Guest Post: Freedom

Hey guys, please welcome my guest poster for the June Blog Exchange. Sherry, from Chaos Theory is a mom of two and wife of one in Montreal. She loves her kids and reminds herself daily that there really is more to life than diapers and Disney Princess. She is attempting to be a freelance writer and in the meantime pretends to keep her sanity by writing frequently at her blog.

I am over at her place today so come visit. Enjoy!


When I was a teenager, going through the stereotypical feelings of resentment
over rules and regulations, I imagined what it would be like to grow up, move
out, and be on my own. What it would be like to have the freedom to do whatever
I wanted, whenever I wanted.

I never laid out specific plans, but I think I expected that I would have the
freedom to travel, that my salary at whatever job I would have would be enough
to allow me to hop on a plane every year. Perhaps my teenage self would have
believed that I would visit Europe, and Central America, maybe even an
extra-long vacation to Australia. I know I used to think freedom meant being
able to stay out all night if I wanted, EVERY night if I wanted, without being
accountable to anyone. And of course, as many teenagers mistakenly believe, I
expected that freedom equaled easy, responsibility-free, constant happiness.

The reality would have been brushed off. If I could go back in time to tell
myself what being an adult is, I never would have believed that I would feel
burdened by bills, housework, or that I would have to put myself last more often
than not in order to put the needs of two children first.

Really, though, I think all of us find ourselves eventually standing in the
kitchen, stirring supper while looking at this month's phone bill, thinking,
"Geez, to be a kid again!"

What would surprise my younger self the most would be where I would truly find
freedom, that freedom for me would be little things. The rare blocks of time
where Hayley, my four-year-old actually falls asleep in the afternoon for half
an hour while Breanna, the baby is asleep, leaving me completely enveloped in
silence. The days when Breanna is sleeping in the stroller and I sit on the
bench at the park watching Hayley the extrovert play with a new best friend.
The quick jaunts down to the corner store for toilet paper while the kids stay
home with my husband and I'm ALL ALONE. The evenings when both kids are worn
out from their day and fall asleep easily, leaving me with a few hours to just
eat chips, drink a glass of beer, and watch a movie or surf from one weblog to
the next.

I also never knew that I would experience freedom-by-proxy. I never would have
guessed I would feel that while watching Hayley climb the jungle gym for the
first time all by herself or that it would be the equivalent to watch Breanna
push herself up from the floor into a sitting position all by herself.

Some days, when Hayley has had a string of tantrums and Breanna is teething and
I can't even sit down to take a ten-second pee without an audience, I admit that
I long - briefly though it may be - for the freedom that 15-year-old Sherry
dreamed of. One day I took the rent down to the office and as I walked down the
stairs after a Very Bad Day with a wad of hundred dollar bills in my hand, I
actually imagined what it would be like if that money was really MINE and I
could just hop on the first train out East and show up unexpectedly on my
sister's doorstep in Halifax. Now that would be real freedom, wouldn't it?

Except that for the most part, I really like the freedom I have. Because I like
the things that infringe upon it. I like being attached to a home and a family
and the responsibilities that go with them. As long as I can sit here, like I
am now, with the aforementioned beer and chips, with the only noise being a
humming baby monitor, I can more than live with what I've got.


Check out the other participants in the June Blog Exchange.
Cape Buffalo
Soul Gardening
Another Mommy Moment
Mommy's Dirty Secret
Chicken n Cheese
A Mommy Story
A Crack in Life
Divine Calm
Taste the World
Knitting Spells
Motherhood Uncensored
Zach's Day
Her Bad Mother
Clueless in Carolina
Izzy Mom
Mother Goose Mouse
Chaos Theory

If you are interested in participating next month, email Kristen at kmei26 at yahoo dot com.


Perfect Post Awards

It's that time again. Time to honor a fellow blogger with a perfect post award.

This month, I chose Christina at A Mommy Story for this post.

She recently celebrated a big milestone, her 30th birthday. So many women around the blogosphere are getting ready to say good-bye to their 20's, as am I.

She talks about what she's learned and what she wants for the future. After reading Christina's post I feel inspired. I am actually looking forward to my 30's.

I love Christina's writing and look forward to hearing her stories about motherhood. She's also smart and funny and has one beautiful little girl!

If you haven't found her already, go check out A Mommy Story!

I also really enjoyed reading this post over at The State of Discontent. And I loved this poem from Mommy off the Record to her son on the eve of his first birthday.

Check out the rest of the awards at Petroville.

I've Been Outed ...

I just realized that giving you a link to my column at Mommies Magazine means you can see me. I mean, really see me. I had to put a picture up with the column. Dammit! There's goes my anonymity. Now you have a face to put with my annoying, sometimes disturbing rants. And now you know what a sexually frustrated blonde looks like .... Go ahead, have a ball. Just don't point. I mean it, I might look all young and cute, but I can still kick your ass! (probably not)


As If I Don't Spend Enough Time On My Computer Already

Hey all, go check me out at Mommies Magazine. I have a new column there.

Also, check out Lollipop for some really great birth announcements.


Sex, UTI's, and Videotape

Okay so there's no videotape, but I got your attention didn't I?

Thanks for all your comments and well wishes yesterday. I made a doctor's appointment for today at 3 o'clock. You guys are like my real-life mom yelling at me to see a doctor. I hate going. I feel like it's a waste of time. Especially since I have to bring a toddler in with me.

This is the first time I've ever had a UTI. Monday night, I felt this intense need to urinate. I was uncomfortable and every time I went to the bathroom only a little bit came out. It was painful and there was a weird smell. I checked out WebMD and all the symptoms were there.

Pain or burning when you urinate.
An urge to urinate frequently but usually passing only small quantities of urine.
Dribbling (inability to control urine release).
Pain or a feeling of heaviness in your lower abdomen.
Reddish or pinkish urine.
Foul-smelling urine.
Cloudy urine.
Pain in your back just below the rib cage, on one side of your body (flank pain).

Fortunately, J had some antibiotics left over from her last ear infection and I took some. Trying to sleep was useless, but after a while I started to feel a little better. I didn't have to get up every five minutes. And yesterday when I woke up, I was much better. Could one dose of antibiotics have cleared it up? Last night I felt a little uncomfortable again so I took another dose of antibiotics.

I'm pretty sure I know what happened. Hubby and I are trying to have another baby. So far we've been unsuccessful. It's actually been bumming me out a little because it didn't take very long to get pregnant with J and it's been a couple of months already.

Anyway, I had this brilliant idea - instead of going to the bathroom after sex, just go to bed. This way, all of his little swimmers could make their way to the land of fertilization without any problems. I've always peed after sex, but most of Hubby's 'love juice' leaks out before I even make it to the bathroom. BTW, is that normal? It feels like a lot sometimes, like everything he just ejaculated has spilled out onto the sock we use to clean up. And another thing I've always wondered ~ if he 'pulls out' like Hubby and I did for years, what do you use to clean up?

Soooo, I simply went to bed the past THREE nights after sex. Yes, I said THREE NIGHTS...IN A ROW! Chances are, that's why I got a bladder infection. I just wasn't sure if there was a mild version because every woman I've talked to says they last a couple of days. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens at the doc.

P.S. Check out Lollipop for more updates. Find out if you're carrying your baby the right way. Also, check out the shocking stats I found about daycare costs around the country.

Edited to add: I went to the doctor and I've got a bladder infection.

Get Out Your Violins

Sorry folks but this is going to be a boring post. I am not feeling well and I am stuck at work. I think I have a urinary tract infection and I am exhausted. Like, new mommy tired. I've been going to bed late and getting up early and it's starting to take a toll. Anyone ever had a UTI? What can I do to get rid of it?

This weather isn't helping. It's been raining in my neck of the woods for the past 4 days. I really hate the rain. It puts such a damper on my mood.

Since there's not much to see here, you can check out two new posts on Lollipop. You'll find a list of toys I hate and 5 reasons I'm totally uncool.


Lollipop Updates

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to let you know that I've added a few new products to Lollipop. The first is called BabyLegs. I never even knew they existed, but I am having another child just so that he/she can wear them. These 'leg warmers' are adorable and an ingenious idea! Thanks to Mama C-ta for leading me to them.

Speaking of Mama C-ta, she has just opened a brand new online store called Urban Baby Runway and it rocks! If you need a gift idea, check it out. She's got hip baby clothes and cool toddler attire. Show her some love and stop on by.

I am also working on a contest to win a copy of "The Early Birds," a memoir by author Jenny Minton. It's a moving story about her experience giving birth to twin boys at 31 weeks. They spent just over two months in a neonatal intensive care unit. Half of the proceeds from her book will go to the March of Dimes. I'll let you know the details soon. Go leave me a comment or something would ya!

In my world this weekend ...

My sister-in-law had one birthday party for all her three girls on Saturday. Good idea, but it was expensive. Anyway, the night before the party her middle child climbed into bed with them and within 2 minutes fell out and broke her arm. My SIL took her to the hospital at 3 a.m. and she got a cast. Poor girl! At the party someone asked where her guardian angel was.

She replied, "My guardian angel quit!"

Thought you might find that funny. :)


Speeding Down Memory Lane

I was driving around yesterday with my daughter when I had a flashback. I was wearing flip-flops and slid them off because they were getting itchy. I put my bare foot on the pedal to speed up and it reminded me of the beach.

Growing up I spent a lot of time at the beach. My relatives all live down the shore so my weekends were spent playing in the sand and swimming in the ocean. I was always barefoot.

When I got my driver's license I was so excited about driving to the shore. I loved the sense of freedom I felt. I would have the windows rolled down, the music blasting and my bare feet on the pedals. If I wasn't driving, I'd have them hanging out the window.

I miss those days. I haven't been to the beach in a long time. I married someone who hates the heat. Apparently he will melt if left outside for more than 10 minutes. Hopefully I can get my daughter to love the beach and the two of us can spend lazy days in the sun (with SPF 30, of course!). I can't wait to slip my shoes off again.

"Please go check out my mommy's new blog"


Financial Peer Pressure

The family and I went to a graduation party last night for my neice and Hubby and I argued over what to give.

I said, "Just a card. She's graduating from 8th grade for christ's sake!"

He said, "Well, what is everyone else giving?"

This is where I got pissed.

"Who cares what everyone else is giving. It's not like she's graduating from college. It's 8TH GRADE! I never got anything for graduating 8th grade ... or high school ... or college."

He said, "Neither did I, but I'm not showing up empty handed if everyone else is giving money.

So we called his brother and asked what they were doing.

Much to my dismay, they were giving her money.

For a while I thought this was an Italian thing. Forgive me for stereotyping, but they sure do throw around a lot of money. In my Irish family, a card was good enough. I've got a sneaking suspicion, however, that this is a pretty common thing.

When you go to a party, any kind of party, do you feel pressure to give a gift when you might not have otherwise? Am I a mean, wretched person for not wanting to give a 13 year-old 50 bucks for a goddam 8th grade graduation??

Don't forget to check out Lollipop for a cool new book and my least favorite part of parenting a toddler.


My New Blog and My First Award!

I'mentioned before that I used to write for a magazine. Well, one of my secret desires was to start my own magazine. I always thought some of the stuff we were writing was crap and that if I had my own magazine, it would be awesome.

Fast forward 10 years and I am married with a child and no time to even think about a project so big. Not to mention the cost involved. So when I discovered blogging I thought it might be a good opportunity to test the waters. Except now that I'm a mom all I write about is baby stuff. Enter Lollipop.

Kelly from Nello Design did a fabulous job helping me put it together and creating a kickass page! I want Lollipop to be a place where moms can come and rant about this all consuming job. I don't know about you but I felt duped when I became a mom, like "wait a minute, this isn't what I signed up for."

Before I go on, let me just say that I wouldn't change my life for a second. I love my daughter with all of my heart. She is my life. But, I had a hard time adjusting and I'm only now starting to get used to my new role as mommy.

I want Lollipop to be a place to hide, to come and complain about the day to day, the stuff that no one wants to hear about. I also want it to be an interactive experience where you can contribute. It'll be a mix of information and conversation!

So go on over and check it out. Let me know what you think. I'm open to suggestions and ideas. And just remember that it's brand new so all the kinks still have to be worked out.

Oh before I forget, I got my first bloggy award too!!! The lovely ladies over at Our Smart Baby gave me the honor of being their Top Toddler Mom Blog! I can't believe it! Check out the cute button I get.

Don't forget to check out Lollipop!

A Sigh of Relief

I am so grateful to all of you who commented on yesterday's post. I was nervous that no one would be willing to talk about it and I needed to know that I wasn't alone. I was also worried that some troll would come along and make me feel like a loser.

I appreciate all of the suggestions, too. I agree that a lot of being able to orgasm is mental. And when I'm fighting with my spouse and dealing with a cranky toddler, the last thing on my mind is sex. Unfortunately, it happens all too often and then when I do feel frisky, it's hard to put all of that stuff in the back of my head. Jeez, I wish it were as easy for us as it is for men.

There are some other issues that play into my feelings about sex. I wrote about this before but I got pregnant when I was 16. Without going into too much detail, I didn't keep the baby. I'm reluctant to talk about it on here because I know it's a controversial subject. But that changed everything for me. I was scared to do it after that. I wanted nothing to do with my boyfriend, but I didn't have the confidence to walk away. I was a teenager who was dating someone older. I was a doormat. I didn't like conflict. All of these things kept me in the relationship a lot longer than I should have been.

When it finally ended, I was relieved, but I'm the type of person who hates to be alone. It wasn't long before I found another boyfriend who eventually became my husband. I've been with my husband for more than 10 years and I'm not even 30 yet. There were a few guys in between but they used me. I gave them what they wanted and was tossed aside. Because of this, I've never been comfortable with the emotional side of sex.

Physically, it wasn't like it was supposed to be either. A lot of times it hurt. I was always very dry too. I've talked to my Gyno about this and he said to use a lubricant, which I do, and that the more I do it, the easier it will get. Yes he actually said that to me. To be fair, he said it after I gave birth and the pain was from being stitched up too tight (at least that's what I choose to believe). It took a long time to not cringe every time my hubby came near me after J was born.

So anyway, thanks again to all of you for being supportive.

p.s. Check back tomorrow for the debut of Lollipop!


Happy Father's Day

I hope all you dads out there have a wonderful Father's Day!

I wish I was spending it with my father but my parents live about an hour away and now that Hubby is a daddy, I feel like it's his decision where we spend our time today. He asked me for breakfast in bed so J and I are going to make him banana pancakes.

Both of them are still sleeping so I finally have some time to catch up. It's so hard to keep this blog a secret. The minute I sit down to the computer either my husband or my daughter is whining for me to get off.

I imagine the summer is a hard time to do just about anything because our days will (hopefully) be filled with fun in the sun. I guess I'll have to stick to posting at night. Miss J has not been napping lately and that it really throwing me through a loop. She was always a good napper and when she does go down, it's still for about 2 hours. I cherish that time. I NEED that time and it's slowly slipping away.

Well enough of my babbling. I hope all of you wonderful ladies have a good day and we'll catch up tomorrow!


Wanna Hear Something Funny?

I was at work today and one of my little girls said something I just have to share with you guys.

I was showing them what to do in their station (I work at The Little Gym) and demonstrated a Donkey Kick (it's a lead-up to a handstand). I looked around and asked if anyone knew what it was called.

Most of the kids gave me blank stares, but one little cutie shouted, "Honkey Dick."


Britney Spears on Dateline

Okay, who was watching last night? Did you see miss Britney on Dateline? Well, watchda think?

I felt sorry for her. She may have done some dumbass things but she's human. How do you think you would measure up being under a microscope 24/7?

I certainly wouldn't win any Mother of the Year awards. When J was a little over a year, she fell down a flight of stairs on to hardwood flooring. She also fell off my bed once. And I turned her around in her carseat earlier than I should have.

She's so young and she's been scrutinized by the press ever since she was a little girl. I can understand wanting to live a normal life, but it's just not possible for her. Unless she became a hermit or something.

Anyway, I didn't believe her one bit when she was talking about K-Fed and their 'awesome' marriage. They're doomed. It's just a matter of time. I give her props for trying to make it work, but it just doesn't seem possible.

I'm curious what you guys think. Are you on team Britney?


Site Problems

Hi Everyone,

A few of you have kindly let me know that my blog is not loading or is taking a very long time to load lately. I have been trying to add a few new things but it seems like they are what's slowing everything down. I don't want my page to get cluttered with stuff so I've decided to remove some things in the hopes that it will be easier to read. Izzy, I hope you don't think I'm a pain in the ass because I bugged you for your blogroll link and then removed it.

Join BloggerChicks

With that said, I want to also let you guys know about a new blog that I am working on. Kelly from Diary of the Nello is sprucing up my new digs and I can't wait to see how her design comes out. All I'm going to tell you now is the title - partly to keep an air of mystery and also to get your opinion. The new blog will be called Lollipop and my tag line is "Motherhood is no place for suckers." Question - would it be better to say "The Mother Hood is no place for suckers?? What do you think?

What is it About Men?

What is it about me that makes them think they ...

Rule the remote control? Hubby and I usually spend our nights in seperate rooms. Him on the computer in the playroom and me on the couch in the living room. Usually, when he's done doing whatever it is he does, he'll come and sit down with me. As soon as he plops his ass on the couch, he grabs the remote and changes the channel as if I'm invisible. WTF??

Have to one-up everything? This happens all the time. I'll make a comment about how hard my day was. "I had a crazy day at work and J was being a royal pain in the ass too. I'm beat." His response? "Oh yeah, I had a client bitch at me for an hour, then my boss had me in a meeting all afternoon and now I have to go play softball. I'm exhausted." Why is everything a competition? I'm sorry dear but working your 9 to 5 in no way compares to this 24 hour gig.

Annoy the hell out of us and it's supposed to be funny? Is your hubby anything like this? Mine thinks it's hilarious when I'm bending over to come up behind me and pretend to bang me. He also thinks it's pure comic genius to poke my boobs, squeeze my belly fat, and pinch my arms. Oh and he has to constantly remind me of how much sex he's NOT getting. Little digs directed my way. Is that supposed to put me in the mood?

What is it about your man that irks you??


Four Rules of Friendship

There have been a couple of posts floating around the blogosphere lately about blog politics and netiquette. Her Bad Mother wrote about it, so did Kristen and Izzy. I also read this and it struck a chord.

I haven't been in the game very long, but I figured out very quickly that there are certain rules when it comes to being someone's blog buddy. It reminded me of an article I wrote once about real-life friendship. I think it's pretty relevant so I wanted to share it (with a few fun edits, of course).


Want to keep your friends forever? Don't break these rules of [blog]hood.

People aren't born with fabulous [blog] skills. In fact, relationships are something you have to work at - even the non-romantic kinds require a little TLC. Here are 4 simple rules for bliss between [bloggers].

Be Loyal
Even though he's super cute, flirting with your friend's [blog] is the ultimate friendship sin. If she can't trust you around her [blog], your relationship is doomed. Find your own [blog] and steer clear of hers.

Make Time
Life can get hectic and [blogs] sometimes take a back seat to school, work, and pesky [kids]. Still, a good friend always makes time for her [blogs]. Fortunately, neglect is one friendship faux pas that can be easily fixed. Set aside one day each week to spend with your [blogs]. Go bowling, rent a movie, or catch up on the latest gossip.

Curb Jealousy
You want to be happy that your [favorite blog] got an [award], but you can't help feeling envious. What's worse, you made a mean comment when she told you the good news. No one wants to be around a complainer. Stop whining about how much better she's got it and make the most of your best qualities. You never know, she could be secretly coveting your [cool blog design].

Don't Take Advantage
Your best friend would do anything for you. She's happy to lend a sympathetic ear when you're feeling down in the dumps. She even lets you borrow her favorite cashmere sweater. Are you around when she needs you? [Blogs] are a two-way street. If all you do is take, take, take - she's going to get fed up and bail. Make an effort to [comment] and show how much you care.

I branched out and joined an actual blogroll. Check out Blogging Chicks. They have a really cool carnival going on there. I've also tried joining Izzy's BloggerChicks but I can't figure out how to get the link to work. So go check it out anyway!! I love Izzy!

The Great Preschool Debate

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. As of now, J is not signed up for preschool. I'm not really sure why. Part of me thinks she just doesn't need it. Academically she's right on target. She knows her ABC's, she can count to 20, she can even write a few letters. I'm not concerned about her 'being behind' when it comes times to register for kindergarten.

What I do think is important about preschool is the social aspect. Everyday lessons like sharing and paying attention are what most 3 year-olds really need. But more and more preschools are putting an intense focus on reading and writing. They are taking the fun out of being a kid. Gone are the days of dress up and fingerpaint.

Once upon a time, preschool was a place for kids to get used to being away from mommy, a chance for them to make friends and learn valuable life lessons like how to play nice and follow directions. Now the pressure's on. Kids are expected to know how to read before they even enter kindegarten.

I'm more inclined to let J learn naturally. I don't want to force academics because I don't want her to dislike school. I think she's going to be a good student. She learns very quickly.

I'm torn because I do think she would benefit from playing with other kids. Right now, she's an only child and it's just me and her most days. She does go to school/daycare two days a week while I work and I think I'm going to continue that in September. It's less structured than a typical preschool but perhaps that's a good thing.

What do you think? Do you feel pressure to send your little one to an academic preschool? What do you think kids should be learning in preschool? I'm curious to hear what other moms think.



An Open Letter

Dear Toy Packaging Pricks,

This letter is to express concern about your mental health. You must be crazy to think that securing a toy in a box wrapped tighter than a corset is a good idea. Why must you make everything so goddam difficult to open?

My daughter celebrated her 3rd birthday this week and in between squeals of excitement were tears of frustration. She waited patiently as I, her mother, tried to pry off twisty things, cut through plastic, and break apart random cardboard. Eventually, she broke down as I tried to wrestle her brand new Little People free from their chains.

Why do you feel the need to torture parents of toddlers? Do you sit in a room and cackle at the thought of anxious moms breaking a sweat while trying to extract a new toy from its package? Does it make you giddy to know that we are silently cursing you fucking nutjobs?

I've got a brilliant idea for you ~ Zip Lock bags!


Birthday Pictures

Over the next few days at AMM, there will be lots of birthday business to take care of so please accept these photos in lieu of your regularly scheduled blogging.


I Tagged Myself

20 years ago I...

-Was watching the Space Shuttle Challenger explode in the air.
-Was probably watching the premiere of Pee Wee's Playhouse.
-Couldn't wait to watch someone get slimed on Double Dare.
(I was 9, I watched a lot of television alright?)

10 years ago I...

-Was graduating high school. It was such a sad time. A friend of mine had killed himself in April of that year and all of the events after that were meaningless ~ prom, graduation ~ it all sucked.
-Started going to the Limelight in NYC. That's where I met hubby. It's a great story, I'll have to tell you sometime.
-Started college and failed two courses my first year.

5 years ago I...

-Was planning a wedding. I had such an awesome time at my wedding. I wish I could do it all over again.
-Was on my honeymoon in Aruba. Oh how I wish I could go back there.
-Was 20 pounds lighter. I actually wore a bikini!!!

3 years ago I...

-Was going into labor. It was late at night on June 6 and I started feeling contractions. My mom was living with us at the time so she told me to go to the hospital. By the time I got there, the pain was unbearable. When they examined me I was 1 CM!!! It got worse from there. I started shaking, puking, and hyperventilating. The nice nurses gave me some morphine to relax and hopefully progress a little more comfortably. I got to about 4cm and was finally able to get an epidural. After that it was smooth sailing. I didn't feel a thing. Really, not a thing. I couldn't hold my legs up, I couldn't feel myself pushing. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
-Was in the throes of post-partum. When the baby and I came home, I cried a lot. It was so damn difficult and I just wanted to give up.
-Loved where I was living.

1 year ago I...

-Went back to work. What an agonizing decision that was.
-Moved into this house.
-Finally got my daughter into feeding therapy.

So far this year I...

-Have been working a lot.
-Am sinking further and further into debt (which doesn't make sense because I'm working now).
-Started a blog.

Yesterday I...
-Tried to get my daughter to go pee pee on the potty. Let's just say it ended in tears.
-Picked up J's flower girl dress for my sister's wedding. She's going to look so cute.
-Welcomed my in-laws back from Sicily, where they've been for the last 2 months.

Today I...

-Will work
-Bake cupckaes for my daughter's birthday party tomorrow.
-Clean the house so that my family doesn't think I live in a pig sty.

Tomorrow I will...

-Shower my sweet little girl with hugs and kisses in her third birthday. I can't believe my baby is 3 years old.
-Have friends and family over for cake.
-Try to get the birthday girl to bed at a reasonable hour.

In the next year I will...

-Try to get pregnant again.
-Work even harder to get to a place where I am truly happy.
-Take a vacation.

It Wouldn't Be a Party Without Any Tears

That's what we always say at family get-togethers. You see, the women in my family are very emotional. If you even mention my grandparents (who passed away a few years ago), my mom and her sisters get all misty-eyed.

I think it's hilarious. I've even started to exploit it. Sunday was my sister's bridal shower. My twin sister, my absolute best friend is getting married in July. Her shower was small, just my mom, her sisters and a few cousins. There were about 15 people. I felt bad because that meant she wasn't going to get a lot of stuff from her registry. So, I busied myself thinking of ways to make her day special.

I bought a memory book and a polaroid camera. On the cover I spelled out "Marriage Advice," with stickers. As everyone arrived, I snapped a picture and had them write a few words of wisdom. I also bought extra stickers so they could decorate their page. It worked out really well and my sister loved it.

We got luggage as a gift from all of her bridesmaids and filled the biggest bag with things she might need on her honeymoon. Guide books to Paris and Rome, flip-flops, lingerie, passport covers, etc. She loved that as well.

Lastly, I wrote her a letter. Here's some of what it said ...

It sucks being maid, excuse me, matron of honor. I don’t get to do the best man speech at the wedding when really, who are we kidding, I AM the best man. So, what better place than here at this bridal shower to celebrate sisterhood? Being a twin makes it difficult to talk about one without the other. We come as a pair, a set, a team. But this is [my sister's] day and hers alone. So I’m not going to talk about how smart I am, or how beautiful my daughter is, or how nice my toes look. I’m going to share a few things that make my sister unique.

She’s got no fear. Almost 10 years ago she packed her bags, moved to Brooklyn and never looked back. She was scared, I’m sure, but she never let it show. She made it work without anyone’s help and I’ll always admire her for that.

She’s daring. Remember when you dyed your hair black for our Senior Prom? Who does that? A natural blonde turned black. She rocked it though because she can do anything.

She wears her emotions on her sleeve. Some might say this is a bad thing. We women can be so emotional. But my sister is genuine. She doesn’t know how to fake it. You can always tell how she’s feeling and that inspires me.

Her heart is immeasurable. She would do anything for her family and the people she loves. When I lost my job a few years back after having just bought my parents house, she offered to move in a pay rent. Both her and [her fiance] came to live with [my husband] and I. They helped out with the bills, but their greatest contribution was not money. They gave me time. Time with my daughter, to watch her grow up. They were there to see some of her firsts: her first smile, her first tooth, her first word. I don't know how I can repay her or [her fiance] for the time I got to spend with J. I do know that my daughter will always have someone to count on because my sister is beyond compare.

Needless to say, all the women were in tears. Mission Accomplished!


Overheard in My House This Weekend

"Can we put it in the oven frigerator?" (aka microwave)

"Daddy's penis is a banana."

"The farmer in the dell, the farmer in the dell. High ho the cheerio, the farmer in the dell."

Hubby: "How do you like your new bathing suit."
Me: "I would like it better if it covered my roll."
Hubby: "Why don't you try getting rid of that roll?"
Thinking to myself: "Why don't you jump off a bridge?"


You Are Hereby Cordially Invited

To attend a royal tea party at the House of J.

The guest list includes ...

Princess Baby

King Bunny

Dame Dora

On the menu ...

corn, bread, and of course tea!

Shall we?

My Celebrity Encounter Cont'd

I've know you've all been on the edge of your seat waiting for me to reveal my mystery star sighting.

Well, most of you were right. It was Ben Affleck!!

I told you my clever opening line, right? "So where are Jay and Silent Bob?" For some reason, I thought I was the only one who saw "Mallrats," or "Chasing Amy," and surely Ben would find my comment brilliant. Not so much!

He did turn to me and smile and then gently patted my back like a mom pats her child on the head when they've just said something silly. His smile was amazing.

He was with a bunch of friends, one of which I recognized as a celeb but I just couldn't place him. My friend told me it was the dude from "Erin Brokovich." Aaron Eckhart was his name. The best part is they were meeting their friend Joaquin.

Ben was absolutely delicious. He joked with me about not getting enough coverage in the teen mag industry. He wanted to know who was on our cover that month and why we never contacted him. I tried to be charming, but failed miserably.

Eventually their waitress came over and pretty much kicked us out. The V.I.P area we were in was closing down so that Ben and his Hollywood friends could enjoy some privacy. Must be nice being famous!!

Ever since that meeting, I've been in love with Ben. He was so gracious, I thought he could do no wrong. Then he up and fell in love with JLo. What an ass!

Still, he'll always be my first.