April 29, 2012


May 5, 2011 ... a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo ... a.k.a. the day that our lives really started.

My husband and I had been awaiting this day for nearly five months. We were heading to the doctor's office for an ultrasound. Not just your typical ultrasound ... this was THE  ultrasound. We were about to find out the sex of our baby! I was cool and calm on the outside but man, was I bursting with excitement on the inside. Oh, the anticipation!! Such a wonderful feeling.

Our great friends were visiting from Colorado so a bunch of us started the day with a delicious breakfast at a (former) favorite spot. It wasn't until the very end of our meal and conversation that I mentioned our upcoming afternoon appointment. Their faces lit up! Our visiting friends -- having a four month old baby boy -- knew all about the joy that was about to rock our world. Everyone gave their best guesses and demanded immediate texts when we learned if we were blessed with a boy or girl.

Because of our previous loss (in October 2010) we had more ultrasounds than the average pregnancy would entail. Each one, along with excitement, brought a bit of anxiety and at times nausea. I think we were both preparing ourselves for bad news so the blow would be softened if that moment did come. And thank God it didn't. Not this time.

Gregg had worked that morning and finished up early and met me at home. We went to the appointment together, both ready to jump out of our skin. Nineteen weeks had led us to this moment... a long, long awaited moment in time that would change our lives forever. 

We found ourselves in that familiar room. The room where we first had received amazing news. The room where we had also received the most devastating news of our lives. We were ready. The tech rattled off the usual instructions and before we knew it we were viewing our little pea on screen. I think we were both amazed at how much the baby had grown. The tech began to show us the arms, legs, hands, feet, heart, kidneys, bladder, stomach etc. It was wonderful to hear and see that everything was growing and functioning as it should be! That is all that matters, after all. But you can't blame a new parent (or an old pro!) for being super excited to find out whether they're buying blue overalls or pink sundresses!

The time came. The tech asked us if we wanted to find out the sex. "OH YES!!" we anxiously replied. Naturally, the baby had its legs closed tightly together. The tech had to do some prodding. She moved my stomach around as if it were molding clay. I felt disgusting at the thought of my flab being pulled around like Silly Putty. I quickly thrust my self-consciousness out the window and focused on the news... "Well, it looks like you've got a little girl here!" Oh my God is she serious?? She wouldn't joke, would she? Do I get excited?? Is this for real or is she going to say BOY in a second?? My mind was racing and my smile, wide. Gregg grabbed and shook my foot as he knew how badly I wanted a baby girl. "GET OUT! I'll DIE!!" That's what I so eloquently said to the ultrasound technician. She again said she was pretty sure. I asked her for a percentage of accuracy and she felt that she was 85% accurate in her deciphering. I'll take it!! I was over the MOON. Gregg was beaming at the thought of his little baby girl (but I think he was mostly excited that I was getting my wish).

We floated out of that doctor's office. Our first stop? Target. I needed to buy sundresses immediately. And we did just that. Sundresses in pinks and yellows. Little sleepers with hearts on them. Mama's dream come true. I was having a baby GIRL.

My heart still leaps when I think of this day. I'm not a girl who gets everything she wants. I'm not the one you envy for my material possessions or awe-inspiring lifestyle. My life is very simple. It's about love. My love for my husband, my family and now this immense love for someone that I hadn't yet met but loved with all of my heart. My baby girl. My sweet Scarlett June. I got my wish this time. And all the wishes before it could not compare. I am forever grateful.

I'm linking this post up with The Lightning and the Lightning Bug for Dare to Share: 
The Big Day

April 27, 2012

Gregg's Sneaky Birthday Surprise ...

Guess who turned thirty-fiiiiiiive?? Yep. I know, I know, you can't believe it, right? I look like I'm twenty-six, right?? Alright, quit laughing and texting your friends to tell them what an ass I am. I've seen the smile lines. And the crows toes (I haven't quite got the full "feet" yet). I see the wisdom behind my eyes. And I've cursed gravity for being such an apparent douche.

But I'm happy.

I'm grateful to have my health, my wonderful marriage to the perfect husband and our beautiful baby girl. What more could I ask for? (It wouldn't kill ya to throw me a winning lottery ticket - just sayin').

So, this year when Gregg asked me eleven thousand times what I would like for my birthday - I was truly STUMPED. I actually wrote a post about it. (If you are going to fully understand the rest of this blog you'll want to read that, don't worry, it's short). I tried to think of things that Gregg could wrap up for me but honestly - - - it wasn't happenin'. The boy was on his own.

So when it came time for that faithful moment - the opening of the gifts - I had no idea what would be in those boxes. We sat at the dining room table and he pushed the big box toward me, "this first" he said.

I remarked about his marvelous wrapping job. I've always wanted to wrap the cover separately like they do in movies. I opened the mystery box to reveal five smaller, wrapped items. I was intrigued. As soon as I saw the first "gift" peeking through the pink paper I knew where this was headed. Reader's Digest. Then a pair of backless, shuffley slippers. Followed by an eyeglasses chain. With a bag of prunes next.

Lastly, a hideous housecoat that is basically made from the material of those bibs you get at the dentist...

Alright. Nice job, Gregg. He paid attention. He read the blog. He used that clever brain of his to throw me right off track. So, what now? This must mean that those two other boxes, the ones I had to keep aside, must hold the real present. What could it be??

Well, here's the answer...

Yep. A Lego helicopter and a Lego boat that Gregg promptly put together after I opened them. Don't worry, I was just as confused as you are.

"You missed the gift!" he said.

"I did??" I replied, puzzled. I had taken out various bags of Lego pieces along with instructions and nowhere in that pile did I see a Keurig or sapphire. I searched again. I noticed a folded piece of paper and opened it ...

I was flabbergasted. Truly. I read and re-read the sentences but couldn't believe this was for real. I looked at him and said, "But who's going to go with me??" and he said, "Who do you think??!!"

My husband, who is terrified of flying and easily gets seasick, has booked a helicopter tour of the Newport mansions for the two of us -- followed by an hour and a half long sail on an eighty foot schooner, topped off by reservations at an amazing restaurant by the ocean. What could be better than that?? Remembering my obsession with helicopters (I actually wanted to be a pilot for quite some time) and knowing how much I love the sea... he is setting aside his fears and vomit to make me happy. Now, THAT'S a gift.

I have a hell of a guy, I do. I know he's reading this right now because he says he reads all of my posts... so, thank you for my super sneaky wonderful surprisey birthday gifts!!
Blabey, you're the greatesssss!!

April 24, 2012

Scarlett Letter #7: 7 months old!

April 24, 2012:
Happy Seven Month Birthday, Scarlett!! 

I cannot believe seven months have passed since I first saw your beautiful, little face. A face that's accumulating more character every single day. A face that only gets sweeter with each ticking second. My sweet girl. 

What you've been eating: 
Lately you've been loving plain yogurt. I just add mashed up banana or some pureed peaches and you gobble it right up! You've also been good with trying new meats and veggies. Newest have been pot roast with celery, carrots and potatoes. And chicken with celery and carrots. All pureed of course. Spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peas and butternut squash are some of your favorite vegetables. Pears, apples, bananas, mango and peaches are some favorite fruits. You tried some teething cookies but they're still a bit too much for you, you were getting very scared and choking! So Mama found you some new ones today that are just perfect!

What you've been busy with:
You have mastered sitting up and playing. You spend anywhere from a half hour to an hour on the floor with your toys. We spread out a sheet (with colorful polka-dots that you love) and sprinkle toys all around. You move from one to another, happy as a clam, giving each a little attention. You love your Fisher Price play kitchen - turning the faucet on and off and putting the spoon, soup pot, milk and carrots in your mouth. You also love your Zany Zoo with its four sides of activities. And you're still going strong in the doorway jumper. I think you're going to be so sad when we have to take that down! You've also been VERY vocal this month - cracking up everyone around you. Squawking and "singing" with that babydoll voice that I can't get enough of. Did I mention you rarely cry? Thank you, love.

When you sleep:
Well, you don't take great naps during the day but you still sleep an average of eleven hours each night. Usually around 8pm - 7am. Your naps are anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. One around 10/10:30am and the other around 2pm.

How you measure up:
At your last appointment, your six month visit on April 3 - you weighed 17.13 oz - and were 27.25" long! You tend to grow out of your clothes a little fast due to your length. Your shirts are short! A lot of times I put dresses or baby-doll tops on you with jeans or leggings - hey, it looks cute!  

Favorite books: 
We always read a little bit everyday. How The Grinch Stole Christmas has been a favorite since you were born (maybe even before) because I always recited it to you. I know most of it by heart and you like when I randomly break into verse while you're on the changing table or any other odd place. Your favorite lines? "Oh, the NOISE, NOISE, NOISE, NOISE!!!" These days you're also loving: Goodnight Moon | Nighty-Night | Bubbles, Bubbles | Eyes and Nose, Fingers and Toes | Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? | Squeak Squeak | Counting Kisses | Yawn. I pick up books here and there when I'm out, I'm a little obsessed. But a few of these faves were bought for a dollar each at Target! Love that dollar section.


New places you've been:
We took you to the playground at the beach last week and you had so much fun on the swings!! We walked along the beach and gave you your first real glimpse of the "ocean" - it was the bay - but you were in awe just the same. You smiled while watching the waves roll in. We wanted to play in the sand but it was too windy! 

Other than that you've just been busy being wonderful. Mama and Daddy are so, so happy to have you in our lives. We can't imagine how we got along without you! We love you so much!

"Scarlett June, You're my moon..."

April 23, 2012

Monday: minute by minute

Finally, finally, FINALLY today was the day! Today was the long-awaited day. The day that I'd looked forward to since we moved into this house over five years ago.

We got the stairs and hall re-carpeted.

That's right, folks. No more nasty, soiled, ripped, chewed, dull, dusty, dirty gray, poor excuse for a rug! Well, except for in the upstairs den and our bedroom. Sigh. But let's focus on the positive, shall we?


"Hi, I'm the first thing you see when you walk in. Welcome to our disgusting home!" ...

This hot mess is where Brody decided to thank me for letting him roam the house 
when he was a new pup and I was at work...

 Why was there a giant threshold in the middle of the hallway? 
Yeah, no one knows. It's a mystery...

I was mortified when Gregg ripped this up and I saw the filth,
These "black lines" will haunt me until at least next week...

Looking better already...


Wrench in the works - Installation Man asked if he could use our living room to cut the carpet due to the rain outside. Drat. I hurried to gather Scarlett's toys and little chair, I took my phone, laptop and water bottle (essentials) and we hunkered down in my bedroom. The couch was relocated into our dining room. The new living room area rug was now in the kitchen. The Pack 'N' Play was in the hallway. Scarlett was unable to use her "jumpa-jumpa" (doorway jumper) which is her favorite morning exercise. Bummer. So, there we were. S- rolling around with a few toys and Doc McStuffins on the TV for entertainment. I- on the bed updating my facebook and twitter in case the workmen had a  sinister agenda. A few blurry pics ... 

Nap-time was greatly affected. S usually closes her eyes between 10 and 10:30 but by 11:10 the workers were still hammering away just inches from her crib and she was having no trouble letting me know she was tired. 
We improvised...


A big, big improvement but I wish we would have chosen a darker carpet... maybe even brown rather than bland ole tan. I figure we'll have this rug for many years to come, maybe it will grow on me. It definitely dresses things up, ya know, without that giant hole at the top of the stairs. I'm just happy to cross it off my list of "things I said I wanted to do immediately when we moved in." Funny how that list is complete, naive bullshit, huh? Haha. First thing on my list was to remove the god-awful brass on the fireplace doors. Yeah, they've never been brassy-er. Oh well. Soon enough, friends, soon enough. 

April 22, 2012

Chaos in the Clouds

I'm linking up with The Lightning and the Lightning Bug once again for this week's Flicker of Inspiration prompt #47: Beautiful to Me

"Our individual insights and perspectives determine how we see the world and what we consider to be beautiful. I think it's fair to say that everything is beautiful to someone. A manhole cover can be a thing of beauty to the man who designed it, if to no one else."

The clean, white clouds slowly swell with shades of gray. What was once a slight breeze now gains momentum as it reaches the treetops. The distant rumbles and flashes inch closer as I count the seconds between them. I stand out on my deck, neck craned, spinning in circles to wholly witness the evolution. Soon, gargantuan drops of fresh-scented rain are polka-dotting the landscape. I take as many pictures as I can before needing to step inside. I enjoy the rest of the beautiful show from behind the sliding glass door, screen open of course. 

I am a storm junkie.

There have been days where I have watched The Weather Channel for hours on end as if it were The Godfather saga. In awe of the massive number of severe storms sprawling across the map. Jealous, at times, of the cities that are in "the red" and awaiting their potentially destructive disturbance. While tornadoes have wiped entire cities off the map I cannot help but be completely enthralled by them. My very first viewing of The Wizard of Oz at four years old is likely to blame for my lifelong fascination with storms. There is just something so captivating about a sky alive with natural, unstoppable force. 

The beauty that I find in a storm is immeasurable. Almost indescribable. My focus is unwavering as I gaze at the changing scenery. The white clouds mature into a palette of purples and grays. They move in waves, almost tsunami-like. Walls of wonder passing from town to town. I take countless pictures second after second and each image is so different. I feel a sense of cheerlessness as they move on.

A clear, blue sky is lovely but one filled with chaos is just beautiful. 

April 19, 2012

my summer of '69

I was driving a very familiar route this morning, windows down, music loud enough for me but not too loud for Scarlett. The weather was just perfect. The kids are out of school this week, April vacation. I pulled down a street to find children happily playing in their front yard. A little girl, skinny with youth, bouncing a basketball in her driveway. Her brother playfully falling down in the grass. I started to think back to when April vacation meant something to me. To when summer vacation meant the world to me.

Has it really been over twenty-five years since I was one of those children?? 

I was suddenly flooded by wonderful memories. Memories of my brother, who is three years older than I am, riding bikes with me for hours on end. Pretending to be "Cops and Robbers." Playing with our matchbox cars on the front steps to our home. Going through our big, red barrel of sports equipment everyday that it didn't rain and switching from soccer to baseball, basketball, football and tennis. Memories of my best friend Kim, who lived right across the street, playing Chinese Jump Rope. Hopscotch. Making "meals" out of orange berries in my plastic dishes that spent their downtime in my mother's old Fry-Daddy box. Sitting our favorite dolls in their highchairs and playing hairdresser, making some serious mistakes with our scissors. Perfecting our cartwheels, round-offs and back-handsprings. Not without injury. And requesting a bewildering amount of sleepovers.

We woke early. Everyday. We couldn't wait to get outside. Once we were out we never wanted to go back in again. There were endless games to play.

The song "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams came on while I was daydreaming on this morning's car ride. And while I wasn't even an idea in my mother's mind back in 1969 I couldn't help relating to this song. After all, the height of its popularity was back in the very amazing, carefree times I was reminiscing of...

"Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I'd always want to be there
Those were the best days of my life"

While I don't whole-heartedly believe that those were the best days of my LIFE I do believe that those were golden times. We had not a care in the world. We were young and filled with hope and excitability. We had a long road ahead of us and knew nothing of what it would entail. We didn't worry. Our days were endless and time was on our side. Youth is marvelous. If only we could understand that while we have the privilege of living those tender years...

April 17, 2012

Baby, you're gonna love this ...

When I was a little girl I absolutely loved looking through boxes of jewelry. I always asked my mom, grandmother and great aunt to pull out their gems so I could sit and try them on and obsess over them. Secretly wishing that they would hand over their diamonds to a messy, careless eight year old with no sense of responsibility or knowledge of value. I usually walked away empty handed but on occasion I would be given a strand of cheap beads or a gaudy cocktail ring that had no sentimental value to its old owner. And I LOVED these days.

I have remained a jewelry bug. My grandmother worked for a jeweler for many years and would bring home boxes and bags of fashion jewelry for me all the time. (And now my friend, Elisha, does the same for me!) I still get so excited each time. I always save some favorites, even after I outgrow  them. Each time I would buy or be gifted a jewelry box I would keep my old ones and the gems inside. In the back of my mind I think I was always saving it for my baby girl. Before I knew I would ever have her.

Scarlett may not know it but she already has a little collection of her own. I put aside a Hello Kitty tin and a Scooby Doo music box just for her. Inside- ankle bracelets, rings, a watch, necklaces, charms and even some flavored lip glosses - because I remember my mother having this orange flavored lip balm that I never could get enough of - I can still smell it.

I really hope she enjoys junk jewelry as much as her mama does. One day she'll ask to see my jewelry and I'll say, "Let's look at your jewelry!" She'll be able to wear these "gems" that very second and I won't care a lick if she loses one in the yard ...or on a sailboat. (Still sorry about your wedding band, Mom...)

Monday: minute by minute

It just hit me that today is Monday and I normally write my 'minute by minute' posts on Monday. Drat. Another day with minimal activity, although I did get a lot accomplished.

I knew it was going to be in the 80's today so I was admittedly a little over-excited to pick out Scarlett's outfit. She has sooooo many cute nine month outfits and I don't want her to outgrow them before it is warm enough to wear them! So I packed the diaper bag with two outfits and chose an adorable one for her first real taste of "summer"...

This was one of the very first outfits we bought for Scarlett the day we found out we were having a girl... May 5, 2011 to be exact. Wow, already almost a YEAR since that wonderful day!

I am slightly less fortunate when it comes to having a plethora of appropriate clothing for warm weather. I have plenty of shirts but when it comes to bottoms... it's maternity or bust. Crap. I had forgotten that I was pregnant last year and wore the same four pairs of capris all summer long. I had no choice today but to rock the denim ones. Rock is being way, way, way kind and stupid. I actually felt like a pregnant hobo. They were falling off of me. Saggy. Baggy ass. Rolling down. I was pulling, clutching, rolling, folding and tugging constantly. SO annoying. But I trudged on. I brought Scarlett to my mom's house for a visit and decided to run some errands before lunch. One of the errands would clearly be to find pants with a very specific waist and hopefully belt loops.

My first stop was CVS - because I practically live there. Next up was Lowe's, to bite the bullet and just go through with the "ordering of the carpet installation". So that's done and I got a great deal on the financing - 0% for 18 months... and yesterday was the last day for it. I finally snuck in before the bell rang! So, now we are just awaiting the phone call from the installer to set up our official 'carpeting of the stairs and hallway' appointment. Thank God. Those stairs are atrocious. I have hated that nasty, gray carpet since we bought the house. And then Brody made it far worse by chewing holes in it when we left him alone as a new pup. It's hideous and embarrassing. And soon to be all better.

My last errand was a Target run. I wanted new denim capris and a new cheapo, bright colored bag. Mission accomplished. And the bag is exactly what I was looking for...

I had no choice but to change into my new jeans upon re-entering my mother's house. Sorry, old maternity friend, you'll be packed away with the rest in case of a future summer pregnancy. I've read about people wearing their maternity clothes for months or YEARS after having a baby. How?? HOW?? I ask. Well, actually I do have a couple of shirts that I still wear because you can't tell ... or can you? Ask me if I care. 

Baby girl had a lot of fun rolling around in Grammie's new three season room - since there is no furniture in it yet. She was making my grandmother laugh so hard acting like a little big shot. She's very fun these days and she's been sitting up playing for such long periods of time. Such a big girl!

That was the bulk of the day.  The rest included: a ride back home, a beautiful cross-breeze, bills, mail, dinner, playing with S, bath-time, sleepy-time, humidifier fill-ups, dog bones, frozen yogurt and The King of Queens.

Hope you all enjoyed your Monday - no matter how your pants fit.

April 15, 2012

A Paper Chatterbox

 I am linking up with The Lightning and the Lightning Bug for the

"Tell us about you. Write an old photograph in text form, where we can say,
"Oh! Gosh, it hardly looks like the person I know, and yet still so recognizable!" 
Tell us about the you that was and, in many ways, still is."

That's me. Little Sheri. Little Casual Sheri, circa 1980. Hands in the pockets of a favorite pair of jeans. Or maybe it was Mom's favorite pair of jeans for me. Hair playfully pulled back into what could be called horse-tails rather than pig or ponytails given the thickness of it. A big grin that was no doubt due to a special lunch of Ramen noodles and "red" Kool Aid followed by some Sesame Street on the television. It was the little things that made me happy. 

It still is. 

I am still very much this little girl. In my everyday jeans, with my notoriously thick hair and a playful spirit. Still finding it hard to take most things seriously. Still smiling when I have my favorite meal, though the menu has changed quite a bit. And still making you listen.

Little Sheri was a beloved and creative chatterbox. I say beloved in a semi-sarcastic tone. I am quite sure I annoyed more than a few souls with my endless tales including greats like, "Baby Beth Took the Chocolate Chip Cookie." I was always making up stories. My mind was a colorful dreamland of characters and scenarios. I was probably three or four years old in this picture, right around the time that I introduced my family to my imaginary friends, Noonie and Bernantha. Noonie lived behind the television and refused to put a coat on when he went out to get his mail from the mailbox. Bernantha had very long hair (probably due to my fascination with Crystal Gayle at the time) and that's all I remember about her. I didn't sit and have pretend tea with these characters - I was too busy creating a world for them to exist in. I loved my world. I loved rainbows and music and story time at the library. I lived without fear and I loved my home.

I remain a storyteller, though most of my material has changed. I'm no longer tugging at the hem of your shirt, bending your ear with tall tales about dolls until you ask me to kindly go take my nap. Instead, I pour my overflowing nonsense into my blog or facebook statuses or tweets. I may not be speaking about Noonie's afternoon stroll but most likely writing about some mundane trip to WalMart or why I intend to clothesline my neighbor's prick son. To keep my silly "Little Sheri" side fresh and satisfied I write children's books. Sure, they  haven't been published yet but it doesn't stop me from sending them out over and over again. I am a mental chatterbox to the core. Rhymes and sentences pop into my head and I just have to write them down until I know where they're supposed to go. And I always find a home for them. I only wish I could have written down the stories I harbored when I was three.

Thirty two years may have passed but I'm still Little Casual Sheri. Still a bit rough around the edges. Still a spitfire. Still a lover of rainbows and music and the home that I've now created for myself. A chatterbox on paper, making her presence known. Forever in blue jeans - whether the world likes it or not.

April 13, 2012

What can you get me?

What is it that happens to us when we reach a certain age that makes us incapable of telling people what we would like for our birthday? I mean, I know it sounds silly that an adult would even make a "birthday list" but I'm a pretty picky person, my mother and husband require ideas. I normally have an Amazon wishlist going year round, mostly with things that I delete a month after I add them. I can't figure that out either. Just today I logged on to check out my super great awesomely dope list and found four books that I'll never read, a pair of black boots that I won't need until October, a winter Guess bag and a necklace. All that stands on that list now is said necklace. Oh, and the pair of yellow, wedge sandals I added seconds ago. (So cute!

Part of my problem is I really only need things for the house. Like, I'll say how I'd love to buy new bedding or a rug for the living room. My husband refuses to buy me a quilt or curtains for my birthday. He also instructed me to not ask for something for the baby (after I saw this adorable little corduroy dress that had a raincloud, rainbow and raindrops on it!! Yes, I have a thing for rainy/rainbow/cloud stuff). I could come up with a list of thirty things I'd love to get for Scarlett yet I can't think of a single decent idea for myself. Is it because I know I can buy things anytime I want/see them? Well, that's only half true since we aren't exactly livin' like Jay-Z and B... and baby Blu. I don't know. I'm fully stumped.

The things that I would like are expensive. Such as a sapphire ring. I would like one for two reasons: one, because I've always loved sapphires and two, because it is Scarlett's birthstone. However, I am Fussy Gildenstern when it comes to the ring style as well as the stone color. Not to mention I like the ones that are like $900 versus the ON SALE NOW $89.95'ers. Sigh. What a jackass, right?

I just appreciate the fact that people are still willing to wrap up something special for a gal in her mid-thirties. Yup, I'm going to be 35 years old in about two weeks. I should probably ask for a housecoat, backless slippers, a chain for my eyeglasses and a Reader's Digest subscription. Well, I guess that wasn't so hard after all!

Pardon my cane. I'll be heading out for a baked scrod lunch at 11:30 tomorrow morning if you'd like to join me.

Scarlett Letter #6

Breakfast Time...

Zany Zoo...

Favorite New Pose...

The Play Pen...