Monday, April 29, 2013


Mags: "OH. MY. GOSH, MAMA! Your toes look AWESOME! You're gonna love them. Don't open your eyes yet. Hang on just one more second."
Me: (sitting in chair with hands over my eyes) Okay, Mags. I promise I won't look until you say so."
Mags: Okay. Open them in 3...2...1...NOW!
Me: "Look at that. You did a great job, Mags. Thank you so much!"
Mags: (beaming with pride) "Thanks. And, look! I stayed in the lines on your nails. I only got a LITTLE bit of your skin."

You better believe I'm wearing sandals today. 
Best. Pedicure. Ever. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Mags: (raspy, tired voice) Mama, my belly feels goopy again. I just don't think I can eat breakfast today. I need to lay on the couch. 

Mags called out sick today. She just didn't have it in her to do much of anything. I've had those days where your body and mind pulled out a white flag and waved it. And you know what? Her idea to lay on the couch, drink tea and watch movies sounded great. 

We think our little balls of energy that bounce around the house from day to day have an endless supply. But, eventually, like any normal human being,  they need to recharge their batteries. THANK GOODNESS! 

Personally, I was glad she took the time she needed. I was glad she knew she needed a day to rest. 

But mostly, I was glad she invited me to join her! 

That Suburban Momma

Monday, April 22, 2013

Just Dance

Me: "I have to practice my dance routine, Mags. Wanna watch?"
Mags: "Of course. Hold on, hold on. Let me close the curtains and turn out the lights."
Me: "For what?"
Mags: "So when I turn the lights on, that's when you start. Just like when I'm on stage. Remember? Ms. Amanda took us on stage today and said we have to be super duper quiet. Then, when the lights come on, we start tapping and smiling."
Me: "Gotcha. Okay. Go ahead and turn on the lights and I'll do my dance for you."
Mags: "You'll do great. Okay, here are the lights!"
Me: (dancing, dancing, mess up, dancing, make up a few steps, dancing and bow)
Mags: (clapping
Me: "How'd I do?"
Mags: "Do you want the good news or the bad news first?"
Me: "Both"
Mags: "Okay. Good news is this. You're dancing was BEE-U-TI-FUL! Seriously. I was like...WOW! Here's the bad news...I forgot to open the imaginary curtain, so no one else in the audience could see you. And they're complaining. Do you hear them? How about you do the dance again and I'll remember the curtain this time."
Me: "Sure. Let me do it again. By the way, who's in the audience?"
Mags: "Wolfie, Silkies, Bitty Baby and about 100 zombies."

Remember in the Fall when I wrote about how Mags was taking ballet and tap? And that I was also going to be taking a ballet class? Well, I took it and enjoyed it. That's why I signed up for the Spring Adult Jazz class as well. 

Turns out, the Adult Jazz class is in the end of the year recital...
doing a dance a costume. 

This costume to be exact...

Good news is, the zombies will all be in a state of shock when they see it, 
so they won't know where to start. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Evil Dead for Scaredy Cats

Chris: "I cannot believe I am sitting next to you right now in the theatre for the Evil Dead movie. Are you sure about this? You know the poster for the movie said it's the most terrifying movie you'll ever see, right?"

Me: (glaring at him)

Chris: "I'll shut up now."

Credit: Evil Dead 
I surprised Chris on Saturday night by taking him to see the remake of this cult classic. I, of course, have never seen it. Remember? I have big, gaping holes in my movie library.

We met up with another couple who were also big fans of the original. As the movie started, it dove right into the gore. The director wasted no time disturbing the heck out of me with a scene that made me assume the "fingers in my ears, eyes on the floor" position for the duration of the movie. The only time I knew something was extra gory or shocking was when Chris would grab onto my knee or my sweet friend, Amanda, would whisper, "DON'T LOOK!" in my already blocked ear.

As we were driving home after the movie, I couldn't help but point out the similarities I saw to a book that is one of our family's favorites, "The Monster at the End of this Book" with furry, loveable, old Grover. I was most likely trying to grasp at anything comforting. But, seriously, think about it. They could have been written together to create a version for big scaredy, squeamish cats like me. Both the movie and the book had warnings throughout.

Here let me show you...and please know there will be spoilers for both the movie and the Little Golden Book in the following re-creation. Don't say I didn't WARN you.

A book is presented in the movie to the audience. 
It is known as "The Book of the Dead." 
And right away, you know the book is bad.

Grover helps out by sharing an idea.

This guy can't help himself. He has to do it. He HAS to turn the page.

Naturally, Grover FREAKS OUT. 
(I know where he's coming from. It sucks when no one listens to you.)

The next page displays MORE warnings that are blatantly
 ignored by the page turning dude.

He DOES say it.
He DOES write it.
He DOES read it.

Don't tell him what to do, 'Book of the Dead.'

Great! Now look what he's done. Reading those words obviously caused a change in Grover. See the stars SPEWING from his mouth?
That's not normal.

Even the heroine in the story is frustrated. Or possessed. 
Pretty sure it's both.

Grover gets himself together and comes up with ANOTHER idea. 
Nails and chains should definitely do the trick. 

Or NOT. 

For the love of jellybeans, look at this little blue monster.
He's PLEADING with this dude to NOT turn the page. 
Of course, the page turning fool will have to listen. 

WRONG! Mr. Turny McTurnington just turns the page AGAIN! 
Wow, 'Book of the Dead,' that's a little harsh, don't you think? 
I mean, Grover can be a bit whiny and needy, 
but suck my soul dry? Really?

And look! Grover didn't need to be scared. What a worry wart. 
Turns out the only monster at the end of the book WAS Grover. 
He's even admitting there was nothing to be afraid of. 

Or NOT! Pretty sure Grover just peed his fur. 

No worries, Grover. It happens to everybody. 

And at the end of OUR story, everyone lives, there's minimal blood loss
and the page turning dude has to clean up Grover's mess. 

C'mon! It's only fair. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pint-Size Passion

Chris and I  decided to tell the kids about the explosions that occurred yesterday in Boston before we sent them to school. Chris and I knew there was a strong possibility of them hearing about it on the bus, in the lunchroom or just in passing. There was no way they wouldn't worry if they heard "Boston and bomb" in a conversation.  To them, "Boston" means Meme, Papa, Uncle Markie, Auntie Kerry and loads of other friends and family that mean the world to us.

So, we sat them at the breakfast table and told them the basics of the horrible events that had occurred.  As Chris and I spoke, filling in each other's explanations, we carefully watched their faces. They accepted what we told them about the bomb, the people that were killed or injured, the heroes who came together to help those in need and, forefront in their little minds, that their family and friends were safe.

On the drive to drop Mags at Pre-K, the following conversation opened my eyes to a new side of our sweet seven and five-year-old:

Tuck: "Hey, Mama?"
Me: "Yes, Tuck?"
Tuck: "How do people get hurt by a bomb going off?"
Me: "Well, it sets off an explosion that has a lot of heat and fire. The blast will knock people down."
Tuck: "Knock them down, like that one time when the wave knocked me down in the ocean?"
Me: "Exactly."
Tuck: "It's loud?"
Me: "Yes. Very loud."
Mags: "And you know what those people are called that hurt other people, Mama?"
Me: (holding my breath) "What Mags?"
Mags: "Bullies."
Me: "That's one name for them, yes."
Tuck: "If I was there, I would have helped the people that were hurt. Cause that is showing good citizenship. We talked about being a good citizen in school."
Me: "That's really good of you, Tuck. 
Mags: "If I was there, I would've taken those bad bullies to jail."
Tuck: "That's for the police to do, Mags. You're too little to do that."
Mags: "Oh no I'm not! I can help. You've seen me carry TWO grocery bags. I'm strong, Tuck. I really am."

Something became clear to me through this conversation.  Both Tuck and Mags are just as passionate about this situation as I am. Passionate to help. Passionate to right a wrong. Passionate to begin the process of healing.  And it's this type of budding passion around me that helps to replenish and inspire my own.

Like so many others, our family's thoughts and prayers are 
with all those impacted by these events in Boston.  

One more very important thing...Amanda M and Kerri T, 
congratulations on your outstanding finishes. 
I'm so proud of your strength!

Friday, April 12, 2013


Me: "So, tomorrow morning we'll all walk Tuck to the bus stop and he'll get on the bus."
Mags: "Den what?"
Me: "Then, we'll walk home with Daddy."
Mags: "I no yike it. No bus for my Tuck."
Me: "I know, but you'll have me! ALL DAY MAMA AND MAGS DAY!"
Mags:  (smiles, ponders, rejects) "No, nank you."

The day Tuck got on the bus for the first time to go to Kindergarten was the most anticipated moment of his whole life, the scariest moment of mine and the most shocking moment of Mags'. Poor Mags. Her Mama and Daddy thought for sure they'd prepared her for the inevitable. 

Her best friend in the whole wide world was going to full day Kindergarten. He would be getting on the big yellow bus and driving away from her for the WHOLE. ENTIRE. DAY. 

Chris and I prepared a then two (and a half)-year-old Mags as best we could by giving her reminders about what was going to happen on Tuck's first day of school. We went over how we'd get up and eat breakfast together. Then we'd get dressed and brush teeth. After that we'd take some pictures as we made our way out the door. We'd walk Tuck down the street to the bus stop and wait with him. We'd watch for the bus together. We'd wave to Tuck and blow him kisses as he got on the bus. Finally we'd walk home. We even went on a dry run of this whole process the day before the real thing. 

And then the day came. Tuck was a wee bit excited....

Mags was a wee bit apprehensive....

When the bus pulled up, Chris and I were so proud of how we had prepared the kids. We had covered it all. We watched, we waved, we blew kisses and we snapped pictures. But then, all our preparation flew out the window when the bus doors closed and pulled away. That was about the time Mags looked up at Chris panicked asking, 

"Where bus going? Where my Tuck?" 

That's when our mistake smacked us in the face. We had, in fact, told her he'd get on the bus...but we never mentioned how the bus was going to pull away with him ON IT. She thought he'd get on, then get off and walk home with us. Silly, Parents! 

It was a long first day for little Mags. When he got off the bus after eight LONG hours of being at school, I knew who had first dibs. There was NO way she was letting anyone near him. 

But today (it technically is TODAY because it's after midnight) that little person will be going to her own Kindergarten registration. She is so excited. And she's already started to prepare for next year. Tonight at dinner, she asked Tuck if he would sit next to her on her first day on the bus. He, of course, said yes. 

Chris and I just smiled at each other because we know from can never be TOO prepared! Here we go, Mags. A great start that will lead you on a new adventure! (Someone grab me a tissue, please!)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Me: "Daddy and I are reading one of our stories at an event to support literacy in our area."
Tuck: "Which one? Dragonfly, Dragonfly Show Us the Way?"
Me: "Yep. That's the one."
Tuck: "Are you nervous to read in front of a bunch of people?"
Me: "A little bit."
Tuck: "Well, when I was trying out for the talent show, I was super nervous. You told me how to keep my belly from being all crazy. Remember? Just take deep breaths. Then you won't be so nervous. And think of something funny. Like when I toot."
Me: "Excellent suggestions. Thanks!"
Tuck: "Oh, and remember that I think you're the best Mama ever."
Me: *puddle on the floor*

It's such a rewarding feeling when YOU are the one that helps your kids through their anxiety. YOU are the one that makes them feel better. YOU are the one they run to for a comforting hug. YOU are the one that scares away the monsters. YOU are the one that can redirect them when something sparkly distracts them. YOU are the one they can act out with, be horrible to and know YOU are the one who will still kiss them goodnight. Every. Single. Time. YOU are the one they look to when they question their own ability. YOU are the one that tells them it's okay to jump. YOU are the one who watches them fall. YOU are the one who's there to help them up. YOU are the one that believes in them more than they believe in themselves. 

And THEY, THEY are the ones that make all your dreams come true.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Mags: "Knock, knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Mags: "What did the duck say to the other duck?"
Me: "What?"
Mags: "You QUACK me up. Get it, Mama? Cause they're ducks. And they quack."

Mags is working on perfecting her joke telling. She likes to begin each one with the 'knock, knock,' no matter if the joke calls for it or not. She is getting better, but what is the funniest part of her jokes is how she quacks herself up. I can't help but laugh, no matter how nonsensical the joke may be. Her laughter afterwards seals the deal. 

So, when I caught the following picture at the pond while we were feeding the ducks quackers crackers, I couldn't help but put a caption on it. It made me laugh to myself. And since I don't laugh at myself often enough, I want to share. Feel free to laugh WITH me...or AT me. Either way is just ducky. 

What little things give you the giggles? 
Share with me below in the comments.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The New

Melissa: "Hey, this is a first for us!"

This post was written by Chris (Melissa's husband). Enjoy!

Life has a way of becoming monotonous. Get up. Go to work. Come home. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Do that over and over, Ad Inifinitum. Ugh. I’m depressing myself just writing that sentence.
What’s the best way to avoid the everyday doldrums?

I know what works for my wife and me. We have a saying we’ve repeated at different moments since the birth of our relationship. “Hey, this is a first for us”. For us, adventure is found by discovering The New.

After 9 years together my wife and I have shared many new experiences. Some are huge, life changing events, like the birth of our children or buying a house. Others are small, minor occurrences like going to a restaurant we’ve never been to or trying a flavor of ice cream that we’ve never had before. Big or small, we relish in The New. The New is what keeps our life fresh, interesting, and worth living. Sharing The New is what keeps our marriage fresh, interesting, and worth living together. It’s fun to ride a roller coaster you’ve never been on before but it is even more fun to look over at the love of your life to see the look on her face when the ride comes to a complete stop. It’s those moments, when you’ve shared something new together, that brings you even closer together.

For these reasons we try to have as many new experiences as possible. This is why we do zombie runs, dress up in crazy outfits whenever we can, and try on over-priced Christmas sweaters. It’s all about capturing The New.

Today marks the anniversary of our ninth year together as husband and wife. My wife likes chocolate, jewelry, chocolate, flowers, and other traditional romantic gestures (like chocolate) just as much as the next woman but all of that has been done before. Those things aren’t new. I know she’d be happy and appreciative of these things if that’s what I got her, but these aren’t the things she really, truly wants. No, not deep down. Deep down, she wants The New.

In trying to think about the best way to acknowledge the occasion, I decided it would be best to celebrate by doing something we’ve always wanted to do but which would also be a first for us. I wanted it to be something that encompassed the spirit of our relationship. It had to be fast-paced. It had to be exciting. It had to smack of The New. Actually, it had to smack The New in the face!

And that’s why I got us tickets to this...

Schedule of the NOVA Roller Derby

Happy Anniversary Melissa!

I'm looking forward to every new experience with you!

PS. I replenished her Cadbury mini-egg supply too. Come on, did you really think I wouldn’t get her chocolate too?


Chris: "What did you do today?"
Tuck: "We ate dinner at a very fancy diner and I lost my tooth when I bit into my hot dog. That's all I remember from today."

See the new space in the bottom left side of Tuck's mouth? And if you look even closer, you can see the tiny baby tooth in the center of the palm of his hand. 

Since the kids and I are in Boston pahking cahs in Hahvahd Yahd visiting my family, I immediately sent Chris a text with the above picture. His reply was,

"No way! Amazing! I can't believe it!"

I shared the text with Tuck and he beamed with pride. Then, as I looked back down, my screen lit up with another message. It read, 

"Nine years ago today, we were having our rehearsal dinner. Now, at dinner, our oldest lost a tooth!!!"

Isn't it nuts how fast time goes by as we get older? Today, Chris and I are celebrating nine years together as husband and wife. NINE! Have I ever told you how we met? No? Well, let me give you the quick version of the story.

I was a ball of 21-year-old nerves walking into my first teacher training. When the very heavy, wooden door swung open, all eyes turned to me. I awkwardly fumbled into the room. I slipped my way into the horseshoe formation all the other new hires seemed to be standing in for introductions. That's when I heard him and my attention was drawn to his face. He was handsome, had the most disarming smile and stood directly across from me. My gaze was stuck. As he introduced himself to the group, his eyes met mine and at that very moment, I believed in love at first sight. 

And for the record...I still do! 

I look forward to many, many more, Chris! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

One More Chance

One More Chance

Take charge. Energy is siphoned slowly, barely noticeable. One dark claw at a time delves into what once was yours. Devitalizing is its goal. Behavior too elusive to detect. Depletion is imminent. Break free. Replenish what has been taken. Fight against that lackluster that is the result. Stand strong. Raise up to the surface steadily. Purify your surroundings with an unwavering light.  Allow it to absorb so that it can once again be shared. Feel the hold of darkness retreat back to the depths while each ray of brilliance disintegrates its grasp. Embrace this chance. Breathe deeply. Victory is yours.

This post is in response to Lance's 100 Word Song, Dead Sara's 'Sorry for it All' and Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Writing Prompt, which is 'lackluster.'