Closed to Open Concepts

21Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

My sister Cherie and I were watching a bit of HGTV earlier.

We commented how we’re sick to death of the grossly overused term “open concept floor plan.” I think it must be in the contract that every HGTV show has to mention it at least twice. Four times if the show is an hour long. And every person looking for a new home has to walk into at least one older home and whine, “But it doesn’t have my open concept layout!”

Anyway, I don’t get the love for these spaces, where the kitchen, dining area, living room and sometimes, an office or playroom, all meld together into one huge, cavernous zone.

I told Cherie, “I like lots of walls. And doors. With locks. Why does everyone think they gotta be all up in everyone else’s business?” We laughed, and she agreed.

open-concept 2

But it left me wondering….

Is it our introvert tendencies that make us prefer smaller, sectioned-off rooms with doors?

Are extroverts drawn toward the open floor-plan concept?

For me, personally, I think it’s the total lack of privacy I feel most days that makes me love spaces that permit one to close off from the rest of the house for a while. Plus, it’s easier to keep smaller spaces clean (and to close a door on it if you run out of time!). And it also allows for greater design variation between rooms, which appeals to my creative side. You can paint one room green and one room red instead of having to look at one big homogenous design forever.

But I definitely think the introversion plays a role in my dislike of open floor plans.

How about you? What is your preference in home design? And are you generally more introverted or extroverted?

Curious minds want to know!



19Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

If you’re my friend on Facebook, you saw yesterday this conversation I posted between me and my brilliant little guy, Jonah:

Jonah: “Did you put on lipstick?”
Me: “Yeah…”
Jonah: “Is it strawberry flavor?”
Me (still applying my makeup): “Nope.”
Jonah: “Is it raspberry flavor?”
Me: “No, it’s just plain.”
Jonah: “Oh.”
(He looks at me silently, seemingly very confused…)
Jonah: “Is it…BEEF flavor???”

After I finished laughing (and gagging) at the thought of meat-flavored lipstick, I recalled how often we’ve caught him playing in his new sister’s collection of lip gloss, all of which are bold fruit flavors. So I guess the idea of a flavorless lip product just seemed impossible to him. He’s also really into ramen noodles (it’s odd, how all three of my boys were obsessed with ramen noodles at this age) and reads the labels on the packets, so I guess a nice, salty, ramenesque beef-flavored lipstick sounded yummy to him.

The day before that, he cracked us up by making this sign all on his own:

Jojo Only

“Jojo ONLY”

But the funniest part? He taped it on MY bedroom door! I knew we let that kid sleep with us too long. Now he’s officially trying to kick his ol’ Ma and Pa out of our very own bedroom!

Sadly, last night, he succumbed to the virus that’s been kicking my butt this week. I knew we were in trouble when, shortly after the beef lipstick conversation, he climbed in my bed, yawned and said, “I think I need a little rest” and passed out for two hours. He woke up feverish and crying, and shortly after, Donnie was rushing him to the bathroom to catch his puke in the toilet.

I’m grateful that I never vomited with this particular illness, but I have felt terrible, with a fever, cough, sore throat, and congestion. I even lost my voice for most of Thursday. Jonah, much like his oldest brother at this age, tends to throw up whenever he has a fever regardless of what actual bug is causing it. It really seems to bother them when they have throat pain or postnasal drip.

Anyway, he got sick again later (this time, thankfully, he was in his OWN bed). And he told his dad that he was sad to have gotten “coughing juice” on his blanket and t-shirt.

Coughing juice! We laughed a good while over that one.

Thank you, Jonah, for giving our family a much funnier term for a really disgusting bodily function!

Only my Jojo.



Stealing Away

15Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Well, at least, trying to steal away….

I forgot to pick up mayo at the grocery store yesterday afternoon. The hubs and eldest boy need it for their sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. The reason I forgot to get the mayo yesterday is that I had my sister, my daughter and my youngest son with me and I cannot think unless I’m shopping alone. Even with a list, it’s just crazy trying to concentrate! The kids are constantly asking for something. Constantly. Even when I tell them not to ask for anything, they can’t resist.

Items requested yesterday: bubbles, gum drops, chocolate truffles, chili-flavored ramen noodles, soda, quilted gloves on clearance, toy airplanes, Barbie dolls, snack cakes, Kosher chicken noodle cups, yogurt, Swiss cheese, potato chips, Lucky Charms and a spaghetti sauce seasoning packet–and those are only the items I remember.

So I walked through the store sounding like a broken record: “No, no, no, no. Not today. Nope, sorry! Not today. No. Not now. No, no, no. Maybe next time. NO!”

And it wasn’t just the kids distracting me. My sister and I get into a crazy state of mind when we shop together. As my dad has often said, we giggle all the time. So we were goofing off — laughing at the terrible music, singing along, laughing at the next crazy thing my child asked for, laughing at how many times I had to say no. Cracking jokes over the stuff on clearance. You get the picture. Self-created Distraction City.

SO. Anyway. Back to the mayo.

I just really, really did NOT want the kids to go with me tonight. This time I was going to Target, and taking the kids with me to Target feels like shooting myself in the foot. That is MY haven. That’s where I wander the aisles alone and take my time. It’s rare that you’ll find me dragging my brood along to Target.

The kids have radar-ears that pick up on even the faintest whisper that I’m leaving the house. So to avoid the loud choruses of, “I WANT TO GO! I WANT TO GO! I WAANNNNT TOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOO!” and the youngest’s inevitable tears at being told “no”, I sent my husband a text.

“Hey, so I’m gonna casually sneak out and go get you some mayo.”

(Just call us Mr. and Mrs. Romance for sending such racy convos to one another.)

He gave me a silent “thumbs-up” from across the room. I went back to change shirts, and he slipped into the bedroom to tell me that our eldest needed picking up after I went to Target.

Great, I thought. There goes my leisurely stroll through the store. But hey, at least I was getting half an hour alone. I picked up my purse as Donnie redirected Jonah to play with trains, so he wouldn’t see me leave, slipped on my flip-flops, quietly opened the back door and then — heard Violet say, “Mom–where are you going? I want to go!”


“I just have to go pick up Zach,” I said, “I’ll be back in a bit!”

And mean mother that I am, I breezed out the door and into the minivan, and waved cheerily to her sad little face looking out the window as I backed out of the drive.

I know. I’m terrible. I feel guilty now. I just had to have that half-hour alone, y’all. I just had to.

So I cruise around Target, getting the mayo and a couple of other items I remembered we needed, and it would’ve been fun if my eldest hadn’t called me three times wanting to know where I was.

Now, before you really decide I’m a horrible person and call DFACS on me, he was the one who decided on an impromptu outing, and then decided he was too tired to walk back home. He was with a friend. So it wasn’t like I was abandoning him after an appointment or something. But I didn’t quite have any reason to be in an uber-hurry to fetch him, either.

So, there you have it: stealing away, mom-style. It’s not very effective, is it?


Things Moms Never Say

12Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Just a little humor for your Saturday!

And I’d add the following, all from just the past 24 hours of life at Casa de Apted:

-”Yes, please crawl into bed with us at 5:30 a.m. and then wet my bed before you tumble out again.”
-”Of course (different child) I don’t mind it when you flutter your hands around my face and wake me at 7:45– on a Saturday!”
-”I’ll have to try your method of picking up the pancake and using it as a tool to shovel a giant wad of butter directly into your mouth.”
-”The toy bin is a perfectly acceptable place to stow your dirty underwear!”


15 things

Under the Sea

9Jul2014 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Hotlanta is even “hotter under the water” this week as Broadway in Atlanta presents The Little Mermaid at the Fabulous Fox Theater.


We had the privilege of attending opening night on Tuesday and — WOW! My sister and I agreed — it was the best Broadway show we’d ever seen.

I can’t think of one negative thing to say about it. Which is rare for me, because you know I’m going to tell it like it is. (See my review of Evita – two hours of my life that I wish I could reclaim.)

But The Little Mermaid enthralled us all, from beginning to end. It was simply fantastic. Sebastian was my favorite character, injecting humor at all the right places — and his performance of “Under the Sea” was the highlight of the night. I wish I had more pictures to show you because the costumes in that scene alone were so gloriously gorgeous they’d knock your flippers off. (I think I might’ve gasped when the jellyfish came out.)

Another thing that made it such a special night is that I got to spend it with my two awesome 12-year-olds, and it was Violet’s first time experiencing the theater. She loved it — and was totally wowed by The Fox, as most people are when they first visit. (It took some work to convince her that the twinkling stars over the balcony were not the real sky above!)

FOT1DAE1 Fox Collage

To keep this post from going on and on and on, I’ll do a simple word association to summarize my opinion of The Little Mermaid:

Sets: Stunning

Actors: Amazing

Voices: Enthralling

Costumes: Exquisite

Songs: Enchanting

Humor: Engaging

Story: Delightfully Disney-esque


If you can possibly go this week, then you must go. I can’t imagine you’d regret it!

(Picture of Ariel from Broadway in Atlanta)