What is love?

Those who follow me on Facebook already know about my stellar Valentine’s Day gift from Husband.  He swung by the local spa on his way home from work to pick up a gift certificate for a massage.  The spa was closed.  So, I wound up with Twizzlers.  In a handy reusable pencil holder.


‘Cause nothin’ says I love you like a pencil holder.

Seriously, though, I’m in the “It’s a Hallmark Holiday” camp and don’t really feel the need for senseless money to be spent on Valentine’s Day.  I know Husband loves me.  He knows I love him.  And, I think it’s the conversations and moments that we share on the days that aren’t commercialized that really matter.

For instance.  I was making dinner a few nights ago.  The kids were watching a movie in the living room, sitting together in front of a fire in the fireplace.  Husband and I were in the kitchen, each enjoying a glass of wine.  Dinner would be ready soon and we’d sit, as we always do, at the kitchen counter and watch Jeopardy! together over dinner.  We’d give our answers out loud, acknowledge a particularly good get by the other, make snarky comments about the contestants and usually, by the time Trebek was shaking hands with the winner, we’d be cleaning up and getting ready to put the boys to bed.

I don’t know what made me say it.  Maybe it’s the fact that a friend of mine is going through some really tough marital struggles right now.  Maybe it was the simple comfort of my own home.  The ease of the night.   I’m not sure.   But, as I stirred pasta, I looked at my husband and said:

Do you remember when we were dating and we asked each other if we’d ever been in love before?  


And we both said that yes, we had been.  

Umm hmm.

I think I’d change my answer if you asked me today.  If I was ever in love before you.  I don’t think I’d say yes anymore. 

How come?

Because I think that back then I really had no idea what really being in love felt like.  No idea what it really was.  What it could be.  I mean, back then, before you, I was so uninvested.  Love was such a simple, blank canvas.  And now, it’s like love is something else entirely.  It’s me and you as a family.  It’s those kids.  It’s our home.  Our LIFE.   None of this is anything without you.  Without “us”.   Love is just so different today.  It just means so much more.  It’s so much more valuable.  You know?

Husband agreed completely.


Dinner was delicious.  We were happy to see the “College Tournament” come to an end.   Husband and I each put one of our sleepy children to bed with a bedtime story and a kiss.  Then, we met back in the living room.  As we settled into our chairs next to each other, the fire burning out slowly in the fireplace, I looked lovingly over at the man I married almost ten years ago and thought…

Man.  I really wish I had some Twizzlers right now.  



Dinner time.   Big and Little Brother take their seats.  Plates in front of them.

Mom from kitchen:  Guys?  What would you like to drink — milk or water?

Big Brother:  M-I-L-K!     M-I-L-K!

Little Brother:   M-I-L-K!   M-I-L-K!

Overheard from kitchen, Little Brother quietly to Big Brother:

Is M-I-L-K milk?  Or water?



Last year, on March 1st, I blogged about a stomach bug that had taken over my home.  Well, as CarolAnne once said….”they’re baaaaack”.   And that’s all I’m saying about it because it’s gross.  You’re welcome.


As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve got some family division going on with the Pats-Giants Superbowl.  Again.  Big Brother is Team Pats with me.  Little Brother Team Gmen with Dad.  Well, now that Big Brother can write, he and his Dad have been leaving notes around laying claim to which team has the most family support.  The fish and the dog are now critical participants.

Dad’s Signs

Big Brother’s Signs

I said he could write.  I didn’t say he could spell.


In other news…I just love coming into the bathroom to discover this.


 I’ve started a Pinterest new board called “Pins I Just Don’t Get”.  My first pin was Tom’s shoes which are so trendy right now and so UGLY always.  Sorry if you own them and love them.

No, you’re not.  You look like a grandmother.  With duck feet.


…that Demi was doing Whip-Its with her daughter before the now infamous seizure episode.  Jesus. Seriously?  Demi Moore’s mid-life crisis is the female equivalent of Charlie Sheen, if you ask me.  At least Charlie’s came and went (winning!) somewhat quickly where Demi has been a slow burn for years now.  Talk about refusing to get old?  Let’s marry a 20-year-old tv star (who acts 12), weigh 74 pounds and do whip-its with the kids!  Yeah.  That’ll work.  (Sigh)


In other news…Pinterest.  It’s everywhere.  Ev.er.y.where.  Every blog.  All over Facebook.  It’s now apparently the place to plug…well, anything.  Which means I’m sort of starting to hate it.  And that it’ll be ruined in a matter of months.  Remind me of this, please, when it’s 10:30 at night, Husband has been in bed for an hour and I’m still awake pinning new recipes I’ll never use, inspirational quotes I’ll never see again and endless crafts to do with the kids.  The crafts.  Oh, the crafts.   Really?   Big fat chance.  Husband (rolling over in bed):  What have you been doing out there all this time?  Me:  Umm….well.


My beloved Patriots are playing in a certain little game this coming weekend.  Against Husband’s beloved Giants.  We’ve been through this Superbowl thing before, though, and our marriage survived. But we were in Fort Lauderdale, away from the children and loaded up on nachos and vodka drinks so….yeah, it was easier.  Not to mention that his team won which always makes the getting along easier afterward.  Not that he’s a sore loser or anything (yes, he is ).   Here’s what happens when the Giants are on.

Little Brother and Husband.  Neither sits.

Big Brother (the one with a more developed brain) is a Pats fan like his mother.  This could be because he’s been alive for three championship rings in his short lifetime and because he knows poetry in motion when he sees it.  Or, it could be that he knows who orders the Wii games, does the grocery shopping and doles out dessert.  I’m going with the former.



Along those lines, here’s an old post re: Brady and Brad Pitt.

Ladies, even if you know nothing about sports or Hollywood celebs (which means you apparently live in a box with a high speed internet connection), then you can at least enjoy a few pictures of two hot dudes in their prime.

Serial Swooper:  Enter Sexed-Up Hussy Chick


Little Brother has a lot to say lately.  As in constant chatter.  If he isn’t asking me how to spell some made up word like “Rahtso Motso Hoola Loo” then he wants to take turns singing lines of “Three Little Birds” (“Three Little Birds, Beside My Dorset”).  I’m delighted, and not the least bit surprised, that our second son is ridiculously verbal but sometimes…man.  I really wish he came with an “off” switch.

Is that all?!


Big Brother turned 7 in December and, for the most part, became a completely new kid.  It’s amazing.  Suddenly, he gets it (most of the time).  Much more helpful, much better at managing his little brother, much more attentive in school, just so much more kind and (gulp) grown-up acting.   Consequently, I adore him and can’t get enough hugging and kissing.  Seven’s good.  Maybe we can freeze this stage for a bit?


My parents and I have been going through a lot regarding my Mother’s health over the last few months, which I’m sure has contributed to the blank pages in my blog.  It feels like I should be blogging about it.  Talking it over with friends.  Sharing my fears.  Sharing my anger.  But, I’m not doing any of that.   Husband has been very supportive and my mother-in-law drops anything and drives from CT to stay with the kids when I need to be with my parents.  My Mom has a few wonderful friends in VT who I know would do anything for her (or my Dad) at the drop of a dime.  Here at home, I’m surrounded by people willing to help, willing to talk, willing to listen.  It’s wonderful.   The thing is, despite all those people and all that love, I’m alone in this one.   At the base of it all, I know I’m alone.


Big Brother and Little Brother got into an argument a few days ago over a toy.  Whining turned to yelling turned to grabbing turned to rolling around on the floor together like scrappy teenagers in a playground brawl.  I grabbed each of them by the arm and sent them to their rooms.  After a few minutes, I joined Big Brother in his room and sat down on his bed.

“When I was your age, do you know what I wanted more than anything?” I asked.


“I wanted a brother or a sister.  Someone to play with.  Someone who would always have my back, always be my friend.  Forever.  You have that, buddy.  You guys are so lucky to have each other.”

“I know.  Mommy?”

“Yeah, bud.”

“Why are you crying?”


Facebook friends should forgive that a couple fragments were used as status this week.


Mommy's Idea
1) Murphy’s Law.  If a stay-at-home Mom orders something online that may or may not have been an absolutely necessary purchase, said item will arrive on a day or a time that Husband is home.   Which means SAHM has no chance at opening item, getting item into household circulation and disposing of packaging evidence before Husband notices its arrival.  Every.  single.  time.


2) Just when you think you’re a strong woman able to handle difficult situations, something will happen to prove you wrong.  Like, your six-year-old will fall face first into a bench and need 15 stitches in his face.  And you will crumble.   And thank god that your husband was with you when it happened so that you can go to pieces and know your baby is still being comforted by a loving parent.  I like to think that, had Husband not been with us, I could have handled it.  But, I’m damn glad I didn’t have to.


3) We added HBO to our cable yesterday, mostly for the kids movies and Curb. So, now with the Sunday Ticket, MLB package and DVR it’s highly likely our cable now costs more than our mortgage.


4) I took my boys to see the Lion King this week.  Love that movie.  As you may recall from my last few posts, I’m on a much-needed weight loss quest so I (optimistically?) looked up “movie theater popcorn with butter” on the Weight Watchers points system.   I found it funny that Weight Watchers doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of buttered popcorn on their online points calculator. As if to say, “Don’t be ridiculous, fatty.”


5) Like many of my blogging brethren, I also read a lot of other people’s blogs.  I have a recent funny favorite in Suri’s Burn Book (click here to see it).  But, I think it’s amazing to read almost every day about the lives of other people, many of whom I’ve been reading for a year or longer.  It’s like being a voyeur without the risk of arrest.   Because someone left the window open and hung a “welcome” sign.

When Big Brother fell, it was horrible for all of us.   There are sounds and images in my head from that afternoon in the hospital that I hope will someday stop replaying and just go away.  And, although writing has always been a little therapeutic for me, I just can’t write about it.  It’s too gory and awful and I hate that it ever happened.

But, days later, when I finally dared let BB out of my sight for more than a minute, I tuned back into “blog world” and was reminded that my experience with my son was, while dramatic to us at the time, really no big deal.  He’s fine.  He’s alive.  He may have some small scars but he’s a healthy, happy 6-year-old boy.  And, more likely than not, we have more trips to the ER ahead of us.

I have read, for more than a year, An Inch of Grey (click).  I’ve always like Anna and related to her writing style and her parenting stories.  When she, her husband and two children were evacuated from the Outer Banks during Hurricane Irene, I commiserated with her in our shared shortened OBX vacations.   And then, just days later, her son was dead.  Lost in a flash flood.  He was 8.  And he’s gone.  She’s starting to write about it.  She’s amazing to me.

15 stitches?  Nothing.

I’m counting my blessings.

Did you hear that?

One of my very favorite people turned 42 last week.  Her Mom was in town so she decided to have a low-key get together at her home.  She invited a gaggle of lady friends from “boot camp” — an exercise class my friend has been participating in with the same ladies a couple days a week for the last two years.

She invited those ladies.

And me.

I arrived a little late.

I walked in and immediately noticed that each and every other person in the room was, not surprisingly, in excellent physical shape.  They were all fit.   Many were tall.  All were fashionably dressed.

I should have known.

I was greeted with warm smiles and enjoyed friendly conversation for the duration of the party.

Which is amazing because all I could hear over the course of the evening was this song playing in my head over and over and over again…