This Page

has been moved to new address

Fairly Odd Mother

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
body { background:#fff url("") 50% 0; margin:0; padding:0 10px; text-align:center; font:x-small Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } /* Page Structure ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #content { background:url("") no-repeat 250px 50px; width:700px; margin:0 auto; padding:50px 0; text-align:left; } #main { width:450px; float:right; padding:50px 0 20px; font-size:85%; } #main2 { background:url("") -100px -100px; padding:20px 10px 15px; } #sidebar { width:200px; float:left; font-size:85%; padding-bottom:20px; } #sidebar2 { background:url("") 150px -50px; padding:5px 10px 15px; width:200px; width/* */:/**/180px; width: /**/180px; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar2 { width:100%; } } html>body #main, html>body #sidebar { /* We only give this fade from white to nothing to browsers that can handle 24-bit transparent PNGs */ background/* */:/**/url("") repeat-x left bottom; } /* Title & Description ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #blog-title { margin:0 0 .5em; font:250%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#353; } #blog-title a { color:#353; text-decoration:none; } #description { margin:0 0 1.75em; color:#996; } #blog-mobile-title { display:none; } #description-mobile { display:none; } } @media handheld { #blog-title { display:none; } #description { display:none; } #blog-mobile-title { display:block; margin:0 0 .5em; font:250%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#353; } #blog-mobile-title a { color:#353; text-decoration:none; } #description-mobile { display:block; margin:0 0 1.75em; color:#996; } } /* Links ----------------------------------------------- */ a:link { color:#488; } a:visited { color:#885; } a:hover { color:#000; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 0 .75em; padding-bottom:.35em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font:95%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.3em; color:#663; } .post { margin:0 0 2.5em; line-height:1.6em; } .post-title { margin:.25em 0; font:bold 130%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#333; } .post-title a, .post-title strong { background:url("") no-repeat 0 .25em; display:block; color:#333; text-decoration:none; padding:0 0 1px 45px; } .post-title a:hover { color:#000; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } { margin:0; text-align:right; } em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; color:#996; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("") no-repeat 0 .25em; padding-left:15px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("") no-repeat 0 .25em; padding-left:15px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #cca; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; border-top:1px dotted #9b9; padding-top:.5em; font:bold 110%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; color:#333; } #comments-block { line-height:1.6em; } .comment-poster { background:url("") no-repeat 2px .35em; margin:.5em 0 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#996; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#996; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* More Sidebar Content ----------------------------------------------- */ .sidebar-title { margin:2em 0 .75em; padding-bottom:.35em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font:95%/1.4em Georgia,Serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.3em; color:#663; } #sidebar p { margin:0 0 .75em; line-height:1.6em; } #sidebar ul { margin:.5em 0 1em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; line-height:1.5em; } #sidebar ul li { background:url("") no-repeat 3px .45em; margin:0; padding:0 0 5px 15px; } #sidebar p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ .profile-datablock { margin:0 0 1em; } .profile-img { display:inline; } .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 8px 5px 0; border:4px solid #cc9; } .profile-data { margin:0; line-height:1.5em; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } .profile-textblock { clear:left; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; padding:15px 0 0; } #footer hr { display:none; } #footer p { margin:0; } /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding-left: 20px }

Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tinsel Teeth

It is startling when I see my children experiencing big moments in life that I can remember going through as if it was just a few years ago.


Though her braces are way cooler than mine were. For one: The bands? Those are green for St. Patrick's Day. She'll change them for Easter.

Lucky duck.

*Check out other, less wordy, Wordless Wednesday posts here.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Goodie bags that don't suck

I think goodie bags get a bad rap at birthday parties. I kind of enjoy looking for neat little things to hand out at the end of our parties, and don't think I really end up spending more than I would if I just grabbed a bunch of trinkets.

Yes, if you are going to any section of a store called the "goodie bag section" or the dollar bin, the majority of stuff is going to be junk, but here are some of my favorite ideas that aren't junk at all:


* Make the craft you do during the party the main "goodie" they take home. One year, the girls painted tea-cup planters and I set them to dry while we ate cake and played games. Before they left, I put a little packet of flower seeds in their cup and sent them home. 

* Or, have a scavenger hunt for items that would sense for your party theme and let the guests "find" the items for their goodie bags. Just make sure you label each bag and set them by the front door to hand out at the end of the party. For my daughter's fairy party, the guests found bottles of bubbles, fairy wands, fairy wings, gel pens and stickers---yes, little trinkets but still pretty useable and they made sense for the party.

* LEGO lovers should check out the Fun Favor Pack with a real build-able toy that can go into a little goodie bag with a handful of Candy Blox. Or grab a bunch of Minifigures and let each child pick one on their way out---our local toy stores sells them for $2.99 each. Playmobil now has a version as well.

* Search Etsy for "recycled crayons", and you'll find so many different shapes and styles. These make a great gift for an art party or, really, any party where the guests are still of coloring age. 

* For my daughter's mock-sleepover, I found cute mugs for a dollar each. I then put a packet of cocoa and homemade chocolate-dipped plastic spoons inside for each guest.

* A movie party might send guests home with microwavable popcorn and, if you are one to splurge, a $5 Redbox gift card. We once did a $2.50 Blockbuster store gift card (which was the cost for a child's movie rental, but---alas---that option went the way of the dinosaur).

* Have a great local ice-cream place? Kids' cones are often under $3, and I've giving gift cards to each guest for one free cone. Make it extra cute by rolling up the gift certificate into an empty ice cream cone.

* For my son's pirate party, all the adults got a mini bottle of Pirate Bay Coconut Rum. Hey, any adult who sits through a kids' party deserves a little something too.

Feel free to add your own ideas for not-junky birthday party favors. After all, I still have three kids who keep having birthdays.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 24, 2012

School Break

It's February Vacation up here---a week off for public school kids. Or, as my sister calls it, "The Week The School Cleans Everything With Bleach Because Every Kid Has Been Sick". 

I love when my kids' school friends hear that we "do school" this week. They look at them in horror. But, really, what am I going to do this week? Visit a museum? Hell no! The crowds! We do all those field trips when everyone else is in school!

I also fail to mention to them that when we "do school" this week, it takes us about an hour to hit the major subjects. And we stay in our PJ's until about 10. Or 11.

Unfortunately, our week has been even less productive than planned because my oldest got hit with the stomach bug Tuesday night. The rest of us feel fine but it's been an excellent reason to curl up on the couch with a movie, order grocery delivery service, and drink lots of ginger ale.

And we wait to see if anyone else catches it. I just hope we aren't sick next week. I feel like going to a museum.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Going Downton

Just before Valentine's Day, I tweeted that I had never seen Downton Abbey. To which some smart-alec I know tweeted this to about 200k followers:


As you can imagine, I heard from a "few" devotees who pretty much begged me to tune in for "at least the first season." 

So a few days later, with John by my side, we watched the first episode of the first season. Afterward, I tweeted, "t'was ok". 

My husband wanted to know why we didn't look like these women while we watched it.

But now, four episodes in, I'm starting to get the hang of it. You just have to step into that time and embrace their world view to truly experience those "WHOA!" moments with more oomph. Then, scenes like the Dowager Countess of Grantham's first experience with a swivel chair really is hilarious. And Lady Mary's acceptance of a male suitor to her bedroom makes your palms sweat in fear for her honor.

And so, I was truly immersed in the spirit of the day when we watched Lady Sybil proudly marched into the room in her new outfit and face her family.

"PANTS!", I stage-whispered to my husband in a mixture of shock and awe. And then giggled uncontrollably at how completely scandalous this had been to me.

Yes, Downton Abbey, you've got me hooked. I think my husband would still rather be watching The Walking Dead though.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Next year? I think we're skipping Valentine's Day

Our Valentine's Day was a day of fighting, frustration and sugar crashes. By bedtime, my husband was done with it all, as were the kids. So he took to Facebook, and I discovered that we were definitely not alone:


Hope you Valentine's Day was not a total disaster! But if it was, feel free to share your story below. You are among friends.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The dog ate my Valentine

I spent Sunday and Monday in New York City wandering a vast space known as Toy Fair. While I was away, my husband John decided to surprise me by making homemade sugar cookies in the shape of hearts. 

This man? He knows I love cookies. And homemade anything, which is why he didn't just go to the store to buy a mix. He made these cookies from scratch, with colored icing and all.

He carefully arranged the lovely cookies, which had filled the house with a sweet, buttery scent, and placed them in the very center of our kitchen island to await my return home.

A little while later, he came down the stairs to find frosting smeared all over the hardwoods, and a very guilty dog looking at him. 


Do you remember the dad's tirade* in A Christmas Story after his beloved leg-lamp is broken? I'm pretty sure the house sounded like that for a few minutes.

The dog survived, and so did my husband, though I'm not sure he'll be making  cookies anytime soon.

But thanks, my love, for the effort. It is so very much appreciated. Even if it was a 65-pound pooch with an undiscriminating palate who was the one who scarfed it all down.

*warning: sound clip will automatically play when link is clicked, so watch that volume!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate Wine: Nectar of the smart gods



. . is incredible. 

It was my mother who introduced me to this numminess that is known as chocolate wine. 

It happened on Christmas Eve, at her house. She was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. "C'mon. . .you have to try this," she whispered to me while the kids were occupied with their gifts. 

I saw the bottle of chocolate wine and thought, "ewwwwwwww. . .

Doesn't it sound disgusting? Chocolate and red wine? They might be ok separately, but together? 

Let's just say I was hooked from the first sip. And a little worried about my mom who had four unopened bottles on the top of her cupboard.

I went to my local liquor store and practically whispered apologetically, "Where is the chocolate wine?" because I figured it must be the least-cool product in the entire shop, given that my mother----the Beringers-Pink-Zinfandel drinker---had turned me on to it.

Mais non. . .turns out even the young guy in the liquor store was excited about this and talked enthusiastically about the trio of flavors (Chocolate, Chocolate Espresso and Chocolate Raspbery) and the "whipped cream vodka" (wah?) I must try with it. My favorite turns out to be Chocolate Espresso which is rich and lick-the-bottom-of-the-wine-glass yummy. Yes, I know I must look ridiculous.

This is not a drink that makes you drink the bottle by yourself in one sitting (thank goodness)---it's a one-little-glass-to-unwind type of drink. And based on the number of people who have said, "OH! I love that!", it is, indeed, hot.

Thanks Mom! Now, about that Beringers. . .

Labels: ,

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just another day at the office

This struck me as all kinds of funny when we were in San Francisco for the sneak-peak of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D:

If you're curious what I thought of the movie (and some other tidbits about our trip), read what I had to say over at Cool Mom Picks.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

How to grow lollipops for Valentine's Day

It's that time of year again:


Time for the annual planting (or thinking about planting) of the Lollipop Plants. And since I think this is just about the best idea ever (many thanks to Robin and Marc for this one), I am going to republish this until my kids are too old to do it anymore. 

And, this year, I am ALL ABOUT WIN. Yes, I will not need the procrastinator version. But, you? I'm not so sure about you. . .


When Belly was a toddler, an online friend posted a Valentine's tradition that was so easy and flexible that I knew I had to try it out. We are now in our eighth year, and now the kids expect it. You'd think I'd be better prepared for it each year.

It does involve a bit of deceit, so if you are someone who thinks Santa and his ilk are terrible lies for children to believe, you may want to stop reading now.

OK, here is what you do to make your very own Valentine's Day Lollipop Plant:

1. A few days before Valentine's Day, give you child a small empty flower pot

Procrastinator version*: the night before, take your saddest looking house plant and, without letting the kids see, pull it out of the soil and throw it out into the backyard to serve as compost. Or just use a cup.

2. Let the kids decorate the outside of the pot with stickers, markers, glitter glue.

Procrastinator version*: skip this step; it is almost bedtime!

3. Once the decorations have dried, carefully fill the pot with several inches of fresh potting soil.

Procrastinator version*:
search garage, basement and shed for potting soil, to no avail. Either reuse the soil that was once the life force of the dead plant now lying in your backyard, OR, go into the yard with a spoon and chip off a half-inch of hard dry dirt from the frozen ground.

4. Give your child some tiny cinnamon hearts and have him push some into the dirt. Blow a kiss and water them a little bit.

Procrastinator version*: Oops! No cinnamon hearts? Use anything sprinkly or red and hope your kid is too young to notice the difference.

5. If you have started your plant a few days before Valentine's Day, you can make the plant start to grow over several days. The first night, cut up a few lollipop sticks into various heights. The first night, put the smallest sticks in the dirt so that the plant seems to be 'sprouting'. The next night, replace those sticks with slightly longer sticks. . .keep this up for a few days.

Procrastinator version*: You did not start your plant a few days before Valentine's Day.

6. The night before Valentine's Day (Valentine's Eve?), replace the sticks with several beautiful lollipops. Go to bed and know that you will be woken to the delighted shrieks of "it grew! it grew!"

Procrastinator version*: The night before, sneak out to the local CVS after the kids have fallen to sleep and buy the last sad bag of lollipops (which are not red, heart shaped or have anything to do with Valentine's Day but beggars can't be choosers). Fall asleep but wake with a jolt at 6am and realize you forgot all about the damn plant. Tiptoe down the stairs, and carefully jam some pops into the dirt. If necessary, shield the plant from view with your body as you do this so your child does not see his mother's lame attempt at creating "magic".


7. Let your beloved eat lollipops before 8am. They will love you for it.


* taken from personal experience. 

(and no cracks about that bottle of wine sitting there--that's mama's gift from Cupid).

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Never forgotten

I only met Susan IRL (in real life) once. It was at BlogHer 2010 when she was a keynote speaker, reading this powerful post about living with breast cancer. Before she had left for the conference, she tweeted that she'd be wearing sparkly shoes during her speech so people would know it was her.

After she spoke, I walked into the lobby and saw her walking arm-in-arm with a friend. Though her voice was strong and her smile bright, it was clear that the day had worn her out as she leaned on her companion a bit, her arms covered in the compression sleeves she had to wear after losing lymph nodes to cancer. 

I almost didn't say anything. But it was the shoes.

I stepped out, introduced myself and told her how much I loved her reading, and her shoes. Her smile never dimmed---she had one of those 1000-watt smiles---and we talked for a moment.

And then we hugged.

Susan's battle with cancer ended yesterday, leaving behind a husband and two little boys. Though it's the "mom" part of her life that brings the quick tears to my eyes, I know the women's scientific community is also mourning the loss of one of their own. 

Last night, the moon was huge and full and bright. I'm not a terribly spiritual person, but I couldn't help but think it might be Susan and her megawatt smile, and those sparkly shoes.

I saw an excerpt of this posted on Susan's Facebook page and had to borrow it. 

The Ship 

I am standing upon the foreshore, 
A ship at my side spreads her white sails in the morning breeze 
And starts for the open sea. 
She is an object of great beauty and strength, 

And I stand watching her sail, 
Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says: 
"She is gone." 
Gone! Where? 

Gone from my sight- that is all. 
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when she left my side, 
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its fullest, 
Her diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her. 

And just at the moment when someone at my side says: 
"There! She is gone", 
There are other eyes watching for her coming, 
And other voices ready to take up the glad shout: 
"There she comes!" 

-and this is dying.


Please see this post if you are moved to make a donation in Susan's name. And read her words about Inflammatory Breast Cancer---her message is an important one.


Thursday, February 02, 2012

If the shoe fits. . .

A little while back, I was in an exceptionally snarky mood and posted the following statement on Facebook and Twitter:

No one over the age of ten should be caught dead wearing Crocs or Uggs. 

Look, I realize they are comfortable, but so are Pajama Jeans--at least that is what the infomercial says--and I'd never be caught dead in those either.

So, it was interesting to me that I looked down at my feet as I returned from walking the dog and saw this:


Why, hello there! You look suspiciously like Uggs. On my feet.

Well, a clarification: Fake Uggs (F'Uggs, if you will).

And, yes, they are on my feet. Pot, meet kettle.

How these homely, shapeless boots ended up on my feet is an easy story: My mom gave them to me. And instead of putting them in the back of my closet, I put them on my feet. 

Oh my cushiony goodness. Oh warm toes. Oh toasty ankles.

I get it now.

Sort of. 

But I still couldn't bring myself to spend $100 on boots that make me walk like a linebacker. 

And don't try to get me into Crocs. I have to draw the line somewhere.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Buddies


(yes, R2D2 was wheeling around the room and ridiculously adorable)

Labels: , ,