Monthly Archives: January 2011

A dream come true

At last. At last at last at last!

It took me several weeks to actually get out there and purchase the light bulb, but I finally made my very first, truly awesome Easy Bake Oven masterpiece. Jim bought me an Easy Bake Oven for my birthday this year. Age 37, and I finally got that one item I whined and cried about not having for most of my youth.

I opened packets. I mixed with water. I used the push tool to carefully insert (hee hee) the cake and pull it out (hee hee) of the oven. I iced.

Follow my journey:

Pre-heating with a single lightbulb. Look at it glow!

Fresh out of the oven!

Here's what it looked like frosted.

Here's what it looked like when I dropped it on the floor.

Here's what it looked like when I picked it up, put it on a plate and fed it to my child.

And the verdict is…..

Delicious!!

Yay me!!!

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Philadelphia freedom

I love you.

Yes I do!

Yes, it was difficult. But I got on a plane. And after sitting through a few moments where tears of complete and utter fear enveloped me like, well, an envelope, I made it through the obnoxiously long flight (one hour and 45 minutes!!) and settled safely on the ground in Pennsylvania, where the land is somehow so bizarrely curvy that  just flying over it made me motion sick. But, Nancy had only a few days left on her babymoon, and what better way to spend them than with the girls who knew you back when stretch marks were something you laughed at other, older women for having: Me and Kayla!

Upon arrival, Kayla, Nancy and I engaged in one of the cornerstones of democracy that one can only truly appreciate while in the birthplace of American Americanism: Historical re-enactment!

Here we are acting out the famous “let’s smile in front of this 2,000 pound bell that we paid a jizillion dollars for and it cracked upon the first clapping of the clapper” scene from the days just past the Revolutionary War. The scene is slightly less famous than the Washington crossing the Delaware snapshot, but one of great significance anyway. This is important because it is the first time in recorded U.S. history that the government took tax dollars, basically set them on fire, then didn’t do anything about it, only to somehow make it sound like that’s how it was supposed to be in the first place.

Did you know that in the angry letter written to the guys who cast the bell about how their lackluster craftsmanship made the thing crack the very first time is was rung, the word “Pennsylvania” was misspelled? The founding fathers couldn’t spell Pennsylvania correctly! Seems the second “n” in Billy Penn’s name got away from them. Suck on that GleN Beck. Kayla and Nancy were not as interested in reading the copies of the historical documents on display near the big cracked bell. Somehow, I am the geek in this scenario.

I’d also like to point out that maybe when commissioning a huge bell to mark our freedom from the tyranny and unfair taxation of England, maybe the founding fathers could have found someone OTHER than a bell maker in LONDON. Seriously, people.

Back to modern-day Philly.

After the big cracked bell, we moved on to another famous piece of history. One made famous by Philly’s most notable southpaw,  Mr. Rocky Balboa.

That’s Kayla in the yellow coat. That fatty next to her is me. Nancy parked her diesel Jetta in the taxi lane to get this picture, which I find absolutely hilarious. While there were several people at the top taking similar photos, we were the only ones who ran up ALL of the stairs humming “bum-bum-bu-bu-bum-bu-bu-bum-bum-bum…. gonna fly now!!!” Kayla took a short break from the song to tell the homeless guy halfway up that we couldn’t give him any change because we were in the middle of something important.

Here’s the obligatory cell phone self-portrait from the top:

Two things : Yes, Kayla is giving the thumbs up. And I need to get me one of those fancy phones. I think we are past the days when it is acceptable for cell phone photos to be grainy.

Finally, there was one more important re-enactment to participate in while visiting the home of cheesesteaks and downtown streets that no one thought to expand when bigger buildings went up. The historical birth of Ms. Lilah Jane in the ridiculously pretty orange bathroom:

That’s right, I told Nancy to take a picture with her child in the bathroom where she delivered her… and she complied. Now that’s mothering!

And that, my friends, is how you visit Philadelphia!

Thanks Kayla and Nancy, it was fun!

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It burns, Mom… it burns.

Hank had what I can only assume was a life-changing and defining moment this morning. One which he will discuss with future psychiatrists as he shudders and curls himself into the fetal position. One which will make his buddies laugh and his brother cringe.

Hank walked into my room unexpectedly today, as I exited from the shower.

Full. Frontal. Mom.

From his reaction, you would have thought he’d had a front row seat to the dropping of the atomic bomb. It went something like this:

 

Poor thing. The image of Mom’s double-D’s now seared into his brain for life.

Sorry kid.

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A well thought out birthday

For the moment, it appears, that at this one point in time at least, my husband….

*deep breath*

ACTUALLY listened to what I said.

Totally. And. Completely.

As proof, I offer photographic evidence of the awesome gift I received for my birthday:

That’s right. I finally got my easy bake oven. Suck it Mom, my husband LOVES me, nee-ner nee-ner nee-ner.

I also got the Michael Jackson dance game for Wii, prompting my husband to note that I received gifts probably more suited for my 7th birthday than my 37th birthday. But it is all so AWESOME.

I did manage to get off this shot before I ripped open my birthday bounty:

I was not trying to take a picture of the boys. I took this photo to preserve one act that has two distinct reasons behind it: the roll of wrapping paper sitting next to my presents.

See, Jim left that there for two reasons: 1) he bought it yesterday, because he doesn’t know where I keep the wrapping paper, and 2) he left it there on the table for me because he doesn’t know where I keep the wrapping paper.

Awesome birthday! See you next year, January 4!

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It was a beautiful morning…

… and then Marney ruined it.

I think that’s how the story of my birth starts.

In case anyone was unaware, IT IS MY BIRTHDAY! I enjoy my birthday a great bit. I get a lot of glee out of announcing everywhere I go that it is, in fact, MY DAY. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!!!

When we were younger, my sister Carrie used to grouse about the endless teasing she received on her birthday. See, Carrie’s birthday is November 14. Which is precisely nine months after Valentine’s Day. And even though we all know it doesn’t really work exactly like that, it was still a source of a good laugh for her friends — that her Mom and Dad were doing a little mattress dancing for Valentine’s and SURPRISE, here comes Carrie.

I, however, never got what the complaining was all about. After all, on Valentine’s Day in 1963, my parents were still newlyweds. If anyone has a reason to “celebrate” Valentine’s, I think it would be a newly married couple barely into their 20’s.

I, however, am another story. It seems that while Carrie was the product of a night of love and romance, I was the product of Mom and Pops just doing it one April day. Hell, they already had four kids, and Amy was still a baby! There was no moonlight and roses. It was “hurry up, I have stuff to do.” Honestly.

*shiver*

Well, despite that image being infused into all our brains, it is STILL my birthday. HOORAY!

The story of my birth goes something like this:

Mom was drunk again.

Mom wakes up and is somehow surprised that she is in labor. Apparently the four previous deliveries and the fact that I was roughly a week late escaped her. So naturally — in full on Nancy style — she’s like, oh, I’ve got time. And she jumps in the shower. Fast forward 10 minutes and apparently she was all “TOM HELP ME!!!!!!!!”

Seems the baby wasn’t interested in whether Mom’s pits were clean or not.

So into the car they go. Now, I’ve heard different versions of this — the car died (it’s freaking January), they borrowed a neighbor’s car, the car was fine — I don’t know. Even though I was there, I do not remember these details. What I do know is that despite the fact that there was a perfectly good hospital just a few miles away, Mom and Dad decided that this baby MUST be born at St. Anne’s in Chicago. Even though by this time they were a good 25 miles out of the city in our new Wheaton home.

So into the city they go. I like to think about the lovely conversation they had on the way in. Something tells me Mom did a lot of talking and Dad did a lot of staring straight ahead and keeping his mouth shut. He’s a smart man, he knows when to talk and when to be so still you are practically a corpse.

Again, the versions of the story get hazy. In one version, Dad lovingly drops Mom off at the front door. In another, he tries to park, and Mom almost makes it certain that this will absolutely be his last child… THEN he drops her off at the front door.

However it happened, Mom apparently runs into the hospital grabbing at her hootie like a 3-year-old who waited too long to hit the head. The nurse pulls up a wheelchair, and Moms says, “uh……. no” and does the pointy-point-point at her lady bits, where someone’s head is about to pop right on out.

Needless to say, they got her to a room, and by the time the door shut all the way… IT’S A GIRL! Dad probably hadn’t put the car in park yet out in the parking lot.

And that was how it was, 37 years ago this very morning. I have to say, that while it is technically my birthday, it’s really Mom and Dad’s special day. Because really, their lives would be so much less awesome without me. So thanks you two. Thanks for getting it on one April day in 1973.

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