Saturday, February 27, 2010

Family Movie Night

Natalie has just recently started doing the following things: eating pizza and watching movies, and the latter is really with some coersion and promises of nothing scary. Sometimes I wonder why I want her to watch a movie so badly, then I realize it is because I want a legitimate reason to watch these kids (tweeny bopper) movies. Friday night, I decided that it was high time that we have a family movie/pizza/ice cream sundae night. There was originally popcorn in there, but we never really got to it. I actually bought peanut M&Ms, Skittles, and Rasinets, too because what would a movie night be if we didn't have everything we might possibly need. (Now, I need to hide those candies so Dan doesn't eat them while we are all asleep.)

My original plan was to rent the movie Up, but after doing the necessary research to make sure it wouldn't scare Natalie, I decided it wasn't a movie she could handle emotionally. So, we rented G-Force- a movie about FBI trained guinea pigs. I think Dan and I were into more than Natalie was, truly all she cared about was getting to the ice cream sundaes. The bro was interested in his pizza, Natalie's pizza, my pizza and then he just wanted to climb on things and crawl into tight spaces from which I had to pry him out.

Overall, I would say this family movie night was a great success!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chop Shop

Remember when Meg Ryan was still "America's Sweetheart"? She had that great little hair cut that was all short and layered and choppy and adorable. I tried no less than three times to emulate that cut. As it turned out, I hated it on me. It gave me weird helmet hair making me look less like cute You've Got Mail Meg Ryan, and more like Steel Magnolias Sally Field. It didn't and still doesn't help that I know very little about what to do with hair. I can braid and brush and ponytail, but that's about it.

Recently, after watching a Norah Jones video about pirates, I have been thinking the time has come to cut my hair. Like, really, cut my hair. The kind of hair cut that is so drastic that people can't even say if they like it or not because they are taken aback by my shear guts. (no pun intended on the shear, things just work that way sometimes). I have been eyeing one of these dramatic haircuts since the summer when I flipped through it in a Real Simple issue at my mother's house, but know that I had my brother's wedding, I left my hair alone.

But we all know that that day has come and gone and my day had arrived. Last night, while Dan and I were at the gym, I turned to him and said, "I am going to cut off all my hair tomorrow."
He said, "Good for you, but we need to make a deal that you can only have one day to cry about it after it is done." I thought that was fair.

Today, before losing my nerve, I headed to (my neighbor is going to be sooooooooo appalled) Fantastic Sam's which is this crazy, schwa hair place that I like to go to on Wednesday's because of their "Wacky Wednesday" promotion of a $9 hair cut. That's right, I said $9. I don't like to pay for things like that. I would rather go out to dinner and drink a bottle of wine. It's hair, it will grow back, which is what I silently chanted to myself as I sat in the hairdresser's chair and watched her gather my hair into a ponytail and cut the whole thing off. And then she kept cutting, and cutting, and cutting, and then in the end I told her to cut a little more.

It isn't exactly what I had gone in looking for, but there are no tears here and I don't think there will be.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Have I mentioned that I am a stay-at-home mom? In my case, this also means that I am a stay-at-home wife, which this weekend someone referred to me as Dan's personal secretary, and it is true. Just last week, before I even finished my coffee, he says to me, "I need your help with something." "Sure," I reply foolishly thinking I need to go to the bank or need to pick something up or drop something off.

"I need you to plan a corporate golf outing."

Although, that is not really what this blog is about, I was just trying to make a point that I don't actually sit around blogging and Facebooking all day. However, with the iPhone it certainly makes it easier.

But, no, this is about being a stay-at-home mom, the best job I have had yet, might I add. There are a few things in my journey to this point that make me feel mommier and mommier. The first was when I acquired my first pair of clogs. Please note, I said first pair. Somehow I felt that these shoes were like a true sign of my initiation into this mommy club. Second, is when Natalie and I make cupcakes for special events: birthday celebrations, last days of school, because it is snowing. We make so many cupcakes now that I need to purchase one of those special cupcake tupperwares. If you are reading this and don't know what that is, well, most likely you are not a SAHM.

Then today, just today I think I had the mommiest moment yet. It all started two weeks ago, when Natalie was assigned snack day at school. She wanted to concoct these yogurt covered frozen bananas on a stick. I thought the idea of bananas and yogurt was good, but the freezing, the dipping, the sticking a stick in needed to be fine tuned. So together we created a parfait using all the ingredients she wanted for the original idea. This morning, we stood at the counter together, counted out 18 clear Solo cups, and began the process of yogurt, granola, yogurt, banana. I manned the yogurt, but she sprinkled all the granola and carefully placed each slice of banana on top.

I couldn't help but step back at our creation and think, Damn, I'm good at this job.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Life Lesson 31

At my brother's rehearsal dinner, before ankles were broken and ministers weren't coming, we drank. Well, I drank because it is very easy to hold a 14 month old on one side and sip a martini on the other. Apparently, it is not as easy to hold a baby and eat food. You see where I am going with this. So....three appletinis later (the girliest drink I think I have every ordered), I was trying to set up my 28 year old cousin, Paul with my brother's 37 year-old friend. Although, I still don't see what is wrong with that.

The next morning was pretty rough. Making my journey to the bar at the wedding, very slow. So slow, in fact, that I didn't really go there. That is, until my 21 year old cousin, Alyssa, berated me and told me how disappointed she was that we would not be drinking together - have I mentioned she drinks pink wine? But the truth is, I wanted to drink with Alyssa, because she is a "Good Time Charlie" and fun to be with. And it is fun that my "little" cousins aren't actually little anymore. We then headed to the bar together, meeting in the middle of pink white and red wine, and ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio and two for the walk back to our table. Game on, I guess.

Later that evening, when and old friend of my brother's caught up with me, oddly, at the bar, and suggested we do a shot, caught up in the moment I agreed. Fortutely the hangover gods were looking over me and it was too late to take a shot, but not too late to get a glass of tequila the size of a shot. You read that right, tequila. I am sick just thinking about it. I took a small sip and quickly decided that without salt and some sour mix, that just wouldn't be happening. But when Alyssa arrived to the bar to find that I was doing shots, and I offered her my glass of tequila, well, she drank it.

The next morning, our exchange went something like this:
Alyssa "I'm dying."
blah, blah blah
Kristen "Well, you didn't have to drink the tequila, I didn't. I'm no fool."
Alyssa "Well, I guess I am."

And that is the difference between being 21 and 31 at an open bar.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Wedding...

Friday, my brother and his girlfriend of four and a half years finally got married. This engagement seemed to last forever, mostly due to my erratic behavior in the days leading up to said wedding. Because it reality, they were only engage for just over a year.

I don't know of a wedding that is ever really perfect, in that everything goes as planned. I mean there are alot of variables in a wedding and the chances of your flowers being totally just doesn't happen. But we should have know that things were going to go awry when one of the best men slipped on ice outside the rehearsal dinner and broke his ankle...the night before the wedding, landing himself in the hospital to find out that whatever bone in there that he did break, is apparently the hardest bone in the body to break. That just isn't a good sign. And I was stressed about my kids bedtimes. Ahhhh, perspective.

Once wedding day arrived, there were hair appointments to go to, dresses to be worn, make up to be applied, and pictures to be taken. So, at four o'clock Dan, the kids and myself, donned in our wedding best head to the locale. On the way there, Dan's phone rings and an unfamiliar (617) number appears. Because this is a Boston zip code, Dan assumes that it is work related and lets it go to voicemail. Well, it wasn't work related. (cue ominous dun dun dun music) It was the officiant of the wedding; the officiant I referred to Jonathan and Maria when they needed to find someone who could marry them. He thought the wedding was Saturday, not Friday and was calling to say that he was still in Boston. That is Boston, MA- at the very least a three hour drive.

At first, Dan and I thought it was a joke. But when we arrived at Season's to find my brother standing in the lobby, unable to make any words, we knew it was very much not a joke. (cue awkward laugh). The wedding was set to begin in two hours. Two hours. TWO HOURS. And they had no one to marry them. Shit. And I don't swear lightly, I have two kids.

But these are the stories from which great weddings are made. "Remember when Greg broke his ankle at our rehearsal dinner and we almost didn't get married because we had no minister!"

See, it is

And FYI, my children were RockStars!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Things I love about Jersey (in no particular order):
  • bagels
  • pizza
  • Casa del Sol
  • My fam, et al. (not all of them, all the time - you know who you are)
  • the cousins table
  • swimming pools
  • treadmill
  • Van Saun
Things I don't love about Jersey
  • the accent
  • the fact that because I don't live here I have to pack which means I have to predict what we might need which means I have to pack ALOT of clothing
  • I share a bed with my daughter who snores and kicks
  • my fam, et al. (you know who you are)
  • Dan never comes with us for more than a night :(
  • the high calorie snacks that my 87-year-old grandmother insists on purchasing, keeping in the downstairs pantry, and telling me about so that I can not possibly find the will power in the late hours of the day to resist them

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV

As a young girl, pre teen, et al, I was dragged, by my parents with Jedi Catholic Italian guilt tactics, to a Super Bowl party with my father's college buddies and their families, every year. It was pretty brutal, and I am sure much worse in my memory than it actually was. But I was the only girl my age among a bunch of boys. Thinking about that now, it should have been much better, but I was not interested in them and they were not interested in me and even if they were, my brother did a fine job of making sure that there was no fun for me.

Today we went to a party, where there were no children and it didn't seem to phase Natalie in the least. Perhaps no other kids is better than other kids who want nothing to do with you. But those are my issues, not hers. But for me, that stigma is still attached to Super Bowl Sunday and football in general, and I find it all painfully boring. I don't care about football, and I certainly don't care about the Saints or the Colts. And living in a state that just hates teams because the quarterback is the brother of the quarterback who beat the Patriots two years ago in the Super Bowl really makes me uninterested in football.

But Dan likes football-- he has made great efforts to get Natalie interested in football, and I like a reason to drink beer and eat Fritos and Doritos and extremely unhealthy dips that I would not make in my house and Super Bowl Sunday offers this to me. It is like a black hole in eating healthy. Everyone is doing it, so it makes it ok somehow.

So cheers to Super Bowl Sunday and Go Giants!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

If the Shoe Fits

I have been going crazy for the past two week, ok, crazier is probably more accurate if you ask my little family. But with my brother's wedding less than a week away now, combined with my normal, daily level of unnecessary stress and concern over silly, little things, I am not in the running for mother or wife of the year awards. I have been on a mission to find Natalie a pair of white dress shoes, shoes which she will most likely only wear once before they are too small, as it is February and white shoes aren't really fashionable...not that that bothers the Nattie G., but assuming that she will only wear them for half a day, I was not looking for a full priced shoe. I have been to Marshalls, StrideRite, Target, Gymboree, The Gap, godforsaken WalMart and even Payless, which let me tell you, is not paying less for anything! I regret to inform them than I can pay less elsewhere and certainly intend to. I did manage to find her a great pair of brown riding boots and black maryjanes, each for $7, but other than finding a good deal, they really aren't helpful for the wedding. So in a final effort, before returning to Payless to pay more, Nat and I headed to The Children's Orchard, which is an overwhelming children's consignment shop.

I had been there once before and walked right back out, totally unprepared for the mass amounts of kid stuff. This time I was on a mission and knowing what to expect we braved the sea of used children's clothing and toys and headed straight to the back where the shoes are displayed. There in the wall of shoes, sat a pristine pair of white dress shoes, from Payless, fyi, for, wait for it.. FOUR DOLLARS! Thank you to the mother whose daughter also needed white dress shoes to wear but once. One might think this is the great success of this story, but it isn't. Oh no it isn't. There among the boots was a pair of the same ladybug rain boots that Natalie has been stuffing her foot into. The exact same pair, in the next size up!

Even if we hadn't found the white shoes, it was well worth the search.