Tag Archives: Birthdays

They Say It’s Your Birthday…..


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more birthday celebrations! While this year I may be celebrating the 15th anniversary of my 29th birthday, Tuesday, my Nick turned 19! It’s so weird. It really seems like it’s been about 5 minutes since we brought him home from the hospital, and now, all the sudden he’s fairly well grown up and celebrating his first birthday away at college; without us.

 

When I was little, my mom always made a big fat deal out of our birthdays; so naturally, I am of the belief that birthdays should be celebrated like it’s Mardi Gras. Over the years, we’ve had some pretty rockin’ parties for Nick. All sports all the time has, of course, been a recurring theme. Amongst my favorites, however, was Nick’s 5th grade party. It’s not easy to come up with an idea that isn’t so “been there done that”. I stumbled across the Chicago Bulls/White Sox Training Academy (which is pretty stinking painful for those of us diehard Cub’s fans). Their deal at the time was you rented the Chicago Bulls replica basketball court, equipped with a working scoreboard, buzzer and referee, at $150 for an hour. The number of invitees was unlimited, so, since more of everything is always better, we included a total of 20 kids to help us celebrate.

 

Rather than waste our precious hour picking teams, we sent out two invitations; one requesting the recipients wear a white t-shirt, and the other requesting the recipients wear a blue t-shirt. When the boys arrived, all they had to do sit on the bench, shouting, “Put me in coach; I’m ready to play!” After the game, we went out for pizza, and as a party favor, gave each of the boys a mini basketball. It was awesome!

 

Over the years, we’ve celebrated with several golf outings, but last years was my favorite. We surprised Nick with a huge breakfast in our home (yummy scrambled eggs, bacon and chocolate chip pancakes) with a dozen of his closest friends; pals he’s collected from Pre-school to high school. After breakfast, the boys headed over to one of Nick’s favorite courses to play 18 on his 18th. He had the very best day!

 

This year was certainly an adjustment. I wanted Nick to feel that even though he’s away, his birthday is still a day of celebration, but how could I make a small, but thoughtful gesture? Of course there were presents, but I also packed a few packages of Hershey’s Drops and made one of his all time favorite family desserts; chewy bars. To create a feeling of festivity, I packed crazy straws, party blowers, water guns and silly string. I hope he and his new friends are racing up and down the dorm room halls having fun and acting silly. That’s exactly what a 19 year old should be doing.

More birthday celebrations, more fabulous festivities, more family traditions, more missing Nick on his 19th birthday…..

 

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How Much is that Doggie in the Window?


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more celebrating Wrigley’s birthday! This week commemorates his 8th birthday. Milk Bones and rawhide for everyone!

 

Wrigley as a pup

How much is that doggie in the window?

Well, actually, we didn’t find him in a shop window. Perhaps you can tell by just looking at his perfectly square, regal head and his beautiful, angelic face that Wrigley is, of course, a pure bred Chocolate Labrador Retriever. In other words, he hails from…….Wisconsin. I mean really, for a dog this special (read: NAUGHTY, but lovable) one must pay top dollar and travel five hours round trip by automobile. One of our most favorite things about him, other than his charming, winning, dear, sweet and funny personality, is his enormous block head. It is so big that people frequently mistake him for a Rottweiler. While he is my baby, I am thrilled to pieces that I didn’t actually give birth to him the old fashioned way, because that head would certainly have been a real deal breaker as it made its way through the birth canal. I have nightmares just thinking about it!

At the tender age of 8 (56 in dog years…he’s older than both of his parents!) he is just as naughty now as he ever was when he was just a pup…..which is plenty naughty. When he was a little guy, I would always tell him that if he didn’t shape up I would take him to Chinatown where they would make Moo Shu Wrigley out of him; at nearly 100lbs that would have been some pretty good eating.

One of Wrigley’s favorite past times is to swipe things that don’t belong to him. He’s surprisingly quiet and cat like for such a moose of an animal. He loooooves it, almost as much as a good belly rub (and who doesn’t love a good belly rub?), when you chase him around in circles after he steals something. Oh, he lets me know when it’s go time. The chase is on, when out of the blue, I hear an enormous thud upstairs, and then I hear him tear down the hallway. He’s got something that doesn’t belong to him, and he can’t wait for me to find out what it is! Sometimes he does these things for the sport of it and other times he just can’t help himself. Once, when Amanda was little, we were having lunch while we watched one of Nick’s baseball games. She was eating a lovely sandwich, made from very thinly sliced left over filets, while sitting in a folding chair. Before we knew it, Wrigley had quietly snuck his enormous head between the chair and the armrest and was nibbling at her sandwich from the underside. She never saw him coming.

Like any good Lab, Wrigley’s been up to plenty of mischief during his first eight years. He once ate the arm rest off of the door of our car, down to the metal stud. Twice he has eaten a tray of brownies, which the vet’s office informed me was not a lethal dosage for an animal of his size. When I inquired what would be a lethal amount, they did not respond, and I think they may have reported me to DPFS (Department of Puppy and Family Services). Seriously, when I brought him in for his 11 week check up, the doctor was running behind schedule due to an unexpected bunny rabbit emergency. When I told them I couldn’t wait any longer because I had to pick up my human children from school, they said I could leave Wrigley with them for his check up, but that he was so darn cute he might not be there when I returned. I told them, “Don’t make any promises you’re not willing to keep.” Those animal lovers are crazy! I once had to bring them a stool sample and they thought nothing of the fact that I had dog poop in my Kate Spade purse. I am quite sure Ms. Kate Spade had never intended her beautifully crafted handbags to be used to carry doggie stool samples. Wrigley was such a holy terror when he was a little pup that I cried nearly every day for the first six months. Chuck would tell me, “If you want to, we can give him away.” Between sobs I would tell him, “Of –course- I- want-to-give-him-a-way-but-he-lives-here-now.” 

He has gnawed through the telephone cord, while I was talking on the phone. He ate a Burning Bush, one branch at a time. When he didn’t die right away, I prayed that it was a slow releasing poisonous bush, which it was not. He ate all of the bark, strip by strip, off of our beautiful Crimson King Maple tree. It went in to shock and died. He ripped entire sheets of lattice off of our deck. When he would dig holes in the back yard, and all you could see were his hind quarters, I would tell him, “Go ahead and keep digging. It’s just about deep enough to be your grave.” One time he was angry with me because I put up the gate to keep him near me in the kitchen, and just to spite me he went and took a bite out of my favorite Puma gym shoes, and brought the piece over to me and dropped it at my feet. But I think my favorite naughty Wrigley story would be when he spent the night at my parent’s house and while George slept on the couch (because Wrigley was peacefully sleeping next to my mom on George’s side of the bed, and George did not want to disturb him) Wrigley stole his teeth! My mom heard a strange clank, clank, crunch sound and made the unpleasant discovery that George’s denture plate was gone! She pried open Wrigley’s mouth, and stuck her hand inside to find that he had already dropped it on the floor. Thankfully there wasn’t any damage; they were just covered in gooey, slimy, dog slobber. Apparently Wrigley hasn’t read any of Emily Post’s etiquette advice on how to be a good houseguest.

 

Hobbs 6 months, Wrigley 1 year

But more than anything……Wrigley is a lover. He has a girlfriend, Genevieve. When she’s not outside, he’ll meander to her house and tap at her front door until her mom, my friend Missy, either lets Gen out, or allows Wrigley in. His best friend in the entire world, however, is Hobbs who lives next door. They have been pals since they were puppies. Hobbs is a Golden Retriever by birth (meaning normal), but is an honorary Lab through friendship. He certainly holds his own when Wrigley, The Bull, comes charging at him at top speed. Hobbs is a true friend.

 

Nana and Wrigley

He loves his Nana, my mom, in a completely bizarre and unnatural way (though she totally encourages his obsession). At the mere mention of her name the drooling, the whimpering and the pacing begins. He reverberates with excitement! Nothing trumps his Nana.

 

I’ve never had a dog before and had absolutely no idea the kind of love you can feel for an animal. To me Wrigley is not just a dog, he is my baby. When people ask how many children I have I say three; my son Nicholas, my daughter Amanda and my furry son Wrigley……….I am now one of those crazy dog people.

Wrigley represents the very best parts of our family; love, affection, a sense of adventure, loyalty, devotion, adoration and satisfaction. He plays hard and he loves hard. He enjoys everything with such complete freedom and abandon; swimming at the quarry, sticking he head out the window when we go bye-bye in the car (someone always gives him a window seat), the vigor with which he takes off for our runs in a dead sprint (nearly taking my arm out of its socket every single time), the way he flies down the stairs when he hears the garage door open, and he hesitates for just a moment at the window in our Living Room to make sure it’s us, before he meets us at the door, and the way he enjoys and appreciates a fine meal.

 

Amanda, Wrigley and Nick; February, 2003

 

Christmas, 2009

When we first got Wrigley he was seven weeks old, Amanda was seven years old and Nick was ten. Soon Nick will be heading off to college and Amanda will be driving. Where did the years go?

 

Wrigley's most distinguised portrait, December, 2006

This is Wrigley, our beloved dog who has never missed a meal, a chance to go bye-bye in the car, never turned down an invitation to go for a run, never met a stranger, never missed an opportunity to nudge a guest in the crotch or ask for a belly rub. This is Wrigley….this is love…….Happy Birthday!!

More loyalty, more love, more devotion, more family……..

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Today is the Feast Day of Donny Osmond, Patron Saint of Teen Idols


Today, December 9, 2009, I celebrate the birth of my beloved Donny Osmond. Perhaps to you he is just “A little bit rock n’ roll”, but to me, he is oh so much more. He represents the care free days of my childhood where I would listen to his records on our turntable for hours, doodling “I Love Donny” all over the back of the jacket covers. While others may have come and gone (Shaun Cassidy and Andy Gibb), Donny was, and will always be, my number one Teen Idol. In his honor, I am calling everyone Marie and am wearing my purple socks and a rhinestone studded jumpsuit, which looks a little strange at the grocery store, but I’m not in the least bit embarrassed to share my devotion to Donny Osmond with the world!

This has only been my second season as an avid viewer of the highly acclaimed television program Dancing With the Stars. We tuned in last season as a show of support for Olympic Gymnast Shaun Johnson, but this year was something truly special as it was a battle of the Teen Heart Throbs: Aaron Cater versus Donny Osmond. I love that cute little Aaron Carter just as much as the next gal, but come on, did he really think he stood a chance against THE Donny Osmond? Well, unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Donny reigned supreme. Was there ever really any doubt? Of course not! That Disco Ball trophy belonged to one dancer, and one dancer only: The Patron Saint of Teen Idols himself.

If I were stranded on a desert island, and could only bring five Donny songs with me to sustain me for the duration of my stay, they would have to be:
1. Yo-Yo
2. Soldier of Love
3. One Bad Apple
4. Sweet and Innocent
5. Saving the best for last….Puppy Love

But, since I am not stranded on a desert island, I am free to listen to my Donny songs at any time, day or night, because….our love affair is not a Puppy Love……….

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