Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks

It has been a very long time since I have posted. You haven't missed much. I've been a little cranky, tired and annoyed at just about everything so really you've been better off without me. Not anymore, I'm turning over a new leaf...okay, let's not be ridiculous, I'm sure I'm still going to be all of those things but not all of the time.

As corny as it may sound, Thanksgiving me reminded me of all the things I am thankful for.
1. My husband - when we're not busy being annoyed with one another we actually make a good pair. He enjoys (or at least puts on a good front) being with 22 members of my family in my've got to hold on to someone like that
2. My son- While 3.5 has been very trying and has made the terrible twos a very malicious lie, Ben is totally amazing. He's so curious, funny, creative and kind hearted. He brings tears of joy to my eyes which totally erases the tears that I cause due to my lack of patience.
3. My extended family- I'm not sure what happened but I was surrounded by 22 members of my family over Thanksgiving and I did not fight with anyone, specifically not my husband, mother or brother. I truly enjoyed all of us being together.
4. My friends- I have really good friends. There are a lot of people who I care about and who care about me.
5. My career- While it can totally suck and can be really difficult, I am making a difference and that is what I have always wanted to do and that is what really matters.
6. Lack of salmonella- Not one person had to go to hospital for food poisoning after eating my turkey....seriously it was by biggest fear.

Clearly this is not an exhaustive list but it's a start and covers the most important things in my life and is the list that will help me put the rest of my life in perspective.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits

I laughed, I cried and I would have bought a t-shirt if it was for sale...which it probably is. Way to go Hillary! I am very hopeful about Election Day.

I keep thinking of my grandma ("Mom")who was a die hard democrat. My brother was her favorite...the only son of the only son and to her he never had a flaw. Then, on her 80th birthday she received Kerry/Edwards signs for her front yard. I knew she was a democrat but I didn't realize how much of a democrat she actualy was until that day. I felt it was my obligation as he grandaughter to let her know her favorite grandson was a republican. Her response. "Well, Erin, I guess he's not perfect."

I think Momwould have liked to be a part of this election. I know that she probably never thought that in her lifetime there would have been both an African American and a woman going for the democratic nomination. I'm sure that she never considered the posibility of her voting for either. However, I know that it wouldn't have mattered to her who she was voting for rather the principals for which the person stood. I know that she would have thought about our country and its people and would have voted for change.
I also know that if she were still here that I'd probably be her favorite now because her grandson....still a republican.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


32-22= The year I hit double digits
32-19= The year I became a teenager
32-16= The year I started to drive
32-14= The year I was able to vote
32-11= The year I could buy beer and go to a bar legally
32-9= The year I started my career
32-7= The year I got married
32-3= The year I had Ben
32-2= The year I freaked out on my birthday
32-1= The year I freaked out on my birthday
32-0 = The year I freaked out on my birthday

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dem Bones

Me: Ben, why don't you want your milk?
Ben: I don't need it.
Me: Why?
Ben: I already have bones and they're already strong.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lying to your child

I've stretched the truth before with Ben to make him not worry. I don't mean to lie but sometimes I just say things without really thinking about the fact that it's actually not true, instead I'm just thinking about what I can tell my little boy to make him feel better. Rest assured I don't plan on lying to my child forever, or even mean to do it now. In fact I hope to be very open an honest with him. I hope that he feels like he can always come to us with anything and know that we will always be there for him. When he asks me where babies come from I'm not going to tell him the stork. I will be age appropriate though! But the point is that over the past few months I've noticed that I do this and that it can potentially bite me in the arse.

Like when he saw an earthquake on TV and he got scared and I told him that he shouldn't be scared because we don't have earthquakes in Cincinnati. Three days later we had an earthquake. Fortunately he was staying at my mother in law's and didn't feel it because if he had I'm sure he would have said "Mommy, you said we didn't have earthquakes.

Fast forward to two days ago when it was storming outside. Ben hates storms so I try to make them okay. We normally talk about how rain helps the flowers go. That particular morning I said "Ooh, did you hear the thunder?" He says "Mommy, that's not thunder, that's just angel's bowling." I did not tell him this lie, he's father did. Unlike the earthquake incident the only problem I can foresee is Ben raising his hand in science class and answering the question"Why does it thunder?" incorrectly. My hope is that by the time he gets asked that question he'll figure out it's not really angels bowling.

As we continued our morning and drove to school in the pouring rain a bright bolt of lightning flashed through the sky. Ben jumped a little and I immediately said "Don't worry, lightning can't hurt you." Before I could stop myself from finishing that statement I knew I shouldn't' have said it as lightning can clearly hurt you. So I start having a conversation with myself. Do I tell him it can? Do I tell him it can but it's very rare? Do I tell him not to hold a metal rod in his hand when it's lighting? Do I just let it go and the next time there's lightning I tell him it can hurt him? Honestly in a very short amount of time all these thoughts went through my head as well as how I needed to start saving for his therapy bill so he can talk to someone about how he had a mom who lied to him.

As I'm drowning in guilt my sweet, logical, creative, hilarious son says "I know mommy, those bugs are very little." It took about 20 seconds for me to realize he was talking about lightning bugs. I forgot the guilt and instead engaged my son in a discussion about how he thinks lightning bugs fly up in the sky to make lightning and then come back down at night and fly around our house.

He's three. He's funny. He'll be okay. The lightning conversation will happen but not too soon, Ben's version is much better.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Three Cheers for being Three

Ben had his third birthday a month ago...yeah, I'm slow. The past three years have been an amazing journey for me. It's hard to believe how much you can truly love someone. I love my family and I love my husband but the love I feel for my son is indescribable. Every day he makes me laugh, teaches me something, sometimes drives me a little crazy, but always makes me smile. Every now and then Andy and I talk about how amazing that this little boy came from us. Ben makes us better people, makes us a better couple. Thanks Ben Ben for the joy you have brought me and continue to bring.

Ben's "Birth"day

Ben's 1st Birthday

Ben's 2nd Birthday

Ben's 3rd Birthday

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Just the two of us

Ben is in NYC with his grandparents, aunt, uncle and all his cousins. When my dad was either in college or just out ( I'm kind of unclear on the timing) he drove to all of the MLB ballparks (this was the 70's.) Anyway, he decided he wanted to do this with his grandchildren. Obviously it's going to take several years instead of a few months considering he has 6 grand kids and four of them are under the age of three. Anyway, this year's games include the Yankee's and Mets in NYC and then the Devil Rays and Marlins in Florida. Andy and I couldn't go with the family this weekend but we're all headed to FL in a week. Ben is the luckiest kid in the lie.

So, Andy and I have the house and our time to ourselves for a few days. Amazingly over the past few months, we've rediscovered ourselves as people not just parents, after a couple of years being lost. We've enjoyed the day together and with friends. We went to breakfast, I saw a movie and then went out to dinner with drinks! I miss Ben but I am enjoying a little down time. That being said, I've called my parents three times today and I'm assuming I'll call a couple more tomorrow...then Monday and Tuesday. Ben is doing is daddy proud...before 10:00 this morning he told his Pop that the Yankee's stink. Way to go Ben:)

I have a ton of pictures to post from Ben's b-day, and that's my plan for tomorrow so stand by!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

That was then....This is now

Going to hear a band 10 years ago....

Check my hair, check my lipstick, grab my id and some cash. Call up my friends and have them drive me to a smoky bar, hope I get carded so I can pull out my id and laugh at the door guy who thought I was too young to get in. Stand as close to the stage as possible. Dance and hold a beer while I try and decide if the singer is truly as deep and sensitive as his music makes him out to be. Stay until the bar closes and get ready to do it all again the next day.

Going to hear a band today....

Come inside from working in the yard all day. Jump in the shower and try to make my hair presentable. Convince my husband that we're not too tired to go. Run to the store to buy some earplugs for my 3 year old. Hop in the car with a spill proof cup and snacks and one very sleeping boy. Head downtown to an outdoor festival where kids are permitted and look for a close and cheap parking space. Get sleeping child out of car and carry 2 blocks to the stage. Make husband hold child while I purchase beer (without even considering having my id on me) so I don't look like a bad mom. Run into friends who are happy to see me outside of work and not a total witch. Listen to band and slightly sway to the music with child on hip. Think about how I was once cool. Once band is finished say goodbye and head to the carnival rides child has been wanting to ride since the moment we arrived. Arrive home after only being gone 2.5 hours including drive time.

Life has changed for sure but it's good. Ben did get to see his very first show which I was really excited about. I'm not sure he enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed my first concert at the ripe old age of 4 but he was tired and I was older. Regardless, I was happy to have him there as it made me feel a little bit cool again...for a mom that is. Plus, Andy and I thought the band was great. After hearing all about Bad Veins from my friend and listening to a demo cd I was excited to have the opportunity to hear them live. The fact that they were playing at the Taste of Cincinnati where I could bring Ben made it possible. Here's proof we were's like playing Where's Waldo.

So, the moral of this adventure is that I am going to first, make sure that I find myself again and partake in those things that used to bring me joy, i.e. music. Also, I'm going to make sure that I include Ben in those things that I'm doing. I know that my love of music came from my mom. She took me to my first concert, always had music playing around the house and getting a record in the mail from Columbia House was like Christmas. I want that for Ben too...although I'm not so sure downloading from iTunes is as exciting as getting a record in the mail....but whatever. And finally, Andy has dreams of Ben being a professional baseball player...I hope he becomes a rock star.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A completed project

You may not know this but I am a fairly crafty person. I love to cross stitch, crochet, make holiday ornaments and a year and a half ago I even made two beginner baby quilts. In the hustle and bustle of daily life I have not not crafted in ages even though it is the one thing that completely relaxes me.

I'm back!

7 years ago my mother in law and I made a wreath using the dried flowers from my wedding bouquet. I love it...and while it's lost some of it's color it hangs in my dining room and every time I see it I think of the day Andy and I married. A couple of years ago a friend was getting married and I offered to do the same for her. I gave her the wreath but she never acknowledged it so I just assumed that it sucked and that mine meant so much to me because I made it myself.

This past October Andy and I went to our very close friends wedding in Charleston, S.C. We had such a great time and in the moment I said to the bride, "Do you want me to take your flowers home, dry them and make them into a wreath?" She said yes and immediately I regretted it because what if I destroyed her wedding flowers. Driving them back to Ohio was nerve racking enough but then actually having evidence of my friend's most memorable day in my hands, I was freaked.

Anyway, the flowers were left hanging in my mother in law's garage until last week. That's right 7 months. I'm quick huh. As the annual derby party was approaching I realized that I was going to see our friends and I needed to get it finished. I spent one hour with my mother in law and it was finished. I was pleased with the aesthetics but still nervous about the brides reaction.

No need to worry! I gave the wreath to her last night and she loved it. not only did she love it but our other friends who are getting married in September want one too.

So here's to crafting, I'm going to do it, I swear. Next project...the scrapbook for my mother in law's was last June.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From the mouths of babes

I'm not sure of blogging rules but I wanted to post this and while it happened this weekend I'm a little slow and it didn't really fit with my last post.

I want to start this out by making sure that you all know that a few months ago my son had a one night cussing spree. He was dropping the f bomb and Andy and I had a long talk with him about how those words weren't nice, and how he should never say them. The talk was great and Ben comforted me by letting me know that when we're both older (Ben and me) we can say those words. The point is that Andy and I have been very careful about cussing at home. We actually don't anymore and if I even say "shut up" not as a command but as a exclamation to someone Ben let's me know that I'm not supposed to say that, I'm supposed to say "chill out."

Anyway, this brings me to this weekend. As Ben and I were leaving beautiful Warsaw, KY Ben told me he wanted a treat. He was grumpy and tired and the fact that I told him we had to wait to get to a gas station to get a treat did not appease him. I kept telling him I was going to get him one and he kept screaming for one. Finally, without really thinking about what I was saying I said "I'm going to get you a treat dammit." Appropriate? I know it wasn't, but Ben's response? "I'm not dammit, I'm Ben"...priceless.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Last Thursday Ben got to spend a couple of hours playing with is best friend Gabi. Gabi and Ben have known each other since they were 4 months old. They were both the favorite of their care taker Ms. Vicki. Perhaps it wasn't fair but Ben and Gabi got all of Ms. Vicki's attention. As the two moved up to different rooms and left their Ms. Vicki behind, she was never far away. She would come and get them out of their class and take them out to play with the other kids she was watching. Needless to say, Ben and Gabi spent a lot of time together.
One day I ran into Gabi's mom and asked if she'd like to get the kids together. Being the slacker I am it took months but we finally got together at Gabi's 2nd birthday. They were so happy to be together and fortunately for Andy and me we really liked her parents too. The kids played together a couple more times outside of school but I then took Ben out of his school and moved him to a new one that I thought would be better for him. I really worried because he had formed such a close relationship with Gabi I was afraid he'd be lonely. Fortunately, Ben likes just about everyone and can really get along with most he quickly made friends at his new school. However, he still talked about Gabi. Gabi's mom and I started getting together more with just the kids and then with the hubby's too. Every time they see each other Ben and Gabi just go crazy. They hug and kiss, and squeal. They also get on each other's nerves sometimes and are ready to say goodbye at the end of a play date. They've become and old married couple...This was first brought to my attention when Ben was not being nice to Gabi and she looks at him and in a very stern, commanding voice, said "Ben, you love me." I keep telling Gabi's mom that it's cute now, but when they're 16 I'm not going to think it's so funny.Gabi and Ben remind me that friends bring a lot of joy to your life. They can also cause some heartache and every now and then get on your nerves, however, when push comes to shove friends are friends no matter where you are in your life...location or situation
Lucky for me I have a few people in my life who are tried and true friends till the end. This weekend, Ben and I went to spend a few hours with one of those friends, Agnes. Andy was jealous because he wasn't invited although he loves Agnes almost as much as I do but we needed some girl time...well girl time plus Ben.
We had a great time over lunch catching up and talking about things that matter. She got to see Ben in all his rambunctiousness and spoil him with gifts of crayons, coloring books, sidewalk chalk and bubbles. She even helped him "skip" rocks in the oh so lovely Ohio river!
Agnes and I have known each other for 13 years...oh my gosh, I just realized how old I am since we met in college. For three years at Hanover we were very close. We had different interests, lived in different houses, but had a lot in common and spent a lot of extra curricular time with each other and our other friend Kari. Agnes stuck by me when I was madly in love with Andy and spent most of my extra time with him our sophomore year. She quickly accepted me back into the gang once I realized that I needed more than just a boyfriend. After college we spent a year visiting back and forth, living it up like rock stars when we could and even moved to Cincinnati with me to be my roommate when I wanted to be closer to Andy and was ready to start a new adventure.

The year we lived together was the best. We had a great (not really now that I look back on it) apartment in a cool part of town. We learned about the Soprano's together and discovered the best coffee ever at Daybreak. We realized we both were terrified of raccoons and that central air was a luxury we both needed. Also, did you know that you can do the electric slide to any song? Seriously, Ben Harper....electric slide.
Andy and I got married a little over a year after I moved to Cincinnati. Andy and I upgraded to a new living space, as did Agnes (the upgrades were sparse but still there.) Ag spent one more year in the same town with me and we still would meet for breakfast, hang out and talk on a regular basis. When Agnes moved back to her hometown I was sad but was sure we'd keep in touch.
Over the past few years our phone conversations and visits are not as regular as I think we would both like but the great thing is that no matter how long it has been we pick up right where we left off. Ag came to visit Ben the day he was born and we still had our "30" trip to the Bahamas with our friend Kari.
I am very thankful for my friends and wanted to take the opportunity to make sure Agnes knows how truly special she is. I am who I am today because of our friendship and I look forward to continuing it for the rest of our lives.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Accident Prone

It's my fault my child is a klutz. I thought that he'd take after me in personality and I had hoped he'd have my hair. I'm much more outgoing than Andy and my hair is much better too. Andy was supposed to pass on his nose and his athleticism as I have a bump on my nose and growing up my name used to be Grace, for my lack there of.

Ben has great hair, is very outgoing with a cute nose and one heck of an arm. He's perfect in every way but man, he gets a new bruise or cut daily. They say it's because he's a boy, he's rough and he's tumble, but no, it's because he has the DNA of a person who filled out 2 accident reports at work within a month and fell again but refused to report it as i feared I would be let go being the liability I am .

This is my official apology for the bruises he will constantly have and the future embarrassment he may feel.

Dear Ben,

I'm sorry that you run into walls when you're tired. I'm sorry you hit your head on the coffee table on a regular basis, I'm sorry that you fall off your stool at least once a day, I'm sorry that you pull breakable items off of shelves onto your head. I'm sorry that when you run in the house you sometimes fall on your behind. I'm sorry that you have had an ice pack in the freezer since you were one. I'm sorry you're mommy is so clumsy but most of all I'm sorry that I totally busted your head with the door this morning.



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dogs Don't Have Hands

You don't say?

You may be wondering why this is the title of my blog and if I were you I'd be wondering as well. You see, my friends have inspired me to do this blogging thing and when I thought about what I would be blogging about I quickly realized it would most likely be about my son since most everything in my life is. Fortunately for me Ben (said son) is hilarious, profound, rotten at times, but mostly just an all around good kid.

So still you're wondering why the blog title? Of course it came from Ben. One day we were watching a movie together. It was a movie about a fire station (one of Ben's favorite things) and a dog (another one of Ben's favorite things.) The dog in this movie was no ordinary dog. This dog was a movie star turned community hero. The dog was living his life in a fire station. Just as any fire fighter would do when duty calls, the dog slid down the fire pole. I thought nothing of this as I have been around for 31 years and have watched numerous movies where animals do such things, heck, I've seen movies where babies talk and sound eerily like Bruce Willis. Anyway, I digress. While this fire pole sliding dog didn't even make me blink, it caught the attention of Ben. Being the pragmatic child that he is he says to me "Mommy, dogs can't slide down poles, they don't have any hands."

Ben, you are so right they can't and they don't. So, the inspiration of this blog - learning opportunities my son presents to me daily.

I hope he teaches you something too.