Wordless Wednesday - Electricity

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm participating in Wordless Wedneday here and here and Wordish Wednesday.


Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 26, 2010

From our home to yours, we hope your holidays are merry and bright.


And as to THIS little dilemma... Katie was excited to see that Santa did bring her a Cinderella Castle, unwrapped and front and center in the living room.

 Timmy's favorite surprises were his roaring, walking dinosaur and his new lawn mower

Mommy and daddy left their big big surprises of a tool bench, bike and barbie size doll house in the family room.

Timmy surprised us all by being a present opening machine. He did not fall into our tradition of taking turns opening presents and had to be stopped from opening everyone's.

Katie proudly read out the recipient and giver of each gift she picked up.

Among other things, mommy got this:
Family came for dinner and a little Kinect play at night.
It was a good, good day.

Thank you friends and family for being in our lives and most especially,
thank you God for delivering us your newborn son. 


My Virual Gift to the Mommies of the Blogosphere that are not already in AA

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If you haven't gotten one of these from me in real life, just keep in mind....it's the thought that counts, right? And I was thinking of you...
I may or may not have bought one for myself. Because it's funny and true. Not because I can't handle the kids I have. I may or may not have bought myself one of these too:

The back of the mug reads, "Inner Peace Through Impulse Buying".

This one is still on my wish list:
I really just don't understand why everyone tells me I'm hard to shop for.
 I have no problem shopping for myself at all. I wish I did.

These are just a few of the hilarious products that caught my eye at Our Name is Mud. And really, with the amount of money I spent on their products for holiday gifts...they really should throw a giveaway my way. Don't you think?


To Torture or Not To Torture

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Eve and Christmas morning are chock full of traditions at The Other Boufs. For one, we don't just attack our presents and finish the whole present opening in 5 minutes flat. From as early as I can remember, I have savored the present opening and would open my own presents really slowly while I kept an eye on what my siblings were unwrapping. I didn't want to miss anything. I wanted the  magic to last as long as possible. Since Katie is my mini-me in so many ways...she has fallen right into my present opening technique. We take turns and pass presents out. Katie also tends to like to play with every new toy right away...so some years, we've even resumed opening presents later in the day...or the next day. (insert gasp as I look up and reminisce about how long Katie's hair was just one year ago.)

Some Christmas mornings, during my childhood, Santa would hide the present I wanted more than anything - and I would get some hints that there might be something else for me once I had opened the rest of my presents. It may have only been once, but I remember that Christmas morning that I found my new Pound Puppy in the laundry room like it was yesterday: the wonder, the thrill and excitement, the satisfaction. To pass on a bit of this excitement to my kids, I have guided Santa into leaving the most exciting gift in the family room (our tree is in the living room). And at least through last year, Katie has never remembered this tradition and hasn't even wondered about whether there might be something more in another room.

It began in 2007, when Katie was 2 1/2. Although, I must admit, we were really left with no choice that year. Santa and mama had gone a little crazy with only one child to buy for and there really wasn't any room left in the living room - you know...with the Radio Flyer rocking horse and trampoline. Katie was ecstatic to find a new train table later in the morning as we assembled for breakfast.

In 2008, Santa surprised the kids with a racecar and jumparoo. 

But as I prepare to begin the wrapping process for 2010, I am pondering - do I want to torture my kids this year? Do I want to torture myself? See, last year was the year that Katie became a brat.
Although she got the 3 specific items she had asked for and did show some excitement a few times,
she looked like this most of the morning. 
She didn't verbalize what was bothering her and told us "nothing" when we asked, but I theorize that it was eating at her that she saw the push car and was jealous that there was only one "big" gift in the room...and it was her brother's. We knew big excitement would follow when she found her biggest surprise. But frankly, it pissed me off. Everything on her list had been received. 

And then Timmy saw something in the family room...and Katie went to investigate...and there was the reaction I had anticipated.
So this year, I'm wondering...do I have Santa set up the kids' big exciting gifts in the family room? For the first time, it won't be an unanticipated gift. I expect Katie's biggest surprise will  be the item highest on her list:
Timmy is getting the monorail set (if he's good).

Do you do anything similar at your house or do you have any unique present opening traditions? Is it worth potential silent pouting to buildup the excitement?


Another one of those child dancing videos

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chock full of self-confidence after her previous night of dance moves in Jamaica, Katie decided to enter the resort talent show. She and her new friend, Zoe, practiced for hours.They had a great time and loved being the center of attention. Unfortunately, they didn't get to go on until 9pm, so they were a little sleepy. But, no stage fright for these girls... or Timmy.

Sometime after her stage premier, though, Katie caught site of some locals dancing. It may have been during the pool games the next day. But somehow, somewhere...she realized that this is a way more entertaining way to dance:



Thursday, November 4, 2010

I've been learning some interesting things about Katie in Jamaica.

Today, as I caught up with her and the other children from kids camp, on their way to the beach for a sandcastle making competition, I noticed she was howling. A cute little girl with long brown hair solemnly told me, "We think she's turning into a werewolf." When I inquired into what had caused such an alarming situation she looked at me with big serious eyes and told me "I'm half werewolf and I infected her." Of course I asked more questions...and was rewared with more sincere responses. Apparently, "It's from the bite. It tranferred into her blood." So yea, I'm now the daughter of a Jamaican werewolf.

And last night...well - last night Katie got her first kiss (other than that of the playground kissing tag variety - although of course I suppose this really was of the same variety). This older boy from England danced her into a tizzy and then apparently leaned in for a snog.

I'm pretty sure they should be cast in the next remake of Dirty Dancing, premised in Jamaica:

On our way  back to the room last night, I mentioned that she sure did seem to have a lot of boyfriends. She told me, "Well, I don't have one of them anymore. "Sean broke up with me." Am I really hearing this correctly? Apparently she knew he was her boyfriend because he broke up with another little girl who is in their daycare and kindergarten class. There were about 3 more breakups somewhere involved in the whole explanation. I asked her, "Katie, do you even know what breaking up means?" And oh...she did: "It means he's not in love with me anymore." Folks I just don't know what to say. Besides advising her that she is much too young to let any boys kiss her or to worry about having boyfriends. Really, I am speechless.

Oh and guess what...turns out the boy above has an uncle who lives in the next town over from me. Talk about a small world. I would joke and make a remark about how funny it would be if they ended up falling in love some day, but I had a conversation with him on the beach today would prove that isn't likely.Apparently he didn't recognize me as Katie's mum - and he was telling me all about this dumb girl who won the treasure hunt at Kids Camp the previous day. I told him it wasn't nice to call anyone dumb and he went on to tell me, but she really was...she didn't even know how to miniature golf properly. But then he relented that they did then become good friends and danced together. I chided him and reminded him that he was talking about my daughter. And he was speechless.


We miss you, Daddy! (Hope you're having fun at work)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I remember learning so many literary terms in high school English classes and college Core classes and Theatre classes: symbolism, themes, yada yada yada. Well, for those who are not lucky enough to know Katie closely (because using the word intimately just somehow seems wrong) - this video can sum up in 30 odd seconds what life with Katie is like. My girl - my smart wonderful girl - the girl my mom calls "special".

And yes, she did ride the short-bus to pre-school. But she's just your typical 5yo, now. So to all the mom's of 5yo girls out there, I'm drinking one for you right now. A mango vodka and 7, to be precise.


Silent but Deadly

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reason #342,524 why I would never make it on "Survivor"...only 1 night in Jamaica and my leg* looks like this:

The other leg doesn't look much better. And I never even saw them coming. Never felt them biting. Never heard their pointy straw like apparatus jamming into my skin over and over again.

If you haven't figured out by now, I'm here in Jamaica. My weeklong twitter and facebook campaign to find someone to go with me and the kids**was a bust, but I finally told my mother-in-law she had no choice convinced my mother-in-law to come with us. We got here yesterday and will be Philly bound on Sunday afternoon.

I'll be live blogging (and tweeting via @JulieBouf) all week. Well live plus the 6,345 minutes it takes to upload each photo. And tweeting meaning, on my laptop - since it would cost about $7,234 in data charges every time I turn my phone on. Check back frequently this week, I'll be posting a lot. Randomly. Throughout the day. Whenever I feel like it, mon.

*I'm positive that my calf isn't really this large and that it MUST be swollen from all of these mosquito bites. Swollen skin and rock hard muscle (NOT 32 years of overeating and overall laziness).

**If you really have no idea what I'm talking about, shame on you. My husband realized it really wasn't possible to take off from work, after all, just one week before our vacation. Good times. It's all I talked about for a week straight. And to everyone here in Jamaica. Hell, even my 5yo greeted our resort greeter with,"Hi, we're here for our vacation. We brought grandma cause my daddy has to work and couldn't come and we'll call him on the telephone every night."


My apologies to Ms. M's Kindergarten class

Thursday, October 21, 2010

As the parent of a kindergartener, I get a lot of "reminders" in my daughter's princess backpack. We received slips of paper in bright colors that said "Don't forget to wear a Hawaiian shirt on Friday for the Rick Charette concert" and "Don't forget to dress comfortably for our Karate assembly next week (including the times of the assemblies assigned by grade)". We also received the annual picture day money envelope. Surprised there was no accompanying info, I did the research and went online to the school calendar to see what day would be picture day. And then I promptly forgot all about it. No brightly colored reminder slips were sent home. It wasn't included on the class "Week in Review" newsletter that includes what to look forward to in the upcoming week. But I rely on those reminders, centrally displayed on my refrigerator. My memory isn't what it used to be. I can remember every detail of my childhood, but something from last week? Forget it.

So, Tuesday morning rolled around - the second day of my husband's new job - and we had our typical cyclone of a morning trying to get Katie dressed and out of the house. MULTIPLE outfits were wripped off and strewn throughout the house. They all itched. They all bothered her. Didn't matter if it was her favorite shirt or a brand new one with no tags. So it was a compromise kind of morning. Wear what you want - as long as you're dressed.

Katie finally settled on this shirt:
Ok, not awful. We'll pretend it's not 55 degrees outside. You want to wear it with THIS skirt?:

FINE! At this point, I even turned a blind eye to the Dora crocs.

Tuesday evening, we talked abut Katie's day. While she was telling me her requisite 3 things that happened in kindergarten class that day, she gushed about getting to have her picture taken....


She kept gushing. She was so excited that everybody got really dressed up in fancy clothes. She assured me that everyone thought her outfit was so pretty. She got to take a picture by herself AND with her whole class.
Parent FAIL! 

Some time ago, I read this post  over at Classy Chaos and giggled. I thought, "oh, poor Pauline," but also how cute her youngest  looked. People, it's no joke. And yes, I got retakes done the next day. And yes, even if I didn't, the pictures are only of the chest up. I know her shirt was fine, but I'm thinking of her class picture, here: A snapshot of her first year as an official elementary schoolgoer. And I think to myself - THIS is just another reason why God has given this 5'1" momma an amazon-bred child. So that she will be the tallest in her class; she will be on the top riser for her class picture. And hopefully, just maybe, her lower half will be hidden and history will not record this ensemble.

I am currently too much in the moment to think about how someday I'll look back and laugh at the picture, remembering how "spirited" she was. No, it will more likely rekindle post traumatic stress disorder symptoms - reminding me of the daily torture this child unleashes on me. (This child who I love very much and wouldn't trade for anything....except perhaps one that gets dressed by herself and doesn't flip out for 40 minutes every morning about her clothes bothering her.)


Why I have smoke coming out of my ears

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's happened before. One of those days that everything that can go wrong WILL.It started shortly after I woke up this morning. I was finishing up picking up Katie's bedroom for today's house cleaning. My husband mumbled as he rushed past me down the steps on his way to the couch, "I have to lay down just a little bit longer. I'm so tired, but Katie peed all over the bed." Not such a big deal, you'd think, since most kids her age have mattress protectors, as does she. Except we had guests last night. So in order to clear out the guest room, which is usually inhabited by Sir Snoresalot, I slept in Katie's bed and she slept in the master bedroom with my husband. Have I mentioned that she's only ever peed the bed like 3 times before in her entire life?!?!?!? So I replied, well did you get her up? Of course not. She was soaked, the bed was soaked. I started the cleanup process, berated my husband, and zoomed out of the house to my early meeting.

As I got back to my desk from the morning meeting, I noticed an e-mail from our housecleaning company. "The dogs are running loose in the house. What should we do?" It was from 1 hr prior. I responded they could be let out back...hoping they could still get there to clean and we didn't have to go another 2 weeks living in filth. I e-mailed Chris to bitch, just a day after he left Katie's backpack (containing her homework) at home. He mentioned how bad HIS morning was. Including the fact that he got pulled over for having a brake light out, only to realize he didn't have his wallet with him.

I picked up the kids from daycare, which days later still puts me in a bad mood - ever since the new daycare provider told me, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that," after I stood by one of my parenting decisions. One that is none.of.her.freaking.business.

I got home to a clean house (thankyou God), only to have my cherubs break in to a box of donuts while I was checking our voicemail. Chocolate donuts that then got ground in ALL OVER our newly cleaned kitchen floor.

I opened the mail, excited to finally receive my Jamaica vacation documents. The vacation that I'm already pissed about since I found out the resort I booked at will be closed for renovations and we've been "upgraded" to a different resort. One lacking the huge waterpark we were looking forward to. The one that I couldn't cancel since we had bought an "airfare included" package. Which included nonrefundable airfare. The one that as I opened the mail today, found out that they only booked THREE airline seats for my family of FOUR. Something about Timmy being under two...which didn't even cross.my.mind when I entrusted them to create my dream vacation.

The dogs were in the back yard, barking INCESSANTLY. As I was outside summarily flipping my lid on them, my neighbor mentioned, "Oh, they were out running ALL over the neighborhood today. I let them back in the house for you." Really? Someone used our gate and didn't think it might be a (insert the fact that Timmy just came in to visit and SHUT DOWN my computer). Sorry. What I meant to say was that is it so hard to close a gate at a home where you know DOGS LIVE? This is not a new problem at our house.

So, I finally, after much screaming and silent prayer, managed to get the barking idots back in the house. Tracking mud. Everywhere. Why mud? The yard is dry. Oh, cause Katie was just out at the water table and tracked in water, which was then crossed over by the dirt pawed canines.

So I came up to the office to vent. The children were left to scream Mommy! watch Spongebob.

There's a large puddle of water on my pergo downstairs a la Katie's abandoned cup of water that was commandeered by her brother.

Timmy just pulled apart a lei in the office and I silently celebrated knowing that it would keep him busy for one more minute.

And there goes all the papers off my desk....

And yes asshole, I DO have my period!!!


Yo, ho!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don't be offended. If I happen to call you a ho or more likely, "hooker," it means I have the utmost love and respect for you. Just one of those little nuances in life. 

After college, I had the pleasure of living with my childhood friend C for three years. She was and is a very good girl. No drinking, no swearing, no funny business with the boys. And so, of course, our pet term for each other is "hooker." 

It still amazes me how, through life, we continue to meet new people who become near and dear to our hearts. Like a mother with a new child, my heart's openness to new friends is boundless. And I've been so lucky. Beyond my family, beyond my childhood and college friends, beyond my bloggy friends, I genuinely appreciate my mommy friends. Those friends that could be casual acquaintances or new BFF's, but for a conversation. 

With 18 month olds running around and trying to jump their way off equipment and into the ER (mine never actually hurt herself, but oh how she tried),  passing balls and balloons to one another, running side by side to pop bubbles. We met in preschool gymnastics. Casual smiles turned into conversation. The propensity for my daughter and one other particular little boy to be clumsy, wreckless, insane and crazy drew me and his mother to one another to simutaneously shake our heads, roll our eyes, and commiserate. Then there were a few others who were not afraid for their lives when around our two kids, and we started to meet at McDonald's or Friendly's before or after class. Then we started having playdates. And then girl's nights. And then, my generous friend M, suggested a few of us use her Vacation Club for a mommy getaway to DisneyWorld. It happened to be the same weekend as BlogHer '10, for which I already had a ticket and hotel room. And I'm sorry, my bloggy friends, for skipping out on meeting so many of you - but I just couldn't pass up a trip with these girls and our 5 year olds. These ladies who represent everything I value in a friend - honesty, reliability, compassion, generousity and fun. And our kids love each other like siblings.

And our trip WAS magical.

Katie actually wore her fabulous new outfits from 77kids. (In hindsite, I realize many readers may not realize why that is such a big deal, but suffice it to say that we have had SIGNIFICANT issues with Katie this summer regarding clothes. For weeks at a time, I washed the same outfit every night, to be worn every day. To my utter depression and turmoil as I fingered all of the lovely, unworn clothes in her closet.)

And she was so proud to pose in her new grunge, as we traveled over to a kids only Pirate Cruise at the Grand Floridian.

She even accepted a $10 souvenir bribe to wear one of my most favoritest Hanna Andersson sundress sets that she had never worn.

We treasured every moment of our trip.

We even happened to overlap our trip with my sister's family and had the ultimate experience of going on a Kim Possible mission with them in Epcot.

We swam and played.

The kids were thrilled to build their own cars at Downtown Disney.

And I got an amazing long weekend getaway with my girls, most notably my favorite girl.


The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Katie wanted to be a doctor when she grows up. A baby doctor. So she could help kids all the time. From about as early as we could understand her (which was at about 3), she was set on her career path. Last year, she was even a doctor for Halloween.

That all changed when Katie became more familiar with the world around her. And at 4 years old started to have anxiety about things like learning how to drive when she grows up. Quick witted like her mom, she came up with the solution that instead of being a doctor, she would be an "countant" like her mom. So she could drive with me to work every day and be with me every day.

She may have possibly also decided to change career paths due to a little conversation where she asked me how she would learn to be a doctor and I told her that in medical school she would get to cut open bodies and see what's inside of them. She wasn't a huge fan of that idea.

Lucky for Katie, being an accountant is a little less traumatic. And last month, she got a chance to come to work with me for a half day.

The other half of the day, we were busy doing this.


I dreamed a dream of times gone by...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back in the spring of my freshman year in college, I was still grasping at my love of music and theatre and was playing the role of Little Red Riding Hood in our school production of Into the Woods. That semester-along with playing on the girls’ soccer team, pledging a sorority, and getting mediocre grades- I was also working part-time for a local CPA firm. One day when I came back from my lunch break, which I had used for a theatre practice session, one of the senior managers laughed at me. He told me he had never heard of someone being interested in accounting AND theatre. That the combination just didn’t make sense and that I’d probably have to choose one over the other. After that semester, I hung up my acting and singing shoes in my quest to be the world’s best accountant.

Around the same time, two handfuls of students joined together at Indiana University to form an a cappella group. After graduation, they went their separate ways. Some continued in the industry by appearing in theatrical productions or wowing cruise ship passengers. Others turned to their field of study and began careers in the world of finance.

For a college reunion, they got together once more to perform. And someone uploaded a video of them singing to YouTube. And then they were approached with a record deal.

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to see their show at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. I had never heard of them, so I googled “Straight No Chaser.” I found their website at sncmusic.com and began listening to tracks. Not only was I an immediate fan, but I realized I HAD heard them before. I didn’t know their group name, but I was sure I had heard them sing Christmas songs in one of those holiday greeting e-mail forwards. I was lucky enough to be provided with tickets to see their show and I even got to pretend I was real press and interview the group after the show.

It’s quite unprofessional . Particularly since I was a little tipsy trying to rush the process as my camera battery was about to die. And also because I’m pretty new to the glamorous life of interviewing celebrities. After you're done making fun of my interview, please stop over at my Giveaway page to enter to win 2 tickets to see Straight No Chaser on July 30th at Harrah’s.


Mission Complete

Monday, July 5, 2010

In regards to this post.....

it appears that my husband does love me. Very, very much.

He is miserable about it and not looking forward to it, but I have ascertained that at least he will not be divorcing me.

That being said, I think that all of our friends should reward him for his sacrifice by joining us on vacation. So he can make the most of the all-inclusive unlimited top-shelf liquor.

Give me a call or send me an e-mail and I'll let you know the dates...I'll even let you know how much it would cost for your family. With a spreadsheet if requested. Come on. You know you want to. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. You'll love it. Please!


Touche (with a little accent on the e)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A few weeks ago, Katie was intent on getting her way. Hmm, well I suppose I should specify, since Katie is ALWAYS intent on getting her way, that a few weeks ago a specific conversation took place.

K: Mom, I’m ready to go swimming.

M: Ok, in a minute.

K: Mom, I want to go swimming.

M: I know, just wait a minute.

K: I REALLY want to go swimming.

M: Ok.

K: Can we PLEASE go swimming?

M: I am busy right now. We WILL go swimming, but I just need you to be patient.

K: Can we go swimming?

It was as if she wasn’t listening to a word I was saying. Finally I had had enough and lashed out, “Katie, that’s ENOUGH! You will NOT get what you want sooner just because you keep asking. In fact, you’re driving me nuts. Don’t ask me again.” Which of course led to, “Can we go swimming now?”

Overhearing the entire dialogue, Chris muttered – “Hmm, I wonder where she learns that from? I wonder what could ever give her the idea that may work?”

Heh. Moi?

Oh, not because I have a history of giving in to her when she badgers me to the point of exhaustion. But, because I have a history of expecting that if I badger her father to the point of exhaustion – that he will eventually give in to me.

My current project: a vacation to the Boscobel Beaches resort in Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

1. Get it into my head that I want to go on vacation during a specific week – brought on by Disney flyers for extremely reduced rates.

2. Plan out my vacations for the next 2 years in my head, remembering that I’d really love to go to an all-inclusive resort – somewhere with pretty blue water. Suddenly remember that I was interested in visiting Paradise Island, Bahamas.

3. Try to convince BFF to travel with our family during this given week. While she wouldn’t be able to go until the following year, she did provide some amazing alternative suggestions. My research into the Beaches resorts begins.

4. Casually mention my plans and timing reasons to husband.

5. Getting nowhere in my plea, create a detailed spread sheet of room costs and airfare for a variety of travel dates for 4-7 night vacations to Boscobel. Provide husband with spreadsheet, which also includes average and incremental cost per day of travel.

6. Order resort brochure. Once it arrives, have 5yo show to her daddy making sure that she appropriately exclaims in awe over the pretty water, water slides, and Sesame Street characters.

At this point, I STILL haven’t convinced him. Crazy, right?

7. Send e-mails to husband with links to the Beaches website and phrases such as – “Open me. You want to go here” and “You love your wife.”

8. Start a campaign to find friends or family to go with us expecting that if husband has a drinking companion, he will be more inclined to look forward to this all-inclusive paradise.

9. With only one day left to book the vacation at a reduced price check the prices one more time and find out I can now get it $300 LESS…but only until tomorrow.

I have yet to determine if this method really is a surefire formula for success. It has been in the past. I’m beginning to think my husband may just not love me anymore.

Of course, after our little discussion and my husband’s timely remark, I took Katie out to swim right away. Because I love her.

This is not an advertisement or endorsement. Of course, if Beaches would like to pay for my vacation it would make it so much easier to convince my husband to go and I would be willing to blog on location ;)


Daddy and his shadow

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daddy's biggest fan has decided that he also wants to be Daddy's big helper.

I kid you not, this keeps him busy for an entire hour. He keeps an eye on Daddy to make sure that he turns in the opposite direction when he's supposed to and tries to time his moves to synch up with Daddy. And he gets royally pissed off when Daddy takes a break to empty the mower bag.

Ahh, this kid and his Daddy. His hero. His best friend. His pillow. While he increases the amount of words he says on a daily basis and has even moved onto phrases - most often we just hear: "Daddy, daddy, daddy!", "That Daddy" or "Daddy, bread?" as he tries to shove his dinner bread into his Daddy's mouth. Of course, "Daddy" is followed closely by "Doggies" and "Katie." I'm somewhere down there on the list of importance. Way down there. But that's ok - Katie tells me she love me more than anyone in the whole world and that I'm her favorite ever.

And don't forget to enter my giveaway for a signed Joanie Leeds CD, perfect for your favorite kid. Or you - if you're a dork like me.

Playing along today with:


My niche

Monday, May 17, 2010

One of the key rules of blogging is to find your niche. Especially if you want to write reviews. I love to travel, but sadly due to a 1 1/2-year-old terror who I happened to give birth to, a real vacation is not in our imminent future (despite the MANY Disney ads and cruise ads that my inbox has recently been inundated with...sigh). I swoon over romance novels, but I don't really have the time to read lots of books. But our family loves music and I LOVE theater. So I've jumped at the chance recently to bring our kids to some events in Philadelphia.

Theater, especially of the musical variety, is my personal splurge. I have a subscription to the Kimmel Center's Broadway at the Academy series as opposed to major league sports season tickets. I dreamed that my little girl would love theater as much as I do (my love is partially fueled by the memories of my high school and college musical theater glory days). I started her out early taking her to shows with her favorite characters: Disney Live, Disney on Ice, the circus.

As Katie got older and some of her sensory-seeking tendencies began to emerge, I thought "Well, theater is probably out, but at least she'll love sports." However, last year, my subscription included "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and unfortunately, it was for an Easter evening performance and it didn't look likely that I'd be finding anyone to go with me. So, I bought the movie for Katie. I got her interested in the story and ultimately decided to bring her to the show with me. And at only 3 1/2 - she loved it.

Last month, with only the CD of the Broadway performance of The Lion King to teach her the story, Katie went with me to see "The Lion King" at Philadelphia's Academy of Music. As she whispered to me during the second song of the show that "Mom, this is REALLY great," I smiled inside. Perhaps it's the African language that some of the songs are sang in that she identifies with. Her favorite pretend name for herself is "Africa" and the limited amount of final consonants does seem to be a little easier for her to speak. She's been singing the opening song of "The Lion King" on a constant basis for the last week. She proudly told me as she came home from school one day that she had been singing it ALL day: at daycare, at school, even on the bus. I inquired, "Oh, and did your teachers LOVE that?" She told me, "Well, they did keep saying 'Ok, Katie - that's enough. And the bus driver told me, that's enough Katie."

Last weekend my friend and I took Katie and her friend Max to see Princess Katie and Racecar Steve at the Kimmel Center. We had a great time and Katie loved how Princess Katie walked through the audience.

(ahem, Tea Collection, yes - our children would LOVE to model for you. And we'll even try to make sure Katie doesn't get blue icing all over her clothes.)

This weekend, Chris and I took Katie and Timmy to see Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights perform at World Rock Live in Philly. As newcomers to her music, she had me at "I love Sushi":

Katie initiated a mosh pit of running toddlers and pre-schoolers.

While Timmy clung for his life in the safety of his Daddy's lap.
I know he loved the music though. The whole way to the show he was singing in the backseat of the car to the band's CD "I'm a Rockstar" and dancing in his carseat. He's used to his Daddy bringing him to the basement and playing rock concerts on tv when he can't sleep, so he was just snuggling in for the show. I may have had to tickle him to get this reaction, but I know he enjoyed himself.
After the show, we got to meet the lead singer, Joanie Leeds, and she even let Katie interview her for my review page.

So yeah, I think our family found a niche to explore. Of course, we don't intend to limit ourselves, but I couldn't be happier. And we were very excited to find out that Joanie Leeds will be back in our area on June 5th to perform at the Philadelphia Zoo. I'm giving away a copy of the new Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights CD "I'm a Rockstar" over here. Please check it out and enter. It's a really fun CD.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

To all of the mothers who give so much of themselves on a daily basis,

To all of the grandmothers who lovingly spoil their grandchildren in true grandmotherly fashion,

To all of the greatgrandmothers who beam at a visit from the youngest members of the family,

And to all of the caring little girls who will someday meet Prince Charming
and be a mommy themselves,

I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.


Ten dollars well spent

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Other Boufs enjoy their first experience with a slip and slide:


Don't you realize I have a life to live?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

...despite my girlfriends' best attempts to kill me. My two closest mommy friends have been hard core the last few weeks at their new gym. As they nibbled on their salad and I licked the pot clean at The Melting Pot this past weekend, they talked me into joining their gym. Zumba, water aerobics, pilates, yoga ... it has it all. And it's all included in the one exorbitant membership fee. Ok, ok ... truth be told - they had me at "spend money." So, tonight I attended my first class - kickboxing. I have to say I am pretty proud of myself for getting myself there only 2 days after joining. Me, who breaks out in a sweat at the site of cardio equipment. Me, who bought a bike while pregnant with Timmy and still hasn't ridden it. (It's Katie's fault....if she could get up the slightest of inclines we could take family bike rides.) So, I got through the class. And lived. It was touch and go for awhile as I took 10 minutes out of the 55 minute class to dry heave in the locker room, but I survived. It's water aerobics next time. Yahoo! I feel like I finally made it to the summer camp I always dreamed about.

As you can imagine, things have been a little hectic around here. There's been so much going on, really. Work, hours of playing outside, pizza picnics in the treehouse, random fevers and nebulizer treatments. Our Easter was terrific. We had a great visit with the Bouf family this weekend (minus mom and dad Bouf). Chris turned 34 this past week -although for weeks I was convinced he was turning 33 - since he's 2 years older than my 31. Except, after he questioned my logic and I did the math, I realized that I was in fact 32.

Among other reasons, I have pushed off writing a new post for 2 weeks because I have been extremely busy watching tv. In the prime of the spring season, both of my DVR's are filling up on daily basis faster than I can watch all of the new programming I am taping. I've had to let a few be deleted without watching. After I verified that they were available On Demand. Speaking of tv - I have 2 public service announcements. First, Army Wives had its season premier this past weekend. Did you know? I didn't. I thought it always started closer to summertime. Thank God for my DVR, that knew the schedule better than me. Secondly, and I will not disclose why I know this, but Skinomax currently has the most interesting array of On Demand movies ever available at one time. The subjects range from space aliens in Europe, female vampires at a strip club, sex hungry ghosts, and medieval warriors on a space ship (who happen to gain energy from um...) I can see that I probably should have devoted an entire blog post to that second PSA, but you know, who has the time?

I've been extremely hard at work scouring the stores and online shopping for the best deals on spring and summer clothes for myself and the kids. Oh, and shoes. And workout clothes. My tax return did inspire me to find some super cute outfits. Between the family time, girlfriend time, time spent outside absorbing a little vitamin D, tv programming*, and shopping - it's been a terrific 2 weeks. (*terrific tv programming does not include American Idol, which instead has been driving me to medicate myself this season; however, it does include Dancing With the Stars - which I have never watched before - but have been tuning in to this season just to see Kate Gosselin and her partner plot each others murders. In all honesty, I started watching this season due to my girl crush on Shannen Doherty - who once again left a show before she should have.)

So, how has my work/life balance been so far? What's it like when we get home at 6:15 every night? Chris's birthday card from the kids pretty much sums it up:

Special thanks to my friends and family who have harrassed me over the last week or so to get a new post up. Apparently you are all on pins and needles to read my lastest words of wisdom. Or really bored at work. (Note: Will post more often in exchange for friends and family who comment more often ;)


And a new child actor is born...

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'm not shy. I never have been. I like to be liked. I love to be the center of attention. As a child and a teenager I enjoyed acting, especially musical theater. Some day, I'd love to be in the position to participate again. But in the meantime, I've noticed a little drama queen emerging.

A few weeks ago, when her daddy wasn't cooperating I sent her down to ask him "Daddy, don't you love me?" in an effort to get his help in fixing something for her. Her pouty lip and quivering voice were Oscar-worthy. She was quite proud of herself.

Last weekend, at a birthday party, the magician was asking for volunteers to try a line that his "assistant" would need to say. When it was Katie's turn she had the parents rolling with laughter. And she won the part.

In her excitement to play a role, I thought it would be perfect to have her say the required last line of my entry to the Wisk Pimp My Laundry Contest, which I'm promoting and offering a giveaway for here. She was thrilled. As long as I was willing to wait until after Dora was over to shoot.

She took her place, got into character ... and created this amazing reel of outtakes...

The first one on the video is actually the last one we shot and the one we're going with. I'll post my entire video entry as soon as it's done.


Little Miss Smartypants

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's come to my attention that my 4-year-old thinks she's smarter than me. She has told me this a few times now, so when she sang a song to herself in the car tonight about it being 10 o'clock, I politely corrected her to tell her it was 8:10. (Her father may share in the irony of the time she noticed and the fact that she is obsessed with the number 18 and 80-10. We're our own Lost episode cryptogram over here at The Other Boufs.)

She then began to make up a song that included "It's 10 o'clock. My mommy is wrong, wrong, wrong. I know I'm right cause I'm the smartest." A little defensive, I began to extol on her the (very) long list of my accomplishments. But I settled for just laughing at her and telling her she was wrong and that although she is very smart, I am the smartest. That she is the luckiest girl because she has THE smartest mom in the entire world. She was actually very impressed with that. I quickly reminded her that her daddy is even smarter than me, though. (I'm not saying I'm not usually "right" more often than him - but his intelligence is pretty impressive.)

Feeling a little guilty about my competitiveness, I told her that right now I do know more than her, but that someday she may very well be smarter than me and her daddy. But that we won't really know until she gets older. She asked,"But how will I get smarter? How will you know I'm smarter?"

I replied: Always do your homework and your school projects . Pay attention in school and study for tests. Don't ever use drugs. Always do your best and you can be smarter than mommy and daddy.

DON'T smoke cigarettes. Don't get fooled into thinking they look cool. They're not. Whatever you do, DON'T sweetly shock the hell out of your aunt by asking her, "Hey, can I try one of those?" You'll get the same answer as when you ask if you're smarter than me yet. "No!"

P.S. To my pop, on the 80th anniversary of your birthday: I love you and miss you. Come visit me in my dreams tonight. I better not find out it's you whispering into Katie's ear to ask for a cigarette...


I'm not a hypochondriac

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First off, it really bugs me when I have my next post all planned out, but then something riveting happens to me to disrupt my whole schedule.

Yesterday I read this article, about a Kentucky woman who delivered a surprise baby. I also happen to have a disease in which everytime I hear that someone else has some kind of illness, I develop all of the same symptoms within a day.

So today, after I inhaled my lunch my stomach started hurting really, really badly. Like, if it doesn't stop I'm going to the hospital badly. Like, oh my freaking goodness what if I'm going into labor without knowing I was pregnant, too, badly.

Luckily I realized I had just had my annual OB visit a month ago. Surely, if I was pregnant then, the doctor would have realized it. But then my stomach started hurting worse as I contemplated why we always hear these stories about women going into labor without knowing they were ever pregnant. Where are the stories about unsuspecting women going into the annual OB visit and finding out they were pregnant? Doesn't that happen? I do suppose that giving birth in your house, cutting the cord yourself, driving over to pick up your other child from school, and stopping in at your mom's to show off the baby on the way to the hospital is a bit more newsworthy, but whatever.

So then I realized that maybe I had only been pregnant for a month. That perhaps I was pregnant with an alien baby that was about to rip out of my stomach, like on the original V (except that my husband tells me that never happened, that I'm thinking of the wrong show, even though I distinctly remember having a hazy memory of a sweet baby girl twin with a snake tongue being born, unexpectedly followed by her green alien brother breaking through the mom's stomach). If this truly didn't happen, let me know so I can edit poor Timmy into looking like a vampire instead of an alien. Because I could change this story into thinking I was having a super short pregnancy like in The Twilight Saga.

I did survive my one hour hysterical pregnancy. In case you were wondering.

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