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Merry Christmas Poop-Poop

Fakesgiving, followed by Thanksgiving, followed by two term papers.  That’s on top of the normal hectic pace of being a mom with three kids, two dogs, one husband, and a great gig with The Mouse.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

In the whirlwind that was the month of November, I decided to pick one of the busiest weekends to order my Christmas cards.  I started, got interrupted, and wandered off.  I came back, started again, and had to go feed someone’s hungry.  I tried again, loaded a few pictures, typed a word, and loaded a dishwasher.

Such is the life of a mom.

After three days with the website up on my computer in various stages of completion, I finally placed my order for my holiday cards.  They turned out so cute, and I was so proud of myself!  I was tickled when I got the email from Walgreens, saying my cards were done!

I opened the box, and just beamed with how cute my girls looked in their pictures.

Then I saw it.  My daughter’s name was misspelled.

Remember the box on the final page of the order that said “Did you preview your card?”  Yeah, I thought I had at some point over the weekend, and I clicked it. But I hadn’t.

Thank goodness it was the kid who’s name is most often misspelled by family and friends, so I doubt anyone would notice if I hadn’t blogged about it.  But yeah, there won’t be a mother of the year trophy on my mantle.  Again.

I’m just worried now that I also didn’t preview the t-shirt I ordered for Pop-pop…..

30 Days of Thanks – Day 21 – Thankful for Quiet Days

There seems to always be a lot of noise in my house.  A dog always has something to bark at, one kid is always yelling at another kid, and Jim is always trying to be heard over the cacophony, and me yelling at all of them to shut the hell up.  It’s a wonder anyone ever gets heard.

But then there are the quiet days.  The kids are at school, the dogs are curled up sleeping, and Jim is on his computer – with his headphones on.  It feels like I have the house to myself – no one to bother me, no on to interrupt my train of thought, and no one demanding something somewhere.

And I hate it.

I wander the house, looking for something to do – even when I have something to do – just to try and attract a crowd.  I start baking or cooking or making lunch, which brings the dogs running.  I open and close the refrigerator door, just to hear it close.  I even tap louder on the keyboard.

I love having all my kids home, even for the lengthy summer vacation.  After so many years of traveling, I love seeing Jim every day.

I am thankful for the quiet days, because they remind me of the great appreciation I have for living in a loud, crazy, kid filled home.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 20 – Thankful for Disney

So, you had to know this was coming.  I wouldn’t be able to get through 30 days without being thankful for the Mouse and all it’s meant to me.

My first real vacation with Jim was to Walt Disney World, and my honeymoon was to Walt Disney World.  That made the earliest happy memories, the foundation of my life with my husband, of Walt Disney World and how much fun we had together.

When we moved to Orlando in 1993, the first thing we did – without jobs to pay for them – was buy annual passes.  We were thousands of miles away from family and friends, and having a fun, familiar place to go while people at home were enjoying turkey dinner on Thanksgiving or celebrating a family birthday we couldn’t be home for took some of the sting of homesickness away.

EPCOT is where Eilis took her first steps unassisted, and it’s where Granuaile had her first popsicle – and Itzakadoozie pop that gave her baby brain freeze.  We’ve got wonderful memories of Brighid dancing in a parade, Eilis hugging Donald Duck, Granuaile window kissing Goofy.

Then, in November of 2008, when I was selected to be on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, I acquired a whole family of amazing people who have become my lifelong friends.  Along with them, I’ve been introduced to others in the Disney community who have taken up residence in my heart, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without them (I’m talking to you, Jackie P  and my bonus children, Amy and Anthony!!).

Today, with all of y’all’s eye rolling and fake gagging when I mention my beloved Walt Disney World, I’m so thankful for Disney.  And I’m so thankful for the people it’s brought to my life, enhancing it in ways I’d never imagined possible.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 19 – Thankful for Potato Salad

I asked my mother one day for her potato salad recipe.  It was the one she used, which was the one my grandmother used, and as far as I know, it could be a recipe that has spanned even more generations in my family.

One of the ingredients used in the recipe, according to my mother, was one capful of white vinegar.  This was for five pounds of potato salad.

Every time I made the salad, following precisely what my mother had told me to do, she would tell me there was something wrong.  I could never figure it out.  I used the same brands of mayonnaise and bacon she did.  I used the potatoes she recommended and sliced my celery so thin, it only had one side.  I sprinkled with celery seed.  What was I missing?

One holiday, my sister Bean was at my house, and yet again, I was giving my mother’s potato salad recipe a go.  I cooked, I peeled, I chopped, I assembled.  Then it was time for the cap of vinegar.  I carefully measured, not one drop more or less than exactly one capful.

Bean looked at me.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m putting the vinegar in the potato salad.”

“That’s not enough.”

“Yes it is.  Mommy said she uses one cap of vinegar.”

“Well, yeah, she uses the cap, but she pours the vinegar into the cap and lets it drizzle over the sides of the cap onto the whole potato salad.  She probably puts a good quarter of a cup in there.”


You can see now why I will never be a good cook.

But aside from my failing to understand that “one cap” meant “one quarter of a cup”, I love the fact that I now know how to make this potato salad.  I hope one day, one of my kids will want to learn how to make it.

Food is one of the ways we stay connected to previous generations.  I consistently put onto my family’s table food that came from my mom, one of my grandmoms, or even an aunt or uncle.  And as I prepare it, I feel the connection.  I watch my hands chop onions for clam sauce, and I can almost see my mom’s hand, when I was a kid, doing it for her sauce.  As I mix my crab cakes, I can remember my Aunt Annie making her’s, and it sends a flood of memories of her over me, wrapping me up like a warm blanket.

Today, I am thankful for potato salad.  And for the women in my life who have shared this connections with me.

My mom, my cousin Dolly, my sister, and my daughters - along with my stepdad


30 Days of Thanks – Day 18 – Bean

When I began my 30 days of thanks, I wanted to think of things a little bit outside the box. I didn’t want to just be thankful for my home, my family, and my friends – I am so grateful for all of those things every day.  But Day 18 – November 18th – is my sister Bean’s birthday.  How could I not be thankful for her?

There were days during her life when I can admit I didn’t always quite appreciate having Bean for a sister.  She was somewhat of a slob.  No, she was an enormous slob.  I was constantly on her about cleaning up her stuff, putting things away, picking up shit she left all over.

When the holidays would come, she would take her disability checks and spend nearly the entire amount on dollar store gifts for my children.  I loved her for wanting the kids to have a huge stack of presents, but wanted to kill her when twenty minutes into Christmas, I was picking up broken dollar store toys all over.

But when her life was over, I had time to how very fortunate we were – in spite of her dollar store spending sprees.  As bad a cook as I am, I knew I could put something on the table that Bean would think deserved to be on the menu at Buckingham Palace.  She never met a person that didn’t like her, and she had friends from all walks of life.  Imagine my surprise when, just after she died, a woman I knew from a Yahoo Group I belonged to for years sent me a note to tell me she had met my sister during a stop at the store where Bean worked MANY years before.  In all the years this woman and I had chatted, she never put two and two together, but when I mentioned Bean’s passing, she remembered her from that casual meeting.  She made an impression and people loved her.

I never had to do anything alone when Bean was alive.  I could drag her to do anything with me, whether it was yet another trip to Walt Disney World, a 30 day trek across country, or to the dentist’s office to hold my hand.  She was always ready and willing to go.

Above everything, I am so thankful that I had her to help me with my youngest two children.  When I moved to Florida, I felt so isolated and alone.  Bean flew down, intending to stay for two weeks, but she always extended her stay for me.  She volunteered at school, she went to all the recitals and feisanna, and she made me a better mom by keeping me from feeling so sad and depressed that I wasn’t able to get up to be a mom.

November 18, 1965.  It is the day my sister was born, and the day I feel like I should have been ensured a partner in crime for life.  There’s so much I’ve gone through that I wish I had been able to have Bean here with me to share, but the sadness I feel at not having her here is quickly replaced by the joy I have in my heart that we had her in our lives at all.

I am forever truly thankful.

For Bean.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 17 – Thankful for Leftovers

You know how you have a party catered, and you have just enough food to make everyone at your party satisfied, but very little left over afterwards to clean up?

Yeah, that never happens when I cook for a party.

I live in constant fear that a small island nation is going to shipwreck on my doorstep, and I will need to feed them in the middle of a party.  If they come any other time, I’ll throw a few cans of soup at them and see if they’re able to open them with those giant machetes they are carrying, but I just know they’re going to arrive during a party, so I make sure there is enough food to feed them.

With Fakesgiving last weekend, I didn’t have to cook a real meal through Tuesday.  We ate leftover turkey and side dishes, and we even had potato pancakes one night when everyone was tired of turkey.

When the turkey was past it’s usable prime, I moved on to using up the ingredients I bought to make other things that had to be chopped due to time constraints at the last minute.  The rest of the week, we enjoyed grape pizza, bacon and swiss dip, and sun dried tomato jelly with goat cheese on crostini.

Yum.  And it’s not even real cooking.

I am so thankful that I suck at properly planning how much food I’ll need to feed a crowd.  We’ve had an awesome week of party leftovers.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 16 – Thankful for Shoes

I am not some crazy shoe lady.  When I heard many years ago that Imelda Marcos had over 3000 pairs of shoes, it’s something I couldn’t fathom.  I need sneakers, flats, a good pair of boots, and a pair of heels that I can wear until the agony in my feet overwhelms good judgement and I take them off to walk barefoot in the dead of winter.  In the snow.  I kid you not.

There is, however, a pair of shoes I covet.  Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.  Well, not really, because I’m not coveting my neighbors’ goods – no one in my neighborhood could afford these shoes.  I suppose I’m coveting a Kardashian’s goods – but I’m pretty sure that’s legal in any religion.  Or at least grounds for an insanity plea.

So  the shoes I love are Christian Louboutin’s Anemone pumps.  I have no where to wear them, and just looking at them causes my feet to swell and scream with pain.  But they make me smile every time I see them.  I just love them.

And at some point, while coveting these shoes (which I can probably find online now for less than $200, since they are several seasons old), I realized how often I look at other people’s shoes.  And they make me happy.  I have a professor who has an impressive collection of shoes, and I even addressed them in a paper I had to write for him.  I don’t know if I got extra points, but it had to be said.  His shoes are super cute.

So today, I’m thankful for shoes.  I love the colors, the collections, and the Christian’s.  They make me smile.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 15 – thankful for Maury Povich

Admit it.  You’ve sat glued to your TV to find out if Maury was going to shout, “You ARE the father”, or if some poor woman would go running off stage when she found out that man #4 was NOT the father to her still un-daddy’d little one.

Watching Maury makes me appreciate the life I have.  I know who fathered all of my children, and I know he’ll always be there to take care of them.  I’ve never had to take a lie detector test – and never felt the need to have my husband, my sister, my parents, my friends, or my children take one.  It means I am surrounded not only by people I trust, but people I know wouldn’t hurt me.

I love tuning in to see these guys who are hitting on women in the green room of the show while waiting to go out on stage – then they turn around and say they’ve never cheated.  It reminds me of how lucky I am to have someone who still, after almost 25 years and xxxx pounds, he still loves me and thinks I’m the most beautiful woman ever.

Today, I’m thankful for Maury Povich.  He reminds me of how good my life is.

30 Days of Thanks – Day 14 – thankful for Scars

I have gone on until you guys are sick of hearing it about how much I love my surgeon, Dr. Nestor Veitia. He is solely responsible for getting me through my non-compliance after some of my own surgeries, and he’s given up way more time in dedication to my recovery than I should have been entitled to.

Today, my mom is undergoing surgery. She’s been through a lot over the past few years, including multiple hospitalizations, serious infections, and, if I’m honest, times when we were told she might not make it at all. But this surgery might give her back more of the independence she lost through the ordeal of the last three years. It might give her the courage to get back out and try more of the things she lost the ability – or the desire – to do as she has battled back to where she is now.

Something that has gotten me through my own surgeries and medical emergencies in the past couple of years is this quote by author Chris Cleave – “A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived.”

In terms of all of the above, the effect was wonderful. The dosage for https://www.therapyheals.ca/xanax-1mg/ my seven-year-old son is 1/8 tablet only before sleep.

Today, I am thankful for my surgeon and the surgeon who is skillfully operating on my mom today. But more than the surgeons, I am thankful for the scars. They mean that I – and my mom – survived.

30 Days of Thanks, Day 13 – Thankful for Ex-boyfriends

So, before I met my husband, Jim, I was engaged twice to two other guys.  As weird as it is to sit here today finding gratitude in ex-boyfriends, every experience I have had has led me to where I am, and I’m just damn happy.

But it’s not just my ex-boyfriends and the things I learned in those failed relationships that I’m grateful for.  I’m grateful for my daughter’s ex-boyfriends.  Some of you know the bullet we dodged with her boyfriend of nearly two years ago, but the point is that she, like every other woman before her, has had to learn what to value in a relationship and how to avoid the ones that aren’t good for you.  I’m glad she is where she is, and I’m glad she didn’t get too hurt in learning the lessons she learned.

We should all be thankful for the exes in our lives.  The rough seas make you appreciate the calm waters.