January 30, 2013

thirsty { - FICTION - }

Who could that be at this hour?

Kyle’s head jerked and his eyes opened widely. His tingly legs were bent yet sprawled out on the floor. Cotton was jammed into his mouth. 

He heard it again and looked toward the knocking coming from the monstrous wooden door.  

Who could that be—

Kyle tugged at the corners of his mouth. 


There wasn’t cotton in his mouth, he was just incredibly thirsty.

Where the fuck am I?

Kyle’s eyes darted around the dark room till they found a dim white streak of light crossing over the mouth of a bottle. With his hands pawing the moist wood floor, Kyle dragged himself toward the empty bottle which once held whiskey. He lifted the black labeled bottle and not a drop came from its mouth to satiate his own.

When the knocking occurred again, he dropped the bottle in his lap and looked at his surroundings more closely: cheap metal chairs in a semi-circle, a large desk heading the chairs with push pins crucifying paper onto a bulletin board hanging behind it, a deep wastebasket by the closed door which had someone standing on the other side trying to get in.

Kyle immediately knew where he was, but not why he was there—in the room in which he taught Ethical Theories. Yes, some might say he had a relationship with the bottle, but he wasn’t one to jeopardize his job like that. 

He slammed his eyes shut for a moment. 

When he opened them, a student stood before him. Jessica. Her sheer blouse draped open, the button and zipper on her jeans undone, her long dark hair clearly disrupted from its pristine norm. She wore the most devilish smirk he’d ever seen.

He slammed his eyes shut again. When he opened them, she was gone, but the knocking persevered. 

 “Open up Mr. Kemp,” Jessica whispered through the door.


Today's piece is a result of a couple different prompts: two from the folks at the Yeah Write Speakeasy who've asked us to use the first sentence- "Who could that be at this hour?" -along with referencing an image of a bulletin board with push pins... and two from the folks at Trifecta who've asked us to use the third definition of the word Mouth and keep the piece between 33 and 333 words.


Guest Post: Technology, Family, the Workplace – 5 Tips for a Working Mom

Written by Kristin Steward

Many working mothers will say being separated from your children and family during the work day is often very difficult and is a sacrifice many mothers make today. Luckily, through technology, working moms can connect with their families during the time they are at work.

1.       Screensavers and wallpaper – Your child or children can be part of your workday when you create a screen saver or wallpaper for your work station or mobile phone. You can have a family night taking funny pictures to make a “workday release” slideshow for your screensaver and wallpaper.

2.       Digital picture frames – Having a slide show of all of your favorite photos, on the corner of your desk, can bring a smile to your face in even the most stressful of situations. From your family vacation to Walt Disney World, to movie nights, to baking cakes and attending baseball games, these photos can fill your digital picture frame with your favorite family memories. Depending on how many of your favorite family memories you want to have with you at the office, you can get different sizes and features on your frame.

3.       Custom iPhone cases – Any photo of your newborn, family pet and family can be incorporated into the design of your iPhone case. Shutterfly has great options where you can add multiple pictures to your iPhone case. This will remind you that inside are the first videos and photos you and your spouse took while you were creating all your family memories. Look at them on your break and share them with your friends at work. It will give you that boost to get you through the rest of the day.

4.       Videos – If your baby is in daycare, many have cameras where you may check in from time to time. If your kids are at home with a nanny, Mr. Mom, the grandparents, or a friend you can use Skype to say a quick hello over your lunch break. You can also use Dropcam or Apple’s FaceTime to check in on your family pet, kids, and even your sick hubby anytime throughout your hectic workday!

5.       Social Networks – Facebook and Twitter can allow instant interaction with friends and family. You can share photos, status updates and check in with your family while at work. As we all know, social networking can be very time consuming, so make sure your activity online it is not distracting you from your work at hand!

Only you know the emotions that tear at you when you have to leave your family for the work day. When you leave for work and think about the hours that stand between you and your cherished family time, a pang of longing may take over. Fortunately, you can now begin to utilize some of the tips listed above to enjoy your family throughout the whole day! I can tell you that they do help! 

Kristin Steward is a mom trying to fulfill a New Years resolution to write more. She can be found on Twitter @InstaMommy.

If you're interested in a Guest Post, drop me a line: finallymom@gmail.com.

January 29, 2013

easy easy EASY chicken and dumplings

Not going to sugar coat this one, folks: I'm damn proud of myself for making this. And it's damn good. When a sick three year old comes running into the kitchen excitedly asking, "Mama, what's that smell?" you know you've done something right. Enter yesterday's adventure to Chicken and Dumplings land.

Taye went home sick yesterday and Lovie still wasn't well despite being fever-free so I picked her up late morning from school. We stopped at the grocery store to get some things, including several ingredients for this really easy dish. REALLY REALLY EASY. And tasty.


Roasted chicken (the kind from the store makes this super duper easy yo), no skin or bones
Onion, finely chopped (1 medium-large onion)
Celery, finely chopped (3-4 stalk)
Carrots (bag of shredded from the store adds to the super duper easy aspect)
Potatoes (2 yellow/Yukon gold, diced)
salt, pepper, poultry seasoning
Chicken stock (I use this amazeballs stuff)
Hot water
Biscuits in a can (I use Pilsbury Grands 8 to a can)

  • In a big stock pot melt couple tablespoons butter & add chopped onion, celery, carrots and cook for about 10 minutes or so.
  • Add some salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and stir.
  • Add some chicken broth (again, I used THIS amazeballs stuff!) and bring to simmer.
  • Taste.
  • Add hot water and/or seasoning to taste.
  • Let simmer.
  • Dice raw potatoes and microwave for several minutes. They should be soft but not super soft as they will cook more in the soup. Add to soup and stir.
  • Taste.
  • Add hot water and/or seasoning to taste.
  • Let simmer.
  • While that yummy goodness simmers, take chicken off bone and remove skin. I'm not a fan of huge chunks of chicken and neither is my kiddo, so I really chopped up most of the meat and shredded some of the white meat. Add to soup and stir.
  • Taste.
  • Add hot water and/or seasoning to taste.
  • Let simmer.
  • Open can of biscuits per can instruction and cut each biscuit into 1/2 inch pieces. Add each piece individually to soup mixture and cover with lid for 10-15 minutes. (Biscuit dumplings will expand and become less wet-like and very much dumpling-like.)
  • Stir and taste.
  • Add hot water and/or seasoning to taste.
  • Serve hot and ENJOY.

January 28, 2013


It's not every day I say this but... I'm kinda glad today is Monday.

This weekend was kind of rough on a whole.

Lovie was really sick Friday and Saturday- feverish both days all day long. Wouldn't drink unless we held a cup with a straw up to her mouth, ate very little. Just laid around all day both days, and very needy (understandably).

Saturday I had plans with some bitches I know for lunch (and drinks) but Taye was kind enough to keep me updated by sending me pathetic texts and photos of Lovie "wanting mommy" and when I got home, all she did was whimper on top of me for about an hour or two: "Mommy" or "I want mommy" despite the fact that I was the one she was laying on.

Sunday Lovie was finally fever free and while we really should've stayed home again, we wanted to take advantage of free Disney on Ice tickets we had so off we went to see Mickey and Merida on Ice. Lovie was super tired the whole time, but did well till the end. That's when she lost her shit and screamed and cried for about two hours. My poor dad met us for the show and we were going to get some lunch afterward but instead, he went home and we went on our way.

After several hours of screaming, Lovie finally calmed down for a couple hours before it was time for bedtime and round two of Screamgate 2013 January Edition.

This morning, I stupidly picked out her Yo Gabba Gabba shirt and jeggings to wear and she lost her shit again. That's when I just walked out her room, leaving her to freak out on her own, and she howled MOMMY like she was in horrific pain. I turned around after taking in a deep breathe and calmly asked her to tell me what she wanted so we could move on with the day. She did and we did.

And now I'm at work and she's at school.

And despite it being only 9AM, I sure could go for a drink like the one in the photo above.

January 25, 2013

TILTW: 1.19-1.25.13

* Three is a really awesome age so far, but also very, very trying at times (bed times, morning times, getting dressed times, when I blink wrong times...). Oy vey.

* I still hate potty training and have admitted to being jealous of those of you with potty trained kids. You can read more about that here.

* Hospice is now coming to my grandmother's house.

* My kid is THE cutest Tiny Dancer.

* Yo Gabba Gabba is so much fun live. I mean, so much fun. Wow. I know a lot of parents aren't keen on "kid music" and stuff, but YGG should be an exception. Really.

* I desperately need to break up with M&M's.

* Lovie's hair keeps some length after a couple of days of it being in twists. Fun! :)

January 23, 2013

sure of it { - FICTION - }

The magic was all in the finishing touches. Ashley was sure of it, just as she was sure her 4-year-old daughter, Londyn, would go home with the Ultimate Grand Supreme Beauty Queen title. After all, they’d been working on enchanting judges at dinky county fair pageants for the past two years.

Not anymore though. Now they were on to far more bigger competitions which would lead to big time fortunes. Ashley was sure of it.

 “Uh, that’s not at all what I want,” Ashley spat at the pageants’ hair designer.

 “Ashley don’t you wowry, I can rock this,” Londyn said with a flip of her tiny manicured hand before sipping Mountain Dew through a straw.

“Oh Londyn, I have no doubt you can rock this, you can rock anything. But it’s not at all what I wanted!” Ashley snatched a piece of the blond hair extension the stylist weaved into Londyn’s hair. “This is too floppy. It’s gotta be fixed.”

“Yes ma’am, I’m doing what I can.”

“Well you need to do better than that. We gotta be perfect!” Ashley took the Mountain Dew from Londyn’s hand and finished what was left.


“Oh hush, you’ve had enough.” Ashley fished around a large pink tote bag laying atop the bed in the hotel room they were in. “Now less get your flipper in.” 

With a small set of fake teeth in her right hand, Ashley pushed down on Londyn’s chin with her left.

“No Momma!”

“This is always such a bitch to get in,” Ashley mumbled, jamming the flipper into Londyn’s mouth. “Now lemme see that million dollar smile.”

Londyn grimaced, “It hurts.”

“Tough,” Ashley answered and turned her attention back to the top of her head and hair. “You need to get this higher and it better not move when she’s up there. We gotta be perfect!”

The magic was all in the finishing touches. Ashley was sure of it.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

This piece brought to you by too much Toddlers and Tiaras and the fine folks at the Yeah Write Speakeasy who've requested we use use of the following photo prompt and the first line, "The magic was all in the finishing touches." 

Also brought to you by the groovy peeps at Trifecta who've requested we use the third definition of a favorite word of mine:

BITCH (noun)

1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals
2 a : a lewd or immoral woman
b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse

3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

January 22, 2013

well... Poop! or, maybe not.

I haven't talked much about this here.

Not sure why, really.

Maybe I didn't want to admit to being a failure...

...at potty training.

But it is what it is and right now Lovie, who just turned 3 end of December, is still not potty trained.

Oh we've tried. And tried.

We've got books and a potty chair. We've got charts, stickers, and M&M's. We've got a drawer full of undies.

But, as of today, she's still not trained and nowhere near being trained.

I'd really really really love for you to read more about this over at the Bump Blog. So go forth and laugh at my sorry ass over there.

January 21, 2013

tiny dancer

Lovie took her very first ballet class on Saturday.

She loved it.

We weren't allowed in the room and there was only one tiny two-way mirror for people to leer into but the place was jam packed with people so it was really hard to get a view. Taye had a good view so he took some video.

Any time I was able to peek in, I felt was so proud. She watched with such interest and tried following all instructions.

My big girl.

Afterward, we grabbed some lunch, changed clothes, and went to see YO GABBA GABBA live. More on that awesomeness later.

January 18, 2013


With her pristine face grimacing because the Lululemon bag is out of stock, she raises her glass of Chardonnay to her nose and inhales deeply.
“First world problems indeed,” she smiles, pearls shining.


TILTW: 1.12-1.18.13

Lovie's a good patient for the doctor at age 3. Much better than at 2 when she was stuck to me like Velcro. She weighs 31 pounds and is 37 inches tall (39 if you add her hair, heh).

Lovie starts ballet tomorrow. Ballet. My little lovebug. In a leotard, tights, and of course, ballet slippers. She's so excited. Especially about the slippers. And the ballet.

Speaking of ballet slippers, don't get the ones sold at Target or Walmart with the tights and leotards they have set up to make it seem like it's all legit stuff needed for dance class. Those slippers are SLIPPERS. Like for the house. Get the kid real ballet slippers so people don't laugh at you both. Fortunately I made this realization before it was too late and ordered a pair of real ballet slippers from AllAboutDance (free shipping on all US orders, yo!).

Ann Sather is the most amazing place on earth to have breakfast. If you're ever in Chicago, you absolutely must have the world's most amazing cinnamon buns.

Or better than that, have their French Toast Fantasy, made from their cinnamon buns...

My life will never be the same.

January 17, 2013

interview with a three year old

the other day i posted an image of the interview.

here's the video:

it ends rather ubruptly because it actually goes on for several more minutes and i have no video editing skills.

oh, and as expected, she and Kaitlin are BFFs again.

the plan is to do this every year with the same 20 questions, give or take some change.

January 16, 2013

Bubbles, Hot Wheels & Hard-ons { -FICTION- }

“Blowing bubbles in milk always feels good.”

“Blowing bubbles in milk always feels good,” Leroy repeated.

“How so? How does it feel good? That doesn’t even make sense. You’re not in the glass of milk to feel the bubbles being popped, so how does it feel good?”

Leroy lifted his head to look at me, eyebrows raised causing creases in his forehead. With the straw resting between his fingers of his left hand, he brushed away the couple strands of hair falling into his eyes with his right hand. “What the fuck crawled up your ass?”

Smiling, I answered, “Not you.”

“Fuck off,” he chortled, trying to stifle a smile.

Leroy dropped his gaze back toward his straw, his lips and mouth softly blowing air through the straw. Bubbles popped up inside the glass and danced over the rim.

We were sitting in my favorite breakfast restaurant on Clark Street, warm cinnamon rolls nestling onto tan plates parked before each of us. Using my hands I devoured one of my rolls while Leroy played with his chocolate milk like a four year old…

…blowing bubbles in drinks before being yelled at to stop… running around chasing one another before being sent into the basement to play… driving Hot Wheels on the carpet remnant in Gram’s basement.

Every Sunday was the same: Mom, Dad and I would pile into the rusty Ford and make our way over to Grams house where we’d meet up with my aunt, uncle, and two cousins, Victor and his little sister Darlene. We’d gather around the dining room table and eat and laugh before Victor, Darlene and I would crawl around under the table, trying not to get kicked as we tied uncle Vic’s shoe laces together. When Gram brought out dessert, we’d climb back into our seats and eat some more. That’s when we’d eventually get in trouble for blowing bubbles into our cups of milk or juice, and be sent to the basement to play till they told us to come back up.  

One time while playing with Hot Wheels on the huge carpet remnant with masking tape Victor used to mark off streets, I remember “driving” one of my cars toward Victor’s crotch with the knuckles of my driving hand purposely bumping into him to feel him get hard. Victor leaped from knees to feet pretty instantly…

“Ben!” Leroy tapped his fork onto my plate, while grabbing my feet with his. “You gonna finish that roll or what?”

“Oh you done pwaying wif your milk, big boy?”

January 12, 2013

new beginning

On being three:
The defiance and attitude kicked up a notch. Or ten.
Blossoming curiosity, too. 
And, of course, the time-outs.
It’s like she enjoys trying my patience. 
But why not the toilet?!


January 11, 2013

it's time to DANCE!

are you ready?
break it down!



TILTW: 1.5-1.11

Not all people suck. Thank you for that. And thank you oh so much for all the heartfelt comments on Tuesday's post about my Oma. According to my mom, things are pretty much the same. :/


I absolutely detest potty training.


I've really come to *like* my hair. It used to be that I hated how curly and frizzy my hair was (when I was a teen) but then I was able to grow it longer and longer and the length helped weigh down some of the curls. Then I discovered anti-frizz products (about 10-15 years ago) and I started to really like my hair. But then it started to gray. And gray. And after Lovie was born three years ago, it's like I just couldn't stop the gray. And now I'm at a point where a good portion of it is gray. I've been lamenting for years as to whether or not to color it and have really just come to terms with it and, actually, I really do like it. It's part of who I am. It's just hair, yes, but it's my hair. My curls. My frizz. My gray. (And Lovie says it's "black" so that helps me feel like maybe it's not as gray as I think it is.)


And, speaking of hair, I've discovered an awesome website on how to deal with Lovie's hair. ChocolateHairVanillaCare has so much information on how to handle her hair. From products to styles and more. I absolutely love it and because of the info on that site, I "banded" Lovie's hair Wednesday night and it's resulted in two days of super cute, funky styles that I think match Lovie's personality. And Lovie's been talking about wanting really long "mermaid" type hair so I figure the banding may help lengthen her hair when I take them out. I'm excited to see what it looks like tonight (or tomorrow) when I take the bands out!

left to right: weds night, thursday morning, friday morning. does it make you cringe to see so much mis-match?! :D


January 10, 2013

Happily ever after

Once upon a time, 10 years ago (or so), I had long dark hair with maybe a handful of grays very well hidden.

May 2003ish. might be May 2000. it's May some year in the early 2000s. NYC.

I was visiting my cousin in NYC. We were in the Rainbow Room overlooking Manhattan, enjoying the best salmon dish I'd ever had after a night of drinking like there was no tomorrow and almost not making our dinner reservations at the Rainbow Room as a result.

I was 30 years old, unmarried, childless.

Ten years later...

my hair is a bit shorter and a LOT grayer. But I kinda dig that.

I also like my glasses at 40 more than the fugly ones I wore at 30. Man I was such a baby back then. I mean, it was only 10 years ago but look at me! Look how cute I was! So damn cherubic looking.

Kinda like this little chica:

taken at 6:40 this morning. girlfriend had to wear those sunglasses despite it being pitch black out.


Seriously, 10 years ago I was very different. I had a lot of insecurities. I was very much a loner. I was so very shy, it was hard to look at people. I was getting better but I think it was the start of change for me.

I'm still kinda shy and a loner, but it's so very different now.

Now I don't really give a shit what people think of me. I don't really hold grudges. I try not wasting my time and energy on shit that I cannot fix like I did back then. And life, as a result of letting a lot of shit go, is so much better.

It's good, actually.

Today I'm fabulous and 40, I'm great and gray, I'm married and a mom.

Today I can live happily ever after.

January 9, 2013

January 8, 2013

almost time

Taye called me early during the day yesterday from work. Nothing abnormal for most folks—for husband and wife to converse during the workday—but for Taye it is. He very rarely calls, texts, or emails me from work. He’s generally too busy.

“I had a minute so I just wanted to check in.”


“Have you heard from your mom?”

My stomach drops. My heart starts to race a bit. Tears flood my eyes.

“No, why?!” I notice my voice is a bit loud amidst the stillness of the office. “Have you?”

“No.. No! I just wanted to make sure…I was just thinking about everything.”

He’s referring to Sunday’s 20 minute visit with my mom and grandmother. My grandmother who means absolutely everything to me. My grandmother whose given name is Lovie’s middle name. My grandmother who’s been so very ill for well over a year now. My grandmother who...

…thank goodness I have Lovie because I’m not sure how I’d survive Oma’s passing without her. And according to my mom, that will be happening soon.

 “Earlier she told me, ‘It’s almost time.’” My mom looked away for a moment before continuing, “But then she said that the time wouldn’t be soon enough for her.” My mom’s blue eyes instantly get glossy and bloodshot. “I don’t blame her. I hate watching her like this.”

My mom and I lock eyes. We’ve had this discussion before. We’ve been here before. Waiting. Thinking we’re ready. 
“Is she in pain?”

“She can’t breathe, Christina. She got up today after eleven. She walked over to the couch and had to sit down and hook up to the oxygen. She’s still in her pajamas.”

Oma is 88 and very Old World. One doesn’t wear pajamas any other time than to bed and it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon when we visited.

“Go ahead and wake her.” My mom moved her eyes toward the living room where Oma rested.

I told her I couldn’t.

And I really couldn’t. I couldn’t watch her eyes pry open. I couldn’t watch a sweet smile—the sweetest, kindest smile in the world—spread her thin, pale pink lips across her aging teeth. I couldn’t because she didn’t shake when she slept, she didn’t take laborious breaths when she slept. Instead she just lay there on the couch, gray thin tubes jutting from her nose, wrapping around her ears, trailing off the couch and across the length of the living room to the oxygen tank that rested near her bedroom. She looked so peaceful, her skin ghostly white and paper thin looking.

I stood beside her for a moment, just looking at her. She looked lifeless until I noticed her mauve sweater moving as she breathed in through the oxygen tubes. And I also noticed my stomach dropped a bit and my eyes flooded with tears.

I love her so much.
Oma and Lovie, January 2010

I see so much of her in my Lovie and that makes me incredibly happy and lucky.

We’re all so damn lucky, really: I’ve had 40 years with her, Lovie’s had three, my mom’s had 65. We’re so lucky to have been blessed by this wonderful woman. Her beauty and essence will reign forever more—of this, I have absolute no doubt.

So, it’s OK that’s it’s "almost time." It really is.
My mom can go ahead and make that sickening call to me.

January 7, 2013

Lookie up there!

New blog header.


I'm pretty damn pleased with it if I do say myself. Guess who created it? Moi. Impressive, right? Right?!

January 4, 2013

TILTW: 12.29-1.4


Having your kids birthday party at a jump house is so much fun. Even when you're old and gray like me.

I can still stay up past midnight, but only once a year tops.

Lovie is addicted to hot chocolate and popcorn.

January 2, 2013

interview with a three year old

I really do need to video an interview with her because it's just so damn entertaining talking to her. And I need better questions that may elicit more than one or two word answers. As it was, I just asked these this morning on our way to school and I didn't have the questions I asked last time when she was 2.5 so I had to wing it. I do remember asking about our ages last time and how quick she was then to throw out some numbers... not so much this time. Girlfriend is really growing up, huh? And yeah, I know I just posted the photo yesterday but a) I love the photo and b) it's the only recent one I have of her where she's actually looking at me/the camera.

Reflecting back on Lovie's past year, there was a lot of changes: She nixed the pacifier (not such an enjoyable transition but not so difficult either when looking back); she started (and is still *sigh*) potty training; she moved up to the young preschool room at school; we made the switch from rear facing to forward facing; we made the switch from crib to toddler bed; she's pretty much without a high chair except when we play with play-doh; she's still the coolest damn kid in the world.

And. She's now THREE.