Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We Have a Winner
Out of 2 whole entrants. Those are probably the best odds you'll ever have when entering a contest.

Here's a screen shot of the choice.

It's Andie, whose comment was #1. Email me to claim your prize!

Monday, February 23, 2009
It's been rough couple of days, between a sick kid, a babysitter who probably caught The Plague from us, birthday parties, laundry, ice skating lessons, disinfecting the house (see sick kid, above), plus our usual running around.

We decided to take the kids to church over the weekend. In theory, we should all leave feeling a little better than when we arrived but it is hard to do that when your four year old is stuck in an I-will-do-whatever-I-want-whenever-I-want phase (aka Four-itis). So there I stand, singing the hymns, which I have to amend to include phrases instructing my son to stop his disruptive behavior.

So Amazing Grace now goes like this:

Amaaaa- "stop kicking the the pew in front of us!"-Grace,
How sweet the sound
That saved a wr-"sit down already!"-like me
I once was lost, -"Shhhh"-am found
Was blind, now-"no, you ate all your snacks in the car",- I see.

I can do this with any hymn, psalm or prayer. I'm quite good at it.

Harry's whenever/whatever phase extends to all areas. Tonight we're having left overs so when I asked if he'd prefer chicken or lasagna, he said "I'll have a hot dog."

I explained that a hot dog was not one of the options. "Chicken or lasagna," I said.

"Then I'll have a steak."

"Chicken or lasagna."


"Chicken it is."

"NO! Steak!" I left the room. "I won't eat it if you don't give me a steak."

"Fine with me."

This went on and on (and on) until I won he relented.


Circus ticket giveaway ends tomorrow. I know a lot of you don't live in the area but if you know someone who does, send 'em over. They stand a good chance of winning since there are only two entrants so far!

Saturday, February 21, 2009
OK. Enough Already
Some of the ads I've seen online over and over again are getting a little....annoying.

I think the rule is called portion control.

Stop staring at me.

No thank you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009
So What are You Doing at 7:30 pm on March 5th?
Mom Central contacted me last week to be a Feld Family Activator. In exchange for telling you about the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus that is coming to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, they offered me a set of tickets for my family. And I happily obliged.

So hey, guess what? The Circus is coming to town!

Come experience the all-new Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents ZING ZANG ZOOM playing Prudential Center & IZOD Center with your family!

Purchase a 4-pack of tickets for only $44 by logging onto and entering the coupon code: MOM.**

**Get 4 tickets for just $44 by entering the code “MOM” at select ticketing channels. Minimum purchase of 4 tickets required; additional tickets above 4 can be purchased at $11 each. Not valid on VIP Gold, VIP, and Circus Celebrity seats or combinable with other offers. A $3.00 facility fee is applied to all tickets at the Prudential Center. Other handling fees and service charges may apply.

Although the above language specifically mentions the Prudential Center, the code is actually valid for shows purchased through Ticketmaster for all the venues below:

The Prudential Center (Newark, NJ)
Mar 05, 2009 - Mar 08, 2009

IZOD Center (East Rutherford, NJ)
Mar 11, 2009 - Mar 15, 2009

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Uniondale, NY)
Mar 18, 2009 - Mar 22, 2009

Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)
Mar 26, 2009 - Apr 13, 2009

When I agreed to be a Feld Family Activator, I asked if Mom Central would be willing to give me a second set of tickets to use as a giveaway on this here blog. And they were!

So for the first ever This Charming Life giveaway, I am offering up, courtesty of Mom Central, a set of four tickets to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus Zing Zang Zoom show on Thursday, March 5th, 7:30pm, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

Step right up folks and leave a comment telling me what your act would be if you were a circus performer. Clown? Juggler? Trapeze artist extraordinaire? Personally, I'd be a lion tamer.

  • Contest open through February 24th, 2009 (9:00 p.m. EST).
  • Obviously you should live in or plan to be in the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area on Thursday March 5th.
  • I will choose the winner using the random number generator at
  • Winner will be announced here on Wednesday February 25th. If you are chosen you will need to email your information to me at
  • If I don't hear from you by noon on February 28th, I will choose another winner.
  • Tickets will be available on the day of the show at the Will Call window at the Prudential Center. You will need to show photo ID in order to obtain them so make sure the name you submit to me matches the name on your photo ID! No exceptions!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Too Late
Dear Facebook,

I love you.

No, wait, I hate you.

Well, I love you as long as I am not tagged in photos rocking big 80's hair, neon clothing, frosted eyeshadow and/or acid wash jeans.

Also, please refrain from allowing messages get to my inbox that start with "remember when...?"
Because surely the "remember when" is something I didn't really forget, it's just too embarrassing to repeatedly bring up in conversations.

So rule of thumb, Facebook? If it ain't mentioned
here, it don't go there.


Dear Meredith,

Too late!


Monday, February 16, 2009
This is Your Life
A couple of weeks ago, Sophie drew two pictures for me and John. The first was a depiction of our engagement:

While professing his love for me, John was also thinking about having a snack, whih was a bag of potato chips. While I was saying "I love you, too" I was thinking about having a lollipop.

Sophie skipped illustrating the wedding and went straight to her birth. It's hard to read in the photo but it says "2001 the first baby was born!" That's John on the left and me on the right. I don't look nearly as happy as I did in the engagement picture.

When I asked why I looked so unhappy she said "because you're crying."

"Tears of joy?" I asked.

"No. It HURTS to have a baby. Don't you remember?"

Um, yeah, vaguely.

Friday, February 13, 2009
The Magic Garden
So the other day I noticed my friend Andi had become a fan of The Magic Garden page on Facebook, which prompted me to join, too. If you didn't grow up in New York City in the 70's, you're probably scratching your head saying "Whut? Magic Garden?" If so, then you were deprived, my friend. And I am sorry.

The Magic Garden was a children's show that aired on WPIX in New York City in the 70's. It was beloved and despite it's popularity in New York City, it never caught on anywhere else because at the time, WPIX's broadcast radius was so small.

Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was a big, glitzy Broadway production compared to The Magic Garden. But what it lacked in flashiness it made up for in folk songs, pink squirrel puppets and a patch of daisies that grew jokes printed on little pieces of paper. When the punchline was delivered, they giggled and shook and it was the best part of my day. And when the garden gates closed at the end of every episode I would cry my eyes out. Thursdays were the worst, because that meant the show wouldn't be on again until Monday and no amount of Saturday morning cartoons could make up for it.

After joining the group on Facebook, I learned that a DVD was release and it contains at least four hours worth of Magic Garden episodes. Tomorrow, Netflix is going to deliver it to my doorstep. I don't think they've remastered the material but I'm sure it's better quality than what's up on YouTube.

They've been asking lately what kind of television shows we watched as kids. They really like The Muppet Show and The Smurfs so I can't wait to show them this.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Chocolate Shopping
Valentine's day is just around the corner and since it was quiet in the office today I decided to cut out a little early and get some V-Day shopping done.

I usually buy John chocolates for Valentine's Day. It is the perfect valentine, in my opinion, and when I worked in the theater district I'd pop over to Rockefeller Center buy his chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat. Their chocolates are flown in from France every day and boy are their arms tired. But seriously? Their most basic box costs about $15 and is worth every penny. No, you don't get many but in this case it's all about the quality, not the quantity.

I no longer work in the theater district, so this year I went to Jacques Torres Chocolates and bought my sweeties their sweets. The kids are each getting one of these, in milk chocolate:

I bought John a boxed assortment, sort of like this, about half the size:

These little morsels are filled with all sorts of healthy things like fruits and nuts and red wine.

We'll be visiting my dad and step-mom on Saturday so we can meet their new puppy. I decided to bring them some chocolates since they're sweeties, too. Their chocolates have ginger, almonds and pistachios:

Although I regret it now, I resisted buying a tin of their hot chocolate mix.

Chocolate nib shavings that you melt in hot milk. Yes, I regret it. I deeply, deeply regret not buying that now.

I hope your Valentine's Day is filled with chocolate and love.

Monday, February 9, 2009
Horoscope Schmoroscope
The only thing that's come my way since last week's promising horoscope is a head cold and a new bed for Harry, which he fell out of with a horrifying thud on night two. Now I know it takes only 2.5 seconds for me to reach his room at 2:48 am. I suspect without this head cold I could have shaved a couple tenths off my middle-of-the-night sprint time.

Sunday, February 8, 2009
In-Flight Shopping
On our flight home from Orlando last Sunday I came across this in the SkyMall catalog:

You can read the "awesome gift!" reviews here.

If you're considering buying one of these statues on your next flight, that's the point when the flight attendants ought to stop serving you liquor.

Friday, February 6, 2009
Exciting News Coming Soon!
I don't even know what that news will be but this was my horoscope yesterday (and yours, too, if you're a Pisces):

Something you've wanted for ages is just about to transpire.
It's simple and concerns your home and family. You've been meaning to do it and now you have. It's natural. Celebrate.

I rarely read my horoscope and when I do, it is usually out of boredom on the subway. But I'm willing, just this one time, to put some trust into an astrological interpretation of of my celestial sphere. House? Job? Eradication of cellulite? Winning lottery ticket? Yes, please!

Thursday, February 5, 2009
I Laughed So Hard I Cried
I made a fool of myself watching this video mashup at work today because I laughed so hard I cried. Then I made my Facebook friends watch it. Now I'm making you watch it. Warning: lots of f-bombs!

Edited to include the original (f-bomb free) David After Dentist video:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Some Trip Highlights
Mr. Potato Head (and his handler)

Whatever you do, DON'T start humming this song to yourself.
Bruce, from Finding Nemo The Musical

Chef Mickey, and a bunch of crazy New Yorkers.

Monday, February 2, 2009
Springsteen Rocked the Half-Time Show. Also, My Dreams in Y2K.
I was really happy to hear recently that Bruce Springsteen is touring again because, I, child of the eighties, LOVED Born in the USA and its delicious album cover.

I love everything that came before it and I even like the stuff that came after it. Imagine how stoked I was last night when I casually asked John who the half-time entertainment was at last night's Super Bowl.

The only disappointment was that the show was too short and did anyone else have a hard time trying to not picture Steve Van Zandt as Silvio from the Sopranos? Anyone?

When I was pregnant with Sophie in 2000, John and I saw Springsteen in concert at Madison Square Garden. Hormones make pregnant women dream pretty vividly and about a week after the show I had a dream that I was lost on Staten Island, NY. I kept circling the streets again and again and finally got out of the car to consult a map. That's when Bruce Springsteen happened to notice me. "Ya lost?" he asked.

"Um, yeah. And you know, pregnant, too. I just can't find my way off this god-forsaken island. Could you give me directions?"

"Get in the car and follow me," said The Boss.

So I did.

We drove to this little house that was tucked away behind lots of shrubs and fences. You'd never know it was there just driving by in your dreams. So Bruce gets out of the car and I'm a little freaked out because HELLO! Bruce Springsteen is trying to help me find my way off Staten Island but has instead lured me to some hideaway.

I rolled the window down and said "Uh, I just needed directions. Can I get to Hylan Boulevard from here?"

"Come in," he said. "Patti's making soup." So I went in to their house and sure enough, there was Patti Scialfa making an enormous pot of soup. In July. In her kitchen. On Staten Island.

"Hi!" she said. "Hungry? You must be. You're eating for two!"

So while Patti Scialfa finished making me lunch, Bruce showed me around the little house. I asked how he liked living on Staten Island and if he wouldn't prefer to be back in New Jersey. "Nah, no one knows I live here! It's great!"

"But I recognized you instantly," I said.

"Yeah, but you're alright. I know you won't tell anyone." And the whole time I was thinking "The Boss thinks I'm alright! He invited me into his home and we're going to have lunch. I guess I really am alright!"

Then Patti called us back to the kitchen to eat and they said I could stay as long as I liked with them. I politely declined, saying I had a husband back in Brooklyn waiting for me. (As if Brooklyn is a land far, far away.) And then the dream ended and I don't even know what kind of soup I had for lunch. But they are very nice people, those Springsteens.

Sunday, February 1, 2009
Back to the Grind

Our luggage showed up shortly after I published my last post and I have never loved putting a pair of pajamas on or brushing my teeth so much as I did at 2am on Thursday, January 29th.

The trip was a success and despite some rain and cold weather, we enjoyed ourselves. We returned with the same number of children we left with, which is always good. And bonus! They were the same kids!

More trip pics later in the week. We're exhausted and off to bed. Thank god the Superbowl didn't go into overtime.