Thumbs Up.

I still have a major case of the anxieties, so I’m going to list a few things that make me feel happy…

a clean kitchen,
finally learning how to use a flat iron,
listening to Tom and Littlest read Dragonbreath together,
Pad Thai and Shrimp Toast,
hilarious friends,
cleaning all the old receipts out of my wallet,
thrift store browsing when no one is rushing me (and finding treasures),
fleece leggings (if you haven’t tried them, you don’t know what you’re missing!),
old Fleetwood Mac CDs,
and my blog (thanks for coming around here and reading my nonsense).

I’m glad that next week is Thanksgiving. Tom’s Mom does the cooking so all we have to do is show up and eat. If I were texting you, I would end that sentence with the giant “thumbs up” emoticon. How did we ever convey emotions before emoticons? That’s a mystery.

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On being a Mom.

This week has been a challenge. The work BS, parenting obligations, and internal angst are taking their toll. I try really hard to stay positive, but sometimes my anxiety gets the better of me.

I can usually manage to tune out the work stuff once I leave the office, but the parenting stuff… MAN! I feel like I worry constantly about the boys… Are they happy? Are they learning what they need to in school? Am I over scheduling them? Am I giving them enough encouragement? Am I too negative? Do they have enough friends? Are they warm enough today? Are they getting teased? Are they teasing other kids? Why did that jerk kid call my kid fat? The worries go on and on. It’s overwhelming. Parenting is really hard.

Besides walking around in a constant state of high alert angst, we have had some highlights so far this week.

I took off work on Monday to go on Biggest’s class field trip to see the Philadelphia Orchestra. As a working mom, I don’t get to go on a lot of these, so it was a real treat. We had a great day together and we both LOVED the orchestra. It’s funny because I have never been a music person, but lately there has been so much “music” around the house, that I’ve really started to enjoy it. I think that we might have to plan a family trip to see the Orchestra again.

Me and my boy at the concert

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We had great seats.

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Speaking of culture (not), last weekend, Tom and I went to see Artie Lange with two other couples. We had dinner first which was a lot of fun, but the show… ick. We didn’t enjoy it at all. I guess we’re not really his target audience.

Littlest has been falling behind on his reading lately, so we’ve been encouraging a lot more book time. Everyone knows that reading is more fun when you do it in a fort with your dog.

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Here’s a bigger boy reading with his dogs. Some things never change. (And I’m glad!)

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I am a disco guy.

I have had a really frustrating day.

First, I went to the hospital to get an ultrasound of a lump in my axilla (ARMPIT!). Hopefully it is nothing, but a harmless lump.

Then, I had beaucoup drama about Cub Scouts. Seriously… Cub Scouts. It is very frustrating to put so much time towards something and then have people pissed off at you. I am slowly learning that you can’t please everyone, but it’s a very hard lesson for me, because I am a total people pleaser.
Deeeeep breath.

What I really need to do is spend some time with my guys… in my house… relaxing. Just thinking about that makes me feel better. Ommmm… happy place.

Other things that make me feel better are:

I went to the gym twice this week so far. Baby steps.

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I worked on this project from Embroidery Club.

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I started Farmer Boy, which is actually one of my fave Little House books. Love that Almanzo!

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Littlest’s Turkey in Disguise project totally cracks me up.

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I am not a turkey. I am a disco guy. My body is a disco ball and hunters can’t see me. I have gold shoes and they are uncomfortable. I am wearing sunglasses so that you do not know who I am. 

I have a pair of gold shoes and they are uncomfortable too. Smart Turkey!


Hi Blog! Today is 11/11! I love those crazy number days.

Our weekend was great. We skipped out on our plans Friday and STAYED HOME! and ATE LEFTOVERS! and PLAYED THE GAME OF LIFE! It was fun.

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Biggest has gotten really good and really enthusiastic with his violin. He said that he plans to practice 1 hour and 20 minutes every day, except when he is “too busy” watching TV. Check out that crazy bed head.

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The only problem that we’re having is that Coal is TERRIFIED of the screeching violin. Whenever it comes out, we find a shaky dog underfoot.

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On Saturday night we went to a Punkin Chunkin’, basically a big party on a farm with a bonfire… and a giant catapult for shooting flaming pumpkins. It sounds a lot more redneck than it actually is. Well, maybe not.

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Sunday was a busy day. We had friends over,

played tennis,

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stitched during tennis,

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and buried our fish.

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He had a short but happy life. Goodbye Fin. May he rest in peace.

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This lone cool rider rode off in dramatic tribute.

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Then we ate sushi and fried rice (my current obsession).

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And then it was Monday.


Why hello there! Happy November! This year just keeps spinning by!

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We had a really great Halloween. I love that Halloween was on a Friday this year. Even though the timeline is the same as always, I felt a little less rushed and easy going because, you know, not a school night.

My first foot selfie (footsie?)

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I think that I outdid myself with our pre Trick-or-Treat meal this year…

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Might I interest you in a steamy cauldron of tomato sauce? (Yes, those are spiders in my hair.)

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A shot of bloooooood in my drink? Don’t mind if I do.

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Brains for dessert…

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Do you see that Oujia board behind the cupcakes? I found it in a thrift store last week. I did a little research and it’s from the 1940s which only makes it spookier! Stephanie warned me that it might be possessed but I couldn’t resist. That only adds to its allure.

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I don’t know if Halloween dinner is more fun for me or the kids. Biggest refused to eat the Sneezer Salad (really Cilantro dressing from Trader Joe’s) because he was too grossed out. Halloween is all about grossing out, if you ask me.

This year was a first where the boys decided to trick or treat separately, each with their own group of friends. I went with Biggest and we had a lovely time, especially since one of the Dads who came with us brought along a rolling cooler of beer. Haha. Genius!

Do you know how hard it is to get 6 kids still enough for a photo?

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Saturday was rainy and lazy. Really lazy. Activities were canceled and we had no where that we had to be. I laid around reading. It was pretty awesome. Then we ate Chinese food IN BED! It doesn’t get much lazier than that.

Sunday was just the right amount of lazy and busy. I made chili and homemade bread which are good lazy but busy meals to cook. After the initial prep work, you basically just have to leave the dough alone to rise and give the chili a bit of a stir every once in awhile. That leaves a lot of time in between for other lazy day endeavors, such as stitching and reading and eating Halloween candy (but we won’t talk about that).

My year long herbal course is winding down. It ends in December (hard to believe it’s been a year already), but there’s a bit of an intensive “boot camp” that’s going for the next few weeks. Of course I had to sign up for it. This part deals more with reflection, writing, and ritual. I’m loving it so far. I mindfully ate an apple.

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Hope you all had spoooooooooky Halloweens!

Birthday Boy.

Remember when I used to write about cross stitching? Those were the days!

Life lately has been a lot of work travel. That makes for an unhappy and tired me.

But… the weekend was great!

We had an early celebration for Tom’s birthday! I can’t believe another year has gone by. He is so good to us every single day of the year, so we try to make him feel special on his day. We love him so!

I snuck home early from work and the boys and I baked him our famous Yum-Yum cake. Biggest helped me with the cake and Littlest with the frosting, so it was a group effort. It was Littlest’s idea to sprinkle the top with chocolate shavings, walnuts, and pomegranate. It was the perfect touch!

We were most excited, though, for gift time. It has been hard to keep the secret from him.  He got a…


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He’s been hinting around for one, so I think that he liked his present. I like listening to him practice it every day. Between Tom’s new guitar and Biggest’s violin, we are turning into quite the musical household.

Other weekend highlights were:

The boys TIED their soccer game! Their first non-loss! Progress!

Biggest serenaded us with his violin.

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I made more applesauce. I recently read a quote “Cooking is science, art, and therapy.” Isn’t that so true?

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Biggest survived (and enjoyed!) a sleepover. He says that they only slept for 1 hour!

Sammy discovered how comfortable his sleeping bag was when he brought it home.

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When he got kicked out of it because he was “making it smell like dog butt,” he discovered another comfy spot.

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Coal discovered how fashionable he looks in his Halloween sweater.

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We went to our Halloween Block Party, where we wore costumes…

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Went on a horse drawn carriage ride…

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Participated in a donut eating contest…

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Hung out with other ninjas and army guys…

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And went on a Halloween parade.

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Good times!

Geeking out.

I don’t have anything about cross stitching to tell you, but I did want to pop in and show off my latest purchase.

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Aren’t you just dying? And the teensiest bit jealous? I’ve wanted one of these forever.

My loved ones (Yes, you … TOM and you… STEPHANIE) are teasing me for it, but I care not. It’s what happens when you’re in your 40s. You embrace your idiosyncrasies.

So I will wear my calculator watch. And I will calculate stuff. And I will be happy about it.

Why hello there.

Monday. Blergh.

Why do weekends have to be so fun? That makes Mondays even worse!

On Friday, Littlest had his Taekwondo belt test. He did great! I’m so proud of him for sticking with it.

Afterwards, my friend and I went out to a new French restaurant. It was tasty. We had oysters and cheese and wine. How predictable. A young drunk landscaper guy tried to chat us up. We were like “Zing! We still got it for a couple of middle aged suburban Moms! Never mind that he was drunk!”

Saturday morning = soccer. The boys have not won a single game this season and are losing their motivation. I feel bad for them, but am secretly glad that we won’t have to sit through tournaments if they keep up this streak.

Tom and I went out on Saturday night. I know! 2 nights out in 1 weekend?! Who am I? We had drinks and dinner and it was fun. No drunk landscapers hit on me, but TOM DID which is even better.

I was laaaazy on Sunday. After a good bit of procrastination, I finally went grocery shopping. It was definitely a low energy cooking day. Accomplished: jambalaya, spaghetti sauce, banana pudding (Vietnamese style mmm!).

In other news:
Littlest modeled his Halloween costume. He says that he needs a new sword to go with it, because last year’s and the previous year’s ninja swords do not work with this particular ninja costume.

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Sammy discovered a box.

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I am re-reading the Little House books and can’t put them down. My favorite part is when Mary’s all like “My blonde hair is prettier than your brown hair” to Laura and Laura SOCKS HER! Mary totally deserved it.

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I walked around the woody area in the back of our yard looking for some kind of berry bush that my friend Sharon wanted. I couldn’t find the bush, but did find this SPECTACULAR HOLLOW TREE! It was COMPLETELY HOLLOW!

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How was your weekend?

Around here.

I don’t really have anything to write about today, least of all cross stitching. There’s not been much of that going on.

Things have been pretty uneventful around here. Poor Tom caught the bug. He is such a trooper and doesn’t milk it nearly as much as I do when I’m sick.

There is a big work industry event next week. That means a lot of long days in NYC. I think I got out of the evening events except for 1 night. Phew.

Let’s see. The happy little things lately…

Cleaning out my desk drawers (They needed it! How do I end up with so many random pens and plastic forks from the cafeteria?)

Burning candles and puttering around the house (Current fave – “Sugar Cookie” by Yankee Candle. It tricks people into thinking that I’ve been baking.)

Listening to Biggest practice Mississippi Hotdog on his violin (This will probably get old at some point, but right now I love it!)

A steamy hot bath (Bonus points when it’s chilly out)

Fried Dumplings from the Korean food court (Way better than steamed)

Ron Swanson jokes (No explanation needed)

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Pumpkin Weekend.

I got sucked into the pumpkin madness this weekend.

It all started on Friday with pumpkin pie. Then I baked pumpkin muffins. There was leftover pumpkin from the muffins, so I decided to make pumpkin lattes (so good… recipe from here). Then Tom had pumpkin beer. By Sunday, I just wanted the pumpkin smell to be gone from our house.

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We had a nice weekend. We introduced the boys to MadLibs. They thought it was the funniest thing ever. No Mad Lib is complete until you use “boogies” as a noun.

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Tom and Biggest went out to breakfast together. It’s kinda their tradition, so Littlest and I went to Taekwondo and stopped at the library. He was excited to check out 2 video games. I was excited because I found a cookbook that combines 2 of my favorite things, Asian food + Pickles!

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The boys invited friends over and had a massive nerf gun war. I hid out upstairs and cleaned out closets while they tore up the downstairs. Didn’t I tell you that my life is full of exciting stuff?

On Sunday, we went on our annual costume finding mission. Biggest already has his costume (thankfully!) but Littlest still needed one. We went to THREE places and he could not find anything that he liked. Finally, we went home and looked online and he found something that he liked right away. Annoyingly, it was sold at the first store we went to!!! I had to drive back to get it because I am too cheap to pay shipping for something located 3 miles away!!! Blergh!!! And can I just say that I am so sick of slutty Halloween costumes? I saw slutty Harry Potter AND slutty Thing 1 and Thing 2 in the store! Whatever happened to those clever and funny homemade costumes people used to wear, like Cereal Killer and Dirty Laundry?! Someone will probably make a slutty Cereal Killer costume now. Ugh. So annoyed.

But on a happier note, there’s this! It is quite certainly NOT slutty cross stitch!

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Happy Monday!