Thursday, May 31, 2012

One last time to reminisce

Good morning! No postings yesterday since I had to begin the two courses that I am teaching this summer. Since they are online, I will be glued to the computer trying impart some knowledge :-D

With that said, let's go back to the concept of an end of the year banquet. As much as I loathe attending them.....yep, after the first 15, they become fairly routine, yet the athletes need them for closure. The guys should have their hard work acknowledged publicly with their team mates, friends, and family in the audience. They worked all year until they bled, collapsed, or cried and should have one last opportunity to sit with the players and coaches that they came to know and love (and sometimes hate). It is a rite of passage in an athlete's life.

What happens at these banquets? Well, the word "banquet" is probably not the correct term. In fact, it is more like pasta, rubbery chicken, and unidentifiable meat with potatoes and green beans lathered in butter. Then there are rolls, a Caesar salad, and defrosted pie with coffee.  The menu is always the deviations.

Once dinner is over, the gang sit and listen to the coach tell funny stories about the season. Then a video is shown on the jumbo-tron of the best plays seniors made. The coach tells a story about each senior who comes to the podium, gets a laugh or two. The kid then sits down and is either drafted by a major league team or goes to TJ Maxx with his mother to buy business suits to start his job in an entry level position that he thinks he is too good for....'cause his vision has always been to play on the Yankees or Phillies. After a few years, he buys his dream car and marries his college sweetheart. They have their 2.35 kids and he finds himself coaching Little League to his son who cannot see the ball, is nonathletic, and alarmingly, is not a switch-hitter!

So, why deny the kids one last opportunity to reminisce about the glory days before they do it with the neighbors in their cul de sac over a beer while watching the kids ride their bikes or climb trees. As they wistfully speak of their college years, their bellies hang over their belts because they stopped exercising when the second colicky kid was born. They traded in the dumb bells for an extra 10 minutes of sleep.

As they let their bodies go, the wives become more militant and demand new sofas, painted basements, and clean gutters...By the way, take out the trash, mow the lawn, and stop hanging around with the husband down the street, 'cause he is having an affair with his secretary. No, the wife does not know it yet, but it is a matter of time. Sheesh! Got the picture? 

Now do you see why they need a banquet? Enough said...have a great day!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Major League Fas Paux

Hello! Sorry about missing a few days but I took the weekend to repair, recover, and typing, writing, or thinking. Ooops, I should not have written that one...too late!

Part of my absence has been the lack of content shared by my big leftie. He is quieter than usual. Perhaps part of the issue is that he is living at home and no longer hours away. Also the team wrapped up their season last week after being humiliated in the playoffs on national television. No bullpen support....

As the team disbanded, there was something that was glaringly missing. What the coaches did not follow through on was the team banquet to honor the seniors. As far as BP mom is concerned, this is a big no-no....a faux oversight....problem...issue...blunder....a blooper...gaffe....and major league boo boo.

Why is the final banquet so important? Well, in my mind, it is to honor the seniors who have stuck it out through thick and thin. They were the glue that held  together the university's toy. The seniors were the leaders...the guys who stood up and guided the younger guys and took it on the chin when the team lost (and they lost and lost and also turned the season around to make the playoffs). The senior banquet acknowledges their hard work, grit, and determination AND there is something called the Dugout Club that facilitates the banquet.

Was someone too tired to hold a final year party? Come on guys, we're in college here. There are coaches, a secretary and booster club. You have parties all the time, just ask the guys in the beer distributorship...they know you on a first name basis. Also, if you asked me, I would have organized it!

A party....chips, dip, nachos, and hot dogs...perhaps a beer or two (and some Merlot). Nothing fancy...a few invitations to parents. Charge us for the napkins and ketchup. Hey, I'll bring my lucky cupcakes!

But not having anything is just wrong. Every team has an end of year event to acknowledge the most valuable player and team leaders. They give the tried and true monogrammed blanket to each graduating senior and pictures are taken with the families. So, what happened here?

Got to run to see Tank....I will give my thoughts on a glaring fas paux later!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Happy Memorial Day weekend! it's a little overcast but the sun is going to show itself later today.

What can I say? Buddy's team lost again in a big way on national television yesterday. I could only watch a few innings before I had to turn it off. It was grisly and gruesome. I can feel the team's pain especially Buddy's when the losses were due to the lack of a bullpen. Would they have done better with the big kid on the mound? Maybe...maybe not...but they would have had a better chance and not have been humiliated.

As I watch the games on television, the producers have to make it as dramatic as possible. So, as each pitcher was pulled out of the game, the cameras would focus on their faces in the dugouts. I saw lots of perspiration, sadness, embarrassment, and yes....tears.

As the guys may look like they are men...they're not. They just are finishing teenage years and moving into their twenties. Further, they really have not experienced much except for baseball. Therefore, their emotions are just that...emotions...they are emotional....when happy, they are happy and show it. When sad or humiliated, there is still a chance that tears will flow. Sadly for some of the guys, the tears were evident as the cameras focused on their faces when the coaches yanked them off the mound.

Last year in Ohio, I remember one of the kids telling Stinky, the pitching coach, when he approached the mound to change pitchers, that if he did not have a hot dog in his hand, that he had better turn around because he was not going to be pulled from the game. Stinky turned around and slowly walked back to the dugout. Alas, he did not have a hot dog for the ace.

The stakes are high for the schools. Their teams are on national television and as such the universities want to promote their schools and players. Success in sports often yield success in the number of applications for the university. In a way, it is one of the best forms of marketing for any institution of higher education. Imagine watching a football game on television and being able to see the beautiful campus, ardent student fans, and electric atmosphere. High school seniors want to be there....apply...are accepted...then bingo! The school continues its tradition. It's a win-win for all parties.

The schools also reward the athletes as they make and move through tournaments. Last year, Buddy received a number of gifts from the university that he hated. In fact, he gave me the laptop computer bag that he received for Christmas. I like it, but it has ripped already so I am going to have to replace my tournament bag. In addition to gear, many athletes are given rings if they actually win and jackets with the school, tournament and their numbers on it. The rewards are simply gestures from the school for a job well done and the hard work that it took to get there.

With that said, the tournament continues and the guys have returned to campus. After meetings today with the coaches, they leave for their summer leagues around the country. And so, with Memorial Day kicking off the summer, let's remember the hard work and dedication of our veterans who are not on television nor have letter-man jackets and rings. They have worked hard and sacrificed so that my kid and the others can continue to follow their dreams in the land of the free. Thank you to all the men and women (past and present) of our armed services.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Strong winds or strong emotions?

Good morning! It's Memorial Day weekend and the families are planning to pack the cars and drive the  two hours to the Jersey shore. That's right....New Jersey....home of housewives and someone (or something) named Snooki. I love the shore but hate the crowds, which is one of the reasons why I am considering not going to the beach. When it is a hassle trying to get somewhere to relax knowing that it will be more of a hassle to return home, find a restaurant without a two hour wait or a large pizza for less than $25 or even pay to sit on the beach and have the green headed flies attack you while you try to read a magazine, then I feel that a quiet weekend at home is the real vacation. No offense to the vacationers. I love the shore during the week when it is not so crowded.

On to the big many ways can I say "Oye"? Oye.....the guy is filled with turmoil as the team is in Ohio without him. When he returned home from work yesterday, he ran to his room to watch the play off game on television. From my location, I could hear multiple screams and (unfortunately) expletives as the team worked toward a victory. They were ahead as California pitched until the 7th inning...then it all fell apart.....

That's right....LW entered the game instead of Buddy and proceeded to load the bases. He was then yanked by the coach and the closer came in and the wheels came off the cart. The opposing team (whom they had beaten multiple times this season) scored over....Buddy's team has lost the play off game that they should have won.

He began to receive texts from his "friends" who told him that his team "s__ked" and were losers and so on. After the game, he ran out of the house to work out and coach the high school game. When he called home, he shared the text messages with me. My reply was simple: "You have nothing to do with their wins or losses this year, so relax." He got a bit salty and said that it was 'his' team and as a result, he was associated with the fiasco on national television. Moreover, it was his former room mate LW who could not get an out on the mound and his future room mate, California who was robbed of the victory.

So complicated...and yet, so simple...

And so, the team has been relegated to the losers' bracket in the tournament and will be on television today for the second and possibly final game of the year. Yes, we will be watching, although not in the same room. He can take the upstairs floor and I will take the downstairs. I may add ear plugs or go for a long walk during the game. I actually do not want to be in the same house while he watches the game. From the screams of "throw the curve ball" to the "Seriously? Seriously?", the best place for me is as far away as possible.

After all, I cannot change the way he is reacting to the team in the play offs. He has a certain way that he watches the game and I believe that he is emotionally transported to the dug out. I will know for sure if I see sunflower seeds on the walls and floors or the bedroom after the game. Happily, he gave up dipping chewing tobacco for sunflower seeds. True, sunflower seeds are a better choice of snacking, yet messier as the evidence is all over the place.

I actually feel that once the season is over, the angst that he is feeling will be put into its place and he can move on with his work outs and physical therapy. Until then, the emotional roller coaster continues as I seek ways of pacifying the giant. He cannot not himself....and is on a crazy journey. As a mother, all I can do is understand his moods and hope that the ups and downs pass through like a tornado in Kansas....some of the mobile homes are damaged but not destroyed and can be rebuilt stronger than's hoping that the strong winds make it through the house with little or no collateral damage.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Frozen peas: More than a vegetable

Good Afternoon! That's's afternoon. I had to run out early this morning for my second tennis match in two days. Whew!

Let's recap....I had knee surgery in March and have been out of commission athletically since January. Therefore as the pounds crept onto my hips somehow, I lost more than the timing with my racquet speed. I lost the ability to fit into my clothes. Option number 1 is to lose weight. Option number 2 is to buy new clothes. So far, option 1 is wishful thinking. Perhaps I can get a Macy's coupon and hit the clearance rack....or not....

On to my 2012 debut on the tennis court. Last night, I was paired with a friend who kept me laughing when I felt like crying. When I missed a ball, I missed big. There were times that I was looking around to make sure that no one was capturing my crazy play on their cellphone. It would go viral on youtube....and so, we were the first ones off the court as we sheepishly collected our water bottles, racquets, and worked my way back to the patio to watch the "good players" win their matches. Strike 1 for BP mom....

This morning, I vowed that I would play more aggressively and not worry about the knee. Actually, it was fine last night....did not fall off...nor did it hamper my play. In other words, I had no excuse for the loss.

Today, I was paired with a person that I knew only by reputation and actually did not remember what her reputation was....She was a nice person and very happy....even if she hit the ball into the stratosphere, she would smile and say "oops..." On the other hand, I would stifle a grunt or two and try to look composed on the outside as I sweated profusely. I could not let my opponent see me nervous or worried when I was feeling the pressure.

Let's stop here for a second. As I am typing this note, I cannot believe how crazy I am. What does it matter if I win or lose? It's a game right? I am adult. I do not receive a pay check for playing tennis, golf or bowling. So, what's the big deal?

My only answer is going to sound quite lame, but I think that once you compete as an athlete, you cannot turn the competitive spirit on and off. Even when I play Clue with the kids, I try to win. I analytically construct the game's murderer, weapon, and location. I am a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the game of Clue. A Trivial Pursuit game is something that I have to win too. I am not a good loser but a great winner. I always shake my opponents' hand and tell them what good players they are....When I lose, it is more of a "good match"...later....bye....

Back to today's match. My partner, Giggles, did manage to keep a calm court with her humor too. Therefore, it was a good match. We finished with the same score from last night except, we won today! Is BP Mom back?  Yeah, I think so, although I currently have ice on my knees and the right elbow....I do this for fun, right?

It was great seeing the gang who I had played with over the years. Although, I considered not returning to the court. My good friend of three decades, the Brain, stopped by on Friday for a chat. She encouraged me to get back onto the court and not wait. The way she looks at it is that if I need a knee replacement or have some pain, so what....get out there and have fun. Also, there is something in the pharmacy called Aleve and Motrin. Have you ever heard of it? And she says that she does not have any empathy! Of course she does.

Now on to the big kid....I see a great deal of my competitiveness in him and yes, it is my fault. Although, I am not a typical parent who gets crazy in the stands and yells at my child and the umpires. I sit quietly, watch, and analyze the game. I silently pray for the best outcome to the game. Yet, as I can suppress my angst when losing, he cannot (yet).  I watched a major league game on the television one night and after the pitcher was taken out of the game, he started to destroy the dug out. A bit over the top, dontchathink? I have never lost my temper after a game and even though it bothered me, I would not let anyone know. My kid on the other hand....all I can say is "oye!"

He is currently on his way home from work, will catch the playoff game on television this afternoon, then he is off to coach a 16 year old team tonight. I am glad to see him staying active and passing his knowledge onto the next generation.

With that said, I have to go to the freezer to get an icy bag of peas to put on my elbow. Growing old....I would not change it for the world.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Missing: My Mind....

Good morning! I could not find Buddy this morning. I thought that he was sleeping late but it turns out he was already at the bakery working until 2pm....For a minute, I felt like the old days when I felt that he was lost in the mall. Odd....Speaking of lost, I do not understand what happened to my new knee brace that I bought last week. After finding the perfect amount of support and comfort and the ability to move in it, I cannot find it. Duh! Where could it be? I left it in the front seat of the car. Now I cannot find it. Tink and I went through a full garbage can last night in the dark...not there. I tore the car apart...not there. Crazy! Or am I? Is it age or did I throw it out? How could I have lost it? Too many questions with no answers.... My brain hurts. Time to buy a new one.

Why am I so rushed to find the brace? Well, tonight is my first tennis match since long before the surgery. Fortunately my team is not in the hunt for a play off spot, so I can lose without feeling too much pressure. Although, I must confess, I love to win. I never go out there thinking that a loss might be just what I need for my confidence and self-esteem.

This is going to be a test of the knee, timing, conditioning (or lack thereof), physical therapy, and surgery. I did not tell Tank that I was playing tennis tonight. He might not approve and I did not want to feel guilty about it. Although tomorrow, I may be confessing my wrong doings to him asking him to help me to feel better. With his guidance, I feel that my legs are stronger than ever. Now all I have to do is lose the pre and post surgical weight that has crept up on me and landed on my hips. A small piece of advice: do not eat vanilla vanilla cake from the bakery if you are not exercising. You will grow in ways that you cannot believe. I think that I am dough-ier than pie crust right now. Time for a lifestyle change....stat!

Speaking of the bakery, Sparky, the Baker and I had a late drink together at our favorite seafood restaurant. Baker will telling funny stories about the bakery and we were howling. They definitely should have a reality show. The people who work there and the customers are not to be believed. Although I learned something very important last night that I will pass on to readers. When you take the cake out of the oven, you have to freeze it immediately so that it does not dry out. I forgot to ask her if that includes my boxed Betty Crocker cakes too. Not everyone knows this baking trivia. One woman called the bakery to complain to Buddy over the phone and was chewing him out because her cake was too cold. As he told her to leave it on the counter for an hour, she would not be appeased until she received another cake. She railed and ranted on the phone, then walked into the bakery 20 minutes later with her son to pick up her cake. Much to her surprise, Buddy was the guy that she was screaming seems that he was on her son's baseball team. Can anyone say: "Oops?" Let's just say that bad behavior is bad behavior. Be nice to everyone including the kid on the end of the phone as you call to complain about a too cold cake.

With that said, it is time to find another brace, fill my little water cooler, find a tennis skirt that fits and does not reveal too much, take an Aleve, stretch, eat a few carbs, and go conquer my opponent. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stay alert

It's an overcast day and the spirits are just as low as the clouds. I can't get out of my head the violation of basic human decency. However, as I continue to ponder over yesterday's announcement, I began to remember some telling moments that now make sense.

For example, as an elementary school volleyball and basketball coach, I noticed the pastor would never attend the games or practices even to say hello to the children. In fact, he was always missing from activities concerning the kids. The associate pastor would be the person who represented the parish at these events. I used to think that the pastor was too busy. When I would see his face change at mass when a baby cried, I never understood why he would not see this child as a future parishioner or child of God. Now I get it....

He was intentionally trying to stay away from the kids. He had nothing to do with the school except for building it. And it always seemed that he would rather be anywhere else than with the congregation. Now knowing his proclivities, perhaps he was trying to protect the kids from himself. Hmmmm....something to think about as I try to process this information. I want to have compassion, but am finding it very tough.

Nevertheless, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims. I saw a good friend at the gym yesterday who asked me how my knee was progressing. When I told her the news, she looked at me in the eye and said: "There are worse things than a sore knee...." I could not agree more.....

I promise that I will pick up on the lighter side of life tomorrow. I need one more day to work out how I can be part of the solution to a pervasive problem in our society. What I can say in this forum is to look out for the vulnerable. The able-bodied have a charge to protect the individuals who cannot protect themselves. Be vigilant and take nothing for granted.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Be part of the solution

Happy Sunday! Or is it? The weather is about as beautiful as it can be, but my heart is in shambles. Why, you may ask....well, here goes.....

As readers know, I write this blog to update family and friends on the happenings of the kids especially the big guy who has a big dream. I write from the perspective of a mother,daughter, sister, friend, cousin, aunt, and community member. Regular readers understand or try to understand my point of view from these angles. I try to use humor and self-deprecation when describing events that lead to the achievement of goals and dreams. 'Cause, as you know, the road is rocky and we stumble over and over....and with that said, let me share the events of the morning.....

The sun was shining at 6:30 am and dad and I got ready for 7:30 am mass at our church. We have been members of the parish since we moved to this town 25 years ago. I have attended weekly and sometimes daily events at the church depending on the activities. I coached volleyball and basketball. The kids played on the sports teams and attended religious education. The congregation was young and we had lots of friends. At one point, the pastor asked me to be a member of the building committee to ascertain the need for an elementary school which I was wildly in favor. This was a no brainer, I was going to use my powers of persuasion and research skills to set the table for the new school. And with a number of meetings, town gatherings, and surveys, we were given permission to conduct a series of fund raisers and we were able to earn enough money to build the school. What a wonderful time in the parish's life as we watched it grow from services in the local middle school cafeteria to a church, rectory, and school. It was amazing to be part of something that would not only serve the mission of the church but would be instrumental in building a solid community. The pastor and I were friends and always greeted each other warmly knowing that together we helped to build something that was good. It was the foundation to serve individuals at all times of their lives....baptisms, communion, confirmation, penance ceremonies, and funerals. The parish and its members did it all under the leadership of our pastor.

With that said, when the bishop was in church this morning, I was a little startled. The big guy never stops by the church unless there is a confirmation and this was simply early mass. Or was it?

As we sat in our seats, he began to read a prepared statement which had us in a state of disbelief. it seems that our beloved former pastor who retired a few years ago and has his name on the school cafeteria has admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor 40 years ago. At the age of 77, I suppose he needed to "come clean" with his own confession. With a audible gasp from the early morning crowd, the bishop left the church and the new pastor stood before us in tears. He was not the only one to have to compose himself. Many of the parishioners began to sob. Others wiped away their tears. I sat in utter confusion and witnessed the priest in the pulpit stand before us unable to continue as his heart was broken.

He could not continue and needed a few minutes to compose himself. He announced that there were counselors and other ministers available for individuals who needed help processing the information. At this point, I am still numb and trying to figure things out in my own way, so here goes....

There is evil in our world and we are constantly doing battle trying to do the right thing. As I tell the kids and my students: "The right thing to do is often the hardest." Therefore combating bad decision making is something that we all struggle with in our lives.

I am dumbfounded that a man of the cloth could heinously perform any sadistic act on a child. Further, there is no excuse for this madness. As adults, we are to protect not only our own children, but the children of the world. Feed, clothe, soothe, comfort, and teach....are just a few of the roles that we have when entrusted to the development of a child. No where is there a statement that says: "By the way, take advantage of the powerless and the innocent...."...."Go and ruin their lives with moments of madness....." No one has permission to take away the innocence of a one....

Is this sordid phenomenon restricted to the clergy? Nope. Last week a 47 year old swimming coach was arrested for meeting one of his swimmers at a motel, giving her beer, and ......(you know the rest....I cannot even type what happened).

I do not know what is going on in our world, but I need to be more vigilant, less naive, and more observant. I have the privilege of  moving in multiple circles and if I cannot be part of the solution, then I am part of the problem. My vow is to never be duped by someone who hides behind a title or position. Anyone can be a predator and pedophile and it is up to us as global citizens to confront it when we suspect something is happening. Did I know that this pastor had these proclivities? Absolutely not! According to this statement, the incident occurred 40 years ago. Nothing since? Really? Hmmmm....

As global citizens, I encourage each reader to educate themselves, watch and take care of the vulnerable. We have a mandate to love one another and that does not mean when it is convenient for us. This means all of the time.....

Do I blame the church at all? Tough the answer is "no" since I believe that the church is bigger than a few misguided, sick individuals. Therefore, I will continue to practice my faith AND will be more vigilant. I m not sure what I can do except watch and pray, yet as I saw a friend is Starbucks after mass, she was still crying. We stood there just looking at each other. I had nothing to say, 'cause I was still speechless. But I vow that I will look for ways to be involved in the prevention of child abuse of any form. I am not sure how since I am still in a state of shock, but somehow....some way.....BP mom is on the watch.....a community activist and someone who has to help to protect as many children as she can. I encourage all to be part of the solution too.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Making the playoffs

Good morning! Another beautiful spring day in the northeast and the kids have been settling into a routine of sleeping late and retiring to bedrooms early. What is so interesting in those rooms? not sure...perhaps they are reading some of the classic literature or self help books....nah....they are online chatting away with their friends.

Today is a special day. It's the day that I have been waiting for and fearing at the same time. I am going to hit tennis balls today. And the trepidation is whether the knee will hold up in competition. I wanted to start slowly and hit against a ball machine. Then I am going to hit with a tennis pro who is probably the age of Cupcake. Lastly, I have been booked for matches on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The butterflies are beginning to fly in the stomach and I am way too nervous about this. After all, I have been playing tennis competitively since I was twelve. Now I am nervous....crazy? Yah....And so, I grab my racquets, dust the mold and dirt off them, strap on my lucky sneakers, pick up the pink mother's day wrist bands given to me by my son who took them from the stadium on Sunday, rub in the sunscreen, grab a hat and sunglasses, and squeeze into my tennis skirt. If this does not scream: "Start your diet!", nothing will.....wish me luck!

As far as Buddy is concerned, he worked out yesterday and worked at the bakery until late at night. The cakes are baking and the floors needed mopping. It's a great job for him. Love their vanilla cake with vanilla frosting....this is not good for the diet, is it?

His team won the first game of a three game series yesterday and have made the conference playoffs in Ohio (yep, Ohio).  Rather than being totally thrilled for the guys, he is saltier than ever because (once again) he is not there to either sit in the dugout, stand in the bullpen, spit seeds, or be called into the game to save it. His ego is taking a blow and rather than talk about it, he is moody and sullen with a bit of a salty edge.

I understand his sadness, yet as Kelly Clarkson sings: "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger....." Perhaps the time off from competition is the best thing to happen to him. In fact, he gets another year of college to work and complete (according to dad) a masters degree...'cause according to dad, he WILL finish his bachelors degree with the rest of his class. No ands, ifs, or buts....we did it, he can do it.

On Sunday, Big Red moved out of the apartment because he could no longer take the immaturity of Buddy and Angel and living with LW. So, he left early....dude....what about the cable bill that I have been paying? Time to complete all transactions here. It was ironic because he told his girlfriend that his room mates were holding him back from being a top player. He has been relegated to second string since he dropped his batting average to less than .200. Furthermore, he blames his room mates for this action by the coach.

OK, what are we missing here? I'll tell is a guy who is struggling on the field and his explanation is his room mates are crazy. Hmmmm...yeah, perhaps they are real knuckleheads, but when a person has a problem with hitting, it is not because their room mate is standing next to them on the field making them laugh during a game. During a slump, he blames someone else. What about looking within and checking his batting stance or rotation? How about changing his diet, sleep regimen, walk out song or even lucky underwear and shoes. Every spring, I had Buddy's eyes checked for changes. Inevitably, we would have to change the prescription in his contact lenses and he would see the ball and plate better. Has Red checked his vision lately? Perhaps he is not seeing the ball well.

With that said....I have to see Cupcake and Buttercup.
Go team!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Coffee drinkers live longer lives according to the latest research. Who knew? Not only is it a beverage, but it was something discovered at the Fountain of Youth by Ponce de Leon. Mystery solved.

Drinking coffee is all I have right now that will keep me alive as having family under one roof this week may kill me., not really...It is taking more than a week to be accustomed to having both former teenagers home who are acting like adolescents again as they acclimate to a home setting with a parent in charge. Tink and Buddy want to be in charge and make the rules yet not assume responsibility. What does this mean? Well....

It means that BP mom has to be more vigilant and more commando-like as she establishes order in this home. It means that Tink and Buddy must abide by my rules, pick up the slack and do chores, not sleep until noon, walk the dog, clean up their mess, and wash dishes. In the meantime, they will be granted as much food as they please, hot dinners on the table, a car at their disposal, and a fully equipped room to use. Without pitching in, they would be like boarders who do not pay rent and I become the domestic help cleaning up after messy people. Should I wear my old gold waitress outfit as I serve and clean up after them? It was quite fashionable in college with the matching white shoes and multi colored food stains.

Am I complaining? You betcha! This is a family, not a boarding house, therefore, everyone pitches in and has a role. Although, maybe they are not the only family members to figure it out. I think that I have to be more understanding too. After all, the big kid would work out, study, attend class, and go to bed at three in the morning. He has to readjust his schedule and way of thinking too. Tink just has to figure out that she is no longer an only child and has to continue to help her ole mama around the house.
I no longer want to spray End Dust on their heads as they park themselves for hours collecting dust and playing their video games and watching movies.

Ok, enough complaining.

Today is Big Sis's birthday. Happy birthday! She is the oldest of the 6 of us and paved the way for us with the folks. Unfortunately since I was child number 2, I did not have the benefits of the parents being worn out like number 6 did. However, Big Sis gave it her best shot. One of my favorite stories about her came from Big M, her high school sweetheart and hubby. Big M made us laugh as he shared the story of walking her (or actually) dragging her around the block when she was too inebriated to enter the family home when they were in college. he can point out the spots in the neighborhood where she would stop, vomit, move on, zig zag, stop, vomit, collapse and finally sober up before she met her curfew. Fun stuff, eh? Now that she is a young grammy, we can hold this story over her head as baby Cupcake grows and begins to ask stories about growing up together. Oh yeah, it will be fun watching her squirm a bit.

Although, I must admit, I was not an angel and was caught all the time. I was terrible at breaking rules and never got away with anything. Perhaps this is something that my kids have inherited. They are bad at being bad. I have lived too long and broke the same rules over and over, and nothing they do surprise me. I can actually anticipate their next move. It's like a chess game, except I actually have the advantage since I have played the game before many, many times.

And so, it is time to move on to physical therapy with the "Tank". He has thought of a number of exercises that I cannot believe are therapeutic. In fact, there were a few times when I asked him for the scientific evidence that strapping rubber bands around my thighs and ankles and making me walk or waddle down a long hall were going to strengthen my legs rather than make me fall on my face. There are times when I looked around the room looking for cameras, 'cause I am afraid that my therapy would go viral on YouTube.

With that note, I am off....literally...have a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to all. It's beautiful here in the northeast and we are about to make the three hour journey to a baseball game. Yes, we will watch my boy sit in the dugout and bullpen and deliver balls to the umpire. Can you think of a better way for BP mom to spend her special day? More tomorrow!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day is approaching!

Having fun yet? The big kid took the 6 am bus back to college today for the last weekend of baseball at home stadium. After working until 1 am in the bakery and grabbing 4 hours of sleep, his dad dropped him off at the bus station. After the weekend's games, the team will no longer play at home and his red shirt commitment is officially over. Therefore, he returns home Sunday evening for a summer of physical therapy, work outs, and filling cake orders in the bakery.

This is one of the busiest months for cakes, so the gang in the bakery have been preoccupied filling orders. Yesterday I tried to call in a few orders for Buttercup, but could not make it through the phone line since it was always busy. I resorted to texting the orders in to Buddy in the hopes that he got the orders correct for the new mother. His handwriting is illegible. Hopefully, and I mean this with a smile on my face that the cake decorators can read his chicken-scratch writing and write "Happy Mother's Day, Nanny" rather than "Happy Mother's Day, Nutso."

Did you see Time magazine's cover of the mother breast feeding her three year old son? Hey, he looked more like 13 years old. Of course, my eyes are not what they used to be, so he could have been three, but come on people, unlatch the breast and let the kid go free. Is she doing this for him or her? Perhaps she is having a hard time letting him go, so she is doing this extreme parenting. Does she stop by his nursery school at snack time? What about play dates? Does he text her when he is thirsty? Talk about being on call 24/7. Not even new residents in the hospitals have "call" like this extreme mom.  Ask Buttercup about breast feeding and she will share with you that she is not going make it past three months let alone three years!

And yes, Mother's Day approaches and each year, I appreciate the mothers in my life more and more. I watched Emeril L surprise a mother with 7 children under the age of 2 years for Good Morning America. It was neat to see her flabbergasted by all of the attention.  My mother would be the same way. With six kids in ten years, no help, and no car, she managed to create a home and heart for our family. Without a doubt, I would not be bullpen mom without her as a role model. Creative, kind, caring, funny, and a great cook, BP Grandmom has been the rock in all of our families. Without her, we would all be without our hearts and anchor. Thanks mom, for all that you have sacrificed to give us the foundation that we needed to move on with our lives.

Yep, BP G-mom is awesome! All agree that she has the spirit of a dove and patience of a saint. Priceless...

This weekend, I have to attend three university  ceremonies which include graduation and baccalaureate. I have been asked by the chaplain to open the ceremony tonight with a prayer. Believe it or not, it has taken me three days to write a one-minute prayer.  It's true. I cannot get the right words or phrasing or feel comfortable with the content. I am sure that God will understand my ramblings, but will the congregation? Hence the panic to do this right. I can "borrow" a prayer from a website or book, but I think the goal was to have some knucklehead like me create a prayer that will capture the audience's attention and festive mood. I wasn't even going to the ceremony tonight, but when the chaplain calls, you gotta answer. So, I said: "Sure, I will say the invocation prayer." Oy! What was I thinking. Pressure is on. Prayer needs a bit of to have a cup of coffee and begin again to make sure that it makes sense. After all, we are thankful for our blessings, the graduates, and their families, after that....I got nothing....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beginning PT

Greetings from Cupcake's house.  Tink and I have spent the last two days with the newest member of the family while Big Sis returned to work. This has been the greatest gig. The only problem is that Cupcake is a night owl and Buttercup would love for her to sleep more at night than during the day. My job is to entertain the newborn and try to keep her awake. Yeah, right...not possible. If she wants to sleep, baby is going to sleep. There is nothing that any of us can do about it. And so it goes. Tink never slept as a baby and Buddy slept all of the time. That kid would sit in his car seat and it would be "lights out."

As far as Buddy is concerned, he had another appointment with the surgeon who gave him the green light to begin physical therapy. After his appointment yesterday, he called me to share that he is to rehab every day. There is a problem, however, he does not have therapy table. "What is a therapy table?" I asked. His response was that it is a special padded table in which he can sit and lie on it and perform his exercises. to your dad.

Then I thought about it. The kid does not need a special table. He can sit on his bed and work out. The sofa would work too. What about the floor? No special $1000 table needed. Where would I put a therapy table in the house? My bedroom? Living room? Kitchen? Will people walk into the house, gasp, and say: "LOVE your therapy goes great with the traditional decor."  Would Nate Berkus approve and add some decorative pillows for texture and depth? I did see a Martha Stewart show that focused on different therapy tables and how they can double as a butcher block table or ottoman.

And so, the gift of a therapy table will not happen. As a matter of fact, since insurance does not cover furniture for the family room that can double as a therapy table, we will not be purchasing it. No, this one is non-negotiable...not going to happen....not necessary....uh uh. Nope.

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy hanging out with my Cupcake. No therapy table needed, just a few diapers, a pacifier, and a blankie.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer begins.....

Monday! All is quiet....sleeping giants are in their rooms, peaceful in their slumber....the calm before the storm...then lightening! Thunder! Wind and rain....yep, both kids have to work today and there is one car for them to share. Neither considered the math before going to bed last night, so the storm will brew and hit around 11 am. BP mom will not get involved in the negotiations. This is a skill that they must hone without mama's help. However, I do realize that somehow I will be part of driving one of them to work or picking one up because of the timing. This is just the start of the summer for us. I feel like it is little league, ballet, volleyball, girl scouts, and birthday parties again. The only difference is that the kid is not in the back seat sucking on a lollipop, he or she is in the front seat playing with my radio, turning up the tunes, and except for Tink, ignoring attempts at conversation.

Buddy's team was in the Midwest this weekend and took 2 out of three games. This leaves them in good shape to make the playoffs in (of all places) Ohio at the end of the month. Naturally, he would join them just to support the team. He could not nor should not miss the play offs for any reason. nope, he will not be in uniform or the dugout, he will be in the stands probably sitting next to me as he growls and complains that he is not in uniform and on the mound.

I had an interesting time yesterday as we watched the game from our computer terminals. Each member of the family was in a different room (togetherness, eh?) while watching on their laptop screens. Then I would hear: " x0xhha$%!" a number of times and knew that he was watching in not so silent silence. He had a comment for each play or misstep and I knew that this is the edited version of what he is actually like in the dugout and bullpen. Talk about salty language....oye! Further, the guy does not like to lose even when he is not in the game.

OK, the giant is awake and Buddy just limped down the stairs and complaining that his body really hurts. What? Is he 40? His body is sore and he wants to go and work out. Is this what an athlete does? Aren't they supposed to take time off a bit when the body is so sore that it cannot sit without a sigh or grimace? Geez...

After a conversation, we narrowed the pain down to worn out running shoes. Therefore, with his first paycheck, the plan is to buy new shoes. It's funny, because now he is cussin' about the cheap shoes and equipment given out by the university. Dude, you are so blessed that you are given even a cheap pair of shoes to use for training. When I coached tennis (sorry) the girls were given one pair of socks and could use the skirts that were in the locker room. No shoes, equipment, buffets, walk out songs, fancy stadiums, or least they were absorbent.

And now, the day really begins. The fight for the third car is on. Will I engage in the discussion? to get my act together and get to work. How they handle the division of the transportation is up to them. Hopefully, they will share it with me at some point before I pick up my brief case and yogurt.

Have a great day and keep on fighting the good fight!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Good morning! It's Saturday and the house is full yet quiet. Everyone is still in bed and I must say, that this is a pleasure. So, it is time to catch up on the latest news.

Yesterday, Buddy and I spent most of the the together running errands and visiting Cupcake. First, Cupcake is such a cutie. As Buddy asked me: "Aren't all babies cute?" Hmmmm, I had to think about that question. Sure, most babies are sweet, but are they all cute? I guess that the answer is: "It depends". It depends upon who defines cute. As far as I am concerned, each baby is a blessing and we are fortunate to have Cupcake in our lives. As Big Sis and I stared into the nursery for the first time, we were not sure which baby was ours. They all looked alike...sorry...but they did. Each one had the full cheeks and squished nose. There were no defining marks that said: "Look's me....Cupcake!" Nope, we could not tell. Therefore, the answer to my son's question is "Yes", all babies are cute and precious....until you find your own, then they are the cutest!

Once the hospital visit was complete, the next phase was to run to the bakery to see Sparky. It seems that Buddy has found a summer job there and he begins to sell pastries today behind the counter. He's pretty excited about working with Sparky and the Baker and plans to learn all he can about the business. However, my advice to Baker is not to let him around your financial statements or count the revenue until he finally passes Finance 101.

As we chatted yesterday about the job, he was excited about learning all he could about baking. It seems that the 'uninformed' are teasing him about working in a bakery. Dude, when are you going to work out? How can you have a job and rehab? Looking ahead as I was driving ('cause I had to take the wheel back since he no longer reads the speed limit signs), he said something interesting....there are 24 hours in a day. If I work for 8 and sleep for 8, I have about 16 or so left to work out. Yeah, 16 or so is about right....See what I mean about finance? I believe that being able to count is an integral component to successfully passing the course.

Yep, it's good to have him home as we next drove to Target to buy new sheets for his bed since he ripped the last set. How does that happen? I day my leg went through them. A new phenomenon....A sleeping guy whose legs are so strong that they burst through sheets...really? Is this possible? Are you saying that you did not get angry one night and take the energy out on your sheets? I am still wrapping my brain around this one. By the way, the kid announced that he has not done laundry since spring break....I am pretty sure that this was two months ago. Does this mean that he has enough pairs of underwear and socks to last 60 days? Ew...

While at Target, we loaded up on the items that he will eat while he is home. There was no need for laundry detergent since he brought it back with him. So, I left him to fill the cart with food that will satisfy a growing guy. My senses tell me that we will be back again on Monday to refill the pantry. The Southern Belle predicts that the food bill will double. I must disagree. The food bill will triple as will the gas and water bills. Let's not forget electricity too.

This weekend the baseball team is playing at an indoor major league field in the Midwest. California pitched last night with 40 MLB scouts in attendance with their radar guns. It seems that Buddy's room mate for the fall is a top prospect and if he is drafted, he will serve. Yep, he will pack his gear, glove, and dip so fast that he won't have time to drop off the key to retrieve his deposit for the house. The only sign that he was ever there would be the ripped sheets left on his abandoned bed. I wish him the best and hope that he gets what he wants. We will know during June's major league draft.

Off to accomplish some goals....have a good day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Welcome Cupcake!

Good morning! Cupcake is here! Yes, Buttercup had her baby yesterday afternoon and she is a cutie-pie! Cupcake weighed in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and 22 inches with the fullest head of black hair that I have ever seen. The nurse called my Cupcake a "chunk" when she handed her to the new mommy. Was I the only one offended by the remark or should I get a sense of humor? My crazy mind took me to 18 years from now when she is trying on her prom dress and looking in the mirror saying: "I am such a chunk! Got to lose weight or do more crunches....." Is this where the lack of confidence and self doubt begins....on the first day of life? Unfortunately, I took the nurse's comment not as the joke that it was intended but as an indictment of our society as a whole that values a slim 7 pound baby upon each delivery. Hey! Buttercup is 5'9" and papa is well over 6 feet tall. This is called 'genetics'...time for nurse Seinfeld to go back to school or the local convenience store to buy a clue! Sorry, gang, but the comment bothered me....

On to the topic of the May is here, Mother's Day approaches and as I read the paper on my iPad today, my eye took me to a link...."Which TV mom are you?" Growing up with the television moms, I took the survey and am a combination of Murphy Brown (Self-reliant, brassy, and willing to put the Secretary of State on hold if your plumber calls) and Carol Brady (indefatigable, good-humored, and when it comes to your kids, you wish you had sound proofed the walls).

I was actually surprised by the results and think that the survey is not valid. Each mother brings something unique to the table. So, I have to say, there is probably some Claire Huxtable in me too with some hidden Roseann Barr tendencies.  Oh my, a psychologist could use me as a case study.....

On to my own kids.....Buddy is home and I could not help but notice that he is too thin. Actually, I am not pleased with this anorexic look because the kid has an appetite. He also had a limited budget in college and something tells me that the time that he spends at home will add pounds to his oh-so-skinny frame. After arriving home, he took off for a run in the neighborhood and then ate half of a large pizza in seconds. Nothing wrong with his appetite. It looks like he did not have the time to eat while studying for finals.

What happened to the freshman ten pounds that most kids gain? In my case, it was more than ten pounds and continued well after sophomore, junior, senior years as well as graduate school. Once I noticed the weight gain, I would look in the mirror and comment on being a "chunk".....ahhhh, the answer to the test....when I was handed over to my mother after birth, the delivery room nurse called me a "chunk"....uh I get it. The power of one comment can be life lasting....

With that said, I now have to accomplish a few tasks for the university that pays my salary.

Have a great day and I will leave you with a Murphy Brown quote: “Oh god, my body’s making milk. It’s like one day discovering you can get bacon out of your elbow.”

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Crunch Time's "go-time". Buttercup has been in labor since midnight and it looks like there is no turning back. She is ready. Grammy and Poppy are ready. I am not ready. Why?

Hmmmm, after careful thought, this baby is the next generation in the BP family. It means that I now have a great-niece. Yes, she will be great, but it is pretty clear that I am now one of the aunts that I always considered "old" in my youth. Ouch!

I know that getting older is inevitable, but a baby really punctuates the reality. I was thrilled when Buttercup was born because she was our first niece, and now, here is her baby. does go on, doesn't it?

And so, I will fulfill my responsibilities as soon as possible, drive by the bakery and pick up some baby cookies and get to the hospital as soon as I can. Unfortunately, I cannot be there to sit with Big Sis but my spidey senses tell me that she has her hands full and does not need one more person in the mix. Even if it is me....her favorite middle sister.....:-D

As far as my leftie is concerned, he has his sociology final then will be home tonight for a week. He has to return to campus next week for the final home stand. I am not sure how he will get there. Perhaps he can drive the baby's Little Tikes cozy coupe or take the Mega Bus.....

Got to run....boil hot water...get towels.....Merlot time....nope, let's make it champagne!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You'll always be my baby

Good morning and happy May! I did not post the last two days due to a number of scheduling conflicts. To answer THE question, "No, Buttercup did not have her baby. She is indeed still pregnant." And now, the wait continues. Like most people, I do not have the patience to wait for something wonderful to happen. If the future holds a test or something like a colonoscopy or root canal, then I am the most patient person in the world. Yet, for happy events like a new baby, I need to deep breathe and concentrate on other things such as work.

Work has slowed down to the point where I can do other things like play tennis or work out and not miss anything. Unfortunately, I cannot play tennis for another few weeks and I have had to find other ways to relax or occupy my time. Sadly, these activities have included eating with a Merlot or two and therefore, I doubt that I will be able to fit into my tennis clothes when the time comes to pick up a racquet again. There is nothing worse than a too tight tennis outfit on a woman or man for that matter. Denial that I am a bit doughy will not help me. The only thing that will help this girl is the denial of food and back on the treadmill...or never look in the mirror again.

As far as the big kid is concerned, he is taking his last exams and will be back in the stable tomorrow evening. Yep, he's coming home! With mixed emotions, I am thrilled to see him for a prolonged period but am realistic enough to understand that he continues to mature and will not be the same guy that he was before he left. He's the world's big kid now and not mine. I have to step back and let him continue to grow into the man that he is destined to become. This is one of the toughest parts of parenting. In fact, it is something that I can share with Buttercup as she delivers her first baby.

Buttercup, baby, you are about to embark on one the the most unforgettable journeys of your life. Your child will become the reason for your existence. Remember when finding the right prom gown was the most important thing in your life or acing the geometry test? Well, this child will trump anything of significance that has occurred in your life. In fact, this child is going to begin to define your life.

Once the kids came, I was no longer identified as someone's wife, friend, or professor. I was Tink and Buddy's mom. In fact, none of the teachers, friends, or parents knew what I did for a living. All they knew was that I was Buddy and Tink's mom. It is a role that I cherish and would not trade in for anything including  winning the PowerBall or Megamillions. Being the best parent that you can be begins with being the best person that you can become. The parenting will flow naturally from having a set of standards and a heart so big that you can do or survive anything as long as your child is safe and happy. Giving your child the love that he or she needs to develop a sense or safety, comfort, and confidence will help them to grow and succeed in our crazy world. Letting them know that no matter what, your love for them is safe allows them to move forward, try new activities, and have a sense of family and self. Will it only be about love? Nope, but the love will help you to navigate through the turbulent waters of life when it knocks on the door in the form of a new boy friend, a stray puppy, a pet snake, clogged toilets, letter from the home room teacher, calls from friend's parents, creation of dioramas, posters, science fair projects, and speeches.

You'll need this love when she is cut from the softball team, debate team, or honor guard. Love will come in handy when the boy that she likes is in love with the 13 year old "skank" down the street. Oh yeah, love is essential when she is applying to college or for grants and fellowships and she is denied admission to her favorite university in California. Yet, love will keep you in your seat while you sit through the worst musical in the world or have to engage in another school fund raiser. You will buy cookies, popcorn, light bulbs, magazines, cookie dough, and pizza. And while the money flies out of your wallet, you will ask what else you can do to support your child and her peers.

Then the unthinkable happens....she is a teenager. She no longer wants to go to the mall with you or wear the clothes that you select.  Baby would rather hang out with her friends. Why? They don't even drive yet. They don't have credit cards? What does she see in these silly girls? Well, she sees individuals just like her who are beginning to figure life out. They have a lot in common and you are just her mom. Here is where you put on your cloak of invisibility and watch unnoticed from a distance.

Eventually, she will come back to you and begin to see that you are more than her mother. You are a person with history, ideas, and a personality that she enjoys. In fact, she wants to be with you more and more. She will ask for your advice about guys, clothes, school, and work. You will develop a new and more mature relationship. And guess what? You will like it. You can sit back and enjoy the person that she has become. Give her roots and wings and watch the beauty unfold.

As Mariah Carey sings:

"You'll always be a part of me
I'm part of you indefinitely
Boy don't you know you can't escape me
Ooh darling 'cause you'll always be my baby
And we'll linger on
Time can't erase a feeling this strong
No way you're never gonna shake me
Ooh darling 'cause you'll always be my baby"

So, Buttercup, Mariah is right.....she will always be your baby. Just like my big leftie and his sister Tink will be mine....You're gonna be a mommy. There is no greater role in this world than raising the next generation of doctors, dentists, nurses, educators, and individuals. Be there when she needs you, yet step back when she doesn't. It's not is the natural progression of life.

You'll always be my baby........