Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Was a Blogger Year

My blog now receives 75-100 unique visitors a day. By internet standards, this is minuscule. In the mommy's world, however, that's a whole lotta folks.

Thanks to the following for your blog acknowledgments/support/comments over the past year: My husband Jim, Aunt Melody (California), Aunt Melody (Georgia), Aunt Robin, Oracle, Meghan, Christy, Eddy, Lauri, Mary O., Aunt Bea, Phyllis, Tracy, Trish, and Kenya.

As for everyone else, comment on a post now and then, give me feedback, share an opinion, or take me to task. The comments I get from perfect strangers, while appreciated, far outnumber those received from friends and loved ones.

When issuing critiques, I make an effort to protect personal anonymity. When praising or congratulating, I do reveal surnames from time to time. If this makes you uncomfortable, please let me know. I've chosen to reveal a good portion of my family's life story for the purpose of preserving a bit of history. If I have unwittingly revealed more than your comfort-level-share of personal information, please give me this feedback. I'm open to receiving it and editing posts accordingly.

More blogging in 2008--that's for sure.

Blessings in the year to come.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yard Decorating on Steroids

There are some folks who just don't buy into the "less is more" thing.

(Click on image for larger view...if you dare)

You simply must go to I was howling with laughter.

Some of the comments are as hysterical as the photos. "They must not watch news at all. I think global warming started right here"..."I was exhausted just looking at it"..."My snow globe is bigger than my house"..."We've hit the inflatable motherload"..."My electric bill is bigger than yours"..."Help! We're trapped behind a chain link fence and we can't deliver presents".

Disclaimer: This is all in good fun and we applaud these over-the-top decorators. Keep in mind that many of the photos on the above mentioned site are self-submitted. If they can laugh at themselves--so can we.

Pregnancy Sentiment

My youngest sister is expecting and I'm very happy for her. However, I don't think I'll be sending her this card anytime soon. :-)

I'm so thankful for my children but getting them here was, well...not fun. I had nearly every common yet highly uncomfortable pregnancy malady that you can think of. Not to mention the beauty issues. Some women become more lovely in pregnancy. I, on the other hand, was a planet--complete with my own gravity. Any number of common, household items regularly orbited my substantial girth.

So no, I did not enjoy most of the pregnancy experience. But I'm sure glad I did it. And now that I'm 41 and the necessary anatomy is no longer in working order, I do kinda wish that we could have had just one more....

So be it. The ones I've got are all that I could ask for and more. In the meantime, it's good to laugh about

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Monica!

Happy birthday friend!

I've known you for almost as long as I can remember. Hopefully, I'll know you for as long as I am no longer ABLE to remember you or anyone else for that matter.

One cannot replace a life long friend. The new, fresh-from-the-package kind of friendships don't have bumps, bruises, and worn out parts. But they also don't feel like your grandma's writing chair. Or your fuzzy blanket. Or taste like macaroni and tomatoes on a rainy, cold day.

This kind of friendship just has to stew. You throw in the good with the not-so-good. And somehow, what you end up with is something pretty darned decent and, by the way, nearly impossible to replicate. Maybe not a culinary delight but a jambalaya that is as comforting as it is evolving. A dish to count on during times of joy and of despair.

So here's to you and that golden spike Missy.

Happy birthday!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Header

In case you're wondering...the women on my new header are (left to right): My paternal grandmother (Sue Alvarez McDonald), my mother (Sheryl Whistance), me, my maternal grandmother (Jane Drennan Whistance), and my maternal great-grandmother (Rosa Baldwin Whistance).

Millie Out of ICU

(The card that the kids and I made for Millie today. Click on image to enlarge.)

We are thankful. True to form, she's telling everyone to stay home and to not go to the trouble of visiting her.

Eckrothspeak translation: Please come visit me. The sooner, the better.

Love, love, love you mother-in-law.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Random Traveling Information

States I have visited:

Countries I have visited:

Wow...and I thought I had done a lot of travel. I've only seen 7% of the world!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

May the wonder that is Christ's love

be with you this day and always.

The Eckroth Family

Leigh, Jim, Ethan, and McKenna

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve Revelation

As I begin to wrap untold numbers of presents for my family, I think of all that our Father has given to us and I am in awe. He loves us so much that He literally gave us His only son. What an amazing and mysterious truth.

The greatest gift of all.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Holy Father and Christmas

Pope Benedict is not winning popular favor with the press nor with a recognizable number of Catholics. True enough, he's not particularly charismatic in the way that popular culture has grown to expect. Nevertheless, his words cut to the heart of crucial issues surrounding our faith and what is expected of us as a result of this gift. As I read more of Pope Benedict's work, I am developing an admiration for his ability to drill down to the point.

The Holy Father recently voiced a reminder about the profound meaning of Christmas and the relevancy of this Miracle in our daily lives:

"Moreover," he added, "we have formed a view of tolerance and pluralism such that to believe that Truth has been effectively manifested appears to constitute an attack on tolerance and the freedom of man. If, however, truth is canceled, is man not a being deprived of meaning? Do we not force ourselves and the world into a meaningless relativism?"

He continued: "How important it is, then, for us to reinforce the mystery of salvation which the celebration of Christ's Nativity brings. In Bethlehem the Light that illuminates our lives was revealed to the world; we were shown the Way that leads us to the fullness of our humanity. If we do not recognize that God was made man, what sense does it have to celebrate Christmas? We Christians must reaffirm with profound and heartfelt conviction the truth of Christ's nativity, in order to bear witness before everyone of the unique gift which brings wealth not just to us, but to everyone.

"From here," the Holy Father added, "arises the duty of evangelization, which is the communication of the 'eu-angelion,' the 'good news.' "

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

If You Don't Want To Look Frumpy...

DO NOT wear any of the following (according to O Magazine):

(1) any type of holiday themed sweatshirts, sweaters, etc. No reindeer. No teddy bears.
(2) granny necklaces that tell how many grandchildren you have
(3) souvenir t-shirts
(4) t-shirts with meant-to-be-funny sayings
(5) overalls
(6) acid-washed jeans
(7) ripped jeans
(8) shoulder pads
(9) flannel shirts
(10) muumuus
(11) photo handbags
(12) flesh colored hose
(13) penny loafers
(14) oversized blazers
(15) mommy robes
(16) thin gold chain necklaces
(17) elastic waist pants
(18) granny undies
(19) baggy sweats
(20) Bearlike, full-length fur coats
(21) short shorts
(22) cargo pants
(23) stockings with reinforced toes
(24) three-piece suits with vests
(25) backpacks

I agree with this list but I will fess up to throwing on the baggy sweats now and then. C'mon...

Monday, December 17, 2007

How Parenthood Changed Me

I think most people know that life will be different after children arrive. And it is. In a whole host of ways that you would surely expect. What I did not see coming was the reshaping of a very basic and universal fear.....death. I no longer worry about it in terms of what happens TO ME when I'm gone. Now it's more about what happens to THEM if I'm no longer here.

What's more, it recently dawned on me that my children will one day pass on (shudder). Hopefully, it will be after a long, fulfilling, love-filled life. One day, my baby Ethan will be a grandfather, maybe even a great-grandfather. And McKenna. What type of elderly lady will she be? Will those dimples of hers be her trade mark despite the inevitable wrinkles and lines? How will my children remember me when they reach their twilight? Will they know even then that they were loved beyond words? Will McKenna reminisce with her big brother and ask him if he remembers all those years ago when their mommy would rock them to sleep and tell them that she loved them "to the moon, to the stars and back again"?

Sometimes I watch elderly people and wonder what they were like as children. When my mother-in-law laughs, I see a cheerful, strawberry blond girl-- circa 1933. She twirls in the small backyard of her family's modest Chicago home on a humid summer afternoon. She dreams of what her life will be like someday. And she dismisses this passing thought as her milkman father greets his little girl at the end of a hard day. He pats her on her head, straightens her bow, and asks what mother's got in store for dinner. She skips behind her Daddy as they enter the house. The year 2007 is as knowable to this social, happy child as the planet Mars.

In an instant, I'm in the here and now. I remind myself how precious and fragile life is. And fleeting. I tuck my fears away and rejoin the moment--whatever that moment may be. Later, when left with my thoughts in the remnants of a chaotic day, I think of how different I am from a short six years ago. And on occasion, very rarely, the weight of that change saddens me. But I suspect that it also makes me a far more reflective, grounded parent.

The enormity of raising children becomes apparent in small, simple revelations that are difficult to convey to those who have not experienced the endeavor. And some may wonder why anyone would willingly put themselves through all of the heartache, the fear, the worry. They may wonder is it worth it?


Post Script: We lost our beloved Millie in March, 2008 after a protracted, difficult illness. She was the quintessential mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, and friend. She will always be my inspiration.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mommy Envy

I recently received an email from a fellow mommy whom I like and genuinely admire. For the sake of her anonymity, I won't go into the particulars about her except to say that she and her husband are dedicated, loving parents who make their children their number one priority. In the e-mail, mommy X expressed that she felt just a small pang of envy about one of McKenna's accomplishments. She has a daughter close to McKenna's age and both girls have experienced some similar milestone challenges.

This mommy felt like a creep. In my own excitement to share a big McKenna achievement, I made another mom feel not-so-great. And I hate that--especially when my friend pours her heart and soul into being a really good parent. Not to mention the fact that her daughter, despite some issues, is doing really well and is a shining little star in her own right.

I hope I don't give the impression that I blog to show-off. I wonder if I ought to write more about the tantrums, the back talk, the frustration. Maybe a few pics of my two darlings in a hair raising screaming match are in order. Because I don't want this to be anything like the photo albums of our parents and grandparents generations. You know the ones--where image after image reflects the way our parents wanted life to be remembered versus the way it really was. Snapshots of children in rows, in front of fireplaces, saying cheese in their Sunday best. It was the way everyone preserved memories in those days. I'm just opting for something a little more evolved. And hopefully Ethan and McKenna's tools and methods for recording their children's histories will be even more amazing.

So, without airing every bit of childhood laundry, I'll try to throw in the not-so-good with the great a little more often. Because raising children, while the best job in the world, is filled with more ups and downs than I can shake a stick at. And we mommies, well, we're in this thing together. We should be anyway.

By the way mommy X. Your little girl is doing great. The other kidlet too for that matter. And I marvel at your perseverance and dedication. I learn from you every time we're together.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Father Sunny

Late sixties TV had Sister Bertrille, A.K.A The Flying Nun and St. Michael Church in Wheaton, Illinois has Father Sunny, the singing priest. Now I know you might say that lots of priests sing or try to anyway. It's in the job description somewhere. But they don't sing like Father Sunny. He has a beautiful, American Idol kind of voice. Match that with his lively sermon delivery and yes, his "sunny" disposition, and you just find yourself very thankful that he made his way to our parish. Thought I would share his cover of Josh Groban's Cinema Paradiso.

In his profile, he lists his relationship status as "committed". Love that.

Democrats: There's No There There

When referring to the 08 presidential election, the oft-quoted Gertrude Steinism is certainly apropos.

As a former business manager, I'm all about results. Tangible accomplishments. I think middle America is equally like minded. As such, can anyone name a single accomplishment of either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton? I'm not talking about writing books, waxing poetic, or garnering celebrity endorsements. What have either done as U.S. senators? What bills have they written? Championed? Spearheaded? What have they done that I as an American can say, "Wow--that was impressive. It really contributed to our country being safer, respected, and/or productive".

Take your time. Do your research. I'll wait.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mind Clutter

On any given day, I often feel like there are just too many decisions to make. I'm not just referring to the biggees in life, although those certainly tax the peace of one's soul from time to time. I'm talking about the day-to-day quandaries that fill up what little space is left in this tightly packed noggin of mine. And I'm not just yacking about whether to use a dryer sheet or liquid fabric softener. Or white versus wheat. My ax-to-grind has more to do with the seemingly benign, ostensibly inane options that will determine the fate of life as we know it for generations to come. Or so we're told anyway.

Am I nuts or does anyone else worry about whether one should use paper towels or, as Janie used to say, a tea towel? You know, of the good old fashioned cloth variety. We're told that our kitchens will be festering, bacteria ridden cesspools if we use anything but disposable paper products on our counter tops, handles, etc. One the other hand, the Green crowd tells us that paper towels are waste of precious resources and cloth does the trick. I used to think about this all of the time when the kids were in diapers. Was I irresponsible and lazy for using disposables? Or was I being practical and realistic?

Anti-bacterial everything or plain old soap? Some day care centers will not use antibacterial hand cleaners and cleaning products. The thought here is that bacteria become resistant to the germicide and can actually mutate into stronger, more potent little buggers. Makes sense to me, sort of. Why then do hospitals use antibacterial hand solution like it's going out of style? Aren't hospitals bastions of medical science and knowledge? Wouldn't a hospital know a thing or two about efficiently killing germs? Hmmmm.

And there's more. Lots more in fact.

Some video gaming for kids vs. none at all

Analgesics to reduce mild fever vs. using nothing and allowing the body to heat up and kill the virus and/or bacteria (this is actually the purpose of a fever). An ER doc once told me that by giving my child Motrin for a fever, I was sabotaging the body's way of killing an intruder. My child's pediatrician, on the other hand, said that while he was technically correct, the reality is that Motrin/Tylenol make your kids feel a lot better and that is an overriding priority. But still...I think about it.

Antibiotics or allowing the passage of time to work it's magic? I can tell you that I wasn't on half of the stuff that my kids now take. Perhaps I should have been a time or two. But do I over medicate my kids in an attempt to control every physical malady that comes their way? Or am I just thorough?

Sugar vs. sugar free

Commercial TV or PBS?

Scheduled Activities vs. Free Time.
My guess is that both parents think my children are over scheduled. I might agree. The problem is if you decide to de-schedule your kids, they're gonna be playing alone because all of the other kids are busy at their appointed activities.

SUV or Minivan?

Light bulbs or those new spiral things that look suspiciously florescent to me?

Milk or no milk.
My sister-in-law drinks the stuff by the gallons and gives an equal amount to her kids. But PETA and even some less radical groups would have you believe that all of this milk is turning our 8-year daughters into curvy, mini women. Hormones apparently. In the milk, that is. Or is that propaganda?

I could go on and on. My wheels spin with this stuff all day.

One day, maybe I'll just have the confidence (some might call it hubris) to say, "This is what I'm doing and I know it's the right decision". Don't get me wrong--there are some key issues on which I do not waiver. But there are an equal amount that have me sitting on the fence. The mental fence that is. And this head of mine needs a little freed up space. Do they have a TLC organization team for the mind? How about a Discovery Channel feature on thought hoarding?

A reality show in the making.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Love Is A Losing Game

The "real" video for my favorite song from my favorite act. I hope she gets some help soon. Apparently, she's as drug addicted as drug addicted can get.

By the way, this mommy does NOT think love is a losing game. Not for a moment.

Poor Amy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Card OCD

If you know me, you are well aware that I'm way into Christmas cards. I start thinking about mine right at the end of August. Casual or formal? Snapshot or studio photo? Flat card or fold over? Traditional or whimsical? Color or black and white. You get the gist.

I was like this well before I had children. I'm not sure why except to say that I just can't imagine Christmas being Christmas without sending out cards. I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother when I was six or seven. She took pride in her holiday greeting--in those days it was kind of a status symbol thing to have your family's name professionally printed inside the fold over. I can see it now-- the velvet nativity scene framed in gold foil. I'm sure these would look really dated if I saw them today. But in 1972--the look was very elegant.

She tried to inscribe a line or two in every single one of them. And there were lots. I remember piles and piles. She would let me lick the envelopes or the stamps. I would run out of steam and go to bed sooner or later. I'm sure Janie stayed up into the wee hours getting them all done.

So there you have the Norman Rockwell aspect of this little obsession of mine. Now the dark side. I get really irked when people don't send Christmas cards. I get downright crabby if by December 15 I'm not getting a decent amount each day. Maybe because it's so nice to receive something, anything besides bills and never ending junk mail. And I'm sure that it's also about reciprocity. If I send one to you then yes, I want one in return. Antithetical to the spirit of the holiday, I know. But I'm just being truthful. I doubt I'm alone in my way of thinking either.

Just for the record, I don't care if you include a handwritten note. If you feel the love--go for it. But the card will do. Cards with pictures are ideal but I understand if that's not your thing. That's a right of passage for folks with children, by and large. Just send me something and I'll be happy. And grateful. Send me nothing and you've made the "list". I'm ashamed to admit it but I do keep track. I know--CATTY with a capital "C". Sometimes the truth aint pretty friends.

I've made my list and I'll be checking it more than twice.

So indulge me. Just send the card.

Thank you. :-)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

My Baby Girl...Nearly Three

As I helped her change into her PJs tonight, it occurred to me that I can remember back to nearly the age that she is now. Just barely. It really hit home that one of my most important roles is to create the best possible memories for her. And to prevent the really, really bad ones whenever humanly possible. 'Cause the bad ones--well, they just don't ever go away. They become manageable, tolerable. But the most beautiful day can be marred by a triggering photograph, an odor, a song. A blistering distraction from all that is beautiful, well, and good.

What that means for me, now, is that self-fulfillment, exploration, discovery--well, they're just nothing compared to the safety and protection of both of my children. If that means a few coveted accomplishments become placeholders on the proverbial back burner--so be it. If it means that I'm not the friend I should be or the multi-tasker I ought to be--oh well.

As I snuggled with McKenna this evening, I promised her that this mommy will always have her back. And Ethan's too.

No matter what.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

First Snowy Day

For some reason, this day just seemed like the right day for snow.

Not a ton of the white stuff but enough to count.

Check out the snow!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Alvin and the Chipmunks

The mommy is a super big fan and can't wait until mid December for the new movie!!

..and now they've got beat!!!!

Ethan and McKenna love this song!

Kid Quote

Mommy: Ethan you have got to take this medicine!

Ethan: But you said it was going to taste like cherries. Well it doesn't. It tastes like December!


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Mommy

I know...lately this blog has been one big commercial for something or the other and I intend to give it a break for awhile. But not before I share my latest, online shopping discovery. describes itself as "hip tops for trendy tots". I gotta say, McKenna got more than a few chuckles while we were out and about today.

click for larger image

Available for your budding burnout in a range of baby/toddler/kid sizes.

One small footnote: When they say the shirts run small, take the advice to heart. McKenna is 2 and she is wearing a size 6. My recommendation: go two sizes larger than usual--at least for this particular shirt.

The Mommy Pans: 08 Dodge Grand Caravan Minivan

First, thanks to Matchstick for the opportunity to drive Dodge's 08 Grand Caravan for a week. It was a unique and fun experience.

As mentioned in previous posts, I have a true love for cars in general. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. And I've had more than my fair share of them. Just for fun, here's the list: '90 Honda CRX, '92 Ford Probe, '96 VW Jetta, '98 VW Cabrio, '99 Dodge Durango, '98 Volvo X70,'00 VW New Beetle, '99 BMW 528i, '00 BMW X5, '00 Lincoln Navigator, '01 BMW 525i wagon, '04 Nissan Quest (currently driving), '03 Mercedes E500 (Jim currently driving).

Unfortunately, the all new Dodge Grand Caravan was disappointing at best. In fact, it made me appreciate my '04 Nissan Quest all the more. While the Caravan has every technological bell and whistle, the vehicle itself really misses the mark. Both Jim and I found the interior cramped compared to what we're used to. The seats are substantially smaller than those found in the Quest. When Jim was driving, McKenna's feet touched the back of the driver's seat--and she's only two years old in a car seat! Interior styling hearkens back to the oh-so-regrettable "K-Car" days of the 1970's. Plastic-y with lots of hard lines and angles. For lack of a better term, it just seemed "cheapy".

While the minivan touts a 4.0 V-6 engine, it felt lacking in power. When accelerating , one could noticeably detect the gears shifting. The word "clunky" comes to mind. To use car lover lingo, it just had no "guts". Honestly, I felt like I was driving an economy, sub-compact. Think Geo, Colt, Escort and the like.

As mentioned, the minivan has all the current technology but the accessibility associated with it is very, very confusing. Some important commands are so deeply embedded within the navigation screen's menuing system that it is nearly impossible to find them. How is it that Dodge doesn't understand that moms do not have time for this stuff? When the kids are screaming and you're running late to one of the 12 places you need to go to that day, you shouldn't have to pull out a manual in order to determine how to make satellite TV appear on one screen and a DVD appear on the other. I have a more-than-decent comfort level with technology and I WAS UTTERLY BAFFLED by the Grand Cravan's audio/video/navigation controls. A bit of advice to the '08 Grand Caravan engineers...start over. Think user friendly this time.'s not all bad...Props for the rear view camera, auto stow-and-go 3rd row seat, and the best feature of all--sliding door windows that actually open. I could really use these features on my Quest!

Bottom line: The fully loaded model approaches $40K. For that price point, one expects a far more comfortable, better designed vehicle. Folks I know will spend another $10K and get into the entry level Lexus, BMW world. And when you place the '08 Grand Caravan alongside that class of vehicle, the comparison becomes absurd. The Grand Caravan cannot even begin to compete.

This mommy never wants to be mean. Just honest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happiness...Then and Now

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our
dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”

-Martha Washington

...and the modern day interpretation of this wisdom:

If you make an effort to be happy, generally you are. If you need a pill for this, by all means, take it.


Great Dennis Millier-ism

If you were buying crack on ebay, would it be easier to give up ebay or give up crack?

Tough call.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pee Wee...He'll Be Baaaaack!!!!!

I am thrilled. Word on the street is that he is working on a new, feature length film!

Pee Wee's Playhouse was this mommy's BOM diggety. He just "gets" the way kids think. And he entertains without talking down to them. Pee Wee's show really changed the course of children's television. Before Pee Wee, much of children's programming was good but often patronizing and fairly literal in it's presentation. Pee Wee, on the other hand, credited children with the ability to enjoy off-beat, subtle humor and to appreciate diverse and truly eccentric characters. Most importantly, he spoke to children the way they actually speak to one another.

And no I don't care about his run-in-with-the-law several years ago. His transgression, while not admirable and decidedly not advisable, was adult in nature and in no way involved harm to a child. Or harm to anyone else really. And he's made his apologies. So let Paul Rubens do what he does best.

Come on back Pee Wee. We could all use a little of that unbridled optimism right about now.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

McKenna's Stuttering

McKenna has been in speech-language therapy (SLT) for well over a year now and has made great progress. She has been talking up a storm. And she no longer is in weekly physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT). Early Intervention in DuPage County is just phenomenal and all of the therapists have really done a great job helping McKenna overcome delays associated with low muscle tone (benign congenital hypotonia). And McKenna is a little smartie. So lately I have taken some well deserved time-off from worrying. Worrying about McKenna that is.

But it's always something where children are concerned... McKenna has started to noticeably stutter. She doesn't stutter on sounds but on words--especially when she is asking a question. She will begin a sentence with the word "you" but proceed to repeat it 5,6,7,8 times. Sometimes she just gives up and says, "I love you Mom" or some other darling non sequitur. I notice it is worse with she is upset, tired, or rushed. In the wee hours of the morning she woke up and couldn't produce a single sentence without a stutter. While I tried not to show it, the incident rattled me.

McKenna's speech therapist says this often occurs with many children between the ages of 3 and 5--even with those who have no speech delays. She has urged me not to be overly concerned--just mindful. Most importantly, whether this is a true stutter or just a "phase of disfluency", it is important not to correct McKenna or to make a big deal out of it. Correcting or mimicking her can result in making her feel self-conscious about her speech, which can, in turn, result in further stuttering. So we just have to let McKenna's words catch up with her thoughts and hope she grows out of this.

It just hits a raw nerve for me. I sooo want McKenna and Ethan to experience ease in social situations and to not struggle with mommy's challenges. I'm not sure if folks know how much effort it takes in order for me to feel relaxed in a social setting. It's actually work for me. I guess I just hope that all of the "social stuff" comes a little more naturally for them. And a stutter is just another thing to overcome in that regard.

I know--I'm making a huge issue out of what could be a passing phase. I'm just putting words to thoughts this morning.

And the worrying continues.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Letter From Derebe!

Call it coincidence, fate, Divine's up to you. Shortly after I posted the video blog (previous post) about a fellow Compassion sponsor and promoter, we received a letter from Derebe--our Ethiopian daughter! (I'm calling Derebe at HER request and because I too feel comfortable with that endearment.)

I was so excited when I saw the return address on the envelope I actually started to shake as I opened it. Not only did we receive a wonderful, detailed letter but photos as well! We have had one photo of her since we began her sponsorship and didn't think we would have any more until my visit in March.

In Derebe's letter she mentions that she is now in Kindergarten. THIS IS HUGE! SHE'S IN SCHOOL. (Many kids in her town/village are not due to their families' inability to pay for uniforms and supplies).

She also told us (via a translator of course) that they were able to use our gift money for a number of important household items (as a sponsor you can choose to assist the family with extra funds in addition to the money that is used to support the individual child). Essentials purchased: sorghum (grain), sugar, flour, candles, oranges, bananas, fabric, shoes, socks. She admits to purchasing some candy for herself and her siblings and even sounds a little apologetic about it! Bless her little heart! Additionally, the family bought a cloth box (presumably a storage unit for linens or fabric?), a table, a chair, and more shoes. They used the balance of the money for transportation costs.

She also wants to see more pictures of Ethan and McKenna which I will send in the next day or so. What she doesn't yet know is that I am coming to see her! She won't be told until shortly before I arrive to avoid disappointment should I not make it for some unforeseen reason. Anyway, I'm on cloud nine today. And more jazzed than ever about the big trip in March. Blessings abound!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ethiopian Trip Preview

This recent video blog gives a very good idea of what my trip (March 08) will be like.I'm sure the creator of this clip stayed in the same hotel that our group will call home base. Just as I start to worry about being away from the kids and the possible, albeit small risks associated with the trip, testimonials like this inspire me once again.

God is in this place indeed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Mommy Loves Dennis Miller!

I've known about him since his SNL days. Wasn't overly thrilled with his HBO series. Absolutely no opinion about his foray into the world of Monday night football. Oh sorry...MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL. But I have to say, he is completely at his best in his relatively new role as talk radio host. If you love talk radio and you are not listening to Dennis Miller, you are really missing out. He's smart, funny, cerebral, and kind. Yes, kind. He actually listens to people and shows respect to those who disagree with him. He's conservative but not reactionary. And his command of spoken English makes the word aficionado swoon with admiration. A welcome departure from the Rush Limbaugh-esque repertoire of conservative radio programming currently available. In Chicago, tune in Monday through Friday from 9 am to Noon on WIND 560AM. For other areas, refer to his website. Hey Oracle--thanks for the tip!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

08 Dodge Grand Caravan - Driving It This Week

It's got every single bell and whistle. Navigation with voice recognition, 2 video screens for DVD and/or satellite TV, satellite radio, leather seat surfaces, 2nd row swivels to face third row, power third row control, power side doors and trunk, remote start, rear reverse camera. There's more I'm sure. Anyway, I've got it until next Tuesday. The kids are in love with it. Mommy and Daddy--not so much. We're loaning it to two different families this weekend. We'll see what they have to say.

It's been fun trying something new when we've' been driving the same minivan for nearly four years. New, however, does not necessarily mean better.

More later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Undocumented Workers? Huh?

I heard a some interesting analogies this morning.

Identifying illegal aliens as undocumented workers is equivalent to:

-Calling bank robbers undocumented borrowers

-Calling drug dealers undocumented pharmacists

I'm sure the list goes on but you've got the idea.

Food for thought.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Junie B. Jones Gives Me The Willies

Ethan is nuts for Junie B. Jones. Every night, he is doubled over with belly laughs as I read three or four chapters from one of the books in the series. She's a feisty Kindergarten girl who spouts lots of wise cracks and often finds herself in some sort of kid-style jam. Apparently, the books are wildly popular and children follow her adventures throughout grammar school, starting in Kindergarten.

But I'm here to confess that I cannot stand Junie B. Jones. For starters, the child constantly uses incorrect, cutesy grammar. Junie B., as she is referred to in the series, is often mildly disrespectful and just plain obnoxious. The author, Barbara Park, definitely knows how to access her readers' funny bones and some of Junie B.'s schemes are kind of amusing even to me. But I don't want Ethan to ever think it's OK to call another child a crybaby or casually address his grandmother by her first name or scream in class to get attention. And the fact that Junie B. can never use an adverb with the suffix "ly" is just maddening to me. I constantly find myself stopping midsentence to remind Ethan that Junie's misuse of the past tense is incorrect or that she has mispronounced one word or another (beautifulest is not a word). Or, most importantly, that she should never call children names when she gets upset. That stuff is not cute and it's certainly not funny.

One more thing...The illustrations are kind of creepy. The artist's rendering of children is just weird--with bizarre features and expressions. Kind of like what you would see in an an old-style, newspaper comic strip. The whole thing just has a dated, 70's look and feel. Kind of like Andy Capp meets Holly Hobby. Scary.

I think Ethan "gets" the finer point here and that is that Junie B. is funny because she's spunky and that a lot of her antics are about getting laughs and not about role modeling. What's more, I think there is value in not over sanitizing every single one of Ethan's experiences. Life, even from a Kindergarten point-of-view, is not perfect and squeaky. So, because Ethan enjoys the books so much, I'll keep reading them to him (with appropriate editing)--at least for now.

In the meantime, I often read Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans to Ethan and McKenna. When I've had my fill of Junie B., Madeline restores my faith in children's literature. Gentle, poetic, lovely, and subtle. Written word that stands the test of time and captures the imagination all the while.

Not at all like Junie B. Jones.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

You Too Can Drive the Grand Caravan For A Week

Lot's of folks are asking. Click below to find out if any of you mommies qualify:

08 Dodge Caravan Test Drive

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mom Trades In Her Minivan

...and gets another one! At least for a week anyway.

I was contacted through this blog by Matchsitck, a marketing agency involved in the launch of the 08 Dodge Caravan minivan. Apparently I am a walking, breathing poster child for their target customer base: I'm a mommy, I take my children here, there, and everywhere. My kids are involved in lots of activities and I talk to lots of other mommies. I'm a frequent blogger. And I'm a short distance from one of their test markets--Chicago. So, they asked me if I want to drive their new mini van for a week. I only have to commit to providing Matchstick with feedback about the experience. You can be sure you'll see my opinion here as well.

Anyone who's affiliated with the mommy knows that this is right up my alley. I love cars. Always have. I'm usually up on the latest and greatest in every class of vehicle. New car technology excites me to no end. Jim views cars in terms of the point A to point B thing. I, on the other hand, relish the the whole car experience. I have had more than my fair share of cars and I don't regret owning a single one. But, when we bought the 04 Quest, I committed to keeping it for five years. The good news for me is that we technically bought the Nissan in 03--so I don't have that much longer to wait.

And yes--I have a roving eye. I don't think I was ever intended for a monogamous car relationship.

Another post on the 08 Dodge Caravan is sure to follow in the near future.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Brand New Niece!

What a blessing!

My sister Jennifer gave birth to her first child this evening. She and her husband Dallas are proud to welcome their perfect little daughter--Bella Marie Stone Claiborne. 7lbs, 8oz--19 inches. She is healthy and all is well. think it wasn't so long ago that Jennifer successfully battled Leukemia.

And now she's Bella's mommy. Amazing.

We have much to be thankful for this lovely, crisp November night. Welcome to the world little girl. Welcome to the world.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Bee Movie

It's cute. The kids and I enjoyed it. Much of the humor escapes small children but that's OK. The animation is incredible with some of the richest, most vibrant hues I've ever seen on the screen. That alone captures the shrimps' attention. There are a few nods to environmental issues but nothing too preachy or over-the-top like Happy Feet. More than anything, you really get the impression that Jerry made this movie with children in mind. Yes, he does some Seinfeld- like shtick and there are a few very mild, adult-type references but by and large, it's just a lighthearted little movie. I wasn't dazzled but I also wasn't offended. By all means, take the kids and don't worry about editing for inappropriate content. They could rescript one or two lines of dialog and this movie qualifies as rated "G".

I recommend.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I Could Watch It 100 Times

...and I would never tire of American Beauty. Arguably one of the best films in the last twenty years or more. The dialog from the last scene always brings me to tears. Always.


I had always heard your entire life flashes in front
of your eyes the second before you die.
First of all, that one second isn't a
second at all, it stretches on forever,
like an ocean of time...

For me, it was lying on my back at Boy
Scout camp, watching falling stars...

And yellow leaves, from the maple trees,
that lined my street...

Or my grandmother's hands, and the way
her skin seemed like paper...

And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's
brand new Firebird...

(In BLACK & WHITE: A door opens to reveal
dressed for Halloween in a
Princess costume, holding a lit

SPARKLER aloft and smiling shyly at us.)
And Janie...

(A younger Carolyn sits across from us
in one of those SPINNING-TEACUP RIDES,
laughing uncontrollably as she twists
the wheel in front of her, making us
spin even faster.)
And... Carolyn.
I guess I could be pretty pissed off
about what happened to me... but it's
hard to stay mad, when there's so much
beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel
like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's
too much, my heart fills up like a
balloon that's about to burst...

...and then I remember to relax, and stop
trying to hold on to it, and then it
flows through me like rain and I can't
feel anything but gratitude for every
single moment of my stupid little life...
You have no idea what I'm talking about,
I'm sure. But don't worry...

(Fade to black.)

You will someday.

--Taken from American Beauty Script/Screenplay by Alan Ball

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Apathy's Overrated

Oracle implied that I get too riled up about things. Things that don't have any direct affect on my life.

At 41, I don't see myself changin'. Not sure I could if I wanted to.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Taking on Ms. Erica Jong

This is a rated R post friends.

Not the usual fodder for themommymemoir but I just couldn't resist responding to Erica Jong's ridiculously insulting and crude comments regarding blogging and bloggers.

While sitting in the doctor's office today I flipped through a magazine and came across this,

"Blogging is vanity. Like loving the smell of your own farts. Like not only tasting your menstrual blood, but making bloody thumbprints (sic) and buying gold-leafed frames in which to display them. But the truth is, not everything you think is worth publishing. Not everyone's opinion matters. How to distinguish a "pundit" from a gasbag? Impossible! On television, they yell and posture. On blogs, they are equally puffed up with self-importance...

First reaction: eeewwwww. Second reaction: she is still alive? Third reaction: my, my...isn't she a bitter little senior citizen?? I bet she labored long and hard over that ever so gracious hyperbole, all in an effort to make sure that we, the literary peasantry, clearly understand just how erudite and elevated she is. Because after all, she is Erica Jong. She alone is responsible for the renaissance of female sexuality. I mean really--life as we know it would be so empty if we weren't privy to her lovely, enriching prose. I would feel personally cheated had I never heard that oh so bandied phrase, "the zipless f***".

Needless to say, the blogging community had lots of fun responses for Ms. Jong. This mommy laughed at many of them but they are far too lurid and unseemly for themommymemoir. Suffice it to say, they spoke in a particular brand of vernacular that Ms. Jong surely understands. As a champion of sexual expression, she must appreciate the zest with which various bloggers told her she could go f*** herself. (Temper, temper bloggers.)

Instead of hurling insults, let's just chat about her emission of noxious fumes. Her wildly popular Fear of Flying, once considered a manifesto for female, sexual liberation, has failed to stand the test of time. Peruse a few pages and you will quickly glean that her soft porn approach to sexual enlightenment is laughable. I believe the term that best fits here is passe'. And so not applicable to the lives of most women of my generation. The mere thought that the author of the above posted quote has anything at all to say about human sexuality is actually rather frightening. It's got to be tough when at her pinnacle, in the 70s, Erica Jong was the it-girl of the paper back novel crowd. Now she's just cranky and irrelevant.

Listen Ms. Jong...Just in case you're vain enough to google yourself and you just happen to come across this post...I blog because I want my children to know their mother as a distinct person who had all kinds of thoughts an opinions about a myriad of subjects. Sure, they will see that for themselves simply by living with me. But a lot of the day-to-day I won't remember in years to come. So here it is. Now, if a few other folks want to read it along the way--great. I don't pretend to be a pundit, an expert, or any other such thing. Sometimes I read what I wrote and think, "Wow..that sounds like crap. But it's all I could muster that particular day." So be it. That in and of itself might be kind of telling in years to come.

Mostly, it's just for my kids. And something tells me they will think these fumes smell pretty damned good. In the meantime darlin'...just go run your own race. You've got some serious catching up to do.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Mommy Recommends...DWR

...otherwise known as Downey Wrinkle Releaser.

At the risk of sounding like I'm straight out of Stepford, let me tell you--this stuff works. Oracle and I are in full agreement. She even talked me into buying it by the case (online) because it isn't always on the shelf for some reason. And I go into a laundry induced panic if I've run out. Jim even tried DWR and he was impressed. Since he's a laundry connoisseur--that's saying something.

I rarely, if ever, use an iron. And I'm not A-R enough to always pull clothes from the dryer once they are done. Just spray, pull taught, and throw the shirt on a hanger. Good to go. It's not razor sharp but it's surely not wrinkled. Sometime good enough is, well, good enough.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Three "Ds"

Dressing. Dieting. Decorating.

Life in the burbs for the mommy. In addition to the full-time, finely crafted development of my budding citizens, I had better find a way to carve out time for the above mentioned vocations/ pastimes/obsessions. 'Cause's a problem. I can't really put my finger on why it's a problem. But trust me, it just is.

Shortly after sun rise, all of the testosterone vanishes in this town and we women mobilize. It's an all girls' school for grown-ups, minus the nuns to keep things in check.

Those of us who don't actually receive a paycheck for our work have all kinds of expectations placed upon us. Many are stated; most are not. We know we have to raise our kids well. Got it. Apparently, however, I must have missed the memo that tells us SAHMs that we better not just throw on any old thing . If you're wearing sweats, they had better be coordinated and fashionable. You know...of the "Juicy" variety (gag). And if you're overweight, it is first assumed that you are the nanny, not the mom. After all, a good mom would not let herself "go" like that. And when you have that playdate, your house should be immaculate and tastefully decorated. All in effort to win approval of the equally beleaguered yet peppy mom who will stay for all of 9.8 seconds as she whisks off to yet another playdate, another soccer game, another dance practice. Ad infinitum.

OK...maybe you've just caught me on a bad day and maybe I'm projecting. Totally and completely possible. And I love my little town. Heaven help anyone who dare criticize it. It's just that I've always claimed that we women are way hard on each other. And I happen to live in a town where most of the women are around during the day. I would hazzard to guess that I have it better than some other SAHMs. God help me if we still lived in that other western suburb (starts with an H, ends with an E and has I-N-S-D-A-L in the middle). In that case, my three Ds would become four--desperation would be added to the list.

Oops I have to go. Pick out the perfect outfit, get on the treadmill, and reevaluate my throw pillow choices.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Can I Have a Do-Over?

Circa 1977. I clearly remember the playground game of Skill with a nifty little escape hatch called a do-over. This is not to be confused with a "liner" or a "skimmer". No. A do-over is as the name implies; you just get another chance to get that huge rubber ball over the line and into your opponent's square. The criteria for a do-over were arbitrary and wholly dependent upon your mood, your opponent's mood, the number of children waiting in line to replace you, the amount of conviction displayed when requesting a need for a "do-over" and most importantly, the amount of time left before recess was over. If a mere three minutes of freedom remained before the inescapable shuffle back to the academic salt mines, you were a gonner. No do-over. The game, as far as you were concerned, was over. Even so, you knew the next recess would surely bring a re-match and if you palsied out in pursuit of that enormous, bouncing ball, you just might get your do-over. And there was comfort in knowing that.

As a young adult, I must have firmly believed that the do-over was a viable life strategy. I don't know if I really thought it about that way at the time. But my actions surely conveyed a sensibility that anything could be undone and if need be, made right. I had pluck, you know, resilience. If I only knew at 18 that some actions and words are irrevocable. No do-overs. Just recovery from the fallout. And wounds that heal--but not totally.

I want Ethan and McKenna to know that you just have to try to do it right the first time, especially when it comes to treating people well, not flaking out when others need you, reminding those close to you that they're important and loved. Not taking them for granted. And when it comes to achievement--striking while the proverbial iron is hot. Because life changes, demands emerge and shift. Some things just require that yes, you gotta do it now. Tomorrow is not promised. At twenty, you think you have all the time in the world. Plenty of room for flub-ups and oversights. To be sure, you have some room. But not nearly as much as you think.

If the power of the do-over was truly mine, I would have stayed in the living room with my grandmother that night in January and found something to chat about instead of gluing myself to MTV. I would have broken up with my very first boyfriend in a far kinder and gentler way. I would have listened more to my grandfather's wisdom. I would have put far more focus on academic and career achievement early on in my adulthood. I would have believed in myself more and relied less on others to make me feel worthy. And I would have discovered the power of prayer and the amazing Grace of God far earlier than I did.

Don't get me wrong. A lot turned out really well for me. I am blessed in a hundred different ways. Just now and again, I think about what I could have done better, about actions that can't be undone despite much amends making. I hope that my dear children can learn from me in this regard.

Truth be told, most of the time you just don't get that do-over.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ethan's Chronology of Life

Ethan bestowed his wisdom tonight...

You're born, you're a baby, a kid, you go to college, you get married to a VERY pretty girl, you get a job as a hamburger cook, you have kids if you feel like it, and then you die.

When I told him that his time line doesn't put me in a very good spot he said, "You can probably get out of dying right now since you decided to have kids when you were so old. God will probably throw you a bone. But you better get crackin' because you never know if He'll change His mind".

You got me there Ethan. You got me there.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I Wish I Had Written It...

"...I like flaws and feel more comfortable around people who have them. I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."

-Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mimi Turns the Big 5!

These are the days
These are days you’ll remember
Never before and never since, I promise
Will the whole world be warm as this
And as you feel it,
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you

These are days that you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you
With desire to be part of the miracles
You see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true
That you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you are touched
By something that will grow and bloom in you

These are days
These are the days you might fill
With laughter until you break
These days you might feel
A shaft of light
Make its way across your face
And when you do
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
See the signs and know their meaning
It's true
Then you’ll know how it was meant to be
Hear the signs and know they’re speaking
To you, to you

(These Are The Days--10,000 Maniacs)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Big Sigh of Relief...Mimi

A girl's gotta look her best! What a little doll.

There was some remote concern about relapse but those fears have been put to rest. Thank God. Here's what her mommy has to say about the recent, jubilant revelation:

Hi Everyone,

I am extremely happy to report that Mimi's repeat lumbar puncture revealed normal spinal fluid and no "suspicious" cells nor any blasts. Everything looked normal and I can breathe again. Thank God and thank you all for all the prayers and support. I am certain that this is what has helped Mimi do so well.

Of course, Mimi was clueless that anything was going on. I was able to maintain fairly well until today, when I knew I would get the results. I was very worried and nervous. Of course, they were running late at the clinic, so that made things that much worse. Finally when both the nurse practitioner and the doctor walked in, I was about to lose it, but they both said it was good. I almost started crying. The stress. Anyway, who knows what that funky cell was they saw on the last LP, but everything is fine now. Mimi looks great and feels great and we should be done with treatment in February. Yippee.
Again, thanks for all the support.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Friend Kenya

Have you ever known someone who is so unique, so utterly their own person, that you know any time spent with him or her will forever have an impact? This is exactly how I feel about Kenya.

We met several years ago in the workplace. I liked him right from the start but I knew he was going to do things his own way, in his own time, on his own terms. That approach doesn't always gel in a corporate environment and as I suspected, he encountered his share of head bumping and growing pains. Luckily for all of us, we didn't work for IBM and we weren't in the ARMY. At least in those days, the networking giant for whom we worked gave folks-with-potential a little breathing room to blossom. And did he ever.

Kenya is a consummate speaker and an engaging presenter. He is a committed and tenacious problem solver. Success will never elude him. And Kenya is kind with the one of the happiest laughs I have ever heard. Perhaps the most lasting image I have is Kenya working at his desk, in front of a computer, donning a cowboy hat while singing along with a Country song. If you didn't see the top of his hat over the cube wall you certainly could hear him! He was, without fail, the only Black man I had ever known who not only liked country music but freely admitted it! That alone places him in the annuls of the mommy memoir.

I just received the most uplifting e-mail from him today. I am so happy to hear that he's is getting married! So, congratulations to Kenya. God bless him on this most worthy and worthwhile calling. The challenge and the rewards are like no other.

Kenya and his lovely wife-to-be.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Mommy Recommends...Stuck On You

Now that I have a few (and I mean a FEW) of you checking in from time to time, I thought I would occasionally do a post on products I think are really great. Take it for what it's worth friends.

If you've got kids, you know that they have a lot of stuff. And they lose stuff--all of the time. In an effort to minimize this, I started labeling just about everything. The problem: my homemade, computer labels didn't have staying power.

I just love Stuck On You labels. My favorites: Iron-on clothing labels (a pre-school must), plastic backpack tags, and vinyl name labels--great for school supplies, toys, whatever. Thoughtful, unique gift for other moms/children. Check 'em out at Stuck On You.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Guess Who's Getting Married????!!

This was just snapped while Sex and the City (the feature film) was filming in NYC on Friday. Guess we have to wait until May '08 for the movie....This is a must-see for Mommy!

Yes, I love the show and no I am not contradicting past statements about our over sexed air waves. This is an adult show and is promoted as such. My children have no access to it nor should they. I may not agree with many of the themes but I think what pulls me in is the message that despite all of these women's missteps and misadventures, love really does matter and will always win out over casual encounters. Even randy Samantha accepts this by the end of the series. I love the fact that the show's star is not classically beautiful. And yet she is attractive because she knows how to accentuate her positives, so to speak. And there isn't one woman who can't relate to Carrie's insecurities. Or Charlotte's. Or Miranda's.

I think the title Sex and The City was an initial hook and homage to the book but it in no way defines the essence of this show--which is really about hope, family (albeit non-traditional), and yes, true love.

Friday, October 05, 2007

When Mommy Was a Kid...Movies I Loved

When I was 12, I was absolutely certain that he was the most beautiful male on the planet. Turns out he had a beautiful, kind heart to match. Hope you're safe in Heaven Chris.

Ethan loves it too. I wanted to go to that chocolate factory soooo badly when I was 6.

I told you I loved these apes. I guess the spelling of her name is Dr. Z-I-R-A.

When I watch this as an adult it depresses me to no end. Still, it was great then and even better now. As a kid, I missed all of the subtext--which made the movie madcap and kind of funny. If I had realized everything that was really going on, I would not have liked it all.

The ultimate taboo movie for a Catholic grade school girl in the 1970s. And rightly so. Still, John Travolta was a fabulous mess in this movie wasn't he?

The book haunted me as a girl. Not because of the blood and supernatural references. Actually,I was really sad that young girls could treat each other so badly. In years to come, I witnessed a few Carrie-esque moments. More than a couple of the girls at Mitty High School from 1980 to 1984 were really, well...mean. I hope they developed "sensitivity chips" in years to come because they sure were missing them as teenage girls.

Star Wars...the love affair continues...

Can you believe that the girl is Paris Hiton's aunt (Kim Richards)?

Every girl wanted to be Brooke Shields. And for good reason. She was stunning. As an actress...not so good. But we didn't care about that silly detail.

I thought Quinn Cummings was the best name ever when I was 11.

I didn't get caught up in the hype but the movie still gives me chills.

The problem here is that the theme of the movie is that if you're innocent and pure, you're not gonna get the guy. In the end, Sandy had to slut it up to reel her man in. Not a good message. And not at all true either. Still, it's a classic that I adored when I was 11ish.

I cried my eyes out over this saccharine, schmaltzy, over acted piece of dribble. But because it was a memorable cry indeed, I included Love Story in my list. When you watch it as an adult, it's actually laughable. "Love means never having to say you're sorry". Who wrote that? Love actually means that you have to say you're sorry all of the time.

I remember seeing this with my Dad.

Because of this film, I still scan the night sky and think that we very well may not be alone.

Life is a come to the Caboret!

More Brooke Shields. Whatever.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When Mommy Was A Kid...TV I Loved

When I was 8, Mary Tyler Moore was everything I thought a woman should be. At 41, I still kinda think that.

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was on weeknights at 11pm. Way too late for a fifth grader but you guessed it--I was up. Way before it's time. I could see this making it on HBO now. Check out Mary Kay Place! What an underrated actress. She's great on "Big Love" as Nicky's mom.

More my mom's era than mine but I loved Mickey Mouse club reruns. Annette and Darlene were my favorites.

Loved Flipper.

What normal kid was up watching Tom Snyder? On occasion, I was. I just loved him for some reason.

The worst of the 70s--really.

My grandma would laugh, laugh, laugh at Geraldine. Who couldn't?

I adored Family Affair. Poor Buffy.

The first time I ever heard the word "gay" as a reference to something other than being happy. Family was a little sappy but still pretty good. I don't know if it can stand the passage of time though. I haven't seen it since I was 11 or 12.

Loved the reruns on channel 2 after school.

Saturday night, channel two, hosted by some guy who's name escapes me. Popcorn. Grandma's house.

Barnaby Jones. I was a weird kid--clearly.

Scooby Dooby do, where are you? We got some work to do now.

All in the Family. Perfection.
Not a single show has rivaled it--before or after.
Not a single one.

This reminds me of living alone with my mother in an apartment in Los Gatos.

What a guy. I loved his house.