Right Now

The blog content here could be a bit of a departure for a bit. While we are going through this life is still marching on in our house. I’ll have smiles and laughs to share in the coming days but maybe some uncertainty as well.

Hi Friends and Family,
I wanted to write and ask you to send us some positive thoughts and prayers.
I thought communicating this way with so many people might be easier than being on the phone.
Many of you know I am pregnant, some not.
I went for a sonogram on Friday to check on the baby.
While we were expecting good news, we did not get it.
The baby is measuring small for 19 weeks, apparently he is not getting enough nutrients.
I have been put on bed rest at home for the time being.
I have a doctor’s appointment Tuesday which will give us more information.
We have everything covered for the time being but we will reach out for help when we need it.
Jennifer & Derek

730 Days of Love

2 years ago today…Caroline Grace was born!

She’s had us all wrapped around her little finger ever since.

“When is she going to DO something?”

Hanging with her brothers from the get go

Caroline, Cara Grace, Sweetie, Gracie Pants, Sweets

The time has gone by so quickly

Always a fashionista

Always taking apart or taking out things

“See ya.”


“I go dool.”  (I go to school)

“An-non” (Andrew)

“Al-e” (Alex)

“I wim.” (I swim)

and so much more


Happy Birthday!

We love you sweet girl!

Mean Girl

When I first found out I was having a girl I was quite nervous. Actually, truth be told, I’m still nervous. With girls come a lot of issues but the main one I was worried about was “mean girls.” I fear for the teen years when girls will taunt each other, intimidate one another, make one another insecure, and just be plain mean.

But I’m starting to see mean girls can occur much earlier.

Let me introduce you to 6 year old Jenna.

Sweet, blond, curly haired Jenna.

Or so I thought.

I decided to take Caroline and Andrew to the playground during one of Alex’s lacrosse games.

As we were walking up I noticed Jenna because of her curls. Tons and tons of blond curls on her head. She was wearing her shirt tied at the side along with running shorts. So cute.

Or so I thought.

As we got closer the screaming began.



What the &%$#!@& is going on here?

Jenna was screaming at a little boy who I also guessed to be about 6 years old. Actually she was screaming it to any boy around. I immediately veered my kids toward the swings.

The swings satisfied them for about 5 minutes.

Soon we were back by the playground equipment where the tirade was still going on.



When not screaming at the boys, she was stomping her feet, and chasing them away. Andrew knew enough to stay far enough away from Jenna but close enough to me. He seemed to be in her prime target range.

Seemingly oblivious to all of this, Caroline walked close by and started playing with some movable discs. The discs can be slid from one side of the pole to the other side. Caroline enjoyed herself for a few minutes moving the pieces.

And then Jenna came up.

She watched Caroline for a moment.

She then promptly pushed all the discs to one side, essentially squeezing all of Caroline’s fingers which were stuck between the pole and the discs.

I immediately pushed the bars away and checked Caroline’s fingers.

She seemed to be fine but I was boiling.

“We do not hurt people on purpose. She can play with the bottom discs and you can play with the top discs.”

Apparently she didn’t want to play with the discs anymore so she went back to screaming at the boys.

I looked for Jenna’s parent but never found someone who would willingly claim her.

As we were leaving the game I noticed Jenna standing next to an older woman. It must have been her grandmother since she kept saying, “Nana. Nana. Where’s Papa?”

Papa was probably sitting on the side lines enjoying his last moment of peace.

I thought about saying something to Nana but didn’t. This poor woman probably knew what she was dealing with. Hopefully she would refuse to babysit for a long time.

I’m starting to think I might have been wrong in my initial thinking.

Maybe it’s not mean girls I should be worried about.

Maybe it’s psychotic 6 year olds.

Homemade King Cake

We love King Cake around here.

Every time we have king cake the boys mention to each other, “Mom got king cake at school every week when she was little.” I try to tell them it only occurred during Mardi Gras season but I can’t deter their thoughts of what a pitiful school experience they are having compared to me.

My mom sent us a Randazzo’s king cake for Derek’s birthday. It was devoured in 3 days. The only reason it wasn’t gone faster was because I wouldn’t let them have it for breakfast. Alex “got the baby” in the Randazzo king cake so he knew it was his turn to provide the next cake.

Occasionally, Alex would remind me it was his turn to buy the next king cake . Our neighborhood grocery store was the only place which came to mind for buying a king cake but frankly, they looked quite unappealing to me.

While browsing the magazine section one day in Lowe’s, I started flipping through a Sandra Lee magazine. Behind all of the Valentine treats she was featuring was a small section on Mardi Gras recipes. Gumbo, etouffee, and king cake were listed as well as dirty rice.

While reading I whispered, “Homemade king cake.” Alex was at my side in a second. “Oh, can we try? Can we make that tonight?” Seeing as it was already 4:45 I appeased him by buying the magazine and promising to make the dessert soon.

A few days later, after gathering the supplies, I decided the time was right to make the king cake. We were once again stuck in the house all day due to ice. I was desperate for an activity (and frankly, something sweet) so I told the boys we were celebrating Friday night dessert early because of the weather.

Here’s a picture of our ingredients: 3 cans of cinnamon rolls with icing (we didn’t use the extra one shown here), a plastic baby, and sprinkles. Our sprinkles are not the traditional gold, purple, and green since we used what was in the pantry.

ingredients for king cake1) First we buttered the baking sheet.

2) We unrolled the 3 cans and separated each cinnamon roll.

3) We then formed an oval shape with the rolls. Sandra Lee suggests using 5 cans of cinnamon rolls but I thought that would be a tad gluttonous for us.

4) We baked the cinnamon rolls / king cake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

5) We waited 15 minutes for it to cool (Next time we’ll try 5-10 minutes) , covered it with the cinnamon roll icing, and then covered with sprinkles.

The finished product!

Considering they each ate the king cake 3 times in 24 hours I’d say it was a big hit. (By the way, Andrew got the baby this time).

Men, Listen Up

Men, listen up.

I’m about to tell you the way to a woman’s heart.

It’s not about the flowers.

It’s not about the chocolate (well, sometimes it is).

It’s not about the back rub (hmmm, that’s pretty good too).

It’s through this.

front of microwaveWhat? You say. A microwave. How can that be?

Consider this men –

It’s been months since the microwave has been cleaned.

Your wife placed a bowl of chili in there to heat up but instead it exploded.

She avoids the chili disaster by continuing to cook more food in there – for weeks.

Nothing is ever said about this situation.

It just goes on.

And then one day your wife comes home to this…

inside a clean microwaveCue the angels singing!

Flowers, chocolates, and back rubs have nothing on this.

This men, is the way to a woman’s heart.

Tap, Tap, Tap

It’s a sad, sad day in our house.

It’s a day that I wasn’t ready for.

Let me back up.

It was nap time for Caroline.

Or so I thought.

After I placed Caroline in her crib she insisted she was not tired.

She disagreed with my plan by pounding on the wall and screaming.

I let her scream for 10 minutes, perfectly secure in my parenting abilities, knowing she needed rest.

And then the crying stopped.

I knew it. She’s exhausted and has finally given into sleep.

For a moment I sat on my bed with a bag of chips continued folding laundry.

But then I heard an unfamiliar “tap, tap, tap” sound coming from the baby monitor.

I walked over to the monitor and pressed the video button.

It took a moment for the image to come up.

While waiting, the “tap, tap, tap” sound continued.

What could that sound be? She had two baby dolls and a blanket with her in bed.

The monitor’s picture finally came up.

Clear as day was her crib.

But…Caroline was not in the crib!

I searched the screen desperately, telling myself the bars of the crib were some how obstructing my view of her body.

No, no, no. This can’t be happening. I need her to take naps still. I need her to be contained in a box with no hope of getting out.

I walked upstairs to her room and tried to peek under her door to no avail.

The carpet was blocking my view.

Surely she must have brought a toy into bed with her which I didn’t notice. Surely she must have the skinniest profile ever and is sitting in that crib tap, tap, tapping away.

I finally gathered enough mental strength and opened her door.

There she sat on the floor trying to put the pieces into a farm puzzle.

“Tap, tap, tap.”

After a moment she noticed me.

An enormous grin spread across her face.

She said, “hello.”

My face didn’t quite say that.

Needless to say we’re off to IKEA tonight to find a little bed for her.

I’m thinking of customizing it with straps for nap time.


We rarely eat fast food for dinner but I decided the other night was the exception. The boys had 3 activities we needed to be at, all around dinnertime. We drove through McDonald’s on the way to our 2nd and 3rd activities of the night. I decided Caroline and Andrew would eat once we arrived at Alex’s practice but he needed to eat in the car on the way.

Here was my order at the drive through:

I’d like a #13, a 20 piece chicken nugget (yes, all 3 kids polished this off with no leftovers), 3 milks, and 3 small fries.

After receiving the food,  I placed Alex’s food on a tray and handed it back to him.

Andrew immediately wanted to know, “When do Caroline and I get to eat?’

When we get to the lacrosse field I will give you your food.

“What’s my food?”

I got you some chicken nuggets, a small fry, and a milk.


What do you mean what. I got you the food you asked for.

“What do you mean I got a small fry?”

I got you a small fry, Alex a small fry, and Caroline a small fry.

“What! That’s all I get for dinner?”

What are you talking about? You have this meal every time we come to McDonald’s. There will be more than enough food for you.

Why do I only get one small french fry with my meal?”

Ohhhh. No, you get a small bag of fries. With many fries inside the bag.

“Good because I need more than just one fry. I thought you were only giving me one fry. I’m hungrier than that.”

A Message for Al Gore

Dear Mr. Vice President,

I know the environment is important to you. I know this is your passion and such an important cause. I know you try and educate people on ways to keep our planet healthy. But now, Mr. President, I feel I must educate you.

As a mom, I do care about the environment. I do know we should all be working to improve our water systems, stop deforestation, and address the climate crisis. I do want wants best for my children and their future children.

But not today. Not tomorrow. Probably not next year.

You see, Mr. President. I never get a spare minute to myself in the bathroom. I always have a visitor. I’ve had a visitor for the last 8 years. Mind you the visitors have changed but still I am not alone. I’m sure the secret service accompanies you many places but I’m willing to bet you do get a little privacy in this one area.

In the past, currently, and in the future there is only one thing which will occupy my visitors. The toilet paper roll. My visitors enter the bathroom with great surprise and enthusiasm each time they notice the roll. From there, not even your top military commander could stop the destruction. It is only a matter of nanoseconds before mass amounts of toilet paper are lying upon the floor. For years, rolls upon rolls of paper, have been wasted in this manner.

Yes I do I contemplate all the trees that have gone into the making of this precious resource. Yes I do know all of the energy that is consumed in the process of making this toilet paper. And yet, I simply toss it.

Let’s face it Mr. President, I toss it and move on. I simply must. Somewhere in my house the water is running, the lights are on, and my visitors are using every scrap piece of paper to color on. In time I will jump on your environmental mission -probably around the time I go to the bathroom all by myself.