Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A picture's worth 1,000 words (here's 4,000 for ya)

The story is in the pictures. I'm not sure whether I gave birth to a future Broadway star, Oscar award winner or perhaps a gypsy?? (hence all the bracelets). One thing is for sure, this kid is a character. Ballerina costume and flag - that's how she came out of her room for our 4th of July cookout. I called for her, "Maddy, Nana and Papa are here!" "Awww, I love those guys," she says and then she appears - all done up. Her pose with all the barrettes in her hair - that's how she wanted to go to her Dr.'s appointment this morning. And when reasoning didn't work, or compromising (2 barrettes Maddy???), I had to remove the barrettes myself; needless to say it was 8:30 in the morning and I was already in a full sweat. One doctor appointment and two dentist appointments later, my husband calls to see if I am enjoying my "vacation."

Of course I am....but don't tell him that! ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Good thing I haven't saved a single PENNY for college...

Now that school is almost out - I wanted to make all of my loyal blog readers a handy-dandy summer study guide - just to keep your skills sharp. Lucky for me, my darling second grader brought home a bunch of work today. Included in her overflowing backpack was a big poster with a newspaper-like title: "Abraham Lincoln Times" where she wrote all about Lincoln. Here's what is says:

The writing prompts she was given are in bold, her responses are in italics and my snide remarks (are in parentheses.)

Character Matters...Abraham was a person who loved everyone who had any color skin and if a black colored person died he would care. (as opposed to the rest of us)

Jobs held: a post office

Where this person lived and worked: A post office (obviously a very short commute to work)

Fun Facts: Abraham is now dead. (Wow! That's a FUN FACT if I ever did hear one!!!!)

Other Fun Facts: Abraham is 202 years old. He was born in 1809. (A little contradictory to her other fun fact, but hey...still fun nonetheless.)

Major Accomplishments... Abraham liked when people were nice to each other. (I think that's all he really accomplished right? That explains why he's on the penny. I guess being President of the Unites States, abolishing slavery, and issuing the emancipation proclamation didn't really measure-up on her list of "major accomplishements" huh!?!?)

And last but not least, her stunning potrait of Lincon. I see Ivy League in her future. ;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

I was in the kitchen getting dinner prepared when I heard, "MOOOOOMMMM, I have a surprise for you!" She comes around the corner and says, "Guess what's in my belly?" (see photo).

I reply, "I don't know Maddy, what is it?" "I'm having a baby in my belly!!!!" she replies gleefully.

Now I'm no ob/gyn but I came to 2 conclusions pretty quickly. First this baby was breech and two - I don't think we're going to make it to the hospital in time, as this baby was already making an entrance into the world. Luckily Maddy then told me that she all ready for the baby's arrival. She had diapers, a cribby, wagons, binkies, toys. I quickly grabbed the video to get this moment on film. Funny how CUTE it is now and how NOT SO CUTE it will be at 16. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Joke's on me...

All the "funny" stories I tell about my children and family....God finally punished me. Joke's on me this time. Here goes...

So I have accounts on all the new "discount" coupon sites....groupon.com, livingsocial.com, restaurant.com, buywithme.com and I was on a good roll. $10 for a $25 gift certificate to my favorite restaurant. $17 for a mani/pedi at a spa near-by, etc. And then came the mother load, the offer of all offers, the offer I had to tell the world about - 50% off of chicken pot pies!!! Yes, you read correctly- $15 for a $30 gift certificate to Harrow's - famous for their chicken pot pies. These things are a staple for dinner at this house. And I know my parents like them too, so I excitedly call my mother to tell her about this deal of a century (could my life get ANY more pathetic at this point). So I try explaining to my computer illiterate mother how to log on to buywithme.com and create an account (super easy - just need email and password!) and how to find/purchase the voucher for Harrow's. Then I realize that I can save her all the trouble and just log into my buywithme account and "refer" her - send her the link directly. AND the kicker - if she signs-up and orders a coupon, I get a $10 credit. Awesome. So I type her name in the space and click "refer." A few hours later, I see all of these emails that my "buywithme link" was undeliverable to the following email addresses...blah blah blah. I'm looking at the email addresses saying, "What the $%^#%^???" I didn't send the link to these people!!! I log back into buywithme and go under "refer a friend" again, and there, right before my eyes....my entire AOL email address book with ALL 248 contacts checked off to receive the link which comes in the form of an email from me saying, "KERI thought you would love buywithme" and then goes on to say that I would receive $10 credit if they signed up and bought something. So I scroll through my email address book, which consists of literally everyone I have sent an email to in the past ten years. Some of the people who received this special chicken pot pie deal via email from me last night...
my current boss...
my old boss...
Assistant Superintendent of Schools...
my brother's ex-wife...
the business office director at the college where I am finishing my CAGS...
my current college supervisor...
my college supervisor from my Master's program 7 years ago...
old co-workers from 10+ years ago...
all the mothers from my daughter's dance competition team...
the secretary at my old job, my current job, and my daughter's dance studio...
my daughter's kindergarten teacher from 2 years ago...
the director/owner of the preschool where my little one goes...
the clown from my daughter's 5th birthday party 3 years ago... (do clowns eat chicken pot pie?)
and Many, many, many unknowns....joemocap??? jupers??? who the hell are these people and why and when did I ever email them?

Oh man. What can you do!?!? The good news -- it was not a virus that I sent out. Or a groupon for stripper pole lessons. And I would like to personally thank the ONE person of the 248 people I sent the link to who actually signed-up. But I can't, because I didn't recognize your email address and have no idea who you are. (no joke).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Parenting 101

As someone who travels A LOT, I mean like -- ALL over the town of Danvers -- everywhere I go, people are always asking me, "Keri...how is it that you have managed to raise such sweet, wholesome, well-mannered, well-adjusted children?" So I thought it was time for me to share my parenting secrets.
1. First and foremost, in order to train your children properly you must create the illusion of "THE MAN"....
THE MAN can be used to keep your children walking next to your shopping cart. You simply say, "Stay right here, do you want THE MAN to get you!?!?"It can be used when the child has already strayed away from you: "HEY! You better get back here, THE MAN is coming!!!"It can be used when your child is touching or doing something that they shouldn't be, "THE MAN is watching you, he's going to come over here."Please note, this technique has excellent fast-acting results but the long-term effects (nightmares? therapy?) are still unknown at this point.

2. For children aged 2 and up, who are exercising their independence and want to dress themselves, you must NEVER EVER even lay one finger on a piece of clothing you actually want them to wear. Don't even give any inkling as to which outfit you want them to wear. They could be just about to select something perfect from their drawer, but if they see you eyeballing it first they will NOT wear it, for fear of thinking they actually wore something you wanted them to.

3. For picky eaters, like mine...you must imply that whatever they don't eat will have to be supplied by a shot at the Doctor's office. "If you don't eat your chicken, you're going to have to get the protein poultry shot at the Doctor's office!" For added effect, say this as you pretend to dial the phone to make the appointment - and watch the chicken disappear!

4. Accept ketchup as a vegetable. Every mom secretly does anyway.

5. Never teach your child how to tell time and if some over-achieving ambitious teacher teaches them at school- then whatever you do, do not buy them a watch. I learned this the hard way, just this morning at the mall. Thinking I was buying an educational item that would also keep Ava busy for a few minutes, I bought her a watch at the Gap. HUGE MISTAKE. The rest of my shopping trip went something like this. "Mom, it's 11:37." "Mom, it's 11:40" "Mom, we've been in here for ten minutes." "Mom, 12 minutes have gone by." "Mom, it's almost 12:00" "Mom, it's 12:00" "Mom, it's 12:02" "Mom, it's 12:04" "Mom, we've been in here for 30 minutes." "Mom, it's 12:15" "Mom, it's 12:17".....NO JOKE, every 2 minutes I got an update until I said finally said something super-nurturing like, "AVA!!!! I DON'T CARE WHAT TIME IT IS!!!!!!!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!"

6. For gift giving and receiving occasions, you must practice the appropriate responses with your children. Mine liked to say things like, "Awww, I already have this." Or,"I didn't really want this." Or my personal favorite, "Is that IT??" After opening 237 Christmas presents. So you must role-play this scenario with your children and teach them to just say thank-you even if they don't particularly like it or they already have it. It seems like the perfect plan until they open something at their birthday party, turn to you in front of everyone and say, "I smile and say thank you, even if I don't like it. Right Mommy?" (Ava, age 3)

7. Most importantly, don't feed them much or let them sleep. If you do, they'll grow-up - and who really wants that to happen?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hello? The lights are on, but is anyone home?

This is no joke, this is a serious matter. I am really starting to wonder if my girls experienced some sort of head trauma during their cesarean births. Between the August 18, 2009 blog about Ava and ages (check it out in the archives!) , the February 14th "Bonkers" blog and the Feb 5th "Is today tomorrow?" conversation with Maddy....I have some legitimate concerns. And this latest story definitely confirms my suspicions. We got new phones and answering machine, so I thought to myself, "What's cuter than these two little meatballs leaving the outgoing message!?" So I round-em up, tell them the good news, and they're all excited. Ava's going to say "You have reached the Demers family, please leave a message." And Maddy, ON HER OWN, decides she'll say "Have a nice day!" (OMG, so cute, it's like a Hallmark commercial filming right in my own home). Ok, outgoing message TAKE ONE:
Ava: You have reached the Demers family, please leave a message.
Maddy: (silence)
Stop the recording.....we go over our lines again. We get it all squared away, everyone's ready to go now.
outtgoing message TAKE TWO:
Ava: You have reached the Demers family, please leave a message.
Maddy: (pause) (then a whisper...)you have reached the demers family....
Me: Maddy!!! What are supposed to say????
Maddy: (Sweet happy little voice) HAVE A NICE DAY!!!! :)
Me: That's right!!!! Ok, let's try again, Ava says (blah, blah, blah)...we practice again. Awesome.
I press the record button....outgoing message TAKE THREE
Ava: You have reached the Demers family, please leave a message.
Maddy: (silence).
Me: Maddy!?!??!? Do you not want to do this??? Ava can say the whole thing if you don't want to do it.
She says she doesn't want to do it. So we record Ava doing both parts of the message....outgoing message TAKE FOUR. Got it, mission accomplished. Or, maybe not....
Now Maddy starts crying, "I WAS SUPPOSED TO SAY 'HAVE A NICE DAYYYYYYYYY'!!!!"
Jesus, Mary and Joseph - you have GOT to be kidding me.
Outgoing message TAKE FIVE
Ava: (blah, blah, blah...you know what she says)
Maddy: (meak little crying whiney voice) have. a. nice. day.
Me: MADDDDDDDDDDDDYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!????? Do you want to do this or not!?!?!?
We practice again, she knows I mean business now, I am definitely about to blow a gasket.
TAKE SIX......finally, I get my message. But here's where the worrisome part comes in.
She asks me what this message is for, I try to explain that when someone calls our house they will hear it and leave us a message to call them back. Better yet - I'll show her what I mean. We go in her bedroom and use my cell phone to dial the house phone. Pause....house phone rings. Maddy says: PHONE'S RINGING Mama!
Me: I know Maddy, it's us, we're using Mama's phone to call the house phone.
Outgoing message plays, she smiles. I tell her what to say..."Hi. Call me back." She repeats me.
Daddy (who's playing along) yells from the room with the answering machine, "We have a message!"
Maddy: WE DO!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!??! She comes running.
Hit play....we hear her message "Hi, Call me back" the message says... and she whispers.....
"Who is it??????"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Going Bonkers

It was Sunday night, and I was getting lunches and backpacks ready for Monday morning. In Ava's backpack I find a bag full of tokens...turns out they are from Hampton Beach arcades. So I asked her, "Ava, where did you get these tokens?" She replies nonchalantly, "I made a bet with (friend who shall remain namless) at school and she lost, so she had to give me her tokens." As if that wasn't bad enough (who knew the degenerate gambling gene was heriditary), the conversation that ensued really threw me over the edge:
"You need to give these back to her tomorrow."
"Why? They're not money."
"Right, but they are tokens for Hampton beach, it's like money for the arcades there."
"But they don't work at Bonkers."
"Yeah, I know, they're for Hampton Beach, give them back to her at school tomorrow."
"WHY MOM? -- THEY DON'T WORK AT BONKERS!!!" (now she's giving me an attitude, she's irritated that I'm not getting it -- but really she's the one who doesn't get it.)
"AVA!!!! I'm not talking about Bonkers, I'm talking about HAMMMMMPTOOON BEEEEEACH in NEW HAMPSHIRE," I stretch the words out so it's clear as can be.
"Mom, I'm telling you, they don't work at Bonkers, why do I have to give them back?"
"Ava, first of all you shouldn't be making bets in school, secondly these are tokens, which are good to play games at HAMPTON BEACH WHERE THIS GIRL OBVIOUSLY GOES - THAT'S HOW SHE GOT THEM, SO JUST GIVE THEM BACK TO HER TOMORROW!!!!"
"But Mom, they don't work at Bonkers." (Sweet Mary Mother of Jesus, give me the strength)
This is no exaggeration, I was looking at Rolly for help but he was just shaking his head.
Now I'm a raving lunatic, "AM I SPEAKING ENGLISH???? WHO said anything about Bonkers!?!?? I'm gonna go Bonkers in a minute!!!! I'm talking about HHHHAAAAMMMMMPPPTON BEEEEAAACCCHHHHH tokens, it has nothing to do with Bonkers (now I'm saying it very slow and loud as if she was hard of hearing). Needless to say, she comes home today, the tokens are still in her backpack. At least no one's lunch money is in there.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out....TOMORROW

Conversations with Madelyn could be it's own blog - but it would need a live feed because she's always saying something funny and ten minutes later I can't remember what she said. I tried extra hard to remember this little snippet from 15 minutes in the car yesterday.

From her little seat in the back I hear,

"Hmmmmmmm." (big sigh)...pause..."Daddy is SO handsome." (note to self: have Maddy's vision checked ASAP)

"Mum, when I am big, will I drive?" "Yes," I reply.

"When I'm a mummy, will I know where to go?" "Yes."

Excited, "I WILL!!!!!!!!??????? I will know how to get to Papa's house in Chelsea?"

"Mum, when I get big will I wear a BIG bathing suit-like a mom?" (oh wait, her vision must be fine after all.)

Me, trying to change the subject, "Maddy, Nana is coming to watch you tomorrow!"

"SHE IS!?!?!? Is TODAY tomorrow?"

"No honey, tomorrow, when you wake up."

"OH, tomorrow is today - YAY!!!"

No Maddy, not today, tomorrow. We have to eat dinner, go to bed and sleep and then tomorrow when you wake up Nana will come to watch you."

"TODAY Nana will come???" "No, "Tomorrow." "Is it tomorrow now?"

(this is starting to feel like "Who's on First").....so finally I give it up, "YEAH, YEAH, today is tomorrow, whatever." "YAY!!! Nana's coming!"
UPDATE: Maddy wakes up the next morning and says, "MOM, is today the tomorrow when Nana comes?" She doesn't forget, that's for sure!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If I Only Had a Heart....

I made an amazing and enlightening discovery today...despite her self-indulgent, never satisfied, center of her own universe attitude -- it turns out my 7 year actually does have a HEART. After hearing a story from her friend about a homeless man she had seen, she proceeded to make a bulleted list of things the homeless man needs. I have duplicated her list below exactly as she wrote it...
  • bug spary
  • hat
  • gloves
  • jeans
  • jacket
  • cake/browns/cupcakes
  • house
  • money/bed
  • stuff he likes
  • pillow
  • blacket
  • chothes
  • lights
  • kicten
  • closet
  • pencil/marker/crayon
  • pen/paper
  • shoes
  • movies/TV
  • games/scrabble
  • clock
  • hiking bag
  • pajamas
  • big stick (I had to ask about this one - it's to ward off any animals that come near him)
  • boots
  • snow stuff

At the end it said, "We will do this in spring!" Oh my goodness, such a proud mama moment.

This is coming from a girl who wouldn't share a tic tac with her little sister, just for a little background information.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Betty Freakin Crocker

The turkey roasting went so well that last night I decided, "What better to do on a snow day then bake a cake with the girls." So I told them we'd be baking Daddy's favorite cake -- yellow cake with chocolate frosting. From the other room Daddy mumbles something about his favorite cake being yellow cake with vanilla frosting and mommy should know that after 17 years of dating and ten years of marriage. But whatever, I digress. SO the baking got off to a great start. The kids washed their hands, took turns pouring in the water, oil, eggs. We were sharing and measuring and mixing, it was like Betty Crocker and mother-of-the-year together in one kitchen. Then came the only part I actually had to do without their help. Remove the two round 8 inchers from the oven and transport them to the cooling rack. The first half went smoothly and I had visions of my cake looking just like that picture on the cover of the Betty Crocker box. The second half, on the other hand, stuck in the pan (YES MOM, I greased it first). I had to shake rattle and pound this thing to dislodge it, which of course broke it into quite a few pieces. I still wasn't discouraged. I now had visions of using the frosting to repair the damage and get this thing all stuck back together - good as new. That plan shit the bed when I attempted to frost the top of the bad half, which was all crumbly, and made things worse. Then I broke the good half while transferring it onto the mountain of cake mess I had on the plate. I persevered and STILL thought I could manage to frost this sad excuse for a cake. I can't tell a lie, I thought of blaming it on the children. But truthfully, I think they could have done a better job. (and besides, they both would have ratted me out). They weren't thrilled when they saw the disaster on the counter (see photo) but the best part came when I placed the cake in front of them. Ava got hers first and she wrinkled up her face, which prompted mini-me (Maddy) to say in her sternest voice, "YOU EAT that RIGHT now." When Maddy got her cake she dove right in. (thatta girl!). Would love to write more, but I have to get ready for my job interview at Cake's For Occasions. Once they see this beauty, they are sure to be calling.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Me and Mr. T

Just when I thought the holiday season was officially over, and I had sat my fat ass down at every friend and family member's dinner table from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day....I had the bright idea to host one last Xmas party with some of my family that my Mom usually hosts at her house. This would have been fine if I had also decided to cook sauce and meatballs, or eggplant parm, or chicken ziti and broccoli (basically the three things I know how to make) or even order some food. But instead, I thought cooking a 22lb turkey would be a swell idea. Only problem was that I had never cooked one before.SO I gave myself a little pep talk first, reminding myself what a smart, capable woman I am...reasoning that I had been 8th grade valedictorian (even though there were only 13 graduates in my class), 1990 Teen Miss Chelsea (which I tied with someone and had to share the coveted title), I have a Master's Degree, and that I used to work as a United States Special Agent/Criminal Investigator. Roast a TURKEY? Piece of cake. So I had this bird (let's call him Mr. T) sitting in a shallow roasting pan defrosting in the basement fridge for 5 days. I have to wake up early to get this monster prepared and in the oven by 8 a.m.. The fun started right away when I took Mr. T out of the fridge and underneath the pan was a large gooey pink puddle....which of course dripped all over the fridge and left a trail all the way up the stairs and to the kitchen sink. I plopped Mr. T onto the pan roasting rack which I had in the sink. Now came the part that I dreaded - the real reason why I have never cooked one of these things before. Reaching in to take out the neck and the giblets. (gag). I was totally prepared for this job....I had several plastic bags from the supermarket. One to use as a glove over my hand while I reached in, and the others to triple-bag whatever the %^%$% I was about to remove from Mr. T. So I closed my eyes and went in for the kill. Only problem....I couldn't find anything. It felt pretty icy in there, so I thought maybe this bulging bag of guts was frozen somewhere inside there. I decided to prop Mr. T up and run some cold water right into his nasty neck hole (see photo). At this point, I have no choice but to call and ask my Mom for a turkey tutorial. At first she sounds completely annoyed at my apparent stupidity and inability to locate the guts-- like she may even want a refund for my college education. But by the end she is laughing her azz off and my father is in the background yelling, "I can't believe this, hasn't she ever cooked a turkey before?" My mother assures me that there HAS to be something in there, a neck, a bag with the organs, etc. At this point I knew I needed to get brave, lose the shopping bag mitt and check this mo-fo out once and for all. For this, I needed a flashlight, because I really couldn't see too well in there. (See flashlight in photo). Now, let me assure you, there was all kinds of nasty looking shit in there, but none of it was loose, and nothing was coming out - I was really tugging around in there. Then my mother drops a bomb on me. She tells me to check the other hole. This news leaves me speechless, but all kinds of bad words are circling in my head. WHAT other hole does Mr.T have!?!?!? I turn wet, slippery, 22lb Mr. T over and my mother tells me to lift up the skin flap. I throw-up in my mouth a little at this point. THE skin flap? This turkey butt had many many fatty skin folds, none of which I enjoyed peeking under. FINALLY I peel open the right one and find Mr. T's glove compartment and sure enough there is a little bag with a couple of dark colored organs in it. (gag). Never did find his neck, which I am actually very happy about, and I would like to thank whoever it was at the turkey farm that apparently forgot to stuff half of Mr.T's body parts back inside. I did get one last nice little surprise when I unhooked Mr. T's turkey legs from their little vice, and there was his little neck stump where they chopped his head off (complete with the chopped bones sticking right out of it). I tugged on this a little bit, just to make sure it was supposed to stay on there and it was on there pretty tight. Which brings me to my next point...if Mr. T were still alive he definitely would have called the police or a perhaps his therapist because there is no way around the fact that I had assaulted this putrid piece of poultry. One hour later, I had Mr. T safely in the oven under his tin-foil tent with two celery stalks and a quartered orange sticking out of his neck hole. The only other problem I encountered was nearly causing a grease fire while attempting to baste the turkey. Apparently I needed to squeeze the bulb a little more gently, as to not spray the entire oven with Mr. T's juices. Fast forward to dinner time, I actually cooked a perfectly edible turkey. Maybe some of my blog readers who were at my house today can vouch for me. And for the rest of you, if you have always driven your fat azz to someone else's house for Thanksgiving and never roasted your own turkey, you should be sending a thank you note to your hostess, cause that task is a bit more involved than I ever realized!

PS: If you look closely at the picture, in the background you'll see an "Icee Maker. " I guess Santa talks a lot of smack in his letters. (See Pen Pals with Santa post 11/16)