Sunday, December 28, 2008


Why does Avery HAVE to sleep between us whenever we are in Romulus?

Why does Chris always get sick in Romulus (which makes him snore)?

Why must Avery either kick me or lay directly on me all night?

Why does my mom have every junk food that I love readily available here? (I love you spinach dip and melba toast....and pringles....and caffeine free pepsi)

Why do Captain Nemo's subs taste so good, but are so bad for you? Is there crack ground up in the seasoning salt?

Why will Avery only go pee-pee in the potty for Grandma?

Why does it seem that Avery grows up by years everytime we come home?

Why does my brother crack me up so much?

Why do I feel like this is the last Christmas with our dog?

Why do I have to live over 2 hours from these great people?

Why was I blessed with such a great family?

Well, we've had another great trip home to Romulus. I am always amazed at how fast time flies while we are here. It's filled with lots of food, naps, laughs, and memories. I'll do a more detailed post on our trip home later. But, in the meantime....why is my kid so freaking cute?

Blogging Break

Hey there,
If you follow this at've probably noticed that I took a holiday break from blogging. This break will continue until tomorrow evening. At which time, I will have lots of tales about the holidays...time in Romulus...and other updates. Talk to you then.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

By Popular Demand...(if popular means the 5 people that read this blog)

100 things about me…MLDB (as stolen from my old college roommate…Amanda).

1.) I love my family…and love to spend as much time as possible with them.
2.) I love food. Especially Mexican, Indian and comfort foods.
3.) I love to cook
4.) I like to read, and watch TV.
5.) I was born in Wayne, MI
6.) I lived there for 2 years (I don't remember it)
7.) We moved to Romulus, MI (about 2.5 seconds from the airport)
8.) My parents still live in that house…but have made lots of improvements (upstairs additions, pool, patio, garage etc..)
9.) They still don't have a hot tub, but finally got A/C this past summer.
10.) My mom is 5'4" and my dad is 6'8"
11.) I have one brother and twin sisters.
12.) My brother is funny...and tall like my dad
13.) My sisters' nicknames were oops #1 and oops #2 (or tootie).
14.) There is 10 years difference between my brother and sisters (hence…oops)
15.) I got away with a lot in high school
16.) Mostly because I got good grades and everyone knew my mom
17.) I always tried to make sure that the good things I did outnumbered the bad things
18.) …that didn't always work
19.) I worked at a sub shop called Captain Nemo's.
20.) I still try to cook Nemo's subs at home
21.) They aren't the same
22.) But, my husband still loves them…just not as much as the real thing
23.) My best friend from childhood is still one of my best friends today.
24.) We met when we were three and she moved away to Indiana when I was ten… I cried
25.) Our parents were really good about keeping us in touch
26.) She has 3 boys, and I am the godmother to her middle son
27.) This is supposed to be about me…I went away to college at GVSU and never wanted to return to Romulus
28.) I was EXTREMELY homesick my first year
29.) I almost came back to Romulus to stay.
30.) …but I didn't…instead, I moved in with three other girls into an apartment
31.) We liked to use our coffee table as a runway, and sing Whitney Houston songs before parties.
32.) I stole the idea for this blog from one of those roommates.
33.) She has a son that is 4 months older than Avery, and a newborn son.
34.) Ok…back to me…I became an RA for 3 years. I didn’t have another permanent roommate again until Chris.
35.) I loved it and wanted to be an RA forever.
36.) This is how I met my other best friend.
37.) He was in RHA and became an RA too
38.) Then…I met a lot more friends...who were not RAs…so they could throw parties!
39.) All of these people are still my friends. Three of us got engaged within 3 months of each other and actually stood up in each other’s weddings, and had kids within 2 years of each other.
40.) After I graduated…I moved to North Carolina for grad school
41.) I was really homesick
42.) A lot of my friends moved far away too…to Oregon, Maine, Washington & Illinois
43.) I know that Illinois isn't that far away from Michigan
44.) Some friends stayed in Grand Rapids, and became a lifeline for me
45.) I met even more friends in NC (it helped with the homesickness)
46.) I still talk to most of them, and they have become some of my best friends too.
47.) We get together once a year at a conference, or meet up in Ohio
48.) ….or at weddings…
49.) While in NC, I still visited friends in Michigan
50.) I met my husband during one of these visits home.
51.) I wasn't initially interested in him
52.) He was hitting on a waitress…
53.) …and my friend was hoping that he was gay.
54.) …he isn't (that I know of yet).
55.) Enough about him…we'll get back to him later. 9/11 hit when I was in NC… it was really scary.
56.) It made me realize that I don't want to be that far from family again.
57.) So I moved to Kalamazoo…
58.) I didn't love it there.
59.) I met back up with Chris on Halloween
60.) He was NOT hitting on a waitress this time
61.) We made out…
62.) We started dating….
63.) I got a job at GVSU…
64.) I moved to Grand Rapids…
65.) We got engaged in Boston on our 2 year anniversary.
66.) We got married!
67.) We honeymooned in Spain.
68.) I don't speak Spanish very well.
69.) Chris doesn't speak it at all.
70.) Surprise…I was pregnant 4 months later
71.) Ooops.
72.) Avery was born in August 2006.
73.) She is the best parts of both of us
74.) We lived on campus for another 2 years (almost 13 years total for me)
75.) We bought a house in March 2008
76.) We moved into our new place in June 2008
77.) I quit my job at GVSU in July, 2008.
78.) I am currently a stay at home mom, and watch 2 little boys (age 3 and 4).
79.) Avery bosses both of the boys around.
80.) We are very fortunate to have a great family and friends surrounding us…
81.) be continued…

A New Tradition

I first heard about "The Elf on the Shelf " last year from my sister in laws, and quickly realized what a cute idea it was. Well, I searched and searched this year, and finally found a copy of our own today (it was the last copy). We implemented our new little "tradition" tonight at bedtime when we read the book to Avery as her nuh-night story.

Here's the scoop on "The Elf on the Shelf". Mr. Elf comes to visit your home during the holidays. He watches over the home and reports back behavior to Santa each night. The next morning he comes back and sits in a new location. Your kids get to search him out each day. On Christmas Eve, he returns to the North Pole and stays there until next year.

So, we adop
ted our own little elf tonight. His name is Cookie (Avery chose the name), and he is sitting quietly on the entertainment center right now...he is perched and ready to report back to Santa. (Needless to say, I'm a little deterred from watching anything that is rated "R" while he is watching;))

I have to say, I wish I would have found this a couple of weeks ago. This could have been a REALLY good behavior deterrent for the 2 little boys I watch. You better bet that I would be saying things like "Cookie is watching", and "What do you think Cookie is going to report to Santa tonight?"

I think that this will be a fun tradition. I know that Avery might be a little young, but she really liked the book, and I like that all of her Christmas memories will include this family book and tradition.

I'm looking forward to reminding her to look for Cookie in the morning!

***Update...Avery found Cookie on her own this morning, and asked for the book to be read at naptime too. I think we have a hit!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Birth (Snow) Day you want to know why I wasn't an English major in college? Well...take a good look at this blog. I blogged with ferver for the first week, then hit writer's block. How does someone get blogger's block after one week of blogging?

Considering that this is the 3rd anniversary of my 29th birthday and a snow day, I figured I would turn over a new leaf and hop back on the blogging bandwagon. Now...what to write about....hmmm.

Well, I'm 32. It's really funny to me how much difference there is in birthdays now that I'm a little older and have a kid. My birthdays have never been overly BIG. I mean, when you are born 4 days before Christmas, it's a little hard. It's tough to compete with Jesus...that guy wins every time. So, I am usually very happy with my family birthday. Today, this family birthday consisted of about 1 foot of snow, and staying in jammies all day. Avery and Chris made me breakfast in bed (a bagel, oatmeal and apples), then I sat on my butt all day, watching Elmo, Ocean's Thirteen, and nodding off throughout the day. We topped it off by ordering subs and spaghetti (after realizing that we had no food in the house), and are now watching Noggin with Avery.

By the way...if you've never watched Yo Gabba Gabba....TIVO it ASAP. DO NOT DRINK OR SMOKE ANYTHING BEFORE WATCHING THIS SHOW. I think the show itself is enough to make you feel high.

So, this birthday has been exactly what the Doctor ordered...sleep, TV, snuggling, and takeout. I love lazy days.

I've considered blogging a lot this past week, and just haven't gotten around to it. Here are a few of my ideas. Let me know what you think:

-The germ tree at the mall
-Children's television
-Christmas with the family
-Saint Margaret (our kitty, Maggie)
-100 things about me

I'll try my best to post more this upcoming week, especially since I won't be watching 2 additional kids...keep checking back, and don't give up on me yet!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday Quotables

I should preface this post by letting you know that I watch 2 little boys (as well as Avery), so there are some pretty funny things that happen in our house. C is a 4 year old little boy, and provides me with tons of laughs.

Here's some of the latest and greatest "quotables" overheard coming from the Bookie house...

C: “I’m gonna toot in Maggie’s face.”
Me: “Oh no…that’s not nice..we don’t talk bathroom talk.”
C: “But I have to put my toots somewhere.”
Me: “Just let your toots go into the air, or better yet, go into the bathroom, turn on the fan and let em’ go.”

Avery : “I go see the buurrr.”
Me : “You want to see the bear?”
Avery: “No mommy, I go see the buurrrss.”
Me: “Ok…You want to go see the bears?”
Avery: “No Mommy…I see the BUURRR DAAS…tweet…tweet…tweet.”
Me: “Oh….the BIRDS! You are so much smarter than me.’

C: “Michele, Samariah is my girlfriend.”
Me: “Oh? I thought that Samantha was your girlfriend.”
C: “Oh…I just tricked her”

Me: “Avery, what would you like for breakfast?”
Avery: “Mac N’ Cheese”
Me: “We don’t eat mac n’ cheese for breakfast.”
Avery: “We have it for lunch?
Me: “We’ll see.’
Avery: …and dinner.”

C: “Michele, Maggie scratched my eye!”
Me: “Maggie doesn’t have front claws. How did she scratch you in the face?”
C: “I was putting her on my head.”

Me: “Kids, time for clean up.”
Avery: “No thank you.”
Me: “If you don’t clean up, you don’t make cookies with Mommy.”
Avery: “I clean cookies?”
Me: “No, Avery, you clean your books, then we will make cookies.”
Avery: “I eat cookies, and I clean cookies, and Mama read books.”
Me: “I appreciate your negotiation strategies, but it’s not going to work.”
Avery: “O-Fay…I clean books…….and cookies.”

(At the germ tree in the mall)
C: “ Michele, this is my new best friend” (pointing to random boy).
Me: “Oh yeah, what’s his name?”
C: “I don’t know?”
Me: “He’s your best friend, and you don’t’ know his name? Don’t you think you should learn his name?”
C: “I don’t need to know his name…he’s the red power ranger.”

These are just a few of the completely random conversations that take place around here. Stay tuned next week for such classics as "where do babies come from?", "look at my poop", and "smell my hand".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

John Stewart is my homeboy...

Well, so far I haven't really posted a thing specifically about motherhood on this blog. No cute Avery stories, or any little anecdotes. I don't intend this blog to be a political platform, but it's a hard to me to separate politics and motherhood. Everytime I listen to NPR, watch the news or attempt to read a newspaper, I think "what is life going to be like for Avery?" This recession scares the bejesus out of me. The lack of acceptance in regards to diversity sickens me, and the overall disregard for each other makes me mad.
I truly believe that Avery is going to continue on with her life as a wonderful, hopeful and caring human being. Whether she is gay or straight or anywhere else on that spectrum is still in the air, but no matter what, I pray that the world that she grows up in will be more celebrative of her, no matter what her sexual orientation, or her sex.
With that said...I've always had a geeky little crush on John Stewart. After his recent conversation with Mike Huckabee on his show, I have to say, I think I may be in love. (Chris-you're still my one and only).

Check out this link. John Stewart is poignant and clear and very eloquent.

And for a little's a picture of my cute kid.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Grown Up Christmas List...or Michele's Favorite things.

Let me start this blog by saying that I would of course prefer world peace, harmony among everyone, and no violence or poverty in the world. I feel the need to say this, because the following list is going to be full of materialistic and superficial things. Please don't think that I am selfish...I just like a nice list.

So, similar to Oprah, here are my favorite things, or things that I would like to be my favorite things....

Tastefully Simple Absolutely Almond Pound Cake Mix-
This is one of the easiest, tastiest dessert mixes out there. Just add a stick of melted butter and a cup of water, and it makes a tasty and simple dessert. I usually add a small handful of blueberries, and make a simple blueberry sauce for the top.

Swan Creek Snickerdoodle Candles- Makes the house smell like you’ve been baking all day.

OPI Nailpolish (I’m not really a waitress)
- I love this color. Avery loves to have her toenails painted, and I usually use this color You’re a Pisa Work for her. (By the way…I LOVE their names!)

Pureology SuperStraight Smoothing System – I have uncontrollable hair. It’s not the cutest curly hair, but is also not exactly straigt. Pureology make some great products…for both curly and straight hair. Not that I do more than a ponytail these days.

Johnson and Johnson Leave in Conditioner
- Avery's hair is curly...which makes it "interesting" to comb. I usually give her a bath at night, comb her hair while washing it, and then put this conditioner in her hair while toweling off. It smells great, and helps keep her curls bouncy and not full of snarls. I use it on my hair too. (By the way...when your 2 year old attempts to use it as "lotion", note that it does not rinse off very easily, and can make for a greasy carpet).

Bean By Bean Hazelnut Coffee – My neighbors founded this company, and have an amazing story. They work directly with the farmers in Guatemala and Nicaragua and pay fair wages to the farmers, as well as giving back to the community. Not to mention…it’s great coffee!

Tintero Moscato D’Asti – Our favorite wine…and it’s only $11! Chris pretty much ONLY drinks sweet white wines. This is one of the sweetest and best wines that we have found. We like to give it as a gift, and gave it out to many of our friends for our wedding. If you prefer red wine, then this is a great, cheap red… Folie a Deux Menage a Trois Red Wine.

Method Home Cleaning Supplies - Finally…since we bought the house, and have attempted to live more eco-friendly, I have grown to love Method cleaning supplies. The all-purpose cleaner is really all-purpose. I use it on EVERYTHING!

All in all, we have things pretty good around here, and this list is nothing but stuff, but some of this stuff makes life around here a little easier and a little more fun. I hope you enjoy the list, and leave a comment with some of your favorite things!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time....

Chris and his friends (the Ayoub brothers) have this funny little "tradition" that takes place every year at this time. Whoever hears the song "A Wonderful Christmas Time" (is that it's name?), calls the others to play it on their voicemail. I don't know when or why this started, but I think it's funny, escpecially since we listen to the IPod most of the time, so I don't know how he plans to hear it on the radio. Oh's a goofy tradition that officially starts the Christmas season.
The other official start to the season is all of the fun decorations. Since this is our first Christmas in the house, I was a little excited to do the decorating. BUT, Chris and I decided to wait to buy all of the extra decorations until right after Christmas when everything is on, I had to make do with what we had. Luckily, my Grandma and Chris's mom gave us a bunch of stuff, and although we don't always share the same sense of "style", I was able to use quite a bit of their stuff.
We have a small artificial tree (about 4 feet), that we have used for the past few years, as well as a very thin, and small Christmas stick tree that we got from a garage sale this past summer. With the tall ceilings in our house, we HAD to go out and get the biggest, realest, most Christmas-y tree we could find. So, all in all, we have 3 trees. The tall one is in the living room. The artificial tree is in the loft, and the Christmas stick is in the kitchen with non-breakable ornaments for the kiddies.
My mom and dad were here to help us get everything decorated, and I think it all turned out pretty nice. We still have a few little additions to make, such as the garland on the banister, and the gifts under the tree, but other than that, we are done. The shopping is almost done (except for brother is so hard to buy for this year!). All we have to do is sit around, drink tea and cocoa, listen to Christmas music and watch the tree sparkle.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


So, I'm chopped liver. Grandma (or Franma-as Avery says it) is here. Which means that I officially don't exist.. There is some special bond between Avery and my mom. It may be that my mom was there right away after Avery was born, OR, it may be that I "mother" the same way my mom did, so she's comfortable. But, I think the real reason is that my mom is a kid at heart, loves Avery with her whole heart and gives her completely undivided attention. When Franma is around, Avery is in constant "go" mode, whether she's wrestling with Franma, or talking with her, or snuggling with her. My mom really makes Avery a better kid. Actually, I think my mom makes all of us better people. She works hard, and expects the same from us. She challenges us, and gives us honest advice, but supports us completely. She is loving and giving and is the best person that I know.

So, here's a little "ode" to my mom, and a few random facts about her:

-Mom doesn't like her back scratched or rubbed (isn't that weird?)

-She always has the most amazing tan in the summer, and spends a lot of time working outside.

-She is a breast cancer survivor, and went through 2 surgeries. After the second surgery, she didn't take any pain medication because she didn't like the way it made her feel. (she's a BEAST).

-She was (and still is) an awesome softball player (it's how she met my dad).

-She has been known to completely pin two 14 year old squirmy teenage boys to the floor...because they got in the way while she was watching Golden Girls.

-She likes the "Ernest goes to Camp", "Ernest saves Christmas", and "Airplane" movies...but doesn't like Jim Carrey...she says he's "too goofy".

-Her first reaction is to laugh at me whenever I hurt myself, THEN, she'll ask if I'm OK.

-She is NEVER wrong....just ask her.

-She's the best mom, and the most giving and loving Grandma.

So, mom...when or if you read this...thanks. Thanks for everything that you've done for me as a kid, as an adult and as a "Franma". We all love you more than you know.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome to MamaMLDB

I'm new. I'm a new mommy-blogger. Well, I guess I'll probably blog about some things other than being a mom, although that's the major part of my life. Not only am I a mom, but I "mother" 2 little boys during the day. So, my life consists of days with a 2, 3, and a 4 year old. I know other men and women have mor e kids, and spend their days a little more hectic than me, but I'm selfish and a little self bear with me as I use this blog to vent, tell crazy stories and just "get-away".
I worked for many years in Higher Education, and may attempt to get back into it if the right job opens up. So far, I like what I do everyday, even though there are days when I laugh and cry at the same time.
My husband is a band teacher, and tries his best to be cool while still playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.

So, here are some topics that you can expect from me:
-The Kids
-The husband
- The family
-The neighborhood
-The house
-The world
...and anything/everything that I feel is important (or not at all important) on that day.

I plan on blogging daily, but we'll see how that goes. Doing anything daily (including showering), is a little restrictive when you have three active kids hanging around.