My Wine Whine

Appropos of nothing, have you noticed that more and more wine bottles seem to be coming with screw tops instead of corks? Now, we are in no way wine aficionados – more like wine “apprecionatos” – but something just seems wrong when you twist open a bottle of red! I don’t care if it is, in fact, a better preserving mechanism – I never keep a bottle around long enough for that to matter. Besides, a number of years ago we bought a $200 cork screw (though, at that price, they call it a “cork puller”), and I like to use it dammit!

Ok, I’m done ranting.


Note to Self

Note to self: while a pancake supper at church may sound like a good way to kill an hour and avoid cooking dinner, three servings of pancakes with whipped cream and syrup, three cups of juice and a big bowl of fruit salad translates into two hours of bedtime hell. Just in case you thought it might be a good idea next year too.

Virtual Book Club

I read a post over at Chicago Mama Spot that mentioned her book club (and its snack menu, man, I would move to Chicago for the snacks there!), and it got me thinking about book clubs. While I have always liked the concept, like many things in my life I have never gotten around to the follow through and actually found or started a club. Primarily because, well, I’m lazy and once the kids are in bed I have little interest in moving off my couch or bed and motivating to someone’s house, even if there are yummy snacks there.

Then I started thinking about a post over at Phantom’s that mentioned how she gets to make friends from the comfort of her own home by blogging. Which is so true, and probably why I like blogging as well. A built in social life for the lazy, socially reticent. Then my mind started to wander, as it tends to do while watching children’s TV at a very early hour in the morning, and it occurred to me that perhaps, just perhaps, a virtual book club might be the key to satiating my interest in discussing interesting books with interesting people without having to leave my couch. Granted, I don’t get the bonus of yummy snacks prepared by others, but the ability to comment while in my pajamas totally outweighs the yummy snack factor.

So is anyone game? I’m not going to work out the details unless some people are interested (remember, lazy) but if there is a core group who don’t already have real-life book group commitments and are willing to forgo yummy snacks in favor of pajamas, I’ll come up with a plan.

Computer savvy

While we were watching an underwater segment on the Wiggles, C asked “A computer makes those bubbles, right mommy? Cause it’s just a pretend underwater scene.”

I’m constantly amazed what a child raised around computers takes for granted and understands.

On my own again…

M took off for sunny Florida for business today, and while I should be used to the business trips by this point, the ones that start on the weekends are particularly dreary as no one ever wants to play on a weekend. And it is about 19 degrees here, so any kind of outing is much more trouble than it is worth.

On the upside, the burst pipe seems to have refrozen, so we are no longer single-handedly responsible for any water shortages on the East coast…at least for today.

There’s a hole in the bucket

Oh! Wait! Not in the bucket, in my KITCHEN.

While we were up at Nana’s, a mysterious water sound began in/around/under/somewhere in the vicinity of our kitchen. M spent the better part of a day crawling under the house trying the find the source, with no luck. So we called in the big guns, one of my favorite buddies, the plumber. M calls him MacGyver as he somehow manages to fix our verging on ridiculous plumbing issues. Remind me to tell you about the 26 inches of water in our basement the week after we moved in sometime ….

Anyway, MacGyver arrived, crawled around for a bit and resurfaced from under the house looking glum. “It’s never good when I get a message from you,” he said. He too could not find the source of the water, although he has a theory. Unfortunately, testing his theory will most likely result in the destruction of part of my kitchen. Because, you see, he can’t actually get to the area where he thinks the burst pipe is without cutting through my circa 1771 floorboards. And even after cutting through where he thinks the problem is, there is no guarantee that he will find the problem as no one can actually see where the water is leaking out. We can just hear it gushing. So there may in fact end up being many, many holes in my floor.

I have a very special prize for whoever comes up with the most accurate estimate of how much this is going to end up costing us. To help you out, remember that my house was built in 1771, the bulk of it sits on dirt (think crawling on your belly through a two foot high crawl space littered with insulation and random piping and wiring), there have been two bathroom additions over the last 250+ years, and there is a poorly installed outdoor sprinkler system.

I’ll take a hole in a bucket any day.


I’m so set in my current friendships that I had almost forgotten how awkward I feel when meeting someone new. Yesterday we met a “bloggy friend” at a local (to Nana’s) children’s museum, and while it was fabulous to meet her in person and I would do it again in a heartbeat as she was just. so. cool, I spent the afternoon unsure how to act or what to say. Plus, my kids refused to stay put in one place for more than five minutes, so I spent an awful lot of time racing off to the next room while flinging a “be right back” wave behind me. If nothing else she got a pretty good glimpse into a day in the life at Chez J-E. Me chasing two sleep-deprived kids with differing opinions around a public place while trying not to die of embarrassment. Yep, that about sums it up.

When I actually managed to contain both my children in one location long enough to attempt to talk, I kept wanting to bring up topics I had read in her blog, but then thought twice about it as, well, it seemed so PERSONAL to be bringing up such things the first time you meet someone. Even if they have been published on the web for all to read. Which is, I suppose, the irony of an internet friendship. All of you know much more about me than the majority of my “real” friends, but yet you don’t actually know me.

Perhaps a more outgoing person would have overcome this obstacle, but I was too self-conscious about saying the wrong thing to move past it. I finally settled on sleep as an innocuous enough conversation topic, as, well, every mommy in the world discusses her children’s sleep habits with random strangers. And as I knew we both have poor sleepers thanks to the internet, I also knew the conversation wasn’t going to send me into the depths of mommy envy.

But regardless of my own insecurities, I am so happy I got to meet Phantom in person and she is as nice as she seems in her blog. As well as highly understanding about my children’s antics. Hopefully she will forgive my awkwardness and believe me when I say I really did want to comment on her very cool shoes but couldn’t quite get the words out without a computer to hide behind.

PS. Did I mention that we took no less than four trips to the bathroom in the space of an hour and a half? A pee trip, an aborted poop trip, a diaper change and then yet another trip to deal with the consequences of the infamous arrival of the poop in the pants. It was a grand day in the potty department.

M the hero

M spent his “supposed to be free of the family” morning driving around trying to find an open service station to fix my flat tire. When that failed he patched the tire himself, on one of the coldest days of the year. We made it to Grandma’s 94th birthday party just in time to wolf down some cold food and help clean up. I will have to write about the party tomorrow, after six hours in a car with three children under the age of four, I need a glass of wine and my bed.

Thank you M, you are a good doobie. Miss you already.

It never fails

Three children loaded into a packed car. A flat tire. Three children unloaded from packed car. Many tears. Why oh why is it always so hard to get anyplace on time???

On the road

We’re off tomorrow for a whirlwind tour of New England with a long overdue stop to see my grandmother and a visit to see Nana at the farm. I’ve heard that Nana now has wireless, so you’ll probably get a post or two, assuming that A sleeps at some point during our stay.

Auntie M seems to be recovered from her bout with the stomach flu, praise be, as I am NOT cut out to be the mommy to three. Baby C was a dream, my two were nightmares. Apparently even throwing a dream child into the mix sends my household over the edge.

For anyone out there with twins or more, or anyone out there with more than two, you have my admiration. I don’t know how you do it.