Category Archives for "Birthdays"

Today is …

… Easter Sunday, a day that holds little significance for me as I am not particularly religious. However, I am married to a good Catholic boy. This means that today, when we get together with my husband’s family, they will celebrate the resurrection of Christ and I will pilfer Easter baskets and celebrate the resurrection of my lust for dark chocolates and red jelly beans.

… our first day back from a week long vacation, a day that is significant only because of the mountain of laundry and the empty pantry that accompanies it, both of which I intend to ignore because with any luck, I will be in a diabetic coma in an entirely different location. See above.

… April 24, 2011, a day that is very significant for me and which I intend to celebrate thoroughly because it marks the seventeenth anniversary of one of the best things I ever did with my life.

Happy birthday, baby girl!


Your mom



Weekend regurgitation: The only wrap I like is the kind that’s served with fries and a pickle

With the exception of a few stocking stuffers, I am done Christmas shopping.


*insert happy dance here*

If I (1) am married to you; (2) gave birth to you; (3) clean up the poop you deposit behind the couch; (4) grew up in the same house with you; (5) possess half your DNA; (6) married part of your DNA; (7) pay you to teach my kid how to break boards with her elbows and kill someone with her bare thumbs; (8) email you to thank you for being such a great teacher and tell you that if you encourage my eldest to apply to Yale or Harvard, then I fully expect you to pay for half of it; (9) email you to ask you to teach me fifth grade math so that I can review my youngest’s homework;  or (10) text your mom to schedule playdates, chances are I have a gift for you.

Oh, and if you happen to be one random girl in my youngest’s homeroom at the holiday party next week, I got you covered as well.

Next up … wrapping.

That gust of air that just blew your eyeballs to the back of your head? That was the wind being knocked out of my sails.

I leave you with the post I wrote last year on my philosophy on gift giving. Now I’m taking my droopy sails down to the basement to search our ceiling joists for last year’s Santa paper.

Happy Sunday, everyone!



How to accept a gift without losing a testicle or two

(originally published December 2, 2009)


We have a few rules in our house when it comes to accepting gifts, and when I say “we” I mean “I” because it is “I” who makes these rules in this house and it is “they” who break them. Repeatedly.

But I have to admit, they usually don’t break the gift acceptance rules because if they do, I am all NO SOUP FOR YOU.

If you never watched Seinfield, that sentence will make absolutely no sense whatsoever. What’s with you not watching Seinfeld anyway? Did your mama not raise you right?

The gift acceptance rules are the same for Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays or any occasion when a gift is customary. These rules apply equally to all members of this household regardless of their status as spouse, child, relative or person of interest and I mean that last one in a totally non-homicide-suspect kind of way.

However, for the sake of simplicity and because I don’t want this post to be longer than my leg hair, I will use Nate’s birthday as an example.

By the way … infractions are not tolerated. Violators will be punished including, but not limited to, a time-out, a formal written apology or possible castration. It depends entirely on what side of the bed I fell off of that morning, subsequently careening to my near death. And, on my ability to hyperbolize.

Rule #1, also known as BIG MAMA: You are not allowed to search for your gift. You are not allowed to even entertain the thought of searching for your gift. Your birthday is not an Easter egg hunt and I am not the Easter Bunny, despite the strong resemblance. I spend way too much time agonizing over color, size, style and whatnot of whatever it is I’m choosing as a gift for you to have it all ruined by some Sherlock Holmes wannabe with a bloodhound complex. Waaay too much time. Time that I could have spent watching Detective Stabler flex his tattoos on SVU or maybe even fixing dinner for you, if I happened to be in a magnanimous mood that day. So if I even think that you have been snooping, I will take your gift back from whence it came faster than you can say Bob’s your uncle. I don’t care if it’s a CD bought online or a brand spankin’ new shiny baby from my nether regions. Believe you me, I am not above walking my ass all the way to or shoving a baby back into my uterus.

And yes, my uterus is out of commission so that second one might have been a bad example but YOU GET MY POINT.

By the way, for anyone who actually uses that phrase in real life, what if Bob is not your uncle? What then?

Rule #2: You are not allowed to buy yourself anything for the six months preceding your birthday. You are the hardest person to buy for this side of the Milky Way and nothing bursts my bubble faster than you buying something that I already have hidden under that fugly blanket in my trunk. And nothing bursts my bubble harder than you paying twice as much as I did for that very same item because you neglected to price shop while you were in the throes of stealing my thunder.


I typed that really loud. It is the sound of my bubble bursting.

Rule #3: You are not allowed to comment on the wrapping paper. It is not my fault that your mom and dad decided to get busy in late February and have you sometime between the turkey and the pumpkin pie. In this house, once Gobble, Gobble, Gobble is done and gone, it’s nothing but HO HO HO from here on in.

Rule #4: Somewhat related to rule #1 in that when you see your present, you are not allowed to guess it by its wrapper. How do you know it’s not really an air compressor? I am a master of deception, a phenom of illusion. You should know this. You don’t see my waist, do you?


Rule #5: I MEAN IT. Just be grateful it wasn’t a puppy.

Rule #6: You must give me your undivided attention for at least three minutes while I enthrall you with my recitation of (1) how I decided upon this gift; (2) how I searched for three years for this gift, even though I didn’t know you wanted it until last week; (3) how the salesman at Dick’s Sporting Goods was either lonely, insane or suffering from a skull fracture because he would not stop talking to me and insisted on following me around the putters, telling me about his handicap; (4) how I meant handicap as in “golf” handicap and not in any physical disability like a possible skull fracture; (5) how there’s nothing wrong with the salesman having skull fracture because people with skull fractures need jobs too; (6) how does the salesman work with a skull fracture? (7) do skull fractures hurt? How do you know? Have you ever had one? Then how do you know? and finally (8) how you can return my gift if you don’t like it, even though it would be a completely heartless thing to do, but don’t worry about me, I’ll just deal with it in therapy so you just go ahead and find every one of my feelings and stomp them all to bits.

During this entire dissertation, your expression must convey nothing but complete rapture. No blinking.

Your expression here? It doesn’t convey overt rapture so much as irritable bowel syndrome. And you blinked.


Rule #7: Once I stop talking, you must smile to communicate your awe of my remarkable intuition and then profess your gratitude at having received the ultimate, perfect gift.

Rule #8: Until you finish re-finishing our stairs, you must not utter one word, nay one syllable, about the sawdust on the floor under the shelves in the foyer and please stop reminding me not to step on the stairs because they are tacky as I already know they are tacky and the reason I know they are tacky is because I remember you told me they are tacky more times than I actually care to remember. They’re tacky. Got it.

Rule #9: That I wish you a very very happy birthday and that you never forget how much I love you.

Rule #10: That you remember rule #9 when and if you ever notice a size six footprint on the stairs.




Happy birthday, Peanut.

My apathetic, expressionless, indifferent little ten year old.

My stoic, impassive, uncommunicative, emotionless, vacuous, lackluster, bespectacled closed book, encapsulated in a wet blanket.

Why do you find it so difficult to emote? Why must you be so detached from life?


HAHAHAHAHAHA. As if, right?

I know! Like, ten years ago, I didn’t give birth to one of the most lively, enthusiastic, animated, exuberant, effusive, sideline-phobic, spirited participants in life EVER.

Hello, I’m the Creative Junkie and I’m an addict. is my crack.

Nice to meet, rendezvous and make your acquaintance.

I’m beginning to suspect that you’ve been letting Daddy listen to Pop2K on XM Radio again because, this?

This is his signature move.

When he’s not doing that weird “running man” thing or that weirder “I have a charlie horse in my leg” thing, I mean.

Am I right?

Honey, when you indulge Daddy by letting him dance out loud, you are only encouraging him. And what do we say when Daddy tries to find rhythm?

Do you remember?


Yes, exactly.

It’s for his own safety. Otherwise, Daddy is going to start thinking he’s actually good. And then what? Next thing you know, Daddy’s going to be listening to Katy Perry over the sound system and get the urge to get his freak on right there in the middle of Home Depot and then where will we be? Aside from hunting down the manager to tell him that there’s a poor, strange man having an epileptic seizure in plumbing and by the way, where can we find copper tubing?

I know! That’s how I feel too. No one wants to see Daddy get shot with a tranquilizer gun.

By the way, “get your freak on” means dance, right?

Should I have said “groove” instead?

Is it wrong I’m asking a ten year old this?

I think you’re right, pumpkin. So let’s just forget I said anything.

In fact, let’s forget this entire conversation.

Except when I said Happy birthday, Peanut.

Because that was my favorite part.



It’s Sixteen Candles! Except that her parents remembered. And she kept her panties.

Once again, Zoe has disobeyed me. Despite my heated requests and pleas and screeching beseeching, she absolutely refuses to stop growing up. She will turn sixteen this weekend and I am in the process of stapling my eyelids open because I’m scared that the next time I blink, she’ll be headed off to college.


And then down the aisle.


And then past the elevators through the maternity doors on the right.


And then down one floor to pull the plug on her mother whose last words were WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN, I’M A GRANDMOTHER ALREADY?

Within thirty seconds of hitting sixteen, Zoe will be getting her permit and learning how to drive. On real roads. With real cars. So many cars that it might be construed as traffic.

All you drivers out there? Please do me a solid and hot glue rubber tires all over your cars because honestly, you can never have too many bumpers.

And all you pedestrians? Stay home.

Same goes for you bikers. And rollerbladers. And golfers who shank and slice and can’t keep track of your wayward balls.

Let’s make this easy.


If you absolutely must go out, because you’re hemorrhaging or shoes are on sale somewhere, please please please, for the love of God, keep an eye out for Zoe. She’ll be the one in the bubble wrapped Honda equipped with supersonic strobe lights on its roof so that you can see her coming a mile away. You should then have plenty of time to get the hell out of the way as she will be approaching at a maximum speed of ten miles an hour, if my handiwork on the Honda was successful.

Zoe, you were worth every single one of those sixty hours it took to bring you into this world. Happy sixteen, babe.



It’s too pretty to eat. Unless you’re starving.

I’ve been wanting to try an Edible Arrangement ever since last year when they opened a store within three miles of our house. I’ve sampled so many of their chocolate covered granny smith apple slices lately that I suspect the employees feel sorry for me and assume that I am some homeless person who depends on their freebies as my only source of sustenance for the day because the alternative explanation would be that I’m a lazy, mooching, leeching parasite on society. I mean, what other kind of person would have the cajones to walk in day after day and grab the same free sample while wearing baggy gray yoga pants and a faded, torn, Old Navy t-shirt held together by holes and wishful thinking? Unless he had no other means of survival, right?

I’ll tell you what kind of person has those cajones. The female kind, that’s who. One who has been within ten pounds of goal weight for over two months. Because let me tell you, when you’re limited to eighteen Weight Watchers points a day and you’ve got the chance to have what amounts to a chocolate dipped zero point snack that you don’t have to buy, make or run three miles to work off, you take that chance and run with it while wearing whatever the hell you wore to bed the night before.

I should probably mention that the Weight Watchers welcome packet fails to include a warning that hunger pains from eighteen points a day makes premenopausal women irrational and capable of growing balls the size of Detroit.

Apparently I’ve mentioned my desire for an Edible Arrangement to my kids often enough that they wound up buying me one for my birthday this year but only after yelling OH MY GOSH, STOP TALKING ABOUT FRUIT! WE GET IT ALREADY. CAN WE PLEASE MOVE ON TO HOW DISGUSTING OUR ROOMS ARE AND HOW WE BETTER CLEAN THEM OR ELSE YOU’RE GOING TO SELL US TO THE GYPSIES FOR QUARTERS?

This being my first experience at consuming a bouquet of fruit that costs ten times as much as the individual pieces of fruit that comprise it, I thought I might share with you some observations on popping my Edible Arrangements cherry and yes, that pun was totally intended. Thanks for getting it! Don’t worry about it, Mom. I’ll explain later.

On we go:

  1. Speaking of cherries, there were none in this arrangement and that’s a good thing as the only cherries I like are the ones sitting on grocery shelves disguised as pie filling.
  2. The arrangement was pretty damn pretty. Almost too pretty to eat but lucky for me, I am me.
  3. The fruit was exceptionally good except for the melon which wasn’t as ripe as it should have been. However, I was able to save it as a chew toy for Oliver, so that’s a plus.
  4. When you mentally deconstruct the arrangement, you quickly realize that you probably paid about $1.50 for a grape – that would be the same grape that you just choked on after coming to this realization. Therefore, I recommend you live in denial and simply enjoy the bouquet without analyzing it. Unless, of course, you are filthy rich or happen to be standing next to someone proficient in the Heimlich maneuver.

When all is said and done, we all enjoyed the flavor and novelty of the arrangement and I was especially touched that my kids really put a lot of thought into a gift for me. That, I can tell you, is a truly wonderful gift in and of itself.

Now that I’m clued in as to the best method of getting my kids to give me what I want for my birthday, I’m already strategizing for next year. I plan to talk incessantly about how much I would like it if they could go twenty-four hours straight without a fight or raised voice or a screaming rendition of YOU ARE A BIG BUTT in B minor.

I think I’ll start in January, just to be safe.