Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Wrap-Up

Welcome back everyone!!!

I hope you all had a better commute than I did today....yikes, what a mess!

Anyway....Jim and I had a CRAZY week/weekend, but even though it was crazy; it was great.
Let's's what happened since we last 'spoke':

Wednesday: Jim and I both left work a 'tad' early, and headed to my sister's house for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. My uncle, aunt and two of my cousins were in town from Chicago visiting, so we all got together. Dinner was GREAT, as was playing catch-up with my relatives who I haven't seen in a very long time.

Thursday: We both got up early and while Jim made cornbread, biscuits, and rolls to bring to his parent's house I took Scooter for a long walk. I set the DVR to record the Thanksgiving Day parades (on both channels) so that I wouldn't miss any of the parade....and all the Broadway performances. YAHOO!! After a delicious dinner, we spent time time hanging out with the family and then went back home for a bit. Later that night, Jim and I went over to Charles' house to visit and have a few drinks. Charles and the twins took off for Dallas on Friday morning to visit Charles' family, so we wanted visit them before they left.

Friday: Jim and I got up early and spent the ENTIRE day working on the soon-to-be nursery. We sanded down all the walls, had some lunch, and then went back to work priming every surface in the room. It took us a really long time, but once it was done, we were very happy. Friday night I picked up my friend Neil (who was visiting from out of town) and we went to our friend Amy's house for the evening. It was so much fun seeing them both and catching up on all the latest news. Amy's three kids were still awake when we arrived, which was nice. I hadn't seen them in so long....I can't believe how big they're getting!!!! Makes me feel o-l-d.

Saturday: Jim and I had a fairly relaxing morning. We woke up, had some breakfast, spent a little time in the hot tub (YAY!!!), showered and then headed over to his brother's house to carpool into the city. We all (Jim's entire family) went in to see matinee performance of the Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker!!! I've never seen a ballet before (I know, right?!?!?) and wasn't sure how I'd feel about it. I ended up having a really good time. We had excellent seats and the show was great. I'm amazed at the talent these people have, not to mention the bodies on those dancers. Holy crap....those dancers are amazingly muscular and believe me, they are showing it all off. There is no hiding anything in those tights....yikes. After the ballet, we walked over to Newbury Street for a late lunch (which was quite yummy) and then headed back home. The trees along Newbury Street are already decorated for Christmas, so it was a very pretty walk back to the car. Once we got home, Jim and I fed Scooter, took him out, and then headed off to Lowe's. We decided to go in a different direction with the soon-to-be-nursery's theme. I'm very excited about it but I'm not going to tell you what we've decided. You'll just have to wait until it's done. HA!!!
We bought all the stuff we needed to paint the room and then headed home. At this point we were both VERY tired (from working on the room the day before, as well as all the walking we did around Boston) so we just sat on the couch, watched TV, and went to bed early.

Sunday: We got up, showered, went to church :-), went grocery shopping, had lunch and then went back to work on the room. We painted all the walls and then painted all the various parts of the radiator. We have baseboard heating in the room, so we had to disassemble the whole thing in order to paint it all....but it looks great so far. We're going to have to go back and do a second coat on everything (annoying), but I'm SOOOO excited that the walls turned out to be 'paintable'. I'm still having nightmares at the thought of having to put up wallpaper!!!

We have a lot going on this week, so I'm hoping that we can get a lot done on the room in the short amount of time we have. I'll definitely keep you posted and I'm sure there will be pictures posted (of the room, as well as my bearded face) very, very soon.

I hope you all had a GREAT holiday and the return to the 'real world' isn't too traumatic for any of you. :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Last night was our second MAPP class! This time we had what I believe will be our full class.
There was a total of 12 people (six couples) there. The woman who was there alone last week was joined by her husband, and there was a new couple that joined us.
The new additions seem very nice, but again - none of them seem like the type of people I'm going to be running out to have coffee with any time soon.

The class last night focused mainly with how the kids in the system deal with grief/loss and how important 'attachments' are to these kids. When I say 'these kids' or 'kids in the system' I don't mean it in a derogatory way at's just how they always refer to them in the class, so it's just out of habit. :-)

The stages of grief/loss for these kids is very similar to the stages of grief/loss that we all (I assume) learned about at one point in our lives, many of which we've experienced ourselves.
The stages that we reviewed last night were: Shock/Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression/Despair, Acceptance/Understanding.
The biggest difference between the way the kids in the system deal with their grief/loss and the way an adult handles it, is that children are less likely to go through the stages in order. One day they may be running around playing with their friends, acting as if nothing is wrong, and then later that night they could be 'acting out' and throwing stuff around their room. Then the very next morning they wake up sad and depressed, only to come home from school completely fine...etc...etc. You never know how each child is going to handle their particular situation, so you have to be ready for anything.
There were a couple of very interesting things that we discussed last night that I hadn't really thought of before.
Because of the fact that Jim and I have been thinking about getting an infant, my thought has always been that the child would be so young, that he/she wouldn't necessarily have to deal with the loss of a parent. If they never 'met' either parent, Jim and I would be the only parents they knew - no problem, right? What I didn't think of (and it seems SOOOO obvious now) is the fact that as the child gets older, they're going to eventually learn about their 'past' and that's when they'll have to deal with their loss/grief. Noreen (not her real name) brought up the fact that the kids in the system often experience these feelings of loss at significant points in their lives and it's something that comes up time and time again. They may spend years doing just fine, yet when they reach adolescence they begin to realize that void, and will have to face those feelings of grief/loss. Then they'll be fine for a while and it will all come back again when they go off to college, when they get married, have children of their own, etc.
Another big thing that came up last night was the fact that when helping our child deal with their grief/ loss, it's going to force us to deal with our own personal losses. Yikes. This point REALLY hit home with me and made me a little nervous. I can totally picture myself trying to help my child work through their feelings of grief/loss and then I end up a total wreck thinking about the loss of my mother. Noreen said that each time we experience some sort of loss in our lives, it brings all of our past experiences with grief/loss back to the surface. SOOOO True.

Who knows? Maybe that'll be a great bonding moment for our family someday? We can all sit together on the couch in a puddle of tears, and then Jim can enter with a plate of warm homemade cookies to make us all feel better!!!

The other major topic that we covered last night was the concept of 'attachments'. Noreen stressed how important it is for these children to not only be able to form attachments but that we, as the adoptive parents, allow those attachments to be maintained.

The best example she gave is that of a child coming into our home who had been previously placed with foster parents (or a foster family) and had a strong attachment to them. In order for that child to have a successful transition into our home and to have a good relationship with us, we should do our best to maintain contact with that child's foster parents and/or foster family. Now, we're not expected to have them over for dinner all the time, or have our child spend a lot of time with them, but it would be best for the child if they were allowed to maintain that relationship in some form, for however long they 'needed' to.

I won't go on and on, but it was a great class; chock-full of information that I'm sure will come in handy down the line.

There was one case last night that Noreen told us about, which scared the be-jeezus out of me.
A pre-adoptive family was placed with a baby right out of the hospital (the birth mom was a 16 year old). After a YEAR AND A HALF with the pre-adoptive family, they had to give the child back to the mother. In the course of that year and a half, the birth mother had given birth to a second child. After three weeks of having a newborn and a 18 month old child with her in the 'teen mother program' she was in, the now 17 year old girl realized (much to her credit) that she couldn't handle it. She contacted DCF and they ended up returning the child to the original pre-adoptive family.

Now, from the VERY beginning, the pre-adoptive family knew that this was a high-risk case, they knew that after a while the birth mother was doing well, and the visits with the birth mother were becoming more and more frequent so they knew what was going on. However, that CERTAINLY didn't make it any easier for them to give back the child after such a long time. In fact, Noreen said that when she called the pre-adoptive mom and told her the news, she said that she needed a day to think about it. After a day she called back and said that they would of course take the child back. It was just such a shock to them to be faced with getting the child back that they needed to 'process' the whole thing. The good news is that the child is now happily reunited with his adoptive family and is regularly visiting with his birth mom and sibling.

I'm not sure how Jim and I would deal with a situation like that. The important thing to remember is that no two cases are the same and you really have to be prepared for anything.

Now that I've taken up half the day writing this, I'm going to get some coffee and get to work.

I hope you all have a GREAT Thanksgiving....and enjoy the day!!!

I hope none of you face anything that looks like this.....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Moth Attack!!!!

Take cover, we're under attack!!!!


I got home from the gym last night and could not believe the amount of moths flying around my yard. On 'warmer' winter nights, I'm used to seeing a moths flying around the lights outside our house, or flying at the car as I'm driving down the street, but this week it has been OUT OF CONTROL. I'm not even exaggerating when I say there were hundreds of moths swarming in our backyard last night. They were all over the leaves, all over our back porch, all over the windows of our house, and the tree in our back yard was COVERED in them.

I learned this morning that the female winter moths (that's what they're called, by the way) can't fly. In order to 'meet their mates' they tend to hang out at the base of trees or shrubs. That would explain the large amount of horny male moths hanging on the tree. they were patiently waiting their turn.

It's pretty much no different than the sidewalk outside the Boston Eagle on Tremont Street at 2:05 on any given Saturday night.

Anyway...there are a lot of them, and they are really good at getting into our house. Thankfully, once they're in the house they tend to land and are quite easy to snatch up and toss into the trash. Scooter LOVES the challenge, and many a moth has ended up meeting its end via dog attack. Oh keeps him busy. :-)

Since we got the DVR, Jim and I have filled our 'nothing is on' time, with shows that we've recorded whilst we were out and about. Last night's 'post House' treat was watching the AMAs. Since we really have no interest in anything more that the performances it was so nice to be able to fast forward through the non-interesting parts of the show.
I'm not going to critique all the performances (because we didn't watch them all) but I did enjoy Janet Jackson, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, The Black-Eyed Peas (Fergie can SING!!!), J-Lo (including her 'fall', which really wasn't that big of a deal, and her HUNKY back-up dancers - YOWZA) and of COURSE we got all teary eyes at Whitney's return. Even if her range spans a whopping 6 1/2 notes at this point, it was nice to see her back on stage. I'm sure she'll be back to her old self in no time....and I can't wait.

Daughtry looked good, but his performance bored me. We didn't watch Lady Gaga's entire performance because Jim is not a fan, and to be honest, I'm a little bit afraid of her. We did watch Adam Lambert's big moment....

Oh....Adam, Adam, Adam....
Now, many of you might recall that during American Idol I wasn't a big fan of Adam's. I was more than willing to admit that he was definitely talented, but his 'style' of singing just wasn't my thing. In spite of that fact, each week I enjoyed watching him perform and it was clear that he was above and beyond the rest of the Idol contestants.
However, what he did on that stage Sunday night was just bad. Please - I couldn't care less how many crotches he grabbed, how many people grabbed his crotch, who's throat he SHOVED his tongue down, blah, blah, blah.... But if you're going to pull all that crap (that has been done many times before and a hell of a lot better) the LEAST you could do is sound good.

Had he done all of that stuff and still managed to sound at least halfway decent, I would have been a lot more forgiving, but that was just awful to listen to. From a musical perspective, it was sloppy, off pitch and just plain ugly. He's all in a tirade about people discriminating against him, and sure - if they're whining and complaining about the 'sexual stuff' they really should just settle down - but if they're complaining because he sounded like hell - I'm all for it.

Now....I don't want to get all the Adam fans all riled up and crazy. I understand there was a HUGE amount of pressure on him, as it was his big debut and I'm sure he was probably a nervous wreck. HOWEVER, the next time he's in front of a bazillion people performing live, I hope he cuts back on trying to keep up his image, and focuses a little more on what he's singing because I'll DEFINITELY be watching.

On a totally different note (ba-dum-bum!) Jim and I have our second MAPP class tonight!!

Stay tuned for a RIVETING update tomorrow.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week.....

As I expected, it is quieter than a tomb at work this morning. Granted, I come in a lot earlier than most people, (6:30 am) but when I arrive at to work, there are usually at least 4 or 5 of my co-workers here already, running around like loons.

Apparently they're all on vacation this week. I know that one person is in Florida, another person is heading off to Mexico, and my 'teammate' (the woman who moved here with me from the Boston office) is visiting her family in Michigan for the week. That means I'm in for a VERY quiet week. Won't that be nice??

Unfortunately, Jim and I didn't come away with any cash from the Hungry Persons Dinner (I know, don't get me started on that name...) but we did get a nice consolation prize....a GIANT Tootsie Roll!!! Remember that from Bozo the Clown??? I was SO jealous of those kids who got a giant Tootsie Roll as the consolation prize...

ANYWAY.....we got a very nice basket (NICE BASKET!) filled with all sorts of goodies; a bottle of wine, two wine glasses, a bunch of yummy cookies, a few different types of holiday napkins and some other cute 'holiday themed' stuff. Since we weren't destined to win the cash, I was happy to have received the gift basket as opposed to a scratch ticket. Lots of other 'non-winners' received scratch tickets as their consolation prizes and as far as I know, not one of them won anything significant. All in all, it was a fun event and nice to catch up with Jim's family and some fellow 'townies'.

Saturday morning Jim and I got up, had some breakfast (COFFEE!!!) and painted the ceiling in the soon-to-be-nursery. Soon after we were finished, Jim's dad came over and showed us how to 'fix' the walls. Essentially, all we had to do was to slather this 'joint compound' stuff all over the walls in an attempt to make them smooth. It was kind of like spreading frosting on a cake....but a lot more difficult. Once I got used to it, it was easier, but it is NOT easy work. Of course, I tend to be rather 'particular' about projects like that and I had to realize that it wasn't going to be perfect. Once I accepted that fact, it was a lot easier to get through and between the 'repaired' walls and the newly painted ceiling, the room came out looking REALLY great. There is a strong possibility that we're going to be able to paint the walls after all....which would be AWESOME. The next step is for us to sand down the walls and then throw on a coat of primer so that we can see if painting is an options. Jim's dad is coming over tonight to bring us some special 'sanding device' that he has which will make that job a lot easier. I would really love to avoid wallpapering, but if painting turns out to be impossible, we'll have to wall paper.

We shall see!

Once we were done working on the room, we went out to the wallpaper/paint store to try and get some ideas. As it stands, I think we're going to try go with a light yellow for the walls (don't worry - it won't be too bright) and then we're going to do the trim in brighter colors (blue and red). We're planning on installing shelves all around the room, so that may be where the colors are used if the brightly colored trim turns out to be 'too much'. There's a closed up (and painted over) fireplace and mantel in the room that we have to take into consideration as well. That might be a fun place to paint a mural or something creative like that.

Just a thought...

Saturday night we had our friend Charles over for dinner and then we watched a (terrible) movie. The movie was called 'The Houseboy' - no it was not an 'adult film', although it was pretty close - and it was bad. I'm not even going to go into WHY it was bad, just take my word for it. You'd be better off going out for a long walk that sitting through this movie.

In spite of the bad movie, we had a nice night....Jim made a delicious new recipe (whole wheat linguine with green beans, ricotta, and lemon - thanks Giada!) which may or may not show up some day on 'Jim's Whims' - only time will tell....

On Sunday morning, we got up and went to church...yes we did!!! We went to the congregational church (the one where Charles and Jerry's twins were baptized) and it was a great service. As it turned out, Sunday happened to be the day they were celebrating the 10th anniversary of their pastor, so after the service, there was a not-so-brief 'ceremony' celebrating that fact. It was very nice service and great tribute to her...but it went on just a bit too long for my liking.

After all was said and done, the congregation gathered in the church hall for a luncheon, but Jim and I took off and headed home. We spent most of the day getting stuff done around the house, relaxing, and catching up on our recorded shows (the new DVR is working out JUST fine, thank you very much!).
Jim's brother and his family showed up for a quick visit - which was nice - after they left, Jim and I had dinner and planted ourselves on the couch for the rest of the evening.

Hooray for Sunday nights!!!! :-)

Now I'm here at work (all alone) and getting excited for the week ahead!!!!

Have a VERY happy Monday! xoxo
PS - the beard is coming along nicely....I just passed the "I want to rip my face off, it's so itchy"!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Who's Hungry???

Tonight Jim and I are attending a fundraising event for the town Lion's Club called "The Hungry Man Dinner".

Don't worry - it has nothing to do with these:

Actually - and I'm not joking - in more recent years, it's often been referred to as "The Hungry Person Dinner".

Oh my...I feel a politically correct headache coming on......yikes.

Anyway...the basic gist of the event is that they only sell a certain amount of tickets at $100 a couple. For that price, you get a fancy-pants dinner for two and are entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of three cash prizes ($2,500 - $500 and $250). Each couple has a number on their ticket and as the night goes on, numbers are drawn out of a hat (or something similar). If your number is drawn, you get eliminated. Whatever numbers are left at the end are the big winners. I'm not exactly sure how they determine final the three winners, but I'd be THRILLED if Jim and I won any of the prizes.

Let's hope that our number makes it to the end!!!! :-)

Whatever happens, I'm sure it'll be a fun time and the money all goes to a great cause. The event is being held at the local 'social club' and I must admit - I LOVE attending these 'townie' events. All of Jim's family will be there, as will all of his parent's friends - who are a lot of fun to be around. It certainly doesn't hurt that you can buy your entire table a round of drinks for what it would cost you to buy two drinks in any Boston bar.

Tomorrow morning, Jim's dad is coming over to help us (teach us) how to 'fix' the walls in the soon-to-be nursery. Since they're in such rough shape, we're going to have to put wallpaper up in there. I know....I know. Our only other option would be to knock down the walls and put up new drywall - and that certainly ain't gonna happen. We'd love to paint the room, but since the walls are SO old, we're just going to throw some Spackle-type wall repair stuff on them and throw up some wallpaper.

I'm not 100% sure what we're going to put up, but we're probably going to look for a solid color. We've talked about it at length, and since Jim is a H-U-G-E Curious George fan I think we're going to go with that as the theme for the room. It would certainly be very cute, and it's not gender specific....just in case. Once the 'wall fixing' has been completed, the plan is to go out on the hunt for wallpaper. I think we're going to look for a solid color....possibly yellow - a la the Curious George books...but maybe not quite as bright. We shall see!

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On the MAPP

Last night was our first MAPP class...and we survived.

I'll try to keep this brief, but let's be honest...chances are it won't be.

The Group

We have two women running our class, Noreen and Krystal (not their real names). Noreen told us that in the class she just finished teaching, there were 11 couples taking part, and in the class before that one there were 10 couples.
As of right now, our class is made up of 5 couples and one single woman.
There is the possibility that there will be one more couple joining us next week, but that seems to be up in the air. Last night there were only 9 people in the class because we were missing one husband, the single woman, and one of the couples. According to the rules of the group - none of those people who were missing last night are allowed to miss any more classes. If they do, they're OUT!
Jim and I were the only gay couple there, and we're pretty sure that we're the youngest couple in the class. It seems like a very nice group of people. I'm not sure that we'll make any life long friends out of the class, but you never know, do you???

I do know that one of the couples has at least three children at home already...they have a 20 year old, an 18 year old, and a 6 year old. Whether they're their biological children or if they're step-children of some sort, I have no idea. One of the other couples has an 8 year old daughter and I think that the remaining 2 couples are childless. Well, put it this way - if they have children, they didn't mention them at all.

The Class

They began the class by having everyone introduce themselves and say where they were from and what they did for work. Most of the participants live locally, but there are a two couples who are traveling an hour and a half to get there. They're both from Cape Cod and our class location is the closest option for them. Yikes.
Once the introductions were finished, the class 'leaders' gave a high-level overview of what we can expect from the class, and quickly went through what we'll have to turn in when all is said and done. One of the biggest things is a 'profile' that each couple (or individual) has to complete before the end of the 8 weeks (or in our case - 11 weeks, due to the big break we have in December).
It's a very detailed 40-something page profile that is filled with all sorts of questions that we'll have to answer - some questions will be answered as individuals, some as a couple. It is a HUGE part in helping the social worker with our home study. Our friends who have been through the classes told us all about this, so thankfully we weren't taken by surprise. We haven't seen the profile yet, but it's being emailed to us today or tomorrow. THAT should be fun. The good news is that because of the 'December break' we'll have plenty of time to work on it during the non-class weeks. :-)

Last night we spent a lot of time focusing on the idea of 'permanency' for the children. We talked a lot about each of the people (foster parents, adoptive parents, social workers, birth parents/kin, etc...etc...) that are involved in the children's lives and what role each of them plays in working towards achieving the ultimate goal of permanency for the child. As you can imagine, in such a small group (again, last night there were only 9 of us) there is no hiding!!! Thankfully, both Jim and I have no problems talking in front of other people (shocking, I know). In fact, it seemed that most of the people there were OK with it. One or two of the people seemed rather quiet, but I'm sure they'll come around and start talking eventually.

About halfway through the class we took a break and then when we returned, we watched a video - yes, a video....not a DVD....a video - that, in spite of the horrific wardrobe and hair styles (clearly this was filmed in the late 80s, early 90s) had a very nice message.
It told several stories about people bringing new children into their homes, how they dealt with the initial arrival, how they handled discipline, how they dealt with 'acting out', etc...etc...
One of the more interesting points the video covered was the concept of creating a 'life book' for your child. Essentially, it's a scrap book that contains photos, memorabilia, etc. from the beginning of their life up to and continuing on through the time that they're placed with you. According to Noreen and Krystal, they've found that the birth parents are more than happy to contribute to their child's life book. They've seen birth parents pass on ultrasound photos, the baby's first hospital pictures, as well as other items that will have meaning to the children as they get older. All of the things that make up the life book will help them to better understand where they came from, and what their life was life before they became part of your family. Once the video was over, we had a brief discussion about the video and then class was over.

It was a little overwhelming because they threw SO much information at us, but I'm sure we'll be fine. I should have mentioned this earlier, but they did tell us that part of the reason for us being in a smaller group is that DCF is re-designing and re-configuring some of the MAPP training, and we're going to be piloting parts of the new curriculum. It's always interesting to be part of a newly developing process, so I'm sure that there will be some bumps in the road due to the changes. Even the leaders aren't sure how it's all going to play out, but at least we'll all be figuring it out together!!!

If anyone is still reading this - THANK YOU!!!
I hope it wasn't too tedious to sit through.....but the good thing is, you'll probably only have to suffer through one of these posts once a week.


Monday, November 16, 2009


Seriously....we're already halfway through November? UNACCEPTABLE!!!!

My how time flies.

Jim and I had a very busy weekend....but it was quite fun.
Friday night I ended up going to the show solo (that would be 'Reckless' @ SpeakEasy) because Jim got home from work and wasn't necessarily 'feeling it' - so I knew it would be much better to go alone, rather than force him to join me. You know how that is, right?? Right.
Anyway....the show was SOOOOO good. I had no idea what to expect and I was more than pleasantly surprised. I'm not going to go into detail about the story itself, but I will say that I enjoyed it VERY much. I laughed a LOT and cried as well. Granted, I cry at TV commercials, but there were some truly great moments in the play that had me welling up.
Visually, it was beautiful, fun, and festive and it was clear that the director (Scott Edmiston) was responsible for the show working so well. After seeing the show, I want to get a copy of the script so that I can appreciate his direction even more. I know that there is a lot of stuff that he put in there (transitions, etc...) that aren't included in the script - and all those things are what made the show work so well. If you're in the area, I highly suggest making the trip into Boston to see it.
Go here for the specifics. :-)

On Saturday I pretty much lounged around the house (the weather was gross and rainy) until I had to go to my softball meeting that evening. It was great to see my teammates and catch up with them. We were getting together in order to discuss the upcoming year and to introduce the new players that we're adding to our roster (we're definitely adding 4 new players, possibly 5) since we lost a few players at the end of this season. After the meeting we all grabbed some dinner and then we headed over to Fritz (Yay Fritz!!) for a few drinks. Jim and our friend Charles met us there as well so that was fun.

Sunday morning we slept in and while Jim drained, cleaned out, and re-filled the hot tub, I did some picking up around the house and once he was all set, we showered and headed out to go grocery shopping. We got home from shopping and then stopped be his mom's house to visit for a bit. We then went home, had some dinner and then tried to stay awake on the couch for the rest of the night. We were both SOOOO tired - but we managed to stay awake until 10pm, when we finally decided to hit the hay.

Tonight we're having Jim's parents over for dinner. Since Jim is making his sauce, meatballs and sausages - and it feeds about 20 people - we decided to have them over. I'm sure it'll be fun.

Have a great day.....10 more days until Thanksgiving!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

So, here we are again....

Yet another Friday the 13th!!!

I drove Jim's car to work today and I LOVED it!!! What a great car. I felt so 'fancy' driving down the highway in it.
After work I'm taking it to get an inspection sticker, which is why I have it today. Jim won't get out of work early enough and since I'm closer to home, I can scoot out of here a little early and get it taken care of.

Last night was VERY fun, as I knew it would be. We got to spend a little time with Melissa's ridiculously cute daughter before she was off to sleep. Her name is Ava, and she's turning FOUR on the NOVEMBER!!!!! (a direct quote from her)

Dinner was great, as was the time spent catching up with Melissa. She's currently pregnant and is due on mine and Scooter's birthday....February 11th! We'll see how that all works know how babies are, they rarely show up on time. :-)

After a very yummy dinner, Jim and I carried in Melissa's new kitchen set (since she's pregnant, and her husband is nursing a sore elbow). While we carried int eh kitchen set, we were carrying out the crib, bit by bit. It was a very efficient, and quite a fair exchange. She was able to get the new kitchen set into her house, and we were able to get the crib into our house!

Once we got home and everything was out of the car, Scooter gave the crib a quick inspection to be sure it was 'OK', and then he pretty much ignored it. Since the nursery isn't quite ready (and by not quite ready I mean, not even remotely close to being ready) the crib is in four pieces sitting in our front closet. This morning I emailed the manufacturer, in hopes that they can send us the 'users manual' for the crib. I looked online and I can't seem to find any info. out there regarding this specific model, so hopefully they can send us something. If they can't, it's no big deal. It seems fairly simple to figure out, but I'm more curious than anything. I'm definitely one of those people who reads manuals from cover to cover in order to be sure I don't miss anything.
Unlike Jim, who has very little interest in manuals of any form.

I didn't take any pictures, because it's not put together yet, but once we have it assembled, there will be pictures. It's a beautiful crib though, and I can't wait to see it when it's all set up.

Tonight Jim and I are attending opening night of the Craig Lucas play 'Reckless' at SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston. I have a few friends in the show, and I know NOTHING about the play - so I'm very excited to see it. I'm a big fan of Scott Edmiston's (he's the director) work, so I'm sure it'll be a great show. Be sure to check back on Monday morning for my 'review'.
This is their poster....which I really like.

Have a great weekend and be safe!!!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dinner and a crib.

I'm SOOO excited for tonight.

Jim and I are getting together with our friend Melissa for a LONG overdue dinner date. We've been trying for what feels like weeks (because it probably has been weeks) to find a date that 'worked' for all of us and it has finally arrived!!!

We're also picking up a crib while we're down there. A friend of hers was looking to get rid of a practically brand new crib and since we're in the market for a crib, we're taking it. Yikes.
I realize that it will go unused for a while, but when the time comes, we'll be ready.

Until then, Scooter can use it.


Of course, Jim and I were joking around the other day - while we were taking the last of the wallpaper down in the soon-to-be nursery - and contemplating what would happen if we changed our plan entirely.
Do you think a teenager would object to sleeping a night or two in a crib???

Stay tuned for pictures!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And the final decision is.....

I'm going to grow it. :-)

I know, I know - some of you aren't crazy about a 'bearded John', but have no fear. Nothing is forever.

Besides, you know how I's probably going to end up annoying me sooner or later and I'll get rid of it. I'm just tired of shaving every day and I want a break.

Keep in mind, this could all change if I don't like the way it looks!! Each time I've grown one, it comes in a little bit we shall see!!!!

Beards through the years:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What do YOU think???

I'm thinking about growing my beard again.....I know it's ultimately my decision, but what do you think I should do???


Or no beard?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Turkey Attack!!!

Let me begin today's entry by saying that when I pulled into the parking lot this morning, there were TWENTY wild turkeys walking through the parking lot.

TWENTY!!!! They are not small

There were 19 females, that looked like this:

And there was one male, who looked like this:

He seemed to be keeping everyone in line.
Incidentally, I did a lil' research and it seems that a large group of turkeys is known as a 'rafter'. I had no idea. Although there are definitely plenty of places on the internets that they're referred to as a 'flock' - I much prefer 'rafter'.
As I pulled in, they all stopped moving and started at me. I got out of my car and they were all still standing there.....staring. I felt a bit like Tippi Hendren, but with turkeys. It was very eerie.
Once they realized I was harmless, they went along their merry way and I went into the office.

Anyway...that was an interesting way to begin my work week.

So, the weekend was fun-filled and FULL of activities.....I'll try to keep it brief.

Friday night Jim and I went to dinner and a movie. We had a GREAT dinner and a not-so-great movie. We went to see 'The Fourth Kind'. While it was quite interesting and had a few moments that made me jump, it was kind of a let down. I'm still not sure if it's real or if I was 'had'. They supposedly use a lot of actual footage and actual voice recordings....but I'm not sure if it's just a ploy to get us to believe.....I'll have to do more research to get the full story.

What it did do was remind me why I never go to the movies. I hate sitting in a theatre full of inconsiderate, clueless, rude, people. Nothing outrageous happened, but there were people walking in and out of the theatre the entire time, talking, making comments, was really irritating and distracting.

On Saturday we went car shopping for Jim. He paid off his car a while ago and has been wanting/needing a new car so we went out to take care of that. He ended up getting a 2009 Horizon Blue, Mini Cooper Clubman. It's SUCH a cool car and he got a really good deal on it. We were a bit skeptical about how much room it had, but honestly, I sat in the back seat during the test drive and there was PLENTY of room back there. The Clubman is different than the regular Mini Cooper in that it has a half-door on one side, which allows for easier access to the back seat, and it also has a small-ish area for storage in the back (a stroller will fit back there, no worries). It's apparently a very safe car, and has a really good maintenance plan, etc...etc...

He's picking it up tonight and is BEYOND excited.

This is what it looks like:

His is very similar to this one, but his roof isn't silver. His roof is the same color as the rest of the car, and he has roof rails, which make it look a lot less boxy, and more sporty....very nice.
Hooray for new cars!!!!
Saturday night we went over to one of my friend's house for dinner. she and I went to college together and hadn't seen one another since 1998 or so. It was great to see her, meet her husband and son, and have a YUMMY dinner. It wasn't a late night, which was good, since we had a bit of a drive home.

On Sunday we got up early, cleaned the house, cleaned out and winterized the screened in porch, did a bit of yard work, took down the rest of the wall paper in the soon-to-be-nursery and went grocery shopping.....all before 2 in the afternoon. :-)

It was kind of crazy, but AWESOME to have all that done.

Once that was finished, we relaxed for a bit, met Charles and the twins for dinner, went back to their house for dessert, came home, watched TV and PASSED OUT at 9:30.

And here I am!!!! :-)

I hope you all had great weekends too!!!!

P.S. - In honor of the Sesame Street's 40th Birthday, I give you one of my all-time favorite Muppets:
Prairie Dawn is amazing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just getting in....

Good (almost) afternoon everyone!!

I arrived at work a 'tad' later than usual today because I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor to go over my test results from a couple of weeks ago.

Thankfully, they found nothing seriously wrong with me.
He said that a couple of the biopsies that they took showed some signs of gastritis - which is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. I was looking online for what causes it and found this: "The main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen."


It must have been all that aspirin I took down in Rhode Island when I was playing softball.
Sure, that must be it. ;-)

Either way, my doctor said it was nothing to be concerned about, and they found no traces of the h. pylori bacteria anywhere, which is great news. That's the bacteria that's linked to acid reflux as well as a host of other stomach 'issues'.
He suggested that I continue taking Prilosec for the rest of the month and then I can stop taking it. I've been feeling fine (knock on wood) for the past few weeks, so it must have been a result of me acting like I was a 20 year old staying out late and drinking a bit more that I maybe should have been. :-)

He also took some blood so that he could check my cholesterol numbers and make sure everything was still OK in that department. Hopefully at this time next week I'll receive a clean bill of health and I can concentrate on shedding some pounds.

Speaking of, he was happy to hear that I'd joined a gym and was thrilled that I've already lost a few pounds since I was in there a few weeks ago.

Now I just have to avoid 'Pizza Night' tonight at the gym. HA!!!

Well, that's all I have for today. I hope you all have a great day and a fun-filled weekend!!!

Be sure to check out Jim's blog....there's a new entry out there today, featuring yet another totally goofy video of me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Well it's about damn time!!!!

I just got off the phone with Nancy, our regional DCF director, and she said that Jim and I will be starting our MAPP classes on November 17th!!!!!


Not only am I thrilled beyond belief, but I'm actually a little bit shocked that she actually called us back!

At dinner last night, Jim and I were talking about what our next steps were, and we decided that we should try calling DCF one more time....and there you have it. They called us. :-)

We'll start on the 17th and go to meetings on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1st. Then, due to the holiday season, there's a break in classes and we won't return until Tuesday, January 5th. We'll go to class every Tuesday in the month of January and then have our last class on February 2nd.

I'm not quite sure why they need a 4 weeks break from classes in December, but we're certainly not complaining!!!

I'm so happy that something is finally happening and we're not lost in the system.

I'll b sure to keep y'all posted!!!! xoxo

Fulfilling my civic obligation....

I've been called for Jury Duty!!!! Is it bad that I'm excited about it?

It's kind of odd, but I've been 18 for quite some time now (watch it!) and this is only my second time being called.

The first time was several years ago. I was selected for a jury and was put on a trial that lasted about 2 days. I had a GREAT time. It wasn't a crazy case or anything, just a minor issue that focused primarily on a car accident. As it turned out, it was some loon trying to get more money out of the person that hit her. We didn't give her anything as she was CLEARLY in it for the cash. I found it very interesting though. Hopefully if I get selected for a jury, it'll be for an interesting case and not something that's going to traumatize me or have me sequestered for three months. THAT would suck.

Well, that's all the excitement that I have going on in my life right has been relatively busy, which is making the days go by and I've been keeping up my gym schedule, so that's all good.

Does anyone else find it REALLY odd that my gym has 'Friday Night Pizza Nights' and 'Bagel Mornings' every Tuesday???

Yeah, I thought so too....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jim's Whims

As I mentioned on Monday, Jim ditched his old blog and decided to start a new one. This one is all about his love for cooking. As my regular readers know, Jim is a GREAT cook and it's about time he shares his 'secrets' with the world. You can find his new blog, entitled Jim's Whims here (cute name, right??)

Stop by, take a look and bon appetit!!! ;-)

In other news, Boston Mayor Tom Menino was re-elected to an unprecedented FIFTH term last night - nice job Tommy!!!

And I'm never setting foot in the state of Maine again.

Seriously though...I was SO sad to hear that the people of Maine rejected the gay-marriage law.
If you want to read all about it (and get extremely depressed/angry) the article from is here. Pay special attention to the hate-filled comments that follow the article.

Just when you think people are 'coming around', you realize how far we still have to go.

Anyway...enough depressing news.....go check out Jim's new blog and keep smiling.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Get In Shape, Girl!!!

Well, I did it! I survived my first day at the gym.

I listened to all your suggestions (even though I didn’t know about them until after the fact) and took it easy my first day back. All I did was hop on the treadmill and go for a nice little ‘run’ for a half hour or so. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t end up in agony this morning, thus making it more difficult to get back in there tomorrow.

From my vantage point atop my treadmill, I was able to get a decent view of the entire place and figure out where everything was, without wandering around blatantly looking like the ‘new guy’. The thing I like about this gym is that everyone really seems to pretty much keep to themselves. There aren’t a lot of giant, muscle-bound men staring at themselves in the mirrors making me feel like the weakling of my high school gym class, and there’s not a large population of senior citizens wandering around looking lost. I’ve experienced both groups at gyms in the past and believe me, neither one is fun.

It appears to attract a very mixed crowd with everyone being there to work out and get in shape. That’s my first impression anyway….I’ll keep you posted if anything changes.

I kind of can’t believe that it’s November already. This year has F-L-O-W-N by. Craziness. Whenever it’s gets to this time of the year, I always think back to when I was right out of college and working at my first job. I was working as an intern in the Company Management Department at the (now closed) North Shore Music Theatre. Whenever November rolled around, we were kicking of our second to last show of the season and getting ready for rehearsals to begin for their yearly production of ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was such a great time to be working at the theatre. The summer season was over, things were a lot less busy, and there was an excitement in the air because everyone there LOVED working on ‘A Christmas Carol’. Not only was it a great production, but it meant that we’d soon be surrounded by tons of super-excited audiences members who came back year after year to celebrate the Christmas season at the theatre.
I could go on and on about how much I loved that job, but I’ll save that for another day.
I was just doing a little reminiscing as I was driving into work today about how much I missed that job, and what a GREAT feeling it was driving to work at a job you loved going to.
Ah…..some day.

P.S. - Special thanks to Melissa and Joanne for today's blog photo suggestions. What would I do without you two?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Back

Well, it's officially November and it's the first day of the rest of my life!!!

Dramatic enough for you??

That's my way of saying that I'm going back to the gym for the first time today.
I seriously haven't been to a gym in well over a year, so anything is possible.

Check back tomorrow for the full report. Assuming I can still move.

Jim and I had a fun-filled, frightful weekend.
Friday night we had a sudden change in plans and ended up going to the Grille for dinner. Jim's mom, dad, sister and her family were there, so we visited with them for a bit...but didn't join them at their table. We prefer our seats at the bar.
After dinner, Jim and I headed into Boston to meet up with our softball friends at Fritz.
It was FUN!!! I hadn't seen them in a while, and as always - a good time was had by all.

On Saturday, Jim and I went to go see my oldest niece Victoria cheer at a football game. She goes to an all girls school but they cheer for a local all boys school's football team. It was a BEAUTIFUL day (in the 70s) and they did a great job. She's so grown up, it kind of freaks me out and makes me feel O-L-D.
They were ahead 42-14 at the top of the 4th quarter, so Jim and I took off early. We headed home and got ready for the trick-or-treaters.

Since we live on a very main street, we never know if we're going to get a lot of kids or not - but we were ready! As it turns out, we had a decent amount....and actually, we had quite a few late trick-or treaters. I think that a lot of the neighborhood kids walk to more 'residential' areas for the majority of their trick-or-treating so when they were all walking back home, they noticed that we were still 'open for business' so they stopped in. It was totally fine by me, because that meant there was less candy sitting at home!!!

Our friends Mattie and Kelly stopped by to say hello on their way to dinner, and then our friend Katie stopped by. The three of us watched The Exorcist and ate some yummy Chinese Food.

Note to self: Eating dinner while watching The Exorcist is a terrible idea.

On Sunday, Jim and I got up, went grocery shopping and headed down the Cape to meet up with Jim's dad. He need our help closing up the cottage for the winter. All we had to do was help him move stuff from outside and store it in the house, plus help get some stuff from inside out to his truck...totally easy, but it's definitely something that you can't manage with only one person.
After the place was all closed up, he took us out to lunch and then we headed home.

Because of the time change, it felt like the LONGEST day ever, but it was nice.
We pretty much just relaxed around the house, I did a few loads of laundry and got everything ready for today.

While I was doing laundry - Jim spent lots of time on the computer designing a new and improved blog. He's not a fan of blogging the way I blog - it's just not his thing. He doesn't find it fun to write about his daily 'goings on' because he doesn't think that people want to read that type of stuff about him.
Unlike myself, who writes about every detail (well....not EVERY detail) of my daily life, knowing that several people can't make it through the day without knowing everything I'm doing.
:-) :-)

Keep your eyes peeled for it. It's going to be good. :-)

Have a great day and happy Monday!!!!

(Full moon tonight!!!!)