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Mama Terry

23 Feb

I know I am lucky.  My mom lost her mom on her 16th birthday.  Granted, I didn’t like my mom when I was 16 half as much as I like her now, but I can’t imagine going through the last 20 years without her.  She’s always done absolutely everything she could for my brother and I, and as I’ve become an adult and a mother myself, I lean on her now more than ever.

I’m also lucky because I had a second mom, my BFF (K)’s mom, Mrs. H (sidebar: when are you old enough to call your BFF’s parents by their real names?  I think I’ll hold out until 40).  I met K in 3rd grade, and while our friendship has had it’s rough patches (and maybe some threats of people being pushed in pools), she’s by far my closest friend, the sister I never had.

When we were younger, K & I spent a lot of time at each other’s houses.  Her brother & my brother were besties too, so the two H’s come to our house together and vice versa.  There were countless sleepovers at both houses, dinners together, trips together, you name it.  My parents never worried when I was with K, they knew her parents were good people, and, more importantly, they knew she had the earliest curfew!

Mrs. H took me (and B too) along everywhere like we were additional daughters.  She always let us into her home, and into her snack cabinet, which was so awesome (even though it always smelled a bit like cat food).  She took us on road trips for History Day projects, to the ballet to watch K dance, to Newport for mansion tours (even though she wouldn’t drive over the bridge), and to Florida for our first trip as grown-ups, to Marco Island.  She and her best friend gave up their vacation to drive around and entertain four 18year-old girls, before her husband showed up with four 16 year-old boys for the next week.  It’s amazing they all weren’t sainted after that trip.

One day, as me, K & B lounged around K’s room (probably watching 90210 or playing MASH while eating Oreos) Mrs. H came in and explained to us that we needed to marry men with college degrees or we wouldn’t be happy in life.  We fondly referred to that bit of advice as “Miss Terry’s Finishing School for Young Women.”  We also ignored that advice, and, between 3 husbands, there was not a college degree to be found.  But Mrs. H was still happy, as long as her girls were happy.

My fondest memories of Mrs. H are on the beach – Marco or Bonnet.  Sipping her white wine and turning the music down during the day, dancing in the Pit or watching the sunset at night.  She always showed up to Bonnet late, bearing pizza strips or calzones, and went around the circle saying hi to everyone before she assumed her position in between her friends, with her book, feet in the ocean.  I went to Marco with her two more times after that high school trip – on a girls trip with K and two of Mrs. H’s best friends, and for her oldest son’s wedding two years ago.  She was also generous enough to let K, B & I use the condo for a week of girl time alone, one of my best vacations yet.  Marco was a special place for her, and I’m glad to have been a part of it.

Mrs. H could be a toughie, to say the least.  She had strict rules for her kids, ones they “sometimes” broke.  You never wanted to be the recipient of the evil eye from Mrs. H.  And no one was safe from it, it was not just reserved for family members.  It often came out when loud music, skimpy clothes, dirty dancing, or too much booze was involved.  She wanted the best for her family, and if you were around her, you were family.

Her house was the party house, whether she knew it or not.  Times she didn’t know it were followed by a flurry of cleaning and praying she didn’t spot the keg in the woods.  Times she did know it, she joined right in on the fun.  She once got off a plane, changed into hot pink scrubs and an 80s wig, and spent the rest of the night dancing barefoot in her living room with a bunch of 30 year olds.  I spent many Christmas nights at the house, drinking wine and shooting off fireworks in the snow.  I rang in the new year of the new century in that house, conga-ing around the living room, because Mrs. H wanted her kids to be safe, so she let us crash the “adults” party and drink with them.

Mrs. H loved her family more than anything.  She took great care of all of them – from her husband (the Silver Fox), her two boys and K – to her extended family of cousins and friends.  She was so proud of all of her kids, and supported them no matter what.  Her greatest joy and pride after her kids were her grandkids.  Even though she was sick by the time they came along, and even though she was a bit surprised by the news of becoming a grandma, she loved all three of those kids as much as she loved her own kids.  She babysat often, and spoiled them as much as she could.

My life is filled with so many happy memories.  I have such a great family, and incredible friends.  I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I truly am for all of that.  I feel honored that Mrs. H was part of my life, and gave me so many of those happy memories.  She left this Earth far too soon, but Mama Terry’s memory will live on forever.



Let Christmas Begin!

30 Nov


Where it’s at.

5 Nov

Tell us about your writing space. Where do you write your blog posts?

I write the majority of my blog posts where I am right now – the couch in my finished basement.  I don’t love the couch.  I swore it was brown when we bought it, but when it was delivered it appeared more green.  We were in a rush to get one because we had no furniture for the basement, and we didn’t want to wait to custom order something.  I wish we had held out for a sectional, but I guess that will have to wait until next time (which may be sooner rather than later, given the fact the dog STILL chews on the couches).

My feet are up on the coffee table, which I love (aside from the teeth marks.  Damn you, Baxter!)  Its big, and it has drawers and a lower shelf.  We can fit lots of food on it for parties, and when Emilia was smaller she enjoyed crawling on the bottom shelf.  Now she likes to hold on and walk around the edges, pausing to grab the remotes or whatever else may be in the center of the table.

Of course, I’m in my pajamas.  I am firmly anti-getting dressed at home unless someone is coming over, and even then, it’s a crapshoot.  I change into my pjs within minutes of getting home, it’s the moment I look forward to all day.  I think the world would be a happier place if people could wear their pajamas at all times.

Every once in a while, I’ll blog in bed, or at work, but overall, this is it.

I Would Buy You a Monkey

1 Nov

(Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?)

If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?

Given what I do for a living, I’d like to say – “invest in the stock market and watch it grow”, but in all actuality I have no idea how the stock market even works, and I’m really not smart enough not to lose all my money by nightfall, and, really, that’s a boring answer.

What I really want is a new house.  Since I have cash and could make this a quick transaction, I’d pile J, Emmy and the realtor in the car along with said cash, and hit the road.  Now, our first house took us 6 months to find, but now I’ll have the luxury of a higher budget, and the threat of losing the budget by the end of the day, so we’ll have to move quickly.  I’d start my search in the town I grew up in, and branch out from there.  But I don’t want a million dollar house.  I’m going to stick to the $500,000-$750,000 range, and here are my requirements:

–          Fenced in yard for Baxtie, plus an Invisible fence

–          Three car garage

–          Four bedrooms

–          Formal dining room

–          Central A/C

–          Finished basement for a playroom

–          In ground pool

After that, I don’t care.  And it can’t be super fancy, we’re not fancy people.  It just has to be nice.

Once I find the house and pay cash at closing (and hire someone to sign all those papers for me), I’ll set up and advance pay for the following for five years:

–          Oil or gas plus service

–          Landscaper and lawn care service

–          Snow removal

–          Housekeeper

–          Someone to come on a yearly basis and touch up paint destroyed by the dog

Because these are all things I hate to deal with scheduling/paying for/being around for.

If I have money/time leftover, I’ll shop for everything that is returnable.  Because if I’m making split second decisions, I’ll need to return some things!  I’m thinking furniture, clothes, electronics, you name it.

What about savings and money for Emilia’s college?  I’ll sell my current house and anything I don’t need, and hopefully that will take care of it all.

(Alternate, more funner answer: I’d buy cheese.  Lots of cheese.  Because life is just better with cheese).

How did I do?  When do I get my cash???

(PS – I’m attempting NaBloPoMo this month.  More on it tomorrow).

The Week in iPhone Photos

20 Dec

Here’s what I did on my last week of maternity leave:

Sent bad doggie to day care to wipe him out for days

IMG_1011Played with new toys on a playdate

IMG_1055Shopped with Grammy


Hung out on the couch with Baxter and the baby


Lots of snuggling

IMG_1064Tormented the baby with a photo shoot this morning


Why My Dog is a Jerk

29 Oct
  • He walks past me and farts.  Just to prove he’s there.
  • He knocks kibble out of his bowl and won’t eat it off the floor.  Until I try to sweep it up, and he eats it out of the pile of dirt to be picked up.
  • When I say – Go to bed, Mommy’s going to work – he looks at me like – You’re crazy, you lazy fool.  I know you’re going shopping.
  • He keeps eating the baby’s pacifiers.  
  • He can only be walked with a Gentle Leader Head collar.  He has destroyed at least three of them.  We think he believes that, if he destroys it, we won’t buy another one to put on him.  (I just bought three of them, to be safe).
  • He sleeps like this on my bed every morning.  Sometimes he snores so loudly I have to kick him off.  Image
  • When we all go in the car together, I have to sit in the backseat.
  • He won’t touch a pair of socks by the bed all day, until the minute J gets home, when he’ll steal one immediately.
  • He barks at everything he thinks he sees outside.  I told him the other day that I didn’t want to hear him barking unless someone was walking up the drive with an axe.  But if someone was coming to murder me, he probably wouldn’t bother to bark.  

He’s a jerk, but he’s our jerk.  And he’s lucky we love him.



Back in the Saddle Again

23 Oct

Ok, enough is enough with this eating what I want and not working out gravy train I’ve been on since last Christmas Eve, when I found out I was pregnant.  As much as I didn’t want it to, the positive pregnancy test immediately triggered my inner fat kid to say – “hey!  You can eat whatever you want now!  Go for it!  You’re just going to get fat anyways.”  I tried to shut her up, I really did.  It only lasted for a day or two though, then she was right back at it.  I even lamely attempted to exercise, but that didn’t last long either.

Before Emilia was born, I gave myself 4 weeks after I got home from the hospital to get into a groove and not worry about what I ate or if I exercised.  And I stuck with that.  Some days I was too tired to anything but scarf a muffin, and I allowed myself that.  Once she hit the month mark, I started paying more attention to what I was eating, tracking calories, and walking more.  I had my 6 week check up the other day, and asked if I could run and do ab stuff, and was told it was fine (I’m kind of oblivious to what a C section entails, I was afraid if I tried to do a sit up something might rip or hurt, but apparently I’m sewn up pretty well!)

So yesterday I dropped Emilia at my parents and went for a run (she has a snazzy BOB Revolution, but I think she’s too little for it).  It really sucked.  I’ve been on 30-50 minute strolls with the baby with no problems, but once I started running: ouch.  My body was immediately like – “dude.  what the hell are you doing?”  But I kept going, alternating running and walking, for two miles.  And I’m proud to say that I’m still alive and not in too much pain today.

I’m realizing that I can’t work out on a schedule right now, so I’m taking it day by day.  Today we’ll go for a walk, tomorrow I’m planning on doing 30 day Shred.  I’m trying to get Emilia on some sort of schedule for my sanity (I’m a planner, I can’t help it!) and once I get back to work I’ll be able to go to the gym there and not worry about what she’s doing, so that will help.

Its just about time for the Mews Gear n Beer 5K, so that’s my next race.  I don’t expect much from it in the way of time, but if I can get out there and finish with as little walking as possible, I’ll be thrilled.  And then I’ll drink free beer to my heart’s content.  Its a win-win!