Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dad's Biospy Results

Just got back from the Oncologist with Mom & Dad and the results are in...


Thank you God and to everyone who prayed for Dad!

It was almost amusing... There are the 3 of us, squashed into the doctors examination room, making idle small talk (I was busy hiding my pepper spray from Mom) looking like 3 scared turtles when the doctor walks in. One look at us and he knew to spill the beans before he even had the door closed! I've never seen 3 people unpucker as quickly as we did. I'm proud to say the first thing I said was "Lets have a glass of wine!" while Mom and Dad just grinned at each other. The doctor then turned to Mom and said "Happy Birthday"!

Then Mom and Dad rode off into the sunset..

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to my MOMMY!!!

Thanks for being the greatest mom a girl could ask for. I'm so blessed to have you as a mom and as a friend. I love you!

Brighid xoxo

Monday, July 28, 2008


Get yourself a glass of wine and a sandwich, cause this is my 15 minutes of fame and I’m taking all of it! Brighid is in the house. Word.

The man and I are just back from Alaska and we’re sad. Sad to be back that is. Despite missing the greatest dog EVER , we were very reluctant to come back. It’s 104 degrees F here (that’s like 50 degrees C or something ) and we were living it up in 60’s during the day and 40’s at night. We really took it easy on this trip and marinated in ourselves in the spa and red wine. In that order. The only things I saw of the ship (which in fairness I have been on before) was our cabin/balcony, the Spa and the restaurant. Our ship left from Seattle and we were lucky enough to fly in one day early to explore the city. Did I say fly? Oh yes, I meant FIRST CLASS!! Woohooo! Frequent Flyer Miles ROCK! Yes I was drinking complimentary champagne at 8:45 AM. And if they were serving complimentary crack at 8:45am I would’ve had that too. Why? Cause it’s free.

Back to topic – Seattle was beautiful and yet surprisingly full of homeless people and cokeheads (maybe they all fly first class?). I think I’ve been spoiled by Dallas who I’m convinced round them all up at 3am and bus them to Mexico. Despite that, I really liked the vibe and “artsy-ness” of the city. We saw all the main sites (Pikes Market/Pioneer Square/Space Needle) and managed to fit in some nifty little restaurants (Kems I lost your email!) and also experienced some great seafood and local wines. We boarded the Infinity Friday morning and checked our brains in at the door. Our stops were: Sitka , Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Juneau and Victoria (British Columbia). The highlights:
Sitka – It’s the farthest north of the trip, on an island and has a very heavy Russian heritage that remains still. It’s the most remote of all stops and boasts large numbers of sea otters and grizzlies. We saw otters, no grizzlies. Also saw seals and bald eagles. It’s up by Baranoff Island and surrounded by glacier covered mountains and the Tongass National Forest. Someone once described Alaska to me as “God’s Country”. Seeing Sitka confirms this for me.

Juneau – We took a helicopter and flew over several glaciers. We were able to land on two of them (Herbert and Mendenhall) and walk around! This experience was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. The beauty of the land and the glaciers just takes your breath away and at the same time the deep crevasses and moulins (holes that form that extend from top to bottom,to fall in it is instant hideous death) is some of the most terrifying things imaginable. I can’t truly describe what it was like to walk on one, but I know from our guide that they are melting fast and I’m sad to think one day they will be gone.

Ketchikan – We hired a private guide and were taken to some great non-touristy areas where we saw loads of Bald Eagles and black bear. We even saw eagles fighting with locked talons in mid air as they spiraled quickly toward the ground. This is apparently rare enough to witness that even our seasoned guide nearly ran off the road in excitement. Unfortunately it was too exciting for neither Keith nor I to grab a camera, we just sat wetting ourselves.

The ship itself was a great get away and we really were able to lose ourselves in the sound and the smell of the water just a few feet away from us. We slept every night with the door to our balcony open and despite the sun setting at 11:30pm and rising at 4:15am we slept for long, undisturbed hours that rejuvenated us. Then the obnoxious Mexican nationals 2 cabins over woke up and their damn brats of devil-children spent a great deal of time yelling “arriba” and some such shit until I told them where to shove it much to their parents disgust. This also went for the American couple next door, I am a multi-cultural brat disliker. The spa was terrific! We spent great deals of time in the sauna (Turkish, dry and herbal) and even treated ourselves to a couples Razu treatment. During the Razu we were left alone in a room and ordered to strip to our birthday suits. We were given a whole basket of goodies (face masks, Salt Rubs, Aromotherapy Oils etc.. ) to rub all over ourselves/each other which after applying each treatment we retreated to a small 2 person sauna to let all the mojo sink in. We both walked out over an hour later looking 10 years younger and smelling like roses! It was wonderful.

All in all, it was a wonderful, wonderful trip that was 1 and ½ years in the making and I’m ready to go again! A special thanks to Mom and Dad for disrupting their schedules to take care of the doxie!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bon voyage! I'm off on my guilt trip!

By the time most of you read this, I will be somewhere between home and a nice, welcoming hotel room somewhere in New Jersey. I will more than likely be squashed between the girls' booster seats in an effort to separate them, and I will probably be trying to sneak some wine from the box-o-Merlot.

Anyway, this is the pile of crap I've managed to amass for our Jersey shore trip. Sick, isn't it? But...that's not the reason I posted it. Do you see him?
How about now?
Isn't that so sad? Like he's trying to stow away and is hoping no one can see him? Kinda tugs at your heartstrings, doesn't it? Almost kills me with the guilt.

Actually. No. It doesn't.

He'll be fine. He'll have my father-in-law wrapped around his little finger and taking him for walks on a daily basis. My mother-in-law will pretend like she doesn't care for him...and will cook him some tidbits when no one is looking (she already bought him a new food dish).

He will survive.

And I will drink margaritas on the beach in his honor.

So, until the beginning of August, I bid you farewell. I hope that you see some new posts here while I'm gone and leave lots of comments for the new writers!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Party Hearty - Swazi Style

First again! Winks is the wiener!

My aunt Kathy (Winky) lives on a little patch of heaven in Swaziland, and recently hosted a 60th birthday bash for my uncle, Wiggy. These are her words, her pictures, marking the beginning of the new family blog.

The handsome devil is Wiggy...Happy 60th!!


The weatherman predicted that there would be a 60% chance of rain, and that the maximum would be 13 Celsius (don't know what that is in F), but it's COLD. So Wigs built an extension off the veranda and covered it with plastic. The day dawned BEAUTIFUL and warm, and 50 guests later, we were all ensconced at tables under the tent, scoffing lamb stew and hundreds of veg. My maid thinks white people are mad to attend a party where you are asked to bring your own booze (BYOB) and bring your own chair (BYOC), and also to bring a pud/salad. She says no self-respecting Swazi would ask anyone to such a party! Anyways, if you want to have a big party, that is what we do and it worked a charm! Good food, good company and as the day cooled down, we lit braziers (which were so hot they melted the roof of the tent!

The first guests arrived at 2pm and the last was kicked out after Wigs and I had gone to bed at 2230! That guest had to leave his car behind and get a lift home as he was so legless! Then the next morning, EVERYONE (family staying) left within 10 minutes of each other. This picture is of us all just before the DEPARTURE - the ones you don't know are Mark's mom and dad. Wigs and I drowned our sorrows after they left by opening his presents, and then went out to lunch and rounded the day off with an afternoon zzz. Was most unprepared for work the next day!

I was afraid of the flames and wax when Wigs blew out his candles, and that is why I look like I do in that pic - I hope that is not my pretty face look! The first pic is on the night of his birthday when Em and Mark and Joe and I gave him a special dinner and decorated the breakfast room with balloons and streamers and photos hanging from the ceiling. Such a fun birthday, I think I will have to do it for him again next year! This is the first birthday I have been allowed to throw for him in our entire married life!
As far as Piet is concerned, I have written to him, conveying all best wishes possible. I will be holding thumbs for the best from 1800 our time, and drinking a toast to him. 6 is what we call puza time (siSwati for drinking alcohol), but some days we have to say that it is past the yard arm somewhere in the world, so it's ok to start early. I think the whole family has alcoholic leanings!

Love your blog!

Winks Darling, Young and Beautiful (and I suppose that is relative...)

So, who's next?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Digital Camera Part Deux

First things first. Dad. Biopsy tomorrow at 11:00am CST (roughly). We are expecting nothing but good stuff...even if it means waiting until the 31st for the results.

Which...WTF? Are we in Canada? Eight days to read a slide? I should think not. Someone needs to raise their voice and swear a lot (I'll volunteer) or blubber like a baby (again, I'll volunteer).

Dad and Mom are stoic and steadfast. They are thinking positive and bracing themselves for all the whatifs (and saying a lot of WTFs, I'm sure...cuz' really...WHAT THE FUCK?!). We will, of course, keep you well informed so as to properly influence your prayers and positive thoughts (many thanks in advance...of course...and don't stop). In the meantime, please pray that they feel our love and support and that we can stop saying WTF.

Let's see...before I start filling up the blank spots with pictures of the kids, Dad and Emily have requested blog posting info, so I hope to see something riveting from them when I get back from my VACATION (which, by the way, I am totally packed for...I could wake up the kids this instant and be on the road in 10 minutes. We leave in 3 days. It's a sickness.).

Alright, so I totally bitched about my crappy camera and completely forgot that Steve's work gave him a pretty decent Kodak digital camera (which he kinda, sorta gave to me). So I dug it out, downloaded the Christmas pictures (for shame...but do you like the t-shirt Steve's sister got him?) that were suspended in time on it and tried to see if I could make magic with it. The pictures below were all taken at Jack's soccer game last night, and while I would still LOVE a super fancy, high speed, blow-your-mind-with-the-picture-quality camera, this one will do for now (don't let that discourage you from taking up a collection to surprise me with something wickedly fancy...and expensive).

Okay, back from a short break. Libby lost another tooth today and I had to make sure the tooth fairy remembered to bring her money. She forgot last time...self absorbed bitch was probably drinking too much cheap wine and fell asleep watching the Food Network.

Just sayin'.

Which, reminds me of the time I went shopping with a friend and returned home to Jack standing in the driveway holding a ziplock baggie with all his lost teeth neatly wrapped in tissues and labeled with date it was lost.

"Um, yes, well, see Jack..."

God bless my neighbor. She quickly jumped in and told him the tooth fairy will leave the teeth in a special baggie if a Mom requests to keep them. Jack either bought it or decided not to give up on a good thing (the tooth fairy brings $5 and he still had a mouth full of chiclets to lose!).

Okay, enough drivel already. Here are the kids from last night.Jack in goal...his least favorite position (his favorite is the sideline).Soccer is thirsty work!Maggie picking flowers for Mommy.Maggie Grace...a vision of loveliness and Walmart stickers. Libby, picking accessories.The beautiful, unmatched (literally) Libby Bits.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Well, That Wasn't Supposed to Happen!

Dad has had a 6 month petscan and it wasn't as clean as it could be. He shows some glowing on the partial rib from which the tumor was removed. I'm sure he can explain it better, but the long and the short of it is that it is either post surgical something or another...and not at all worthy of worry...or something that should be long gone. He says that if the latter is true, he will need some spot radiation to take care of it. So, please pray that it is the former, rather than the latter.

We believe in the power you've already created.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

For the love of God, someone please buy me a brand, spankin' new camera

Katy is up visiting with her Nan (Tami's mom) for about 3 weeks and between my busy schedule and her camp schedule, we've not had as much time together as I would like. BUT...we've made good use of our time! The couple across the street from us owns their own party rental supply company. They rent tents, chairs, tables, linens...everything you'd need for a party. Including inflatable bounce houses, etc. This morning, in the driveway, in mantalk, the husband made sure Steve knew that they were having their company party, which included a GIANT water slide and that our little urchins would be welcome to slide as they wished. He (Steve) mentioned it to me, but I thought it would seem a bit awkward to have the four of them scamper across the street and have at the middle of their party. So I didn't make a big deal of it. Well, let me tell you, the second that slide took it's first breath, they knew. It was like kiddie crack.

"Mommy, can we pleeasaaseee go on the slide? Oh, Moooommmmmmmy".Well....

Of course we did. Four against one. I didn't stand a chance.They had a blast!!! And I took a whole buncha pictures. Dozens! Live action shots, mid-slide grimaces, splash landings and lots of big, cheesy grins. And about a third of them came out. Damn camera!!

I need a new camera. One that will take pictures using a flash, when I need a flash. That will take pictures when I click the fucking button, not a split second later. One that may even take 2 or 3 pictures, right after each other. Bam, bam, bam.

A lightening fast auto focus wouldn't kill me either.

Is that so much to ask?

Okay, just for their grandparents. Jack, Libby, Maggie and Katy. Party crashers. Blurry and all.Aren't they just beautiful?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just a Little

A little of this and a little of that today.
First, it would appear that Justin must part with a little more than a kidney stone. In fact, he's already .00006 lbs lighter since having a suspicious mole removed. It was discovered by the urologist who found the stone (and so I need not be specific about where it was found) and apparently it was ugly enough to warrant being removed immediately. Some lab in the deep south is now taking a look at it, so if you're the praying type, please pray that it's not Bubba behind the microscope. A joke, folks! Just a little joke. But, in all seriousness, please send them a little prayer that this was/is just a pesky brown dot a little too close to an even bigger (and whole heap peskier) brown dot (if ya know what I mean...**wink**wink**).


I have decided to open the blog up to the rest of the family (and those that are not blood related are also considered family (Denise, et al)). Since my contributions have been some what unreliable (and a whole lot unprofitable), I think it would be nice to let other people contribute as they see fit. So, if you're interested in posting an update every now and again, please let me know. I'll email you the username and password for the blog, and a short (very) tutorial on how to get started. If you'd like to post updates, but can't be bothered tinkering with the blog, I'd be happy to post letters and pictures directly from emails you send to me. So, get crackin'! Mom/Dad/Winks/Kinny, I could start posting your weekly letters if you'd like (and throw in a picture every once in a while fer-cryin'-out-loud). Let me know.


Sometimes when I'm walking in the store with the kids, and they weave and bob in front of me causing me to take 1/2 steps or stop suddenly, I want to push them down. Is that bad? And when does that stop?



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Counting Down

Ten days and counting! We're off to Sea Isle City, New Jersey. Which, admittedly seems like an unlikely vacation destination, but we've been assured that it's beautiful, with lots of stuff to do. I'm told that millions of people visit the Jersey Shore every summer, and that alone should be reason enough NOT to go, but go we are. We're renting a beach house with Steve's best friend and his family and we are literally steps from the beach. We will be occupying the right half of the beach house pictured. There are four bedrooms and 3 bedrooms, which is hopefully enough room not to get on each other's nerves. Their kids are a little older than ours, but the combination of boys and girls get along like a house on fire, so we're expecting it to be a pretty great week. Look at the view from the upper deck. How could it not be awesome?!

Nancy (the other mom) and I have organized lists (we're both list makers...very alpha female...should be interesting) ranging from the number of toilet paper rolls we're bringing to the amazing menu we've planned. I've been shopping since we booked this vacation 6 weeks ago, and have amassed a pile of crap in the corner of my bedroom. Note, if you will, the box of wine in the top right corner and the bucket of marguerita mix and tequila in the lower left corner. I do have priorities, folks, and a week sharing toilets with another family, whom I have not yet farted in front of, requires lots of alcohol!

In other news (and gratuituous pictures for Gramma and Grampa), Maggie and Libby have had their hair cut. Since neither is very keen on doing the same thing as the other, it was a bit tricky getting them to get the same hair cut. So, I described it differently to them and exactly the same to the two stylists who did their hair. Voila! Adorable twins with equally adorable hair! I had to make them wet their hair and blow it out quickly for the picture and, while it still looks a little slept on, you can see how cute they look.
Ok, I have to get back to my shopping. I'm looking for matching, plain white tank tops for the family for our beach pictures at sunset.

Yes. I'm serious.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Noses and Stones

I think Brighid and Keith might be fucking with me. Seriously. I've been (slowly) putting together a post about Brighid's new nose and decided to add the pictures this morning. How did I not notice how ENORMOUS the files were? Each time I opened an emailed picture my computer froze. After 2 or 3 attempts, I saved each picture to my hard drive...and attempted to delete them from my email.


They would NOT delete, people!!

I think I could easily blame my recent computer problems on Brighid's nose. Or pictures of Brighid's nose. I bet it's the up-the-snout shots she sent. I bet if I made a big enough stink (no pun intended), they'd have to replace my computer. One with a bigger memory. And a giant flat screen monitor.

I'll work on that.

But in the meantime, medical updates on my siblings.

First, the new nose. I was actually sent a before picture featuring Brighid's head tilting back and a full view of the deviated septum, but I thought I'd spare you the visual (and it's one I accidentally deleted before I copied it to My Pictures). Imagine, if you will, Brighid's head tilted back like a pez dispenser, with a pink jelly bean shoved up one nostril, almost completely blocking the air passage. That's what it looked like. Oh, never mind, I did save it. See the jelly bean? Kinda gross, eh? Anyway, as you may or may not remember, she was offered a free nose job to shave down a couple of inherited bumps and bulges while on the gurney prepping for the surgery. As this was not anticipated, she didn't take too many side before shots (thank God...I don't think my Fred Flintstone computer could take it!). Anyway, the surgery went problems and the surgeon was very satisfied with his work.
The week after surgery sounded like a little slice of hell as she had thingies jammed up her nose and had to ritualistically suction or drain or something or another every few hours(and Mom, who says she can't physically breath through her mouth, claims she would have died). This is 2 days post surgery and doesn't she look like she's having fun? No shower, no taste buds, no sleep. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
But it was all worth it! After having the stints removed and an industrial strength vacuum cleaner shoved up there to remove a week's worth of gunk, she is breathing like a regular person now (sans pink jelly bean) and looks beautiful.
Ok, so from Dr. 90210 to Dr. Wee-Wee. Last I spoke with Justin, he had yet to pass his giant kidney stone. The urologist could apparently see it floating about the kidney, probably picking up calcium chicks before it's journey. His immediate pain was over, but can you imagine the anticipation of still having to pass it? Every time you go to the bathroom you wonder "is this the pee that sends me crashing to the floor while a ball of razor blades makes it's way to the porcelain pool?". I think I'd be constantly drunk. Or, at the very least, sedated.

Katy is up here visiting Tami's parents, so Justin and Tami went away this weekend (some romantical weekend shit), so I have not yet heard if he left any shiny little trinkets behind. He apparently also had to tinkle in a gallon jug for a day to see if they could figure out why he gets these things (my guess is the Dos Equis)(and I had to do that once and all I remember is that some preservative stuff in the jug smoked every time I made a liquid deposit...very freaky). Anyway, maybe Justin will send a picture of the stone when it's out. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Looooong Weekend

What a great weekend! It started last Wednesday, when my old neighbor offered to share her "Fancy Nails" gift certificate with me. And, knowing that I would probably regret getting fake nails again, that's exactly what I did. Now I am sporting some really fancy nails...and have had to retype almost every word so far because my fancy nails are all clickety-clacking the wrong damn keys.

Sigh. The price I must pay for beauty.

Anyway, Levy was our nail technician and hails from Vietnam, where I'm sure he was probably a micro biologist or some such shit, but now he gives morons like me fancy nails. My neighbor went first and she made all the usual small talk with Levy...married, kids, blah, blah, blah. All of a sudden Levy got up to go into the back room and she whips her head around and says, "He keeps looking at my boobs!". I lean over and see that her tank top is swooping a little low and since she's midway through her fancy nails and can't take care of business, I adjust the neckline for her. A minute later, Levy emerged from the back room with two giant glasses of wine! For us! Before she could say another word, I readjusted my neighbor's top back down for Levy's cheap thrills...and to ensure us a second glass.

'Cuz that's how I roll.

Oh, before I forget. I noted on the price list at Fancy Nails that I can get a full back waxing for only $40! Imagine that?! I could also get a full bikini wax for $35, but it's going to take a lot more than a glass of cheap chablis for me to show Levy my vajayjay.

Thursday night (the 3rd) found us at our new neighbor's cottage on Conesus Lake (the lesson so far is to always be nice to your neighbors) for the Ring of Fire, which was just magical and spectacular. Conesus is one of the Finger Lakes and is small enough (8 miles long, but skinny) that you can see the other side, but big enough to spend the day floating in your giant cigarette boat if you so desired(or canoe if you're poor like me). As is the 3rd of July tradition, as soon as the sun set, the fireworks started. Not the cheapy ones we buy in Pennsylvania to keep Jack happy, but BIG ones...loud and bursting with color. Coming over the lake from all angles. A short while later, we started to see flares being light at precise intervals along the front of each property...and all of's there. The ring of fire. This picture from Wikipedia doesn't do it justice because only a few flares are lit and they're out of focus, but it's enough to get an idea of how awe inspiring it is to sit on the dock and have this light display just emerge from the darkness. Very, very cool!

We spent the 4th just loafing around the house, reading on the deck while the kids floated in the hot tub (God, we need a pool!). Steve was (is) building his man cave in the basement, so by the time we left to have dinner with his grandmother that night, he was already beat. After dinner, the kids and I braved the crowds and went to see the "real" fireworks. And I may, or may not, have set a bad example for those sweet little cherubs and lied to some pimply faced teenager about my participation in the fire department to secure a PERFECT parking spot in a prime saved me at least 20 minutes of walking, which translates into 40 minutes of whining, so it's all good. The fireworks were spectacular and no one whined a bit...least of all, me.

Saturday was the perfect day to spend at the beach, so we loaded the crew up again and headed to Fairhaven. Interestingly enough, every time we go there we see girls (and women) wearing those modesty bathing suits. See how happy they look? Not like me, sitting there in my pricey Nike bikini, sucking in my gut and praying that I don't look like a chubby two bit whore. I was wearing swim shorts over the skimpy bottoms, mind you...I do have standards (as does Steve...I think he quite admires those modesty suits). Anyway, we sunned, swammed, ate and fished until we ran out of money and patience.

Finally (God this is getting long, eh?) this brings me up to date, as yesterday was a day for grocery shopping and vacation shopping (you should see all the piles of crap on my bedroom's so exciting...and sooooo neurotic). We capped off the holiday long weekend with a couple of cocktails with the neighbors on each side of us last night and stumbled to bed at a fairly decent hour. The perfect end to a great weekend!


Up next...medical updates. Brighid is sporting a new nose and Justin is trying to pass a marble sized kidney stone. Who do you think is having more fun?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cliff Notes

Things I HAVE been doing:
*Working (a lot and ineffectively!).
*Taking care of own and others.
*Drinking too much wine.
*Planning a vacation.
*Working on a healthy tan (YES..they exist..SPF 8 people!).
*Paying $822 to have ONE tooth removed from Vinnie's skull (his own)(skull and tooth).

Things I have NOT been doing:
*Making money.
*Losing weight.
*Blogging (no shit, Sherlock).
*Sunning my face (my mother's voice echoes in my head).
*Brushing Vinnie's fucking teeth.
*Saving money for our vacation.

Things I must STOP doing:
*Reading Perez Hilton AND trying to sell software to people who are clearly bright enough to come looking for it if they needed it.
*Saying yes every time someone offers me something in a glass with a stem on it.
*Spending money on bathing suits made for teenage girls with big headlights.
*Taking epsom salts to "clear the runway". Oh. My. God.

Things I NEED to do:
*Buy a new camera for my vacation.
*Find a job that doesn't involve cold calling, people.
*Invent canine dentures.
*Make curtains for the office and the new dining room so my husband will get off my back about "softening the space".
*Create my very own low calorie wine

Things I LOVE:

More to come...lots more. Like why I've electively taken epsom salts (not once, but TWICE) and why removing one rotten hunk of tooth from that little rat bastard cost almost a thousand dollars (do you know how many padded bathing suits I could buy with a $1000?). And how many asshole IT people I had to talk to earn that money? Sickens me to just think about it.

And pictures. Lots of pictures. Except the kids clothes will actually match (Libby like her stripes!) and I will insist they brush their hair.

Oh, and while I'm at it, why did it take a MONTH to get 6 piddly comments about those gorgeous kids and their stunning mother? And 3 of the comments weren't even about them!

I'm back, bitches!