Sunday, January 31, 2010

Settling In

The Kaminskis seem to be settling in nicely, after their fifth move in six years. I called Steph on Friday to ask for more pictures. An Indy shot was notably absent. I was informed that Indy was at a sleepover. A SLEEPOVER!? Wasn't she just at the ER seven days prior? I guess she was feeling better. And hasn't she been in school for just a few weeks? I guess a few weeks is all she needed to find her TWIN, Olivia. Imagine what kind of trouble, I mean fun they will get into looking so much alike. That's Indy on the left, by the way.

Do you remember the blog I wrote about needing a secret password to find your friends? Well as soon as I hit the publish button on that one, I came to find out that Ari was going over to her friend, Jennifer's house for dinner. Yesterday's problems of not knowing who their friends were turned into today's problems of who are these sixteen year old boys in the pickup truck taking Ari and Jennifer to go "mudding" and will they bring her home in one piece?!

Steph and Ted seem to be settling in nicely. Their new eco-friendly memory foam mattress was delivered last week. Alex is modeling it here. Steph said she was going to fill up her bathtub and take a soak (we'll let you know how that one went- it is probably still filling as I write this).
Ted leaves tomorrow for two weeks in Thousand Oaks for more training. He will be your go-to guy for anything having to do with cancer. Biotech/pharmaceutical training is like the books part of medical school. Ted will be an expert on all the current research, therapies and statistics having to do with the diseases his products will treat. This was the main reason I loved pharmaceuticals. I think he feels the same way. So he will be off, getting paid to study and Steph will be home, taking better pictures to inspire her guest blogger.
Lucky readers, in a just a few days, eleven to be exact, I will be venturing South East on a reconnaissance mission to get my own damn pictures and really report the haps from Bama. It could be that I cried a lot the week Stephanie left, but my husband Tom encouraged me to make a visit sooner rather than later. I promise you some real adventure coming your way.

A side note on Stacy, number one sister.... Stacy has officially moved into her Santa Barbara labyrinth home. She has slept there a total of eight nights and has had house guests for four of those. She says she is blissfully happy to be in her new home, as I am, but she really needs a minute (or a month) to get unpacked, paint and feel settled. I saw her on Friday when I dropped by with Aidan and London (the chihuahua) to pay a quick visit. She had a look on her face that said it all. My suggestion, don't ask to visit Stacy for a few months at least. A thought has occurred to me that maybe a bit of her stress might be that I have asked her to help take care of my kids for me while I pay a visit to Mobile, AL. Nahhhhhh. It couldn't be that.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Now that I have the responsibility of keeping Steph's readers "happy", I am really beginning to feel the pressure. I can't write about just anything on her blog. If I could, I would just write my own blog and post a link to it as her blog. Hmmmm, not a bad idea. But, everybody knows you go to Steph to laugh and you come to me to pontificate the subtle nuances of your daily existence. On Stephanie's blog, I have to write about Steph and I have to make you laugh. Tall order.

I have been begging for pictures from our dearly missed blogger and she has come up with all sorts of excuses as to why she could not send any.

"Starbuck's doesn't have Wi-Fi",
"I still don't have internet",
"There's nothing to take a picture of".
Blah blah blah. "You have an i-phone and you text me every five minutes", I said,
"just take some pictures and press send".
This was the first picture I got:
A screened-in porch with a mountain of boxes.

I asked for more pictures and I am not exaggerating when I say it took her two days to send this group. She sent the beautiful living room shot four times (just to emphasize the beauty of her decorator's sense of style?). I liked the shot of Ted, installing something, but where were the kids? Where were the school uniforms? What did their new southern lunches look like in their sweet little lunch boxes? I did like the picture of the dogs, standing outside the screened in porch on the fringe of the looming forest. It stirred my imagination a little bit.

Steph started harassing me this morning while I was sitting in the doctor's office waiting to get felt-up by a breast specialist (it was nothing by the way. We're just friends). My i-phone kept jingling rudely with her pestering comments about her readers being "unhappy" with the lack of new material. She said if she loses readers, it was ALL MY FAULT, because she had sent me the pictures, just like I had asked. My reply was that I was not all together inspired by her grouping of photos and she needed to work a little bit harder than she was to excite me. Her response to that was her action shot of a grouping of items she had purchased on a big outing to the dollar store. She said she went in for wrapping paper (in JANUARY?) and got a hankering for thai food so she picked up some coconut milk. She saw the chipoltle peppers and thought they would add some flair to her new rolling shelves full of alphabetized canned goods. The Afrin purchase had something to do with a" stuffy nose" and "needing a good night's sleep" (doesn't she know that stuff is addictive?). And, there was a totally lame excuse for buying the tabloid. Something about "entertainment during the rainy weekend ahead". Whatever happened to daydreaming? Or board games?

And so I give you a blog about Steph's pictures. Maybe this will inspire her to send me something good!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Emergency Room

Hi! It's Shelley, guest blogger for Steph again. I hope you are not sorry it's me, but, she said you would be antsy for an update, so here it is.

Indy went to the E.R. on Friday night with an earache and chest pain. Steph took her of course. I received a text at about nine, that was midnight her time. I said, "couldn't this have waited until morning, or couldn't you have gone earlier?" These questions are really redundant because for as long as Steph has been a mom, she has spent a good chunk of time in Emergency Rooms around the country with her kids. We have a joke between us that she is practically a doctor. I can tell you honestly that she has amazing medical sense, is calm and assured when she is in a crisis and has nerves of steel when someone is in serious trouble. I think she was a doctor in a past life or two. An old country doc who had seen it all. How else could you explain her natural ability as a 16 year-old candy striper helping a nurse hold a child's head still so that an I.V. could be inserted into the baby's scalp while her friend passed out on the floor next to her? Steph didn't go to medical school, or nursing school but she has acted as a birthing doula on many occasions and been asked by physicians if she was a professional. I remember marveling at her bedside manner when our mom was in the ICU for a life-threatening head injury. She's a natural. My theory is that until she gets herself working in a hospital officially, her kids are going to keep dragging her there.

Here's an incomplete list of visits she has made with Ari, Alex and Indy in the past few years. She was too embarrassed to give me a really complete list because she thought I was going to give her the bad parent of the decade award, but no, I was just trying to show that she has a magnetic attraction to the E.R..

Columbus, Ohio- Alex got really sick after two trips to the ER for dehydration and was later admitted.

Later that year, Alex took a barefoot walk on the treadmill and had to make a visit to the ER to re-attatch his toe.

Bow, New Hampshire- Ari went rollerblading with Henry, Dog Sled Style while wearing a tanktop and shorts . She got to visit the ER with nasty bruises and extensive road rash.

Schwenksville, PA- Ari got her thumb caught under a sled during a Pennsylvania winter downhill run and broke it (the thumb, not the sled).

Hollywood, CA- Indy has been to the Cedar's Sianai ER a couple of times while visiting Grandma Kitty for something, but I can't remember what.

Mammoth, CA- Indy had a bad case of hives.

Mobile, Alabama- Indy christens the new local ER with her earache (ouch!)

For the love of your children Steph, heed the call! The ER wants you! The hospital needs you! The pregnant women are calling to you! We are all behind you, in complete support! You are practically the best doctor I know! (If there are any doctors reading this, please do not be insulted by this statement).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Finding our Tribe

If only there were an easier way of finding our tribe when we move from place to place. The things that set us apart, like what kind of car will we drive when we are old enough? Ari will have a Prius (sooner rather than later) with some sort of personalized licence plate. Alex says he will have a Segway with panniers on the handlebars for his treasures- watch out, it will be heavy! Indy says her first car will be a limo. Not at all surprising.

As these beautiful people move from place to place they have to somehow find their friends again and again. I wish it were as easy as finding someone with the same color nail polish, or hearing the secret password whispered on the playground. But it's not. We have to dig to uncover our friends. We have to pay attention, ask a lot of questions, gently sift through the words and postures, friendly or seemingly unfriendly at first, made all the more difficult by school uniforms instead of style.

These three beings of light are honing their skills of being true to themselves when finding their tribe. They are teaching their peers to be true to themselves too, doing the hard work of uncovering the real souls time and time again.

Might I, your guest blogger, Aunt Shelley, suggest asking a question of the day to your potential friends? Start with, what would your dream car be? Maybe the secret playground passwords are there in the form of Prius, Segway and Limo.

What's Your Passion?

I was listening to talk radio the other day and they were talking about finding your passion and not getting lost in the "stay at home Mom" mode of your life. I think I never really thought about what my real passion was.
I used to volunteer at a hospital when I was a teenager. It was one of the best things I ever did. I loved it. I would go in on any day that I was available. I signed up to volunteer right before we left New Hampshire but didn't get approval until the week before I left the State. This time I shall start immediately so I can actually get in and do something meaningful for somebody. I will start there. Next I will think about what else I love to do. I love to decorate. It's the creative process of makng a room look inviting and special. Jewelry? I make jewelry, but it's been a solid year since I've opened up my bead cabinet and sat down to create something. I will blow the dust off of the swarovsky crytals and see if there's anything in me to make something special and beautiful.
What else?? who knows, but I'm gonna keep looking for things that define me other than my family. It's good for me, and it's good for you too. Whats your passion?

Welllllll.......My passion is taking over your blog (Shelley Here!). We now have it in writing that you are going to go out there and make something of yourself. No more napping the days away waiting for the next episode of Dirty Jobs to come on just to see what Mike Rowe is doing with his passion. No sir eee. You will be VOLUNTEERING, decorating, making beautifully sparkled, perfectly wired jewelry, and WRITING YOUR BLOG! I suspect you will hone a slower way of speaking that emphasizes long vowels and you will spend a teensy bit more time on your hair in the morning. You will also be there for your kids, making the home that they are drawn to every day. The home that will draw their friends too, so you can be Mrs. Kaminski once again. I know one of your passions is to hear the words, "Mrs. Kaminski, I LOVE you!" It's coming. I can feel it!
P.S. I know you are going to kill me for putting up that picture, but one of my passions is expression with humility. I'll put one of me up too. (that's me in the white fuzzy robe- illustrating a "what not to do with your passion" pose.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Hey readers and fans of Stephanie's blog! I, Shelley Meaney, younger sister of Steph in case you didn't know, have comandeered Stephanie's blog for a short while until she gets her internet hooked up. I have her permission to be here, but that's not to say I won't take full advantage of my power of the pen and photo until she can take this blog back. And now, a note on the coat:

Dear Stephanie,

We were beginning to worry after that blog about the blue coat. We were a little bit afraid that maybe your sense of style had taken a hard left at ugly and gone straight. We all can't really believe that you wore that thing in public with a straight face in your new upscale community at a time when first impressions were being made. We actually felt a little tiny bit sorry for you..... until we saw pictures of your new house. How is your gourmet kitchen with the heat lamps that elevate up and then down again after the food gets served up hot? How are your built-in bookshelves in the family room and your giant hand crafted mantle? Exactly how long did it take your jacuzzi tub to fill high enough to work the jets? An hour? Poor thing. And tell us, how is your own personal office for blog writing, jewelry making or just closing the door in retreat from the household masses? Oh, you can keep the coat and wear it to the store now and then thinking of us, me in particular. Let it be a reminder to you of my bathroom, custom built in 1961 for my grandmother-in-law who was five foot one. Let your closet space and beautiful built-ins serve as a reminder that you never know what kind of magic can come from a seemingly awful situation. While you are soaking in your tub, think about the friends you will make and make laugh in Mobile. Most of all, next time you see a woman in a hideous coat, imagine that she is in the same situation you were in, and that her beautiful new coat is coming in the mail, ready to make her day!

And now, a few words and pics from Steph:

Mamma's got a brand new coat!!
or two.

Thanks Mom...You're the best!!

Yeah for you and US!!!!
a final note from Shell- That fugly coat has a removable hood, which I have, and removable sleeves. It is fully reversible. When you wear it inside out it has a huge embroidered graphic of the Golden Gate Bridge across the back. Who wants to see Steph model the coat in reverse vest form just for fun (besides me)? I think a good get-up can be a bit of a spiritual experience. If you want more on that subject, tune in to my blog at

wooooo hoooooo!!!!

squeaky nursing

It's a good thing we women don't have a squeaky toy in our breasts, otherwise when we nursed our babies it would sound like this.

p.s. please don't mind the zit between my eyes and my bed hair!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Looks Like-Smells Like

The kids came running to our hotel room yesterday saying that there was "girl" (translation, 75 year old woman) in the hotel that looks just like Grammy (Ted's Mom).
Indy says...
"She looks just like her, smelled just like her but she didn't have a hair net on like Grammy wears."
so not cool.

p.s. Grammy does NOT wear a hair net.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Last night Ted did NOT point out the zit between my eyes and then ten minutes later with a sheepish grin, proceed to point out the little booger on the tip of my nose. Oh no he did not!

I have NOT been letting the kids run like crazy up and down the hotels halls on every floor just to get them some exercise.

I have NOT been watching the outdoor channel ( alias the hunting channel) to amuse myself while being cooped up in a hotel room. I am now practically a hunting professional!! NOT!! animals were harmed or killed during the writing of this blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Call the Fashion Police

When we left New Hampshire to go to Ca to live with my parents, I'll be the first one to admit that I thought we would only be there a couple of weeks. I packed very "light" for myself, a few pairs of shorts, many Gap t-shirts and all the flip f;ops I owned. Why pack more...we're not gonna be there that long and if I need something, I'll just buy it!

A whole new wardrobe later and a serious drop in air temp, and I'm in trouble. As our stay grew longer, I amassed quite the wardrobe. Shopping with my Mother changes the way I look at clothes. No longer are my Gap t-shirts and shorts appropriate when your Mother is wearing her 4 inch Stewart Weitzman heels and adorable dresses from Nordstrom. Lucky for me we did a lot of shopping and I was able to acquire a few new things to add to my VERY casual wardrobe.

Fast forward to Alabama and we have been in our hotel now for a solid week with at least three more days to go. Just to my luck Alabama is experiencing an unusual "freezing cold" snap that has lasted the entire time we've been here so far and has no end in sight. Now this normally wouldn't be a problem for me since I have an enormous winter coat collection from living in the arctic tundra of New Hampshire but when I left NH for Ca I knew I wouldn't be needing any of it so I happily packed it away and put it into storage.

We did have a few brisk mornings in Ca while working out on the beach so sister Shelly reluctantly parted with a hideous baby blue coat that she had purchased in San Fransisco on a day that was exceptionally cold and need something "fast"!!

When we left Ca, I threw that blue coat in my bag just "in-case" we got stranded on a deserted road in the middle of nowhere. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be wearing this little gem everyday just to avoid freezing my A** off.
Now you'd think that when one comes to Alabama that a big blue coat would go unnoticed and not be a problem, but NOOOOOOO!!! Almost everywhere I look I see a darling girl in her darling blue jeans and her cute boots and her Freaking Adorable COAT!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Indy at the Plaza

If you have children, you may have heard of the book "Eloise at the Plaza"
It's a really cute story about a little girl who's family lives at the Plaza hotel in NYC and her parents work so she basically runs around the Plaza all day with her Nanny and has all kinds of fun.

Meet Indy. She knows her way around the hotel and can be found at various times throughout the day "acting" like a grown-up and playing in the hotel.
Tonight I went down to sit with her and she played "restaurant" and placed orders and delivered food to imaginary people in the "actual" dining room of our hotel. She talks to her self out loud and has a ball.

Most everyday, she and Alex race to the elevator and try to get the door to close before I get there. When I get to the lobby they will be sitting there waiting there and giggling.

The most amusing for me is when we get off of the elevator on our floor and she goes racing at full speed out of the elevator in a mad sprint towards our room at the end of the hallway and the makes the turn on "two wheels" to get to the door first. When I arrive at the hotel room door I will always find the room key on the floor outside our door and she will already be in the room.

Little Punks!!

Moo's and Schmoo's

Spent our first day in Alabama enrolling the younger kids in school.
But first we had to get their immunization cards transferred over to Alabama cards.
The school sent us on a wild goose chase to the county health Dept to get the records transferred over to the cards and instead of arriving to the Dept.,

We arrived to find these.
The dogs loved them, at one point Henry (older dog) crawled under the barbed wire fence to go get a closer look but lucky for us he REALLY listens when Ted calls him.
Took the dogs down to the water for a walk today but after 10 minutes, Ted no longer saw the fun in this since it was a chilly 30 degrees and our winter garb is still in storage.
This will be much more fun when we get the Gulf Coast weather back.
Since we are still holed up in a hotel room we have to take the dogs everywhere with us so they don't do any "partying" while left alone.
Can't wait to move into my new home so I can clean the wet nose smears off of my car windows.
Life is Good.

Monday, January 4, 2010


This is Texas. Boring boring boring. I see why people want to live here, you can get a mansion for next to nothin (southern drawl). The one exciting thing in Texas was the very adorable tiny armadillo that tried to cross the highway right in front of us. Ted did a minor swerve to miss hitting it. He later regretted that move when he remembered that we were towing a 12' trailer. The two semi trucks behind us also swerved to miss the armadillo. I believe the little critter was protected by the cuteness factor.
But the state is so huge that it takes two -three days just to get through it. I waited the whole trip to see all of the long horn cattle but i only saw a few. I was very disappointed. That's what I live for, wildlife. But when we crossed over into Louisiana I was thrilled, as the landscape changed from flat to swamp land.

Stopped for dinner at the Pei Wei, an off shoot of P.F.Changs. We sat at the bar and the kids got a thrill out of watching their food be prepared right in front of them.

The Louisiana rest stop was beautiful and we were able to take the dogs around and get a bit of exercise. the kids ran around too until we saw the sign...
The trees in the back ground of the sign are literally dripping with Spanish cool.
This truck is just one of millions of trucks on the road in the deep south. Practically everybody drives one. I'm just happy that they all weren't outfitted with gun racks too.
Lots of movies were watched on our trip.
More Louisiana swamp land.

The cemetery's in New Orleans were spectacular. This one is right along the edge of the hwy.

My super sexy handsome husband.
And we're home. We're not in our house yet but we are in a beautiful hotel very close to our house so the kids will start school in the morning and I will spend the day getting acclimated.
The day we got to the Mobile area we had a great Caribbean lunch right on the water. Alex spotted his first gator right next to the highway.