute, athletic and popular  – except Peter when he went through puberty and had the voice changing episode – but I digress.

Mrs. Brady was the poster-girl for “THE Perfect Wife” and always managed to have a smile on her face and dinner on the table for Mr. Brady when he got home from a rough day at the office. Carol was always dressed in the most stylish outfits, even for bed,  and never had a hair out-of-place – even when she was sporting that horrible mullet.

 Mr. Brady was tall and handsome, had a good job and loved his family. He rarely raised his voice and was always able to solve any dilemma in under 30 minutes.

However, one of the most underrated characters on that show had to be Alice the Maid Extraordinaire! Alice wore a uniform and seemed to always be helping Mrs. Brady cooking, shopping or packing the kids’ lunches. Alice did laundry and vacuumed and never wanted for a day off – occasionally an evening for a date with Sam the Butcher but that was it.

Everyone wanted their family to be like The Brady Bunch and more importantly everyone wanted their very own Alice.

Back then I didn’t understand what Alice did, I thought she was just a member of the family who happened to wear a uniform. After all, she went to all the kids’ activities and even got a trip to the Grand Canyon and Hawaii.

As I got older, and was assigned chores, I came to understand Alice’s role more and how important someone like she was to a household. I am sure Marcia and Cindy NEVER had to scrub a toilet or clean out the dryer lint tray. Carol never had to take out the trash or change sheets on all those beds and I think it is a safe assumption that the Brady Boys didn’t scrub the bathroom tiles.

When I first got married and the husband and I lived in our tiny apartment, cleaning was not a big deal. Our apartment was 3 rooms and we weren’t home during the day so it was never that messy. Also, I was in the “newlywed phase” and cleaning and cooking were all part of playing house.

I got to use my new state-of-the-art-vacuum and all the other goodies I had stressed over and carefully registered for at Fortunoffs and Linens and Things.

After a couple of years the husband and I made the “big” move to our tiny townhouse. Now there were more rooms to clean and 2 dogs to clean up after. We had our own washer and dryer so laundry was now an everyday occurence and not something that was saved up to take up north on a visit to Mom’s house.

Then the kids came and overnight my house began resembling a frat house. There were mounds of laundry and toys all over. The bathrooms were always covered in toothpaste and rather than wash the windows I chose to close the blinds. The husband and I accepted that we were just dirty people.

What choice did we have? There are only so many hours in a day and no matter how many hours I spent cleaning, the kids destroyed my hard work in minutes.

I complained, sucked it up (a little) and moved on.  

Then ALL my friends, and even my brother, got a cleaning lady. This fascinated me since the only maid I knew of was Alice and my friends did not seem to be as well off as the Brady family.

Apparently it was the new “in-thing” to have a woman come to your house 1-2 times a month to do a “good clean” and more importantly scrub your bathrooms until the fixtures shined. (the fact that you clean BEFORE she arrives is irrelevant)

I was completely and utterly envious of my friends and family. I wanna a cleaning lady!!! I would whine to the husband and my mother – neither of whom seemed to care.

I tried my hardest to find a way to get a cleaning lady but it was just not meant to be. I keep telling myself someday my Fairy Godmother will answer my wish, wave that wand and BAM! get me my very own Alice  – heck at this point I would  take Sam the Butcher.

I am SO tired of cleaning toilets and doing laundry and washing sippy cups. Any down time I have is spent picking up matchbox cars and cramming Lego pieces into plastic containers.

When I was little, never did I think my Saturday mornings would be spent lugging a vacuum up the stairs or getting on my hands and knees to actually vacuüm each  step.

I never dreamed my children would constantly miss the potty or leave the bathtub filthy after their baths. It is unbelieveable the amount of crumbs and juice cups 4 kids can accumulate in a 12-hour period!

Fair Godmother, if you are listening,  PLEASE PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE help me. PLEASE wave that wand or sprinkle me with fairy dust or put some magic spell on me,  ANYTHING to get me a cleaning lady. I am not picky, I dont even care she’s good, so long as the toilets are clean!

Until then I guess my only consolation if that the boys are getting older and they have started to help me more around the house. They think it’s “fun” to help me load the dishwasher or take out the trash. They have NO idea what I have planned 🙂

My name is Nicole and I am an IT Groupie

Some of you may remember back a few months ago when I had a budding lunch relationship with IT Guy. We went to lunch a couple of times and would banter in the office. Things were going well…or so I thought.

Suddenly, IT was always “busy” and had no time to take lunch. He blamed the switchover of the new computers for awhile before eventually dumping me  – I believe he actually used the words It’s not you…it’s me.

WTF I was dumped by the IT Guy?! The IT Guy who wears glasses AND khaki pants that are a size too short?!

My ego bruised (and battered), I retreated to my cube and vowed to stay away from all IT-related things. I was doing well until…I needed a privacy screen for my second monitor.

The new “in-thing” in my office is to have a second monitor on your desk. All the “cool” work people have them and I had to get in on it. After some begging asking of the IT Department I finally got one and was happy with it – except for the huge amount of space it takes up on my desk.

After my review last month, when I was told I was “unremarkable” (no, I am NOT bitter or resentful), I decided it was time to get a privacy screen for my second monitor. I could keep my emails and other non-work related things there and it would be blurred from prying eyes (a/k/a nosey co-workers).

Sounds easy enough right? WRONG!

First I went to THE IT Guy. Surely he would get me one, we had a history for Pete’s sake. I left him a sweet voicemail and patiently waited for my screen.

Instead of a screen, I got an email advising that perhaps of wanting a privacy screen, I should actually do work while in the office and that there were no privacy screens available and I would need authorization to order one.

Was IT joking?! It’s a plastic screen AND we “dated” and this is the response I get?

IT was not joking and I was screen-less.

Shortly after this diss, Junior IT Guy came to help out in our office during the infamous switchover (Jr. works out of our Philadelphia office). Junior is super nice and super young. A fellow U of Delaware Alum (and all of 23) I would occasionally chat with him about Delaware and how much fun it is there.

Hmmmm, maybe Junior would be able to get me a snag me a privacy screen if he saw one lying around the office????

One morning I stalked found Junior installing a computer in an empty office and I made my move. In my sweetest voice, I asked Jr. about his weekend and casually threw out there that if he happened to see a privacy screen anywhere that it would be greatly appreciated if he could grab it for me.

Junior smiled, only the way a 23-year-old can, and said no problem he was on it. I strutted back to my desk with my head held high. I’ll show IT Guy who means business I thought to myself.

A little while later, Junior appeared in my cube. You got me a screen? I asked. Umm no, there are none. Don’t worry though, I spoke with Asst. IT Guy and he said he’ll get you one.

I called Asst. IT Guy and asked if he was really going to get me one when IT said it was a no go. He humored me (in that IT way) and assured me he would “do his best.”

A week or so went by and shockingly, I was still screen-less. I needed a new plan but what????

Later that week, IT Manager arrived in our office to oversee the never-ending computer switchover. I had seen the Manager in the past and even chatted with him at last year’s Holiday Party but I didn’t think he would remember me. Luckily, I was having a legitimate computer problem when he was walking by my cube.  I called him in.

He listened to my dilemma and answered me with complete and total sarcasm. Gee, is there a class in sarcasm that IT people are required to take? I asked. Why yes there is, I am glad you noticed he replied and with that we started chatting.

We got to talking about Junior and how young he was (and how jealous we were), family vacations (he gave me the name of a great place to stay in Lancaster, PA) and then it hit me, I would ask Manager for a privacy screen!

Manager was getting ready to leave when I ever so nicely said Hey, you could be my absolute FAVORITE IT person if you could maybe get me a privacy screen for my monitor???

What? he said,  you want a screen? I explained the whole thing and he laughed. Sure, not a problem I’ll have Asst IT order it for you. Really???!! I exclaimed Yeah sure, not a big deal.

I was on cloud 9, I was actually going to get a screen! I saw Asst. IT later that afternoon and asked how my screen was coming. Oh good, Manager told me to go ahead and order you one.


The next day I brought in a chocolate donut for Manager (L had made me stop at “Donut House” on the way to daycare). I figured the donut was a good thank you and he would appreciate my kiss ass gesture.

I walked around and found out that Manager had gone back to Philadelphia. Hmmmm, now what? I know! I walked over to Asst. IT’s office and handed him the bag. Here ya go, just a little bribe for you for my screen I said with a smile.

He accepted the bribe and thanked me. Later that morning, I emailed Manager and told him the donut was really meant for him but it would be our little secret and next time he was in Princeton, maybe we could go to lunch. Manager agreed and said the screen would be mine soon.

My screen is here and it makes me smile everyday. I love being able to have just a tiny bit of privacy in my door-less cube. I emailed with Manager and thanked him (I even sent him a picture of it) and told him I owe him a lunch.

Yesterday we got an email that Phili IT Guy would be covering Tech Support in our office this week. I have known Phili IT for about a year. He fills in every once in a while and he is fun to chat with. He just turned 40 in April, has a Brooklyn accent and reminds me of the boys I used to chase back in high school (cruising Ridge Road anyone??).

I was telling Phili IT all about my screen dilemma and he was hysterical. Apparently in the Philadelphia office, privacy screens are as accessible as post-its so he didn’t know what the big deal was.

We wound up going for Chinese later and not only did he treat, he also opened the car door and let me walk into the building first (IT Guy NEVER did this).

Last night at dinner I was telling the husband about my lunch and he laughed. What is it with you and the IT Department? he asked between bites of chicken. I know right!  Mrs. Jeter says I’m a groupie. You gotta do a blog about this one he said while downing his drink.

My screen 🙂


I am officially an “Assistant Soccer Mom”

The twins have never been totally into sports. Yes, they kick a ball in the backyard and throw hoops with the Fisher Price basketball net but they never really expressed a desire to play sports. This was fine with me, I am not a sports person at all (unless shopping counts) and spending my weekends at a field was not a dream of mine.

When the twins turned 5 they decided they wanted to play soccer. Wow, I was shocked but a little excited. They would play on a team, make some friends and take cute team photos in a “uniform” sounds good. I went to the town PAL center and stood in the line for the forms.

Excitedly I told the woman at the desk how this was our first time on a team and how excited we were. She humored me,  asked me what size shirts they wore and then announced that it would cost $175 either cash or check made payable to PAL.

I laughed out loud. Surely she was joking, right? Umm, no she was serious AND that price included the sibling discount.

The twins were assigned to the Red Team and we patiently waited for the rain to pass and the season to begin. The husband brought the twins to their first practice/game and when he got home the look on his face said it all. Not good! The twins huddled in a corner and cried (real tears) for the entire hour (we have it on video to use as blackmail later).

THe husband and I had many debates on whether the twins should continue and after giving it another try we (me) decided they would quit  – while I was still able to get my $175 back.  Life went back to normal and I accepted that soccer would not be a Saturday ritual for us.

That is until this year. It started in the summer, every once in a while I would hear a Mommy…can I play soccer? or Mommy when can we play soccer? I ignored them for a bit but then the requests became more frequent. Ugh.

Luckily I knew a few moms from book club who had kids on the same soccer team. I begged asked my FAVORITE blogger mom if was possible to get the twins on her son’s team (her husband also coaches the team) even though they had no soccer experience.

Sure, we just want the kids to have fun!! she said.

I procrastinated until the last days to sign up. What if they cried again? What if they refuse to play? What will the other moms think of me for pushing to get my kids on their team when my kids have no idea how to play? OMG will the soccer moms and dads hate me?? (yes, I can even make soccer about me)

I signed the boys up online and was thrilled to see that the price ($300) had gone up AND I was being charged a late fee  ($40) AND there were no refunds. Super!!

I was more nervous than the twins for the first practice. I tried to appear calm for their sake, even when I made the wrong turn and we were “lost” and late. When we got to the field THANK GOD I saw my friend C and was able to follow her to Field D – there was no way in hell I would have EVER found that by myself.

The twins were a little hesitant when Coach B came over to them but Coach is THE nicest guy (second only to Coach P) and got them on the field and “playing” in no time. I was a nervous wreck the whole practice and chatted with Ms. Mayor and C to pass the time.

The twins were so happy when practice was over, they told me they loved soccer and couldn’t wait to play again. The next day I emailed C (our official “Soccer Mom”) and let her know that I wanted to be more involved so if she needed any help to let me know. 

She quickly bestowed upon me the title of” Assistant Soccer Mom” and asked (very nicely) if I could bring the game roster to practice so “snack families” could be assigned.

The Blue Flames played their first game this past Saturday. I couldn’t watch too much, it made me too nervous when the ball would be near M & J.  When I saw them on the side line I also worried and hoped that they were not upset they werent’ playing (J loved sitting out, he was able to drink his water and not run). The husband and the little kids came along and we all cheered for M and J. The Blue Flames lost at the end but they gave it their best.

Afterwards we went to Perkins for lunch and the twins looked so proud still in the cleats and soccer shirts. They said they had fun and really liked soccer and would practice every night.

And so it begins….

Back to School night

Last night was the 2nd of my 3 Back to School Nights and honestly, I was a little disappointed. I am new to the “school-aged kids” thing (the twins just started kindergarten) and I assumed (I know, never assume) that last night would be an informative, structured evening about the kids’ daily routine.  I knew it would be somewhat chaotic, as most school events are, but I had no idea it would be almost circus-like.

For fear of looking like a loser,  I asked begged a friend of mine, Mrs. Mayor, to let me tag along with her and her husband. I have known Mrs. Mayor (Ms. M) for a couple of years now, we met when the twins and her son where in the same pre-k class. She was nice AND sarcastic and I latched right on (tight).

Back to School night started at 7pm and when we pulled up at 6:50 the parking lot full and there was a line of parents out the front door. Was this Back to School or was Bon Jovi in town? I said while Mr. Mayor commented that he thought he saw police manning the door. WTF????

One of the twins and Ms. M’s son are in the same kindergarten class so we were strategizing in the van about how we could become “Co-room Moms”. Ms. M heard it was REALLY important to get to the “clipboard” first and we (Mr. M included) had a plan to grab that clipboard the minute we got into the room. However, first, we had to endure the principal’s introduction.

Let me set the scene for you. Tons of parents (from all walks of life – oops did I say that out loud?) parading into the gym, carrying their free bag of instant mashed potatoes (courtesy of the PTO), frantically searching for an empty  folding chair.

While all this is happening, Mr. Principal decides to start his welcome speech. I understand he had to keep up a schedule but would it have killed him to wait until 7:05?  Mr. Principal is talking away, apparently in a microphone, and I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. I thought it was just me but Ms. M also couldn’t understand him either. It was like sitting on a subway trying to make out what stop was next.

After a  couple of minutes I gave up listening and played with my phone.  When Mr. Principal’s speech was over (I assume this only because everyone was clapping), the entire room stood up and charged  to the back of the gym. It was like Black Friday at Wal-Mart.

Me and Mrs. M were in the front of the pack (Mr. M did not fare as well) determined to get to that clipboard first. We found Mrs. P’s classroom, located the infamous clipboard (only it’s a piece of paper that says “PM Volunteers”) and were the first 2 names on the list (yay us!!) before trying to find our kid’s names on the tables in the room.

I found J’s spot and crammed myself into his little red chair all excited to hear what Mrs. P had to say. Only, it was hard to hear Mrs. P because the majority of the other parents had brought their kids along to Back to School night. You would have thought these kids had never been in a classroom before, let alone in that same room maybe 4 hours earlier. They were yelling and pulling out puzzles and asking Mrs. P where Chrysanthemum (some mouse in a book who was bullied) was.

God Bless Mrs. P, that saintly woman stayed clam, and smiled, the ENTIRE time. One or 2 times she very nicely asked the kids to use their “inside voices” but her smile never faded. It was then that I realized this is why I do NOT teach little children.

The entire time I was sitting in the red chair, I kept thinking Where the f are these kids’ parents and WHY are they not telling their kids to behave? I can understand if you don’t have childcare, then you have to bring your kid. But if you AND your husband came together, couldnt one of you have stayed home with the kids? 

Anyway, Mrs. P was finishing when we heard the mumbled voice of Mr. Principal over the PA system (it sounded like the teacher from Peanuts). Session 1 was over and Session 2 was starting immediately.

Quickly, I ran to find M’s classroom (I separated the twins) and find Ms. G’s  “clipboard”  when I looked up and saw a line of parents waiting to ask this poor teacher specific questions about their kids.  Johnny’s mom wanted to know if Johnny ate his snack, Sasha’s dad HAD to ask what time to drop off her birthday treats and Jimmy’s mom wanted to go over his behavior since day 1.

People it is Back to School night, NOT individual conferences. If you want to know how your kid writes, just send the teacher an email!

It seemed like Ms. G had just started talking about Social Studies and how the kids were going to “grow butterflies”  when the mumbled voice of Mr. Principal was back telling us that Back to School night was officially over.

I found Mr. and Mrs. Mayor in the hall and we quietly walked back to their van. I feel like I need a drink she said and I couldn’t have agreed more!

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