Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One Year Later

to the date...

June 2008

June 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Annie are you O.K.?

If you know me, you know I can't let the passing of a pop icon go without even mentioning it. I am not going to defend the man Michael Jackson, I mean if I did that I might stir up those facebook people who are happy about his passing, which to me is just absolutely plain old mean. Let me remind you that you know the sayings,' let those without sin can cast the first stone,' and innocent until proven guilty, but that is neither here nor there, we are all also entitled to our own opinions.

Beyond all these personal affairs and so on and so forth was most likely, in my opinion, the best music, the best videos, and the best dancing.I will be the first to admit that in his personal life, he was strange. Plastic surgeries? Enough said. Oh one more thing, remember when his hair caught on fire filming that Pepsi commercial? What a shame. Anyway, back on point.

I know I just may sound redundant, and that many people over the weekend have said this exact same thing, but Michael Jackson's music is what I grew up on. It's what I sang along with, it's what I danced to, and it's what shaped my musical taste, and people knew this. I am not kidding when I tell you that on Friday I got the most texts in one hour I have ever received. All from people knowing that I would be upset about Michael's passing. I may just get some sympathy cards in the mail. Now mind you, I am not one of those fans who screamed and cried when I saw him on tv or something, I just enjoyed his music. By the way, isn't that a little strange? Is that just me? I fully admit that I have never cried over someone famous when I saw them or the urge to. Can someone explain this to me, what causes this?

Here is a bit of where it got started. My aunts. Oh were they Michael Jackson fans. I used to spend a lot of time at my grandparents home because they were to be emulated. My A. Amy who I am closest to in age has always been a big sister to me, and if she liked it, you better believe I did. Of course there was MTV, we used to sit and watch videos over and over again, which is most likely where I got my sweet dancing skills from, or something like that. There were posters adorning the bedroom walls, and there was even a silver glittered glove. Amy still in fact has the original Thriller record from my grandparents home in her possession. Amy, lock it up, there are crazies out there who read this blog and want that...myself included.

When I took dances classes one year we were going to perform to 'Smooth Criminal.' I thought at the time this was quite possibly the best choice my teacher could have made. Our costumes included the hat that Michael wore in the video. Speaking of videos, yes, in fact I did tape the Thriller video and play, rewound, played, fast forwarded, and everything to master the Thriller dance when I was young. No, I have never forgotten it, and in fact performed it with one of the residents I take care of in front of everyone else on Saturday for some lollipops. Don't ask me to do it again if you are under the age of 80 and unless I have had some beverages.One thing I never did master was the Moonwalk. Have you ever watched Michael Jackson dance? Incredible.

I never met someone that enjoyed Michael's music and dancing like I did amongst my peers. I think he was more in the generation before me, my generation liked New Kids on the Block, Tiffany, so on and so forth. Then I met Jayme Amos. He just might be 100 times better at performing like Michael than I am, maybe it is because he is a guy, regardless, I am calling him out on it. If you know him, go ahead and play some Billie Jean in front of him from your ipod. I can pretty much guarantee he will perform.

I don't care what you say about me. When a Michael Jackson song comes on, you will find me singing and dancing. My kids, in fact, also dance to his tunes more than any other. You know you have found yourself singing and/or dancing too and some point or another. I dare you to play this play list and not. You can't.

So thanks Michael, for the moves, the tunes, and all the memories I have because of them.

Here are some of my favs. You know you are good when a person has 19 favorite songs of yours, and there is more to pick from. I couldn't believe it when I was compiling the list....'oh can't forget that one....,oh that one too.' So get down in your office, your cubicle, you kitchen, your living room. Dance with you dog, your coworkers, your mom, your kids, your cat...you know you want to.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Sunday, June 28, 2009

“I go running when I have to. When the ice cream truck is doing sixty.”

I used to be so disciplined. I don’t know what happened. Marriage? Honestly, that is probably when all running ceased to exist. I am telling you right now, and you can ask my husband if you don’t believe me, I was ready to run a marathon at that point. My daily run was 6-8 miles. One day a week I ran 12-16 miles. Get this, I would finish feeling refreshed. I can’t even walk 6 miles now without requiring CPR when complete. Ok, so I exaggerate, but seriously, what happened? For some reason I had zero interest in a marathon then. I rarely competed in races and if I did I was talked into it by someone else who wanted to run. I just liked to run and the challenge was seeing if I could complete 10, 12, 14,….miles, not how fast I did it.

I used to go on and on about how fabulous running was. I would try and get everyone to do it. Now my friend Shannon, prime example. She used to hate when I would beg her to go running with me. She would eventually succumb because it was either run or sit and be lazy, and the guilt can overcome you. However, this was once torturous for her. Now Shannon is competing in triathlons. And she looks like she competes in triathlons, fab.u.lous. What is that all about? Talk about role reversal.

Now in college, I was asked to join the girls soccer team. Mind you, I knew nothing about soccer other then kick the ball into the net to score, and don’t touch the ball with your hands. However, I could not even do that. In no way shape or form can I compete in team sports. I am not coordinated like that. All of my friends played, and well I might as well hang out with them for 2 hours, what else was I going to do, run by myself? After some time, the coach and I got it, I definitely could not play the game, but I could work these girls, I was on the team to make the girls run. I did not mind sitting on the bench for an entire game, I would cheer my heart out. God forbid one of them be sick or hurt and I had to play, worst fear. However, during practice I would run like freakin Forrest Gump. These girls would be so annoyed with me. But if it helped their endurance and they could run for 90 minutes so that I could sit the bench, so help me, I was running them into the ground.

Throughout my married life, since it has been really so long, I did kick boxing with my friend Kellie, and then when we moved closer to my family I joined the gym with my mom and sisters and went daily to a class or something of the sort. It wasn’t running, but it kept me in shape.

Then I go and get pregnant. And well then I got pregnant again. And all exercise stopped beyond running around all day after children. People that tell you that they don’t work out and that they are just thin because they have children to keep up with all day long are full of it. I want to know what deal they made and with who. I promise I won’t tell anyone.

Unfortunately I don’t have the money for someone to work my butt out, or follow me around all day instructing me on what to eat and when, like let’s say Heidi Klum who decides she can do a lingerie show 2 months after giving birth. If I were to be in a lingerie show 2 months after giving birth someone in the audience would gauge their eyes out for sure. And something tells me that Hanes Her Way and sports bra because my boobs are still so sore would not really constitute turning heads anyway.

But now my kids are two and three, and I am pretty certain that they can entertain themselves for 45 minutes each day while I “jog.” Because here is the kicker. I have a treadmill in my basement that stands in direct view of Andy’s giant tv. I don’t even need to leave the house to accomplish this. To be honest, exhaustion has been my only excuse. I am just too tired at the end or beginning of a day to just go ahead and run. I am much more prone to sit and watch a show, blog, or read a book, because it requires minimal movement, it’s terrible. Now I am beginning to think I might have more energy if I started running again. There is no reason why I can’t watch a show while I run.

So here is my pledge. July 1st. July 1st is the day that I am going to start again. In October I want to run a 5k. That’s it. There were times when I used to laugh at a 5k. 2.5 miles? Really? I could sprint that. Now I am sure that I will be requiring mass amounts of fluid and most likely collapse upon finishing. Once the 5k is accomplished 2 times, I will move onto 10k, x2, and so on and so forth. Similar to the potty training I did for Kendall and will be doing for Ethan, I will be running training. What will my reward me sitting on top of the fridge in that big old box? Simply, my pre-pregnancy jeans. And the day they fit I am going to prance around like I won an Olympic gold medal.

I fully understand that this running plan kind of coincides with my trying to get pregnant plan, but let’s say it takes me 5 years to get pregnant again, am I supposed to just sit and wait and do nothing? No way, no more. If I get pregnant, well then, we will just pick up and start again. Yeah, that’s it. I have had my fair share of doing no exercise. Holiday is over.

Here is the bottom line:
"Running won't kill you, you'll pass out first!"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Perfectly Gluttonous Pound Cake

So since I am usually baking or cooking something a bunch of times a week, I thought I might not leave them all some deep dark family secrets and share them with you. There are a couple of other blogs I read that offer some recipes, and on occasion I use them, or copy them for future use. I am all about sharing ideas, most especially when it comes to baking or cooking.

This is my great grandmother's Pound Cake Recipe. Now brace yourself, when you read the ingredients your hips just might grow 2 sizes instantly. So, just quickly take a glance, and then pretend you didn’t read them all at one, try and trick the hips, it’s for the best, this cake is that good.

I made this last week to take to a friend’s house for dessert. Wasn’t it good Becky? I am sure she would agree, I gave her what was left, but I think her hubby might have gotten to them first. Lord knows I did not need the leftovers, so I was happy to leave them some tasty treats.

Now you can serve this plain, or serve it with some fruit, or some ice cream, or all of that, with some whipped cream on the top. We had it last week with some sliced strawberries that we picked the day before and some whipped cream, sort of like a strawberry shortcake, but you know, with this pound cake.

My grandmother says that this cake is best if you bake it a day before you are going to eat it or serve it. Right, like I am going to be ok with any sort of dessert just sitting on my counter and not be able to eat it. So, if you have more self control then me, go ahead and make this a day ahead. I made it and ate it on the same day, and it was good, it’s butter and sugar for pete’s sake, it has got to be good no matter when or how you eat it.

Preheat Oven: 350

2 sticks of butter (soft)
½ c. of Crisco
3 c. sugar
6 eggs (that’s right, 6 eggs)
3 c. flour
1 c. milk
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Dump all of the ingredients together in your mixing bowl. Beat them for one minute on low and then 5 minutes on high. This, my friends, is where the Kitchen Aid Mixer would be ever so useful. Do you see how long you are to beat this for Trista? 6 minutes. You still want to tell me that your hand mixer is easier? I don’t think so. A lot could happen in 6 minutes, most especially with 4 kids. I will go ahead and answer for you since I only have two kids, and had to use my hand mixer, no, no way, it is not easier.
Ok, so you bake this in obviously a greased pan, use an angel food cake pan, or I used a bundt pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes, again at 350 degrees.

** A Sag Addendum: Place your oven rack into the center of the oven and place the cake pan on that rack.(you know I love you D ;) )

Now you can either leave it plain like that, or you can sprinkle some powdered sugar on it, or you can make a mix of powdered sugar and milk and drizzle on top. (which is what I did), or you can make this icing that my great grandmother used and have your hips grow one more size. It’s good.

2 c. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 tbsp. Milk
¾ c. shortening

Beat on high until nice and smooth and beautifully mixed together.

This is obviously a good summer dessert since you can serve it with some fresh berries, or something of the sort.

Eat it up.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Confession: I Broke a Commandment.

Because it was Father's Day Weekend, I broke one of my Mommy Commandments: 'Thou Shall Not Bring Children under 10 to a restaurant unless the words, Fast Food, precede the word, restaurant.'

So my darling husband, father of my beautiful children, decided that instead of getting take out on a Saturday night with our neighbors, that he would talk the other darling husband into going to a restaurant that did not have prizes come with their kids meals or a play castle. The only enticement to the meal was that Kids Eat Free. We like that word, 'free.'

I have said it before, and I will say it again, I do not enjoy taking my children out to eat. It stresses me beyond belief. Too much down time. Too much waiting. Too much indigestion. Too much whispering of bribes and threats to my children from my lips regarding their behavior. I have to be on high alert at all times, all senses have to be fully functioning at all times, perfectly. I have to catch the fork that is about to go flying across the table that my child had no idea was wrapped in the napkin they have to grab immediately upon sitting down. I have to have items to deter them. These items must be specifically chosen items as to not evoke tantums of jealous rage, emit loud sounds, or must be of a precise size so that they are not at risk to dump beverages all over the table when played with or opened. I have to make sure all items that are not to be touched by their grimey and grabby hands are out of reach, or hidden. Kendall loves to play with salt and pepper shakers, pretending they are people, again she lives in a land of imagination about 90% of the day. These have to either be across the table or hidden behind the wine list or an all out dramatization will ensue with salt and pepper flying everywhere when things get a little heated between Mr. salt and Mrs. pepper.

Let me first be honest and say this, and I fully admit it, if it is within reason, and it keeps my child well behaved in the restaurant and does not disturb anyone other than me, I will let them do it. For instance. Yesterday when preparing to leave for this extravaganza Kendall and her best friend Sarah came upstairs in some dresses from the dress up bin that every girl needs, Kendall with her initial outfit on beneath, Sarah with no outfit underneath but wearing dressy shoes two sizes too small so her feet were all scrunched up and she was forced to walk silly. They proclaimed that they wanted to wear these beautiful outfits to the restaurant. To avoid a meltdown before we even leave the house ensuring a terrible meal for all, they were permitted to wear them, much to Sarah's mommy's dismay. My dear friend Steph announced at our arrival to all who could hear her, 'they decided to be dressed in dress ups,' or something to that effect, because I mean it might have not been evident by the regalia the two girls were demonstrating by prancing around and twirling their skirts that were way too short, and way out of season.
Now hostess' can see a crowd like ours coming from a mile away. Most restaurants have one or two tables designated for people like us, the people that bring more than one child to a restaurant. This girl led us to a table in our little area which assured happiness to all patrons.

It then begins. The waitress brings crayons with big blank sheets of paper. A fabulous idea for the child who can draw freehand without having preset pictures to draw within. What do my children do? Pick them up and dump them, begin to tear the paper around them off into the tiniest of threads, instant mess of crayola.
Again, do I look at a menu? I get approximately 1.5 minutes to look at a menu. I need to decide on the way to the establishment what I might want...salad, sandwich, entree, so on and so forth. So then when I arrive I look for the header that fits what I previously chosen, and scan, picking the one that has the most key ingredients I would enjoy, all while keeping an eye on the cup of juice with the non, non spill lid my child is now attempting to drink from. My children are offered only 2 meal choices if that, most of the time I choose for them. Kendall however, is learning the fun in decision making, so I cut loose a little with her. The 'hmmm...I think I might like this, or no maybe that,' went on for about 10 minutes. Only to make her angry when it arrived because it was not in sandwich form with a 'shiny bun,' like mine with a fancy toothpick holding it together. Immediately I proclaim to the young man that brought our platters, 'shiny roll with a fancy toothpick, pronto, she might sky rocket here.'

After the meal was finished the children, two mine, decided it might be fun to chase each other around the table. So this went on, and on, and on. Arms were yanked by parents to reign a given child in to whisper sweet threats that if the yelling does not cease they will never ever play with the other one again until they are 43. One might think, well this will surely get the waitress to bring our check that much quicker, but no, as is always the case we sit and wait. And wait. At this point the laughter and shrieking is so intense that two parents are initiated as the ones that rally in the troops and direct them to the car, never ever an easy task, most especially when revved up beyond belief.

Success. This is a picture of Kendall super hyper. It's scary isn't it? Want some?

I felt at the end like I opened my mouth, picked up my plate and dumped in the contents in .2 seconds, and I felt exhausted. However, I must admit it was good to break up the norm, and we did have fun, not as much fun as it would have been childless, I might have even gotten a drink. Whoa! Now I am talking all sorts of crazy. Next Father's Day, McDonalds. I will even let him get the most expensive meal.

Again, you say, and you want to add to your brood? I figure it this way, another bonus to more children, the more kids, the less chance I have of having them come with us out to eat. And maybe, just maybe, once every 2 years getting a date to a restaurant with my husband where I can just sit and look at the menu for 30 minutes if I wanted to. Where I can actually eat a meal without additional hands picking at my meal. Or I could play 'footsies,' instead of kicking my husband under the table which means to move and grab the pony tail that has just flown past him at top speed on her 5th lap of the table.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where Babies Come From...

...well, according to my three year old. Today while Kendall was playing Barbies with her friend Rory, she was proclaiming, 'Somebody help me, I just got a baby!!' (hmmm....quite similar to my reaction after I arrived home with her after birth....anyway...) Rory asked, 'Where did the baby come from?' Kendall replied, 'From the Baby Store.'

Oh if getting a baby was just that easy, wouldn't we all be so happy?

Monday, June 22, 2009


Apparently someone was a little embarrassed over my Father's Day Gift...and decided that I am not allowed to post a video of Andy snoring...see honey, I am not even mentioning that it was in fact you really snoring in the video...whoops. I mean, how ungrateful can a person be, I was just trying to give him the gift of life.

I, of course, am still laughing about it, this was the greatest video ever. I apologize if you didn't get to see it. I obtained permission though to post the blog without the video. It isn't the same effect, but well, it will still make me laugh every time I read the post and I am reminded of the video...because after all, I still have it in the memory of my computer. I again will remind him that he is doing my readers a great disservice, how are they to know if their partner is struggling with sleep apnea? This was great footage to compare with. But, to each his own, I am called into submission...yup...that's it.

The Original Post:

Oh what to get the love of my life for Father's Day? The man who led me into motherhood? The man who's arms my children run to each day as he arrives home from work filling me with such joy? The man who selflessly gives away his last tastycake to his begging offspring? I thought long and hard.

As I was lying in bed last night in bed clicking away on my computer trying to decide, I couldn't help but realize that the answer was right beside me. I love you honey, and for this Father's Day, I decided to make your life a little easier.

Here is your audition tape for a Sleep Study, I am sure you will get a role as their next leading patient, congratulations. ---FYI---You aren't going to see anything, picture is black for reasons that will soon be made clear to you, make sure volume is on, or you will be like, 'what the heck is this?', not to high, you may shatter your speakers. You're Welcome.---

Here is where the video would be, silly man, not wanting it shown. But ok, ok, I love him.

If you have listened to this in its entirety, that climax at the end is typically followed by air flow ceasing for a few seconds and then a big exhale followed by the sweet snoring symphony beginning all over again. This my friends is sleep apnea at it's finest. I mean, I am just trying to save a life here, all in a day's work, really, no pats on the back necessary. No lie. I listen to this every single night. Do I go to the couch? Nope. Do I slip into bed next to Kendall? No Way. I mean I have a job to do, I have to make sure that he does not need CPR at some point, that breathing does continue. I am this man's life boat. This my friends is commitment, it doesn't get any deeper then this. Ok, so I give him a quick kick in the side, or rip a pillow out from under his head to break the cycle, minor, in the scheme of things.

Here is to celebrating many more Father's Days. After either a C-PAP or a minor outpatient surgery to correct that deviated septum and maybe get rid of some tonsils and adenoids while they are at it, you should be as healthy as a horse. What more could you ask for other then a restful nights sleep?

Oh no need to thank me. Your unwavering love and devotion to me and our children is more than enough.

So readers, spread the word, do your part, we together can eliminate incessant snoring.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Question #2...really not as light.

Next question, 'Mommy, when are you going to have a baby in your tummy again?' The first few weeks post pregnancy loss, this was a tough question for me to answer without feeling overwhelmingly sad about the entire situation. Now it is a question that I don't even know the answer to. I simply answer, 'I am not sure Kendall, but maybe someday I will.' To which she will reply, 'Well like in 2 weeks?' I will say, 'No not two weeks, but I will let you know when it is there, ok?' This satisfies and pacifies her.

The last two times I had pregnancy losses that I was aware of I didn't have any children, so once I received the clearance from the doctor to start treatments or trying again, I pretty much followed doctors instructions.

First and foremost I will say, this is all my own experience and opinion, each person will obviously experience and do things differently. I am not a medical professional, although google might prove me otherwise.

The protocal is two to three cycles. I have one down. However this time, I am not so eager to jump on the baby making band wagon again. There is that hesitancy due to the chance of another threatened loss. I also had a D & E with this pregnancy which is really not a walk in the park. I originally thought well this is the best option. I will not have to wait for the miscarriage to happen, I can get the surgery and start to move on. Not so much.

It is a painful procedure, pretty much puts you out of commission for a week or so and then the effects linger for about two, and in my case, had my hormones just bottom out. The next day when I started going, my body immediately reacted with, 'hey, where did that baby go!?!?!' I have felt the onset of post partum before, after I had Kendall, and fought my way right out of it after a week or so, with some assistance, which I highly advocate, why not feel normal when you have a baby to take care of? Another subject, another time. So after this loss I started to feel my body react post partumly again, which I didn't recognize at first as that, until I asked google and my doctor if this was normal after an early pregnancy loss. They both assured me that this is true especially after a D & E or a D & C, when the loss isn't gradual the baby is extracted quickly, just like with the birth of a full term baby. Hormones are a crazy thing, especially mine, which I am sure you are finding out.

So I can assure all of you that are wondering if we will try again, and if that is to personal of a question to ask; that yes we are going try for more, and no it isn't too personal of a question. I mean really is there a question that I might deem 'too personal?' I think you know me well enough by now to know the answer to that one.

To answer Kendall's question as to when? Well I am not really that sure of when. I can tell you that when I decide there will be some doctors following me closely. I can tell you that I haven't healed emotionally from the last loss to get excited at the prospect of having another baby. I can tell you that inevitably it is really not our complete decision at all. And I can tell you that I am 100% ok with that.

First Question of Two, from my lovely daughter.

My days are filled with questions from two little voices. From Ethan it is mostly, 'why,' or his new favorite, 'what are you laughing about Mommy?' Whenever I laugh he needs to know why, again entwining two of his most popular questions.

However, I can always count on 2 questions every single day from Kendall. She will always ask them without fail. The first one is, 'can we go to Disney World today?' It is as if one day I am just going to say, 'alright, good idea, let's load up the van, put dinner in the crock pot, and spend a day doing this.' It seems as though since our trip to Sesame Place with her friends Emma & Meghan, a trip to Disney World must go something like that for her since she has no real comprehension of time just that she woke up in her bed that morning, and went to sleep that night in it as well. Oh my love, Disney World is much grander, we don't sleep at home when we go there.

My first excuse instead of going into our tight budget since Mommy only works a part time job so she can stay home and take care of you, and whipping out the dry erase board and power point to explain how the failing economy has taken a direct hit on our lives, it was simply that Ethan was afraid of airplanes. When she asked, I would say, 'well Ethan is afraid of airplanes, and remember we have to get on an airplane to go to Disney. Right E, would you get on an airplane?' To which he would promptly reply, 'no, I scared.' And that was that.

Besides Ethan being afraid to fly, he is also afraid of costumed things, which I have mentioned before, and this could go either way in Disney. He loves Disney characters, but I am not sold that he would not go into complete panic when seeing a real life Mickey Mouse. So could you imagine spending that money on Disney that you really don't have that would be better spent on something else to have him scream and live in anxiety the entire week anticipating a creature lurking around every corner, uh, no thanks.

Kendall quickly found a solution to this flying issue. Other relatives. She knows that Molly & Brynn went to Disney, and so the last time I presented my speech on Ethan and flying, waiting for my little man's response that was the cherry on top of my argument, she says, 'That's ok E, Aunt Amy will take me with Molly and Brynn.'

I have since explained that Molly and Brynn just went to Disney and it costs just so much money to go, and they have to save to get to go again. The next morning, guess who is coming in my room to wake me up with a duffel bag bursting with clothing? Yup. 'Uh where are you going Kendall?' 'Mom Mom and Pop Pop are taking me to Disney World today.' So we had a heart to heart. 'We are not going to Disney until you are a little bit bigger.'

This week Kendall woke up crying due to an accident in her pants in the middle of the night. As I am helping her get changed I ask her why she is crying, accidents happen, in her half asleep state she proclaims to me, 'Now I pee peed in my pants, I am never going to get bigger and go to Disney World!!!!!!!!!!'

The question still comes, now with the added, 'Mommy, am I big enough to go to Disney World today?' For the love.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Polkadot Mama Travel Agency, at your service.

Last night, as I sat talking with one of my favorite people, a sweet little Italian lady from Brooklyn, she asked, 'if you didn't have children, what do you think you would be doing?' You mean besides wishing and praying for them several times daily so much so that it became my sole focus to birth a child of my very own? Oh right, right, so with all the free time I had leftover, I then answered, 'travel.'

Do I have places in mind to travel? Oh you bet your sweet bippy I do. Here are my Top 5:
Of course you get to read all about it, hey maybe I am giving you your next idea for a vacation.

1. Tahiti, more specifically, Bora Bora.
Ok, so this is my numero uno pick. Um, excuse me, but who would not like to stay in one of these bungalows over the water? Go ahead try and resist it, you can't. There are 12 islands that make up Tahiti, the French Polynesia, as a whole, similar to Hawaii with this idea. I specifically chose Bora Bora, because it has been said that it is the most beautiful not just out of the Tahitian Islands, but of all the islands in the world. Despite all that, do you see the water, do you see the view? Come on. Do you see that you have a glass floor in your room that is over water that is clearer than the kids tub on bath night?
Hello Mr. Turtle. It is said that sea turtles live about 75 years, in that case, hopefully I will see you when I come to visit...you'll make it.
Flight time from Philadelphia is 14 hours. I think I could manage.

2. Italy.
In no way shape or form am I Italian. I do not even have one relative that is Italian. However, something about Italy appeals to me, primarily the food and the wine, but the scenery, the art, and the people are all something I would like to experience first hand. I could not even narrow it down to one specific area in Italy I would like to see, and so, I think it is best that we take a month off and tour it off the beaten trail. Take bus, train, and those itty bitty cars and tour the country, the beaches, the mountains and the cities in Italy. Eat gelattos along the rivers, dance to Italian tenors deep into the night. So romantic, I know, I suppose Andy can come. Kidding, duh. I mean, don't you want to eat a big bowl of pasta and sip some wine that you made by stomping on grapes with your own bare feet at this farm? Come with us.

3.San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, & The Napa Valley.
I have no interest in southern California right now, nothing against it, I am just drawn more to the city of San Francisco. It's artsy culture, Lombard Street, Alcatraz, the famous Golden Gate Bridge, it's hills, it's cable cars...out of all the U.S. cities, this is one I would just like to experience the most. I think my fascination with San Francisco started back in the day with 'Full House,' you know in the opening credits where they are sitting in the open field with the Victorian row homes on the hills? I used to think how cool would it be to live there?

And why not hit a national park why we are at it? I think I should start making it a purpose to visit as many national parks as I can since I have been to many. It is only a 3 hour drive or so from San Francisco.
I have also heard that there are different options to traveling to the Napa Valley from San Francisco; ferry, cruise, train, car, air...and I would love to see the Napa Valley. I think I could easily talk Andy into this wine drinking land. I would also like to take a hot air balloon ride over the valley, this I would be doing without Andy, no talking him into that.

4. An African Safari.
Andy has been to Zimbabwe. Loved it. He said he would love to take me back. Listen, I don't care where in Africa it is, I really don't know much about the country, and maybe it's true, we should stick with what we know, however, I want to see animals in their natural element. Enough with these zoos, theme parks recreating safaris. Personally, I always feel bad for these animals in these caged up places having to have humans stare at them day in and day out. The animals never look happy, despite the people who take care of them trying to convince me otherwise. It just isn't natural. This is similar to urges I get while in a pet store to release all of the puppies so that they can run free, I hate that they are kept in those glass front boxes with no one to cuddle them and nowhere to run. I mean this is how bad I am, we have 2 goldfish in a bowl in Kendall's room, and everyday when I feed them, I apologize to them.

I am way into animals, specifically when they are free and in their own element. So I would just about be in my glory on an African safari. Sure I would probably pee my pants and be scared out of my mind if one got super close, but you can't beat that experience. Of course if we went to Zimbabwe, then I could see Victoria Falls, since even though I am terrible with African geography know it is somewhere near there, and Andy thinks that is the most amazing thing in all the world to see.

5. Maldives.
I know, another island vacation. However, I would pick a beach vacation first, over any other.I would certainly do Hawaii in a second, and it is definitely one of my places to go, but this is a dream list, ok? The Maldives is an Asian country, well islands, in the Indian Ocean, can you get further away to reach serenity? Since the Indian Ocean had an terrible earthquake in 2004 causing tsunami's on many of the islands of Maldives, they need our help bringing its tourism industry back, let's get on that. I will volunteer...well if they pay for it, and something tells me they can't. I chose this pic to represent Maldives well because look at that water, could it be any clearer? And look at that hammock. It is screaming my name, I can hear it from here. It is telling me that there is no whining anywhere in its vicinity, and no wash to do, and all it wants me to bring is a big straw sun hat, some sun glasses, and a book.

This flight time is 19 hours from New York, with a pit stop in London. I may go a little batty, but again, I would do it for the hammock.

So there you have it, it was even nice to visit these places in my head as I reviewed my list for you.

I, of course, am not saying you cannot travel when you have kids, but when you don't have kids, you have nothing to miss terribly at home, you can really just pack up and go if you wanted to, and you would even have a little more cash to afford to do this if you spent your money right.

But I happily give up all these destinations to have 2 little ones to go to the Please Touch Museum with, the zoo, camping, so on and so forth. I just showed Kendall the hammock and told her, 'Mommy loves you so much that I gave up lying in this hammock.' She answered, 'well we can hang a pam-ock on the porch for you Mommy.' Something tells me it just ain't the same, but if you see my on my porch, lying in my hammock sipping wine; don't bother me, I just came from Italy with this bottle of wine as a souvenir, and landed in Maldives.

So where is your top vacation picks?