17 October 2009

June, huh? That sure was a long time ago.

More to come soon...

25 June 2009

Farewell MJ

I figured with the news of Michael Jackson's death, now was as good a time as any to return to the blogosphere.

In elementary school, I was a huge MJ maniac. Posters covered every inch of my wall. (Of course, this was before NKOTB came onto the scene and dethroned Jackson for me.) The summer I turned 10, my right arm was in a cast up to my shoulder, an odd and ill-timed biking accident. (I was trying to do a skid in the left-over winter street sand on a three-speed.) A couple of days after my accident, a flower-delivery truck pulled up in front of our old house on Pinnery Avenue. The doorbell rang. A man was standing there with a basket or bouquet of flowers - I can't remember what variety - and a brown paper bag. My mother said they were for me.

I opened the little card attached to the flowers and nearly dropped dead:

"I was very sorry to hear about your accident." - Michel Jackson.

That is not a typo, that is exactly how the card was signed, and, being almost 10 years old, it didn't tip me off as to its validity.

And as if flowers from The King of Pop weren't enough, when I peered into the brown paper bag (again, the fact that these items were delivered to me in true wino fashion did not raise a red flag), I nearly lost my mind. A pair of starch-white socks with glittery speckles and a single white glove. I went to my room and slipped them on, Michael in his yellow sweater vest and bow tie looking on.

I think I might still have that glove, somewhere. I definitely have the card.

The cast came off shortly before my tenth birthday, but my love for Michael lived on. At my MJ-themed party, my girl friends and I huddled in the living room and watched Thriller for the first time, two years after it's debut. Then we made an ill attempt at the Thriller dance in the yard and admired my Michael Jackson cake - the image of him, again, in his yellow sweater vest, almost too beautiful to eat. But we were 10, and hungry. It was one of the best birthdays ever.

Don't know if you did what they say you did, but rest in peace, MJ.

My Top 10 Favorite Michael Jackson songs, in no particular order. :

1) Thriller
2) The Girl is Mine (with Paul McCartney)
3) PYT - Pretty Young Thing
4) Beat It (because my little brother used to break dance on top of the washing machine to this song).
5) The theme song to the movie, Free Willy.
6) Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
7) Billie Jean
8) The Way You Make Me Feel
9) Wanna Be Startin' Something
10) Smooth Criminal

24 March 2009

He's Here!

Colin Richard Curran
Born 3/19/09; 9:27pm
7 lbs 4 oz
Black hair; blue eyes

22 hours of labor ensued; VBAC failed; born via c-section; result the same: a beautiful baby boy!

14 March 2009

The Waiting Game

If I had stuck to the plan, baby #2 would be here, already a ripe 36 hours old. BUT, being an indecisive person, and one who waits until the final possible moment to switch things up, I postponed my repeat cesarean until NEXT Friday. I wanted to give him a chance to come on his own, but was too chicken to make the full commitment to the VBAC.

Now, of course, I am terrified that I will go into labor. It's almost like I am having a baby for the first time.

Because I never really went into labor before they had to perform emergency surgery the first time, I haven't a clue what to expect should I go into labor this time. But I have to lay in the bed I have made. So now we are just playing the waiting game.

In any event, baby Curran will be here by Friday, March 20, regardless of the method in which he makes it into this world.

04 March 2009

25 Facts About This Pregnancy

In just 9 days, a new baby will be born into this family. In the spirit of all those "25 things" notes going around on Facebook, I decided to give you, "25 Facts Surrounding My Second Pregnancy and Second Child." In no particular order, here they are.

1. Due Date: March 20; Planned C-Section: March 13

2. It's a boy!

3. For some reason, I feel incredibly guilty about above-mentioned C-section. Perhaps because I can't seem to get away from all the inferences that I should not be having a C-section.

4. I keep a bottle of Tums tucked underneath my pillow all times. The heartburn and reflux are so bad this time around, it's like a ball of liquid fire in my throat. Perhaps the Heartburn Fairy will come and take it away and leave in its place the $222 million winning lottery ticket.

5. Despite my best intentions, and the fact that I went to the gym through my 8th month, I still gained too much weight.

6. I am currently at the stage when my appendages resemble overstuffed sausages.

7. The good news: I was able to wear my wedding rings through month 8; last time I made it only to month 3.

8. Another piece of good news: During my last pregnancy, we were new in town, and our local friends were few and far between. This time, I have a good group of friends to help maintain my sanity.

9. I have learned that perfection is impossible: sometimes good enough is enough.

10. Nine days to go, and the nursery is not done. See #8.

11. I will not go into depression mode if I cannot breastfeed. I hope.

12. Last night I cried - full on sobbing - because my first-born wanted to play and I am too fat to get on the floor with him.

13. None of my maternity clothes fit me anymore; I am relegated to the house wearing husband's sweat pants and maternity half-shirts.

14. Monthly Napa Valley wine shipments: $90 per month; a full wine cabinet due to husband's 9-month wine abstinence: priceless!

15. We have decided to keep the name (mostly) secret until the baby is born. So don't even ask!

16. THIS time, I will send out cutesy birth announcements. Who said it's the second child who always gets the short end of the stick.

17. I cannot wait to see Braedan's face the first time he sees his new baby brother...

18. However, I am prepared for my son's adverse reaction once he realizes his brother is here to stay, and is not some myth we have been talking up for 9 months. "When does he go back?" "I liked it when it was just me and you" and "I don't want to be a big brother anymore" are all remarks I fully expect to have to deal with.

19. I am already dreading the grocery bill that will come as a result of living with three males.

20. I need to come up with a plan of attack for losing weight once the baby is born. Step 1: Quit eating so much.

21. I have been told by even the most driven of my friends that I am crazy for not taking any time off my part-time, work-from-home editing/writing job once the baby is born.

22. Thank goodness we now have digital cable and DVR.

23. To videotape or not to videotape? That is the question.

24. For a week now, husband has been asking me to pack a bag. I still have yet to do it.

25. I am secretly (well, not anymore) hoping that I go into labor before next Friday!

21 January 2009


Recently, an acquaintance of mine - a fellow blogger; a famously talented, funny, poignant and cool chick - was diagnosed with a terrible disease. Breast Cancer. When I first read the news on her blog, I cried. How could this happen to such a vibrant, YOUNG woman, the mother of two adorable little kids, whose exploits and escapades are painstakingly and hilariously outlined on her blog (along with those of their slightly overweight pooch, Vito).

We don't know each other well - at all. I think I have met Kate only once, but, I have long since admired her for her incredible ability for the written word. (Seriously, Kate, you NEED to write a book.) For reasons beyond my understanding, her diagnosis has hit me rather hard. Perhaps it is because we are roughly the same age (and not to mention beautiful and talented). Maybe it's because I have read about her healthy eating and yoga habits, and thought to myself, "This is enough." Or maybe it's because, despite my assertion that "so many women" seem to get breast cancer, I have never really known someone personally who has been diagnosed with it. And if I had to guess, I never, IN A MILLION YEARS, would have guessed this woman would get breast cancer.

Now, I have one more reason to admire Kate. On her blog, she has, with a sense of humor I do not think I would have the strength to muster, openly discussed her discovery, diagnosis and intimate thoughts of the "palpable mass" she herself discovered while playing with her daughter. Again, while I don't know Kate well at all, I said to our mutual friend that if anyone can get through it, it's Kate. I just know this. I feel it because I can sense it through her words. She has a strength and an outlook on life that is unmatched by anyone I have before met.

Thinking of you and your family, Kate. And knowing you will battle breast cancer - and WIN.

30 December 2008

Oh Boy!

The new addition to our family - due March 20 - is a boy!

Oh, boy.....

One female in a house full of males! We definitely have to try for the girl!

Happy New Year!

18 November 2008

How's This for Irony

For months, Americans, including me, have been complaining about gas prices. Now that they're dropping, isn't it just like an Amerian, namely me, to become annoyed at the fact that it took so long to put $20 worth of gas in the tank this morning.

05 October 2008

Can we say H-O-C-K-E-Y?

They said it couldn't be done. A 3-year-old learning to skate on hockey skates! Blah, blah, blah. B is doing great, and today, during public skating, the little bruiser kept banging into the boards on purpose, leaving the impression that he has an innate desire to play hockey, for which his father, a former college hockey player, would be very glad.

I was wrong about ONE thing, then. Maybe Sarah Palin and I DO have something in common. You betcha! Wink wink.

22 September 2008

The Second Phase

I am officially into the second trimester of my pregnancy, which would explain why I am up at 5 in the morning eating honey roasted peanuts and posting to my blog.

I didn't have the knock-down, drag-out first trimester that many women seem to experience. In fact, many times, I forgot I was pregnant.

The beginning of the second trimester, at least for me, is a little tricky. Sure, I feel less tired. But I am at the point where I don't yet look pregnant, just fatter. My regular clothes don't fit. But maternity clothes look and feel ridiculous. I am currently a walking contradiction.

I have vowed this time not to gain the highly embarrassing amount of weight I put on with my first (50 pounds). For the love of all things holy, I hope I can stick to that promise. But the chocolate Ganache cake at Praline's is constantly calling my name and I cannot hide the fact that over two days, I nearly polished off a whole bag of lime-flavored tortillas. Damn, those things are good. And I think there are a few crumbs left in the pantry.

I am, I must admit, a bit nervous about this new being that will soon be in our lives. After all, it's been three years. We are in a comfortable routine now and I honestly have a hard time envisioning it being cosmically altered by a tiny, crying, feed-me-every-two-hours baby. On the flip side, I could not be more excited about this tiny, crying, feed-me-every-two-hours baby that will soon change our comfortable life. I always pictured a four- (dare I say 5?) member family. And to experience all those "firsts" again is indeed exciting. First smile. First laugh. First step. First word. The first time that tiny person says, "I love you."

Only 25 weeks more to go.

11 September 2008

A Day of Reflection

I hope everyone pauses today - Sept. 11 - to remember.

08 September 2008

Torn ACL???!!!

Thanks to Rich's recent injury, I already know all I need to know about torn ACL's. But the rest of Patriot's Nation will be clued in to that all-important ligament that stabilizes the knee as it has been confirmed that Pats' Quarterback Tom Brady in fact tore his ACL during today's game against Kansas City. I dare not print here the language that was flying through the air at my house this afternoon, but suffice it to say, it was not a happy household. Of course, the Pats won behind Matt Cassel, but now the rest of the season is currently up in the air.

Are you ready for some football? Sundays will not be happy days in this house for the foreseeable future....

01 September 2008

End of Summer...Off to School

Beach and barbecue. That's how we spent the first half of this, the unofficial last weekend of summer.

Then yesterday, we made the first of what I expect to be many pilgrimages to Kittery, to do some back-to-school, or should I say, off-to-school shopping. Our little boy starts preschool this year, and it seems like only yesterday that he was spitting up on my shoulder and waking every two hours in the middle of the night to be fed. Now he's in a big-boy bed, in a big boy room, and, in exactly one week, will walk through the doors of Mrs. Murray's Nursery School for the first time as a student. I will be out in the parking lot, smiling through my tears.

It's a sad and joyous time.

Happy Back to School!

27 August 2008

Hero For the Day

I would like to think I am a dog person. But I'm not. I cringe at the thought of hair on my furniture. I practically hyperventilate when I think of wet doggy paws tramping through my house. Nevermind the mess you have to go through when training a puppy. It was hard enough potty training my son.

So, why then, was I disappointed when an email - complete with heart-wrenching photos - soliciting takers for abandoned puppies turned out to be a joke? Perhaps it was their big, doggy-brown eyes. Or the shattered image of my son frolicking through the yard with a puppy. In the end, though, I think I like the idea of a dog, rather than the actual thing itself. Because when, after our initial disappointment we started researching yellow lab breeders, I became less excited at the prospect of adding a canine member to the family, and more frantic. Did we have the time to train, discipline and love this new member of our family? Would the dog a have an adequate, fenced-in yard? Would we pass the breeder's 10-point potential dog-owner inspection ? No. No. And hells no. I just didn't think we could hack it. At least not now, when we are expecting baby #2.

My point is, I am one of those people who thinks she is an animal person, but is really not, at least not if that animal has to reside in my house.

However, today at Salisbury Beach, I witnessed something that really pulled on my heart strings. An injured seagull. A seagull of all things! The damn bird went into my beach bag, pulled out a giant-sized bag of Gold Fish, flaunted them around the sand and still I could not help but be concerned about the fishing wire and lure wrapped tightly around its legs, inhibiting his gait. The poor thing must have been starving. Had it not been for the flock of seagulls (not the musical group, but an actual flock of birds) circling overhead, I would have given up the Fish, though it would have been much to the chagrin of my three-year-old, Gold Fish-obsessed son. Anyway, my friends and I hemmed and hawed for a bit, wondering what to do, while the injured seagull squawked and squawked and made itself comfortable in the sand. Poor thing. I wish there was something we could do. I'd cut if free myself if I could. Finally, my friend, and new hero, Kristen D., made her way to the lifeguard chair. A few minutes later, not one, but three lifeguards accompanied her back to where we were set up on the beach, and waited while a naturalist/wildlife expert made his way over in his Gator. He asked for a handful of Gold Fish. I dumped them in his gloved hand and he tossed them into the air. Seagulls swarmed from everywhere. Our injured seagull was in the middle of the pack. In a flash, the guy dove and took hold of the fishing wire-entwined bird. Five minutes later, the seagull was cut free and thrown to the wind, his wings spread wide. The gathered crowd cheered. And we watched as he landed in the ocean and darted around the water. If a seagull can look happy, this one definitely was.

So, here's to you Mrs. I Save Seagulls Wrapped in Fishing Wire. Here's to a job well done. May humans and seagulls everywhere take heart and live in harmony.

21 August 2008

On Hiatus

It's true. I've been on a blog hiatus for almost a month now.

It just seemed that lately I haven't had much to say, nor the time to say it. Once my mind is free and clear of pressing issues, I shall return.

Read what fellow blogger KJ wrote about "rotational neglect." I am taking my cue from her.

Be back in a couple of weeks.

28 July 2008

Yankee Homecoming

I know "townies" hate it. But I live here - yes, I know that DOESN'T make me a townie - and I actually enjoy YH. Pancake breakfast, music on the green, antique cars, balloon twisters, fresh-squeezed lemonade, penny candy, a fireman's muster. How can you go wrong at Old Fashioned Sunday?

Anyway, for those of you fellow Newburyporters who braved the "dreaded" tourists yesterday, hopefully you gathered up the kids, got blueberries in your pancakes, took a plunge in the dunk tank, rode around the Mall on the train and felt easy like Sunday morning.

Some pics.

17 July 2008

Greenhead Alert!

I know they've been here for days now. But early this morning, my son and I headed drove over to Plum Island for a little early morning beach action. I mistakingly thought that being 7:45am, those pesky greenheads might still be in a restful slumber. Wrong. If we walked, it wasn't that bad. But of course being 3, my son wanted to stop and fill his pockets with shells and examine seaweed on the beach. We walked a ways, but then even the act of moving didn't stop them from biting at our legs and arms. And those f'ers hurt! We had to hustle it back to the car, where we drove off the island with the windows up.


But the surf sure was beautiful.

01 July 2008

On Anger

I'm angry that the Internet is slow. At the housing marking. That all my kitchen towels are dirty and every time I reach for a paper towel, I am acutely aware of my actions on Global Warming. I am angry that my son pooped in his underwear. Despite months of being potty trained. I am angry that he poured parmesan cheese all over the family room carpet. I am angry at rising gas prices. That our windows don't open wide enough to put conventional air conditioners in the house. That we signed a contract today for an inordinate amount of money to have one of said windows replaced. That even though I cleaned until 9:30 last night, my house still looks like a tornado swept through, favoring the rooms with the highest need for cleanliness: the kitchen and bathroom. That my dehumidifier is full....again. That I have to do laundry. At all. I am angry that I am dead tired after a workout at the gym. I thought it was supposed to leave you feeling "energized." I am angry that after 12 years, I still haven't written the next Great American Novel. That despite multiple promises to do so, I still haven't managed to be "ahead of the game" with my deadlines. I am angry that when it's hot and muggy, my feet stick to the floor. I am angry that I spent time organizing my son's matchbox cars, and they were all over the floor within 10 minutes of him waking. That I have insomnia. That I'm not pregnant yet. That I might be pregnant. I am angry that my neighbor somehow purposely altered his Chevy Blazer to be 10 times louder than it should be. That we have no grass in our yard. I am angry that I haven't posted since June 4. At those damn word verifications that, on a Mac, never go through the first time.

I think that's it. Oh no. One more thing. I am angry that I spent so much time today being angry. Today I nearly busted out of my clothes, turned green and wreaked havoc on unsuspecting victims. I needed to vent. Thanks.

04 June 2008

Garden of Last Days

I am very excited for Andre Dubus III's new book, Garden of Last Days to come out this month.

Ever since I read House of Sand and Fog and Bluesman, I get a bit star-dazed when I see him at the gym. (He lives in the next town over from me.) But it also reminds me that writers are regular people, and that perhaps, someday, I'll be a best-selling author going to the gym.

Anyway, check out this video to get the low-down on the new book, which I'll be reviewing for Merrimack Valley Magazine.

02 June 2008

To the hip-hop, you don't stop

We Did Survive!
(By Michelle "Gloria Gaynor" Curran.)

At first we were afraid,
We were petrified.
Kept thinking we could never dance
We wanted just to hide.

Then we got up there on stage and the curtain opened up
And we said whassup!!???
And then we kicked some hip-hop butt.....

We did it! My two friends and I survived our hip-hop recital yesterday afternoon. After weeks of agonizing about getting up there on stage and shaking our 30-something bodies in front of hundreds of people, it's over. For me, it was kind of an out-of-body experience. For hours before the show, I felt as if I was going to puke my guts out. I was going to get up on stage and forget the whole damn thing, leaving my girls in the lurch. Fortunately, Rich and I had formulated a plan beforehand. Should I have forgotten the moves, the plan was to do the moon-walk back and forth across the stage until the song was over. Even more fortunate, I didn't need to go to plan B. I remembered everything and actually (and perhaps shamefully) enjoyed it. I had fun. I smiled for the audience, whom thankfully I couldn't see thanks to the glaring spotlights. There were no mishaps and we didn't get laughed or booed off the stage. And our husbands luckily left before the humiliating finale in which we received medals and had to sing for the audience.

And after all the complaining I did about class and rehearsals and costumes, I will probably do it again next year. I think I may have found my true calling. Show business.

Thanks to our crazy-whack-funky (and super talented) dance teacher April Nicoll, who should not be teaching the likes of us to dance, but should be dancing herself. She actually encouraged me NOT to quit, for which I am ultimately glad.

Breaking News Update: Stay tuned for a clip of our performance in the coming weeks.

18 May 2008

On dinner with the kids

There's not all that many restaurants around here where kids can be kids and not be given death stares by the diners of neighboring tables.

But dinner at Rosie O'Shea's Friday night proved to be enjoyable for young and old alike. We went with a couple of friends who are regulars there and sat at a lone table in the back of the restaurant. I've only ever had late-night beers at Rosie's, choosing to save the evenings we have occasion to dine out for establishments known more for their cuisine. However, I was pleasantly surprised by my burger. And what Rosie's may lack in fine cuisine, it makes up for with a totally kid-friendly atmosphere. There was tons of room for the kids to run around unhindered and shortly after dinner, a group of young fiddlers and Irish step-dancers took the stage. Half the fun of the evening - besides the good company, service and drinks - was watching the kids trying to imitate the dancers. They had a blast. And what's more, the waitress thought it was funny when I found my son at the next table over making salt-and-pepper mountains for his matchbox cars to plow through. (Not, of course, that this is behavior I generally approve of.)

But it was probably the most relaxed I've felt out at dinner with my three-year-old....ever. We're going to try and crash the Daigle's friday evening ritual as often as possible now....

Good times.

11 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the cool moms out there I know!

And Happy Birthday to our little man, who officially turned three today.

Some pics from his soiree last week, and the traditional butter on the nose pic from this morning.

(Bouncing in the bouncy house.)

(Checking out his cake.)

(Us opening presents after his party. Rich demonstrating Braedan's new superhero cape.)

(The traditional butter on the nose.)

08 May 2008

Little old ladies who do bad things

Yesterday, while grocery shopping at DeMoula's, I was in the pickle/condiment/olive oil/natural food aisle, and there was this little old lady slowly pushing her cart past the olives and scrutinizing everything - little jars of pesto, hot peppers, you name it.

Then I saw her take something off the shelf and examine it with crinkled eyes. After shuffling back to her cart, and leaning against the handle, she proceeded to peel the price tag off and put it on an item already in her cart. While smoothing out the little orange tag over the top of the jar, she caught me looking at her. She held my gaze for just a few seconds, just long enough to say, "So what?" in what I imagine would have been a voice much like Sofia from the Golden Girls.

It made me kind of sad.

01 May 2008

Is it bad that I schedule my life around Lost?

Any die-hard Lost fan probably understand this. But many of you also probably are in possession of the latest in tv technology., i.e. Tivo, On Demand.

I think those things ruin the excitement of watching a tv show live. Well, not live, but unrecorded. I like the anticipation, the challenge of making sure my kid is sleeping, the fact that I can't get up during commercials for anything - food, drink, relief - for fear I might miss a millisecond of action.

19 April 2008

A brush with celebrity

Today, Braedan and I ventured into Boston to meet up with DG and her nephew for a trip to the Children's Museum. It was the perfect day to walk from Salem Street in the North End to the Museum's location on Congress Street. And after some technical difficulties with the double stroller, we weaved with ease through the hordes of tourists vying for tickets on the Trolley.

The Museum was much what I thought it would be - a mess of sticky-fingered kids running around with exhausted-looking parents in tow. But really, it was a blast. There's nothing like the pure, unadulterated joy of a three-year-old donning a hard-hat and sitting on a pretend Bobcat or chucking basketballs against the wall.

While in the cockpit of the airplane in the Arthur & Friends Exhibit, my son was waiting in line behind Neve and Beckett O'Brien, daughter and son of Brookline native and late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien, who was standing right next to me, imploring his son to give the other kids a turn at piloting the plane. Conan is just as tall, just as thin, and just as red-haired as he appears on television. I half-expected to him to bust out with his infamously bad Irish accent or tell a joke. (In my opinion, that guy is one of the funniest MF'ers around.) But he was just a dad, spending the day with his wife and kids at the Children's Museum. I resisted the urge to ask for a photo, as no one else seemed to recognize him or, if they had, were respectfully leaving him alone. And I didn't want to be THAT girl. I was so excited to have spotted him that I quickly found DG playing Tic-Tac-Toe in the next room with her nephew and informed her that Conan O'Brien' was there with his kids and his wife, who, by the way, is beautiful.

"Who the heck is Conan O'Brien?" she asked, the worst buzz-kill for a gossip.

Oh well.

The rest of the trip proved to be fun, but exhausting as Braedan had a mini-meltdown in the Construction Zone after our late ABP lunch. (No nap, you see.) As a result, a promised visit to the Museum souvenir store did not come to fruition. And a major meltdown once we got home justified my decision even further.

Anyway, some pics.

(You can see the meltdown is coming)

(Braedan and Auntie DG)

07 April 2008

Why a 30-something should not pretend to be Shaq

It's called a Segond Fracture and it's what Rich suffered when he was on the basketball court Sunday morning with a couple of friends.

Talking trash the night before at the Black CowRich was the one who said, "Man, I hope I don't get hurt tomorrow," which, of course, sealed his fate. Sunday morning was supposed to be relaxing. The next thing you know I'm screeching out of the parking lot of 1-2-3 Little Me, a new indoor playground Braedan loves, dropping him off at a (good) friend's house, and meeting Rich at the hospital.

He was in triage and his buddies, husbands of my friends, just shook their heads. Rich, in a wheelchair, was shaking with pain. Two hours later, we left with a script for percocet, Rich in a leg immobilizer and on crutches, a Segond fracture diagnosis and a referral for an orthopedic surgeon. Segond fractures are usually an indicator of an ACL tear.

"In 15 years of playing hockey, nothing like this ever happened to me," Rich told Nancy, one of the nurses who attended to him while he was there, before he slipped into his percocet fog.

Updates to follow.

30 March 2008

Why A 30-Something Should NOT be a hip-hop dancer

For weeks, I'd been waking up on Tuesday mornings with multiple hematomas spread across my knees and shins, the cause of which may have been misinterpreted by more dirty-minded individuals. (Come on, you KNOW you are out there.)

These bruises, however, I am ashamed to admit, are caused by my weekly hip hop sessions. Think multiple knee spins with nothing between your knees and the cold, wooden floors but a pair of cotton sweat pants. Finally, after last week's train wreck, I'd had it and this week caved and went to Olympia and bought some knee pads. Yes, I need a pair of knee pads, please, for hip-hop dancing. Yes! I said hip-hop dancing.

Anyway, this last dance class was on, and I was spinning with the best of 'em, my knees cushioned by a thick piece of heaven. Now if I could only, actually, dance!

28 March 2008

The Heat Miser must have given up some territory for Snowy

This is what is greeting us as we open the front door this morning - one week into Spring.

Istanbul? (Not Constantinople)

A while back, I signed up for SiteMeter, a site that keeps track of who visits your Website. I thought the list would be few, as I could count on one hand the people who actually read Singuloso.

However, frequent checks indicate that besides the handful of family and friends who visit, there were some surprising non-domestic locations. Cool ones too, like Istanbul, the UK, Galway, Limerick and Slovakia. What I can't figure out, is that all these foreign locations track back to this post. Either they all like my hip-hop avatar, or I have committed some sort of copyright infringement and an investigation as to my guilt has been launched.

Anyway, when I saw Istanbul on there recently, it reminded of They Might Be Giants. So, without further adieu, here is a blast from our musical pasts. Enjoy.

26 March 2008

Little Drummer Boy

I don't wanna work...I wanna bang on these drums all day......

After some prodding, Braedan decided he DID want to play the drums at his friend Ryan's house this morning. In true rocker fashion, notice how at the end he tosses the sticks to the floor. Show's over, people!

(Also, notice the miniature super hero gliding by in the background. That's Ryan, who rocks out hard on those drums, by the way.)

20 March 2008

Bay State Parent Awards

So I didn't win any individual awards, but it was still nice to be mentioned in the list of writers who contributed to Bay State Parent Magazine's overwhelming success in this year's national Parenting Publication Awards. Scroll down and you'll see my name (along with blogging buddy Kate M. Jackson) mentioned in several categories, including Overall Reporting, General Excellence and two special section awards (The Think Pink Guide-Oct. 2007, in which my story on breast cancer survivor and WCVB news reporter Kelly Tuthill appeared, and the Dreams Do Come True Arts Guide-Sept. 2007 where two stories I wrote on Stoughton mom and singer/songwriter Lori McKenna and mom/rocker group HRT appeared.)

17 March 2008

House of Coughs and Sneezes

There are piles of tissues everywhere, empty juice cups spread throughout the house, and no doubt this place is a giant petri dish of unimaginable germs.

Both husband and son have the flu.

Singuloso shall return when the place has been disinfected and the Haz-Mat guys have left the building.

27 February 2008

What a witch

This is when you know that a teacher should just hang up her hat - for good.

Makes you wonder what's going on when you drop your kids off at school, doesn't it?

26 February 2008

How Rascal Flatts is helping me potty train

Getting Braedan to pee in the potty is as elusive a trick as presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee winning the Republican nomination.

Over the last few weeks, Rich and I have resorted to all sorts of tactics - threats, promises of treats, reading lengthy books, multiple viewings of that damn Cars movie - anything. Most recently, the promise of listening to select songs from the Cars soundtrack seems to be working. We downloaded some on Itunes and all I have to say is, "Life is a Highway" and he's in the bathroom peeing. This is his standard reaction, even after listening to the song 14 times. (Seriously.)

20 February 2008

Plum Island Surf

Anxious to reclaim some inner peace and an appreciation of the outdoors, we headed out this morning to Plum Island to walk on the beach, even though a quick check at Weather.com said it was a mere 20 degrees. I bundled Braedan up to look like Randy from A Christmas Story.

(I can't put my arms down!)

We explored for about an hour. Braedan got knocked into the sand by a herd of over-zealous dogs and we both took a digger over some rocks while trying to escape the encroaching water. But all in all it was a great, peaceful morning.

(Braedan looks out into the crashing ocean.)

And for all you beach-lovers who are thrashing around helplessly in these last throes of winter, here is a reminded of what's to come. Turn up the volume and enjoy.....(but try to ignore the faint toddler musings, and my subsequent, "shhhhh.")

14 February 2008

Love is in the air

His and Hers
Any Questions?

Happy Valentine's Day!

10 February 2008


Kids say weird things. Well, at least our kid does.

If you can't pick it up on the video, here's how the first part of that conversation went.

Rich: "I want you to count 3-2-1, and then we'll start going down. Go ahead."
Braedan: "I can't."
Rich: "Why?"
Braedan: "Because the trees are out and the sun's out today."


Anyway, this morning was spent sledding in the state park across the street from our house, which Braedan truly enjoyed.

06 February 2008

A long time coming

For the last couple of years, Braedan has been running around with the longest hair you've ever seen on a three-year-old. After months of saying I was going to do it, I finally gave in and took him to get those precious curls cut off. Here is a bit of what transpired.

He did eventually sit down and let the woman cut his hair, (though he did freak out just a little when the clippings started falling on him - he has a thing about hair). And here's the finished product.

In the words of Vince Vaughn, he's all growns up!

04 February 2008

Didn't we almost have it all?

I'm not going to say too much about the Patriots' heartbreaking loss last night. I won't expound upon the poor defense and offense, the lack of fire in Brady's eyes.

I will say only this. Those Motherf'ers. A flawless regular season. Football perfection. What happened?

This might be hard to swallow, but much of it is, unfortunately, true.

31 January 2008

The Oceanic Six

At first I thought it might be some crazy, screwed-up rock band Hurley threw together in memory of his best bud, Charlie.

Seriously though, here are my guesses for which of our favorite Island survivors make up the Oceanic Six:

Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer....umm, hmmm....

Oh, damned if I know!

But I am so happy Lost is back. My only gripe is with my husband, who is an obsessive flipper, and insists on flipping to NESN to check the score of the Bruins game during Lost commercials. The three minute intervals are spent with me, hissing, "Back. Back." It finally ended this evening with Rich relinquishing control of the remote and suffering through that stupid Verizon commercial - the one where the guy and girl are texting love notes to each other - oh, about 7 times.

29 January 2008

Hip Hop Addendum

A couple of weeks ago, I humiliatingly revealed the costume I would be forced to wear during a hip hop (yes - I said hip hop) recital I am reluctantly participating in this summer.

I am pleased to report that I learned last night that the following changes would be instituted. Over the red "Dance!" leotard, we will be wearing cropped black hoodies - old school, I love it. And second, we will be trading the candy cane tights for black, BAGGY!, cargo pants. Nice.

That part is a relief. What isn't, is that at last night's class, I was miserably lost, having missed the previous session. I basically stood at the back of the room laughing and getting pissed and threatening to quit. Honestly, I don't think anyone much cared.

27 January 2008

Braedan gets Red, Stanley and Guido

Watch as a little boy obsessed with Disney/Pixar's Cars movie receives gifts in the mail from Grammy.

23 January 2008

Feeding the Cars habit

Since he had a playdate last fall with an equally Matchbox-crazed toddler, Braedan has been obsessed with the Cars from the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name. See, prior to that my son didn't watch television, but when he saw how much his friend coveted those movie character vehicles with eyes, he immediately wanted them. And of course, I gave in. The whole thing started out with Lightning McQueen.

Since then it has been Cars nonstop. And he hadn't even seen the movie still. This Christmas, after Braedan sat comatose in front of the television at the gym day care each morning in the weeks leading to the holiday watching Cars, we finally broke down and bought it too. And along the way, he has acquired about 35 of the movie character cars. (A lesson for parents - Lightning McQueen is nearly the same as Bugface McQueen, Dirt Track McQueen, Cactus Patch McQueen, Tongue McQueen, Crusin' McQueen, Radiator Springs McQueen, etc, etc.)

Ever since Christmas, he has been talking about the two cars he didn't get - Red the Fire Truck and Guido - and how he plans to ask Santa for them. In true Grammy fashion, my mom, not for the first time, sent Braedan one of his beloved wishes in the mail yesterday. You can imagine the excitement it caused.

Braedan goes to bed talking about Cars, wakes up in the wee hours of the morning, stumbles to the living room to play with his Cars and can barely function if he isn't holding one of them in his hand at all times.

18 January 2008

I never thought it would come to this

Does this look like an outfit that a 30-something stay-at-home-mom would wear? Ok. Well, any self-respecting, 30-something stay-at-home mom?

As readers of Singuloso may know, a couple of months ago I, along with a couple of friends, decided to partake in a hip-hop dance class at a local studio, DESPITE the fact that there would be a recital at the end of the class.

The class was everything I thought it would be - stomping around to the likes of Kanye West in baggy sweatpants and tee-shirts, a suburban dose of 'street.' Now I will be made to look like a deranged, dancing candy-striper. (Yes, the tight-fitting bodice, in shiny, glittery, silver lettering, indeed reads DANCE.) What's worse is that I am not the slim and fit person I was in college. Doubly worse? During our routine - which by the way will not be done to a hip-hop diddy, but an N'Sync Christmas song (the theme is dancing through the holidays) - a group of 7 year old tumblers will join us on stage - WEARING THE SAME COSTUME!

The possibility of quitting just before the recital still exists for me. And each time I look at that costume, rumpled up in a plastic bag in my closet, that possibility becomes increasingly real. But (and at this point it's a big but(t), literally and figuratively) should I decide to join in this circus, I will NOT be posting the recital date here on Singuloso.

05 January 2008

Apres Holiday

Most everyone I know is glad the holidays are over. I, on the other hand, suffer a mild to moderate depression once all the festivities have finally come to an end.

I admit it. I am one of those "Christmas people." I love decorating the tree. Sitting by the fire listening to Christmas music. Watching Christmas Vacation over and over until the lines between my holidays and the Griswold's are blurred beyond recognition.

Over the last couple of days, I have been periodically (and sadly) removing Christmas decorations from the rooms in my home. On New Year's night, still nursing a bit of a hangover, I took all the ornaments off the tree, leaving it naked with nothing but it's twinkling white lights to cover its fading needles. The next morning, my son got up from bed, went into the living room, and came running back as if someone had just taken off with his shiny new squad of Pixar Cars. "Where are all the
ornaments?" he asked. "It's time for us to put the tree outside," I told him. "But why?" he pleaded. "Christmas is over," I said bitterly.

But for four days the tree stood there in our living room, naked and twinkling, hanging on. It's star shining like a beacon of hope. On day three, I noticed one lone ornament hanging from a low branch - a sign of solidarity, no doubt, put up by my son.

Tonight marked the complete removal of our beloved Tannenbaum. The removal on this particular day has nothing to do with the Epiphany but rather the fact that our tree stopped drinking water well before Christmas and there was a rather well-defined circle of pine needles circumventing our tree skirt.

Our son, eager to help with this obviously ceremonious task, told us in no uncertain terms that we would be getting a new tree to replace this "old" one. I didn't have the heart to tell him that a new tree would not arrive for another 335 days. Our collective disappointment would have been too much to bear.

The silver lining to all this Christmas tree removal business though is that our small living room feels unusually large without that all important symbol of the holiday season taking up half our space. A couple of minutes after the tree was tossed out into the icy snow, I was already talking up a few new pieces of furniture and conjuring mental blueprints for our "new" room. I'm feeling better already. And after all, Christmas is only a mere 354 days away now.

Damn. But it's a leap year, isn't it?

02 January 2008

The Holidays in Pictures

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Ours was filled with much laughter, fun, food and spirit, some of which can be seen here.

Happy New Year!

16 December 2007

For Aunt Sherry

These pics are for my Aunt Sherry, who hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, and who has been waiting patiently to see them.

And yes, that bear was once living.

Not only was the food delicious (especially the duck, which I had to ask for on the sly), but the games, conversation and company that followed was, of course, the best.

15 December 2007

Are those matching aprons?

So corny, it's cute....

05 December 2007

"I Demand a Cupcake"

In the weeks leading up to our trip to the North Pole, I talked the event up to the little man. "We're going on a train ride. It's going to take us to the North Pole, where Santa lives. Santa's going to get on board and say hello. And so will Rudolph and Frosty and some elves. There will be a treat."

"What kind of treat, Mommy?" was all he asked.

"I don't know. Probably a cupcake."

"Yeah. I want a cupcake!" He was grinning from ear to ear.

This past Saturday, after waiting in line in arctic temperatures, we boarded the train in Newburyport, and we weren't sitting down for more than a minute before our son started yelling for his cupcake. For a toddler, the wait for a promised treat must seem like an eternity. But we got through the reading of Chris Van Allsburg's story and singing some Christmas songs. And we weren't half-way to the North Pole (aka the Beverly MBTA stop) before the chefs started to bring out the snack.

When one of them handed my son a chocolate brownie, he looked at it, handed it back to me with a look of disdain in his eyes, and said, "I want a cupcake."

"Oh, but it's a delicious brownie," I said, biting into my own, and exaggerating my chew.

"No. I want a cupcake. I would like a cupcake, PLEASE!"

"Just try it. Take a bite."

Finally, he succumbed, and bit into it.

"I like it!" he said.

He spent the rest of the train ride - a visit from Santa and his elves, Frosty and Rudolph and some more caroling - with chocolate smeared across his lips, and ringing the silver bell, handed to him by one of Santa's helpers as the first gift of Christmas

Two years ago on the Polar Express, when I was handed the silver bell for our son, then only an infant, I shook it for him. But it didn't make a sound. If you know the story, you know what that means. But this year, the bell rang loud and clear.

"It's from Santa's sleigh!" Braedan yelled to Rich and I.

"It is," we said. "It is."

26 November 2007

It was the triptipan

I have just woken from my post Turkey-day slumber.

I will have details about the meal, apres-party and the real, stuffed black bear at my aunt's house (with pics), tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.

19 November 2007

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Yes. It's early. But nonetheless we made a holiday season pilgrimage to the Yankee Candle flagship store in South Deerfield, MA on Saturday. Just like Clark Griswold, I build things up in my mind, and so it wasn't nearly as exciting as I thought it would be.

However, they have the BEST Santa Claus you could imagine. Even though it was early in the season, I still waited in line for 20 minutes while the troops entertained the little man at the train table. I wasn't sure how he'd react to the man in the red suit considering last year he cried and arched his back as we tried to put him on his lap.

This year though, he marched right up to Santa, climbed up into the oversized velvet chair set next to him and said matter-of-factly, "Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas, Santa. I want a car."

Santa took a few minutes to talk to him about the kind of cars he likes, and rolled the car he had brought with him back and forth across the table. And my son said, "Where's my car?"

Very difficult to explain to a 2 1/2 year old that he has to wait 38 more days to get what he asked for.

13 November 2007

Hey! He's not a policeman

A trip to the fire station - what little boy wouldn't like that?

My son (pictured in the red cap) could barely contain his excitement when we walked into the station and he was able to climb inside the big red engine. "I am in a BIG firetruck" he would shout to anyone who would listen. He didn't want to come out. But I finally made him. And when the fireman was showing the kids how he puts on all his equipment before heading into a fire, my son, turned to me, dejected, and yelled, "I want to see a policeman." "Shhh," I whispered into his ear. "We're at the fire station."
"But where's the policeman?" he asked.

And being 2 1/2, he was more enthralled with the fire engine than with the fireman, who was explaining to this group of toddlers how he can breathe clean air through his mask that made him sound like Darth Vader. Finally I gave in and let my son play around on the truck while the fireman wrapped up his demonstration. But a big hit for all the kids was watching Fireman Chris slide down the fire pole. "Again," they chanted.

But the actual firefighters had more of an impact on him than I thought. Because he wore his little plastic fire chief hat and carried around his "fireman" crayons and eraser - handed out to the kids by one of the firemen after the tour - all day long. He brought them to the store. He brought them to his friend's house. He put them on the table in plain sight as he ate his dinner.

09 November 2007

3,579 down, 46,421 to go

By the end of the day today, I should have 15,000 words of a 50,000 word novel written.

As part of National Novel Writing Month, I am joining thousands of people across the country who are attempting the ridiculous and idiotic task of completing a novel in a month. The idea is just to sit down and write, without thinking, without self-editing - something that is very hard for me to do. You're talking about a person who will take an hour to write a perfect lede before I can complete a freelance assignment. It makes the money per hour ratio very low.

So I am only about 12,000 words behind so far. And I met up with some friends the other night at a local coffee shop for a "write-in" to try and boost my word count. But there was this couple sitting directly behind us, and it was painfully obvious that they were on a first date. A lot of that get-to-know-you type conversation was happening.

But when I heard the guy talking, very loudly, about how much better he was at his job than any of his co-workers, how he has had three wives and 8 kids with 7 different women, and how his doctors tried to persuade him to go on meds for his ADD, we all wanted to turn around and tell her to run, run as fast as she could and never look back.

But what broke the camel's back for me was when I heard the term "beastiality" mentioned. Seriously. I'm not lying. After that, I couldn't concentrate on anything else but their conversation, which was very anti-climactic after that.

31 October 2007

Halloween Quizzilla (Stolen)

These questions are ripped off from fellow blogger KJ.

1.What are your plans for Halloween Night?

Trick-or-treating by 5:30. Last year, my neighbor hauled the kids around in a wagon. This year they can walk! Most likely pizza and beers with the neighbors after. (Or during, last year some of the parents in our neighborhood were sporting beers as they trudged around begging for candy.)

2. What are your top three favorite Halloween costumes of all time? (Doesn't have to be one of your own)

1. Cindy Lauper in the mid 80s. (Me.) Actually I wasn't intending to be Cindy Lauper, more just like a punk rocker, but when my mother took us to Halloween at the mall, and a passer-by asked me if I was Cindy Lauper, I decided I'd better say yes.

2. My son's scarecrow costume last year, though some commented that he looked more like a tree. But others thought it was an incredibly well-made homemade costume, and I didn't tell them otherwise.

3. When Rich dressed up as Lenny Kravitz a few years back. He spent a sh*tload of money on that get-up and it was worth it.

3.Have you "boo-ed" or been "boo-ed?"

Both. The other day I was taking a much-needed nap when the doorbell rang. I got up in a fog and looked out the front door. No one. Then the back. Again. No one. I thought maybe I'd dreamed it. About 10 minutes later though I opened up the front door and there was a bag of treats on my front step. I cautiously opened the bag and was pleasantly surprised to find it full of things for my little man. Crayons, cookies, Thomas the Tank Engine flash cards.

The accompanying note said I must "boo" two other neighbors within 48 hours and hang the enclosed ghost sign on my front door so others would know I'd already been boo-ed. The next day I went to Walgreens and bought a bunch of crap, intending to boo two of my neighbors with toddlers. I put the bag on my friend and next-door neighbor's step and ran like a bat out of hell. I still haven't boo-ed the other one.

4. What is your Halloween candy personality?

Click Here to find out.

I bought like 5 different kinds of candy. Only two of which made the above list. Reese's and Twizzlers. Reese's = generous soul. Twizzlers = a truly demented sicko. Sounds about right. (In my defense, the Twizzler's were bought after the fact, for fear I might run out of candy and be persecuted by the neighborhood kids.)

5. What was the last Halloween party you attended?

Four days ago. A friend hosted a party for the kiddies and went all out. Halloween parade. Decorate your own pumpkin and cookies. A reading of a spooky Halloween story. Personalized gift bags for the guests. Truly a Martha Stewart affair.

Thank goodness for the local loony

Tomorrow, I will embark on a month-long novel-writing journey. For years I have been saying I was going to write the next great American novel. This month, I am aiming just for 50,000 words as part of National Novel Writing Month .

I'm not going to overthink it. I don't have an outline. Only an opening sentence. "The porch light had been shining for four days." Or something like that. My loose idea stems from a local neighborhood eccentric, who leaves food out for the raccoons, (they WERE here before us, after all).

The plan is to write something like 1,667 words per day, and end up with a rough novel by Nov. 30.

We'll see how it goes. One day at a time.

26 October 2007

Knock on wood

Is this going to be a repeat of the 2004 WS sweep?

What's happening in Boston? Sox leading it 2-0 in the World Series. Pats undefeated. Also undefeated BC beats Virginia Tech in a dramatic fourth-quarter win. Celtics on the cover of Sports Illustrated, touted as a "brand new green machine."

Oh, and we can't forget that this guy here earned everyone in America a free taco last night.

22 October 2007

The Red Sox Win! The Red Sox Win!

(Pics from Boston.com)

As most Red Sox fans, I am walking around today with a perma-grin and bags under my eyes.

What a night! Bring on Colorado!

17 October 2007

Oh nuts! Again

No, it's not alright.

If I see another white towel, or hear the phrase "tribe time" again, I think I'll go mental.

But still, in the land of a dejected Nation, there's still hope. Beckett's up tomorrow.

16 October 2007

What a day!

Sunday was truly a "Norman Rockwell" day in suburbia - dads (and some moms) playing flag football, hot wings on the field, the kiddies running free through the cool, fall air. Then a Pats party (and glorious win!) at the Davis abode.

Fun was had by all, even if the guys couldn't move the next day.