Saturday, April 29, 2006

What a week....

So yes, I'm still sick. But I'm feeling well enough to post and catch up a bit.

I did manage to interview potential sitters (don't ask how!!) and I think I've found a great person for the kids. Fingers crossed, she seems like a perfect fit, the kids really took to her - and what is so very important to me is that she's looking for long term. I spoke with her today and she was concerned that I might only be looking for someone for a year. My daughter's only going to be two - so ideally, we're looking for someone who's looking to be with us until she goes to school. This thrilled her - which in turn made me feel even better about my choice. I do not at all like a revolving door with my children, and I think the past 20 months have been more stressful on me, than on them!

So, in light of the new beginning Monday brings us - I decided to do this Blogthing - and yet again, I guess I am who I am.

Your Inner Child Is Happy

You see life as simple, and simple is a very good thing.
You're cheerful and upbeat, taking everything as it comes.
And you decide not to worry, even when things look bad.
You figure there's just so many great things to look forward to.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Murphy's Law

You know the one. "If anything can go wrong, it will..." or something to that effect? Welcome to my life.

Sunday, I find out my sitter is leaving us. She's having an emotional breakdown of sorts related to circumstances in her life outside of us - and isn't in the right state of mind to be around children. Lovely.

So, I take this week off to try to find another person to care for the kids. No easy task, I assure you. I'm thinking - the weather's supposed to be nice, it should be a fun time with them. What happens? I have a case of "rapid onset pneumonia".

I'd go more into it, but ugh - you really don't want the gory details, and honestly, I just don't feel up to sitting at the computer. So - if you don't see me around, don't take it personal. I'm just not in any shape to be doing much of anything.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Crossing Over....

So, last night was my John Edward night...
There were 300 people there, which was rather surprising because it certainly felt intimate in the room. Far more intimate than 300 people. We sat in the 7th row - not too far up - not too far back - right sort of the middle it seemed. It was general admission seating, and we had the opportunity to sit closer but opted to sort of melt within.

Don't believe the hype/rumor of anyone eavesdropping within the room - or bugging it for sound, or even gathering information from the audience ahead of time. Interestingly enough, while there was alot of talk going on - no one was talking about who they wanted to hear from. And the "staff" - which again, interestingly enough - are his family members, were very "handsoffish" and minimal or no small talk with anyone, outside of taking our tickets.

There were 12 people read in total, over 2 and 1/2 hours, and out of 300 people.
And yes - my husband and I were one of them.

The whole time I was trying my best to mentally "will" someone to come through for me. And as it was getting closer to the end -the last 15 minutes of the "scheduled" time, a thought came to me that "I guess it's not going to happen for me"....and at that exact moment (I am SO not kidding), as he was answering someone's question - he pointed to us. Twice. And as he finished answering the question, he focused right on us. It was weird to seem him sort of change focus mid conversation.

We were the shortest and the least descriptive....but we were also the least tragic. There were some very sad stories last night. I'm not going to share the details of my reading only because it's a bit personal. Last night, my husband the staunch cynic was critical....this morning after the reading, he was far less so. And our information while brief, was rather direct and specific. When I called my parents last night as I left it was hard to bring it all back, because the excitement sort of comes to the foreground; but once we got home and digested the information (not regurgitate what we thought he said - but specific words and phrases) it was so....real.

Overall, I can tell you this....whether you believe or not, he's worth seeing if you get the chance. He's very warm, personable, and sincere. He's very open with his own life experiences, and it's pretty clear that this should not be something that is in lieu of grief counseling; and he's very specific about the information he's receiving. Watching his television show is a bit different than seeing it in person, because television is all neat and tied in a bow....To see how it all really works in person is pretty interesting. And maybe, just maybe - you'll become not a "believer" - but maybe hopeful - that those we lose truly do see us after they leave the physical world.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

As tempting as it sounds....

Do I really want to open a side business?

I'm so very bored with what I do full time. I am a Web Development Project Manager & Strategic Marketing Manager for my office job. Of course, with the wine shop - I'm a full fledged Marketing & PR person, as well as Web Designer. In addition to this - I often help small businesses in the area with Strategic Marketing techniques. Loosely translated - this is "advertising on a shoestring budget". (Which is not my hook, by the way). As I'm a motivated, self starter and owner of a "Mom and Pop" wine shop - I'm proof positive that you can get the word out there about a business with little or no financial investment (outside of my services!). And these are techniques that a person could do themselves, but they just have to be creative - and be motivated to do follow through and do them. It's sort of a "guerilla warfare" type of marketing.

I used to have a side business that was strictly web design, graphic design and presentation design. I didn't really dedicate the time necessary to it, because honestly - I get very bored with it. I truly prefer the magazine/newsletter layout and design aspect; partly because I love to write - and partly because I enjoy that style of design more. I find it more attractive to design for publication than for the web. And truly, I'd rather be Art Director than Lead Designer at this point. Maybe I'm just bored....

In any event, I've been doing so much strategic marketing "gratis" for people I know who have businesses - I'm thinking I should be charging for this again. There's such a need for it. I've been doing press releases, newsletters, introductory announcements, site consultation, ad copy.... And in a case of timing - an email came in today from a client of mine from 5 or 6 years ago who has now started an IT company, and would like to offer web design services. He asked if I'd be interested. And while I'd love to make some extra money, and I know I can whip sites out rather quickly - I just am not excited about it.

I've been trying to get away from this area....not dive back into it. Ugh - and all the hand holding of the clients. You know, explaining to someone that what you say in casual conversation might sound okay - but to put it in writing for a formal release is inappropriate....ugh. I'm just not up for all of that again. I don't know. I may take on a few jobs here and there - but I just don't know if I'm up for the whole shabang.

It goes without saying that I love doing all of that for the wine shop. But if I'm going to do a second business, I really just want to open a nice little boutique somewhere...maybe gourmet chocolates, maybe a sunless tanning boutique...maybe a home decor shop.

Just something other than what I'm doing right now!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

This kiss, this kiss....(it's criminal)

I remember my first kiss. I was 14 1/2, and by most standards - a late bloomer in the romance department. I was too much of a tomboy to really think about relationships. I had crushes, but never had any boy kiss me. Up until that point, my "boyfriends" consisted of someone walking me home from school, or talking on the phone. I was truly afraid of being kissed, and so I often wouldn't allow myself in situations where that might happen.

But this boy was different. He was a "bad boy", fresh out of DYS (detentional youth services) - and he looked just like Billy Idol. I had met him through a friend of mine in high school, a boy named Donny. Donny and I were strictly friends, and we'd talk on the phone for hours. He had a foster brother, Jimi - who would sometimes pick up the phone while Donny and I were talking and sort of jump into the conversation. It didnt take long before I would call and if Donny wasn't home - Jimi and I would end up talking. He was really shy, but not too much so - and he was really looking forward to doing the right thing, and going back to school - staying on the right track. I don't remember why he was in DYS, but I do remember that he had a really tough upbringing and Donny's family was trying to help him out. And of course, before I even met him in person - I really liked him. I've always had a soft spot for "bad boys" - and stray puppies. He was a little bit of both.

The first time I had met him, I was babysitting for two young girls who I sat for pretty regularly - and Donny and he had come by. I wouldn't allow them upstairs, but the girls were asleep and it was summertime - so I sat on the front porch with them. He was 16, really tall (to me, who was 4"11) - and looked just like Billy Idol. He was funny, and he was tough - but he was really very, very sweet to me. Not a fake sweet, but a view of who he was under the tough exterior.

The woman I sat for was far more laid back than I ever would be! She never came home past 11, but she always told me I could have my boyfriend sit with me if I wanted. I was a "good girl" - I think that probably came across as I wasn't going to do anything irresponsible. So, about a month after meeting him and spending hours upon hours on the phone - I invited him over.

I remember us watching television - but I don't remember how it came about that he tried to kiss me. I stopped him, and started to cry. I was so embarrassed, but I had never kissed anyone - let alone french kiss - and I was absolutely petrified. And I told him why I was so embarrassed - and he was so incredibly kind and sweet. Needless to say, he "taught" me how to kiss. This tough, destined for jail kind of boy was so nice and gentle and kind. He didn't laugh - and he didn't make me feel embarrassed. He was my first real boyfriend. Not in the mature relationship way - that wasn't for years later. But he was still my boyfriend.

We dated for three months, he'd meet me after school and walk me home and hang out on my front porch.... or we'd go and hang out with Donny and Donny's dad who would drive me home. He didnt' work - so we didn't "date" so much as "hang around". And it all came to an abrupt end without any warning. Jimi left his house in the middle of the night - and decided to come see me. He used a ladder in my backyard - climbed up to my bedroom window (I lived on the second floor) and knocked on my window to try to wake me. Clearly, he didn't know me that well. I'd sleep through an earthquake! But he woke my father up. Who promptly came to the window - opened the shade - saw Jimi peeking through with a flashlight and growled "who the hell are you?!".

Needless to say - I caught a glimpse of him running through the yard. My Dad called Donny's dad, who was already looking for him....and I was banned from seeing him ever again. I heard from Donny that Jimi was sent back to DYS. I don't know what he did - but it must've been something worse than trying to wake me that night. I saw him once about a year later - but then never saw or heard from him again.

I still wonder what ever happened to him.

As I was driving home from work today - it was gorgeous out, and the Faith Hill song "This Kiss" came on the radio. And for some reason - today, it made me think of Jimi.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bazooka Jane!

I'm a pretty aggressive person. I know this about myself. Driven and focused is probably more the way I prefer to think of it. I talk strongly.... I walk very quickly and rather heavily (and in those high heels of mine, you can imagine the sound clicking on the floor!), I'm very straightforward - and I've discovered that I must chew my gum rather harshly as well.

Yes, I'm a gum chewer. I know it's not looked upon as "ladylike" but, it's a great source of enjoyment for me. Plus, I'm obsessed with brushing my teeth and having fresh breath, so always having a nice minty piece of gum in my mouth is quite appealing. Yesterday, at the Red Sox game - I must've gone through a whole package. I bought a pack of Eclispse Midnight Cool gum. (Word to the wise, if you don't care for black licorice or anisette - do not buy this gum. I was sucked in by the marketing scheme of the name. I thought "Hmmm. Midnight's must be extra minty fresh". No. It's anisette and mint which is a rather peculiar taste combination. Imagine my surprise when I tasted it! And did I mention that I detest black licorice??? But I digress...). If anyone watched the game - it was excellent. It was an up and down emotional game that ended in a way that only fairy tales end. I'm amazed I have a voice left today....

So, I woke up this morning with the most excruciating pain at the top of my jaws. I felt like I had clenched my teeth all night, but I knew that wasn't the case. My teeth weren't actually lining up that way - it was almost as if my jaw was stressed at a certain point in the chewing motion! How did I test this theory, you ask? Well, when it hurt to place my jaws in a clenching motion, I realized that wasn't the cause. So, I chewed a piece of gum! The first bite down was very uncomfortable, but after that - the pain wasn't noticeable anymore. Weird, huh?

But I decided that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, and so I threw it away, and remained gum free all day today.
Which was no easy task. Trust me.

My jaw still aches. And I'm still an assertive person - that will never change.
But clearly - I should not be allowed to chew gum at a baseball game!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter is my second favorite holiday. The weather is good (usually!), everyone is dressed up in their "pretty clothes" - and of course, there's always the dinner.

Today, our little family spent the day at my inlaws. While I've got thousands of pictures of the day, I thought I'd share just a few of us. It's pretty difficult to get a 20 month old to sit still for the camera!

However and with whomever you spent today with - I hope it was beautiful. No matter what religion you may or may not be, Easter is the type of holiday that has a joyous feeling that is infectious. And in today's world, that is something that no one should miss out on.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Batter Up!

I'm very, very, very excited.
My husband called me in work today and said that he managed to get two tickets right behind home plate for Monday's Red Sox game. He said he was taking our son. What a nice Dad, huh? :)

So, I said "geez, they didn't have three tickets?" and he said that no - for that section they only had pairs. So I said, I'd call and see if I couldn't get a single seat close by. That way we'd switch off watching the game with the little guy. Sure enough, no one sells tickets in odd numbers usually. At least not this far out before the game.

I called him back, told him the dilemma. Then he said "You don't have any friends that would want to go????" Of course I do!! And here in Massachusetts, Monday is a "sort of" holiday. It's Patriots Day - and Marathon Monday. So it's a busy day here in BeanTown. I called my girlfriend Lynne who is a diehard fan (and actually attending Thursday night's game) and asked if she was interested - which by no surprise, she was. And this will be some great medicine for both her and I. She's one of my closest friends, and we dont' get to spend much time together anymore. Her children are grown - mine are small, and so we're at different points in our life. When we first met, I was single and she had young children. So the cycle changes, and life goes on - and in a few years, we'll be on the same path. So this will be a much needed and long overdue girls fun time.

We're all going into the game together! And while Lynne and I are about two sections over, it will still be close enough that my husband and I can "swap seats" occasionally to hang out with the TyGuy.

You have to indulge in these luxuries occasionally, don't you?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A little Spring "meme"....

While I haven't been tagged, I have seen this fun little "interview" at many a blog over the past two days. So I figured I'd adopt it for my self since I've got lots of thoughts running around, but not quite sure which one I prefer to expound upon. Ayez un beau jour...
1. Who was your first Prom date? I went to the senior prom when I was a junior with a good friend of mine, Dave "Bif" Howard. We were great friends, we hung out all the time. I think we had crushes on each other, but neither one of us ever acted on it. Not even a kiss goodnight.... total pals. :)

2. Who was your first roommate(s)? One of my best friends. I've written about her before, the one who contacted me recently out of nowhere that sort of has those resentments I mentioned. I avoided us moving in together when we were younger because I thought it would destroy our friendship.

3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink the first time you got drunk? Tequila straight up. I was 18 1/2. I didn't drink before I graduated high school at all.

4. What was your first job? Outside of babysitting - a bagger at a supermarket.

5. What was your first car? A 1988 Renault Alliance my exboyfriend bought me for my birthday. hahaha, it cost more to register it than it was worth - but I loved that little car!

6. When did you go to your first funeral? My Auntie Saralee's funeral, when I was 15.

7. How old were you when you first moved away from your home town? I was 18 1/2 and I moved to Revere. One town over, but culturally a world away.

8. Who was your first grade teacher? Mrs. Glennon. I loved, loved, loved her.

9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? Florida – my aunt and uncle flew me out there for a vacation when I was 12.

10. When did you sneak out of your house for the first time, who was it with? I never snuck out of the house. I would bend the rules sometimes - often break them - but I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't be able to live with the guilt of making my parents worry if they woke up.

11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends with them? Hmmm. From 1st to 8th grade, Suzanne was my best friend. Then Jennifer (a cousin of mine by marriage) moved into the picture and the three of us sort of bounced back and forth. Three girls clearly can't be best friends! Guess who was on the losing end of that stick??? Me. I still keep in touch with Suzanne via email. And Jennifer(the cousin by marriage) and I do not keep in touch.

12. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house? I moved into a really nice apartment in Beachmont, on the third floor of a house that overlooked the water.

13. Who is the first person you call if you have a bad day? Hmm. No one. I mean, I call my friends irregardless of whether its a bad day or not. But I don't usually call anyone and "vent".

14. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid/groomsmen? My pen pal Heather.

15. What is the first thing you do in the morning? Open my eyes. Kidding. Then, go to the bathroom.

16. What is the first concert you ever went to? Aerosmith's Done with Mirrors Tour. Their first tour back together again.

17. First tattoo or piercing? My ears were pierced at 8; second piercing at 22 (double in ear)

18. First Celebrity crush? Matt Dillon

19. Age of first kiss? 14 1/2. Jimi Tracey. He was a "bad boy", but he was so sweet and nice to me. I always wonder what happened to him. I think he really spelled his name "Jimmy" but did it like "jimi hendrix" to be different.

20. First crush? David Wilson. Suzanne and I both had a crush on him in second grade - he was the new kid in school and we both were his girlfriends.

21. First time you did drugs? Senior year in high school. I smoked pot for about 5 months - but being the control freak that I am - I didn't enjoy it and stopped. Other than that - I never tried anything else.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Opening Day AND Happy Birthday....

It's opening day at Fenway, and I almost blew off work to go - but my sitter needs me home early so that sort of took baseball out of the equasion. But - I will be home in time to watch the game (or listen to it with the kids while I'm outside playing) and wear my Sox gear.

So, I'm sending a big birthday kiss to:


Can't a girl have a crush?
I know, I have issues.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Raising a Son....

Okay. There are some things that I as a girl, have not experienced in life. Using a men's room is clearly one of them.

My husband brought my son into the men's room recently and my son used a urinal as opposed to the toilet. He thought that was just the greatest thing! So, this weekend when I had the kids out with me, we stopped and got lunch. After lunch we went to the rest room - obviously the ladies room - to clean up and do what you're supposed to do: go to the bathroom! So, as we're walking in, he says "I want to go to the men's room and use that open toilet". So I said "well, you can't go to the men's room without Daddy". To which he replies "well, you just come with me!" So I explained that women can't go in the men's room and vice versa, so whenever he's out with me until he gets older he has to go to the ladies room. It's just not safe for a young boy to be alone in a men's room without his Daddy. This is all being explained as he's in the handicapped stall of the restroom because the one other stall was occupied.

So, he says to me "Um, Mommy, this toilet's too tall..." Never even dawned on me - I forgot the handicapped toilet's higher. So I open the door and peek in and say "Hmmm. Sorry about that. You sure you can't just lean in a bit?" To which he replied "No, um, it's not long enough." It took everything I had not to laugh out loud...Those are words that I hope he never has to repeat again! Yes, these are just some of the things that as a girl, I guess I'm pretty inexperienced with.

At the same time, I have a funny feeling that my daughter - who is enthralled with watching my son use the bathroom (I don't mind, it seems to be interesting her in potty training - and he thinks it's a riot!) - is going to try to pee standing up! Now how am I going to explain that one I wonder.....?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Take me out to the ball game....

I love baseball season...
I'm so glad that it's finally here.
Sports talk radio has been so boring since football ended - I actually can start listening again!

I'm cautiously optomistic about the Red Sox. You just never know with them...
But I'm feeling pretty good. Pretty, pretty good.

And I'm really looking forward to going to a few games this season. I'd like to splurge and get seats right behind home plate.
(Hello Jason Varitek...yes, that's me stalking you! hahaha)

Who are my favorites you might ask? Well, of course, Jason Varitek is my very favorite.
Then Manny Ramirez. Mike Timlin. Of course how can you not love Big Papi...
At this rate, CoCo Crisp is going to make it up this list rather quickly.

Which brings me to another subject. CoCo Crisp???
Did his parents smoke a lot of "the funny stuff" - or did they just not like him? Who names their kid after a cereal - and not even a good one at that??

These are the things that irritate me. I mean, who names their child these obscure names. Apple? Hello - that's a fruit. Poor kid is going to grow up being teased their whole life. Mercedes? "Do you wanna ride in my Mercedes Boy".... Poor girl, she'll be thought of as an easy ride. Or here's a good one: Bayou. You named your child after a swampy wetland area? What are you people thinking?!?!?!

And I really wished that I really looked like my Avatar and Weather Pixie. Man, they are smokin'!!

But I digress....

Batter up kids, and get those ball park franks's ball time!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

He met Marmalade down in Old New Orleans...

As promised, here are some photos of the Mardi Gras soiree at Karla's!

Not only did we take over her house...but we took over her husband's "Mantown Workshop"! We took the party outdoors to his tool shed, which is more like a guy's getaway, complete with a dartboard - power tools, and all other things "manly".

In addition to all of the fun - we also did a very quick mini-fundraiser. The night before, the house next door to Karla's caught on fire. It's completely destroyed. Fortunately, no one was hurt -but a young couple with a 4 month old baby girl was rendered homeless. So, in typical "Auntie" fashion - we all contributed as many clothes and baby supplies as we could so that Karla can bring them to the couple - and so they can try to start piecing their life back together, at least with regards to having supplies for their baby.

As we laughed, joked and had a good time - you could still smell the smoke in the air from the night before. Certainly makes you appreciate all that you have....and not want so much for what you don't have.

Because truly - life could be alot worse for us all.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring Ahead?

Hmmm. I've never been a big fan of daylight savings time. I mean, I know we get an extra hour of sun when we spring ahead; as well as an extra hour of sleep when we "fall back".

But it really messes us all up, doesn't it? We're not hungry at dinner time...we're bright eyed and bushy tailed at bedtime, so we stay up late - and then end up late for work in the morning because what would've been 5am is really 6am - and if we wanted to really sleep in until 6 - well now it's 7 and WOW are we late!!!

Why can't we just pick one timeline that we've adjusted to, and just let the sun rise and set naturally? I know it was meant to help the farmers get more out of their days, but I tend to think that maybe farmers have progressed some since this rule was established, and maybe they'd even like it to just sort of leave things alone.

Surely I can't be the only one who feels this way..... !