Archive for parenting


Well, It’s Been a Long While

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I was just cleaning up some websites, and here I am on this one.  I’m going to leave it up, but I’ll let this post be a little update.  I like bullet lists, so here we go:

  • The girls, Becca and Chloe, are about to turn 10 and 8.  I’m no longer a soccer mom, but the girls have been taking drum and guitar lessons for about a year.
  • We still have the restaurant, Downey’s House, and it is doing well
  • I’ve become a life and business coach.  Go check out my website :)
  • I’ve stopped working on t-shirt designs, but all my old designs are still selling.
  • I haven’t gotten any younger :(
  • I may come and post some kid related stuff here.  Maybe.  I’m contemplating.
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Short Stuff

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Chloe always cracks me up.  The way her little brain works is just, well, funny.  Sunday afternoon we were talking about our trip to Disney.  I figured it was time to get out the tape measure to see what rides the kids could get on.  First, we did it without shoes.  Becca was about 44 1/2 inches and Chloe’s came out to about 42 1/2.  Space Mountain and some other cool rides have a height requirement of 44 inches.  (I secretly also wanted to see if Becca could get on the Racer this year…46 inches…sssshhhhh).  So, I sent them to go and get their tennis shoes.  I advised, “Get the tennis shoes with the biggest bottom, that will make you the tallest.”

Nobody listened to me.

Becca came down with her iCarly shoes.  They give her about a half an inch.  I sent her to get her other shoes.  Chloe?

She came into the family room wearing roller skates.

As Tony and I suppressed our laughter, I asked her, “Don’t you think it will be hard to get around Disney World with roller skates on?”  She told me that it would be, “no problem.”


Well, I got her tennis shoes on her and we measured.  There was (obviously) a lot of commotion and laughter going on between the two measurements.  Tony looked at the number.  41 1/2 inches.  Sorry Chloe. She walked away

“Wait.”  I said.  “Wasn’t she taller before the shoes?”  As Tony and I argued whether or not she was, I just told her to come back and get measured again.

44 inches exactly.

I asked, “Chloe, why were you shorter before?”

She had a big old case of bent knees.  What was she thinking?  I have absolutely NO IDEA.  Maybe she really DID want to wear the roller skates.

Categories : funny, kids, parenting
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Well, It’s Not a Pet Rock

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Last week my daughters started with the whole rubber band bracelets fad.  Becca presented her case in a very adult and non-whiny way.  As we were laying down for bed, she brought up the fact that somebody gave her a bracelet.  She very calmly proceeded with her story. “Mom, almost everybody in my class collects them.  There are only four or five of us who don’t have them.  Do you think I could get some?”

Because she was so very grown up about the whole situation, I told her that we could go and get some the next day after school.  We headed to a new store that opened near us, Five Below. I got Becca three packs of twelve bracelets and told her that the only way I was buying her three packs was if she shared with the kids in her class who didn’t have any.  Chloe got two packs (dinosaurs and cars, of course.  She’s SO not girly.)  They were super excited to trade and share.  A neighbor had told me that she was going to use them for her kids as a reward system.  I decided to jump right up onto that bandwagon.

I now have a jar full of them where I sit.  They each get to pick one if they get along with each other all day, and one if they clean up after themselves all day.  So far (it’s only been three days) it seems to be working well.  And it was a pretty inexpensive way to motivate them.

Hopefully I can ride it out for at least another week or so.  Becca’s teacher just banned them from the class room.  UGH.

Categories : parenting
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Who Turned Out The Lights?

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Let me tell you about the big, crazy storm we had on Friday.  Friday started out great…eighty degrees, sunny, and just a little breezy.  My neighbor called me to sit outside for a bit while the kids played.  We did just that, and then it was time to head to the bus stop.  As we’re getting ready to go, it started to drizzle.  So, we pile ourselves, Chloe, her four year old and the one year old that she watches into her mom-mobile (aka mini-van).  The bus stop is not even two blocks away.  By the time we park the van, it starts to rain.  A lot.  And holy wind, Batman!  I looked through the windshield and saw a trampoline tumbling through a yard and into the street.  It was crazy.  Another Mom jumped in the car with us and we waited for the bus in the storm.  When it came, we just piled every kid we could into the van.  I got home, picked up the pieces of one destroyed playhouse, let the dog in (yes, he was scared and very, very, wet), and got on the horn.

There was damage everywhere.  Trampolines were ruined, tons of shingles were missing (thankfully, not from my house).  And the icing on the cake?  No electricity.  If you’ve never experienced a loss of power with small children, you are missing small people asking you the same thing about eight bazillion times.  “When is the power coming back on?!?!”

We got through the first hour and a half pretty easily.  I actually took a little nap while they watched the battery operated television we have.  Then it died.  So, I told them to just play!  It wasn’t dark.  So they did play blocks for a while, and they were ok (aside from fitting that famous question in whenever they could).  We got a bath and got ready for bed.  Still no power.  I was figuring that it would come back overnight.  No such luck.  They woke me up at 6:50 am.  I very calmly (but sternly) looked at them with my one open eye.

“Can you do me a favor?  Brush your teeth, get an outfit and brush your hair.  Mommy needs some coffee, so we’re going out for pancakes.”

That took the edge off.  We had a great breakfast, went to Downey’s House, I did my work and we came home.  And, YAY! We had power.

Everybody made it through the “big ordeal” just fine.  Except maybe for the dog.  He starts to whimper every time it starts to sprinkle when he’s outside. :(

One little snippet from the weekend that I have to share.  As we (which includes Tony) were out and about yesterday, there was a “gentleman” who just wouldn’t let me in to merge while I was driving.  He wasn’t very nice.  Tony let him know that while he was looking in his rear view mirror.  I’m sure the man read Tony’s lips while he said “Thanks for letting her in, Dickhead!”

Becca promptly said “Yeah!  You’re a stickhead, man.”

I’m sure glad she said THAT.

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Out And About

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Chloe and I got a very cool opportunity.  I was invited to a question-and-answer session and short performance from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.  It was way cool.  I was invited because I have a blog.  How about that?  It was yesterday afternoon.  Becca was in school, so Chloe and I started our adventure out.

First, I made her dress up.  She was OK with that.  (This is also her Easter outfit we got on our ‘Good Friday Girly Day.’

Doesn’t she look cute? I love that she’s not all girlie.  The black eye along with the cute outfit completely fits Chloe’s personality.  (The black eye is because she got bit by a dog.  Nothing major, the dog was a neighborhood puppy.  All is well.)

So, we head downtown.  We never go downtown.  We drive PAST downtown.  We go to the museum.  We go to the Science Center.  But I’ve never had the kids downtown.  Chloe was amazed by how tall the buildings ACTUALLY  are.  We parked in a garage (which she thought was cool – I think because it was pretty scary looking).  She loved all the people.  She asked about the rows of newspaper machines (“Wow, Mom! That sure is a lot of newspapers!”).  We finally get to the building where she gets to see the ballet.  Just a snippet, of the ballet, mind you.  Which was good.  It was a litmus test for her.  I had no idea if she would like it or not, or if she would sit still.

We had lunch first.  Well, Chloe had cookies.  We were on the twelfth floor.  There was a beautiful garden terrace.  Chloe loved being that high up.  The people looked small.  She wanted to lean her head over the side of the building.  I held onto her so tightly, I thought she might pee on me.  As I grabbed my stomach out of my throat, I explained to her that heights make mommy a little scared.  And I didn’t want a splat Chloe.  Here’s a pic of her on the terrace:

So, next we got to meet the creative director, Terrence Orr.  He told us about Swan Lake, which is playing next weekend at the Benedum.  (Well, if you want to check out all the ballet stuff, head over to their site, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. I liked Terrence.  He was a nice guy with a sense of humor.  He also talked about some of the other shows.  Three Musketeers is coming up.  And he talked about how he has added many Pittsburgh touches to The Nutcracker.

Chloe was less than enthralled with the question and answer period.


She kept whispering to me “Mom, this is BORED!”

But, alas, we were escorted down the hall to see our little performance.  She was captivated.  She really loved watching these kids dance. (I can call them kids because, you know, I’m old).  She couldn’t wait to tell Becca all about it (um, rub it in), and play ballet at home.  Mandy, the PR person for the Pgh Ballet, extended an invitation to see the dress rehearsal.  I think that we’re going to go.  Both kids will get to see it, and it will be yet another litmus test.  I’m not sure if they’ll sit more than an hour.  So we’ll see how it goes.

I enjoyed it too! Hell, I can’t even walk gracefully, let alone move like those dancers.  And I got to meet a couple of cool bloggers.  I met Debby Perry.  She runs the Macaroni Kid stuff you may have seen if you’re in my neck of the woods.  And I met Anthony Closky. Cool to see people in person.  And now they’re my twitter buds :)

So, that was our adventure.  Of course, there’s more to tell.  Last night, Becca told me she wanted to be a cheerleader. Registration is tomorrow.  Is this the beginning of me becoming the ‘run your kids around to their activities’ mom?  I’ll keep you in the loop!

Categories : kids, parenting, Pittsburgh
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