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The New Puppy, I Mean Baby, Was Your Idea

On many a given morning, since the birth of our daughter, I’m in the kitchen trying to make breakfast, simultaneously managing lunch making and both children’s immediate needs. Sometimes I’m succeeding. And sometimes I’m overwhelmed as the baby is in the high chair lets me know very loudly she’s in need of something else. Right Now. And where’s my husband? He’s upstairs “freshening up”.

The New Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea from

The disparity lies between how much help he thinks I need and how much help I’d like to be offered. My thought this morning, as Fiona cried at me from the high chair and I hoped I hadn’t missed an ingredient in the waffle batter this time, was that he either thinks I really do have it under control or he really likes his free time much more than he thinks I like mine.

I suspect that it’s one of those “the new puppy was your idea so you get to walk him” situations. It shouldn’t affect his life’s routines. She’s cute and all but I had the big idea to go and have another baby when he was about to turn 50 so I get all the fun upkeep. He’ll be the other guy. Like a Grandpappy, because isn’t he getting his AARP card in the mail any day now anyway?

The New Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea from

As a baby, he was so afraid of her. I think she was at the least 6 months before he would take her for a chunk of time alone. It would play out like this. He would panic then she felt his panic and then she cried at him. He got to say ‘I told you so, I can’t take the baby because I’ll break her’ and so, I never had a break. It was a long long winter.

I love that women can be so darn concerned for each other. We are the best possible codependents. Ready to chip in and ease the pressure for others because we know the suffering. Never thought I’d say it but the husband is not codependent enough. Not enough jumping to make sure I’m OK or need help or if he can take the baby for this day or that day. I have to ask. And we all know how difficult that is. Makes me feel a little like a loser to ask. Super Mom’s don’t ask for help.

Crazy Baby From the Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea on

So he gets to freshen up while I make breakfast with the children screaming and me feeling like I’ve got hornets angrily buzzing in my head. I’m about to re-school myself now. Welcome to Motherhood 101. My baby, my rules. Everyone either starts getting more “helpful” or Mommy’s going on strike. No more hot breakfasts. No more clean clothes. Wanna book read to you, get it done before 8 pm when Mommy’s off the clock. Hot breakfasts are now a weekend event only. Toast your own bagel pal.

Let me step in and bust myself here too by saying, remember lesson #153, what you do for your bosses, children, and husbands, they’ll expect. Creating expectations and not gently reminding everyone I’m not a super-mom earlier was my bad.

The New Puppy, I mean baby, was your idea from

 I’ll be smiling as I lighten my load and take my own chosen break from chores. I’m calling the babysitter now and booking that massage for Tuesday. Because I had forgotten the number one Mom rule; Mom is always driving. Nod and smile at them in the back seat and continue on with your planned route. As long as everyone is still alive, Mom’s allowed to be happy too.

Goodbye Pop Pop

With a heavy sad heart, I convey the news that last night, Mark’s Dad passed away while in hospice care. He was released from his tired body and has moved on to his soul’s next purpose. His passing was at the end of a gradual decline as we watched congestive heart failure take him day by day. To know that he is no longer suffering is an immense relief to his loved ones although it’s hard to explain to a 9 year-old what that means. Wanting someone to die to have them no longer be in pain.

Pop Pop and Fiona

Pop Pop was dear, funny, and generous with his love and care. Two miracle granddaughters were born last year and I never saw him happier than when he was gitchy-gooing a grandbaby.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

My son was asked to do a project in school on a family member who had served in the military. Pop Pop served on a destroyer for four years during the Korean War, starting at age 17. So this is the paper quilt that Eamon made to commemorate him.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

The pieces are different scenes from the story of Pop Pop’s ship and how he was feeling about serving his country. I retrieved the art piece today from Eamon’s school so that we can put it on display at the funeral parlor.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

Pop Pop’s and Eamon’s birthdays were so close together in April that we often had joint parties for them.  This photo below was just 5 years ago. It was and wasn’t so long ago, you know?


These will be the memories I will hold of him. Him loving on Eamon and Fiona. His cheering Eamon on at soccer and baseball games. And that incident where Eamon threw up on himself at the McDonald’s inside the Wal-mart in Easton, Maryland, and Pop Pop stripped him down on the tailgate of the SUV in January to put him in clean clothing. He was a take care of it kind of guy and I am immensely grateful that my husband is much of the man I love because of him. We will miss you Terry. Say hi to Uncle Dick for us.

A New Shop For OYM Lighting

If you didn’t know, I married a lighting guy. And three years ago, lighting guy husband named Mark bought his own gear and began a business called On Your Mark Lighting Design and Equipment. (If you want to see the pretty pictures of his work, wait for the next post. Because it’s coming.) He now rents out his knowledge and design abilities and his gear to those in need. From TV shows in DC to tent weddings in Chestertown, he is very talented at what he does.


Diane Sawyer: A Life In News, the Kalb Report at the National Press Club


Diane Sawyer who spoke about journalists banding together for the common good

Navy Point fetes in clear top

A clear top tent wedding with Fete lights at Navy Point, St. Michaels, MD

After two years of storing his lighting gear in our garage, Mark’s has moved his “shop” Northward to Greensboro and his friend Paul’s outbuilding. I can now see our garage and through the glass doors to the backyard. And the big dead tree but whatever. It’s spacious and awaiting my next project.

The new shop is swanky. Apparently this is also Mr Paul’s man cave because there’s the couch,TV, pool table, and air hockey table. In his summer downtime, Mr. Paul built customized shelves made from pallets to hold the lighting gear and accoutrements. I was very impressed by Mr. Paul’s handiwork when the family went to tour the new digs.IMG_20130810_141834_741





Mark’s cases which he built, are getting a new decal


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And it gives Eamon a chance to go with Daddy somewhere else. Mark does his shop time and then comes home thus separating the the work from the off. And the load in and out is way easier. Thanks to Mr. Paul for helping to make this happen. And for your innovative use of pallets.


And tell anyone you think may need to know, you know a guy who designs lighting.

I Don’t Get It

Welcome my husband Mark and his second post. It’s a manly subject this one.

I don’t get it…

I found myself pondering the meaning of something I saw dangling from the trailer hitch of a pick up truck driving next to me. At first it appeared to be some sort of trailer adaptor. Maybe an electrical plug for the trailer lights, or possibly a safety chain mechanism that would come into play should the trailer separate from the hitch.

As I looked closer, I recognized this to be truck testes?! Yes, balls… hoobers… whatever vernacular you choose to use, it was them. I continued my commute, vexed for miles over what I had seen and what it meant. And decided that the logic for such ornamentation was beyond my comprehension. I didn’t want to want to know why.

Whew… I was glad that was over. Until the next month when, as I got into the car with my eight year old son, there they were, proudly displayed from the polished hitch of the pick up truck parked in front of us. Eye level. It was a don’t ask don’t tell moment but again, I‘m wondering what it meant. Open up your mind and see what you come up with.

Option number one: It’s a red neck thing. Nah. It doesn’t figure.
On this particular truck there was no gun rack, no confederate flag, no NASCAR decal’s.

Option number two: Testicular cancer survivors. This one would have made the cut if it wasn’t too coincidental that all the vehicles were pick up trucks. Does that mean that pick up trucks cause cancer? Mmmm nope.

Option number three: Lorena Bobbitt fan club, maybe? But she didn’t target the whole package. Just the John Thomas. Ode to what was left over?

Option number four: Man with a small penis? Judgment call.

Option number five: I think this one sounded the best, Inguinal Hernia.  It’s a medical condition whereby the intestine gradually slips into the scrotum through a blown out entrance. Uncomfortable, hell yes, but it could make you the hit of the party. So why not advertise?

I will remain an advocate for freedom of speech, but I just don’t get it.  And when and if my son asks me why would someone hang those there I’ll just have to tell him, I don’t get it.

photo credit: Devlin Thompson via photopin cc

The Stove, She Is Fixed

When last I spoke of the stove, the story wasn’t going well. Sears had “messed” up. All their kiss butt customer service people couldn’t put it back together again. And I had given up hope. But not Mark (or Kathy). No. He was the picture of perseverance. He went online to a company called PartSimple who refurbishes parts. And ordered us up some rehabbed stove’s brains for $137, plus shipping. DSC01317


My Dandy Handyman

The part came on Tuesday. He said Thursday he’d put it in. I had waited this long. Today, Thursday, he began to install it only to find that he was going to have to disassemble the new Johnny 5 to swap a part of the part. So he practiced pulling it apart like an assembly line pro. Did you know the soldered component boards are called “bread boards”? He did. Bad soldering memories for him. But this only involved his leatherman.

And he stuck that bad boy in and…TA DA… As I no longer dared to hope…It worked.


Fiona says he’s her favorite Daddy

So I made roasted red potatoes tonight to go with my Faidley’s crabcakes and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden. And we may have to celebrate with a bottle of Smoking Loon Pinot Noir. Yippee. Here’s to my husband and boo hiss to Sears, you schmucks. I have my oven back no thanks to you. My friend Anne suffered the same fate with the same stove BTW.


I am glad my oven cleaning effort won’t go to waste

The beginning and end of the story, all appliances suck and are necessary. See Stupid Plastic Parts for more appliance breaking hilarity.


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