Weekend w/ Mommy part two

It’s hard to top the March Madness that was Weekend w/ Mommy (part one), but we were willing to try. That’s right everyone, my Mommy is HERE.  IN PHILLY. RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE!!! take THAT, Atlanta.

Saturday night. The Borgata. After the buffet, a decent $5 chardonnay and 2 cloyingly sweet but free white wines, here were the totals.  Me $161.50. NOT TOO SHABBY. John $69. WOOHOO.  My mom: HAD FUN ANYWAY.  And we’ll leave it at that.

Sunday. Peddler’s Village. Brunch @ the Cock n’ Bull. The corn pudding was excellent and the petit fours a dream.  Post meal roundup: Me, Mommy, Maddie & Georgia, ALL OKAY.  John: NOT.  B/c John got food poisoning and spent the car ride home vomiting into a shopping bag.

Afterward, John & I went to the Eagles game. YES MY HUSBAND IS A TROOPER.  And thank Goodness.  B/c the game was AMAZING. Except that this was my view.

And this was John’s.

Yes, that is a security guard sitting on my husband’s lap.

Although my husband put a brave face on things, by the end of the game it had gotten OLD.  When we complained, we were cursed out by the higher-up security guards on the field – the one even threatened to beat the hell out of John.

On a good note, I was not sat upon. And after the game, David Akers threw his wristband to ME! And I also caught Deshawn Jackson’s sweaty towel.  Both of which I immediately put on.  ANd even though everyone around me said EWWWwWWwWwW.   I said AHHHhhHHHHHHhHHHH.

Parasites SUCK.

Soooo…Yesterday morning started like every other. I get up, go to the bathroom – but I notice as I lift my shirt that I have this little black speck on my belly. It looks like a tiny seed bead. My daughters and I had spent the better part of the previous afternoon making jewelry on my bed, so you KNOW there were beads scattered everywhere. I pick the little sucker off my stomach and P-TOING! flick it away. I’m still kinda half asleep, and when I look again, I notice there’s a purplish mark where it’d been. DAMN cheap beads. So I lick my finger to wipe away the stain. Lick, wipe, lick, wipe. But it doesn’t go away.

Hmm. I look more closely – and am jolted awake by the realization that THAT tain’t no cheap bead, that mustabeen…. a BUG. Oh MY GOODNESSS. I peer around me on the floor, looking for the tiny black speck, and there, lo and behold, it is. I press it to my fingertip, raise it to my eyes. It looks like a teesy tiny seed, but when I look reeeeeaaaaaaaaallllly close, I can indeed see. it’s got LEGS.


My husband comes running. He isolates the thing in a small lidded jar. I then place the jar into a ziplock bag. B/c YOU CANNOT BE TOO CAREFUL. I call the doctor, they are about to put me on hold, when I announce “I have just been bitten by a deer tick.” They patch me right through. And so the ladies & spent the better part of yesterday rectifying my “little problem.”

You can see from the above photo how a sleep-ridden mind could indeed mistake this tiny bullseye mark for say… a freckle. or Cheap bead stain. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I found the tick on me, so there was no mistaking it. After a few minutes, anyway.

Here he is in the babyfood jar. I was feeling brave – this was taken w/out the additional plastic sheathing.

Now, here he is this morning. I am thinking he is dead. GOOD. He was waaaay bigger when I plucked him off my stomach. [Yes, I did have to tell you that.] That is a pencil point next to him. YES he is UNBELIEVABLY TINY. So WATCH OUT.

I did some online research and have concluded it was a nymph (juvenile) which bit me. The adults are quite a bit larger and more leggy. The nurse practitioner shone a light on him yesterday to establish his identity and color. Although he looks black to me, in the light he was indeed a reddish-brown. Perhaps from the blood he had stolen. Bastard. The nurse asked us what we were going to name him, so I chose Evil. which seems to fit him nicely. She gave me a prescription for a one-time mega-dose of Doxycycline (which I took last night) and said that I should be fine.

So, yesterday – b/c we have instituted this NO DRIVING DURING THE WEEK rule at our house – the ladies & I had to walk into town & back to get to the doctor’s office. Over 10 miles. As a treat, we meandered back via the Reading Terminal Market, and then South Street, of course treating ourselves to some TREATS. When you get bit by a damn deer tick, you milk it for All it’s Worth. Needless to say, everywhere we went, my younger daughter would reach her hand right into my purse, pull out that crazy ass bagged jar and announce to all & sundry MY MOMMY WAS BITTEN BY A TICK and HERE HE ISSSSSSSSSS. After the first couple times, I knew the routine & would head her off @ the pass. Somehow, I didn’t really want to share the whole story (along w/ specimen) w/ the girl at the cheap earrings shoppe. I am sure she was grateful.


Given that I just wrote a “fictional” tale of a nearly 45 lb. cat named Pudding Butt, you KNOW this got my attention. This article graces the front page of this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer. In short, it’s the story of a 44 lb. stray cat just found in Voorhees, New Jersey. This cat is so big it has to ride in a DOG CARRIER. Sound familiar??? Animal shelter staff nicknamed the cat Princess Chunky, BUT I KNOW HER TRUE IDENTITY. This, my friends, is none other than Pudding Butt.

JUST SAY NO! to riding your bike on the sidewalk

Today’s JUST SAY NO! is a little different. Rather than address a topic strictly geared towards mothers & daughters, I will instead – for the benefit of mankind – address a topic which affects us all. All of us using sidewalks, that is. Today we will JUST SAY NO! to riding your bike on the sidewalk.

That’s right, I am talking to YOU. You, the 45-year old man, wearing the helmet, timidly riding your cruiser ON THE SIDEWALK of Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The wrong direction. Oh. Yes, we saw you. And do you know why? B/c you nearly ran us over. You poor pathetic creature.

You, my good man, need to GROW A PAIR OF TESTICLES. Take that bike off the sidewalk where people are WALKING and place it in the BIKE LANE. It is right there next to the curb on the yonder side of the street. Now, you take that bike and ride it the right way. In the STREET.

There is no excuse for your behavior. None. You are a grown man. At least in physical body, if not mind. You have a bike, you have a helmet, you obviously are not blind. Do you not see those special lanes on the streets of Philadelphia? Those lanes marked w/ this:

That is not a man rolling donuts. He is RIDING HIS BIKE. IN THE STREET. He has a helmet. He has BALLS.

Several days ago, I saw a young child and her momma riding their bikes on the sidewalk of Baltimore Ave. It was a little annoying, since I had to negotiate around them w/ my two kids and a filled-to-the-brim super freaking heavy push-shopping cart. But at least they have an excuse. A 5 year old learning to ride her bike needs some guidance, and a busy street w/ trolleys is not the best place. Maybe her momma should take her to a parking lot or something, rather than a busy sidewalk. But I am not one to judge. No.

But these MEN. And grown WOMEN. Riding their bikes on the sidewalk when there are clearly defined bike lanes in the street. Well. You people are either cowards or self-absorbed morons. Or both.

If you are too afraid to ride your bike the legal way, then you should sell it and walk. Or take public transportation. Or just stay home. I don’t really care, but I do take issue w/ your callous disregard of other people. Like me, and my 2 kids. Trying to walk. On the sidewalk. Trying to get across town w/out being run over. On the sidewalk.

You should be pulled from your bikes and slapped. Hard. Especially since you nearly ran my 4 year old over. And my husband. All over Philly there are bike lanes. Bike lanes. USE THEM.

JUST SAY NO! to riding your bike on the sidewalk.

Differences between butterflies and moths

I took the ladies to the Academy of Natural Sciences last week, and one of our very favorite exhibits there is called BUTTERFLIES! I like it almost as much as the stuffed bird room on the third floor, and the super sweet Cowbird in the Children’s room who absolutely loves my older daughter and always talks to her when we visit. Cowie, Cowie, he calls, and puts his head down for a scratch. ANYWAY. At the Buttterflies! exhibit, we spoke w/ a friendly & highly knowledgeable staff person who explained to us the difference between moths & butterflies, something I had always wondered about but never quite knew.

Three easy ways of identifying a MOTH vs. BUTTERFLY:

1) Moths are mostly nocturnal, i.e., they’re active at night and rest during the day. Butterflies are the opposite – awake during the day, at rest during the night.

2) Moths, when they rest, spread their wings out to each side, wide open. Butterflies, on the other hand, close their wings together & keep them upright. They may gently beat them up and down while feeding, but mostly keep them closed rather than spread to each side.

3) Moths have short, feathery antennae, while butterflies have long, thin antennae w/ a “club” (nub-like doo-da) at the tip.

Some other interesting facts (excerpted from National Geographic Kids magazine):

Atlas Moths are the largest moths in the world, some w/ a wingspan of 12 inches. But they live for only three days. Sad.

Monarch Butterflies eat poisonous milkweed plants, rendering them toxic to other animals. Other types of Butterflies, such as the Viceroy, mimic the Monarchs coloring to fool predators into avoiding them as well.

Butterflies have sensory organs on their legs which act as tastebuds — so they can literally “taste” how ripe fruit is just by landing on it. PRETTY COOL.

When butterflies emerge from their chrysalis cocoons, their wings are crumpled and wet. If they don’t unfurl them properly and let them dry, their wings will stay wrinkled and they won’t be able to fly.

Caterpillars are eating machines. Some may grow to 100 times their original size.

Click HERE to read about the Four Stages of Butterfly & Moth Metamorphosis: Egg, Larva (Caterpillar), Pupa and Adult.

Lastly, my younger daughter & I very much enjoyed a picture book about Butterflies called Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope & Sue Riddle. I dare you to read it and NOT have the catchline stuck in your head for weeks.


My friends are the BEST.

THANK YOU, everyone, for your incredible expressions of sympathy. I cannot tell you how much it cheered me up. Seriously. you guys are the BEST.

The past few days I’ve felt like something on the bottom of a shoe, but today the sky is blue, the birds are singing and all seems right again w/ the world. It stings to look out the back window and see Prudence’s lonely hutch there w/out her. But I made arrangements to pick up her ashes in a couple weeks, and returning her to the place she loved will bring closure to the circle. I didn’t realize it would take so long to have a private cremation for a rabbit. But for only $85, who’s complaining? That wouldn’t even cover my toenails at a funeral parlor.

The insurance companies are handling the accident claim. It’s good to know we’re getting something out of allll thatt moneeeyyy spent on insurance.

SO. I have been unbelievably busy the past couple weeks, and feel like I haven’t been blogging, or even reading blogs. I have no time. NONE. I’m only on the computer b/c I snuck away. My daughters are now both home for the summer. The next 11 weeks. I counted.

C’MMMOONNN August 26th!!!!

Who knew two sweet girls could be such ruffians? I am not joking. These kids fight all day long. If one of them isn’t complaining abut the other, it’s probably b/c they’re plotting something else. SERIOUSLY, I need one of those tiny tape recorders so I don’t go hoarse. W/ the touch of a button I’d simply start the playback loop:
PICK UP YOUR [insert item].
ICE CREAM IS NOT BREAKFAST, and BY THE WAY DID you have to leave it out on the coffee table??? ARE YOU SLOW?? Did you not think I would be pissed that a) you were eating ice cream at 6 o’clock in the morning??, and b) THAT YOU LET IT MELT?? all over the effing table. next to a PILE OF CHIPS. You two stink at this. You have to be SNEAKY. SNEAAAAAAKKKKY. That means putting it ALL BACK before I come down here in the morning. But no…

Yes, I am going a little insane. For some reason, these kids want to be entertained 24/7. They think I am Julie, your cruise director from the Love Boat. I guess it’s my fault. We have been renting the first season of Love Boat episodes from Netflix and MAN, my daughters are HOOKED. My husband has given up. He was patient for a little while, as long as I plied him with a steeping quantity of wine and/or whiskey, but no more. He says he has reached his Love Boat limit. Granted, the shows are a little formulaic. And YES you do know what is going to happen as soon as the passengers board. The acting’s bad. I know it’s not PBS. BUT He just doesn’t understand. I spent hours watching the Love Boat as a child. It was **MAGICAL**.

ANYWAY, John graduated Saturday. and now is the proud owner of a masters degree in Information Science. We’d made plans to attend commencement, but at the very last minute John changed his mind. so we went to the Borgata instead. I have to say, WAY TO GO JOHN! a MUCH more pleasant way to spend a Saturday night. After stuffing our faces at the Buffet, John & the girls hit the beach and Mom-Mom & I hit the slots. LO & BEHOLD, those sneaky tricksters at the Borgata played a shell game w/ my secret luckiest winningest machine and MOVED IT. Damn! Oh well. I won $47 on another machine, and John’s grandmom won $94. I like winning money. Almost as much as being sent UNBELIEVABLY MARVVVELOUS PRESENTS IN THE MAIL when I least expect them! WOW.

JUST LOOK at this absolutely STUNNING scarf I rec’d yesterday from my brilliant pal Tracey. Who soooooo totally ROCKS!!! Thanks so much Trace!!!!!!!! As you can see, Kiwi has already made herself comfortable. I LOVE IT.