Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to my friends and family, near and far!

However you celebrate the day, I hope the magic of the season has touched you. May peace, love and joy be yours.



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The True Meaning Of The Holidays

Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanza… However you celebrate the holidays, I wish you the happiest holiday with your family and friends!

I remember one holiday season, a very long time ago. I was driving out of the local mall’s parking lot on December 23rd.  Yes, too late to worry about shopping. I have since learned my lesson and wouldn’t attempt the mall after the 22nd!

The traffic and crowds that day were a nightmare. I was in my car and trying to turn left out of the parking lot, and not one single car let me turn. 15 minutes went by. I should add that it was in New Jersey, where I also once got chased by a Hummer-driving, baseball-bat wielding housewife.  I had made the “mistake” of beeping my car horn when the light turned green and I knew she didn’t see it turn. But she did move… to jump out and come running to my car with a baseball bat!  But that’s another story for another time….

The mall on that December 23rd… or as my son calls it – “Christmas Eve Eve”, was a zoo.  Not one person let me turn left.  Then suddenly, a nice lady waved to me. “Go ahead” she mouthed to me.  “THANK YOU”, I yelled.  Completely shocked and happy that out of 500 cars, there was actually one kind person who decided to let me out of the parking lot, I proceeded to pull out.

SCREEECH!……………  Horns beeped, Cars whizzed by, Middle fingers raised.  Okay, apparently, I shouldn’t merge into traffic on such a busy day. I was so flustered – one person let me out, then the next driver flipped me the bird. I was dumbfounded. Had they forgotten it’s the holidays? Good will to men, and all.  I think they forgot.

So I rolled down my window and yelled, REALLY LOUDLY,

“It’s Christmas, for God’s sake, BE NICE TO EACH OTHER”!

Then I laughed. I realized it had gotten to me too.  The stress, the holiday chaos. All of it. And the laughter was all I needed to be reminded there is so much more to the holidays than presents and stress.

Happy holidays to all my family and friends!  And, for God’s sake, please remember – BE NICE TO EACH OTHER!



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The Kids Who Should Have Been There: Sandy Hook 3 Years Later

A couple months ago, my 4th grader played a soccer game against the 4th grade Newtown, Connecticut soccer team.

Newtown, Connecticut.  Our neighbors. It’s a beautiful and charming New England town. Also the home of Sandy Hook, where one of the country’s worst mass shootings occurred. Sadly that’s how the world knows Newtown now.

Being a mother of a first grader at the time of the tragedy, and also having friends in Sandy Hook who knew many of the affected families… that day hasn’t left my mind much in the past 3 years. I have experienced so many moments of incomprehensible disbelief.  The “why’s” and “how’s” and the other thoughts are often on my mind as I watch my daughter grow up, knowing that a group of her peers weren’t able to. There are really no words though “heartbreaking” comes to mind often.

I remember my daughter’s 1st-grade class gave an end-of-the-year performance the Spring following the tragedy, and it was sandyhook-heartheartwrenching. All I thought about, watching the children in her class, was that sweet 1st-grade class in a nearby town. Stolen from their families.

That soccer game on a recent sunny September afternoon was heartbreaking once again. The Newtown 4th graders, some of the kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School, played a soccer game against my daughter’s team. I kept my sunglasses on that afternoon because I couldn’t stop the tears, thinking about the kids who should have been there that day. I felt such sadness. 20 precious children who were never given the chance to make it to 4th grade. To play with their friends, to live full lives. The unfairness of it was crushing.

So today, I want to honor those children who should have.  They should have been able to do it all, but they can’t because they were taken from this earth, far too soon.

Rest In Peace.. #SandyHookNeverForget






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16 Fun PG-Rated Ideas For Your Elf On The Shelf

Holiday season is officially here. Which means if you have children, your ELF has returned!

We’ve had an elf for the past 8 years. “Snowflake“. Named by my daughter when she was 2. Last year I lost Snowflake. I completely forgot where I had hidden him after the previous Christmas. I hunted and searched and just couldn’t find him.

So I decided to post on my town Facebook page, asking if anyone had an elf to spare. Luckily, a very nice mom replied. She said that just like me, she had lost their elf the year before and had to buy a new one, only to find the original one soon after. She offered theirs to me for free. I was so grateful since my kids were beginning to get very nervous about why the elf hadn’t returned yet.

So off I went… I picked up our new elf, hidden in a shopping bag on the other mom’s porch. I drove home feeling so happy. Planning in my head how he the elf would show up that night. Perfect!  Until, I opened the bag and discovered he had red hair and freckles and looked nothing like our elf, Snowflake. Nothing. UH OH.

So… I made up a story.  A good one. Our elf, Snowflake had an accident. He broke his leg and couldn’t fly. So Santa sent us his cousin, “Snowball“. And the kids bought the story. With not a single question.

But wait a minute….

How did this whole charade, meant solely to encourage good behavior in my kids, turn into me, the mom – LYING??????

I had no good answer to this.

In some ways, I love Elf. He does encourage the kids to behave well. In other ways, I think he is a ginormous pain in the BUTT. He drives me and most parents crazy.

So how I have decided to compensate for that, is I try to have some fun with him too. Rather than let the whole idea of the elf annoy me, he now entertains me. That’s my advice.. make the elf fun for you too.

Here are some fun (but yes, they are PG-rated) elf ideas…


1. This is what happens when Dad is in charge of the elf!






3. Just lounging.



4. “Freeze – Don’t move!”



5. Elfie, the Pimp.



6.  No caption needed for this one.






8. It was a rough night.



9. “Argh, Matey”.



10. What are you going to do now?



11.  The cookies don’t look so tasty anymore.



12. “Go home Elf, we don’t want you here!”



13. Elf is a ladies’ man.



14.  Elf on a hot date with Barbie.



15.  The Elf of doom and gloom.



16. Remember, Elf can be VERY evil if you cross him.

bad elf on the shelf


P.S. By the way, I found “Snowflake” soon after “Snowball” showed up. How I explained that to my kids… is a whole other story!

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Tips For Regulating School-Age Children’s Use Of Digital Devices (Infographic)

If your children are like mine, then they probably use electronic devices more often than you’d prefer.  My kids have Kindles, iPads, iPods, iPhones, AND laptops. I try to limit screen time, as well as try to encourage the use of educational apps, rather than letting them watch TV shows or movies on their devices. It’s not an easy thing to monitor.

The digital world in which kids are growing up now, presents many new challenges for a mom who didn’t even own a computer until she was 20!

So if you’re like me and aren’t sure how to regulate the use of digital devices by your school age children, this recent survey is very helpful. Thanks to Stop Procrastinating for sharing. Some interesting facts were uncovered as well as some very handy tips. I know I would benefit from a regularly scheduled “digital detox“, so I’m sure my kids can too!

Take a look…

parental controls
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Jimmy Fallon’s Water War With Jake Gyllenhaal

It’s a simple, and fun concept.

Pick a card game…

Go Fish – Old Maid – War

Play one of those card games with a friend and add water to the face. The result is absolutely hilarious.

Here’s a video to put a smile on your face today. I’m still laughing. (Courtesy: YouTube)


Which games do you think would benefit from a “water to the face” version?  I can think of a few!


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14 Hilarious Halloween Costumes For Dogs (And One Cat)

Happy Halloween. It’s not just a holiday for kids. Everyone loves Halloween. Some people go overboard with decorating. Some people construct elaborate costumes. Others dress up their pets! I am an animal lover, so I preface this post with a sincere apology to all the dogs who have been stuffed into Halloween costumes against their will. But I will also say, they are pretty hilarious.

My kids and I had fun collecting our 14 favorite dogs in costumes. We added a bonus cat costume photo too!


#1 “Baaaaahhh”



#2 Shaken, not stirred



#3 Rah-Rah. Go Team!



#4 “I pity da fool”



#5 “Who are you laughing at?”



#6 “May the force be with you Luke Skywalker”



#7  Oh my. This poor pup is really blue. It’s SMURF-tastic!



#8 Oompa-Loompa doggie



#9 This one is kind of sick, but pretty funny



#10 Wally Walrus doesn’t look so happy



#11 Touchdown!



#12 Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia



#13 Off to see the wizard. “Aunty Em, it’s a twister”



And our favorite…

#14 It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SUPER-PUP!



BONUS: Something rarely tolerated… a cat in a costume!  Looking cool…



Happy Halloween!

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Moments In Life: The Big And Small Ones

I named my blog “MOMENTS BIG AND SMALL” because that’s what life is all about… moments. Some are big, some are small. But each one matters. Each one counts. Some are absolutely forgettable. Others are ingrained in my heart and soul forever.

I used to think the Big moments were the important ones. I have had several big moments… Graduating high school. Graduating college. Getting engaged. Getting married. Getting offered my first job in TV. The day each of my babies was born.

Those big moments shape us, they define us…  I am a college graduate. I am married. I am a mom.

But the older I have gotten, the more important I have realized the Small moments are actually bigger.



The small moments are endless…

That moment when I caught my daughter, no longer arguing with her younger brother, but patiently teaching him something only a big sister can teach.

The moment I sit down on the couch, exhausted after a long day, and my dog races to me, hops on the couch and snuggles with me. Laying across my lap and promptly falling asleep.

That moment I made a first cup of tea for my daughter. She sipped it, and said, “it’s delicious”. It was made just how I like it. Just like my mom made it for me, forty years ago. At that moment, I realized that my mom, through me, has passed a love of something, as simple as a good cup of tea, on to my daughter. Yep, that was a small, but pretty special moment.

The moment I was at a school assembly to see my son perform a poem, and he stood on the stage and he waved and yelled, “HI MOMMY!  LOOK, MY MOMMY IS HERE!”.  That was a small, but oh so sweet moment.

Yes, the BIG moments are big. And those small, but spectacular moments can be fleeting and easy to miss, but they are truly endless. And truly amazing.

Just remember to keep your eyes open so you notice them.




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7 Things I Never Thought I’d Do (But I Did Them All When I Became a Mom)

I became a mom a little later in life. I was 37 when I had my first baby. I spent my 20’s and 30’s focusing on my career, and waited to have children until I found my “Mr. Right”.

Of course, you can have it all. A great career, and be a wife and a mom, all at the same time. But in the field in which I worked, (TV Production), it was a tough, hectic lifestyle to be able to do it all successfully. My hours were relentless, so my focus was solely on my job.

As much as I loved my career, though, my desire to be a mom one day never wavered. I spent many years dreaming about my babies-to-be. I often thought about the type of mom I would be. And the type of mom I would NOT be.

None of the daydreams can prepare you for the craziness that comes along with motherhood. All the “perfect mother” images I had of myself as a mom were completely shattered once my babies were born.

I was changed forever. And I had to do some unimaginable things. For instance…


#1 Clean poop off of walls, (and floors, cribs and even bathtubs).

I won’t lie and say I wasn’t gagging the entire time. While in the midst of being potty trained, one of my kids had an accident and tried to clean it up by themselves. What I discovered was… poop smeared EVERYWHERE.  It was like a murder scene, but instead of blood, it was poop splattered on the walls, the floor, the doorknobs… everywhere. And yep, I had to clean it all.


#2 Wipe someone else’s boogies with my bare fingers.

If you have children, you have experienced the “Boogie Explosion”. It’s when a kid sneezes and boogies are suddenly spilling out of their nose. What’s a mom to do? There’s only one answer… Wipe.


#3 Clean someone else’s face with my spit.

My mom did this to me all the time. I swore I would NEVER use my spit to clean my own kids’ faces. Guess what? I have. There are times when you have no choice but to wipe that pop-tart jelly off their cheek with your spit.


#4 Eat a complete dinner from my child’s scraps.

Hey, at least the food didn’t go to waste.


#5 Go fishing in the toilet.

My son dropped his precious Thomas engine in the toilet once. The shrieks were ear-piercing. I went in to help and discovered he had also just pooped in the toilet!  Yes, Thomas was swimming with a turd. But I had no choice. My son was beyond consolation, I just needed to act quickly and save Thomas. So I did. I closed my eyes and shoved my hand in that toilet. I will admit I scrubbed for a LONG time after. But I was happy to have stopped the shrieking. And for a brief moment, I was my son’s HERO.


#6 Yell in public.

I had friends who had children before me, and I witnessed the yelling. I swore I would never be “that mom”. The one who lost her cool. Who yelled at her kids in public. Who made everyone turn and stare.

Well, guess what?  The first time my son hid from me under a mannequin’s dress in Target, and I couldn’t find him… Yep, I yelled. Like a crazy lady. I’m sorry, but there are times when it is warranted.


#7 Put ME last. Sometimes even behind the dogs.

I don’t matter anymore. Every mom understands this. Before kids, my thoughts were all about me. Taking care of me. My life revolved around ME.

Then I got married, and my life was all about taking care of my hubby.

Then we adopted a dog, and I was focused on taking care of me, hubby and the dog.

Then I had kids. From that moment on, none of us mattered as much as they matter. The kids always come first. Hubby next. Dogs 3rd. And I am last. It’s just what moms do. They sacrifice themselves. Happily. Okay, sometimes not so happily. But I really wouldn’t have it any other way.



I’m sure there will be many more things I will be shocked to discover that I will do willingly for my children.

Thus is the life of a mom. Because it’s all about LOVE.

Unconditional Love.

A mother’s love.












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“Mrs.AOK,Baby Brain Memoirs

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How My TV Is Torturing Me. Hint: “Watch Me Whip / Watch Me Nae Nae”

I am being tortured by my television.

In my own house.

Tortured how, you might ask? By “Whipping” and “Nae, Nae’ing”. (Honestly, I’m not even sure what a Nae Nae is – I feel old).

I am sure I am not the only one totally sick of hearing the Silentó song called “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)”.

You must have heard this song by now. I actually liked the song for a brief moment. Very brief.


Photo Courtesy of ABC Television

Then the torture began. How?

First, ABC began using it for a Dancing With The Stars promo, which seems to air on ABC every 10 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it at first. It’s sexy. And catchy. And fun.

I am a loyal Good Morning America, Shark Tank, and ABC Nightly News viewer. Also, Modern Family is a favorite show of mine too. Come to think of it, I may be watching too much TV.

Back to the subject… as fun as the commercial is, watching ABC as often as I watch means I hear “Watch me whip, watch me nae nae. Watch me, watch me, watch me…” all day long.

Honestly, it’s the type of song that only takes one time of hearing it, to be possessed all day long by having it replay in your head. But hearing it over and over began to drive me CRAZY.


As if ABC airing their promo constantly wasn’t bad enough, to torture me even further, someone at Nickelodeon had the awesome idea of creating their own version of it. FOR KIDS!

While ABC airs their promo of it every 10 minutes, Nickelodeon airs it every 5 minutes. Maybe every 4 minutes. ALL-THE-TIME.

The Nick version is even better than the DWTS one. Instead of professional dancers whipping and nae-nae’ing, it features all the Nick characters “whipping”, “bopping”, and the best part?  Doing “The Wee Wee Dance”. “Watch Me Whip, Watch Me Wee Wee…”. Look, the poor guy really has to wee!


Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 4.51.42 PM

Photo Courtesy Nickelodeon & YouTube


Oh yes… they sing that!  Watching Silentó do the “Wee Wee Dance” is awesome.

If you don’t believe me, have a peek here. You can watch the entire Nick “Remix” of it. (I’m even laughing about the fact that they named it a “Remix” and look, SpongeBob has to WEE too!):



So now my kids are dancing and singing this ANNOYING song all around the house. As if they don’t yell “WATCH ME, WATCH ME, WATCH ME” often enough already. (Every parent out there knows what I mean). Now they are singing it at me!

I’m guilty too though… I caught myself singing it in the shower this morning. Then in the car. Also, while making lunch. At the grocery store. Walking the dog. UGH. The torture won’t stop. I’m possessed.


Worse! Guess what? I am assuming the song wasn’t being aired on TV often ENOUGH because I just saw this BRAND NEW promo for DWTS, starring the one and only Gary Busey.

Please, if you haven’t seen this… watch now! It’s short and I promise you’ll thank me for the chuckle.




Okay, this concludes my rant. Thanks for listening.

Now I’m off to Whip and Nae Nae. Or maybe just do WEE WEE.



P.S. By the way, I am aware a great solution would be to just turn off the TV. But then how would I get anything done?  GMA, while I pack the kids’ lunches, SpongeBob for the kids while I cook dinner. Basically, I’m stuck with it. So I have made peace with it. We need the TV.

The good news is that the next annoying song is right around the corner.




Which songs ANNOY you?  I’d love to hear so I can sing them all day long in my head again!

Some of my most annoying picks:

“Who Let The Dogs Out”

“What Did The Fox Say”

“I’m Too Sexy”

“Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

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