Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Life of Pi

I write on this rainy, gloomy Wednesday morning by my lonesome sitting staring out the window in Dilworth coffee. My husband has taken off work solely to tend to the children and give me a break. How sweet is he?(I just reminded myself of the Barefoot Contessa as she all too often says, "How easy is that?", "How good does that look?". If you are not an Ina viewer that's ok, but I encourage you to make a dish or two of hers. She has yet to let me down. But please remember, never use the amount of salt she dictates. It will leave your fingers swollen and may give you a minor stroke) But let's be honest, he had an extra day that he would lose if he didn't take off before the New Year. But let's really be honest, he is sweet, for he could be spending this day doing some kind of masculine activity by his lonesome.

Nothing really on the agenda today except I want to appease my husband. He has been getting on my case lately about not having kept records of the boys "milestones" and events and such. I thought all the pics and videos would suffice.(And P.S. I learned the hard way 3 years ago  the word "suffice" after reading it aloud to bystanders pronouncing it "suffis") But apparently those do not suffice. Benjamin started saying "Jet" the other day. Julius asked when Jet's first word was. I said, "How the beep would I know?" He says "You are the woman, you should know these things." Then I punched him in the face. Ok I'm fibbing, I didn't really answer the question that disrespectfully. But he has asked me several times since then, so we have agreed to put a journal on our blue armoire and document more from now on. But we haven't done that yet and so I write it in a public forum sharing things that probably should be kept to chuckle at in the privacy of our own home. I share my children's innocence here. So in your face Julius.

Jet is approaching 3 the end of this month. Benjamin will be 1 the day after Christmas, or Chrimus as I like to say. (If you want a laugh, have Julius sing you "Oh Chrimus Tree" in his ghetto uneducated lazy voice) Here are their present lives. Boys will be boys.

The oldest child likes discussing body parts. I was cleaning the kitchen last week when I heard Jet say out of nowhere to his father, "Daddy, is your penis large?(pause) Or humongous?"

He is into the whole "kiss it better" phase, but(pun inteneded) sometimes does not get his way, like in these recent instances:
-Yesterday morning he said, "Daddy my butt hurts, kiss it."
-He was standing naked while I was getting him dressed and he pointed less than 1 inch away from his penis and said, "Ow this hurts. Kiss it Mommy"
-He stated his  upper right molar hurt, and then opened his mouth wide for me to kiss the back of his mouth.

The boys have been bathing quite a lot recently especially after naps and before dinner because it's the only place I can keep them confined and occupied without destroying the house. Benjamin has the biggest, meatiest yet muscular tush I have ever seen. He fell out of the bath last week. He disobeyed and stood up after I told him countless times not to. He leaned over the side and face planted out of the tub. His rump and legs in the air caught on the tub. Had he broken his teeth this would not have been as humorous as it was. Lessons learned and they don't come cheap.

Every morning when Jet arises from bed he sits on my lap and our dialouge is as follows:
Me:You is
Jet: kind
Me: You is
Jet: smart
Me: You is
Jet: important
Just a little something I made up. Ok shut up, just read or watch 'The Help' if you haven't. But it warms my heart because he says it is a "Semi- Southern Drawl". I have also taught him how to talk in a thick Southern accent, he is so talented.

Benjamin has a thing for older women. He tends to have the hots for all of Jet's friend girls. Jet and Elle had a sleepover for an advent activity. Benj wanted to be wherever the little lady was. He also has a thing for Jet's friend Ivie.

I thought it was a good idea to take Jet to a Christmas concert at church for a mother and son outing. He tends to do great one on one. My mother, Jan, was singing in the choir along with hundreds of others. Every few minutes he would declare loudly, "Where's Nona?" Then he started standing in the pews. Then he started dancing in the aisles. Then he started pissing off the people trying to enjoy the music. Then he started saying loudly, "I gotta go pee pee, I gotta go pee pee!"  Needless to say we got the beep outta there after about 45 minutes. This is a situation that I would have witnessed and wanted to drag the kid out and teach him a lesson. Being the parent I acted angry but was really laughing histerically inside. Mainly because of the way I had him dressed, and how else would I expect my 2 year old to act at his bed time and having not taken a nap that day?
The only reason Jet was laughing was due to some comment dealing with farting and butts made by his male parental who was taking the picture.

We often find the camera with images snapped that we did not take. Last week we found about 40 images snapped. Although Jet had the camera in his hands, I didn't realize he knew how to turn it on and take pictures. Just a few I found, probably only funny to me.

Anywhosies, I should wrap this up and go get some final stocking stuffers for my boys. My closing statements are these, I really want to urge you to have yourself a Merry little Chrimus. Please don't forget the birth of our Savior. And also something I have been thinking recently after seeing a live nativty the other night. I am sure it was heck of a lot less glamorous then we think it to be. For anyone who has had a baby, you probably aren't just standing all pain free and fresh after having just birthed a babe. Mary's lady parts had just been throught the ringer and most likely she had cracked and bleeding nipples from a suckling babe, who was perfect so probably latched on no problem. Let's hear it for our girl!

I don't know what song I am signing off  with today. I will choose whatever song comes on next on Pandora.
Ok I kid you not, Bob Dylan and "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall".  How perfect is that for today's weather condition?(Ina)

"Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall..."

Friday, November 11, 2011


This date, in our home, not only means we will be remembering the Veterans that served our country well, but also it is to us, an Italian, salt and pepper haired, hottie, turning 29. Salt caused by yours truly. "Alright already woman! Enough with the birthday tributes!" Well I hear ya, but I just had to give a shout out to my faithful, loyal and patient as crap, husband, Julius Silvio Milani, born November 11, 1982 in Eugene, OR.

Ja'Rulius is his street name, and sistas, can he flow. I often remember the time we were driving back from Camp Pendleton to San Clemente and I had to ride smashed against the door in the back seat because the surf board was taking up the whole car. We had music on with no lyrics. He flowed non stop for the 25 minute drive home. No stuttering, no hesitation. It was dark and all I could see was the back of his head, and for those 25 minutes, I was riding in the back seat of a brotha's car, and I was proud. We often rap together present day riding in the car as a family. I can't compete with his skills and most times when I'm at a loss for lyrics, I revert back to the flow my  mafia sister Dawny and I wrote together in S. Fl. when we were 14, while smoking cigars and drinking O'douls.

Before Julius and I started dating, we were great friends who had a ridiculous and hysterical time together. Because we are both 50% Italian, we used to have a plan called "OPERATION RELATION".  We were going to trace back our heritages and find a link that made us somehow related. When we started dating, the plan came to a halt.
We want a lot of children, and Lord willing, I will give Julius the basketball team he desires. He is an amazing father who is constantly wrestling and fighting the boys and throwing them around. Benjamin's new name for everyday is presently Karate Benjamin. When the 3 of them are not getting out aggression, they are hiding under forts and searching for dinosaurs. Outside they catch bugs and pick things up that if I came in contact with, I would freak the freak out. While I taught Jet to stomp and smash any bug he sees, Julius has done a good job reversing this habit, and now Jet only smashes bugs with my permission. While I have a shorter fuse for tolerating whining and crap, especially by the early evening, I rest assured knowing that the little boys will be in good hands because "Daddy" will be done working soon and they will have a man and a fresh set of hands to hang with, who will show them nothing but love and patience. The other night when eating dinner, Jet was only wearing a shirt and socks and was moving from chair to chair at the table. His tush went in Julius' pasta bowl. His bare butt was then covered in a bolognese sauce and grated Parmesan. Had it been my plate,  my hand would have been covered in sauce and cheese from a nice swat to the behind. But Julius was unaffected and just moved his plate calmly to the side and dealt with it appropriately. He doesn't put up with crap either, he just is more slow to anger than this B-ya.When I tell Jet I love him, his response is, "I love Daddy." 

He has a past of bringing home living things. When we first got married, we got an ant farm and a fish tank. Then we moved to Cali. In the beginning he had to work one Saturday a month in San Diego. I take it he had time for Craigslist because every time he worked that Saturday, he would come home with a new living something, without my consent. Iguana, Chinchilla, Zebra Finches, Iguana, Kitten, oh and another Iguana. Shoot me. Nothing stayed long. We also got a puppy almost 2 years ago off Craigs list. One he really wanted. I agreed to getting it but was firm in my word when I said I was not taking care of it. Less than 24hrs. after bringing it home, it was back on Craigs. (Don't worry animal lovers and activists, he went to a good home).
I don't even know where to begin on telling you about his skills in building things. Chicken coupe, mirror, island top, end tables, piano bench, trellises, stairs and the list goes on. I mention we need something. He says he can build it. He prints out a 15% off coupon. He goes to Lowe's. Spends a few nights out in his workshop, and then bam, he presents it. I scream and sometimes pass out from being blown away. He just built a beautiful stone fire pit and benches out back. Talk about being impressed. I often catch him staring out the window into the yard, proud of his work, a little too proud.
He also is an exceptional painter and many of his artwork is on display on our walls.

I love this man because of his love for gardening and crop production. Sometimes I call him Adam from the garden of Eden. Actually I've never done that. While I appreciate flowers, my true fondness is for fruits, vegetables and herbs. What is better than having fresh, organic, home grown goodness? Since we bought this house a year and a half ago, he has planted 3 apple trees, a fig tree, a pear tree, a peach tree, a mulberry tree, a cherry tree, a pomegranate tree, kiwi, blueberry and raspberry bushes and I know I am forgetting something.  Because of my love for cooking, nothing is better than going out to the herb garden and grabbing a handful of free, fresh herbs to accompany the meal. Summer is a time of vegetables. I am presently waiting for the lettuce and other greens to make an appearance for the winter crop.

In the past, I have enjoyed when we've watched the Notebook together because his love for me is kicked up a notch for the next few days. What also does it is, "Return to Me." We watched that the other day and we are obsessed with each other presently. We keep saying things like, "Please never die". And just the other day he said, "I want to punch your freaking face in so hard right now". Ah love.

When Jet was younger and barely talking, when he would get angry or frustrated he would scream , "JULIUS!" not knowing it was his father's name. He knew it to be a word, that he learned from his mother, to yell when you were angry or frustrated. Bless my husband's heart.
He and a couple of his BFF's have "band practice" on Monday nights out in the workshop. And how creative, they call their "band", "The Workshop." Fortunately it is far away from the house where I don't have to hear the jam session. Occasionally though, I go out there and listen from outside and dance under the stars by myself holding up my lighter. I am the groupie. It makes me laugh and smile to hear them having so much fun playing music and singing. I love his loyalty to his friends. They are like brothers to him and he would do anything for them. He also has a "surf club" with those guys, and they call it JAD (Julius, Andrew, Daniel). Once again, I am so impressed by it's originality. They made T-shirts displaying "JAD".
The newest member of JAD. 

Speaking of music, Ja'Rul does a mean Ray Charles impression. While on piano, he plays the same Ray and Elton songs over and over and over again. He also plays some banjo, mandolin and whips out his harmonica sometimes while playing guitar. We have many a time recorded music together. This typically ends in a fight because I can't stay serious long enough and always end up breaking out in opera-like singing and therefore ruining the recording.
                                                       Karate praising the Lord.
Many things that start off as jokes with us, become our reality. Examples: From the start of our marriage, 6 1/2 years ago, we used to mock couples who would always call each other "babe" after any statement they said to each other. But not just a regular sounding "babe", a fast and peppy way of saying it,  like "beb". The mock became a regular part of our lingo, and for years now we constantly call each other "beb", not even in a jokingly manner. Another joke turned reality is "Boom Boom". Anytime we would see a black, loaded, tinted window, big SUV, like an Escalade, Tahoe, Suburban type, we would always say "Booom Boooom" and do a type of bounce with our bodies. We would do this because this is the bass you would expect to hear coming from the car with some form of rap/R&B playing. Well this also became reality. Julius sold his car that he loved and had the fondest of college memories in, and as of a month and a half ago, I now am the proud owner of a Boom Boom.  After we bought the big, black, loaded, tinted window Suburban, we drove home separately from the dealership. Julius got home before me. When I pulled onto our street, I put on Power 98, turned up the bass on the Bose and creeped down the street so he could hear me coming. This is now my warning I'm almost home so he could  come out and help unload the groceries.
                                 Our final pictures with "Montey" before he went on to a better home.

And just to stop myself for a minute, I just read this over. Please forgive me for talking about myself, as this is supposed to be about my lover. This is his salute and I am a selfish creep and can't keep myself out of this. Moving on.

This man pursues the Lord daily. He keeps Christ the head of our home. He gets his confidence from his Savior. I love watching him evolve more and more into a man of God. He prays with us, and for us. I pray my boys will turn out just like him. I thank God for giving me a man able to put up with me and all my junk. For sticking with me through my times of depression and insanity and never loving me any less. His love for this family is unconditional, and for that, we are BLESSED!

  Julius has Psoriasis. I have Vitiligo. We are a match made on earth.

Happy Birthday Beb! I love you muy muy mucho! Meet me in the bedroom in 5! Raar!
I'm kidding. That was to make any bystanders uncomfortable.

The song I leave with today is one of great meaning to us both. A few months back, we heard the music to "Oh Danny Boy" in church. On the drive home, we sang in opera the song from the Saved by the Bell episode where AC Sladers chameleon, Artie, dies and Jessie Spano sings at his funeral. She sings this song, with the "Oh Danny Boy" tune. Thank you and Enjoy.

 "Oh Artie boy
 the bugs, the bugs are buzzing
               There's gnats and ants, mosquito's and the fly
And they'll be bugs for breakfast, lunch and dinner
In that great chameleon banquet in the sky."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Oh Dear

Julius got Benjamin ready for bed with a diaper and pj's after his bi-annual bath the other night.

In the morning, Benjamin let out his usual roar, informing me to come get him from his crib. Each day he longs desperately to grace the world with his presence. The room reeked of pee. He was completely soaked, and his sheets were completely soaked. I took him into the other room to change him. I looked down. His diaper was fully latched and on, but sticking out to the side were Tony and the twins. His diaper was dry as a bone.

I told Julius the story. His response was something along the lines of, "How did you manage to do that?"

Male models. Speaking of Zoolander...

"Relax don't do it
When you want to go to it..."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time To Say Good-Bye...

Only the most glorious song, but you already know that.  In case you need a refresher though, please knock yourself out. And even if you don't need a refresher, knock yourself out. Literally no matter how many times
I hear it, I get knocked to the floor. Goose bumps, glossy eyed and hands raised high, this is me. Many of Andrea Bocelli's songs do that to me, but this one in particular does a special thing in my heart. Listen and I'll tell you why. Go on, I'll be here waiting for you when you get back.


I had my Father translate this for me many years ago, but now unfortunately, I cannot do the same for you. Listening to the lyrics, "Time to say good-bye" and the beautiful instrumentals, I can't help but think of leaving this earth. This song plays hard on my emotions, that when listening, I think, how awesome would it be as I am taking my final breaths, to hear this song. I  imagine angels singing this, telling me to say good-bye to this world, and that I am on my way to glory. A beautiful ending, only to the start a beautiful eternity. Amen? Or Amen?

Having said that,  I love Andrea Bocelli for a few reasons. He is Italian. He is blind.  Starting long ago, my old man would give me a CD of his every Christmas. Listening to his music makes me think of my family. Whenever he sings duets, I close my eyes and pretend to be the girl he is singing with. His voice is raw and spectacular.

I went through a phase 10 years ago when I was 18 and attending UNCC, where I tried to be sophisticated. How moron can one get? I would drive in my black Nissan Altima, wear a low sleek bun,  listen to Andrea, crack my window, turn on the AC and smoke those long slender capri cigarettes. I felt...oh so classy  Seriously, I felt it. Now if you knew me in high school, you know that I was never a smoker. Although a lot of my friends smoked back then because it is so hip to do,  I never really partook, mainly because my parents spent money at the dentist getting my teeth bleached. I never wanted to yellow them, so vanity kept my lungs crystal clear. This "classy" phase lasted a good 2 weeks. As much as I wanted to continue in my sophistication, I really didn't enjoy the sticks of tobacco(or tobacal as a Sunday school teacher kept calling it, shout out to you Erin!). I now enjoy Andrea just as much, if not more, driving in the car drowning out the complaints of 2 little ones.  Jet enjoys it as well and tells me to "play it harder, mom". Meaning turn it up, probably so it drowns out his mother who is singing loud jumbles of made-up Italiano.

Speaking of, yesterday was Jet's first whole day of school. Because he is in the 2's, the first week was a transition week with half days only. Let's just say the first week didn't count and I have my act together after all. I cut the handsome boys hair the night before and got a picture the morning of. Question is, can the Joneses keep up with me?

And then what the heck, might as well throw in one of the beast.

Yes that is food matting down his hair. And no, the slight tint of orange isn't a case of the jaundice, or shall I say, jaundi. Food again. And yes, he is fat. 

I felt bad tonight because he was jumping in his jumper and I went to pick up a toy with my feet and put it on his tray and he jumped right into my toe and it scratched the crap out of his eye/nose, he screamed. I felt awful. Yesterday Jet and I were playing catch in the backyard and I threw the hard ball and it  hit him in the nose, he screamed. I felt awful.

Becasue my hands and feet have been doing more harm than good to my children, I will leave you with Sandi Patti's 1989 "Beautiful Feet", one of my jams as a child. And please, do me a favor and don't even bother reading the lyrics.

There are feet that skip and play
There are feet that run away
There are feet that love a race and win or lose
There are chubby feet and small
And strong feet to kick a ball
But beautiful are the feet that bring good news.

There are feet that sleekly swim
Through the water wearing fins
There are feet that shimmy up the tallest trees
There are happy feet and sad
There are aching feet and mad
But beautiful are the feet that publish peace.

Those are beautiful feet
Beee-uuu-ti-ful feet!
Dutiful, cute-i-ful lett!
Tried and true-ti-ful feet
Do you have beautiful feet!
Do you have beautiful feet!

Feet climb mountains, feet climb stairs
Some wear shoes, and so go bare!
There are feet of every shape and every size
But when feet run with the new
Jesus loves me and loves you
Then no matter what they look like - realize…

Beautiful feet
Beautiful feet
Beautiful, beautiful feet!
Tried and true-ti-ful feet
Do you have beauti-i-ful feet

(Walkin’ with my Jesus down a one way street - with my beautiful, beautiful feet.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

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

Because I am not even sure what I am going to say. I sit here disgusted after eating a dinner which consisted of me eating 6 pieces of bacon before we even sat down to eat. That only left one for my husband, and one for my firstborn. The bacon was supposed to be a garnish that was to lay upon the frittata in a somewhat crisscross pie top pattern. It ended up being a frittata accompanied with an out of place piece of bacon on each of my boys plates.

So if you are so disgusted Carey, why even sit down to write? I sit down to write because my littlest one is in bed already and my bigger one is wrestling with his father. I will do anything to avoid cleaning the kitchen right now. I usually don't mind cleaning the kitchen if the stuff in the dishwasher is dirty and I can load it up right away. But right now the stuff in the dishwasher is clean, and I do not want to even think about unloading it, just to load it up again. We will start watching Dexter at 9:30 as usual, so I will cram in the clean right before this takes place.

I also write because it's been awhile and my sweet friend Carly, who I used to live across the street from and babysit when I was 13, put on my fb wall, "I am craving a new blog post from you", so I thought I owed it to her. After all, she captured some spectacular images when Jet was a mere 9 days old. Check them out under little miracles. She takes a mean photo. But now the pressure is on and I don't want to disappoint her so I am a nervous wreck.

Having said all this nonsense, let us get down to business. Jet started preschool on Tuesday. Perhaps I am not the conventional mother. Perhaps I am. As we rolled out of bed, me not having showered since Friday night (husband was out of town for 5 days so why bother?) we (ok let's be honest even if he was here that would have still been my shower schedule)got ready (I mean seriously, who has time to shower with little kids?) and got  (ok let's be honest, I didn't shower all that much before children) in the car( but I will keep on having kids just to use that as my excuse not to shower) and drove to school. As we walked up to the building, I watched all the children in their new crisp school clothes with fresh haircuts holding new lunch boxes and wearing new backpacks. Pictures were being snapped left and right documenting this joyous occasion of the first day of school. My poor child. He shows up wearing gosh knows what(really I don't remember, something he normally wears I guess) in desperate need of a hair cut. His lunch box is one I found in my parents garage that they got free from the YMCA or something.  My 8 month old  who is with us, is covered in baby food. Just the night before, my mom saw Benjamin wearing a bib while I fed him and said, "Oh, that's good thinking Carey" praising me for something I should always put on him, but never do. Poor baby. Of course the teacher wanted a family picture. I also am wearing gosh knows what, with grease pit hair and swollen eye lids. I have not yet had coffee, my liquid crack, my boyfriend joe.

I live at peace within my soul knowing that I will never keep up with the Joneses and do not try. I can't even keep up with my own self. What this means, I don't know. Maybe I am a little too secure for my own good. Once again, I don't know what that means either. In the Bible Study I just started going to, we are studying Esther. At the beginning of the group, the leader asked, "What is so tough about being a woman?" My mother made me LOL because she said to herself, "I don't think it's tough being a woman." Which to her, is true. She just lives in peace. No matter what the circumstances are around her, she always stays laid back and calm. Yeah whatever, things are hard, but she just doesn't let things get to her and isn't concerned with nit picky crap. I know I get my carefree and secure spirit from her. I need to grab some of her humility as well. I will add though that, she is disgusted with the fact that I don't shower daily.

So you may be saying to yourself, I was reading this, waiting for a point. Truth is, it now is almost 9:30 and Mr. Dexter Morgan is waiting for me in the living room. This should have been done a long time ago but Benjamin woke up because Jet doesn't know what a quiet voice is. Then I had to angelically sing and console him. Then I had to have 2 bowls of cereal. So to make everyone out there happy, I will now close with this: Earlier, I referred to my kids as "poor child" and "poor baby" Frankly, that just is not true. Those little boys have more love than they know what to do with. After all, it is all you need... and nutritious food.

Please sing with me and The Beatles.

Love, Love, Love.
Love, Love, Love.
Love, Love, Love.

There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.
It's easy.

Nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.
It's easy.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


To quote my husband: "Behind every great man, is a narcissistic woman." But really, take away the narcissistic, replace it with great, and know that the great man we are talking about is my father, and we end up with Jan. My mother, who is a gem. And until this very moment, I had never used the word gem.

2 1/2 month old Jan

 Today, Mummy Dearest turns the ripe age of 60. And correct me if I'm wrong, but 60 never looked so good.

Janice is quite the beauty. Someone who also thinks so is Sidney Poitier. He asked her out, but a certain someone was already in the picture, so he got served the rejection card. Oh snap! I call him Uncle Sid.

Good choice, Mommy.

Janine is from Miami, Fl. She was quite the ballerina in her day. Her knees are feeling the repercussion of her days of dance. A few surgeries later and she still complains.

She also rocked the tennis court.

Mother lived in Italy for 4 years after marrying my dad . She learned how to cook from Father's family like the Barefoot Contessa. My palate growing up, was that of a spoiled one. She is fluent in Italian and taught English to Italians right across the street from Christopher Colombus' house. Yes, I am name dropping. And if he were alive then, he probably also would have asked her out.

Present day, Miss Jan works at a pre-school. I would be the luckiest tot if I were 3 and had her as my teacher. I would get to hear the voice of an angel daily.  Fortunately my little ones get to benefit. They witness the dramatic presentations of children's songs preformed for them. It halts a crying baby mid scream.

Unfortunately she was not around for this episode.

 She is the reason I sing. All the time. Not stopping. Never allowing silence. She has been in the choir since I was little. She has had many a duets, quartets and small solos in her day. All of her performances have been on my tongue for years and years. Especially the one from 1991 where she got the words wrong but improvised. I still sing the song with her incorrect lyrics.
Judging by the outfit, I'd say this was about 1991.

Oddly, Janet and I have always gotten along. My teen years didn't bring on the tension that many a mom and daughter run into. Or maybe it was because I never got caught. Nevertheless, I'm not saying she never had to get her discipline on. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Or in our home, it was the wooden spoon. I remember in my teens "talking back" to her. She took after me. I ran around the dining room table so she couldn't get me. She picked up the closest thing she could find, which happened to be a brush, and chucked it at me. It didn't hurt. What did hurt was what she did last summer. We were at a waterfall. She decided she was going to skim rocks across the water. She used everything she had. The rock flew and slammed me in the collarbone. I don't know how, I stood opposite direction of the water.

The only negative thing about this woman, is her ability to make everything into worst case scenarios. I'll give you two examples that make her chuckle. I was 10. We were on an overnight train traveling from Deerfield Beach, Fl to VA. Before we checked in to our sleep cabin, we would go watch a movie in another car. We had to walk through quite a few to get there. One was an empty dark one. She spotted a black briefcase sitting on the seat by itself. She exclaimed, "It's a bomb!" And took off. Without me. Secondly, I was 12 and kept trying to open my bedroom door. I'd get it open almost half way and then it would slam shut on me. I called for Mummy. She came upstairs. She tried to open it. It shut on her. She exclaimed, "There's a man in there!" And took off downstairs. Without me. Needless to say, the man who planted the bomb on the train was now hiding in my bedroom.

I wish I was like her in so many ways. Growing up, I never heard her complain. I never heard her speak poorly of anyone. I never knew her to not get up earlier than the rump crack of dawn to spend time with the Lord. If I ever have any question about anything Biblical or Spiritual, I call the lady. She always has a response similar to, "Well Carilou Caribou, if you read Zephaniah 53, you will have your answer."

Her nickname is Ruby. Oh I guess she really is a gem.
Please notice the ruby on her finger. I also wore this ring in my wedding.

One time many years ago when I was a young lad, I remember saying, "Mommy we are friends." Almost before I could get that sentence out, she responded, "We are not friends, I am your mother." That is the best response I could have ever gotten. She was very  loving and nurturing to us growing up, but her role was my mother. She didn't try to be "cool" or be my friend. She was there to raise me and point me towards the straight and narrow. I knew the most important thing in her life was Jesus, not me thank goodness. She had a huge role as a mother, but she also had a life apart from her 3 kids. She still had her identity. She still had hobbies. She still had  friends. She still loved her hubby. Knowing that I wasn't the center of my parent's universe, gave me a great independence and confidence in life even as a young child and a great respect for them. Today things have changed. We are friends. The best of. And we live 2 miles away from each other. Praise Him! Happy Birthday Mommy! I love you!

The song I leave you with is from Boyz II Men, from the 1997 album, Evolution. For Mother's Day when I was 15, I put on their song, stood up on the mantel in a homemade dress, and lip sang it to my mom. She teared up. Ha! The song is as follows: Oh and before we get to it, there was no man in my bedroom. It was just a shelf that had fallen and was leaning in front of my bedroom door causing it to shut. And yes, I am aware that Zephaniah only has 3 chapters.
A Song For Mama

You taught me everything
And everything you’ve given me
I always keep it inside
You’re the driving force in my life, yeah
There isn’t anything
Or anyone I can be
And it just wouldn’t feel right
If I didn’t have you by my side
You were there for me to love and care for me
When skies were grey
Whenever I was down
You were always there to comfort me
And no one else can be what you have been to me
You’ll always be you always will be the girl
In my life for all times

Mama, mama you know I love you
Oh you know I love you
Mama, mama you’re the queen of my heart
Your love is like
Tears from the stars
Mama, I just want you to know
Lovin’ you is like food to my soul
You’re always down for me
Have always been around for me even when I was bad
You showed me right from my wrong
Yes you did
And you took up for me
When everyone was downin’ me
You always did understand
You gave me strength to go on
There was so many times
Looking back when I was so afraid
And then you come to me
And say to me I can face anything
And no one else can do
What you have done for me
You’ll always be
You will always be the girl in my life

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daily Report

 Other than some cantaloupe martini that my spouse thought it would be funny to let Benjamin taste (yes, I ripped him a new one), my Benjamin has only had milk. But this week I thought I'd let him try some new tastes. I started off with an avocado and breast milk mix for a few days and then moved on to a broccoli and breast milk mixture.
I wish my forehead had the tautness of a 6 month old baby.

Tonight I could not get away from the smell of poop. After checking diapers multiple times, and asking Julius if he knew where the odor was coming from,  I realized  the staunchy stench was coming from Benjamin's neck rolls and cheeks. I guess as a negligent parent who doesn't wipe down her kids after they eat, I should expect nothing less than to find broccoli residue hidden in the chunk.

 Just before I put him down, he, like his mother does, got the giggles right before his bed time. He was laughing so hard right in my face. If I closed my eyes, I would have thought I had a 48 year old large Italian man in my face. His breath was pure garlic. As an Italian woman, I make everything with olive oil and garlic thrown in, even the baby's food. What kept me laughing, was that the breath did not match the tiny body I was holding.

Sorry Mom for what I'm about to say, but I have to share how innocent my firstborn is. Earlier today, Jet was laying on his back on the floor in our sunroom. I walked in, and stuck my gluteus maximus out and pretended to flatulate in his face. He got the biggest smile on his face and said, "Oh thank you Mommy!"

Jet's daily sunroom activity. Just like puppies, little boys are bad unless they exert energy. I encourage him to jump off everything in the house. The more dangerous, the better.

Julius always makes me laugh, but tonight over cheeseburgers, what got me chuckling was when he said, "You know how at Chica-fil-a, they always say 'My Pleasure' after everything? Well I am going to make a restaurant where instead of saying that, the staff has to say, 'You Betcha!' after everything." We then sat over the course of dinner coming up with different phrases that we would make the staff use for each day. Customers would come in just to see what phrase was in use.

So what is the point of this entry you might be asking. Nothing. I am just sitting on the couch waiting for Julius to come in from building something in the workshop so we can watch a Criminal Minds. Dr. Spencer Reid is my favorite. Sometimes Julius talks and sounds like him, not on purpose. I always say that he looks like a grown up nerd version of Jet. Thank you for your time.

"I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and French fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well good God almighty which way do I steer for my
Cheeseburger in Paradise"

Oh Jimmy B! You never disappoint!

Monday, June 13, 2011


June 11, 2011 meant for my hubs and I, 6 years of marriage down, 2 little boys to show for it, and a stupid, in a good way, time.

Early in the day we made up a very long song driving in the car where we took turns roasting each other about some times we've spent married;  the hard times and annoying habits. I was crying I was laughing so hard. The chorus was so catchy, Jet was singing it after we got home. If a famous singer were to have written and preformed this song, I would say it sounded like it could have been a Lionel Richie 80's hit.

My In-laws came over at night to babysit while Julius and I went out for Sushi. After we were sat we asked to move tables because we were near a table with children, and when I am away from my kids, I sure as heck don't want to be near anyone elses either. Dinner was nummy nums. My wine got me thinking.

Whenever I am pregnant, all I have is this incredible urge to push, I mean to drink. All I talk about is, "When I am done being knocked up, I am going to drink like a fish!" Let's be honest, after I had Jet until the time I got pregnant with Benjamino, I had one glass of wine. Anniversary night that was going to change.

After we got home, said good-bye to the grandparents, checked on the little ones, we made a decision as a married couple, to get our drink on. JaRulius picked some mint outside for me and I threw it in the simple syrup I was brewing on the stove, then poured it over some ice, vodka and lime juice. It was no mojito but it would do. Julius made his own special drinks. We sat in our front room by the big window, watching it rain and lightning and having the best conversation. I mean deep and philosophical and spiritual, the kind that only alcohol can induce. Julius was talking about something close to his heart and then all of a sudden, mid sentence, he couldn't talk anymore and started tearing up. Uhhhh.... I just sat there not used to seeing him cry. Then all of a sudden, mid tear, he stopped and was like,"I'm not even sad, that reaction was 90%  from the alcohol."  Then we started to laugh. Then we started to take shots. Then things turned goofy. The night went on. As we sat in bed drinking straight from the bottle of Captain Morgans(you might be a redneck), I remember Julius kept saying, "This is the funnest anniversary so far!" And I kept saying, "We need to do this once a month!"

After the festivities were over and Julius was sleeping, I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog about my past PPD. This is all I got:

"klet me break ir down, it is 11:42 PM on June 11th. TodaY Is my 6 year anniversary, and i am drubnk. i probably won't get much written but I need to start somehingI have been putting off. have i wanted to write this? freaking no to the way! I hate reliving this but I would say I have gone thru this in vain if i dont write about it and let antyone else know the thingsi went thru and perhaps heklp another suster anolng the wqay. off tyhe subjecct, tonight wAS A a fun night. lots of sushi and some alcohol back at the hoouse and some suga. now my 3 boys ee passed out and i need to use this drink awake tie to be oprocuctive. I just read tghis ad laifhged, my hNDS are a little numg making it hrad to type. should i erase this and starty over? i'll decidee thqt when i prick this up."

It's funny how when you drink, time slows when you're having fun. Anyway, it's probably a good thing I stopped my writing there. Bottom line is, it was a fun night.  I woke up to an empty bottle of rum at the foot of the bed, dehydrated with a headache. My first thought was, "I am never drinking again". My second thought was, "I need a McGriddle. I need a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit.  I need a hash brown.  I need a scalding hot coffee, stat". I grabbed one of my kids, left the other with their father, and headed straight to the McDonald's drive thru.

Back at the breakfast table, Julius and I just looked at each other thinking, "What did we do last night?"

So what's the moral of the story? I guess it's that it's ok to do something out of the ordinary every once in a while, esp. in a controlled enviroment. Next time I drink like that will probably be at our 20 year anniversary party. It wiped me out for the whole day and I have no desire to do that again anytime soon. Second moral of the story, be responsible. Baby # 3 on the way? Time will tell, but I shall call her Annie, in honor of our anniversary. TMI. Good Bye.
"He drinks a whisky drink
He drinks a vodka drink
He drinks a lager drink
He drinks a cider drink
He sings the songs that remind him
Of the good times
He sings the songs that remind him
Of the better times"

Oh Chumbawamba, thank you for your 1997 annoying hit.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Snap, Crackle, Poop

My life is poop.

I can see my mother now, 60% chuckling, 30% embarrassed and 10% nervous about where I am going with this. At family dinners, especially when non-family members are present,  I tend to whip out "bowel" talk .To which she always responds, "Gosh girl, I don't know where you learned to talk so uncouth."  To which I always respond, "I learned it all from you Janet." Or "Janice" or "Janine." Her whole name is just Jan with no middle name; hence the reason I always spice it up. And no, I learned it not from her.


Shamefully I tell you, we are a divided household...Julius does in fact say "fart", all the while I say "toot". We do not agree with each other's lingo. Fortunately, Jet sides with Big Mama on this. Benjamin can choose when he is aware of the gas coming forth from his chunky and cellulite infested hiney. Speaking of the beast, it's absolutely astounding to hear the powerful gaseous combustion that can come from a wee baby. It can shake the house and last for what seems like minutes. All the while they are sleeping or staring off, having no clue that they are the reason for the roaring laughter.

The older I get, the more and more I find myself acting like an 8 year old boy. If you were a fly on the wall in our home, you would think you had 4 young boys living under the same roof. If I ever do anything that Jet is proud of me for, he responds with, "Good boy Mommy!" I keep thinking to myself,  "Self, you are a 28yr old woman, when will you become ladylike and prim?" I don't know.

What I do know is, everything in this house always gets brought back to poop. If there is a foul smell, no matter how it smells, the question, "what smells like poop?" is asked. If someone has bad breath, the comment made is, "Your breath smells like death mixed with poop." Popcorn is poopcorn. Soup is poop. Poptarts are pooptarts. You get the picture. Having 2 little boys in diapers, we are always dealing with poop, and there are always musical toots being released into the atmosphere. Don't worry, not from me. Although the 3 boys rip them left and right, I will not in front of Julius. I need to keep some attraction going. I stick to belching. I make up for the lack of intestinal gas with esophagus gas. I strive to be like my sister who can burp like nobodies business.

I cannot take credit for the title of this blog. I received this in a text from my sister Rachel's boyfriend, Daniel.

Daniel trying to kill me.

 Although he is in a different walk of life from us, his life also revolves around poop. I dedicate this blog entry to him, and to my Uncle Buddy who owns Appalachian Pumping in Boone, NC. Call him for all your septic tank needs.
I very much enjoy hanging out with Rachel and Daniel. My sister is the youngest one, yet she is the most mature acting and usually doesn't add much to our convos on poop and toots. We have come up with many fun phrases for these activities. We often refer to tooting as "cracking joints." So in this case, you can always blame the gas on your arthritic knees, stiff neck or misaligned back. Last weekend we all ate Indian food together. What text did I receive from Daniel that night? Great question, I'm dying to share. "My curry left in a hurry." Did appreciate this text? Absotootly I did.
The lovely couple.

A few weeks ago at the dinner table, Jet sat there tooting. The kind that keeps going and going. We were laughing hysterically because A. it was funny and B. we were impressed. Then he turned red trying to get more out because of our reactions. He then said, "Mommy now you toot." So I made a fake sound with my mouth. To which he responded, "No mommy, toot from the penis." Now we know where he thinks they come from.
Jet trying to toot from the penis.

I am going to leave you with "Linger" from the Cranberries. This was a music video we made in 2007 while living in San Clemente,CA. I do hope you enjoy. Thank you.

 P.S. Janine, I kept it clean and vague, all for you. I love you dearly.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Buon Compleanno

Can you guess who this hunk is?

You guessed right! It's my favorite full blooded Italian man, my father.
Papa' as his children say.
 Nonno as his grandsons say.
Lovey as his wife says.
A.C. as his friends say. 
Uncle A as my friends say.
Andrinano as the telemarketers say.
Adrian or Adriano for anyone in between.

On April 14, 1947, in the Province of Genoa, Italy, in Isola del Cantone, Adriano was born. This was a very good day. Today he turns 64; he barely has any gray to show for it.

Nonno and his 3rd grandson Benjamin.

Some facts about this man:

 His accent is still as thick as when he first learned English.

He loves soccer.

He is very funny without trying to be.

He loves flannel shirts.

 He became a U.S. citizen in 1983.

 He is the most generous man you will ever meet. He would give you the shirt off his own back. If  he wasn't wearing one, he would somehow still give it to you. I wish I was like him. Sometimes he calls me stingy or the "bag lady" because of my cheapness and frugality. I can't help it, my 3 role models are Robert Kiyosaki, Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey. (In another post I'll tell you how I am going to be a millionaire by the time I'm 30)

I've been a bag lady for as long as I can remember.

He is the best cook ever. I'm not talking about your generic Italian spaghetti and meatballs. I am talking about real authentic from the motherland food that nobody can duplicate. If you asked me where my favorite place to eat was, I would simply reply, "The Conti home fo shizzal." If you enter that house, you will not leave hungry. If you were full when you got there, you will leave disgustingly full. No matter if you say you've had enough, you will not get heard. Another heaping of food will get loaded on your plate. When you are done, you will hear espresso being made in the percolator and will be served a latte that Starbucks cannot compete with.

1999 making homemade ravioli. Our family tradition at Christmas time.

He gets words frequently wrong and has us cracking up often because of the misuse and phrasing. He has no idea he's being so hilarious. Some examples(read in Italian accent): Trader Joe's is always Traders Joe. Squirrel Lake park is Lake Squirrels. He adds H's where they don't belong and removes them from where they do. Eggs and ham would be heggs and am. When asking Julius about the Wii he said, "Julius, are you going to go play with your Wii?" When talking to him about the Geek Squad he said serious and matter of fact, "I always see these geeks driving around. So what, do I call them and then the geek will come to my house?" Or when talking sincerely about their neighbor who lost her job he said obliviously, "She got laid" to which my mother replied, "Laid off Adrian, she got laid off."

He is the best vegetable gardener out there. If you go to Renfrow's in Downtown Matthews and ask the owner if he knows my father, I bet you he would reply, "He's the most knowledgeable man out there when it comes to gardening." Thankfully we get to benefit the reaping of  his plentiful bounty. Swiss chard, endive, arugula, peaches, figs, green beans, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to name just a few. Lots of herbs as well. "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme." Yes I'll be going to Scarborough Fair.

Myself displaying some crops that were yielded in our backyard in South Florida.

Giving a speech at my wedding he said (in accent again please), "Sometimes Carey,  she can be a little, how you say, bitchy..." And to say the crowd and I were rolling would be an understatement. And yes, he can get away with it because he is foreign, has an accent, is my father, and sometimes, it's true.

He has always been the most hard working man and has done everything and anything to make sure we were provided for and taken care of. He has never put himself in front of any of us.
A.C. and I hanging on a bench in Ronco Scrivia, Italy.

I could go on for days talking about this great man but I must wrap it up somewhere. This all to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY FATHER! I love you! We all do!

I know it's predictable but if the song fits, sing it!. "...Doing the garden, digging the weeds, Who could ask for more? Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I'm sixty-four?..."
Grazie' Paul McCartney.