Thursday, October 27, 2011

22 Things I've Done

Last week, I told you about 22 things I’ve never done as inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt. This week, she’s asking me to share 22 things I have done……

At the age of the 39, I have….

1.       Known bliss and joy…..thank you Lucy Ellen and Sean

2.       Been blessed….thank you Sean, Lucy and God

3.       Seen the Red Sox win the World Series…..twice…..sometimes, I’ll be driving in my car and think Holy Shit! We won the World Series…and I’m referring to 2004 which still hasn’t quite sunk in….2007 hasn’t even hit me yet me yet

4.       Been an extra in a movie…Major League II…it was being filmed at Camden Yards…free hot dogs and beer…..we were in college so anything free appealed to our senses….I’ve also met Tommy Lasorda (bar in St Louis) and Bill Murray (Wrigley Field)…I love baseball

5.       Met Billy Joel’s Band…my brother tried to pick up the totally hot back-up singer but ended up spilling his drink on her…and we had our 15 year old sister in a bar with us

6.       Been to a Versailles…I was also terribly hung over and threw up while there….and not in the bathroom

7.       Been lost and found…seriously…I was like 5 or 6 and my parent took all us kids t o Quincy Market in Boston for lunch and then the plan was we would walk over to the Aquarium…somehow, I got left behind in Quincy Market

8.       Seen the Moors of England….and they are as dark and haunting as one would think

9.       Eaten rabbit….and loved it….as a matter of fact, that rabbit pie may have been the best meal I had while in England…I still think about it…I love food

10.   Celebrated Thanksgiving with the English….twice…..the first time, was a few years ago. There were some folks over from England working in Sean’s office and we had them all around for Thanksgiving dinner…I was the only American.....10 Brits and me....The second time was last year....we were in England for Thanksgiving and my fantastic in-laws (mother, father, sister and brother) all planned a special Thanksgiving dinner for me

11.   Seen the Mona Lisa in person….I did not throw up in the Louvre but Jen and I did get lost

12.   Voted….I vote in pretty much every election; even the local elections. It’s my civic duty, right and privilege…plus, I figure a lot of people made some huge sacrifices just so I could vote….it would be disrespectful to them to not vote…so Rock the Vote People!!!!!!

13.   Protested….technically, it was not a  protest so much as it was a rally… was the semester in college I decided I wanted to be a liberal…not even sure what I was rallying for but I did inhale and felt nothing

14.   Helped my parents celebrate 40 years of marriage… year will be 45

15.   Had a quarter life crises…turning 25 was really hard for me…so for like a year I lived life like a rock star…how I did not end up behind bars or worse is beyond me…but man it was fun!

16.   Lost 70 pounds…ok, so I gained some back but I lost 70lbs

17.   Stood up for my oldest brother and youngest sister in their weddings….and then my brother made me an Aunt 3 times over and I look forward to my youngest sister doing the same thing

18.   Graduated from college…in 4 years, with honors and actually use my degree…to an extent

19.   Known love and loss, triumph and defeat…and they all have made me the person I am today

20.   Connected myself to Kevin Bacon in less than six degrees: Michelle (1), a family friend, married Akiva (2) who was a producer for Mr and Mrs Smith starring Brad Pitt (3) who was in Sleepers with (hello!!) Kevin Bacon

21.   Been a good friend, a shitty friend, a good sister, a shitty sister, a good daughter, a shitty daughter…..huh, I just used shitty 3 times in a sentence, never done that before either

22.   Changed…..I’m 39 and I’ve changed….sometimes for the better, sometimes not so much….and I hope that as I grow older and wiser, I keep changing so I can be  better….not just for you but also for me

Maria the Mum

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Out of the mouth of Lucy

Lucy slang:

Mingo = Flamingo
Raffe = Giraffe
Bikecle = Bicycle
Motorbikecle = Motorcycle
Unibikecle = Unicycle

The other night I was getting Lucy ready for bed and she says to me
Mama, I so proud of you! You a good Mama....I love you so much

Sean went out with a friend Friday night so Lucy and I had a girls' night
We sangs songs, had a picnic dinner, made funny faces.....Lucy declared
We so silly Mama! We funny!

When her Dad walks through the door, finally home from work Lucy declares with triumph and awe in her voice:
It's Super Daddy!!!

I was sitting on the floor next to Lucy's bed reading her stories...Lucy was leaning against my shoulder with her arms wrapped around my arm. She lets out a big sigh and says sleepily
Mama, you the best snuggler....

If Lucy really loves/likes someone, their name is preceded with the title My as in My Mama, My Daddy, My Kristen, My Ali, My Rika, My Jet....

The other night, Lucy was telling me about her day at school when she let out a sigh and frowned....

What's the matter Lucy?
I miss My Rika Mama (Rika is her AWESOME teacher)
Oh, I know you do honey (Rika is on vacation)

At this point, she shook her head dejectedly and dropped her face into her hands....
Oh Mama, when will Rika be back from Target?!?!

Kristen is in Italy and Jet is at the kennel. We've been checking on Kristen's house and watering her plants. Every time we go into the house, Lucy yells for Kristen...then she yells for Jet...and I remind her they are not home
I know Mama....I  just checkin'...maybe they surprise Lucy....?!?!

Sunday, when we checked on the house, Lucy asked me where Jet was
He's on vacation too Lucy
I know Mama! But where? At Noni's? At Aunt Lis's house? Where Jet go?
I was not sure how to explain the kennel to Lucy so I said
Jet went to visit his friends...
Oh Mama.....they play?
Yep, I'm sure they're playing and having lots of fun....
I Jet's friend Mama!
Yes, yes you are Lucy!
I hope his other friends know they 'posedta give him treats....2 treats (as she holds up six fingers)

We were talking about her new favorite movie Babe on the way home from school the other day. Though it is a bit of a dark movie, Lucy adores it and most of the darkness goes right over her head....

Mama! she shouts all excitedly
Yes Lucy
I  love animals...I love Babe, I love cows, I love puppies, I love ALL the animals!
I know you do honey...
Mama! shouted with even more excitement
What Lucy?
When I get big, I gonna have a the Farmer has! (referring to Farmer Hoggett from Babe)
You are?! What will you have on your farm Lucy?

Without taking a breath, Lucy launches into her list ticking each animal off while keeping track on her fingers and bopping her head from side to side......

Ummmm, I have chickens, cows, horses, hippos, lions, pigs, alligator, sheep, armadillo, tigers, puppies, kitties, monkeys, ducks, rhinos, zebras, 'raffes, 'mingos, rabbits, a wolf, kangaroo......

Wow, that sounds like quite a zoo Lucy...all kinds of animals...quite a mix....

Yeah Mama!Yeah Mama....I just love all animals....and I want them ALL (she throws her arms out wide, like in the He's-Got-The-Whole-World-in-His-Arms style) to come live with me on the farm.....ALLL animals come live with Lucy!!!!

She pauses and then adds as an after thought, shaking her little pudgy finger in the air,

But no turkeys Mama!

Maria the Mum

Monday, October 17, 2011

22 Thing's I've never done

As inspired by prompt #1 from Mama Kat

I'm 39 years old and I've never:
  1. Tamed a lion (but once, I did manage to wrestle a 10 lb cat into a took 20 minutes and I got like 5 or 6 flesh wounds)
  2. Been to Hawaii (but I've been there in spirit with the Brady's)
  3. Won the lottery (one time I won a free ticket on a scratch ticket I got as a gift)
  4. Met a President (I did meet the Governor of was a prize for a contest I won..I got to sit at his desk and apparently commented that running a State could not be that hard as his desk was awfully clean....)
  5. Caught a foul ball at and MLB game (though one time, I caught a piece of Manny's bat...more precisely it caught me but whatever)
  6. Been asked for my autograph (unless you count when the trooper asked me for my signature on the ticket he just wrote me...)
  7. Taken a proper IQ test (though I think Mensa would accept based on my wit and charm...and willingness to pay the entrance fee)
  8. Been mistaken for a super model (but when I first moved to Boston, I got mistaken for then sitting Governor Jane Swift)
  9. Leaned to speak a second language fluently (I barely passed Spanish in high school and what was I thinking taking Latin?!)
  10. Been confirmed (amazing for a Catholic I know but as a kid, when I would have been confirmed, we were not going to Church on a regular basis and as an adult, when I came back to the Church, I just never got around to it)
  11. Met a member of the royal family (but I keep trying, I know I'll get to meet the Queen someday...we're friends on FB...and I think she and I could have lots of fun together....)
  12. Water skied (I have a vague memory or trying when I was younger and was at the Clough's camp but I'm pretty sure I never ever actually made it up on the skies) or snow skied for that matter (imagine that, from Maine and never snow skied...oddly, I have no interest)
  13. Read Moby Dick (but I know the first line)
  14. Seen any bill bigger than a $100 dollar bill (and it was not even like it was my bill, I was depositing it for the company)
  15. Flown first class (though I was once bumped to business class)
  16. Been to our nation's capitol (what the hell kind of Patriot am I?!?) or a Joint Session of Congress
  17. Chopped down a cherry tree (but when I was a kid, I helped Dad and Grampy split wood)
  18. Never had anything or anyone named after me (but I have had a bar stool dedicated to me....2 actually.....)
  19. Never saved some one's life (though one time, when I was like 10, maybe 11, my youngest sister who was like 1 or 2 fell into the deep end of the pool and sunk to the bottom. Uncle Ed and I were the only two who saw it happen and I jumped in and pulled her up...but that does not really count because I'm pretty sure she would have surfaced....I'm pretty sure kids float)
  20. Asked for a raise (not to say I haven't gotten a a raise...I just earned it instead of asking for it)
  21. Been bitten by a turkey (but Lucy has)
  22. Roped a calf or ridden a bull (but when I someday win the lottery and buy a ranch, I plan on doing both)
Maria the Mum


    Writing prompt from Mama Kat: Tell about a time you accidentally “replied all” or sent an email to the wrong person by mistake.

    One time, I bought three dozen muffins from the Gingerbread Construction House. If you live here locally, or someplace where you are lucky enough to have the GCH, you know that a. the muffins are AMAZING and b. the muffins are expensive ($25+ a dozen).

    I was doing it as a favor for a sister. She was having a surprise 40th Birthday Party for her fiancĂ©e and his family was coming in from out of town. They were staying the night and she was having them all over for brunch the following day. So as she was telling me about this and I offered to help….she gratefully accepted my offer and asked if I could do muffins or bagels or something (we were also invited to the house).  I said sure, suggested the GCH and she said great, 3 dozen should do it...had I known it was going to be that many, I would have just gone to Dunkin Donuts....but I had already spoken and did not feel I could go back on it...

    We pick up the muffins on the way out of town....when I got in the car, I tossed the muffins in the back seat and we headed north. I looked at my receipt like 30 minutes later (who knows why) and realized the little girl at the register had only charged me for 1 Dozen!!!!

    I called the store, explained to them what happened and ASKED them to charge me for the other 2 as I did not want the girl to get in trouble.

    They said well, we should have charged you anyway and would have once we figured it out… about thanks for being honest and calling

    The kicker: my sister's future-in-laws skipped town, no brunch...but we had $80 worth of fancy muffins

    Then, one time, Sean and I were out with Lucy, 50 minutes from home when we realized we had both forgotten our wallets. We had no identification, no cash, no debit cards........and then I found a $20 bill on the ground.


    Last night, I opened up my email and there was a message in there from someone....but it was not for me......that is s/he accidentally mailed it to be...and funny thing was, it was about me.

    And it was not a nice email about me in that it was not singing my praises or commenting on what a genius I am, how pretty I am, what a great Mum I am or how inspirational my writing was not overtly mean but....but it was a bit cheeky, sort of sneaky and I felt a bit betrayed by it.

    My stomach dropped, my blood ran cold and my face flushed....I could not focus or concentrate and when realized who s/he probably intended to send it to me and my blood ran colder as I thought about the implications and fall out......

    Then, I was angry - like so angry I wanted to hit reply and pop off....but you never go with the rebuttal hatched during the anger should always calm yourself down first.....

    So then I wanted to reply all sweetly and be like "Umm, I think this was for _______. Just wanted to let you know.....would you like me to forward it for you? Oh, by the way, I'm glad you enjoyed my blog enough to share it! Thanks!"

    But I didn't because that would have been like a 10 on the jerk-wad-scale.....

    I showed it to Sean and he said well honey, you blog, you put yourself out there, you had to expect this at some point....and then I realized he's right.

    I choose to post/write about certain things and I have to realize at some point, there is potential fallout. At some point, I will offend or inadvertently hurt someone....I will, at some point say something that will piss someone off...I probably already have.

    The other day, I sent my post to Sean before I made it public to make sure he was okay with it; I did not want to post it if he felt like I was crossing a line...with him.

    Had he said you know what Maria, you’re sharing a little too much about us, about me, I would have not posted it - but he has never edited  or censored me.....because this is me, this is who and what I am (reason number 22 I love/appreciate/respect him so much).

    Having said that, if I write something I would not tell someone about (a sister, a friend, a stranger in line at the grocery store, a co-worker), I would not post it....which is why I never post intimate details about my relationship with my husband (ewww). I would never post anything someone has told me in confidence. I would never post something I think could hurt Sean. I would not post something I could not defend or justify - which is why sometimes I have to remind myself and people reading this what I'm posting are my thoughts and feelings.....MINE. They belong to me, I can have them if I want to, and you don’t have to agree with them...and I don't have to agree with your reaction to them.....

    We went to bed and I stayed awake another 45 minutes stewing about this email.....I have no idea why I was so bothered by hurt by it.....but because of who I am, my genetic make-up if you will,  I could not just let it go....first I have to process it then I can let it go....

    But I was struggling with how to process it as I sort of brought this on myself...I'm the one who makes my blog public. I'm the one who invites people to follow the blog or get an email when I post...(side note: if you do opt to get an email when I post, and you want to comment on the post, don't hit reply to the email, I do not get just gets sent to cyberspace and never read…….you have to email me directly at

    So how to process this.....not worth confronting the person because really, it was quite a benign action......s/he was simply notifying someone else of something that if the other person really wanted to read, s/he could have found on her/his really, I don't have that much of a right to be pissed off.....

    Then, this morning, I got my weekly email from Mama Kat....more writing prompts for when I get the block. And would you believe prompt #2 read: Tell about a time you accidentally “replied all” or sent an email to the wrong person by mistake.

    Believe it or not, I have never done time I hit forward and instead of typing in Sean's address, I typed in the address of the person who sent it to me but it was just an email confirming the time for a meeting when we were looking for a new day care (I think I wrote to Sean Can you do 9am with Karen?)

    But, it gave me the platform I needed to process the email I accidentally received last night......


    Maria the Mum

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Raw Emotion

    Just so you know, I dropped a couple F bombs in this post…ok, a few…ok, there are more swear words in this post than I’ve ever put in a post… I’m just warning you….feel free to skip this one...I needed some therapy today and retail therapy is not currently an option

    I'm borderline cranky today - which makes me mad...

    Yeah yeah yeah, I know, people don’t get mad, dogs get mad people get angry but I'm mad....I'm mad as hell just because

    I’m mad…

    I’m just mad… you ever just get mad and have to just…rant, rave and get it all out?

    So I'm going to cleanse, purge, put it all out need to try to cheer me up or give me advice, I just need to complain for a spell.....that's what purging is all about right…..

    I'm mad at Tina Fey for having a second baby - she was my secret soul mate. I love her wit and humor, hate her politics but love her writing. And I love that she is my age, had only one child and was cool with it....then she went and got pregnant and had a second kid because, as she said, her daughter was the only one at school without a sibling and who would her daughter have after she and her husband were gone? Sell out!

    I'm mad because I had an argument with my mother yesterday - senseless but not without merit

    I'm mad because I feel rushed all the time...rush to get to work, rush to finish my work...rush out the door to pick up Lucy...rush dinner....rush rush rush.....

    I’m mad because I want to change my hours but don’t dare to ask because I don’t want to stress my boss out because he’s already got enough stress on him which is stressing me out more….

    I’m mad because people don’t have boundaries anymore….and I do…but somehow, they think it’s ok to cross them…and then get pissed off at me for telling them to back off?!?

    I’m mad because people have forgotten what/where their place is….and when I try to remind them because that’s what I’m supposed to do because that’s what I’m told to do, I have to deal with their bullshit and attitude?!?!? How about you deal with my bullshit for awhile and see how you like it?!?! You think you have attitude…fuck, I have more attitude than Texas…and the potty mouth and temper to prove it…………..

    I'm mad because we were late this morning and I felt myself losing patience with I rushed her....she could have cared less, she just giggled her way up the stairs to get dressed but I still feel guilty

    I'm mad because I think that though Unions may have, at one time, fulfilled a purpose, now they are just a pain in my ass and not as beneficial as one might think

    I'm mad because I'm so out of touch....Herman Cain was not even on my radar until a week or so ago

    I'm mad at the Red Sox

    I'm mad because people have no manners anymore

    I'm mad because I had to cancel my vacation last week

    I'm mad because people are you really have to take 20 minutes to prep your lunch and then stand there and eat part of it while waiting for the rest of it to come out of the microwave? YOU ARE TAKING UP ALL THE SPACE IN THE KITCHEN!!!! And no one cares what you are having! I do not need a running commentary on your fucking lunch! Do you really have to bring such a big friggin lunch?!?!? And while we're at it, quit pilfering through people's lunches for fuck's sake!

    I'm mad because a sister was in town and never even called....and this is not the first time this has happened

    I'm mad because I realized that I've done the same thing when I’ve gone to Maine...well, that is not entirely true...I'll call but when they don’t call me back, I don’t call again...and I'm mad because then I make little or no effort to see them because I feel like it's just not worth it anymore….I even feel like this about a couple friends…..

    I'm mad that we can't just all get along - that we can't respect one another enough to just quit bickering, stop judging and comparing and stop competing....and I include myself in this.....I'm just as guilty...and that makes me time I said to a sister that we sisters couldn't get along because we’re all too busy getting our noses bent out of joint....she agreed but has yet to back me up on it...

    I'm mad because try as I might, I will never understand family dynamics - immediate, extended, whatever...mine, yours, those of a total dynamics allude and scare me

    I'm mad because if you have an issue with a third party, why are you dragging me in? Have your issue with that person - who gives a shit what I think or how I feel. Have your issue, just leave me out of it...and when you do drag me in, don’t be pissed off at the "side" I take or my position. Oh wait, here's an idea: Leave me out if it!

    I'm mad because someone will read this and make it personal and be mad at me....they'll call me and say if you have a problem with me, you should have just called me....really Maria? You wrote a blog, real mature Maria....well, knock yourself out...but just so you know, this is for me, not for you....this is not about you - it's about me and what I'm thinking and feeling....piss off and don't call me, it'll just make me mad. Instead, just for a second, try to imagine where I'm coming from and why......

    I'm mad because I am still seeking approval from people...approval I'll never get and probably don't even really need....

    I'm mad because I have no followers

    I'm mad because I'm mad because I have a job.....because it's a job, not a career, not a passion....and I should not be mad, look at the unemployment rate....look at how people are struggling...I'm just mad I did not do what I wanted to do because....well because I was discouraged and I did not stand up to those people

    I’m mad because people can’t set aside emotions long enough to have a rational conversation

    I'm mad because this whole "Occupy" movement is wasted energy - wasted because once these knuckleheads start making money, they’ll then bitch about having to pay the taxes I'm currently paying. You're pissed off about your student loans? Should have thought about that when you majored in English Lit with a concentration in Art as depicted in 18th Century Fiction and a minor in Greek Mythology! Next time, just read about that stuff for fun and get a useful damn degree.....and this is from someone who is still pissed off about the four years I wasted...but I take responsibility for it and I got a job, paid my loans, paid my debt .....

    I’m mad because Pete Rose and Joe Jackson belong in the Hall of Fame and a remake of Footloose never should have been allowed……and really? Dirty Dancing II, Havana Nights?!?!

    I’m mad because people don’t take all....about anything......not even something as simple as emptying the trash can because the containers you just threw in there are teetering on the top ready to fall out at any moment.....and you just turn and look at me and say trash needs to be emptied......and walk away?!?! Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?! This was the same person who informed me a few days ago that certain tasks were beneath him/her and I should look into doing them myself because s/he had more important things to do.....I said no problem....s/he said well, if it's no problem, why did you not just do it in the first place? How about because it's not MY job jackass, it was your job?!?! Your responsibility!!!!! How 'bout them apples.....??? But I said nothing, I just did it as it needed to get done, but I'm sure s/he'll get, and take, the credit for it…which makes me mad!!!!!

    I'm mad because I am so damn tired of having to be the one who changes - how about you dig deep and try changing your bad ass ways? Why do I have to change? Why is the assumption that my attitude, my beliefs, my politics are wrong? Maybe it's yours....maybe, you’re the one with the closed mind.....I’m closed minded because I believe in God? In Church? In prayer? So what if it’s not the same God, Church or prayer as yours…it’s for ME not you! And I’m not judging yours…or your lack thereof so how about you back off my God, my Church and my prayer?!? What the hell did they ever do to you?!?
    Am I closed minded Because I believe that a crime committed against me is just as much of a crime as the one committed against a gay person.......or a person of color? I'm closed minded because I don’t think resources should be spent on printing bi-lingual ballots or on making concession for children who are put into our school systems with no working knowledge of the English language.....but instead should be spent on the children who are already there and struggling? I'm closed minded because I think immigration reform is needed...because I think if you’re here illegally, you should be asked to leave.....? I'm closed minded because I won’t donate money to save some damn forest or a village in some country I've never heard of but instead opt to donate money to a local charity here in my own own does that make me closed minded? I think you’re the closed minded’re closed minded because you don't think someone can have an opinion that is not like yours..............and that makes me mad.....

    And why do I have to be the one who always calls? When was the last time you called me just to say hey, how are you?

    I'm mad because I remember your birthday, your anniversary...when was the last time you called to say Happy Anniversary to us? Do you know when my birthday is?!?!?

    I’m mad because I am not okay with Lucy being an only child but I can’t come to terms with it

    I’m mad because my husband, who is more sensitive, caring and genuine than people realize (yeah, so he’s a bit of a smother bug, a hover bug and slightly territorial when it comes to me and Lucy….which is one of the reasons I love him) takes shit at work, takes shit from his friends (who blew off our Wedding), takes shit from my family, and probably some from his own,  would still do anything for anyone, no questions asked….and he does not get the credit he deserves. Before Sean and I got married, there was some…tension…between family members….something was said that though I’ve forgiven, I will never forget…it was that hurtful….and I’m still mad about it – and I’m mad that instead of realizing my husband loves me unconditionally, tolerates me and takes care of me, people are quicker to judge and be critical of him – fuck off. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me – so what if he’s a sci-fi dork, can recite Star Wars beginning to end, reads really bad books, dorks out about Apple products and likes Star Trek a bit too much for my liking…he is, without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me….for him, I am grateful and blessed…..but I’m still mad at his friends for blowing off our Wedding….you guys hurt his feelings…piss off….

    I’m mad because Sean and I do everything we’re supposed to do....we go to work every day, we pay our bills on time, I vote, he has a valid (and expensive) green card, we give our daughter the care she needs, we don’t ask for a handout or look for an easy way out, I recycle and use reusable shopping bags........but we're always the ones who fall in a rose bush and land in the pile of shit buried in the bottom of it....whereas there are so many around us that fall in a pile of dog shit yet somehow, come out smelling like roses.......

    I'm mad because I know the grass is not always greener but sometimes, I can’t help but stand at the fence and just look.......

    I’m just mad…….

    Actually, I feel better now 

    Thanks….sorry about this…but now and then, one just has to purge

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    A turkey bit Lucy

    As parents, there comes a time in the delicate life of your charge when you are faced with something you know you should not laugh at but can’t help yourself:

    ·       the first time they drop the F bomb
    ·       when they realize what a “fart” is and that it actually makes people laugh
    ·       when they use any swear word in mixed company
    ·       when they throw food at you while you are trying to get them to eat said food (only cute if they are under 3)
    ·       and when they get bitten by a turkey… nipped really as turkeys don’t actually bite…but they nip and can draw blood

    Saturday, we found ourselves, yet again, at the Southwick Zoo in Mendon. If you do live here in the area, I strongly recommend a trip there….it’s about an hour from our house and though some may say a bit pricey ($19.50 each for Sean and I to get in, Lucy is free right now as she is under 3 but kids are $13.50…flash your AAA card and get $2 off each ticket), it is totally worth the price of admission. The smiles and giggles from Lucy is enough of a reward for us….that and the fact she takes a kick ass nap on the way home and then still goes to bed early that night! So please, go to the zoo – and as a side note, this zoo receives no federal funding; admission goes to the upkeep of the zoo….
    Upon our arrival, and Lucy’s request, we headed straight for the lions and tigers…Lucy and the orange Bengal squared off and paced back and forth together for about 10 minutes. The male lion was yowling something fierce and every few seconds, Lucy would look at us and declare:

    He talkin’ to me Mama! The lion talkin’ to me!
    And she’d stand at attention and listen to what the lion had to say.

    We went and visited the leopard….and could still hear the lion because according to Lucy
    He lookin’ for me Mama!

    We visited the monkeys, the chimps, the flamingos (the ‘mingos are stinky Mama!) the kangaroos who were jumping like Roo (but not like Tigger Daddy! Tigger bounces on his tail!) and the tortoises.
    We checked on the porcupines and the emus and made our way over to the giraffes and the zebras. We walked through the deer forest where Lucy fed Bambi….

    Lots of Bambis Mama! Bambi everywhere! Oh my word! she gasped
    One Bambi followed Lucy down the path….she had no food bur he stayed righht by her side. He would not let anyone else near him but the two of them strolled down the path together with Lucy's hand on his rump or his side content as could be. If Sean or I tried to pet him, he sort of flitted off….but always made his way back to Lucy.

    Finally, we made it to the little petting area – it’s full of goats and Lucy loves goats almost as much as she loves…well, every other animal in the zoo and on the farm. But the goats are extra cool because they chase you, they let you chase them, they’ll eat out of your hand and let you snuggle them.

    She and Daddy made a beeline for the food dispenser as Lucy loves nothing more than to feed the animals. There was one big old goat who was a bit pushy but Sean fended him off so Lucy could concentrate on the little baby goats.
    Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a couple turkeys….I didn’t remember there being turkeys last time but really did not think anything of it…..until I heard Lucy let out a yelp and then explode into a full blown cry. I saw Sean scoop her up and heard her calling for me

    I of course launch into Mama Bear mode. I was not even sure what had happened; all I knew was I needed to get to my baby. So I hip checked some guy who was standing next to me keeping my eyes on Sean and Lucy watching for signs of blood, scanning the crowd for a guilty looking kid who may have hurt my daughter and rushed over to the fence where Sean could hand Lucy over to me…..
    Poor Lucy was blubbering and Sean was trying to calm her down while she just wailed

    Mama! Mama!
    What happened baby? I asked running my hands over her head looking for blood searching her face and eyes for some hint of what trauma had befallen my little imp

    I think a turkey got her said Sean

    The turkey, I think he nipped her…
    Mama! The turkey bite me…..the turkey bite me….she wailed louder and buried her face into my neck

    I looked at Sean and saw a bit of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth….
    A turkey bit her? Are you sure?

    Lucy cried harder as Sean and I staved off the giggles, showed Lucy the proper empathy, and within minutes, we had Lucy’s hand cleaned off, tears dried and she was ready to go back into the pen armed with the command

    She spent the weekend nursing her wound…and telling anyone and everyone a turkey bit her….then she’d hold up her little finger for inspection as the person would look to Sean and I in disbelief with the same smile tugging at the corners of their mouth. We’d dutifully back up Lucy’s story and almost everyone would repeat, when we finished the story, A turkey bit her?!?!
    We even had to call Noni and Auntie Lis to tell them the turkey bit Lucy…she wanted to call Papa but he’s away at a Folk Festival and Auntie Cheetie did not answer her phone but I’m sure Lucy will catch them up on the drama.

    Monday evening, Lucy informed me that she was still mad at the turkey
    Mama! He never even said sorry!

    Well, what should we do Lucy?
    Eat ‘em for T’anksgiving…

    I don’t even know how she knows we have turkey for Thanksgiving….but apparently she knows
    Maria the Mum

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Be careful

    We see Kristen almost every day. She and I usually walk together in the morning and almost every night, Lucy wanders over to visit with her. She loves Kristen and Jet more than her acorns and her rocks (she told me so)

    If we go too many days without seeing Kristen (read one day), Lucy has a tendency to get a bit worked up…..when Kristen was on vacation in July, it was a long week and by Wednesday, Lucy was beside herself…we’d pull up to our house and she’s look over to Kristen’s and moan
    Kristen no home Mama…I miss my buddy Kristen…..*sigh*

    Kristen is going on vacation soon – she’s headed to Italy and will be gone for a week. A couple times, I’ve tried to prepare Lucy for it by talking about not seeing Kristen for a few days but it sort of goes over her head
    Sunday evening, we went over to Kristen’s to tell her about our trip to the zoo on Saturday and the aquarium on Sunday.

    As we were getting ready to leave, I was holding Lucy in my arms when Kristen started to tell Lucy that she was getting ready to go on vacation
    She explained to Lucy she was going to pack her bags, go to the airport, get on a plane and fly for a long time to go visit her nephew who was far far away in Italy….

    Lucy listened intently and with rapt attention as Kristen told her about the trip she was about to embark on ….when Kristen finished her narrative, she said
    What do you think of that Lucy?

    Lucy looked at her very seriously and in her most sincere and sweetest voice chirped two simple words without missing a beat:
    Be careful!

    I wish I could capture the moment better than I am but let me say this; for a split second, none of us reacted…until we realized what she had said and what her intent was behind it.
    Kristen, who is so animated and has an endearing smile and an infectious laugh just froze….her smile did not waiver or break but tears sprang to her eyes and she placed her face in her hands. I felt my own cheeks flush as my eyes watered and when I looked over at Sean, he was ducking away so we could not see the tears that were forming in his eyes.

    Bless Lucy’s little heart…with two words, she brought three adults to a standstill – and all we could do was tell her how much we loved her…...just as she had told Kristen how much she loved her with her simple statement of
    Be Careful!

    Kristen recovered and thanked Lucy for her wishes….and then said

    You know what Lucy!? How would you like it if I got you a little present while I’m in Italy? How would that be? How would you like me to bring you back something from Italy?
    Lucy, true to form, blurts out with great enthusiasm:

    How about a puppy!!!!???

    Maria the Mum

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    What's in your wallet?

    This post made me laugh aloud....actually, quite a few of her posts make me laugh out loud...some make me cringe but that's the beauty of her writing

    Anyway, she listed the contents of her bag (in case you did not click on that link) and challenged her readers to do the same....I'm sitting at my desk eating lunch and thought sure, why not...

    I actually carry two bags, a tote bag and a purse...but my purse is in my tote bag...yeah, I carry both...don't ask....
    But let's start with my purse:
    a little black notebook that contains lists of things I'm supposed to do, ideas for stories/blog, list of books I want to read, movies I want to see, and pictures of Sean and Lucy
    a Tide to Go Pen
    a hairbrush...with a rouge fruit snack clinging to one of the bristles
    the company bank cards and 8 deposit slips
    in a little bag in my purse I found:
    2 tubes of chapstick (Blistex Deep Renewal and Aquafina lip balm)
    a tube of lip gloss that was purchased for my sister's wedding last summer and last used at my sister's wedding last summer
    a stack of receipts from Kohl's, AC Moore, Market Basket, Target
    12 credit cards (3 of which are expired, 3 to replace the expired, one for a store that does not exist anymore, one for the gas station, JJill when I was thinner and shopped there but I can’t bear to cancel as I might someday be thinner and able to shop there again, one that is not even a credit card but that card that tells you what to leave for a tip...where did I get that? Oh, and here's my AAA card I've been looking for...but it’s expired.....and the 12th card is the new AAA card)
    5 gift cards which may or may not have any money on them
    two membership cards (the Aquarium and BJs)
    10 "frequent" shopper cards including Build-a-Bear, the Lego Store and the Hallmark Store
    a picture of Cooper when he was about a year old wallet......

    Tote Bag:
    a bag of Fruit Loops
    tuition bill for Day Care
    coupon for $1 Skinny Cow candy (free samples at the Gym the other night)
    Lucy's Lifetime Health and Vaccination Record booklet (she got her flu shot last week)
    a photocopy of said booklet.....I was maybe supposed to drop that off at Day Care....
    2 sheets of Cars stickers
    1/2 eaten package of Scooby Doo fruit snacks - think I can throw this out, there appears to be some lint or something in there
    an unopened package of Cars fruit snacks
    my camera
    4 pens
    a stack of bills that need to be paid
    Walgreens photo envelope...just flipped through said photos...I printed a bunch a few weeks ago for all the aunts, uncles, and grandparents...sent them off and this stack is from her birthday, the 4th of July, general summer cuteness.....she really is a cute kid.....we have no idea where she came from......but she's a keeper....despite her 40 minute tantrum this morning for no reason that resulted in no one eating breakfast, her sulking all the way to school and then her not wanting her Dad to go and leave her there..........
    a book of stamps
    ewww, what the hell is that?!? Some sort of food morsel...gross
    Sponge Bob sticker
    receipt from Lucy's Doctor's appointment
    bag of goldfish crackers...make that stale goldfish crackers....
    bottle of acetaminophen
    pair of Lucy's socks (clean)
    a burp cloth (her nose has been running all week)
    $8 coupon for Hallmark store - awesome
    stack of cards (thank you cards, generic birthday cards, thinking of you cards)
    20% off coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond
    and at the very bottom of the bag, a sheet of animal stickers, an orange crayon, a black sharpie and a nail file

    Hmmmph…..where's my wallet......?

    Maria the Mum

    Puff, What I see, 1st Grade

    I started reading Shannon's blog and she led me here which is great because of late, Lucy has not done or said anything funny and if she has, I forgot to write about it. It's been a tiring week and I'm suffering from a lack of inspiration - or it could be that my bio-rhythms are down....maybe the change of the seasons is getting to me.
    Whatever the case may be, I needed some prompting and found it (here).....

    What magical creature would you love to meet?
    When I was a kid, we used to go to this little pizza place in South Brewer on Saturday night. I don’t remember if the pizza was any good....I don’t even remember the name of the place. What I do remember is there was this guy that used to sit on a stool playing a guitar singing folk music – and when we were there, he ALWAYS sang Puff the Magic Dragon for us. We’d sit on the floor in front of the “stage” swaying to the music and I’m sure at some point, singing along.

    I had no idea what autumn mist was or where Honah Lee was but, I knew I wanted to travel in a boat with Puff sitting upon his gigantic tail. I wanted noble kings and princes to bow whenever we came....and I wanted pirates to be scared of us. But unlike Jackie, I would always bring Puff strings, sealing wax and whatever fancy stuff he wanted. I would never grow up, I would never leave Puff! I did not want him to be sad, to hang his head in sorrow and I certainly did not want his scales to fall off!
    I vowed I would forever skip along the cherry lane with Puff, that we would play hide and seek until we were both so tired of hiding and seeking that we’d just lay down under the willow tree and rest. Maybe we’d nap or maybe we’d look for monkeys and turtles and dinosaurs on the clouds…and when we were rested, we’d chase our shadows or climb into our boat and venture over to visit Where the Wild Things Are.

    I never got to meet Puff when I was a kid. I waited and waited for him to come and get me. When we went to the beach, I looked for him. I remember going down to the pond one time and was convinced I saw Puff way out in the middle…but I think it was actually an old tire with a bag of trash perched in the middle of it
    Someday, I hope I get to meet Puff….and I hope Lucy gets to go with me….

    What is the first thing you see when you walk in your house?
    I love our house. I went through a phase where I hated our house, but truly, I love our house.
    I love it because its small enough we can have it cleaned, top to bottom, bathrooms included, in just over an hour.

    I love our house because even though its three floors (basement, first floor, second floor), no one is ever more than a shout out away

    I love our house because it’s cozy and inviting – because when you walk in you don’t have to take your shoes off but you’ll want to so you can curl up on the couch, pull a blanket over you, have a cup of tea and stay for as long as you want.

    I love our house because no matter what room you’re in, there’s a pile of books if you’re looking for something to read or a basket of magazines if you feel like mindless jibber jabber.

    I love our house because it has pictures of family, friends and Lucy spread about so you never feel like you’re alone.

    I love our house because Lucy’s artwork hangs on every wall as proudly as a Picasso or a Degas.

    I love our house because when I walk in, the first thing I see is not just Lucy’s rendition of a Jackson Pollock but love, hope, family and faith.
    I see what I have worked so hard for and what I have to look forward to.
    I see my life just as it should be…a little messy but full of all kinds of good stuff that makes me smile, laugh, love and cry all at the same time

    If you could return to any grade in school, which one would you want to do again?
    High school (9th-12th grade) should never ever be repeated. I was old enough to be jaded but not old enough to talk back. I was old enough to know better but not old enough to tell someone else they should know better. High School is like purgatory….

    Jr High (6th-8th grades) is just hell. You’re in the throes of puberty, trying to figure out “pop culture,“ trying to determine what is cool and what is not cool and why the kids at the corner table won’t let you sit with them but will talk to you when no one else is around – which makes no sense because these are the same kids that a year or two ago were sleeping over at your house and hanging out with you on the weekends.

    4th and 5th grade, a precursor to Jr High. It’s when the cools kids started to become the cool kids, the band kids became the band kids, the teachers’ pets emerged and bullying started….but school was still fun, you could still play at recess and be a kid….sort of…..

    Kindergarten.....everything was an arts and craft project and no one cared if you cried because you missed your Mum a little bit because chances are they missed their Mum too.

    Its 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade I remember most fondly. I think because those are the three years in which I learned to read and learned to love reading. I was old enough to read to myself and understand what I was reading….and I could read to my little sisters.

    It’s when I learned about math speed tests, spelling bees and the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s when I learned there were 49 other states, 7 continents and 4 oceans. It’s when I learned why the 4th of July is the 4th of July, who the Pilgrims were and that Maine had 16 counties.

    Recess was a blast – and everybody played together. No one cared what kind of clothes you were wearing, who your Mum and Dad were or what you looked like….and if you could not jump rope or did not know how to play marbles, someone would help you, would teach you, would be your friend no matter what….

    It’s when there were doors opening, minds were expanding but innocence was not totally lost and childhood still mattered

    And I had great teachers – Mrs Hooper was my first grade teacher and of the three, she was my favorite but the other two get high rankings because they introduced me to so many wonderful books.

    If I could go back to any grade, well, you could drop me in 1st grade and I’d be the happiest…but I’ll take 2nd or 3rd if that room is too full.

    Maria the Mum

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    It's a seashell!

    Lucy is sick

    She awoke yesterday morning (at 2:30am) barking like a little seal and snot running out of her nose.
    So we laid low yesterday; cancelled plans, stayed home, colored, read books, did puzzles, watched a movie......and, pooped on the potty......!!!!

    Sean had just bathed Lucy who was standing in front of the window naked (watching me walk around the circle) when Sean heard her grunt and asked her if she had to poop

    Yeah Daddy
    How about on the potty? he suggested

    So Lucy perched herself on the potty, peed AND pooped then ran to the window and screamed down to me

    I peed on the potty!
    And I pooped!!!

    I of course went dashing into the house and the three of us celebrated in the bathroom as Lucy, quite studiously, stood over her potty examining the contents.

    She looked at us ever so proudly and declared

    I pooped! In the potty!
    She glanced back at the poop in the potty again....
    And it looks like a seashell!

    And then she unceremoniously walked away leaving her Dad and me squinting at the poop in the potty looking for the seashell...

    Maria the Mum