Tuesday, June 30, 2009


n. The act of moving, proceeding, or acting in a covert way.
Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:
Exhibit C:

Over the past few weeks, Mo has figured out how to climb the stairs, climb onto the coffee table, climb and then jump on the couch, and her personal favorite, walk into the bathroom, open the toilet and play in the water. I know I have jokingly referred to her as the Spawn of Satan, but these past few weeks have more or less clarified that she's basically just a little shit. If this is what she's like at 15 months, I am terrified of her terrible twos. I'm not usually a spiritual person, but help me God!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cheddar Goldfish, Killer Ivy, and Scraped Knees

I know it's been a while.
Things in 'ZillaLand have been a little crazy lately.
I'm exhausted, the new house is a mess, the townhouse is a mess too, and Moira is just as insane as ever. So much to talk about, yet I'd hate to bore you with the inane details of the past week.
Our weekends have been consumed with all things related to the new house. We spent nearly two hours at Restoration Hardware on Saturday picking out "the perfect vanity" and "light fixtures" for our soon to be updated bathroom. Surprisingly Moira did awesome just relaxing in her stroller, people watching and eating cheddar cheese goldfish, that is until she decided to swallow one whole. As she sat there attempting to cry and choke at the same time, the three (yes three) Restoration Hardware associates attempted to finish our order on their computer as Bryan oversaw the mess. I, of course being the former Girl Scout and lifeguard, was ever prepared and in one finger sweep removed the entire goldfish from the back of her throat. She started crying, as I removed her from the harness that keeps her tethered to the stroller and walked out of the store. Within a minute, she was fine and wanted to run- not walk - away from me down the mall hallway. Bry was still trying to oversee the hot mess that was their ordering system. Another ten minutes later, they got it to work. I pushed the stroller as Bry carried the crazy kid out of the mall. Potential crisis adverted!
Yesterday, we spent most of the day at the new house. Bry went down around 2 and was there doing manual labor until nearly 8:30. (I NEED TO GET PICTURES OF THIS! I know there are some of you who would not believe it unless you saw it!) Our front yard has been overtaken by killer ivy.
While I'm not sure if any humans have lost their life to this horrid plant, I know that quite a number of unassuming small animals, birds, and insects have been consumed by the ever growing ivy.
There are plants out there that are lovely and seem to add flair to a front yard. Then there's ivy. I really don't think there is any redeemable qualitites to this plant whatsoever. It's a glorified weed in my humble opinion and thus far, Bryan has spent nearly 10 hours on our front yard and has only tackled a small portion of the front corner.
God bless my husband as he cuts, and rakes, and sweeps, and pounds, and pummles this hellish plant!
While Bryan perfroms surgery on our yard, I attempted to sweep the back patio while I thought Moira could run around in the grass. Moira being content in the backyard lasted all of two minutes. She wanted her daddy, who was in the front yard - using sharp tools and potent weed killer- and nothing was going to stop her from getting there.
Well, the little garden gnome that I found stopped her for about ten minutes. She sat on the back steps with the dirty gnome that I found in some (Surprise!) ivy in the backyard. After I washed it in the sink, she would hug it and attempted to suck the top of it's hat. Classy, I know.
She did get a bored, and eventually tried to make it back to her daddy. We hit another milestone yesterday, as Moira got her first set of brush burned knees. I'm thinking she's not quite comfortable in her new sneakers as she basically just tripped over her own feet and landed smack dab on her hands and knees. She cried for all of a minute and then, when I thought she would scream as I poured water over to clean off the dirt, she laughed happily and tried to grab the water. Once we got home I cleaned them off more and put on a little ointment. She was engrossed in her dinner of spagehetti, meatballs, and peas when I took the picture while in her high chair.
I know that this will be the first of many skinned knees, but I just had to take a picture for prosperity.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Birthmark & The Bump - Revisited

It has been sometime since I wrote about Moira's head and I have noticed that we do get the occasional traffic on that entry. I guess there are a lot of kids out there being born with hemangiomas and dermoids cysts. Now, I'm not quite sure how many are lucky like us to have both on the same forehead, but I know that my entry helped me vent my own frustrations and hopefully it was helpful to others too.
So, here we are, Moira is 14 and a half months old. The hemangiaoma is still there, but things are changing. We've noticed it's definitely getting less bold. It formerly was a deep crimson red and if you touched it felt like a blister. This picture was taken when she was about five months old. I found that the first couple of months, I took a lot of pictures strategically so that the hemangiaoma was out of the picture. Needless to say, we have quite a few pictures that look like I just cut the top of her head off. If you look in the picture, the dermoid isn't too obvious. We *think* it's because her face was so full that you couldn't really see it.
Here is a recent picture. I think there is a noticeable difference, especially when you compare the two side by side. The pediatric plastic surgeon did say it can take upwards of five years for the hemangioma to completely disappear, but I'm hoping it goes away sooner. I'd love for Mo not to have to worry about it when she starts school.
As for the dermoid, it seems like it's getting more prominent as she's getting older. Maybe it's as her face changes and she's loosing the baby fat, or maybe it's because we put her hair up more. Either way, it's there.
We've decided to wait a year or so before we have it surgically removed. The pediatric plastic surgeon told us that it does need to be removed, as there is a risk for infection, but it's not an emergency. Of course, I would like to put off the surgery for as long as possible. They will need to sedate her and put a breathing tube down her throat which scares me far more then surgically removing the dermoid. We hope that in that time frame the hemangiaoma gets smaller, so if that needs to be surgically removed too we can do both at the same time. So maybe this time next year, Mo will be gearing up for surgery.
There are still people in the public that comment on her hemangiaoma. I get the occasional "Did she hurt herself?" or the "Ahh, those boo-boos will get better!". There are a lot of well-meaning (usually grandmothers) people who stop to tell me about their grandchild or niece or neighbor who had one and now as they're 25 the hemangiomas are gone, like magic. And, unfortunately, there are still rude people out there that lack the etiquette to speak like a human and utter some comment that usually brings out my inner mama bear. Luckily, those instances are few and far between.
A lot of our friends and family have commented how much they notice a change in her hemangioma. Comments like "Wow! It's so much lighter now!" and "You totally can tell a difference!" make me feel a little better about it. It also makes Bry and I feel like we aren't loosing it, since we see her everyday and really want to believe that the hemangioma is going away.
Most days, I don't see it anymore. Just like when you look at someone you love. You don't really see just their eyes or nose or lips, you see their whole face, their whole person. That's what I see when I look at Mo. I see my beautiful yet crazy little girl!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Get your Shout on!

It happened last night.
The event I was dreading since I became a mom.
Moira had her first temper tantrum.
Of course, she decided to begin it right as Bry walks through the front door. Nice touch, sweet child o'mine. TOUCHE'
We're still not quite sure what set her off. I put her in the highchair for dinner like every other night, when all the sudden she starting thrashing her body, making her legs go tense, and started screaming.
I put a few grapes in front of her.
I thought maybe those yummy snacks would distract her, but nope. Just "NO NO NO!!"
That's of course, when Bry walked in, bug eyed, looking at me like "WTF Jac?".
My response "Pull up a chair! I think it's going to be a while!"
She didn't want anything to do with the food, so I let her go. I thought that would make her happy.
She then sat on the floor and kicked her feet a bit, just on the outside of the kitchen. Like she wanted me to see how upset she was!
I then moved myself into the living room and she followed. Still huffing and puffing, and throwing herself onto the couch.
Bry and I just kept looking at each other.
I kept saying, "Just ignore it. She can't WIN!"
He kept the scared look on his face and even whimpered, "Are you sure she's okay? I mean look at her body?"
"Yes, She's fine! She's learned manipulation from the best. Of course, she's going to be good at it. JUST IGNORE HER!"
Twenty minutes later, she calmed down. I'd love to say it was some hug from me or an embrace from Bry.
Nope, she became entranced in Jeopardy.
I changed her diaper, brought her back down, and she ate dinner... with no problem.
The rest of the evening she was a delight- happy, cheerful and adorable.
She really is the Spawn of Satan,
and I know that this will not be an isolated incident.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bob the Builder, he's not!

We have been neglecting the new house.
Well not really neglecting it, more waiting for estimates to come back from the potential contractors, painters, etc... so that we can get started on the great update. Since neither Bry or I are handy, and we have the SOS (Spawn of Satan) running around like a mad woman in the empty house, we figured it would be best to suck it up, save the hassle and hire painters, floor re finishers, and bathroom contractor and even a tree guy to take care of some big overgrown trees crowded the property. We've had these professionals out and are waiting on a handful of estimates.
Bryan decided that he can handle the majority of the overgrowth that extends throughout the perimeter of the property. DAS (Dumb-Ass Seller) apparently did nothing short of cutting the grass the past three years or so, leaving ivy to grow wild everywhere. It's all but absorbed the entire left side of the yard next to the house and it has grown up and down and through the fence along side the driveway. It also has reared its ugly head throughout the back patio.
After taking a good hard look at this ivy mess I have decided it's official that ivy is evil!
Like I said before, Bryan feels confident of his gardening skills and so while I was attempting to clean out the refrigerator (GAG!) and counters while Mo napped in the pack in play in the empty dining room, Bry made his first of many I imagine, treks to Home Depot. 45 minutes and nearly $400 later, he returned with rakes, a wheelbarrow, various types of clippers, something used to smash dirt down, a manual tiller, an axe, and a sledgehammer. Lots of scary stuff, especially when I don't he has touched any tools like these in 15 years or more!
I laugh also, because as he was waiting for the worker at Home Depot to unlock the wheelbarrow he paid for, it began to rain--- sheets of rain! I'm talking downpour! He had to dump the water which pooled in the wheelbarrow in the two minute walk from the store to his car. He got soaked! All layers- polo, t-shirt, underwear, socks, sneakers and of course, the seat was saturated in the car too!
He made it home, the rain stopped for a bit, and he unpacked the car. Luckily he brought an extra outfit so he changed into dry clothes.
Being the good wife, I egged him on a bit, trying to figure out which one of his new tools he wanted to try out first.
Personally, I think the safest bet would have been to use one of the metal rakes to tackle some of the ivy, but that wasn't the case.
He grabbed the ax.
Ten minutes later, there was a huge cut into one small tree and Bry was grimacing in a little pain and panting a bit. He got a little wet too! I guess we should have remembered that when you are chopping down a tree immediately after a rain storm, the branches are going to be wet.
Ten more minutes later the tree almost is down. Bry is excited! Tree one- DOWN!

Yesterday he was complaining about how his legs hurt.
Today, he woke up an hour earlier then usual to put flex-all on his arm. He is not used to manual labor, but he better get used to it! The back yard and the front have a lot of brush that needs to be removed and he is the one who said he knows what he's doing!
Good luck with that Bry!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday Five

Technically it's Saturday, but I have thought about this topic and so I will write it's all be it 7 hours late.
Things that are making me feel old:
1. The laugh line/ wrinkle I'm getting between my eyes.
I get the whole idea to grow old gracefully, but I feel a little too young to have age lines. Botox scares me though so I guess it's either accept aging or start buying all those fancy creams and junk.
2. High School Graduation
My cousin Brynna graduated college last night. She is number 4 out of 7 kids from one of my favorite uncles, and what's scary is I remember when she was born! Now she is an adult and graduated high school. More scary though, is that fact I have been out of high school since 6-6-96, yup THIRTEEN years! What makes me even gulp harder is the fact next year, I'll be out of college for TEN years! It feels like yesterday.
God, I'm old!
3. Some new fashion trends
I was out with my friend Ash yesterday and we happened to check out a shoe store and what do I see, JELLY shoes! Not for little girls, but for adults.
My philosophy on this trend, as well as any other trend related to the '80's like leggings- if you took part in the trend the first time around, there's no need to do it again.
You would have to pay me to wear jellies again and I don't think there's enough cash out there to wear a jacket with shoulder pads. I looked like I could be the starting linebacker in those!
4. Recent Movies and/or pre-production of movies.
I feel like Hollywood is a lost cause now. There appears to be no one left writing good screenplays, so big wigs feel the need to do one of two things. Either turn much loved television shows from the 80's or before into movies. Right now, I'm thinking of Land of the Lost which my dad will tell me repeatedly I loved when I was two and three. Nope, don't remember it! The front of Entertainment Weekly has the beautiful Megan Fox from the newest Transformers movie. Yes, another movie based off a cartoon from the my childhood.
Not to be outdone, G.I. Joe is coming out soon. I wonder if they'll make a live action Jem and the Holograms? OOH, or maybe a live action
Pound Puppies
The thing that makes me the most sad though is the talk that they are in the pre-production of remakes of three of my most favorite teen films from the '80's. The seminal work of Kevin Bacon which started his career, Footloose is being remade with some dude from Gossip Girl. I doubt we'll be playing six degrees of Chace Crawford.
Also, I've heard there's talk of redoing Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt's great little girl power flick, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. I'm assuming it will be with some Disney princess- Demi or Salena or Hilary! UGH.

Finally they movie that put Elisabeth Shue on the map. (Not Leaving Los Vegas) But one of the greatest girl flicks around- Adventures in Babysitting is in the works being redone!
I love that movie! So many great scenes and it was so funny!
Why oh why Hollywood?
Maybe I should write a screenplay since it appears the folks out there have been tapped dry!
5. I'm old because I am now a parent and own a house.
That sentence alone needs no explanation.

So that's it, my Friday (err Saturday) five. I think there's more to number four then I've written. This whole redoing things that were popular in my childhood probably has some deep rooted meaning since the people in control in Hollywood are around my age now. (Shudder.) Maybe those guys are looking to bring back their own youth?? We shall see.
I can tell you though, those studios will not get my money for tickets to any of those remakes!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Work Related Injury

Apparently it's not my child that I should worry about, it's myself.
Recently Moira has been enjoying attempting to climb on things- couch, cushions, etc.. and she also loves to jump up and down in her crib or on the couch or our bed.
This morning as I was attempting to make our bed, Mo was trying to climb up on the bed. It's such a rainy, yucky day, so I figured lets play and joke around a bit. We're laughing, she's trying to jump, I'm watching her like a hawk. She will look at herself in the mirror as she jumps and just giggles and giggles.
I, of course, am paranoid that she is going to jump right off the bed. I'm so worried, in fact, that I get a little too close and
Her head hits my lip and teeth!
Immediately the tears begin to well in my eyes. I look at her to make sure she's okay, yup, she's fine. I run my tongue over my front teeth. They're all there, accounted for and in the right place. (That's one of those reoccurring nightmares, I have. Loosing my teeth!) Anyway, I go to wipe my lip and see blood.
I head downstairs, with Mo in tow. Throw on Yo Gabba Gabba and check out the damage in the mirror.

I've got a fat lip! NICE!
I hope the swelling goes down in time for Bry's cousin's shower this weekend. The last thing I want to explain is my huge upper lip and the soft hum of gossip over whether it's lip injections or spousal abuse.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Emotional Draining Days

Funerals (and all that go along with them) SUCK!
We said good-bye to my friend Kathie today.
I do have a rather comical story though from the wake yesterday. A story that I know Kathie would have found hysterical and just so Jackie.
Initially, when I found out the times for the viewing I had planned to go to the evening portion. I thought Bry could handle Mo with her dinner & bedtime, and I could make the 50 min drive up, pay my respects, and come home. We also had an appointment scheduled in the afternoon with a potential painter for the new house. I spoke to a few of my friends and that was the plan.
Then about an hour later, the painter called to change the day and so my plans changed. I decided that since the bulk of my friends would be paying their respects in the afternoon, it would be best to go with them.
I got ready and left my house at 1 to make it up to the 2 O'clock start. On my way, I used my speakerphone to call my good friend Sam to tell her my change of plan. As soon as I start talking, she gets the buzz for call-waiting and tells me she'll call back. Now, I should mention, if you know me in real life, this is no news to you, that I rarely use my cell phone, let alone talk on it in my car. I am sad to admit that I have never even memorized the number! I don't text and really, I think email is my preferred mode of communication. Anyway, as usual, I digress.
Back to the car, driving up, Sam calls me back, I put her on speakerphone, and I talk for all of 60 secs when she gets another beep. This time,it's her husband so she has to call me back yet again.
She calls me back, and I forget to put it on speakerphone. For all of two minutes I'm on the phone with her. I am just about to my exit when I look to my right and see...
a state trooper.
Yup, a state trooper watching me talking on the phone
and of course, driving above the speed limit
while I'm on the way to my friend's wake.
I tell Sam, "There's a cop watching me so I'm going to go and get pulled over now". He pulls me over, does the whole "license, registration & proof of insurance" line and then asks why I was on the phone.
Me: I'm on the way to a funeral.
Him: Whose?
Me: My very good friend.
Him: I'm sorry but you were talking on the phone and that coupled with going 75 in a 60 mph zone could technically get you a $250 ticket and 2 points on your license.
Me: Nothing.
Him: What is your driving record like? Do you have any points?
Me: Thinking- My record was beautiful and now this will tarnish it. I've never even gotten a parking ticket! CRAP! And I'm going to a wake! How much crappier could this get?
My real response: I have none that I am aware of and have never gotten a ticket.
Him: Unfortunately I'm going to have to cite you for (something) which will cost you $50 but there will be no points. Let me go run your information.
Me: Thank you. I appreciate it. What I'm really thinking: If I had my boobs out would I have been able to walk? Seriously, thank you?!? WTF did I say thank you? It's like that scene from Animal House Thank you sir can I have another? Thank you for giving me a freaking ticket!! UGH! This SUCKS!
While he's checking out my information I fight back the tears and then think that Kathie would have found this funny, which makes me smile.
He comes back,
Him: Where are you heading now?
Me: (Inset) Town
Him: Be careful driving and again, I'm sorry for your loss.

Funerals are so emotional. I did have a nice lunch today reminiscing with some good friends.
Here are some pics from my wedding day with my friend Kathie, Bry, and other friends from work.

These pictures made me smile, especially the last one.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Five

This list was inspired by the woman we purchased our home. From this point forward she will be referred to as D.A.S. as in Dumb Ass Seller!

Today's list: What NOT to do when you are selling your home and don't want to piss off the new owners, especially if your new property and old touch.

1. Don't schedule your movers to arrive at 9:30 am on the the day you are scheduled to close at 10. Remember, your buyers need to do one last walk through of the house, EMPTY! That means if big burly men are taking you dressing bureau and king size bed down the stairway at 9:45 when the buyers are trying to walk through, they (meaning US) will be pissed. And, if one of the buyers is an attorney (uhm, Bry) he or she may start using legal jargon such as "Breach" to scare the crap out of you.

2. Don't decide to get a new puppy three weeks before closing and be confused when the potential buyers ask where you are keeping the puppy. When the put the inital bid on the property they preferred the hardwoods in the condition they were in and did not expect any change to to them or the carpet. It is not okay that one can see the dog hair on the few areas where they is carpet, and the owners are still skeptical of the smell in the potential room for the nursery.

3. Don't hide a hole on the front porch with something that looks like a children's picnic table and never mention it to anyone. Most likely the new buyers will eventually lift the picnic table, find the hole, and then have to decide how to handle this issue. Again, you moved around the corner.

4. Get a broom, dust pan, and brush, and sweep the rooms before you leave. It's filthy inside and really, is it so hard to clean up after yourself?? Especially if you are making a pretty penny off the deal.

5. Remove all window decals before leaving, especially gel displays.

I have to write a little more about item number 5. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, it's these
For some ungodly reason DAS decided to have these decals in varying styles throughout the home. In the family room I removed blue and white decals that said "let it snow" while in the expansive third floor, I had the pleasure of removing dots of different sizes. In the one bedroom, it was flowers while the other had some sort of dots too. Again, I assume to bring the magic back into the master bedroom, one would think Halloween gel decals would stimulate the mood?? Apparently to DAS it made perfect sense?!?
I should comment about these gel decals and why I believe Satan himself may have developed them. Two windows: one bedroom and the master bedroom have direct sunlight. I assume from extended sun exposure the decals were warmed to quite a high temperature. How high, you ask? High enough to melt portions of the decals so they turned into blob-like messes. In attempting to remove said blob-like messes I developed a coating of sorts on my hands.
Yummy! Of course, as soon as I finished removing them and realized my hands were matted with this melted goo, Mo decide to start crying. After attempting to carry her in to the bathroom with me by my forearms, I used Windex, Lysol tub cleaner, and baby wipes to try and get rid of the film.
Thank you DAS! Thank you!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In Remembrance

My good friend and co-worker Kathie lost her battle with breast cancer Tuesday afternoon. Throughout my tenure as a teacher, Kathie had been working with me in some respect. She was an assistant in the class I did my student teaching, and then when I was hired as a middle school teacher from December to June, I had the pleasure of teaching her daughter, Meghan, Social Studies. When I moved to special education Kindergarten and then typical Kindergarten with mainstreamed students, Kathie again was with me. Finally, as I made the jump to first grade, Kathie worked as my classroom assistant with a number of classified students.
Besides having a phenomenal gift with children, Kathie was kind and friendly to all. She had a terrific sense of humor and helped me find humor in situations that left me at my wits end.
She was a great mentor to me. As the mother of four daughters, I had the pleasure of seeing her interact with them on numerous occasions. She was firm, yet friendly. She gave them roots and wings. Her daughters are genuinely good people and I attribute this to Kathie. I hope that I can be as strong for my daughter as I have seen Kathie for her girls.
As I mentioned before, Kathie was a great friend. Without her, Bryan and I may have never been able to marry. She, along with her husband, came to city hall to be witnesses on our marriage license. I guess I will always carry a piece of her when I think back to our wedding day.
I am saddened to write these lines, but I am grateful for the time I had with her. Her life was cut much to short. I keep her husband, daughters, granddaughter and other family and friends in my thoughts and prayers.

God Bless you Kathie.
Love, Jackie

Monday, June 1, 2009

Can you keep a secret???

We can!
We bought a house and closed on it today without our family having a clue!
(At least that's what they told us when we pulled up to our new home today!)
Let me start at the beginning.
We've been looking for a home since the fall. Bry and I are both picky. We know what we like, we know what we don't like, and we weren't willing to budge on somethings. With that being said, after nearly six months and close to 60 homes we found "our house". Being the ever fickle people, it took us three nearly one hour tours of the house to make an offer.
The first time we went to visit the house, my mom happened to be with us. She loved it as did we and from that time in February until just this past week she would occasionally ask about the house -whether it was still on the market, or ask if the price was still high. Unbeknown st to her, unbeknown st to all our family from mid-March until today, June 1, we have being playing this strange ping pong match known as purchasing a house.
When we made the first offer, the seller accepted our offer without accepting the $5000 seller's assist we asked for and also wanted a closing of July 15 contingent on them finding a property.
Ummm, you want us to accept this offer in the middle of March when the springtime is just coming and lots of houses on being put on the market, and we should accept this with the understanding that you may or may not be ready to close on or about July 15 only if you have found a place?? We should accept these terms?
Ummm, No thank you.
We walked away.
We spent 2 1/2 more weeks back in the house hunting game when their realtor called back. The sellers found a place, wanted to close on June 1 and will give us the $5000 seller's assist.
Where do we sign?
So, that's it, right?
Umm, not really. We had the inspection. Went back and forth with the seller's again over what they needed to fix (termites in the garage, knob & tube wiring, add a liner to the chimney) and the things they wouldn't fix (a new boiler or hot water heater). We agreed on the terms, had them fix it, and last week Bry went through a walk-through with the inspector.
He came home this past Thursday and said. "WOW! There's a lot of stuff in that house not packed. There's no way they'll be ready to close by Monday".
He was right.
We went for our official walk through this morning and lo and behold the moving trucks are blocking the road (and driveway) as they are moving all the furniture and boxes- hell the entire contents of the house when were suppose to do the walk through.
Needless to say the attorney in Bry came out in a vengeance! He just kept saying "The seller is in breach! The seller is in breach! I'm just letting my attorney take care of it all!".
In a nutshell, closing ended up taking nearly 3 hours instead of the usual 45 minutes, but we have a house!

It's going to take some time, money, and I'm guessing lots of blood, sweat, tears, and elbow grease to make this house our home.
Mo loves the backyard! Yes, we'll finally have a yard, with real grass and trees and everything.

I can't wait to have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner in the huge dining room (minus the Tiffany blue paint, of course!)
Finally, Bryan is ecstatic about the kitchen!

All he needs is this: to make his dream kitchen a reality.
I can only imagine that my posts from now on may also include rantings and ravings of a new homeowner.
I'm apologizing now.