Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Best Tooth Puller Ever

Thank goodness the fear of pulling teeth is not genetic. He'll be just fine ripping the rest out of his mouth.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's just like labor pain

Ah, the emergency room. I have visited very few times in my life - thankfully - and our children (hear me knocking on wood LOUDLY) have escaped the repeated visits that often come with childhood accidents.

Hubby...well...he's an ER master. Sprained ankle. Pneumonia. Asthma attack. Kidney stone.

He's a do-it-yourself kind of ER guy, too. He often drives himself. Doesn't feel the need for anyone to be by his side while he's waiting. Always seems to feel like a million bucks right after he's checked in and the pain meds kick in - but who doesn't?

This morning at 4:30 a.m. while he was apologizing for waking me up, he announced he was in incredible pain and was driving to the ER. My thought was: pain + driving = bad idea.  I offered repeatedly to call for an ambulance but he said no. Having two children sleeping soundly doesn't exactly lend itself to offering to drive him there - although the hospital is less than a mile away so even a drive and dump at the door would have had me missing for less than 5 mins (NO, I would NEVER leave my children alone! On purpose, that is...)

As he described his ailments I thought, kidney stones or appendicitis. And after walking him to the door to wish him luck on his drive to the ER, I quietly did a search online and, once again, earned my WebMD medical degree.

I lay awake waiting for the call that he arrived safely...or that he was being sent home...or admitted....any call at all. And sure enough that came a little after 5 a.m. There was an IV, pain meds and he was just going to wait for the Dr. I rolled over after we hung up and pretended I went back to sleep - didn't happen. The WebMD site had me second guessing my diagnosis so I tossed and turned.

By the time I was able to get to the hospital after dropping the kids off at school and touching base with the awesome support network we have there, they were whisking him away for a cat scan. Sure enough it was a  kidney stone that would now float around in his bladder until it decided to come out. The kinda hot nice male nurse explained what was going on and offered his brilliant analogy so I could better understand the situation....

"When the stone is passing through your kidney, it is similar to labor pains."

I was going to offer up, "Well then hubby has 39 more hours of kidney stones to go, because I was in labor for 42 hours with my first child...."

But then I quickly decided it really wasn't about me, now was it...so I nodded and bit my tongue...for once. The nice thing about this ER visit is our hospital just unveiled like a 10 trillion dollar ER renovation (ok, not 10 trillion dollars) so we got to check it out. Very nice. Just missing Diet Coke in the vending machine - so I'll be taking that up with the staff next time we visit.  Which I'm hoping won't be until at least 2014.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Everyone take your place...

The first full day back to school is exciting....for the dog.

You see, he and I have had this amazing routine for years now - it started in 2007 when I started working from home - I wait for the kids to leave the house (I'll admit - I don't do mornings so hubby is the one rushing the kids around and out the door) and then I saunter downstairs and head over to his dog crate in my office, all covered with his dark sheet so he isn't disturbed by the sunlight, and let him out.

He runs to the back door ready to chase a squirrel and do his duty and then back inside for his breakfast and some conversation.  It usually sounds like this:

"Hey Bubba (although his name is Coach). Good morning. You hungry?"

He never responds.

I'll grab a quick bite, turn on the radio, sometimes rarely shower and turn on the computer to check the day's events.  He curls up right behind or next to my office chair and away we go. Routine. For hours. There are conference calls, trips to the fridge for Diet Coke refills, barking at the UPS or Postal trucks (him, not me) and lots and lots of email.

This past school year things changed a little -  there was bus duty thrown into the mix at 2:10 p.m. That usually involved barking on his behalf as I left the house to walk down the end of our street. This year, there will be trips to the school as the bus ride home is off the list.  I'm sure that will evoke the same barking that the bus exit did.

So you see, for years now at the start of the school year there is this return of "normal" for the dog. This celebration dance I'm doing right now is not for me...it's totally for him. I'm so happy his routine is back! He's not getting any younger, ya know.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The summer that got away

As my daughter would say, "Holy Cheese and Crackers! Is it really the end of August?" (kudos to Hannah Montana for that lovely phrase, I believe)

How can this summer wrapping up already? How can my little minions be heading into first and third grade? How can my shorts from last summer STILL not fit (ok, I know the answer to that one)?

I'm sitting in amazement that the 500 blog posts that have been floating through my head have never made it online. Part of the problem is that my blog is not connected to my "work" login so anytime I want to post I have to log out of my email, calendar and overall current being and log back in as my previous being...which is way too complicated for my lifestyle these days.

I will say that we survived our first summer together - the kids and I. Every previous year they have been in full time daycare and even last year when I found myself unemployed we had already pre-paid for summer session so I sent them along.  This year, we spent at least 5 out of 7 days together (I wanted to keep them in the program at least 2 days so I can keep a slot when school starts up - Mama is trying to get a business going!) and we all came out of it alive.

Of course there were tears, shouting, crying, pouting, stomping,  and screaming - but can you blame me? I mean a Mom has to release some tension every now and then. 

But kidding aside, we didn't do half the things I imagined we'd do but we squeezed in some pool time with the neighbors, a trip to NH then to Six Flags New England then to PA, time with friends we don't see enough like Liz, Julie, Jocelyn and Christina - and sadly not as many trips to the beach as I would have liked.

Overall I'd say I scored a 7 on the scale of "Keeping the Kids Entertained" - Hey it was my first time as a summer Mom! But I will leave you with this:

Zero trips to the ER or doctor.
One son who mastered the scooter and riding a two wheeler.
One daughter who can swim in the deep end of a pool and rode in some waves at the beach.
One Mom who is on her way to self employment - full time.

Bravo summer of 2011.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Everything costs more these days - even paper towels

While on a mission with the kids to find an umbrella stand on Tornado Wednesday - something that proved to be more difficult than I thought - our adventure took us to BJ's Wholesale Club in the late afternoon.

Amidst all the running around from Target to Walmart to Home Depot and then BJ's I managed to consume 32 oz of Diet Coke easily.

God-willing, we were able to find a nice 50 lb steel umbrella stand at BJ's, roll it up and into a shopping cart, check out without any "extras" in our possession and head straight for the rest room where I corralled the kids in and made a dash to a stall.

Upon exiting with a renewed sense of relief to wash my hands I noticed my daughter was standing with her hands dripping wet from the sink and mumbling, "I don't like those dryers".  The jet engine dryers that blow the skin on your hands in various directions are not her favorite.  I waved my hands under the automatic faucet at the right angle to finally get the thing going when I hear her exclaim, "I did not know they had paper towels here!"  I glanced over at the steel holder on the wall at the precise moment she screeched, "WHOA!  They charge 25c for paper towels here.  Why would they charge 25c? I can't believe anyone would charge for paper towels!! Look Alex, 25c for paper towels."

For what seemed like eternity she "Whoa'd" and "Wow'd" about the 25c paper towel holder so much that my son was now fascinated at the steel contraption hanging on the wall that clearly did not dispense paper towels.

With a quick and feverish motion I waved my hands and shouted "Let's go. We don't want anyone stealing our umbrella stand from our cart out side.  Let's move. Step away from the box. It's not paper towels - carry on."

That last observation should have been kept inside my head because as we were exiting the bathroom the conversation continued with "What do you mean it wasn't paper towels? What was in there? What costs 25c? Tell me. What was in there for 25c?"

"Can I buy you guys an icee while we're here?"

Colored, sugar infused ice will distract them every time.

So, parents - when is the right time to discuss the expandable, tube shaped paper towels on a string with my daughter? I'm frankly not prepared to do go there yet with an 8 year old!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

How do you like them...errr...strawberries?

I failed as a home gardener - mainly because I hate weeding and also I didn't enjoy all the bugs that accompany vegetable plants. Last summer I was amazed by some perennial tomatoes that regrew after a fairly mild winter of '09 (that was kind of cool). However, in the summer of '10 I gave up on beans, lettuce, asparagus and herbs and was happy with the tomatoes and a few strawberries that sprouted up out of a strawberry pot we bought - that was about this size:

After the 6 feet of snow melted in our back yard, I noticed something happening in the "garden"...and I'm not sure what to do about it...

It seems my little strawberry pot spawned some friends and now I have a strawberry garden.  Who says I can't grow my own food????  Anyone need jam?  I suspect that will be my next "do-it-yourself" project. Lord help me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Healthy fighting habits

After 18 years together my husband and I rarely fight.  We disagree about a lot of things but we don't fight. 

We had enough drama and fighting early on in our relationship to fill us up so since we've been married (11 years in August) we've been pretty cool.  Until the other day. When my hormones and motherly instincts got the best of me and I blew up.  And perhaps some profanities flew out of my mouth.  And I may have slammed a door on my way out of the house.  And I'm sure there was a noise that resembled GRRRRAAAARRRRGGH that came out of my mouth.

But given it was T-Ball night I gathered myself together, came back in the house and pushed on with our night.

And then the questions came out of Abby's mouth at the game:  "Why were you and Daddy fighting? Why were you so mad at him?"

And then it hit me. She's NEVER seen us fight - at least that I can recall. We argue but neither of us has ever left the house to cool off - or shown any real aggression towards each other.  And frankly, I'm realizing that could be a bad thing.

We aren't perfect - to say the least. We don't always get along. We are sometimes warm, sometimes cold towards each other.  But at the end of the day, we lead by example and I wonder what example we've set by not fighting at time or two?  Marriage is work - say "Hell Ya" if you know what I'm talking about.  And while I've raised my voice with the kids on couple several occasions, I rarely do it with my husband.

I'm contemplating if I should start throwing some objects across the kitchen?  Or slam more doors? Perhaps call him Poo-poo face more? And while I make light of it, I do wonder if we sometimes hold back for the sake of our kids and if that is the best choice. What do you think? Ever toss a vase across a room like in the movies?  I think I may go invest in some boxing gloves....you know....for the sake of the kids.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

High aspirations

My children only want the best. Kraft mac n' cheese.  Nestle chocolate milk. Third place.


Field Day is Friday for the kid's school, and since Abby snagged a 1st place ribbon in Kindergarten and a 2nd place ribbon in 1st grade she is desperate to win a 3rd place ribbon this year.  You know...to make the set complete.

And, you'll be happy to learn that my son has already decided on his life's occupation. He proudly exclaimed today:

"Mommy. When I get bigger, I'm going to be a guy with gloves and a big trash bag and I'm going to walk around picking up all the trash on the ground."

So while most would think my kids are setting rather low standards, I argue the opposite. I think my daughter has learned that life is not all about winning or coming in first but completing the job...and her brother truly understands the environmental ignorance and its affect on his generation.

Our family would be proud of 3rd place trash collectors....what do your kids aspire to be?  A first place surgeon? They clearly don't get it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thou shall not have religion

If you and I sat at a bar 15 years ago and you asked me "So, when you have children do you think you'll raise them Catholic?" I would have laughed so hard the walls would have shook. No CCD for my kids. Religion shmaligion - in fact I believed the Bible was written by a bunch of stoned and drunk men telling stories around the hearth.  That could still be true.

However, if you ask my daughter today why she is excited for tomorrow she will tell you two reasons:

1. It's the Kentucky Derby
2. It's her First Communion day

Our decision to put our children in Catholic school had little to do with being Catholic. But what has emerged out of this situation is a new appreciation for faith, trust, respect, love and a bit of routine. It feels good to learn about tradition and ritual and to see my children glow when they talk about a universal love that is bigger than just the four of us and our extended family.  I'm learning more about faith then I ever imagined - in fact, it's really as if I'm going to Catholic school too and it's fascinating both historically and religiously.

And while I may not be the world's best Catholic, I appreciate and understand their love for their school, teachers and church.  And tomorrow, when my little girl is all dressed in white and smiling proudly with her friends, I'll be confident again we made the right choice. Then we'll be rushing home so she can see the horses race.  She is, after all, just an 8 year old girl with a love of animals.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just wait, there's more...!

Did you survive spring vacation at your house? Our children had an extra day off...after having 5 days off...which inevitably led to me hiding in my bedroom last night for an hour just to enjoy "me" time after a realllllly busy couple of weeks (literally...hubby entered and proclaimed "There you are!").

But things are back to "normal" today. I'm alone in the house with the dog, cat, two fish and my @ThisIsRobThomas stream on Twitter.  I absolutely love month 10 of unemployment.  Ok, that's not true but I do love my quiet house today.

Naturally this post is about my kids - after all those days together something was bound to come about.  And while I'll spare you the bickering, hitting, kicking, crying and overall nastiness that occurred, I will share this bit of information which you may find helpful:

Now if you tilt your head (because when I view this in a Photo Editor it is horizontal but when I upload it to Blogspot it is vertical so just deal with it!) and look at that card you'll notice this is not a love note to Mom for all the wonderful things she did over vacation like take them to see the movie Rio, or into Boston to the Children's Museum where they each go to pick a toy marked up 5000%, or help them with their school projects...this is the 800# for "Grow your own Butterflies".  You'll notice in the upper right the cost is $19.99 and "You18" means you have to be 18 to order (which is why it was left for me).  This week they started to recite "Just wait, there's more..." and "They'll send us 2 for the price of 1". 

On the bright side, he's practicing his numbers, right?  I'm hoping the results will show there is some educational value after spending 75% of our school vacation in front of the tube...because they obviously forgot about the 25% when we got out and had fun!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bed time stories

My daughter isn't a reader.

It baffles me because I love to immerse myself in a great story.  Although I honestly can't remember the last time I picked up a book, or ibook, for that matter.

In an effort to TRY to get my daughter reading more, we've been doing the "pick a book and we'll read it together at bedtime" thing - which we should be doing anyway but by the time homework is done, teeth are brushed, pajamas are on, goofing off has finished and she's tucked in bed, neither one of us wants to read.

So I asked her to pick a book. She selected Charlotte's Web (the actual book from my childhood that I gave her...how sweet) as her next novel...and then I came home from NYC and found this on the kitchen table from her school library:

I guess Charlotte is taking a back seat to Jesus.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why are you on those social things again?

Ahhh...the question is always the same: Why are you on Twitter?  And while I did start out on Twitter purely for social pleasure, I've learned a lot about how to use it for social interaction and networking.  Here is how it has helped me lately:

I asked some local businesses to raise their hand on Twitter so we could get to know each other.  I was pleased to get a few responses and one person was Michele from Cookie Central.  She and I made a date on a random Friday afternoon for some cookies and conversation at her home where she bakes and delivers her own gift baskets!  She also bakes with a mission - a true mission to end childhood hunger.  I was inspired - and in awe - of her baking talents and commitment. And we did some networking while we chatted.  Simple and social and thanks to Twitter.

Also this month, I was part of a great event hosted by Interise's StreetWise MBA program in Lowell.  Once a session, they invite "experts" to their speed networking night and I was one of the fortunate attendees.  Every 10 minutes I had a fresh, new face in front of me reciting their elevator pitch and asking me what I do at Carlton PR and Marketing.  This interaction was really just a conversation between two people to learn more about each others businesses.

It was a joy. Mainly because I'm a social person and learning about other people fascinates me. But what I really loved is that these 15 companies are all trying to figure out how to better their business. They aren't looking for VC money, or angel investors. In fact most of them have been in business for years as brick and mortars.  They were just looking for new ideas. New approaches. New ways of looking at their existing business. And someone to listen and offer some simple advice.

For 120 minutes (and a couple of drinks after with them) I realized that the real importance of Social Media is the Social part.  I was able to provide insight to them about Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and  Foursquare.   Many had heard of these social tools but knew little about how to apply them to their businesses.

I'm also learning that you are either social, or you aren't.  And if you are not, that's not a big deal - but you should find someone that can help your business be social.  If you'd rather sit in the back office and make sure the bills are paid and the orders are filled, that's fine. But in today's increasingly changing economy, creativity and socializing are quickly becoming the norm.  If you see people sitting in your establishment typing away on their smartphones, you need to be aware they could be typing away about your product or service.  I really enjoyed introducing two Pub owners to their Foursquare Mayor (virtually of course) and showed them the 3 positive tips they had on there as well. 

Being involved with mainly technology companies, and innovation events, I have been taking for granted that the local restaurant, gift shop, insurance agent, home painting company, and printing store may need a little more social education to keep their dreams alive.  Growing locally is increasingly critical these days.  Let the social tools help with the introductions, but then really apply the "social" in "social media" and get out to meet your neighbors!!  I guess that's the reason I'm on those social things....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The flood of '10 - I never shared this story??

OMG! I can't believe I crafted this wonderful, heartwarming post and never shared it?  Wow. Let's go back a few months to when the employment opportunities looks grim...my credit card debt was increasing...and the sound of water dripping still made my eyes twitch!

November 26, 2010:

I thought I wrote a blog post about the great flood of '08 in our basement, but I can't seem to locate it.  Boy, that was a crazy time.  Lots of memories were drenched in basement water from a hole in the foundation that created a mini waterfall.  We have three sections in our basement - two for storage and one is the kid's play room. It was all soaked that year. Ugh.

We learned our lesson after that...we put everything in plastic bins.  We no longer have anything sitting on the ground...we ripped up and redid our entire basement flooring because it is used by the kids every day.

We were NOT going to be victimized again.

That was until Wednesday around 11:30 when my daughter shouted up from the basement "Mom. I have a problem. The carpet is all wet!"

No Mother-bleeping-way!!!  This was not happening again.

Oh yes sister, it was.  Only instead of a running stream down the wall that covers the floor, this time it was a spewing sump pump pipe that had essentially burst so I had a fountain on my hands - like the pretty ones you see lit up in Las Vegas - only it wasn't Vegas, there were no lights and it WAS NOT PRETTY!

I cried. There were Christmas gifts "stored" in the same area as my new fountain.  Christmas gifts that were now soaking, soggy messes of cardboard and plastic.

I called hubby in a panic because, while I pride myself in handing most household emergencies, I had NO IDEA how to get a sump pump to stop pumping into the air.  After praying I didn't die from electric shock, I stood in the ankle deep water, grabbed the plug and gave a pull.  The water from the ground may have stopped spewing, but the water from my tears had not...then it took about an instant to realize it was over.  Nothing I could do but start to mop up. And cry some more.

And then almost instantly I thought of families whose homes have burned down before the holidays, have been evicted and have lost their homes to foreclosure...and while my carpet was soggy and some gifts were now headed in the trash, I still had heat and a roof over my head. 

The moral of the story - don't pile your Christmas gifts anywhere near water pipes. And be thankful for what you DO have, not what you wish you HAD.  We'll be okay.  A little worn out, but just fine.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Does floss get stuck forever?


That's the sound I ultimately make 20 minutes after I tell my lovely 8 year old that it's time to floss her teeth and she still won't let me near her mouth.

That girl could talk rubber off a tire - she has every excuse in the WORLD as to why she doesn't (and can't) floss. Lately it's: "It'll get stuck."

But at the end of the day (or night) it's ultimately terror. She is terrified of anyone trying to come towards her mouth. And I've tried to let her to floss herself but her attempts are insufficient - she just bounces the floss on the top of her teeth and exclaims, "I did it." No you didn't sister - I was watching.

She laughed the other day and I caught a glimpse into her mouth and the tarter and plaque we JUST got off her teeth at the dentist in December was back - she just doesn't take good care of her mouth.

So, here's my question to you parents: Will she outgrow this or is it time for some help? I asked her if she'd like to talk to someone about her fear because as I shake my head and think "What more can I do?", I am starting to think there isn't much more I really can do.

Oh, and yes, I still do pin her down to floss. Horrific. Bad parenting. Traumatic. But the only alternative is cavities and the *thought* of her having to deal with that is worth losing the Parent of the Year Award, for sure!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Did we skip March in 2011?

Excuse me while I panic - where did March go?  Seriously. Because I can't believe my last post was February 25th - and as my GF Julie pointed out - my blogs a-been neglected.

Life has been moving at the speed of...well...life.  As the kids take over my calendar and as I try to drum up new business for my new business (see here: Carlton PR and Marketing), I suddenly realize my spare moments to share and document our silly lives have dwindled to spare seconds.

I'm still a bit frustrated at my lack of "routine" - which is something I miss so dearly from my life last year at this time - but I'm also excited about the "what can be" that is ahead of me.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed that we're able to push along with some prospects and reach the tipping point with the company, and that Abby will someday allow me to floss her teeth (blog post coming) and that Alex will stop growing up because man do I miss my little boy who is quickly turning into a big kid!

Happy Spring - I hear the birds chirping (or perhaps complaining about the COLD weather at the end of March) outside my window and look forward to the change of season that always awakens our spirit.

Friday, February 25, 2011

When your book report isn't your book report

We've been working feverishly on our "Famous Person Book Report" for a couple of weeks.  Little lady brought home a paper in her folder earlier this month outlining how she was to do a book report on a famous person, write a paragraph as if she was that person, dress up as that person and be ready to present on Monday, February 28.  We went to the library and she chose a book on Elizabeth Blackwell - the first female doctor.  How fun is that? Dress up like a Dr. and talk about how you changed the way women were perceived in the medical community. Girl Power!

Abby had a friend sleepover on Tuesday so I asked her if she was ready to dress up on Monday as her famous person and she looked at me rather oddly.  So, I asked her who she picked for her famous person report and she looked at me rather oddly.  When I asked her if she had a book report due Monday she looked at me like she wanted to call her mom and get the hell out of my house.

There is no book report due Monday...the paper was not from Abby's teacher but apparently from another 2nd grade teacher at another school.  I guess this is what you get when your kid goes to private school, but takes the public bus to a public school afterschool program?  We still have no idea how that piece of paper got in her backpack...but I'm more concerned Abby didn't know she wasn't supposed to do it.  We'll work on her "pay attention in class so we don't do extra work" skills...

Now, on to the President report that I KNOW is due Wednesday.  Isn't it?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Rob Thomas!

If you know me, you know my heart holds a special place for the singer/songwriter and super hot cutie Rob Thomas. Today is his birthday. If you don't know who I'm talking about, you can discover him here or here...or here...No, I am not an official stalker.

And while roses and chocolates and love notes are being passed around on Valentine's Day, I thought I'd stop for a moment and wish Rob a Happy Birthday. Because during this "Hallmark" kind of day, I often find that music can put a smile on your face and a beat in your step and keep you  moving forward during the times when you want to just turn off the lights, curl in a ball and shut out the madness.

Go ahead and hug your partner, kiss your kids and spread the love on this day - but take a minute to blast your favorite song up to 10 and do a silly dance to celebrate what makes YOU happy on this day of hearts.  Plus, it's a lot less fattening than that box of chocolates....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Winter is for the birds...or the kids.

Why on earth do we stay here and deal with all of this in the winter?

Because they get to do this:

And at the end of the day, if they smile, then so do we....this winter is one we'll never forget!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Give a boy his privacy

It occurred to me last evening that I hadn't seen my son in a while.

His coat was still hung up so I assumed he didn't leave the house (I should be a detective, I know).

I called his name and he answered with his typical, "WHAT?" from the bathroom.

I asked the all too familiar, "What are you doing?" He was in the bathroom so I knew what he was doing.

I pushed the door open slightly when he didn't respond to find him comfortably seated on the throne, pants at his ankles, with his DS in hand playing his new I Spy game.

I asked him to please put the game down and finish up his business and get out.

He closed his DS, jumped off the seat, pointed to his accomplishment and exclaimed, "I AM done with my business.  I was just looking for some peace and quiet so I could hear what the lady on the game is telling me to do!"

Right. Because I'm the loud one in the family that never lets YOU have peace and quiet....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What I learned attending a grown up dinner party

1. Deviled eggs is not the appetizer of choice for grown ups. They prefer things with goat cheese, scallops and pesto served on crostinis. And served in a dozen, not in Costco quantities.

2. Candlesticks look pretty when you light them - with fire.

3. Wine glasses are not always 12 ounces.  And when you try to pour the wine once with the cork still in it, you really shouldn't try to pour it twice with the cork still in it.  You look foolish (or drunk).

4. Plates do come in something other than paper or plastic. And served warm make for a toasty surprise.

5.  Silverware is silver - and includes more than a fork and knife.

6. Soup served before a meal is awesome - especially served in cute teacups and not made from a can.

7. You don't have to cram everyone in your kitchen. Suggesting you "move to the living room and sit by the fire" works - and if you bring your crostinis and wine bottles in there, people will follow.

8.  No matter how fancy the party, if you put two Moms together at a table the topic of childbirth always surfaces.

9.  When chocolate souffle arrives at the table for dessert, and you know it's chocolate souffle, don't try to be witty and ask what it's called like someone might randomly rename it.  You look foolish (or drunk).

10.  Adults use their dining room tables to dine, not collect mail, old newspapers and junk.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christina - the Puerto Rican me

Most of my husband's family calls me by the name Christina.  I often get emails from new contacts who will refer to me as Christina.  I have a great friend whose name IS Christina...wonder how often she's called Christine?

The point of my story is not so much the mistaken identity as it is about how I feel like a little bit of the Latin blood from my in-laws is seeping into my body after almost two decades of knowing my husband.

I keep Goya products in my home like they have been there since I grew up - which is so not true.  Items like Goya Sazon packets, Goya Sofrito (only the frozen version, never the jar), Goya beans of all colors, Goya rice Spanish olives, and Goya tomato sauce.

I've discovered that adding any of those items to an ordinary dinner makes for a wonderful Puerto Rican feast.  Take tonight, for example.  In the crock pot I threw in 2 boneless chicken breast, a small can of Goya tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, a heaping spoonful of Sofrito, a sazon packet, chopped up potato and carrots.  Simmer all day and serve with rice.  Um, delicious!

It's little things like that that make me feel like it's possible to go from Christine to Christina.  It coincides with the fact that after all these years of trying I have finally mastered arroz con gandules...rice with pigeon peas for anyone named Christine.

Comer en casa!

Monday, January 17, 2011

So what are you doing next Sunday?

Ugh. I'm glad I didn't drink heavily yesterday or I would have woken up with both a hangover and a bout of football depression.

Mind you, I'm not your numero uno Boston sports fan, but I do enjoy riding the wave when our teams are winning. And I road the Patriots wave all the way to a stomach ache yesterday watching them crumble on their home turf, to of all team, the JETS!

Usually a loss is a disappointment - but after days of Neanderthal comments from the head coach of the Jets I really wanted to stick it to 'em...beat them just to shut them up.

Alas, we lost. My son, who has yet to grasp the concept of hometown loyalty or the fact that you really should have a "favorite" team, was perfectly fine with the loss because his "other favorite team" is the Jets.  But was this really necessary:

Well, at least that frees up next Sunday to do other things.  Want to meet me to NOT watch the game next Sunday??

Monday, January 10, 2011

Well, Helloooo Twenty-eleven!!

It's here. The New Year is here. I can leave behind all the blah and phooey of twenty-ten and start anew.

Because that's what new years are for, right?  New. That's why they call them New Years. They'd call them Same Ole Same Ole Year if they weren't New...glad we cleared that up.

So, what is happening in the New Year...well, not much.  I'm settling into my new "job" at Carlton PR & Marketing as...well....uhm....as....good question.  I don't really have a title.  You can call me "Business Partner", or "Unpaid Employee Number Two" or "Intern"...I respond to all of them.

But with some seriousness, I've joined a smart, connected, ambitious, level-headed and creative woman (former Ithaca College graduate, as well) at her consulting firm, which is appropriately named after her, and we are offering services to small to medium sized businesses that need social media, PR or other marketing resources.

We have some very cool ideas bopping around and will be engaged in Boston Region Entrepreneurship Week Part Deux in the Fall, and right now I'm coordinating the Sentiment Analysis Symposium in NYC on April 12 (sounds fancy, right? SYMPOSIUM....http://sentimentsymposium.com) and we are working on a few "contracts" out in the field.

I'm really excited because, while the mortgage isn't getting paid yet and I still have sleepless nights, I know that with the right focus and ambition this is what works best for me.  Communicating, networking and assisting people is what I love - blame it on my job start 26 years ago serving OJ and eggs as a waitress and making sure I had happy customers or blame it on a gene in my DNA - if I can help you or someone you know, give me a shout.

Welcome 2011 - it's nice to see you!