Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Lucy and I joined Sean in Maine last week with every intention of staying through the weekend...but with the impending storm (Irene), we decided that Lucy and I would head home much earlier than planned.

Saturday morning, Lucy and I set off for the 250 mile drive home - Lucy was asleep by mile 4...we weren't even on the highway yet. There was a fair bit of traffic but it was moving and though the sky was tumbling and dark by the time I hit the 150 mile mark, the rain held off.

I had no intention of stopping....I just wanted to get home as my least favorite thing to do is drive in the rain. Lucy stayed asleep until we were about 20 miles from the Big Green Bridge when she awoke with a small sigh and the declaration

I wanna watch Heffalump! Please Mama? I  love the Heffalump!

Wanting to keep her happy (read quiet) and stay on the road, I obliged and twisted and contorted in my seat to get the iPad in the holder and the movie started. Before I hit play, I decided I should do the responsible thing and perform a diaper check
Lucy is pretty good at telling us what is or is not going on in her diaper so I asked her
How's your tuckus
I waited for her to respond by telling me she had a wet diaper, or that she had pooped. Instead, she said

My tuckus is fine Mummy...but my vajayjay is wet

Lucy and I made it home in one piece though the sky turned so black at one point that I was was waiting for the horsemen to come riding down from the heavens.

We stopped for gas 2 miles from home and as I was filling the tank, it started to sprinkle....by the time we pulled up to the house, it was pouring rain.

Lucy gazed out the window as the rain fell and sang a couple lines of the song she always sings (never the same way twice) when it rains:

It raining it pouring old man bumped his head.....

Twice, she shushed the rain and bemoaned it was making too much noise (as it hit the roof of the car) and she could not hear her movie:

Sshhhh Rain! Stop! I watchin' Nemo! Ssshh, too loud  (wagging her finger out the window)!!!
SSHHHH, this is best part!!!

I told Lucy that I was going to empty the car and then come back for her as it was raining hard and I did not want her to get wet.

She pipes up, with all  seriousness and appreciation:

Good idea Mama, I no want to get my hair wet

Sunday, after the storm had passed, the winds had died down, and Sean was home safely, we ventured outside to see the tree that had fallen and crashed through the fence in the neighbor's yard. As we walked out the front door, Lucy spied all the branches and leaves that had fallen throughout the yard.

With a sigh and a heavy heart, she declared

What a mess!

While I was packing our stuff up to leave Maine Friday afternoon, I let Lucy play on my laptop. I opened up a blank word document and just let her type away - she thinks its pretty cool to see stuff appear on the screen as a direct result of her pecking (and slamming) away on the flat keyboard.

She usually chatters or sings as she's hitting the keys and did just that for the first few minutes....then she went quiet....I should have known better

You okay? I asked her from behind the couch as I was on my way into the bedroom

Her little blond noggin popped up and she says with a grin on her face

I okay Mama! Just picking up......

I never questioned what she was picking up...I really should have

I came back into the family room five minutes later to find Lucy kneeling in front of the computer (which I had placed on the floor for her) and systematically touching the keys one by one...

What are you doing Lucy?


Lucy, what are you doing?

She stands up with her hands behind her back and starts giggling

I playing Mama!

And with that, she opens her hands and shows me these little black tiles and white plastic things that bear a slight resemblance to the plastic tabs that hold the loaf of bread closed

What are those Lucy?

I bent down to take a closer look and see my keyboard....with no less than 10 keys missing


Thank you Mama!


For letting me play on your computer...!

And she stands up on her tippy toes with her lips pursed for a kiss

You're welcome Lucy......

I gave her the kiss her so sweetly asked for and sent her off to play with something else
I repaired what I could (the N and M are still a bit wonky and there is no key for Caps Lock) and after my repair work was done, I explained to Lucy what she had done

I sorry Mama

That's okay Lucy. But no more pulling keys off Mummy's computer

I won't Mama...I broke Mama's computer?

You did honey, but Mummy fixed it...

She leaned over and inspected the keypad....

'Cept for that one? she pointed to the N.
And that one? she pointed to the M
And that one? she pointed to what should have been Caps Lock

Yes Lucy, except for those three

Oh...guess I really broke those ones huh?

Lucy entertained herself Sunday afternoon for a spell by putting her stuffed animals on the floor in front of the couch, jumping up and down on the couch for a 10 count and then leaping off the couch landing in her stuffed with her legs folded under her......basicaslly, she was landing on her shins....but I guess when you're 29.2lbs, you can do that

Daddy was there while she was doing it and as much as I disapproved, he assured me she was fine and the animals were cushioning her fall...who am I to argue

Monday night, while I was fixing dinner, Lucy pushed all her animals back onto the floor and regardless of my warnings (4) and my orders to not jump (5), I heard her hit the floor


She giggled

Are you okay?

Yeah Mama! I jump!

I know you did! You scared Mummy

I not scary Mummy, I silly!

Maria, the Mum

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dancing Queen

Lucy and I went up to Maine for the American Folk Festival that Sean and my Dad work at every year.

The Festival kicked off Friday night with a Parade led by Stooges Brass Band from New Orleans

Lucy started out in her stroller and as the Parade approached, the music got louder, the crowd was getting their folk on and Lucy was more desperate to get out...but did not want to put her shoes back on

Mama! Lucy dance! she exclaimed as she rocked back in forth in her stroller.
Mama! Lucy get out and dance?

If you want to get out Lucy, you need to put your dancing shoes on!

Lucy ceased her protests and stopped straining against the straps of her stroller long enough to look at me and declare, to the great amusement of the people around us:

Mama! Those not my dancing shoes! Those are Crocs!!!

Maria, the Mum

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just Lucy

This morning as I was brushing my teeth and getting dressed, Lucy occupied herself by taking our pop up mesh hamper (which for the record was empty as ALL THE LAUNDRY IS DONE!) and placing it over her head and walking/running around like a little mesh monster... had I not been so amused watching her, I would have run downstairs and grabbed the camera

At one point, she walked into the wall (her line of vision was slightly impaired) and yelled
Hey! Wall! Look out for my noggin!

Then, she was running between her room and our room "scaring" me with her best monster growl.

I moved into the bathroom to floss and out of the corner of my eye, saw her dart across the hall into her room (which is directly across from the bathroom) I leaned back to watch her in action and witnessed the following exchange as she stood in front of the basket full of animals at the foot of her bed:

I'm a Wild Thing! RROOAARR!

All of a sudden, she flipped the basket off her head and said to her animals with great care and concern in her soothing little voice:

No no, it OK! Don't be scared!
Its me! Lucy Ellen Sykes!
I not scary! I just silly!

Maria, the Mum

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Princess of Quite A Lot

Remember when I told you about Cousin De and Brad's Wedding?
De sent me a couple pictures that just have to be shared....Thanks De, as always, I heart you!

There you have it! Lucy in her pretty princess dress......!!!!!
As I said in my previous post, she made it two hours before demanding to be changed into a t-shirt and a pair of shorts....see below, photos by Daddy. If you ask me, she's still pretty darn cute (and precocious) regardless of what she's wearing

Maria, the Mum

Monday, August 22, 2011


I’ve noticed, through my trolling, that when bloggers hit their 100th post, they then post a blog “100 Things About Me” (Let me clarify, it may appear that there are 110 posts but Sean actually posted 10 of the said 110)
Not too long ago, I did something similar…it was an exercise I learned in a creative writing class I took where you were challenged to sit down for 60 minutes and write as much as you could about yourself. I took the class back in 1997…....I wish I could find what I wrote back then as it would be interesting to compare it to what I wrote in 2011
Anyway, I was not sure I could come up with another 100 things about myself. Fortunately for all of us, I’m pretty long winded and was in fact able to come up with 100 things
My goal is to over time elaborate on each of the 100 things (and the things from the list I made back in May so really 233 things) If I am ever at a loss for what to write, or Lucy stops being funny and entertaining, at least I’ll have something to fall back on….

1. I have a scar on my right hand that I’m pretty sure came from the time I was in college walking home from M Street with Bridget and Karmin, bumped into a Stop sign and fell
2. I hate crowds
3. I get nervous when I fly – I get so nervous I’m the one in the airport/on the plane trying not to look suspicious thereby looking suspicious but still trying not to look suspicious
4. I’m an over packer (for the record, Sean is worse)
5. When I was in college, I almost dropped out at the end of my Junior year…I’m not sure I’ve ever told anyone that
6. I secretly get jealous when I find out someone I know is pregnant
7. One time, in junior high, I got beat up by this girl…she came to our house and was all like, hey, want to hang out? But when I came outside, she beat me up – to this day, I have no idea why…..and I never told anyone
8. When I was younger, I desperately wanted a cool nickname….never got one, but my siblings did call me Fatso for awhile
9. My Dad used to call me Re-Run or Re-Runny Rose….every once in awhile he’ll use it and it makes me smile…
10. The first time I went to Wrigley Field, I cried……second time I went to Wrigley Field, I met Bill Murray
11. I was an extra in Major League II – it was filmed in Baltimore and I was there with some friends in college – we went by Camden Yards, they were filming, looking for people to sit in the stands, so in we went
12. I met Tommy Lasorda at a bar in St Louis
13. I’m afraid of failing which often prevents me from trying
14. I failed my driving test the first time I took it…..he wanted me to back into a parking spot and I had been practicing parallel parking for a month……unfuckingbelievable
15. I’ve been to traffic school…twice
16. One time, I got locked up in a drunk tank…with a bunch of Marines
17. I’m all about instant gratification – so much so that I’ll read the last chapter of a book before I even get to Chapter 3…..
18. Except for the Harry Potter books. I was never inclined to skip ahead in those books
19. When a new Harry Potter book was released, I would go back and read the whole series before reading the new book…EVERY TIME
20. I have not seen the last Harry Potter movies because I don’t want them to end
21. I started reading the series again so soon, I’ll see the movies
22. I love children’s books and young adult books – I love reading them and I get all excited when my nieces or nephews get into reading because then I have someone to buy them for!
23. Looking back on it, I was pretty na├»ve when I was a teenager – I had no sense of pop culture, no idea what was cool, what kind of music to listen to…I was totally clueless…people would talk about movies, music, clothing labels…I had no idea what they were referring to…sometimes I still don’t…and could totally care less
24. I may be insecure about who and what I am but I will never change for anyone….I tried that and it just did not work out for me
25. I used to try harder to please other people, not so much anymore. As long as Sean and Lucy are happy, I’m good
26. Sometimes, I’m too nice – yes me! And by that I mean I’ll talk to people, help them out and even when they snub me or offer me no help (or say no when I ask), I’ll still “be there for them”
27. Did I mention I’m passive aggressive?
28. I’m a bit scared of the dark
29. I used to sleep with a light on – until I got married
30. I love a good breakfast – bacon, eggs, toast, pancakes, home fries
31. When Sean and I were dating, and even when we were married but before Lucy, we used to go to Zoe’s in Cambridge for breakfast at least 2/3 times a month. We’d get there early with a stack of magazines and sit for hours eating breakfast and reading…..I loved those breakfast dates
32. Zoe’s has, hands down, the best breakfast I’ve ever had
33. I used to smoke Camel Lights…I loved Camel Lights
34. When I lived in Illinois, I had this friend Paul who I worked with and he happened to live next door to me. We both loved baseball and watched the Ken Burns documentary Baseball together. We watched the 1999 All Star Game in Boston together too – I miss Paul
35. When Paul and his wife moved, just to a different part of town, I moped around for like a month – I hated not having them next door anymore…….
36. I missed their wedding because I did not get out of work on time and never told them I was sorry for that – one of my many regrets
37. I’ve never been to Cape Cod
38. I joined Facebook because Sean did; left it once because I got depressed I had so few friends and saw all these people on the periphery I knew but was scared to send a request to for fear they’d reject me…got back on so I could watch the Royal Wedding with Cousin De and sister Teresa ..left again because someone was snooping on me and frankly, she was bugging me…so I deactivated, edited my friend list and just got back on because I’ve decided to become a professional blogger and FB is the best way to get my blog out there
39. I went to Paris when I was in high school – hated the city but loved all the churches and the Louvre and the Rodin museum
40. When I was in Paris, Jen, my brother’s girlfriend at the time, and I got really really drunk on rum…so drunk that the next day, I threw up…while we were touring Versailles
41. I know nothing about art but I know what I like and I appreciate it
42. I know nothing about music – except what I like to hear
43. I have no rhythm and can’t dance…but that does not stop me
44. Can’t sing for shit either….except in the car or the shower….does not stop me
45. And I don’t care what anyone thinks about my singing or dancing (at least that’s what I tell myself)
46. Funny, when I was younger, I really didn’t care what anyone thought or how stupid I looked dancing or singing – I did it and I had fun!!! Course I was also drunk……..
47. There’s a whole lot I don’t remember about my 20’s
48. What I do remember makes me laugh
49. Annette and Brandon are two people who will always be important in my life…no matter when I last saw or spoke to them, if I called them, they would totally drive the Bronco out of town for me…
50. Annette and Brandon were guilty participants in my 20’s!
51. In 1999, I was the victim of identity fraud…a “friend” who was watching my house for me while I traveled opened up a bunch of credit cards in my name using the offers that came in the mail…..she racked up $100,000+ in credit card charges……we’re not friends anymore
52. That incident preceded what felt like was the worst year of my life
53. I can’t tie a square knot and I have a couple sister who take great delight in that – that is they take great pleasure in ridiculing me for it (and not in a fun, hahaha way) …apparently the ability to tie a square knot is very important in determining your lot in life
54. I quit smoking cold turkey…..I had serious DTs and was a raving lunatic for three days
55. I can spend hours looking up recipes, studying how something is made or a cake is decorated and in my head, have grand plans to cook the meal and bake the cake….and then never do it
56. I hate roller coasters and I hate ferris wheels, they both terrify me
57. I’m scared of heights
58. And snakes
59. And death
60. I have terrible handwriting, looks like that of a 12 year old boy
61. And I never mastered cursive writing, that too looks like it was done by the hand of a 12 year old boy….ok, probably a 10 year old boy
62. I’m not a big fan of company Christmas parties or forced fun events….I always feel socially awkward and find myself standing off to the side shaking my head at the behavior of certain people….makes me look like a bitch….
63. Sometimes, I feel the same way at family functions – and I love my family so what does that tell you about me?
64. Clearly, I’m insecure
65. Sometimes, my mind goes faster than my fingers can type or my hands can write
66. I just tried to write the alphabet in cursive…I can’t remember how to make the capital G
67. When writing (and by that we now know I mean typing), I ALWAYS type the as teh….ALWAYS
68. One of my favorite memories as a kid is clipping coupons with my mother and then going to the grocery store with her
69. We had this family friend named Michelle who used to babysit us; I totally wanted to be her when I grew up….…I’m so not
70. One of my other favorite memories is Christmas Eve
71. And donut balls – my mother used to make homemade donut balls on the weekend…way better than Munchkins
72. I have fond memories of coming down to the Boston area (Revere specifically) to visit my mother’s aunts and uncles as a kid…..probably because they didn’t yell at anyone like Grammy did
73. My maternal grandparents did not speak to me for like 5 years because of some stupid family fight. When I was welcomed into their home again, my grandmother had dementia and had no idea who I was…..I was angry at her when she died because of that….Aunt Nell made it better though…..
74. I still miss Aunt Nell who passed in March of 2010
75. Aunt Nell used to write letters – like long 5-10 page letters! I’ve saved most of the ones she sent me…I saved all the cards she ever sent me too
76. I hate shopping for myself but love shopping for other people
77. I don’t have OCD (as I could care less about how my towels are folded or if there is a stack of magazines somewhere they should not be) but I can be obsessive about things…like the Royal Wedding or a TV show or a news story that catches my eye
78. I wish I prayed more
79. I don’t have many friends but the friends I have, I would do anything for
80. As much as I joke about not having a lot of friends, it does not bother me as much as it probably should
81. I do, however, have a lot of acquaintances and I like them just fine
82. I don’t have as high of a rate of disclosure as people think I do – I may tell you stuff, but rarely will I tell you anything of substance
83. Juts had a flash back to my 20’s – it involved Karaoke, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, Capt and Coke and drinking my shots on one swift pull….I miss my 20’s
84. No I don’t….I appreciate my 20’s and am totally loving my 30's
85. But have to admit, not looking forward to 40
86. I’m happy with one child – and I’m not so sure why people and society are hell bent on making me feel guilty for having “only one” Maybe I will have another baby, but is that something that is really of anyone’s concern except mine and Sean’s?
87. And am I less of a woman, less of a mother if Lucy is in fact my only child? I don’t think so….besides God works in mysterious ways….the world better be careful or I could reproduce twins! And we all know twins freak me out so then where would we be?!?!
88. I never dreamed about my wedding – but I always dreamed about being a wife and a mother
89. I don’t wear makeup – I’ve tried a few times but because I have no idea what I’m doing, I always end up looking like a whore on pay day
90. I had this friend in College, her name was Mrs. C, she was the receptionist in the Residence Hall I lived in…..she was in her 60s when I met her…..she used to tell me I was an old soul and that someday, it would all make sense….I’m still waiting Joan! I’m still waiting!
91. But I will admit, it makes more sense now than it did then
92. She also introduced me to Paul Harvey and Talk Radio
93. I moved to Massachusetts in 2000….I always thought by now, by the time I was this age and married with a child, that I’d be back living in Maine…..a part of me is disappointed by that, but a part of me can’t imagine going back there and living…..
94. Though I grew up in Maine, I don’t have the connection to it my brother and sisters do…I’m somewhat envious of that…..but I still call Maine home…I guess because that’s where Mum and Dad are….and that seems to be where all our hearts are
95. Which begs the question – where should I be buried (see how I make crazy jumps?!)?
96. Which means I should probably consider cremation
97. Spaghetti and meatballs with nice bread may be one of my favorite meals
98. Since I moved to MA, I have lived in two towns – and in both towns, I have lived right on the border. When I lived in Medford, if you went to the top of my street and turned right, you’d be in Malden in ¼ of a mile. If you went left and straight for ½ mile, you were in Somerville. If you went left and then left again, in ½ mile you were in Everett. We’re in Woburn now and if you leave our house and go right for ½ mile, you’re in Wilmington, if you go left for not even ½ mile you’re in Burlington. I think that says something about me….I’m not sure what but I’m pretty sure it says something
99. Meeting Sean is one of the best things that has ever happened to me…..I love him so much that sometimes it makes my head hurt!
100. And I love Lucy so much that sometimes it makes me cry….I love both of them so much I am often times rendered speechless….no easy feat I might add….

Maria, the Mum

The Sick House

Lucy spent the past week sick - throwing up, diarrhea, summer cold and cough....throw in her molars trying to break through and a growth spurt, a sick Daddy and a tired Mummy and you can only imagine what the last week has been like at our house.

A recap of the week:
Sean caught throw up in his hand...twice. As you may or may not recall, throw up is Sean's Kryptonite. Nonetheless, he was a trooper and twice when his little girl was throwing up, he bravely threw his cupped hands under her mouth to catch it...

We let Lucy watch TV more than we normally would while she was home sick - it kept her resting on the couch (she would often doze over the course of a movie) and allowed us to still get some work done (selfish, I know but lest we forget, we both have full time jobs)
Her favorite movie right now is Pooh's Heffalump Movie. It's a cute little 68 minute ditty about the friends from the 100 Acre Wood capturing a Heffalump...we watched it so many times, Lucy now recites the lines with the characters and can sing the score (provided by the ever talented and lovely Carly Simon)

Lucy also wanted to watch a Princess movie and chose Sleeping Beauty. We made it to the end of the movie and she looks at me and says
Next time Mama, we watch Cars

At one point, Lucy's legs, fingers and toes were covered in band aids...for an afternoon, she also had one on her cheek....and her belly....why? Because her belly hurt...and her arms and legs hurt....any where that Lucy felt pain or just seemed to hurt, a band aid was placed....To be fair, she did have a legitimate boo boo on the biog toe of her right foot - that was the only real wound.
When I took her to see Dr Harper, I felt like I had to justify why I caved in to my daughter's demands for band aids....my defense? Well, Band Aids are better than tattoos...and they're on sale at Target right now...

Covered in Band Aids, Lucy informed me she was just like the whales in Burt Dow, Deep Water Man....but she doesn't have a seagull, can we get her a pet seagull.....? Please Mama?

I was having a much needed cup of coffee Saturday when Lucy looks at me and says
I don't like coffee Mama
Oh well, that's okay Lucy
You like coffee Mama?
I do.....
I don't...
Oh...Ok (I was not sure what else to say)
I like you Mama
I like you too Lucy
Good Mama...but I don't like coffee

We missed, for the second year in a row, Benjamin's birthday party (last year, we missed it because of this, you could just skip to the section called Time to Get Your Folk On but frankly, the whole post is pretty amusing)

By Saturday, I think we all had a bit of cabin fever. We needed to get out. Lucy's suggestion? Target!

Maria, the Mum

Friday, August 19, 2011

Am I serious?

So if I'm going to be serious about this blogging thing, I have a few things I need to do:

Learn (take the time) to edit - or hire an editor - I am taking applications, you  must be willing to work for cookies, dinner, or M&Ms

Learn how to do pictures - that is upload them into said blog - which poor Sean has shown me at least 110 times but I'm just not as smart as I look (don't let the glasses fool you!)

Get a badge or a button - everyone has one, I think I should too...I'm not 100% what they do or how they work but they look so fun on all the other pages I visit

Learns how to add some one's badge or button to my page - again, caving to peer pressure but if I'm gonna hang with the Top Mommy Bloggers, I gotta make connections and badges and buttons seems to be the way to do it...its like getting pinned....or being asked to wear some one's class ring....

Finish the blogs I start.....I have at least 6  that I've started and just not finished....my brain goes too fast sometimes and I feel like I lose my ideas.....so I don;t finish....

Pick a time to write....I used to do morning pages - I used to do a lot of things! But wifehood and motherhood trump everything so right now, I write when I can (on conference calls, when reports are running, Sean is bathing Lucy, I'm waiting for the laundry....) someone asked me once if I actually worked because it looked like I did all my blogging while I was on the job...yes I work! And no, I don't sit on the job and blog...I write on  my lunch hour and when Sean and I are watching TV at night....and yeah, sometimes I write at work because I need a ten minute break from what I've been doing,....sometimes, I think of something while I am at work, open a new post, jot down my idea then come back and finish it later...but what I've discovered is that the blog time stamp is when I opened the post, not when I published it - so there!
I will admit though I do usually end up publishing when I'm at the office - mostly because when I finish writing, I read it a couple times (not that well as you can tell from spelling and tense errors) and my computer at work is quicker than my laptop at home.

I am open to any and all comments, concerns and suggestions...and if you know how to design a button/badge or even a blog page, even better...

Maria, the Mum who wants to also be a Blogger

Bullseye, Back Off, Gotcha!

Lucy's teacher Rika, who we all adore, has been on vacation the past few weeks. Lucy misses her terribly and her name comes up at least once a day....and if you ask her where Rika is, without hesitation she gives you a one word answer:

Back Off!
Lucy learned from a young age to go up and down stairs and does so with relative ease. When she goes down the stairs, one of us is in front of her, when she goes up the stairs, one of us is behind her.
Lately, when we've been following her up the stairs, if we get too close, she turns over her shoulder and declares:

Wait your turn Mama!
Wait your turn Daddy!

Lucy has been sick all week and last night, she was racked with horrible coughing fits. She'd sleep for 20 minutes, wake up and cough for a few minutes, cry for five minutes, sleep for 20 minutes...started about 6pm last night, just before Sean got home. And there is nothing we can do for her except give her a drink, try to soothe her and give her as many hugs and snuggles as she wants....

So Lucy and I slept in the second bedroom last night (between coughing fits, she managed to get out "I wanna sleep in Uncle Gareth's room")

I have no idea what time it was when Lucy woke me up telling me she needed a clean diaper.....by handing
me the diaper she had so thoughtfully taken off of herself!

I scooped her up and took her into her bedroom to get a clean diaper. I set her down on the floor to flip on the light hen I heard her say

Uh Oh Mama! I pooped! and with a giggle, she shot off across the room.

I didn't have my glasses on and could not really see what she had done - I glanced down and did not see anything except what appeared to be a couple wet spots...but she had had a couple bouts of diarrhea earlier......

I captured Lucy (who was  giggling by the way) and laid her on the table. Sean came in the room and I asked him to grab the Clorox wipes as she said she had pooped on the floor. Sean was still rubbing the sleep from his eyes and had not focused on anything yet - I was wiping Lucy down and squinting looking for signs of poop

Sean made his way back into the room and kneeled down to start cleaning
Lucy leaned over the changing table and says to the top of her Dad's head

Don't worry Daddy! I kidding! It not poop, just pee pee!!

Maria, the Mum

Thursday, August 18, 2011

That was the deal....

Lucy has been sick all week so she's not really been at day care...that is she was there all day Monday, 1/2 day Tuesday and home Wednesday. She made it until 11am today when I got a phone call to pick her up.
I phoned the doctor as her behavior and symptoms have been a bit baffling and we wanted to make sure it was nothing we needed to be overly concerned with.

The doctor's office called shortly after we got home and moments after Lucy woke up (she feel asleep on the 7 minute drive home)

As I was speaking to the nurse, Lucy was in the background coughing, gagging and crying all at the same time. The nurse said say no more, bring her in at 1:30.

In an effort to hurry her up and get her to go with little or no argument, I tried to bribe Lucy (not one of my prouder moments)

Lucy, we're going to see Dr Harper
No thank you Mama, I no want to go
I know honey but Dr Harper just wants to make sure you are okay
I *cough cough, sputter sputter* OK Mama! Just snuggle Lucy..and she climbed up into her bed with a half whine and a half cry
Honey, I know you don't want to but we need to - to make sure you're okay. And after we see Dr Harper, how about we go get an ice cream?
How about just ice cream? Lucy counter offers
How about Dr Harper than ice cream? (good come back Maria, brilliant)

We eventually made our way, with little resistance, to the appointment.

Dr Harper decided that we need a couple cultures (nose and throat) and a quick finger prick to collect a bit of blood for testing. Lucy, none too keen on the Dr's office to begin with, began to wail as soon as we stepped into the lab waiting room...the tech, Alison, threw down her own bribe f a lollipop for Lucy and for Clifford (her stuffed red dog) when the test were all done. Lucy picked a blue one for herself and a red one for Clifford.

As she and I made our way back down the hall to the exam room, Lucy looks at me and says

You still get Lucy ice cream Mama, that was the deal.....lollipop no count!

Maria, the Mum

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Everybody, Close the drawer

All together now!
We'll be driving home and I'll say who did you play with today?
One by one, she'll list all the kids is her class, in the class next door, all the teachers and then she concludes it by saying with lilt in her voice and emphasis on the last syllable, everyBODY!

I'll ask her which animal she wants to take to school with here and she'll do the same thing....she'll start listing whatever animals are in her line of vision (usually no less than 12) and even throw in a few she has not seen for days and end with everyBODY!

I'll ask her who she's like to come to her house to play this weekend and she'll again start with all the kids in her class, throw in Lori and Kevin for good measure, sometimes Noni and Papa and always ends with everyBODY!

Lucy had a short crying jag yesterday morning. When she was done, she informed her Dad

Daddy I happy now, I not crying anymore!!

Lucy wanted to make sure Daddy knew everything was okay so she continued:

Lucy happy! Mummy happy! Daddy happy! Eeyore happy! Tigger happy! EveryBODY happy!

I never close anything....when I open a drawer or a closet door to get something, I never totally close it.
I'll turn off a light when I leave the room but I am terrible at closing things....

Last night, after dinner, Lucy supervised while I made lunches and cleaned up a bit in the kitchen.
I went in and out of the pantry a few times and each time, never actually closed the door...Lucy would come up behind me and say

Mama! All done?
Yes Lucy...
Mama! Close the door!
Sorry Lucy!

She'd shake her head and close the door

Twice, I went into the drawer for a serving spoon or some sort of utensil and did not close the drawer all the way. Lucy came along behind me and pushed it closed without saying a word. The third time she did it, she sort of slammed it loudly.....I turned to look and make sure she did not hurt herself....she had her hands on her hips and just tapped her foot at me....but never said anything

After her bath, I took just a few minutes to put away the basket of laundry that had been sitting at the food of our bed for a couple days. I started in our room and then worked my way over to Lucy's room. I passed her in the hall as she headed into our room.....so I leaned back to see what she was doing. Sure enough, she was closing the drawer on my dresser I had left open. I ducked into her room and put her clothes away closing one drawer all the way but not quite pushing the other one closed.

Lucy pushed it closed, looked at me and said in quite an exasperated tone:

MAMA! All done?

I nodded

She took a deep breath and said

Sorry Lucy....
That's okay Mama, just try to 'member next time....I love you!

Maria, the Mum

If I had a cape and a tiara, I could save the world

I started reading these two blogs not so long ago that tear and tug at my heart
In one of them, a Mum is chronicling the struggles of her only daughter, her only child, as they fight a terrible bone marrow disease which demands a full bone marrow transplant for the little girl’s survival. The baby girl is not even a year old yet….she was conceived after a long struggle with infertility and will be this couple’s only child….and they are fighting for her life…..hard
The second blog I’ve been reading is written by a mother who lost her little 4 year old boy to cancer just a few months ago. I found it while they were still fighting for his life – she and her husband and their two other boys (twins) rooted, fought and prayed for this little boy’s life. He’s their angel now watching over them from far far away…she’s fighting with his death…hard
Does not matter which blog I’m reading….I cry. Doesn’t even matter what these women are writing, I cry
I cry for them, for their children and for their husbands. I cry because the honest, raw emotions, thoughts and feelings they are putting on paper are at time so overwhelming that I don’t know what else to do.
I cry because they are fighting to save a life, make sense of a life and put a life back together….and I’m being a jerk because Lucy won’t sit still so I can put her shoes on…or let me comb her hair.....or because she won’t let me put the sunscreen on, or because she got sunscreen in her hair, or because we’re running late and she just won’t settle down and let me get her dressed. I get impatient with her because I’m in a rush…..
I cry because they are doing everything they can do to just make it through a day – one day at a time,  an hour at a time, sometimes minute by minute……and I’m in a rush to get out the door because I don’t want to be late for work because I don’t want to give the impression I can’t handle being a Mum and working full time……
The little girl went into the hospital Tuesday; they found a donor for her and she was to start her chemo. The transplant would have been in two weeks, on her #1 birthday! But instead, she is fighting a fever – at her last posting, blood had been drawn and test were being run but the bottom line is the chemo and transplant have been postponed. Her Mum is upset, hell I’m upset.....but she’s trying to stay upbeat and positive, she’s trying to cling onto that thread of hope she has….she just wants a break for her baby…
The Mum struggling to recover from the loss of her son, is angry…and when I say angry I mean like F bomb dropping, go screw yourself, don’t look at me cross eyed or I’ll punch you in the face angry! Someone posted a comment basically telling her to get over it…telling her she was spiraling into depression and she needed to snap out of it. From what I can tell, whoever made these comments is a stranger to her – a stranger like me who found her blog and read it…a stranger who does not know her well enough to say snap out of it! Get over it! A stranger who may or may not have children…a stranger who has probably never lost a child. A stranger who better pray this woman never finds him or her because I’m pretty confident she could take you whomever you may be
These two women, these two families…they overwhelm me. I wish I could do something for them….what I would do, I don’t know…
My Cousin De loves the saying “If I had a cape and a tiara, I could save the world”
This is one of those times I wish I had a cape and tiara…maybe even a wand for good measure…or fairy dust…..anything that could make their pain subside, their memories all be happy and their kids safe.
But I don’t….so what I can do is pray for them – send them well wishes, blessings and hope.
They make me want to be a better mother, a better wife, a better person. They make me remind myself I need to SLOW DOWN and be grateful for what I have, for who I have…..they make me want to go home and apologize to Sean and Lucy for being impatient with them both this morning because again, I was running late and just can’t seem to make myself leave…I feel like I have to stay there until we are all ready to leave – not because Sean can’t handle them getting out the door…because I don’t want to miss anything, I don’t want to miss them……
I have a husband, I have a daughter…we all have our health. We have jobs, we have a home, we have a safe and happy place to send our daughter each day……then how and why do I forget to be grateful?
How can I forget that Lucy…that Lucy is just a little 2 year old who is full of beans but means no harm…that Lucy is still trying to figure out how to put into words what she is thinking and feeling…..that she is a person too and can sometimes have a bad day….
How…why do I keep forgetting Lucy is just a little girl trying to figure out her place in the big world…kind of like her mom…
Becoming a parent was exhilarating, terrifying, and gratifying all at the same time….kind of like how I when I became a wife but magnified like 10 times. I’m glad I did both…and I’m a good wife, I’m a good Mum…but I can always be better……I just want to be better…for them and for me….I don’t want to be perfect, that would take all of the fun out of it…..I just want to be better
I’ll slow down now….…I’ll remind myself to be grateful..….I’ll remind myself what I have, not what I don’t have, not what I could have but what I do have….and I’ll read the extra story at bedtime, not care about the laundry for one more day, take the five extra minutes to lie with my husband in the morning…and breathe……
I have Lucy, I have Sean…and they have me…….
Maria, the Mum

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lucy could be Pooh Bear

Sean and Lucy decided we should have cupcakes for my birthday instead of a cake (which is perfect as there are no leftovers) Per Lucy, we had to also get a cupcake for Roger and Kristen.

I got Lucy home last night and the first thing she asked was
Mama...I have cupcake?

After being asked 4 times, and telling her 4 times that she could not have a cupcake until she ate dinner, Lucy finally asked
Mama...I hungry...I have dinner?

One hot dog and two servings of cauliflower and broccoli later, Lucy was ready to have her cupcake....

Problem was Sean was stuck in traffic and no where near home

So I did my best to stall....
But within 15 minutes, Lucy was no longer in the mood to be stalled.

I called Sean and determined that he was still at least 10 minutes away - no way I could hold Lucy off so with Daddy on speaker phone (and Lucy yelling Daddy you there? You there Daddy? but giving him no chance to respond) we lit the candles and Lucy and Daddy sang me Happy Birthday....though I think Lucy might have actually been singing Happy Birthday Dear Lucy instead of Dear Mummy but who am I to get hung up on details?

Song sung, candles blown out, Lucy yelled
Now I have cupcake?!?!?!!

And have cupcake she did

She held it above her head and yelled
She licked it, just to get a taste of the frosting and looked at me and said

Then, with no warning,  dropped her face right onto the cupcake..which by the way is covered mile high in frosting

That baby laughed, giggled, squished and squeezed frosting all over the place!
She scooped it up in her fingers and licked them clean

Look Mama! I Winnie Pooh!

And she did look just like Winnie the Pooh with his hand stuck in the honey pot

It was more fun watching her enjoy the cupcake then it would have been eating one myself
By the time Sean got home, Lucy had frosting spread from cheek to cheek, chin to forehead and hand to elbow. I'm not even sure she actually took a bit of the cake itself, she may have just eaten the frosting

So with Lucy giggling and covered in frosting, we tossed her in the sink, hosed her off a bit and banished her to the tub for a scrubbing

Best birthday ever......

Maria, the Mum

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


In honor of my 39th year, I give you 39 of my favorite things in no particular order:

My Mum and Dad
My brother
My sisters
My nieces and nephews
The moon
That 10 minutes right before you are fully awake...coming out of a dream that may or may not be real
Blizzards from Dairy Queen. Whomever invented Blizzards is a genius in my book
Chocolate and peanut butter....even more in a Blizzard
The towels in the Hilton Hotel
The Bourne Movies
Harry Potter
Stretching, scratching and pooping (no secrets here)
Chocolate butternut donuts...hard to find
#2 Pencils
July 4th
The National Anthem
My gray sweatshirt
My Pandora Bracelet
The Wyeth Artists
The Boston Skyline
The New England Aquarium
Kettle Korn
Lucy's laugh
Rain storms
The Preamble
2004...every once in a while, I still find myself saying Holy shit! We won the World Series...2007 hasn't even hit me yet.....
Branston pickle sandwiches
Beatrix Potter
Project Runway and Top Chef.....I know nothing about fashion, less about sewing and am not that great of a cook
NPR and PBS.....why is this such a shock? Click and Clack...Sesame Street...there is stuff to love in both those places

Maria, the birthday girl

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

You're so annoying

Me: Blah, blah blah
Sean: Sometimes you're so annoying.....and you don't even try to be....
Me: Blah blah blah blah...I know....

Maria, the Mum

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Buddy

Lucy and I pull into the circle this evening and our neighbor (and friend) Kristen is parked at the mailboxes.
I pull in behind her (I almost never stop for the mail but because tomorrow is my birthday, I was convinced it would be full of cards...it wasn't) and Lucy looks up, sees her car and yells

Hey! It's my buddy Kristen!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Writers Block vs Performance Anxiety

So I signed up to have my blog posted on a website - which really is just a gateway to get more people to read but if you vote for me (by clicking on that badge thing to the right there), I could become a featured blog (!) -  and now I have writer's block....its probably performance anxiety and I don't want to admit to it so I'm calling it writer's block

There are 104 things running through my mind - but I can't seem to get any of it down on paper in a clear, concise organized fashion...I hate it when this happens. So I'm just going to start blurting them out, maybe that will help clear my brain:

Sean re-joined Beverly Athletic Club and is getting back to swimming a mile every morning before work
I re-joined Curves and will start going back to the gym at night while Sean is bathing Lucy
Both are moves to start getting a better grip on our lives (read balancing act) get healthy (read lose weight we've gained) and, gives us both a bit of time to ourselves....

I just had some red grapes - and they were good. I put them in the freezer this morning....what a great snack

Lucy bit me Saturday....hard...like it made me cry and I have a wicked bruise on my arm.
When I asked her why she bit me, she said, without hesitation or batting an aye
Mama! You were in Lucy's space!
Where the hell does a 2 year old get that?!?
Oh wait, that's what the teachers tell me when she is bitten at school...that the biter did it because Lucy got in his/her space......crap, please don't let this turn into anything....its bad enough when your kid is the one being bitten at school, please don't let her turn into a biter....I don't care how awesome the Twilight books/movies were, I don't want a biter!!!!

On the other hand, if she came home and told me she was a wizard and Sean and I are Muggles, I'd be okay with that

I'm a jerk......I was giving Sean a hard time about the stupid deck yesterday (because its taken him three weekends so far) and I had no right or reason to be a jerk.....because really, he's the one doing the backbreaking work, not me. He's the one who was standing out there sweating his ass off, not me. He's the one inhaling the fumes and peeling the cheap paint off the poorly painted deck, not me...but I gave him a hard time. Partly because Lucy has been tough the past few weekends - as much as I've tried to keep her occupied, she wants daddy to come play to. partly because I miss our time together as a family....I live for the moment that Sean's car pulls up to the house or when we all wake up on Saturday with two whole days together....and partly because I know he leaves on the 20th to head up to Maine for the Folk Festival and is not back till the 28th...
So I was a jerk - sorry Sean. I love you, I'm proud of you and the deck looks great and will look even better by the time you are done...could you just hurry up? (kidding!! XXOO)

I need to clean the bathrooms
And vacuum the first floor
I also need to get those towels that are in the basement bagged and over to Goodwill
And I can't even remember the last time I dusted

Lori and I took Lucy and Caitlin to Church Sunday (while Sean and Kevin worked the deck) Though we did not make it through the whole Mass, it was quite comforting just to be there....

We're having a fantastic thunder storm as I write this.
We had one last week as well and at one of the claps of thunder, Lucy turned and looked at me and said
Mama?! What's that?
God is just clapping Lucy
Oh, he happy?
Yes, he's happy.
The thunder continued in quick bursts for a minute or so and Lucy looks at me and says
God really happy Mama!

A bit later, there was a HUGE clap of thunder that frankly, stopped me in my tracks. I was in the kitchen getting dinner and Lucy was sitting at her table at the front windows drawing. She came tearing around the corner
Mama!?!? What that?
God is bowling Lucy! Pretty cool huh?
Lucy looked at me and cocked her head to the side
God knows how to bowl?
Yep! And I'm pretty sure he just got a strike!
With that, another clap of thunder startled us both
I hope he winning Mama!
Me too Lucy, me too

I miss my Mum and Dad
I also miss Annette and Brandon

Sean came up with the best winter project: we're going to take a picture of each and every one of Lucy's stuffed animals and catalogue them in a book for her....Sean will of course do the photos. My contribution will be all the names...and I'm hoping I can remember who everyone is from and when they were received...

Sometimes, when Lucy can't sleep, she'll ask me to tell her a story about Lucy and Puppy Jack. I just make them up; they go on all kinds of adventures together. I think I may start to write them down...one day give them to her illustrated and everything so that she can share Puppy Jack with whatever children come into her life.

My new favorite thing Lucy does: she winks
We'll be eating dinner and I'll look over at her and she'll wink without saying a word
Throws me off every time she does
Its charming, disarming and endearing all at the same time

I'll be 39 tomorrow

I love Lucy and Sean like crazy

Thats all I got for now....at least I don't have enerything all jumbled up inside my head now.....here's to hoping for a clear and concise blog...in the next day or two.....

Maria, the Mum

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Here’s What I Do Have

So last week, I decided I want to be a "professional" blogger....primarily because, as we have discussed, I am far too lazy and commitment phobic to complete a novel and blogging sort of quenches the need/thirst I have for writing.

I've been doing research - translation trolling around reading other blogs out there - and have come to the conclusion there is no way in hell I could ever compete - translate make my life as interesting, witty and funny - with the blogs out there

There are some amazing people out there!
And they are interesting and funny
They have a point of view and they have a voice

I focused mainly on blogs by other Moms because those were the ones I got sucked into the quickest and got the most out of

These women have
  • Multiple children
  • They work full time outside the home or inside the home and they have really cool jobs
  • They home school their children
  • They gave birth in a tub with a midwife or at home with a midwife or in the hospital with a midwife
  • And they had a fantastic labor and though some pushed for hours, it was all done with no drugs
  • They scrapbook, knit, quilt, make homemade cards for all occasions and holidays
  • They garden
  • They travel
  • They eat organic, cook gourmet meals and make mouthwatering desserts
  • They take pictures and post them regularly and with ease
  • They lost all their baby weight and go to the gym/bike/run/do yoga
  • They love Jesus; they make it to Church every week
  • They decorate their homes for every holiday
  • They all seem to be pregnant! (I'm being dramatic, but quite a few of them are preggers)
  • Oh, and they are all in their 20's/early 30's. And if they are over 35, they started having babies at 25
  • They have a circle of family and friends the size of Texas
  • They also seem to have a niche: twins, a child with special needs, adopted children, Southern families, military families, green families
Here's how I stack up:
  • One toddler
  • I work full time outside the home at a job that I can't say I love but don't quite hate, it's a job with a paycheck
  • I can barely balance home and work...I finally folded a basket of laundry that has been sitting at the top of the stairs since Saturday...its Wednesday
  • I hung out in the hospital for 4 days before having my labor induced, my water broken and then my body refused to dilate, contract and go through labor....so I was drugged, strapped to a table and Lucy entered the world in a bright white surgical room
  • She was taken away before I could even kiss her little head....I didn't even get to meet her until the next morning…sometimes I feel robbed on the whole birthing experience…but then again, does it matter? I mean really, I have her….so does it matter how she got here?
  • The only crafts I can do are the prepackaged ones...and only if they're for 5 and under
  • I have a black thumb - one time, I killed a cactus...even fresh flowers wither if they are within 50 feet of me
  • Finding the time and money to travel has been our issue
  • Eat organic?!? Gourmet meals??? A gourmet meal in our house is a hot dog with vegetables
  • And I'm talking frozen veggies, not even the fresh ones
  • All the pictures I take are fuzzy, blurry and usually of the back of Lucy's head...and I can't figure out stupid Aperture enough to post to this blog
  • I lost the baby weight, then went back to work and gained it again
  • I would love to get back to regular exercise routine but as I said, have not quite figured out the whole balancing thing yet...and one time I tried yoga and got tangled up in myself
  • Another time, I bought one of those big blue balancing balls...kept falling off it
  • I love God and Jesus but have not made it to Church in a long time….and I miss it
  • And my love for God is in the Catholic way, not the Christian way....you'd think there is no difference (because there really is not) but when you identify yourself as a Catholic living in the Boston area somehow this translates to me supporting all the actions of the Diocese of Boston (I don't think I need to elaborate on this) 
  • So yeah, I'm down with The Big Guy and JC but find it hard to do in the off handed casual way other people are able to...could be my own hang up but really, it's a tough time, still, to be a Catholic in Boston
  • Though I decorate for the holidays, it never quite looks the way it does in my head because I run out of steam and time
  • I'm not pregnant.....but feel like I am surrounded by pregnant women on line and in life. We went to Davis Farmland the other day and I swear, every third woman I saw was in the family way
  • And people keep asking me when I'll have another because "you're not getting any younger"
  • Because, thanks for the reminder, I'm 39 (in a few days) and had my first child at 36
  • I don't have a circle of family and friends the size of Texas…which is sort of my own fault because I've burned some bridges I wish I could rebuild
  • And this might be the deal breaker: I don't have a niche
Here's what I do have:
  • A husband I adore, and who I'm pretty sure adores me even if we sometimes bicker, get annoyed with one another and disagree
  • A daughter who makes me love like I've never loved, laugh, and cry. She amazes me every day with her words, antics and actions…and sometimes she makes me crazy and pushes me to the edge but she is ours – and she's a keeper
  • I have a job that helps to pay our bills, keep a roof over our heads and provides us with medical benefits….even though we live in a state with the highest child care rates, the highest medical insurance rates and astronomical housing costs, we somehow have managed to handle all three
  • Just means we can't travel! But we take some great day trips
  • I have a house we can call our own – so it's a little small, there's no garage and every nook and cranny is filled – it's ours…..Lucy's artwork hangs on the walls, her stuffed animals are in every room and you can't move without tripping over a pile of books….it's ours and its home
  • And our door is always open – come and go as you please. You don't have to take your shoes off and we don't really care of you break something or knock something over…..just so long as you feel at home…and people do
  • I may forget to take pictures but I'm in every moment I have with Sean and Lucy – and when you are in the moment, it does not matter if its blurry, fuzzy, there's too much light or not enough light……it only matters that at that moment, I'm paying attention, tucking it away and calling upon it on a rainy day or in a dark hour
  • I may not have a circle of friends the size of Texas but the friends I do have, no matter how far away, keep me in their thoughts and prayers and are there when I need them the most
  • And my family may be a bit off center and at times dysfunctional, but any one of them would be there when I called….course they may stop for Jujubes on the way but they'd be there
  • And I swear, I'm not as self indulgent, bitter, jealous or self centered as this makes me sound
  • Oh and I make really good cookies
Now if I could only find my niche……(this is the part when I say I'm open for suggestions but I like to try to be coy about certain things…like asking for input or advice…..reading between the lines? Anyone?)

Maria, the Mum