Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blowing out my candles

Halfway through the birthday and all is well!

I just had my hair done so as not to look as though I've had that many birthdays already, and then another gal lunch with an old friend. The weather is gorgeous--as well as my hair--so the day is going well.

In addition to some Red Velvet cake body gel and a Barnes and Noble gift certificate, I did get another pretty funky gift today. Check this out:

I think that means I have the 59th most influential parenting blog. Or 59th most idiotic. Or 59th most ridiculous. Or, do at least 59 things differently than me if you want functional children. Or the number of drinks I've had during my birthday week. And it's only Wednesday afternoon.

Whatever 59 refers to, I think it's pretty cool.

And I also think the world needs serious, serious, help.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Birthday Eve

So, whatcha think? I think the color goes well with my eyes (usually a bloodshot red) and is quite slimming through the hips...

How cool is this??? Careful, the paint is still wet in a couple of places and I'm still putting things away in the drawers of my sidebar, but I'm really liking the new digs. Thanks to my friend Jo-Lynne, the Vern Yip of the blogosphere for the makeover.

*awkward segue*

Yesterday, I went out with the gals for one of my 8 birthday lunches. I told you I was celebrating all week. It was nice. Nothing like a 2 Sangria lunch with friends to say Happy Birthday. 2 days early.

And speaking of birthdays, here's a shot from a party we went to on Sunday. Please note it's what all the little 4 year old girls have as party favors in Florida.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Reverse Deja Vu

Yesterday I had a reverse deja vu.

After a full day of hockey and parties, Stevie and I bagged the banquet and went out to dinner together instead. One of the many reasons I love that kid, is that he eats so well. And anything. Always has. So he chooses the Thai place because he wants sushi. What's not to love?

So we are sitting in our ornate booth munching on panang chicken when two older ladies come in and sit in the booth behind us. I can't see them, but I can hear every word.

The one is launching into a well-rehearsed diatribe about a mutual friend, "Helen." It seems Helen is cheap, annoying, anti-social, and a liar. (I feel a pang for Helen when I hear that they won't stop on their way to the theater to get her ice cream.) Anyway, in addition to Helen's many faults, she also must be a piss-poor Bridge player, because one of them says this:

She wouldn't play with their group because they played the trump card with the diamond bust.

I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I could hear myself saying it 40 years from now.

I wrote it down on the back of my Bruce Springsteen ticket sub with the sushi pencil so I would remember it when I'm 70.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Other stuff in my life

Okay, my re-entry back into real life is almost complete. Thanks to cleaning under beds, doing more laundry than a Kennmore front-loader, and restocking all the crazy on the shelves, I'm almost there. Next week, if I make it to the long-neglected gym and our new baby yoga class, with a rogue trip to the pediatrician's office for at least one of them, I am officially back in the swing. What a long stange trip it's been.

This week also marks some other significant mental milestones. It's my birthday (Wednesday, not today so hold your e-cards)and in addition to turning an even number which somehow in my mind is more attractive than the an odd, I had made the mental declaration that I would be finished or close to the closing chapters of my novel.

This did not happen.

But I realize now, that in order to do it right, it was an unrealistic goal anyway. I am much further than I ever thought I would be, and I can declare 1/4 of the way done, but I think it was the most difficult and time-consuming quarter of the process. So I'm giving myself the gift of congratulating myself for making it this far, even after long-neglecting our heroine who has been left unceremoniously at a Halloween party for the last three weeks listening to "Monster Mash" play over and over and over.

But it was a graveyard smash.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Disney Day 3--The Finale


6:42 a.m. : Please just 5 more minutes of sleep….Please….

6:51: I’ll wear my hair up and sleep for 5 more minutes.

6:58: It’s not like no one will notice I’m still in my pajamas. If Donald doesn’t wear pants, than I certainly don’t have to waste the time putting them on.

7:30: I am on time for our character breakfast. My hair is still slightly wet, but I am on time. We have breakfast and get our pictures taken with characters, because it’s a character breakfast after all.

We meet up with some more Disney folks who give us more tips. Kris and I have started to ask the others Moms to record those tips on video camera so we can share them in a fun way when we get back. They should be fun.

9:00 or something. We head on over to the All-Star Music hotel to tour some of the family suites they have just renovated. Cool, affordable, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, bedroom, living room suites for those of us with larger families.

We head back to the hotel and people are leaving at different times, so we’re a little melancholy saying good-bye. It takes us 3 1/2 hours.

I pack up and check out. Since I’m driving, I load up the car, and then go back in to do some souvenir shopping for the kids and get 1 hour of pool time. (I spend $84 on said souvenirs, which is the only time I pulled out my wallet all weekend. 2 of the most expensive items get mysteriously disappear from the bag, but Matty and Sean don’t believe that it was their presents that got stolen. :( )

I sit with MaryBeth and Kris in lounge chairs around the sandy bottom, lazy river pool and we agree on several things:

1) The amount of emails passed the week before between us on what shoes we were allowed to take was completely warranted. 7+ pairs each for 2 days is completely reasonable.

2) We will never be able to blog completely about all that has happened--but we sure will use up the entire Internet trying. (Sorry if anyone had online banking or school research to do this week.)

3) At first, Disney without children seemed a little strange. But after 17 bottles of wine in Italy, no double-stroller collapsing on a crowded tram, and no waiting in line for characters (they came to us) I could get a little used to this.

4) You can indeed eat 17 desserts at one sitting and still be hungry for more 3 hours later.

5) 67 times really isn’t that freakish when you consider it was 67 nights since 2001. (Okay, Kris and Marybeth did not really agree to this statement but I really need some reinforcement here. Either that or information on their frequent flyer on Space Mountain program.)

6) We have met and enjoyed some of the most creative, intelligent, beautiful women in the blogosphere, and we are all better for it.

10:34 p.m. After reuniting with a patient husband, 4 wonderful kids, and 1 stupid dog over a belated birthday dinner and stories galore, I pass out on my big (and crowded) bed exhausted after partying like a blog star.

And please don't forget to check out all of the links on my sidebar to these wonderful sites!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 2 of Disney


6:42 a.m.

It's early, but I get in that shower and panic for a moment that a baby monitor isn’t on. Then I remember that I don’t have one this weekend.

We eat a light breakfast in a private meeting room at the hotel. Another Disney cast member has joined us to answer any questions we may have and share some insider tips.

Does anyone have any questions?

This is like asking a room full Kindergartners if they need more glue. Or members of an AA meeting if they need more coffee. Or a group of Mommy bloggers if they have any questions.

We’ve got lots.

Again, I start to doubt the purpose of my presence here because the group is asking really intelligent and insightful questions about healthy dining options, food allergies and recycling programs. I just want to know why Mickey wears pants, and Donald doesn’t. (Thanks to my esteemed reader TwithHoney for that submitted question.) So I hold back, but absorb the very interesting discussion.

9:00: We head on over to the Magic Kingdom for a little photo shoot (will I ever shake the paparazzi??) and some riding time. We do Space Mountain, the newly refurbished Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean with Kris and her baby, Charles, who has accompanied us on our trip. I think Charles thoroughly enjoyed his first trip to Disney World. He even got his first pair of mouse ears.

12:00: Back on the bus to head on over to Hollywood Studios (which used to be called MGM Studios until a month ago which thoroughly confused me for a day and a half) We have lunch at the Brown Derby and it is delicious. I didn’t think I would ever be able to eat again after Italy, but I make a good old college try at the Cobb Salad which is bigger than the Epcot Ball.

Then we get a sneak peak at a new ride, “Toy Story Mania.” It is still under construction, the press hasn’t even seen it yet, (I just scooped Matt Lauer!) but we get a tour of it and a whole description from the “Imagineers” who created it. It was so cool to walk through an active construction site of a Disney ride. I resist the urge to sign my name in the wet cement.

We round out the afternoon with Studio sights, and Kris and I think the margaritas look particularly festive.

5:45: Meeting in the lobby of the hotel in our fancy non-Mom clothes. We’re wearing skirts and open-toed shoes. And lipstick. There is not an elastic waistband to be found. We are gorgeous. I dare you to say we aren‘t. (We’ll only blog about you later.)

We walk outside to board the bus, but no. No bus. Instead, three white stretch limos wait with champagne being uncorked. We climb in as though we are used to traveling in such a fashion, and no one even pretends to buckle their seat belts. (We are seriously getting used to this whole non-Mom thing.)

The limos take us over to the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort. We enter a side door of the restaurant only to find that we are not dining amongst others, but rather a full 6 course meal in a private room on the roof of the hotel over looking Cinderella’s castle. There is an open bar. There is sushi. There is the executive chef from Epcot sitting at my table. There is no menu.

Instead, plate after plate after plate comes out with some of the most delicious food I’ve eaten. The courses are beautiful and I almost hate to deconstruct the lovely presentations, but I get over it and plow through each dish and stop short of dropping my face right into the molten chocolate cake. Not out of ettiquette, but because I'm afraid I'll burn my nose.

We step out onto the balcony and look out over all of Disney World. Kris asks why I know so much about Disney, and that is when I have to sheepishly admit that when we called last for our reservations, they said that was our 67th time.


“67?? How is that even possible?” Maria Bailey asks as she laughs so hard I think she might tumble down and impale herself on one of the spires on the castle.

I don’t admit that that was only on-property stays.

8:45: Back in the limos for our ride to Cirque du Soleil--La Nouba. We kill the remainder of the champagne.

This show is amazing. And intense. After, we get treated to meeting two of the talented performers, and again I know I am way out of my league. Example question from my way more art appreciative friends: I am sensing some powerful themes throughout the show, what does it mean to you?

Example of a Suburban Diva question: Given the whole Mickey/Donald pants issue, would the same fashion rules apply to tutus?

So as not to embarrass the group and myself, I again keep this to myself.

11:44: Back at the hotel I passed out exhausted on my big bed after partying like a blog star.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Friday from Disney

Let me set the scene here before I go much farther…This weekend was coined the “Disney Mom Blogger Mixer,” and I was invited to go with 15 other Mom bloggers around the country. None of us knew each other before the trip, and this was a little daunting to me, but I really was prepared to just have a new experience and all that that would entail.


3:15: I arrived at Disney’s Beach Club Resort after a 90 minute drive of listening to my own radio choices rather than the “Underdog” screenplay which is my usual fare. The room is beautiful, and it is difficult to believe the whole thing is mine. I did a sheet angel on the king size bed and didn’t hit a kid or a dog when I did it. My family sent me flowers in honor of Matty’s birthday tomorrow and they were a sweet touch to the room.

The itinerary is absolutely amazing. The first thing was a Welcome Reception at 4:15. I quickly rushed down to the pool to meet my new friend Kris from before the reception. She’s a trip. A trip into downtown Crazy. But that’s okay since I am the Mayor of Crazyville; it’s nice to hang with a constituent.

4:30: We all gather at a Welcome Reception in an outdoor gazebo overlooking the beautiful pool at the Beach Club. It has a lazy river and a sandy bottom. We are greeted by our Disney hosts, Joyce, Leanne and Michelle; and they couldn’t be more gracious. And there is this beautiful buffet laid out--it includes buffalo and duck. And Sangria. Lovely. Sangria. Did I mention Sangria?

The women here are truly amazing. And very diverse. There are bloggers, product reviewers, web designers, writers, parenting site editors, and me. I am beginning to seriously wonder what I’m doing here amongst all of this talent. Kris organizes baby showers for military wives. Lori is home schooling. Gabrielle is running multiple sites with 5 children. Mary Beth has 6 kids and has written a book and has another out in January.

My column this morning was about writing off Jack Daniels as a deduction on my taxes.

6:00: We headed over to Italy for dinner. (Italy was just in nearby Epcot, but I just like saying that.) There is a 17 hour wait, but we get escorted right inside and occupy 3 large tables in the middle of the restaurant. I sit next to Leanne from Disney and Darcie who was part of the Moms panel at Others at my table included Marybeth, Elizabeth, Kim, Michelle and Jo-Lynne.

We eat like kings. Or queens. Italian queens. There is food and wine and attentive waiters with accents. We are talking non-stop. Imagine a group of women. A group of mothers traveling for a weekend of fun without kids. A group of child-less mothers who also blog. We never shut up. EVER.

And we take pictures. Lots of pictures. I felt as though I wasn’t personally doing my share since cameras were flashing like paparazzi bulbs, and the braised pork shank was Lindsay Lohan.

8:30: After the fabulous meal and 3 desserts, we are escorted to more desserts. I see no problem here.

There are attendants with air traffic controller flares leading us through the crowds that have already started to line up to watch the fireworks. People are staring trying to figure out why we are so important. I want to answer their curious stares with, “We’re bloggers. Mommy bloggers.” And then watch them all scramble to eat their vegetables and write HTML code.

9:00: We are seated in our own private area with our desserts and coffee and benches right on the water to watch Illuminations. Totally fun. I become that tourist which I abhor--and watch the entire show through the viewfinder of the HandyCam because I feel as though I should work a little.

After, we break up and try to squeeze in a few rides during the extra park hours.

11:05: Back in my room, next to my flowers sits a fun gift bag of Disney goodies. At least I think they’re fun, because I pass out on my big bed exhausted from partying like a blog star.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Diva, you have just logged your 560th post...what are you going to do now? I'm going to Disney World!

In less than 24 hours I will be leaving for 48 hours.

I have packed 3 bags. I have arranged for 15 hours of babysitting and 7 favors. I have ordered 2 birthday cakes and painted 10 toes. I have made 3 deadlines, and hope to log in 1 more. I have shopped and laundered and shopped.

And as Rafiki says, (Disney character) "It is time."

I am really excited about this. I feel uber guilt for leaving the family this weekend--especially with a birthday and hockey--but I am looking forward to a weekend of being treated because of something I love to do and is a little goofy (another Disney character).

We don't know the itinerary, but I kind of like the surprise aspect of it. I hope there is time to roller coaster. Or lay by the pool. Or learn something new. Or meet some cool women.

Or whatever.

The whole thing has a summer camp feel to it, which is so unlike me truthfully, but at least we're not bunking together or sharing bathrooms.

So I will blog about blogging Disney style on Monday. See you then!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Want some Funyons with yer Dew?

Sometimes I think I was a dirtbag in a former life.

I have these dirtbag tendencies that creep through the diva facade every once in a while. Usually, Sean is the only witness and he generously points them out. Like when I drink Mountain Dew. Or when I wear my Cheap Trick hoodie. I spent $400 on this hoodie at the school auction, but it looks as though I found it in Peter Cetera's rummage sale because it is black and usually covered in white Jingle hair.

So today, I was not wearing said hoodie, but a black T-shirt when I went to the post office to mail in our taxes at the last minute which is my personal protest if we owe. (Which we did and I'm still pissed about it.) Anyway, so I am standing in this excruciating long line with other civil disobedients when the old man behind me says, "Someone has a kitty."

What? I didn't know who he was talking to so I ignored him.

"I'm sorry, but this is driving me crazy, can I just brush your back?"

So I turn around as he starts to brush the dog hair from my back. In line. At the post office. In front of 27 other procrastinators.

I don't even know what to say to this.

Except that now there are 28 more witnesses to my dirtbagdom.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mixing it up at the Mixer

Okay, we're only days away from out Disney event. Come Friday, I'm off to introduce Disney to the mom blogosphere. Or at least my little corner of it.

We have no idea what we'll be doing, but it's been hinted that the itinerary is absolutely amazing. I'm gettin' a lil excited about it. There are 20 of us I think, and its a Mom-only gig, so it'll be different. Not sure what it will be like not to push a stroller down Main Street.

Anyway, we also get a chance to ask the folks at Disney questions. So readers, what are you just dying to know? You know I'll write all about it when I get home, but is there anything you want me to ask while they lend me an ear, or 2 in the shape of a mouse?

Comment here or divamail me at

Friday, April 11, 2008

Oh what fun, Jessie is one

Woo hoo!! Jessica is one and we got a raise! Read about that here....

But we spent our first week's formula savings on this party last night. The theme was pink. It was awesome.

Jessica appreciated it.

As did her siblings

Birthday dress

And me and my girl (fierce do)

All I want for my birthday is my two bottom teeth. (Good thing)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Crawling back into my hole now

I'm not complaining, but really, too much PR this week. I need a little respite from the media. I'm not sure I like much more of a spotlight than the glow of my computer screen.

So, I think the last mediums left are radio and skywriting, so perhaps that will give me a goal for next week....

Anyhoo, the bigger news is that Jessie girl turns one tomorrow. 1!! We've got pink cake, pink decorations, pink balloons and anything else Amy can find fitting our monochromatic theme.

After the week I've had in the limelight, a swaddling in baby pink sounds really, really wonderful.

Pictures tomorrow.

quick, find my hairspray

News crew here in 10 minutes--wow.

Report later.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ah, message boards

Okay, now I'm just amused.

The comments thing has just taken on a twisted life its own--one that I have lost track as to why it even got started. But somehow the situation has deteriorated into me becoming the poster child for ovaries. Which is even funnier since the closest I have ever come to speaking on anything remotely femininely intimate is a diatribe on shoes.

So hopefully all of the baby-haters will slink back into their mother's basements and get distracted by sweet YouTube videos and the the latest issue of the Auto Trader and leave me--and my ovaries--alone.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Deliciously Snarky

That was the headline, "Deliciously snarky Suburban Diva Blogs on in Safety Harbor."

Oh, you have no idea.

Because as I was feeling pretty giddy about my little article this weekend, it seems some idiot(s) weren't so generous, and then felt the need to comment online. And I realize there are some people out there who just suck.

Now, my friends--and if you are reading this blog than you must be that, right?--you don't have to like me. You don't have to think I'm funny or clever or even a mediocre writer. You don't have to appreciate the happenstance career hobby that comes last on my list of things to do in a day, but that somehow has developed into something special for me nonetheless. You don't have to get me or it. You are entitled to that opinion.

You can choose not to buy my book. You can choose not to read my column. You can ignore my blog.

But there is one thing you can't do.

You can't comment on my family. You can't comment on the size of it, or whether you think I am entitled to another or have too many. You cannot comment either way on my fertility. It is absolutely none of your business, and don't think for 1 minute that 300 words in a newspaper gives you any glimpse into who I am. What I value. WHOM I value.

Because I do not value anyone who says, "heard of birth control?"

I value those beings generated from this "baby maker machine" and the only reason I am commenting on this here is because I find the comments so unbelievably insulting, that I don't even understand them. Seriously. I didn't ask anyone to pay for their groceries. I didn't ask anyone to babysit them. I didn't ask you to donate to my diaper fund. (I take PayPal) My husband and I have been blessed with 4 beautiful, amazing, healthy children that I thank God for everyday.

I thank God for them, and refuse to apologize to anyone else. How dare you imply that I somehow did something wrong.

That's why I'm so bothered by that. And I know the only apropos response is no response and a huge, "whatever."

So today I'm snarky, but tomorrow I'll be delicious again. Fergilicious even.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

It's getting better

*kicking imaginary sand with hands jammed in pockets sheepishly*

Okay, well...I'm having a better day now.


How fun is that?? I want to hang out with that cool chick whoever she is.

Bad Day

I am having such a bad day!!!

AArggghh!! I just want to pull out my hair and go back to bed and put an end to this crappy, crappy day.

Matty is throwing up. I think I've lost the second workbook for his First Communion due in a week. I'm trying to bleach everything down, and Amy is insistent about making the oddest messes today. I'm feeling off, and sad, and basically down about myself in general and I don't know if this pit in my stomach is the flu or psychological. Everyone is snapping at each other and it's going to rain.

And I'm obviously whiny.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

SD in the News

I'm about to throw up, but this time it has little to do with the flu and more to do with anticipation.

I got word today that the Suburban Diva update is going to run in Sunday's paper. Sunday. Yikes. (I am only linking to it if it is wonderful and they photoshop my picture from a year ago when I was 7 months pregnant and make me a size 4. And fix my hair.)

I'm going to try not to think about that incessantly for the next few days. Instead, I'm going to work on the 12 different open documents on my screen, a column, and that little novel I've been ignoring. Our writer's group met last night and I got some great feedback that I want to incorporate and keep moving forward.

And oh yeah, those adorable children of mine. Jessica is turning 1 in a week. How crazy is that?????

Another reason to throw up.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom

If you get the Internet in heaven, I hope you read my blog. I hope you get silly eCards with jumping rabbits and bad jokes. I hope you get birthday cake and a hat. I hope you get coupons to your favorite restaurant or that God makes you beef Wellington because it's your favorite.

I hope you hear me singing even though I am out of tune.

But I hope you don't know how much I miss you because that would make you feel bad, and I don't want that for your birthday.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

SD is a TM

It is official. I am officially a Trademarked entity.

That means I own Suburban Diva. A notice came in the mail notifying me that I finally own that little piece of intellectual property. So stand back imposters, you can all start thinking of new names. This one belongs to me.


We are back from the cold north. Brrrrr!! I have forgotten just how cold it is north of Orlando. But we had a great time, and the wedding was beautiful, and we survived the plane, double stroller and all. The pukefest continued up there--the whole family is quickly succumbing to the barfbug. But other than that, a good trip for all.