Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Howdy Ho

For those that you that don't know the reference to the title above, "Howdy Ho" is the greetings given from Mr. Hankey, a South Park Character. Mr. Hankey is a talking piece of feces. He emerges from the toilet bowl on Christmas Eve and brings presents to good boys and girls whose diets have been high in fiber. Okay, so if you follow my blog, you know that I like to add a picture to my blog posts to match my text. I was going to include Mr. Hankey (the cartoon character of course....) but I decided against it. If you wish to see Mr. Hankey click here.

Anyway, why is my post about poop? Our dear daughter seems to have a PhD in bathroom humor. When in doubt, say the word poop. We have been working on this at home but I knew that the time would come where she would test the limits with this at school. Sure enough, Madeline's teacher called me yesterday afternoon. I guess it was a morning filled with potty talk by a majority of the children (welcome to Pre-K). The teacher talked about how that is not something to talk about in front of others blah, blah, blah. A girl in Madeline's class continued to say poop afterwards and had to sit in the thinking chair (time out). Our sweet Madeline decided to see if the same rules applied to her and she also said poop and landed in the thinking chair too. So as the Mama, I talked to Madeline and explained why her teacher called me. It killed me but I also told her that anytime her teacher calls to tell me she was put in the thinking chair at school she would have a time out at home. She needs to know that there will always be follow through at home.....ugh that killed me, but I would rather have this conversation at 3 years old rather than at 10 years old. Madeline and I talked it out but for some reason it killed me to put her in this time out yesterday. Maybe its because somewhere inside I know that deep down, Mama-Dirtyfoot never outgrew the bathroom humor stage either.

Home Sweet Home

David got home last night. He was able to catch an earlier flight from Newark and was able to see Madeline before she went to bed. Unfortunately he had to head back to the airport later to get his luggage that came on the flight he was originally supposed to be on. Yet, it was worth it in order to have him home earlier. I must say that for someone that didn't have a spare moment to shop, David certainly was able to find a way to spoil me as he brought me some beautiful gifts from China. Yes, very spoiled am I!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back Home.....waiting for Papa

Madeline and I started the morning with a Margaret tradition, a Panera's breakfast. After a long car ride that included a few nonsensical "Maddie moments" (tantrums) we were both glad to get home. When pajama time came, Madeline wanted to wear her new Tinkerbell nightgown that Grandma and Grandpa sent her. There is some wicked weather here in Western New York tonight so the flannel nightgown will keep Madeline nice and cozy. The nightgown is still a little big on her but Madeline simply couldn't wait.

Last night, David ended up going to the ballet in China. No, the ballet wasn't exactly by David's choice and Nooooo, the "Chinese ballet" is not the same as the "Canadian ballet"......David *really* did go to see a ballet. Today, as I type this, David is en route to Shanghai where he will depart from Shanghai at 3:45pm (3:45am EST time) and fly direct to Newark. After a connecting flight from Newark to Buffalo, David will be HOME!!!!! All three of us can't wait!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ohio, China and GERMANY??????

Today was a perfect Fall day. We headed to the Oktoberfest for the Dayton, Ohio Art Institute. Ohhhhhh.......Paul and Penny, sooooo sorry about the ultra lame Oktoberfest that I led you to when you visited Buffalo. The one in Dayton was quite large and we had a nice afternoon there......oh, and lots of junk food too! Madeline and I split a schnitzel platter for lunch, nibbled on cinnamon roasted pecans, Madeline had ice cream and Mama chowed on a funnel cake. Of course the grown-ups sampled some German beer too. The festival was good fun for the girls as there were bunches of kids activities. Madeline and Kate made their own crowns, got their faces painted, decorated cookies and ate their creations. Madeline also made a butterfly mask. We also took a break at a side stage where a band was playing and Madeline was a dancing freak! It really was a nice time.

As for David's adventures, the folks that have organized the events of the conference have kept him very busy from morning to evening. They shuffle him from conferences to buffets to gala events. Last night he was on an evening cruise after dinner on some canal. David final had to ask one of the coordinators to take him somewhere to do a little shopping to buy a few things to take home. This obviously put a kink in their tight plans and they are allotting him one hour tomorrow. So, yes, David is seeing a lot in China as a result of all the events that they have planned but he is really doing ZERO "sightseeing". For example, when he saw the Forbidden City while in Beijing it was only from the outside. It is also a shame that he'll be in China and will not even get a chance to glimpse the Great Wall of China. Oh well.....he is having good successes on his trip and with the way things are going, there is a good chance that he'll eventually make a repeat trip. HHhmmmmmm.......maybe Papa will find room in his suitcase for Madeline and me the next time around??

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cousin Kate Saved The Day

Before the updated adventures from Beavercreek, Ohio I'll update you on David's Chinese adventures.

David is now in the city of Chang Zhao. The above picture was his seat (not bad, second row from at a huge room of delegates from around the world) I thought David was done dealing with annoying "government lady" (aka G.L.) but I was wrong. G.L. has been making David absolutely crazy and saying the absolutely stupidest things to the Chinese officials. This woman has pretty much been an embarrassment so the following story is priceless. But, first I would like to clear up exactly the role of these extra travel companions for David.

As I previously mentioned, David is traveling with two others who are not a part of David's place of employment. David's role in going to China is meeting with Chinese government officials and executives of company's to try get business expansions, etc to move to the Western New York area. His visit happened to correspond with a conference in Chang Zhao of sister cities (which Buffalo is one of) This is how the extra travel partners come into the equation. They were solely there for this conference.

So an update on "G.L." is that here she is, somewhat representing Buffalo, and come to find out that she didn't even know we have a subway in Buffalo!! Also, someone asked G.L. about how the mayoral race in Buffalo went. She told the person that the mayor won the primary race but "we'll see how the second part goes".....ugh, doesn't she know that the mayor of Buffalo is running unopposed?!?!?! Also, she was talking about another "sister city" of Rockville, Illinois.....and she pronounced the "s" in Illinois!! duh! Furthermore, G.L. was discussing her housekeeper at some banquet dinner. Here she is talking to people that are lucky to living in even 1,000 square feet....and she is talking about her housekeeper! Basically, David's take on this is that G.L. the prototype of the rude American so David pretty much cringes anytime she is around. David swears he will never again travel with anyone that doesn't work with him again. But the funniest thing is that at the banquet, the Chinese began toasting everyone and everything under the sun again. As I previously mentioned, it is considered offensive to not drink with them. One might say, yeah, but how could they expect a woman to drink along with the men?? But, keep in mind, it is a man's world in China so, if you are going to send a woman to do a man's job..........G.L. ended up getting sick......priceless!

As for us, Madeline had a wonderful two hour nap yesterday. When she awoke, Chris and Kate were home from school. Chris is good with Madeline but Kate and Madeline are two peas in a pod. Kate was absolutely wonderful playing with her younger cousin and totally was okay having a shadow follow her. They played wonderfully together and gave Mama-Dirtyfoot a much needed break. Also, after dinner, my sister Margaret took us me and the girl to her work place. Margaret is an occupational therapist and her office the office is closed on Fridays. We were able to go in and the girls were able to play in all of the therapy equipment (see video below). It was like there own private playground. The girls played so hard and Mama and Margaret got tired just watching them. Madeline pretty much conked out right after we got back to my sister's house. Another quiet evening for the grown-ups, we conked out early too! Are we getting old?

Today we had a girls' afternoon. Margaret, Kate, Madeline and I kept busy by heading out to shop, out to lunch, and to the Boonshoft Children's Museum in Dayton, Ohio (the picture of the ring is Madeline's souvenir from the museum). After the children's museum, we met up with my my brother-in-law to watch my nephew Chris run at his cross country meet. Afterwards, we enjoyed a dinner out at a Mexican restaurant. During all of this, Kate once again was wonderful. She played so nicely with her younger cousin and was so patient with her sidekick that looks p to her so much. As you can imagine, it did not take long for Madeline to conk out when we got back. Presently, Mark, Margaret and I are having another quiet evening. We are chillin' out, sipping a drink and watching scary ghost encounter stories on TV. Until tomorrow....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Travel Update

I didn't blog yesterday because the day was spent either packing/getting ready to travel or actually driving. Here is my update for both David's and my adventures...

On Thursday morning, David called me at approx. 9:30am and it was obvious that he was drinking. How bizarre.....I was just waking up. Yet, keep in mind that as I was starting my day, David was ending his. Why am I telling you this??? It is part of David's Chinese experience. Basically, the first thing David said to me was "Damn, those Chinese can drink!" This all came about because David was at a banquet in his honor because he was visiting the city. In China, the business culture focuses first on relationships even before business is conducted. It is also looked very favorably if you can drink with the officials, in fact it would be considered rude if you refused a drink. So, they brought out the Chinese "wine" that was 100 proof (50% alcohol) and the Chinese started toasting everyone and everything under the sun. This all took place in Tian Jin ("small city" of 11 million outside of Beijing). To and from Tian Jin David took a bullet train that got him to the city in 30 minutes at 190MPH!! The photo above is of Marco Polo Square in Tian Jin. One other impression of Beijing is that although the city's street scape itself is very clean, the air pollution is TERRIBLE. If you notice the pictures look as though the days are overcast (particularly the photo in yesterday's post that was taken in Beijing), they are not. The smog is just that dense. You can't even really see the sun and you end up smelling like you've been in a nicotine room all day. The following day (as I slept last night) David was in meetings all day and then headed to the airport to fly from Beijing to another city (can't remember the name of it) Lucky for him, he hasn't had to deal with "government lady" for the majority of the trip and, if I am not mistaken, they may have already finished their leg of the trip and went home (maybe??)

As for me, I was busy all Thursday morning getting ready for our trip while Madeline was at school. We hit the road right after picking Madeline up from school at 1pm. The first part of the trip went great. Although, Madeline and I weren't even out of New York State before I needed to stop for a Tim Horton's coffee (I was sleepy). We traveled onto Mansfield, Ohio and stopped at a Cracker Barrel for dinner. The girlie-girl that Madeline is thought that it was so cool that there was a gift store at the restaurant. At the restaurant I had a "mom moment" and realized that Madeline was able to color within the lines. Just a few days before she was scribbling. This progress seemed to happen over night. I was so happy I had to take a picture of what she was doing. The second leg of the trip was pretty darn crappy. I was still 2 hours away from my sister's and it was getting dark and raining. But, alas, we made it in one piece. Madeline fell asleep during the last 45 minutes or so of the trip. After transferring her to bed, Margaret and I just sat up to chit chat for a while. Yet, since the trip took it out of me, we weren't up long.

In the morning, Madeline awoke early (whhhhaaaaah!) and it seemed like her cold (which was almost gone when we left) was bothering her again. Margaret, Madeline and I attempted a shopping trip but Madeline was being quite difficult (due to cold and tired) so our excursion didn't last long. After a bite to eat (yuuuuummmmmyyyyy salad called "thirsty goat"...liked the name) we headed back for naps. If you know Madeline, you know she just plain old doesn't nap; however, today she is!!!! Just goes to show you that she was tuckered. With Madeline still snoozing, I am blogging, wrapped in my sister's Snuggie, drinking tea and looking forward to an evening of visiting here at Margaret's. 'Til tomorrow.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Opposite Sides Of Earth :-(

So here we are, David and I, complete opposite sides of Earth. David called me at about 2:30am to let me know that he arrived but didn't talk much about his trip because his travel companions were around but he told me he would call when he got to his hotel room. His next call was at 4am. David confirmed that, yes, the government lady was quite annoying but overall the flight wasn't too bad. He basically said that you knew what you were in for (14 hours) when you got on the plane.

Although it was 4am here in Buffalo, it was 4pm the next day in China. Lucky for David, the business person that he was supposed to meet late that evening (like, 10pm) after their arrival in Beijing had to be rescheduled to a breakfast meeting the next morning because the other person's flight was delayed. This gave David some time to see a little bit (he won't have a chance to see much the rest of the trip) and also get to bed at a decent time to try to catch up on sleep and get himself on Beijing's time zone.

The picture above is a picture of the Mandarin Gate of the Forbidden City. David laughed at the thought of what how Madeline would react if she were there. She would flip out, wanting to see Mulan (Disney Princess - big scene in movie here). Unfortunately, David wasn't able to get into the Forbidden City because it closed earlier (truly forbidden...hahaha). David did, however get to see Tienanmen Square. Also, his other impression, so far, of Beijing was that it was nice and also very clean and extremely easy to get around (although David was born with a GPS unit in his brain - an amazing sense of direction)

When I woke up at 8:30am, I called David. (Luckily his cell phone works there!! Unfortunate for David, since China is Communist, he has limited Internet access. He can't get on Facebook or read my blog.) Anyway, at 8:30am this morning, David was back at the hotel. Since his evening meeting was canceled he opted to re-group, order room service (can you believe that I forgot to ask what he ate?!?!?) and go to bed at a reasonable time. It was hard for me to comprehend that David left the house here early yesterday morning, I went to bed for a full night's sleep, and David was just starting to settle in for the night at *my* 10am.....although for him it was 10pm. So, as David slept, Madeline and I went about our daily activities.....again, weird to think that for him it was the middle of the night.

Today, Madeline and I had a nice afternoon together. Yesterday, I tried to adjust the Ph level of the hot tub and adjusted it too much so now it was off in the other direction. I decided to take a water sample to the pool store for them to test and advise.....easy fix! While I was in the area of the pool store, Madeline and I went to a nearby mall for a bite to eat. After grabbing Subway, Madeline was able to run around like a monkey with some other kids in the mall's play area. The mall also has a carousel and Madeline was a happy camper to be riding on the kitty cat. After our lunch/play time at the mall we headed out to Target to pick up a few things for our road trip to Margaret's and then we went to clean the car out. My car was in a desperate need of a "shake-out" and vacuum. I think there was a year's worth of Cheerios, Goldfish crackers and french fries in there.

The rest of the evening should be quiet. Just need to pack us up for our trip. As Mama's and Madeline's day starts to wind down, David will be waking up to start his Thursday.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

David's Adventure

As I type this, it has been about 14 hours since David left the house this morning and several more hours will pass before he settles in for the CHINA! Yes, you read that correctly.....China! He is headed there for business and although he wasn't pleased about leaving Madeline and me, I am thrilled that (even though he'll be very busy with work) he'll have an opportunity to see another part of the world that we would probably not travel to on our own. What will I be doing?? Madeline and I are going to head over to visit my sister, Margaret, and her family in the Dayton, Ohio area. I will try to keep up on my blogging to tell the tales of not only Mama-Dirtyfoot but I will also try to communicate what I can of David's adventures as well.

For me and Madeline, we have nothing new to report. I pretty much kept looking at the clock all day long and was restless thinking about the fact that David was *still* on the plane. I could only imagine how he was feeling.......especially after the way his trip began!

Here is what I know so far...
David is not travelling with anyone from his own office, yet he is traveling with 2 women - one representing a government office and another representing a local college. Prior to the trip, there was female drama because the college woman chose to upgrade to business class without saying anything. As David and I discussed this last night we figured that it would've been a nice courtesy to say, "Hey, I have air miles (or whatever) and I bumping to business class. Hope you don't mind". But after the start to his trip we laughed that the college woman probably didn't say anything on purpose so the government lady didn't try to bump to business class too. Why, you ask..... Below is how David's trip started...

** David and "government lady" (aka G.L.) just happened to get to the airport at the same time and she was in line with some guy. As G.L. got to the counter, the guy leaves and wishes her luck. Come to find out, G.L. just persuaded some guy off the street to help her with her luggage.

** G.L. forgot her laptop computer. She decided that she was going to call "one of her people". When David told me this, I thought she meant another employee of the, she really did mean "her people". She supposedly has gardeners, housekeepers and nannies. (Oh, and by the way, she is doing this trip as a *volunteer* to the government. (and somehow it also came out that G.L. has a 2,000 sq. ft. garage. A garage as big as a house?!?!?!)

** G.L. next summonsed a handicap cart to take her to the gate because it was one of the further ones. David was pretty sure that she could have managed the walk just fine.

** G.L. told David she was frazzled because she was traveling to China. She said, "I haven't been to all the places like *you* have Russia, Germany, etc (and named them). David didn't remember ever discussing this kind of stuff with this woman so he wondered how she knew this. She went ahead and told David that she looked through his passport when he sent it in for his Visa application to go to China. I don't's one thing to snoop, but would you have the guts to tell the person you snooped?

** David had to watch G.L.'s bags as she tried to hook up with "her people" for her laptop. In the meantime, they started boarding the plane. G.L ended up eventually getting back to the gate but "her people" got stuck in traffic so no laptop.

** G.L. goes to get on the plane but her carry on bag was too big and had to be checked in at the gate.

** Although David was going on the same trip with G.L. and "College Lady" (I'll call her Greek) he wasn't necessarily "traveling with them".....or so he thought. He ended up sitting next to G.L. from Buffalo to Newark.

David called me when he reached Newark and told me all of the above. After this fiasco, David decided to inquire at the gate about upgrading to business class for the long haul to China but unfortunately the upgrade was just too expensive. I guess "Greek" was on to something when she upgraded without saying anything. I encouraged David and told him that at least he'll be able to enjoy some quiet time on the long flight to China. WRONG! Turns out, the high-maintenance G.L. was sitting next to him on the 14 hour flight to China too. He texted me the photo above to show me his view for the next 14 the life of a sardine, next to G.L. (notice: middle seat in middle section of seats in coach!!)

I hope things were better than expected for him...... To be continued.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crazy Uneventfulness

I've been a slacking blogger. Friday was just too uneventful to blog, Saturday was too busy and Sunday I felt like crap. I'll try to fill ya in....

Like I said, Friday was just plain old uneventful. On Saturday, Madeline started up with dance again. Her hour class is split into 30 minutes of ballet and 30 minutes of tap. It is amazing how much a couple months make a difference. Since she ended dance in June until now Madeline seemed to mature a bit more and was more focused in class than she was last year.

Saturday afternoon we were quite busy working around the house. After chemically treating the pool for the winter last weekend, we needed to start draining some of the water out and figure out what else we needed to do in order to close it up until summer. We also ended up draining, cleaning and refilling the hot tub. We were able to finish the hot tub but the pool draining process was taking much longer than we thought so we had to finish that the next day.......we had to get ready for date night!!!!

We got a babysitter on Saturday night. David and I really can't remember the last time we had a sitter for a night out. We also had nothing particular planned.....just wanted to wing it and we both had some high hopes for the evening. What did we do??? We ended up realizing that we are OLD fuddy duddies!

We decided that we wanted something somewhat casual yet nice to eat. David (what a great hubby) said he didn't want to go to a nice restaurant because I have been making such great meals lately that we would end up spending $100 for dinner and he'd be disappointed because the food wouldn't be as good as what I make. So we decided to try the Empire Grill in North Buffalo. I have to say, I felt like a picky old lady (NO - I didn't complain to wait staff, in case you were wondering. It was more my own personal taste rather than the restaurant itself). I ordered a tomato sandwich with fresh mozzarella, basil and walnut was blah. I like this type of sandwich but the walnut pesto was blah. I ended up switching out the contents of my sandwich onto the yummy garlic bread that was given before our meal. And another reason I felt like an old lady was I was cold the entire time we were at the restaurant.

After dinner, David and I had no plans. We went downtown to go to Spot Coffee. There was no parking anywhere nearby. So I wouldn't freeze, we ended up going to Starbucks for coffee and dessert (Starbucks lot had open parking). I was freezing in there too so we quickly ate our dessert and took our coffees to go. Okay, that didn't work out the way we hoped either......Next, just because we were never there and we were nosy, we stopped in to the casino in downtown Buffalo. All I have to say is HAHAHAHAHAHAHA......what a joke! That was the most depressing place I ever saw. We were there all of 5 minutes.

Now, the old folks were just plain tired. We realized that with a babysitter at home we just couldn't be as spontaneous as we used to be. It was now about 10pm and we were ready to go home but we felt we couldn't go home yet because we made the effort to get a sitter so we ended up trying to find someplace to waste time. We ended up browsing at a Barnes and Noble because they were open until 11pm (and I froze there too) David and I pretty much laughed at what a pathetic date night we were having (although we were enjoying being pathetic together). After getting home David and I hopped into the hot tub and it felt soooo good because it was the first time I was warm all night.

On Sunday, I guess I now realized why I was cold all night the night before. Madeline has been fighting a cold (going back to school brings home all kinds of lovely germs) and now I picked up whatever bug Madeline had. Despite our having to try to complete the closing of our pool (which we still did), both Madeline and I felt pretty crappy. I had planned steaks on the grill for dinner and ended up coming to the table wrapped in a blanket, had 3 bites and decided I was going to bed (soooooo not like me). Both Madeline and I were in bed by 7:30pm. Aside from getting up a couple times during the night to medicate Madeline and me, we both slept until after 9am. Needless to say, we are having a very lazy day today so that we will be well enough to road trip it to visit Margaret on Thursday.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Artist In The Making

Awwwwwwww! It seems as though Madeline went from scribbling to drawing pictures overnight. Today, Madeline drew this masterpiece and here is the story that goes with it....

Madeline is bottom center - eating spaghetti (to left) drinking juice (middle) and a treat (to right). Madeline is mixing some of her treat into her spaghetti.

Papa is top left and Mama is top right (I find it funny that she drew hair on Papa when, if you know David, his head is shaved). Papa is eating meatballs. Mama is top right eating spaghetti. We are all out to eat at a restaurant.

As a Mama, I like what I see in this picture. (1) We are all smiling and (2) although Madeline is front and center (normal to be very egocentric at age 3), Mama and Papa are on either side of her. (3) Yes, Papa is much bigger than Mama but that is okay because although I know Madeline loves me very much, I have very much accepted that Papa is Madeline's "rock star".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Halloween Preview

Can you believe it?? We are talking about Halloween and it is mid-September?!?!?!?! I had absolutely NO desire to think about Halloween but in order to save a little money I had to head out to the stores before everything was picked over. How is that possible you might ask???? Well, the only thing I needed to buy was a red wig....had to get one before the red wig supply was depleted.

So, to answer the question that I am sure is on your mind, Madeline is going to be Ariel from the Little Mermaid. We have yet to*ever* buy a Halloween costume for Madeline. They have either been borrowed or a hand-me-down. This year, Madeline has more of a clue as to what is going on so I have to be a little more particular.

Since going to Disney last year, Madeline is in 100% princess mode. Her latest kick is Ariel. Lucky for me, we have a hand-me-down play dress-up costume (complete with the fin) of Ariel in our dress-up clothes. The good news is that this stuff was tucked away in our storage unit (that was just emptied out this past weekend). So, although this is a hand-me-down, the fact that it was in storage makes it "new" in Madeline's eyes. (BTW, I can't remember who we got this from.....either my niece, Kate, or the daughter (Hannah) of a co-worker of David's.) Since bringing the outfit out of storage Madeline has been playing dress-up in it a lot. Certainly the costume would be too cold to go out trick-or treating in intervened. Today I bought a $5 pair of light purple leggings (which she needed anyway and can use all winter) to go underneath and that matched perfectly. I also bought a $10 Ariel wig. She can carry her toy Flounder (which we have at home). Last step, I will need to buy either a white long sleeved t-shirt OR a white turtleneck that can be worn under the costume....again, one that can be used all winter. Considering the "re-usability factor", the only thing that is extravagant is the $10 investment in the Ariel wig. Not bad considering that Halloween costumes run for approximately $40 and are typically not functional at all past Halloween night. Now you know why the sense of urgency on snagging an Ariel wig. And, for now, after trying everything on to show Papa, the costume can no longer be used to play dress-up. Mama-Dirtyfoot packed it away until Halloween so that it still feels special to Madeline to wear it. Wish me luck on that one!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Do

I feel human again! Friday, I got a haircut and today I got my hair dyed when Madeline was at school. I can't even tell you how badly I needed a dye job!! I don't have a lot of gray but I had a mess that needed to be fixed (In a scheduling pinch I tried a new stylist right before my huge grade school/neighborhood reunion in May and my hair is *still* trying to be fixed from both the person who cuts my hair and the one who dyes my hair).

I must say, I was soooooo looking forward to today's "Mama pamper session". I dropped Madeline off at school and had an hour before my appointment. I stopped at Tim Horton's for an XTRA LARGE coffee and a bagel. I spent the hour quietly enjoying my breakfast, reading my current book that has been neglected for so long because of the move, chit chatted with my sister Margaret on my cell phone and people watched. I was excited about getting my hair done in a quiet morning appointment.......BUT, a woman brought her kid into the salon. The kid should've been in school but had a morning Dr's appointment and she decided not to take the kid back to school. All I have to say is that kid's (1st grade) teacher was probably relieved that the monster child was absent for the day. I was absolutely amazed at the little terror and his disrespect for his mom and the stylist working on the mom. Monster child, without a doubt, knew what he was doing when he was making his mom miserable for trying to get a haircut. Whining, kicking, loudly complaining about that her cut was taking too long. The kid was outright lying about things (I heard enough of the conversation to know he was lying), touching all the styling equipment and things at the next station without even an attempt from mom to get him to stop this. Then, when the stylist picked up the hair dryer to style mom's hair the kid started screaming loudly, "I thought you weren't going to dry her hair". When the stylist responded, "I am just going to style this part", the bratty twerp yelled, "I am not talking to you, I am talking to my mom"! Can you believe it!??!?!?! And the mom had ZERO reaction to *any* of this! I am amazed that I didn't leave the salon with a bloody tongue from biting it for so long.......but at least I left there with not only a new do but also a new appreciation for my sweet little Madeline.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Okay..."Anonymous" commented that yesterday's post was "too much information". Well.....this one is for you :-)

This evening, Madeline had gas.....pretty darn stinky toots and Madeline was quite proud of herself. Yes, my dear 3 year old daughter was beside herself with what her backside was producing. Eventually, bedtime came and it was time for Mama-Dirtyfoot to tell a bedtime story. Here is a recap of the story that had her laughing so hard that she was having a hard time catching her breath.....
Once upon a time there was a girl named.......
(At this point Madeline always says her name because that is usually how the stories start. When I shook my head no she continued to guess Madeline, Mama and Papa)

Once upon a time there was a girl named Cinderella.
One day, Cinderella was going to go to a ball. She got herself looking very pretty, put on her beautiful blue gown and went to the castle.

After arriving at the castle, Cinderella began dancing with the prince. All of a sudden the prince stopped dancing and asked Cinderella "What happened to your face?!?!?!"
"What do you mean?" asked Cinderella.
"Your face - it looks like this [show scrunched facial expression]"
Cinderella replied, "Ohhhhhh that......It is a long story, but this is what happened....."
Cinderella continued, "A long, long time ago, I used to be on the underwear of a little girl named Madeline. [Madeline has a couple pair of princess undies that have Disney princesses on the butt] On the underwear I would go everywhere Madeline went. When Madeline went to school, I was on her underwear. When Madeline went to bed, I was on her underwear. When Madeline went shopping with Mama, I was on her underwear. But, one day, Madeline tooted! The toot smelled so bad that I could no longer stay on her underwear. Even worse, the toot was so bad that I scrunched up my face so hard when I said P.U. that my face got stuck. Now, the only way my face will get better is if I fall in love with a prince."

As Cinderella told her story, she and the prince danced together and fell in love. Finally, Cinderella and the Backwards Prince [a reference to a story I told the other day about one of Madeline's prince figurine toys who's legs kept facing the wrong way] kissed. And, at last, Cinderella's face lost the P.U. look and the Backwards Prince no longer had his feet facing the wrong way. THE END.
Again, I can't stress how much this story had Madeline in stitches. The best part was when I came downstairs, sat on the couch, and after several minutes Madeline busted out laughing again. Yep, my daughter will end up having a PhD in bathroom humor.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Scarred For Life....

Scarred for life??? Who??........ummmm, that would be David. We had a slight slip up here today. Really, no big deal - but try to tell David that. So what happened? We had an inadvertent lesson in "gender differences" today.

This is what happened. I was in the bathroom off our bedroom. In order to speed up the process for getting ready for church, David was in the shower in the 2nd bathroom and Madeline was in her room getting changed. Madeline was crying and I did not hear her so as David was getting out of the shower he grabbed a towel, put it in front of him and peeked out to see why Madeline was crying... Unbeknown to David, he wasn't as covered as he thought he was and Madeline began exclaiming, "Papa, what's on your dupa?!?!?!?!" (Madeline calls the entire private area, front and back, dupa - which is actually Polish for butt) David quickly tightened the wrap of his towel and tried to ignore Madeline's question. David also tried to tell Madeline "don't worry about it" but as David scurried back to our bedroom I could hear Papa's stressed voice say, "Amy, help me out here" as Madeline trailed behind David asking, like a broken record, "What's on your dupa?!?!?!?" Finally, Mama got the gist of what was going on and David looked relieved that the light bulb went off above my head. Eventually, Madeline looked at me and asked, "What's on Papa's dupa?!?!?" I calmly responded, "Oh, that's papa's penis" Madeline responded, "Penis?" I said, "yep" and that was the end of the inquiry. However, I looked over at David and thought we was going to die. He looked like a combination between a deer in the headlights AND someone who saw a ghost. I thought I handled the inquiry perfectly yet the absolute panic in David's expression was absolutely priceless. For Madeline, she just wanted an answer to her question. Once she received it, she was satisfied. Besides, as I explained to David, these "inquires" are only an issue if we make it one. Solution - quick and to the point answers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Arranged Marriage Still On Track

Ok, we all know that we don't have an arranged marriage set up for our daughter but my friend, Kelly, and I joke all the time that Madeline and her son, Owen, will eventually get married. Of course Madeline would be the "cougar" as she is an older woman....hahahahha! Madeline is turning 4 in November and Owen will be 2 in December - a big difference now but, hey....ya never know. Today, Kelly and I had an opportunity to get together for a little bit and our kids had some time to play together. Owen is an absolute sweetheart and once the two of them warmed up to each other they were chasing each other through Kelly's house. As friends, it was fun for Kelly and I to watch our kids interact.

Sept 11 - A Personal Story

I had to share this story from one of my Facebook friends. Lisa and I went to the same high school (Lisa graduated the year after I did). She shared her memories of September 11th, 2001. Her story is especially moving as she was there, in NYC, on that day. As I read her story I got goosebumps and felt my eyes fill with tears. This date in history changed our country forever.....and, no, we will never forget! Below is Lisa's story:

I was living with Scott (boyfriend at the time, husband now) at 57 West 58th Street, located at the corner of 58th Street and 6th avenue. I was a family law attorney for a union, District Council 37 (DC 37), in lower Manhattan. I had worked at DC37 since February 2001.

On Sept 11, Scott was home from work that day, but I had to go into the office first. I had a hearing scheduled in the Bronx. Scott and I had just gotten back from a trip to Florida and I was really tired that morning. I remember what I had on: a black suit and sneakers. Yes, I was one of those people who wore sneakers with a suit. Everybody remembers this: the day was perfect. Maybe 72 degrees and blue skies.

My office building was located on Barclay Street, directly across from WTC. Most days, I took the subway to work, getting off at the WTC subway stop, located underneath the WTC towers. There was a smoothie/ice cream kiosk I used to get fruit smoothies at sometimes, located in the WTC promenade. I was planning on stopping by there on my way into work.

I was on the "N" subway train (i think) when it stopped at the Chinatown stop, about a mile from WTC. The conductor announced that there was an emergency at WTC and that the trains were no longer running. I exited the subway to a mass of people and both the North and South Towers already on fire. Oddly enough, looking back in time, things were somewhat calm. There were tons of people everywhere....walking around, looking up at the buildings and making pay phone calls. No panic, no craziness, nothing. Just people looking up at the skies. Black smoke and blue sky.

I remember immediately thinking of three things:
1) Why are people on pay phones? People are standing in lines to use pay phones, so weird.
2) How awful that the towers are on is the fire dept going to put this out? How many people are in those buildings?
3) I got to get to work and get my files for court, just keep on walking.

And so I did, I kept on walking, looking up at the blazing towers the whole time and having no clue what was going on. I tried calling Scott at work, he was bound to see this on tv right? But my cell phone wasnt connecting. "Oh, " I thought "maybe the cell lines are down, no wonder people are on pay phones." And I kept on walking.

And then, I heard my cell phone ring. It was Scott and he sounded panicked. He said something about an attack and that I needed to get out of the area. Nothing he said made sense. I told him that the WTC towers were on fire, it looked awful. He told me he knew. I told him that I had to go to court. He assured me that there would be no court today. He told me to just walk away from the towers. Just walk north. I asked him what way north was because now I was starting to panic, only because he was really upset and sounded so scared. Why did he sound so upset? Why was he so scared? What was happening? I remember him almost yelling and telling me to just get on the subway and leave the area.

My mom had called him that morning because she had seen the tv reports and didnt know if I had left for work yet. I had already left. He had run down 6th avenue looking for me. I was long gone.

So I got back on the subway, at the Prince Street Station, I think. I only remember two things about that ride:

1) Two people were crying, hysterically. What in the hell was going on, I thought? Attack? Who attacked us?
2) If this was an attack, I had better get off the subway. Times Square stop was coming up and if something big was happening, I shouldnt be on the subway in Times Square.

I exited the subway at Times Square (42nd street) and figured that I could walk home now. It was only 16 blocks away and thankfully, I had my sneakers on. Oddly enough, within seconds, I saw an empty cab and hailed it. It had been at least 45 minutes-hour (i think?) since I had talked with Scott and my cell phone wasnt connecting again, so I figured he was worried. The sooner I got home, the better.

I got in that cab and asked the driver who was visibly upset (and crying?) what in the hell was happening? And he told me that the Pentagon had been hit by a plane. The pentagon? In DC? What plane? Why? Who was doing this? The driver had the radio on really loud and we listened to news reports for the next 15 blocks.

Next thing I remember, we were at 57th street and 6th avenue and I got out of the cab, and there was Scott, just standing there. It was really odd, he had been waiting for me to come home and I guess he had started walking up 6th avenue again, hoping to run into me? I dont remember if the towers had fallen yet. Actually I dont remember anything after that, except walking into my apartment and turning the tv on. The magnitude of what was happening was finally making sense to me. I tried to go into the bathroom and throw up. I had no idea if anybody I worked with was down there and were people ok? I soon found out that everybody i knew was ok. I was so lucky.

I threw out that black suit I was wearing a few days later. I didnt put it in the Goodwill, I just tossed it. I think I associated it with being down there and maybe picking up dust? Death?

I dedicate this memory to all of those people who simply went to work in lower manhattan on Sept 11, just like I did. To all of those people who got on the subway and headed down to WTC, but never headed home. To all of those people who walked through the WTC promenade and maybe got a smoothie too. To all of those people sitting at their desks at 8:45 am. I didnt know you, but I will never forget you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dining Table Warm Fuzzies

So, here I sit..... While Madeline is at school today, I decided to take out piles of paperwork that accumulated since before the move that I need to sort through, do something with, throw away or file. My staging area is the dining room table that my brother helped me move from Gary's house last weekend. If you have been following the blog you know that the dining room was my mom's and therefore was part of my childhood home. It's weird that doing this paperwork is giving me the "warm fuzzies" today. As I shuffle the stacks of paper I picture all the holidays and special occasions that were shared at this table and the fact that my own family will continue this. Also, from a business aspect, this table will be great to manage "works in progress" as I won't have to clear my paper work before dinner time. I can maintain any organization until the next day. My mom also used this table in the same manner. This table was the hub of my father's political campaigns. This table supported sewing patterns as my mom cut them for our graduation dresses. This table carried countless food buffets and numerous communion, grade school, high school & college graduation parties. This table held wedding invitations as my mom addressed them and shower favors as they were created. And as I parked my butt down to work at this table for the first time in my home I was reminded of the many times I sat here to complete my homework as a child and all I could think of was.....Welcome Home, table!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School

I believe that I can safely say many of the pictures speak for themselves. I will add, however, that Madeline had a great first day of Pre-K. She was excited about going both the night before and in the morning. There were two "criers" in the classroom when David and I were dropping Madeline off but, luckily, the criers didn't seem to cause any anxiety for Madeline. At pick-up time, Madeline was happy to see me but the teacher said that Madeline had a good day.

Madeline was ravenous must've worked up an appetite (She ate almost all of her lunch I packed her)! After school, Madeline plopped down at the counter and watched me cook while she ate a snack. I talked about everything I was doing as I cooked. Madeline got quite the kick out of the fact that I told her onions are stinky. Oh brother, I didn't mean to fuel the "stinky talk" fire. But I have to admit that it was cute when she referred to the onion as a "stinky apple".

Madeline was in and out of the house during the afternoon but when I was done cooking and had dinner in the oven we laid on the hammock together while Madeline played with her Ariel doll. This picture was captured by David when he came home from work.

After dinner, we went out for a super special treat to celebrate the first day of school. I ordered a "baby cone" for both me and Madeline and they were still so huge! (Although my Snickerdoodle ice cream was awesome!) David and I joked that if this was the baby size we need to see if they have a in utero size next time. All in all, it was a very nice day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Paul and his family headed back to Kentucky this morning. David, Madeline and I spent the majority of the day lazing around the house. Mama-Dirtyfoot is quite tired today as she stayed up waaaaaaayyyyyy too late last night. So, I am dragging a little today. I had the opportunity to test out the hammock with Madeline while David monkeyed around with the filter of the small pond in our backyard. Once David cleaned out the pond's filter, the water flow changed and made the sound of running water a bit stronger. This just made the hammock experience that much more relaxing. I am also nursing my bee sting from yesterday. I am amazed at how much that stupid thing still hurts today. Yeah, I am whining but I really am surprised. I have a swollen area a bit larger than the size of a softball and it feels like I was punched in the leg. Stupid bee!!

David, Madeline and I had some fun playing baseball. Madeline was having a blast trying to hit the ball.....and yes that is a Cubs ball, bat and glove. It was a relaxing day and a perfect way to finish upthe end of Maddie's summer vacation (school starts tomorrow). Now, off to the hot tub and on to bed.

Paul's Visit - Sunday Recap

Often times when Paul visits he enjoys to allow me to put my feet up and make a meal. This time around, Paul made a specialty of his family, "Hungry Man Breakfast"......yum, yum, yummy!

Once we got our day started we decided to head over to a German Festival in Cheektowaga. It ended up being a slightly lame festival but we made our own good time. We had a few beers and grabbed a snack. We even sampled the Limburger and Onion on Rye in honor of my mom (she liked wacky food like that). I now know the reason Limburger has the reputation of stink. Yep, it seriously smelled like butt! We even did a couple polkas. I must say that Rachel, Becky and Zac were such good sports with Madeline. For college age "kids" they were extremely patient with her and each of them even agreed to go on the dance floor with her. The absolute most priceless moment was the look she gave Zac when they got on the dance floor. She was in total awe. I really think that in her mind she imagined she was dancing at a ball with a prince. At the festival they had a few activities for kids. Madeline enjoyed the bounce house and they also had a face painting table. Madeline chose to have her arm painted instead with Cinderella's glass appropriate. While Madeline was in the bounce house a bee flew up the leg of my shorts. As I shifted my posture, the bee got stuck in my shorts and I got a nice bee sting on my thigh......OUCH!!!!

After leaving the festival the Kentucky group headed out for a Wegman's pilgrimage. They ended up getting two coolers full of stuff. There's no place like Wegmans!!!! The funny thing is that Zac liked the Wegmans Chicken Wing Cheese Spread that I put out for snacks on Saturday so much that he bought 4 containers of that stuff to take home. The funny thing is that it will probably all be gone by the end of the week. He has a true college boy's appetite. While the crew was shopping, David took time to set up the hammock that he got for Father's Day. This is the first time it was set up and used......oh soooooo relaxing!!!

For dinner, yet another Buffalo delicacy, LaNova Pizza (and of course some more wings). You've never had pizza until you've had a good Buffalo pizza. And for those readers out there that have never had pizza outside of Buffalo, it is scary what other parts of the country claim as pizza. After dinner, and after Madeline went to bed, we decided to play a game again. We were considering a rematch of the games we played the night before but Paul asked what kind of games David and I owned. I made a trip into our basement and, as I joke, I brought up Twister. After sitting around a while, with the game staring at us, Becky, Rachel and Zac decided to attempt the game. Ok....I admit, I started the game with them but I barely lasted three spins before I fell over. A 39 year old just can't compete with those in late teens/early 20s. After the "kids" had their try at Twister, I challenged David to a game. Yep.....that didn't last long either. An innocent game of Twister quickly makes you realize that your body doesn't move the way that it used to. Next, the peer pressure was put on Paul (who is 8 years older than me) and Penny. I was impressed with the performance of the "senior division" (hahahaha-couldn't resist). Despite age slapping us in the face during our Twister games, it was pretty darn funny and we had a lot of laughs.

The game night continued and the ante was upped. We decided to have a rematch of Cranium. We switched up the teams for a Battle of the Sexes. The losing team had to jump in the pool. By this point it was about 11pm and the pool's temperature Sunday morning was 66 degrees. It was a close match but the girls won!! Oh how fun it was to see the boys pay off on our bet. Good thing, the hot tub was waiting for them. All 7 of us (Madeline was sleeping) ended up squeezing in hot tub where we talked about silly stuff. It really was a fun day!