November 2007

Feelin' Lucky

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Other than the fact that I had to use my last vacation day of the year to stay home with a sick kid rather than, say, go out to lunch with my Patty and go shopping and get a massage, things are great! We've been vomit-free in over 24 hours, the poo is getting thicker, and Pat and I are still in great health (no his-and-hers toilet style last night). PLUS, today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, and I feel like I'm leaving that on a high note this year (unlike last year). I am happy with the content I wrote (I didn't write any cheater one-line posts this year), I am happy with the audience participation this year (thank you, all!), and I dare say I made some new friends, even if they're people I doubt I'll ever meet. All things said, not too shabby!

So, people often (well, occasionally) ask me who different commenters are and how I know them. You ask and I answer. Here are some of the top superfriends off the top of my head.

Aunt Kish

This is my aunt, my Aunt Kish. She’s my mom’s sister, she taught 8th grade English, and she is so patient she used to listen to me talk on the phone for hours. She and my uncle live in Ohio and have no children, but they have many cats. I’m actually not sure what the count is up to these days. I remember when they had *only* four. She’s about as nice as it gets.


This is one of my good friends from high school. The rumor (although I don’t remember it) is that when we first met, when we were, like, five, she came right up and kicked me in the shin. Nice first impression, eh? Lucky for her I don’t remember it. We worked together at a cruddy video store in our little cruddy town for our first respective jobs, which I do remember. She and I used to go to these awful 18 and over clubs together. Why, I don’t know. She now lives in Boston and I’ve never gone to visit because I am a crappy friend.


This is a good friend from college. She is one of the many Saras that I know. She moved around a bit after college and then moved back to Rochester. We ran into each other at Mex and it was just like old times, only better, because I’m not nearly as awkward now as I was then. She loves to remind me that she never would have imagined me living such a normal life, drinking beer, having normal hair colors, having a normal spouse, etc. But come on, I wasn’t that big of a misfit…just kind of. She has since moved to California and I have also not visited her because, well, if I won’t go to Boston I certainly won’t be going to Cali any time soon.

Stella Divine

This is my new Australian friend that I met via NaBloPoMo. In some ways she seems similar to me and in others she seems way cooler. She’s a wonderful writer and seems like a very well-balanced mom, two things I strive to be.


I hate to introduce her as my friend Chris’s girlfriend, but that is how we met. She’s a school librarian and has some great stories about the kids she works with (eg, one who got a pen spring stuck in his eye) as well as the other middle school teacher/volunteer folk. She has an uncanny knack for making the day-to-day sound witty and dramatic.


This is a friend of a friend who revealed herself to us as a regular reader last year during national delurking week. We have since become real friends, and I love hearing the adventures of her and her kiwi, in Kentucky of all places, and no, I mean Kentucky-Kentucky, not a place in New Zealand called Kentucky.


This crazy gal met us during our “crazy” days and has moved in the same path of home ownership and parenthood, now living in Baltimore with her husband, Andrew, and son, Benjamin. When we hang out it’s just like old times (minus the mild debauchery), but her site and comments on this site substitute for actual interaction when need be.


This is my best friend from college. She deserted me by moving to New England. Because of this, I have not met her young daughter. Yeah, I told you I don’t travel. She’s hilarious. One tidbit is that, she’s pretty much a hippy now, which may not seem like a big deal except that when I met her she listened to rap and R&B almost exclusively, but then again, when she met me I listened to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson and had pink hair.


This is one of the few regular male commenter. Why is that? Oh, because I talk about babies a lot. Well, not babies, but baby…toddler actually. Oh, I’m on a tangent. Pat and I met Kevin at a Halloween party about a gazillion years ago, and given the smallness and friendliness of Rochester (and our taste in bars), we actually stayed friends.


We worked together at my previous place of employment. I spotted him immediately as a BSer, which was a true deduction, but I loved him anyway. He became our best friend in Rochester and hung out a couple times a week until he also abandoned us by moving to Boston. Jeez, maybe we should just move to Boston, except then we’d never see our families. Cima is the funniest person I know. He lost his funny for like a month a while back, and that was such a boring month. I think I’m losing my steam on these.


This is one of Pat’s friends from the Enchanted Forest days, like, back in 1996, which is so very long ago. He seems to have stopped commenting, but he used to comment his pants off. Apparently he hates content about children, or maybe he’s passive aggressively telling Pat he’s mad that he stopped posting. The world may never know. He had a Willy-Wonka–themed wedding, just so you know.

There are more, but that’s about all I can muster tonight.

Peeace! Happy end o’ NaBlo! In the next couple weeks or so, I want to clean up some things on the site, like removing last names, because using last names in 2003 seemed like a fine idea when perspective employeers and friends' students didn't think to use Google for things like this. Also a redesign is in order because we have never had one since the site was created. I'm looking at you, Pat Reed. But don't think I'm dropping off the face of the planet. I'll still be posting plenty.


FUN FACT: I had Greta's poo and vomit on me before 7:00 AM today.

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Yup, Bunny's sick. Whenever she gets a pukey bug I get very nervous and wonder if each tummy rumble (of mine) means I'll be spending the next 12 or so hours near a toilet. I know, I know. My kid gets sick and I immediately think about myself. Well, I didn't get the nickname "Fran-o-centric" from my college roommate for nothin'. Seriously, though, when Greta has GI issues, I immediately start considering each meal as my last. By last I mean meal-I-may-keep-throwing-up-until-I-start-dry-heaving. That is a meal you want to choose very carefully. Am I wrong? Am I crazy to take precautions, like cleaning both toilets tonight before sitting down to write this in case Pat and I are both puking tonight all his-and-hers style? Let's hope it doesn't come to that, but a gal's got to be prepared.

Oh, also, Greta is doing pretty well. The big D keeps flowing but she hasn't thrown up since this morning.

Here's some other stuff in no particular order (thus the unordered list rather than the ordered one):

  • I got a very sassy haircut last night...a little too sassy. It's very I-just-walked-out-of-a-salon, which, those of you who know me know that's just not me. It's short in the back and long in the front; one might say it's a reverse mullet. I guess it looks nice and took little effort to "do" this morning (the first time, before it got puke in it). I guess there's nothing wrong with that.
  • Pat and I got our Christmas present to each other in the mail today: a nice digital SLR. Expect the pictures on to improve dramatically once I/we get over the fear of actually using it.
  • When I went up to our bedroom tonight, Ruby and Maynard were laying on the bed, with their BUTTS TOUCHING. I had never seen those two touching so this was quite an occasion. Touching butts no less. I swear I'm going to catch them off guard and find them spooning some day.
  • We missed the Park Ave holiday open house thingy again this year. (We missed it last year because Greta had croup.) I hate to complain, but this is sad to me. I love seeing how many people get out and about in the cold weather to walk around and eat roasted chestnuts and drink glögg and pop into all of the stores. Maybe next year.
  • People keep asking me if our couch (from yesterday's pictures) is from Stickely. No, believe it or not, it's Target. Okay, so no one actually asked me that.

I think that is all. Please wish us luck regarding all GI-related issues.


I predict therapy in your future

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I am assuming each family has their weird little things that they do that no one else would dream of doing, and we're not exception. Some of these things are pretty tame, albeit strange, but some things make me wonder if we've completely negated the year-plus of breast-feeding and all of the homemade baby food and everything else we've done to make Greta perfect.

One thing we do fairly regularly, which is definitely more lame than damaging, is we will get on the opposite side of the couch as Greta and then duck down, looking under the couch to the opposite side. Greta will do the same, and we look at each other under the couch and laugh our heads off. Repeat for approximately 5 minutes.

Camera 1

Camera 2

Okay, that one's not interesting at all, but I had pictures to illustrate it and, I'm not going to lie to you, it's approaching the end of NaBloPoMo and I'm running a little dry in the content department.

Another thing we do that may potentially be a little more damaging to the still maturing frontal lobes of our young spawn is we point to the image of another man and tell Greta that he's her "real daddy." Uhh, yeah, you heard me correctly. Let me explain. See, a while back Pat bought some beer that came in a case with a practically life-size bust of famous beer connoisseur Michael Jackson (RIP) on it. When we saw it we thought it was hilarious. He just does not possess the look of the type of person you would usually see on beer packaging. I mean, think St. Pauli Girl and then think of the most opposite human you can think of and you get Michael Jackson. Anyway, so the image was huge and I'm like, We need to do something with this. I cut it out and taped it inside the medicine cabinet in our downstairs bathroom. The thought of some person snooping in our medicine cabinet and getting a quick glance at MJ's grill would surely teach him/her a lesson he/she would not soon forget.

Here it is, although it's definitely more impressive in person.

It backfired on us for a while: every time Pat or I opened the medicine cabinet it would startle us and shave a few minutes off our lives. We did eventually get used to it and he practically became part of the family, which leads to the part where we mess up our kid. Whenever Pat would be holding Greta and open the medicine cabinet, he would jokingly say, "Greta, there's your real dad." It seemed harmless enough at first until she started pointing to it and cheerfully saying, "Dada!" whenever we opened the cabinet in her presence. Oops, this might require some therapy sometime down the road, uhhh, but it's a little late now. Funny, right???? [Nervous laughter.]

What things did your parents tell you / do to you that you look back on and think WTF? What do you do to your kids (where applicable) that has made you think, I probably shouldn't have done that but it was too funny to resist?


2007-11-27 09:08:06

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It's's 5-year anniversary!

And that is, like, 2o years in blog years. That’s right, folks, this here little site started 5 years ago today with a un-pat-and-fran-like picture, some promises to update a lot, and some low expectations for who would come to visit. This site has far exceeded my expectations in every way. It has turned into my most time consuming and most enjoyed hobby. The site itself and the feedback I get from friends, family, and random Internet folks have encouraged me to document more, take more picture, and keep in touch with more people than I ever would have done otherwise. It has also given me the subdued attention I have always craved and has been an amazing outlet for me.

Here are some of my favorite moments:

And this was just in 2002 and (mostly) 2003! More to come as the day goes on…So keep coming back!

Now that you’ve wasted a good half hour reading through some of the great literature in the archives, take a couple minutes to comment. When did you start reading Have you been here since the bitter beginning or are you new to the site? What has done to help you? (I help kids, damn it! [Read the comment to this post.]) What has done to hurt you? (Perhaps you’re an angry ophthalmologist. One friend's mom found out he was a smoker because she Googled his name, found this site, and was going through the photos.) Get your frustrations out now. “We speak your names.” Perhaps you have some other anecdote or favorite memory? Or maybe you’ve been lurking for months or years and never wanted to say hello. Now’s your big chance! Perhaps you’ll delurk and we’ll become great friends like Anitra and I did! Come on, it’s fun!

Happy 5 years. Thanks so much for making this so fun for me!

Here are some more fun memories:

And that pretty much brings us up to date. I know I’m missing about a gajillion weddings and other fun things, but I don’t have all day.

Much love,


Pat Reed makes a very pretty (albeit grumpy) little girl

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I had so many people this weekend tell me that Greta looks just like me, which I consider a great compliment because I think that Greta is super pretty, but I think they're all crazy. Greta looks just like Pat Reed. As proof, here is a picture of a young Pat that looks eerily like Greta's recent class photo. For those of you who are thinking Greta looks just like me, behold!

She really does look just like Pat. I know that Pat makes a handsome man, but let's hope he also makes a handsome girl. : )

Oh, another update on the Greta front is that she started saying "I love you" yesterday. It makes my heart feel like it might explode with joy.


I find this hilarious yet slightly horrifying

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I am terrified of spiders and one just came crawling down my office wall, and it was a BIG one. Well, it was pretty big. Too big for my liking. When I saw it out of the corner of my eye I squealed and then I panicked. I can't kill a spider that big. I yell, "Geeeerrrry?" to the person in the office next door, "How do you feel about killing big spiders?" He came over and killed it for me (although he did leave the spider carcass on my desk, but that's okay - killing it was really all I needed - I can dispose of them once they're dead), which was very nice of him and then it dawned on me that he's the CFO of the company. I just asked the CFO of the company at which I work to come kill a spider for me, of all people! I'm such an ass. Oh well. Luckily he's very nice and I don't think he'll think less of me. OMG.


Oatmeal-filled ballet shoes dance around a fake Christmas tree

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I love oatmeal. Love it, love it, love it. I eat it almost every day, even when I'm on vacation and even, often, when we take our weekly Sunday morning trips to local greasy spoons for breakfast. I eat it almost every day. Pat and Greta do not share my love for it, which always makes me a little sad deep down. This morning we happened to skip our usual Sunday morning outing because we had some things to do around the house (and because we've been such gluttons this week). I made oatmeal assuming I would be the only one eating it, but I made enough for everyone anyway. A la Jessica Seinfeld I put pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and other tasty items in it. Pat and Greta not only ate it but they loved it. If I wasn't already off the market and it was legally possible for me to marry oatmeal I probably would, so this made me really happy. That was a dumb story about nothing, but I had this super cute picture and I just had to share.

As I mentioned yesterday, Pat and I went to see the Nutcracker today. Pat had gotten me tickets for my birthday, and of course I asked him to accompany me. I haven't seen the Nutcracker live since my Grandma McCarthy took me when I was a little girl. I did really enjoy the show, but it did make me very sad that my grandma hasn't been in my life (or in this world in general) for the past two thirds of my life, although I still feel connected with her, and that, at 31, I'm pretty certain I won't grow up to be a ballerina. There were a lot of little girls (and boys) at the show today, and I so just wanted to be a kid again; they were glued to their seats, and you could almost hear the gears in their heads going about how they were going to ask their moms for ballet lessons with hopes of becoming a ballet dancer. They were so well behaved. In fact, they were better than a lot of the adults around us, including the wrapper rustler (also known as the candy chomper and the candy dropper), the full-voice talkers, and the inappropriate clapper (who was also yelling, "WHOOOO!" a lot, and cracking up, and using binoculars even though we were in the fifth row). Anyway, the kids near us in the audience were so cute, and I wanted to cry and hug them all and tell them to enjoy being a kid and to grow up as slowly as possible.

Here's Pat Reed's review of the show, which he gave during intermission: "It's very pretty but it's too boring for me. Plus, I'm sick of looking at the guys' junk."

Here's my review of the show: "So apparently you don't need to be a size 0 to be a ballerina anymore; that's cool. Also, there is a lot more sex appeal in the Nutcracker that I don't remember from when I was a kid."

Really it was very good and it made me so excited to take Greta there in a few years. I can't wait to get her all dressed up and have her get all excited and want to take ballet lessons and fall asleep in my lap (a human booster seat) sometime during the second act.

What else? We started to set up our Christmas tree. We want Greta to be involved in setting up the tree this year, so it will probably take a few installments to get it totally set up. The part where the lights go on is the part that usually brings out the worst in me. I get amazingly frustrated. Knowing this, all we did tonight was just put the fake branches on our fake tree. (We love fake trees, so kill us.) Greta is wearing the necklace I wore to the ballet. Girl loves her jewelry.

I'll be prepared to go into the putting-the-lights-on part when I am well rested, have a full belly, and am otherwise in good spirits. (This may take a while.) Once we get the lights on it's smooth sailing.

In concluuuusiiooon, we here at PNFHQ (Pat and Fran dot com headquarters) had a really nice holiday and long weekend, but I'm not as sad to see it end as I usually am. While the thought of waking up at 5:30 AM and going to work tomorrow isn't knocking my socks off, I feel like we really made the most of our time off. That I am thankful for!


I was due for a shower anyway

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This morning I hopped on the I-90 to go back to Skaneateles for Taryn and Kristen's joint baby shower at the Sherwood Inn. Not surprisingly, we had a great time catching up and talking about pregnancy, babies, and the other great joys (and not so joys) in life. Here's an action shot of the gang (sans me).

Here is the crew looking a little less motley (including me). Shown right to left are Allegra, Marisa, Kristen (due 2/11), Taryn (due 1/1), Jordan, and Fran (due hopefully never again). As you can see, Kristen and Taryn look fantastic. Not that I would expect any less. The rest of us don't look too shabby either.

Here's a picture of one of the favors that I put together. Revolution tea and rock candy swizzle sticks. Practical? No. Fun and tasty? Yes.

I also put together personalized CDs for each of the showerees. I had everyone send me their favorite lullabies or lullaby-esque songs and a message to each of the babies, and I put together the CDs and included the letters as liner notes. Thanks to Pat Reed for helping with some of the technical aspects at Kinkos, where I would have broken down in a puddle of tears if he hadn't been there. Here's Taryn's CD.

A double big thanks to Pat Reed for being such a good house husband today and taking care of Greta. I came home to the following, which indicates Pat and Greta had lots of fun playing.

Tomorrow: Pat Reed is taking me to see the Rochester City Ballet's Nutcracker! The fun just keeps coming. But hopefully it will stop soon since all this fun is making me super tired. Now I know how Paris Hilton feels.


Giving thanks still in effect until further notice

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I'm thankful for Fridays that feel like Sundays that are actually Fridays. (Bend your brain around that!) I'm also thankful for the fact that it’s now socially acceptable to decorate for Christmas. Oh, and I'm thankful that I found the puke that Ruby left on our bed BEFORE our trip out of town rather than after. (Sometimes it's the little things.)

The last two days have been super busy, and the next two will be quite busy as well. I'm kind of reeling right now. I have a ton of things to do tonight and it's getting late, so bullets and pictures seem in order.

  • Wednesday night: we got to Phil and Becky’s in time for dinner. Greta learned how to make a great fart noise (courtesy of her instructor, Uncle Phil) and how to "punch it in." Wine and chatter. Lots o’ fun.
  • Thursday morning: we went to my Aunt Janice and Uncle Howie’s land for the annual McCarthy Turkey Bowl. Rainy and chilly. Hot Buffalo wings and hot fire. Big dogs, a cute cat, horses, ducks, and geese. For the first time ever, Greta didn’t like the outdoors, had to leave early. Poo.

Grandpa McCarthy and Greta Bean

  • Thursday evening: dinner at my parents' with brother and sis-in-law. More wine and chatter. So much good food. No one slipped into a food coma and we all got a bit silly. Everyone passed around Greta’s tutu.

wine begets

a major dork

and an awesome uncle - um, yeah, so I'm too tired to figure out how to change the orientation of this video. Just turn your head to the left, okay?

  • Friday morning: breakfast with my parents then coffee with Taryn and Todd. Greta had seen so many huge dogs all weekend that she finally warmed up to Pixie the pug. Very cute.
  • Friday evening: leftovers (yum) with Pat’s parents and grandparents. Though tired, Greta wooed the Reeds with her cuteness.
  • Friday night: getting ready for tomorrow, the shower of showers. Can’t wait to see my oldest, best lady friends. Update and pictures to follow.


Going with the obvious here...

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I am thankful for:

My friends and family, naturally

Grammatical errors

30 Rock

Black T-shirts

Photo booths


Having an office door

Artwork that Greta brings home from day care

Red shoes

Breakfast on Sunday mornings




Kurt Vonnegut books

Dry socks

Having a day of the year that revolves around stuffing yourself silly, guilt-free, with all of my favorite foods

The Internet, without which I would have to watch the news, go outside to check the weather, actually write and/or call my friends, find recipes in cookbooks, and spend time doing productive things, like gardening or writing the great American novel

Comments from readers (hint, hint)

And lots, lots more

Happy Thanksgiving to those who participate. Super happy Thursday to those of you who do not.