Category Archives: Being a Mom

The 7 Ways My Husband Has Made Me a Better Mom

One of Mama Kat’s prompts this week was to share something your husband does better as a parent than you do.


But when I started thinking about it I kept coming back to something I’ve been trying to put into words for a while now.

I don’t think either one of us does things better; I mean are we really going to compare how we wipe a butt or which of us can talk our kid into breakfast for dinner more quickly? Parenting is better when you’re employing a tag-team effort anyway so it doesn’t do any good to want to keep score.

Your job is to keep your children alive, healthy and semi clean and not kill (or hate) one another in the process.

So when it comes right down to it, the truth is that my husband and the kind of dad he is simply makes me a better mommy.


He “buys in” before I do:
From the moment he saw those two little embryos growing in my uterus he was all in. While I fretted and worried (and of course given our infertility situation he did too) he never doubted for a moment that we’d bring home two babies to parent.

That hasn’t changed. I have been known to stand still and just be unable to move mentally when I’m not sure how something is going to go or I jump in my heart and not my head. . John simply goes along and makes it easy for me to see that our decisions made together are impulsive and rational because both of us are there making them.

He knows he’s part of the team:

I had color coordinated our outfits long before the boys came along; when they were born I took total control over the clothes we wear, the colors we’re sporting on a daily basis. We’ve been teased and made fun of many times, but damn we look good. Like a man who loves a team sport, John is comfortable with calling us “Team Piccini” and looking to me for a daily outfit. As a woman it’s nice to know that my husband doesn’t believe that allowing me make some decisions slices away at his masculinity and he’s teaching the boys the same thing.  *Bonus*


Plus as a team he knows it takes more than one coach to get things done. We might each have a way that we think we should deal with something but we take the approach of being small parts of a bigger whole. Rob Base had the right idea: “it takes two to make a thing go right.” 


He knows what’s important:

A day off for a picnic? Sure!

Giving up a Saturday to go to mall? Okay.

Missing the first game of The Stanley Cup Playoff to go to a play? Well….

John is a die-hard NY Ranger fan. The Blueshirts haven’t gotten to the Stanley Cup Playoff (that’s code for the BIG SHOW!) in 20 years and he was as happy as I would be if you told me I was getting a new pair of shoes for free every month for the rest of my life. We were all happy. Until we realized that we’d bought tickets to see Beauty & the Beast for the evening of the first game.

First, I never thought about John not going to see this show with us, he is sports fan that love Broadway shows too. Second, I never worried about him begging off. Sure it wasn’t game 7 (and honestly if it had been I also know what’s important. Game 7 is important!) but he came to show with no complaining or regret. Yes, he checked the score on his phone, yes, he was eager to get home to watch the 3rd period but he never let us feel like we weren’t as important as the game.

He never does and that is huge. He has things he loves but I never worry if we’re one of them.

I know we are. This is an incredible lesson to be teaching our sons.


He lets us be who we are:

John and I have a lot in common; we have the same kind of humor, like a lot of the same music and come at things from a familiar place. Yet, there are things about me that are so far from what he is used to that I used to wonder why he fell in love with me in the first place.

I know that I can curse too much, that I can like an off color joke a little too often and I have very strong opinions and a very big mouth with which I will tell you about them. This is far from who my husband is. However, he lets me be who I am. This freedom has filtered down to our sons.

Jacob wants to pretend he’s Billy Joel? Okay, let’s show him some classic Joel videos and play his greatest hits in the car. Gio wants to do play-by-play hockey in the living room? COOL! I’ll just set up old footage and teach him math in the process. Jacob wants to take a drama class?  No problem, let’s help him find his bliss.

One of the biggest reasons that I love my husband is wrapped up in this, he simply allows us to be who exactly we are. I want to write or daydream or nap all day, he never gives me a problem, never makes fun of me or is condescending to me. He accepts the good stuff and the bitch I often become when I’m sad, frustrated or disappointed, he’s a fantastic cheerleader whether he knows it or not.


He’s helpful:

And not in any traditional way; sure he takes the dog out, he is charge of the garbage and vacuuming (Yep, I’m that lucky) but what I’m really talking about is how he helps even when he thinks he isn’t.

When the twins were born and I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia we realized that our routines would need to shift. Stress and lack of sleep were my worst enemies and both would lead to awful migraines and me generally feeling lousy for days.

John knows when to step in. He knows that I can get so much done if he is simply sitting on the couch lost in his phone but present for the boys while they surf Curious George movies on Netflix. I can make beds, clean bathrooms and fold clothes much easier if I know that he’s “keeping them alive”. He’d tell you that he’s not doing anything but he is. He’s making my experience less stressful and that’s worth an awful lot.


He knows how to lose his shit:

I remember the first real fight I had with John. It doesn’t matter what we were arguing about the point is that I was coming from a place where I wanted to fight. I wanted drama and fireworks and expressions.

I grew up in a violent house. There was yelling and hitting and solving problems with our hands instead of our heads.

John grew up in a very different house.

So when I came at him with words that I knew would set him off I expected what I always gotten; A slap, ugly words or both. Instead he stopped himself short of all of it and looked at me “I won’t fight like this with you.”

I understood in that moment that my life and relationships were about to change.

So when I get ragey or out of sorts and my temper flares (and sometimes it does) I look to him. He knows how to lose his shit in a way that isn’t going to have lasting repercussions and that makes not only a better mom but a better person.

He’s a great dad:

This is a gimme but it’s the most important one because when I think about being a mom sometimes I want to run away and hide. I want to disown my kids, my husband and find a cottage on the edge of the ocean and stay there ALONE for a very long time. But what keep me here in the middle of the chaos, the clutter, the constant chatter of 6 yr old twins is this man and his belief in things like faith, fun and family.

He is funny, he is supportive and he is true blue.

John would tell you (because I’ve heard him say it to other people) that I’m the glue that holds our family together. He would praise me for my mothering skills and go on about he doesn’t know how I do it all but in this space and now before we celebrate Father’s Day I want him to know that I am a better mom because of the kind of dad he is.

Happy Father’s Day honey.



Mama’s Losin’ It

 Linking with Mama Kat


For When I Wish I Had all the Answers

  Raising two very active and very curious little boys is exhausting. My sons have been known to wake up and barely untangle themselves from a top sheet before the barrage of questions and queries starts. Question upon question about everything from the color of the sky, to what batteries do, to why they can’t ride the dog.

Sometimes the answers are easy ones, sometimes they are thoughtful and other times they are downright funny. But as their mom I know that funny or not, they’re waiting for an answer so I better have one ready for them in 2.8 seconds or they might NOT believe that I’m as smart as I pretend to be.

The truth? My kids are much smarter than I am , in fact they might even give this little guy a run for his money? Have you heard of him yet?



The  Wisest Kid in the  Whole World The Wisest Kid(in the Whole World)  was discovered by Campbell’s and lives on a mountaintop dispensing  entertaining advice  to parents  about keeping your children happy , especially about mealtime. By getting to know him over at the Campbell Kitchen website (and all those incredible, yummy recipes)  I know that I could use him around the Piccini kitchen more than a few nights a week, especially when my question of “what would you like for dinner” is met with blank faces.  

That’s when I reach for a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle.   blogCampbells2     


Here’s what I do know. First, that Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup used to make any cold day, heart ache or just plain cranky day better. Slurping those noodles is one tradition that I will  gladly pass down to my little guys (even if it makes for one very loud dinner table). And second, that green beans taste so much better when they are cooked in Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. It’s not Thanksgiving without turkey, football and green bean casserole. In fact I  plan to take these mini’s to the table this November because I know that my sons will gobble them up. (ahem)

Mini Green Bean Casserole

Campbell's Mini Green Bean Casseroles Recipe


Photo credit to Campbell’s Kitchen (You should probably PIN this recipe like I did)  


Yesterday Jacob said to me , “Mommy you love us, even when you don’t right?” and I hugged him tight. “You’re right buddy, I do.” Then Gio came over and said, “I think the most important thing is sharing, if people shared they wouldn’t be as mad as they are all the time.” Jacob nodded in agreement. Wise words from my twins, I just hope they remember that statement when I want some of their green bean casserole. Remember to check out the Wisest Kid in the World widget to ask your own questions and Campbell’s Kitchen to get some delicious recipe ideas for dinner!    






Just Write: Keeping the Faith


We are knee deep in Catholicism right now. I guess I was naïve to think that sending my children to Catholic School wouldn’t mean that they’d come home singing songs about Jesus, asking questions about Jesus and basically telling me that Jesus is watching us at all times.

Jacob has fully embraced his faith. He is excited about going to church, he comes home and pretends to have mass for us and I shit you not, he gave his first “homily” to himself and the full length mirror in our room on Monday night. He even has a favorite “Godfather”, this is his word for priest. He refuses to call them anything else. “You call them Father and they are all about God.” You can’t fight with the reasoning.

A few days he asked if he could have a vestment for Christmas, so he could dress like a “real godfather”. I didn’t answer him because I’m in the middle of my own crisis of faith. Having a son that has so fully embraced the Savior is frankly unnerving. Or maybe like everything else Jacob is just giving back what he takes in. His costumes and imitations are legendary, even at five. He believes himself to be Harry Potter , Willy Wonka, Santa, Peter from Narnia, Ebenezer Scrooge or even a Godfather on any given day, so I try not to make a bigger deal of this than I have to.

Faith doesn’t have to be scary for him and I guess there are worse things that my son could pretend to be than a priest, a candy maker or a wizard.

It’s more about me and my own beliefs.

Because I have some big issues and disagreement with a majority of the set of beliefs that have been laid out by my religion. Yet, John and I still decided to send the boys to a Catholic School.

I attended Catholic elementary and high school. I remember the indoctrination and the immersion but I also remember the pure, beautiful and healing emotion I still feel every time I walk into a church. I know that’s why we made this decision and picked this school. We wanted something safe and familiar for them , I was just not ready to face my own questions about my convictions so soon. Like I said earlier, a naïve assumption.

When I was a girl growing in the Catholic faith I knew even then that I would never agree with everything I was being told but I also knew that I knew this Jesus, that I sought him in good and bad times that I chose to BELIEVE.

I hear the boys singing Call Me Maybe followed by This Little Light of Mine, they like both songs, sing both with joy and vivacity in their off key voices.

I smile.

I wish I still had that kind of Faith. I wish I had something to truly believe in these days.

But I’m glad to drink from their well of conviction for the time being until I find my own way.





Half of My Heart (Pour Your Heart Out)




Earlier this year my mom and stepdad got into their car and spent the better part of May cruising down the east coast with states like North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in their sites. They had carefully planned their excursion, their eyes starry and wide open to the beginning of the third chapter of their lives.

I say third because I always think that the first chapter of their lives was the one that involved different spouses and raising the children of those marriages. The second chapter of their lives began ten years ago when they married one another and now as they stamped “RETIRED” onto their resumes it was time to give serious consideration to the place where they would grow old together and write that joyful third chapter.

I’ve known this was coming. Our whole family has known that as soon as my stepdad put away his button down shirts and ties that the plan included the sale of their houses here in the northern half of the country and a move south.

My brain knew but it seems my heart still hasn’t gotten the memo.

I remember being an angsty twenty-something and declaring quite emphatically, that “I never wanted (or needed for that matter) to live near my mom.” I was a typical woman-child and completely convinced that I would be independent and capable of taking care of myself for the rest of my life. I certainly didn’t need my mom.

Of course, I was wrong. Completely, utterly and thankfully WRONG.

Mothers are the ones who give roots and wings. Just read any back- to- school post that has been published in the last month and you’ll see that. Our children are moving away from us from the moment we take them in our arms. We, as their moms, are put in charge of making a heart and a home that always welcomes them back, from the time they wave to us from the bus on that first day of school.

It’s a delicate, heart-breaking and heart-filling, dance that never really stops.

It didn’t stop when I went away to college or when moved into my first or seventh apartment, it didn’t stop when I endured my first or my sixty-eighth broken heart. It didn’t slow down when I went from being a single girl to an engaged woman or a blushing bride. The music still played and we still tapped, shuffled, swayed and waltzed as I survived those years of infertility and welcomed a pregnancy and then the boys into our family.

Plus with every dance, I ended up moving closer to her; emotionally and geographically. While my siblings are hours from her, I revel in the fact that my mom can watch the boys grow up from twenty minutes away. She is never too far; she is available for dinners and celebrations, birthday parties and last minute babysitting. My mom can drop in on any given night and when she does my heart is happy to have her not only in our home but in our lives.

She has always been my compass. My North Star and having her close is comforting.

She is the other half of my heart, the part that completes me.

But her new chapter is starting.  For Sale signs hang in the windows of their houses and two venues have been chosen, Georgia or Florida. None of them is only two towns away so each one feels like it’s just too far away.

Just like you’d never stop your children from taking their first steps or blazing their own trails, I am reminded that my wish for her to stay close is born of my own fear and selfishness.

While my mom was making her way down the eastern seaboard my I was reading the sequel to Life From Scratch, called Measure of Love by my good friend Melissa Ford. There was a line in the book that hit me in the chest and has stayed on my mind for months now.

“I can’t believe that she left me to the most important grieving I may ever do on my own. Without her next to me.”- from Measure of Love by Melissa Ford.

The simple truth is that my mom is not dying or even leaving me, she will be only a plane or car ride away. Phones, emails and face time will make it possible for us to talk and see one another whenever we want. Plus there will vacations/visits in beautiful places.

So why does like half of my heart hurt so? 


Pouring My Heart with Shell from Things I Can’t Say. 

“WOW” is Really the Only Word that Does it Justice

On Sunday our family took a trip to NYC.

That’s nothing new about that, you know that we try to get into the BIG APPLE as much as we possibly can, but this past  Sunday was the day before the boys started Kindergarten.



I wrote last week about what a big weepy mess I was, but after I published that piece it was almost like the weepiness dissipated and I was left with a very hazy existence. There is just so much to do in the days after you say goodbye to one place and then say hello to a new one.  It was as if I was too busy to cry.

I won’t lie, our goodbyes to Cambridge Day School were teary and included a lot of hugs, a lot of whispered “THANK YOU’s” from me as a wave of disbelief overtook me, but there was no sobbing. In fact, what I felt was an enormous amount of gratitude and happiness that my sons and my family had been cared for by such an incredible organization and group of people for five years.

How did five years go by so fast?

Everyone should be so lucky. 

So as we strolled Central Park and took in the hustle and bustle of 5th Ave, I smiled and tried to just breathe and take it all in.

While they raced around their favorite playground, I asked the boys about their lives right now:


Giovanni & Jacob on the day before Kindergarten 2013


And then, before we knew it, it was Monday morning.

The first day of Kindergarten would be a short one with moms and dads required to attend. Our session would be from 12:30pm-2:30pm.

We woke up and spent the morning running errands, having breakfast at our favorite diner, I even found time to get my nails done.


new backpacks, new *adorable* socks &

awesome new shirts from Grandma & Pop-Pop 

Then we made our way to school.

We found our names and introduced ourselves. Jacob had some advice for me, “Mommy, I don’t think you should stand here with just me, I’m going to learn some new friends and you should too.”  

He’s a smart cookie.

Their new teacher asked them to sit on the carpet for Circle Time and we all learned about morning prayers, the Pledge of Allegiance and how they’d start their day every morning.

As they answered questions and spelled words I felt a huge swell of  pride and pure joy as I realized how big and smart my sons are in this moment.

They are so READY for this new adventure. 

It was probably the only time I felt tears prick the sides of my eyes that day, just watching them listen as Mrs. K read THE KISSING HAND. Afterwards, we  kissed each other’s palms, setting our love there to remind us that we were always together even when we were apart.


The rest of our time there was spent going over ADULT stuff while the class did a craft and had a snack, before we knew it it was time to go.

The boys smiled and waved, talking all the way home about tomorrow and the BUS RIDE.

Just as an aside, John and I never took the bus we walked or got a ride to school from K-12th grade. So THE BUS was something that I knew we couldn’t avoid but I also had a lot of questions, doubts, OMGWILLTHEYBEOKAY? about.

I should have known that worrying was silly.

My boys GOT THIS.

The next morning our new Nanny/Babysitter came and we all sorted out the early morning: getting dressed, being fed, packing lunch, putting our backpacks on together. Then we all went to the bus stop.

Jacob let Gio know that everything was going to be okay…


and when the bus pulled up, both boys climbed the stairs


and without a tear shed or even a look back, they were off…

August2013KindergartenJacobontheBus2…to KINDERGARTEN. 



When we were waiting to see if our In-Vitro had worked John and I used to sing to the embryos they had placed inside me. “YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE” will always be a very special song to us because once we found out we were indeed pregnant we continued to sing the song to them until they came into our world on January 8th.

My little SUNSHINES on their First Kindergarten Day.



 I have so many things to say, but for now I’m hoping our smiles, these pictures,

are saying all the things that my heart wants to.

A Big Weepy, Messy Ball of Confusion (Pour Your Heart Out)

We came home from the beach; rested, tanned and a little glum.

It’s never easy saying goodbye to the places that refresh your soul.

The vacation was needed, for all us. It gave us family time: laughter time, lake time, holding-hands time. Staying-up-late and sleeping-in time, nothing –on- but- a- bathing-suit time all happening with a golden sun in the sky and gentle breeze cooling us when the walk from sand to sea felt too taxing.


But I also held back tears as we drove away, the red FOR SALE sign peeking out from the window off the living room where the boys challenged each other in Wii golf, tennis and baseball when we weren’t busy making sand castles.

It might be our last summer at the marina house if things go as planned for my retired parents.

My cheeks were slick with salty tears as I finally admitted that this time we were coming home not to settle into a year’s old routine but rather to ready ourselves for a new one.

I’ve been staring off into space most of this week, trying to capture every feeling and like fireflies not being able to close the lid long enough to save them.

I’ve walked into the daycare that has helped raise my sons every morning this week with a pounding heart, teary eyes and shaking knees. Oh how  I will miss those walls, those bulletin boards, those AMAZING, WONDERFUL, INSPIRATIONAL women who have taken good care of MY FAMILY these last five years. How do I ever thank them for all they’ve done?

I am reluctant to leave, so I stand rooted in place these days, just like I in the ocean, digging my toes in and holding on, quietly hoping for just a “few more minutes.”



Words are not coming easy.

Emotions, however, are.

I am weepy, nostalgic, scared and excited.

I am nervously nauseous, butterflies the size of jet airliners spinning in my tummy.

Trying to collect my thoughts.



My sons must be feeling the same because they vacillate between palpable eagerness to become Kindergartners to sullen and teary moments of doubt and confusion.

I’m going to miss my friends, mommy. The ones that I know. I know their names. The ones who know that I love Harry and Narnia.”

I was a good mother, I told Jacob and Giovanni that they would make new friends, have new adventures, learn incredible new stuff, but my heart knew what they were really saying.

Everything is changing and I’m afraid.”

And my heart silently answered, “I know, me too.”

I took them one by one up onto my lap and kissed the top of their sun-kissed hair.

Endings, beginnings, memories and anticipation flood my dreams.

So I stand here, a weepy, messy ball of confusion as the winds of change swirl around us.




My miracle sons, my baby boys, start Kindergarten on Monday, August 26th.


Pouring my Heart Out with Shell this week.

When Hope is a Four Letter Word {Ketchup With Us}


Mel of According to Mags and Michele of Old Dog New Tits are back with Ketchup with Us.

Ketchup With Us

This time they asked to think about (and then write about) the roller coasters of life.


Roller-coasters: I’ve been quite a few during my life:

College (I finally graduated at 28) , dating (and sex) before I got married, cancellations of various Law & Order franchises, but the one whirlwind ride my life took from 2003 until 2008 remains the one that took my breath away, at times left me dizzy, hopeless and convinced that I would never see the end of the ride.

It was called INFERTILITY.



While you stand in line for the ride, you are excited, expectant (which ends up being completely ironic) and cheerfully optimistic.

But over time after you’ve been tossed and tumbled, dipped and stalled : your tummy aches, your head spins, your heart hurts & you  begin to wonder if HOPE is just a four letter word.

Then…a miracle.


(or two)


Join Mel and Michele for Ketchup With Us!



I’m Proof That Ignorance is Bliss {Pour Your Heart Out}

Last month my sons graduated from Pre-K.



Unless you follow me on social media sites, you probably didn’t know that because here in The Corner I am living in a constant state of denial about their age, about the fact that they are starting Kindergarten in a little more than a month, about the changes that are going to be in place when I have children who “Go to School.”

To me it’s just not possible that the little boys I struggled for 4 years and then 35 long, scary, OMG weeks to bring into this world are old enough to be ready for Kindergarten.


The class sang about 10 songs from the ABC’s, to the Isty Bitty Spider,

to Baby BumbleBee to illustrate all the songs 

they have learned since the Infant Room. (Cue: TEARS) 



I’m normally okay with change. I’m not much of a planner anyway so I can generally be persuaded into ignoring “that which I don’t really feel like dealing with” but with this it’s almost as if I am making a concerted effort to just look the other way and wave my hands as if to say…”NOT TALKING ABOUT IT! MY GOD WE HAVE TIME..LOTS OF TIME BEFORE THIS HAPPENS!”


But you all know that’s not true (and sadly so do I).

August 26th is going to be here before I know it and that means that changes are afoot.

Slowly but surely I am trying to embrace  the inevitable.

So on Monday we ventured to (the 8th ring of hell) Toys R Us and a mere 45 minutes later we walked out with new backpacks and lunch boxes.


We’ve interviewed and hired (thank you a babysitter for the mornings who will come in from 6-8am, get the boys dressed, fed and on the bus every morning so that we can get to work and be able to pick them up by 5pm every night. She’s awesome and I’m excited about adding her to our “family”. (Her claim to fame?In her 20’s she worked for the Bon Jovi family..yes! that one!)


I only cry in the privacy of my own bathroom when I realize that I’m going to  need to buy higher heels or Gio is going to be taller than me sooner than later.

I only laugh in the privacy of my own bathroom when I see Jacob pretend to be Harry Potter or Willy Wonka or a “Godfather” (Jacob is currently SMITTEN with Catholic Church and everything about it since we started going to mass with them back in April in preparation for their Catholic School education. Instead of using the term “PRIEST” he prefers “The GodFather” ..which actually makes sense if you think about it and stop laughing. )


I have lots of funny stories about my sons that I’m just not telling here. Instead I get lost in a fictional world and story. It’s not that I don’t want to share Giovanni and Jacob with you, I think it’s more that they are a part of my life that I want to keep for myself.

But I will tell you…

That they love doing the Geico commercial with the CAMEL> HUMP DAY!

Funniest thing you will ever hear is when Gio will say “Guess. WHAT. DAY.IT.IS.”

Jacob’s love affair of church has extended to him singing the Alleluia and Gloria whenever and wherever he feels like it and every day we walk into daycare now to be told that he has performed a mass that day. (I guess we can stop going to church on Sundays. LOL)


Gio loves cars and math and is a CANDY CRUSH aficionado. In fact,  if you can’t get past a level just hand over your phone/tablet/mouse, he’ll work it out. He’s sensitive and funny, he’s introspective and so smart it scares me sometimes.


Giovanni June 2013

Jacob is an ACTOR. He is impatient and distracted, he is creative and draws better than any 5 yr old I know. He can recite movies in British accents and is already so fashionable and outgoing.


Jacob June 2013


Both boys are friendly, kind and empathetic (Unless it’s with each other and then they are beating the crap out of each other).

Girls adore them and they eat it up, enjoying the females in their classes as much as the boys.


and me, well I’m just coasting along.

I know it’s coming.

Kindergarten is coming.

Our goodbye to the daycare/dayschool(and every incredible teacher and staff member who has helped us raise our children for the past 5 years) they have been students of since they were 6 months old is coming.

and I don’t know if I’ll ever really be ready for any of it, but I know it’s coming and when I’m not denying it, I’m trying to embrace it too.



 Pouring my Heart Out with Shell at Things I Can’t Say. 

Proud Mommy Moments: Mel from According to Mags is Visiting


I thought that I was finished with Proud Mommy Moments, (honestly I thought all of you were too)

but then I started meet new writers, new bloggers, awesome mommies and daddies and I realized that these stories you share with us are just as important as any social media or Facebook status.

They are integral to the bond we all have as parents. Sure we can complain and lament parenting together, but it’s the moments that we celebrate it together that keeps us laughing, writing and connected to one another.

So I’m bringing Proud Mommy (PARENTING) moments back once a month.
(if you are interested in sharing your own moment just email or FB me, I would love to host you. )

When I decided to bring this series back I had a few people in mind to help me kick it off. Luckily one of my favorite people, blogger and mommy, said yes right away, making me feel humbled and lucky to call her a friend.

According To Mags

Mel from According to Mags, is an awesome human being.

A teacher by trade, her most important job is mothering and you can feel it with every post she publishes. From the funny to the sincere, to the downright SILLY she never fails to make me think of things in a new way or more often than not have soda spraying out of my nose as she relates the conversations she has with her two incredible children.

Her gift in writing is her honesty and her genuine love for the process.

Also, she has not problem poking fun at herself and encouraging the rest of us to follow her lead.
Plus every 1st and 15th of the month she and her friend Michele of OldDogNewTits bring us the fun meme of


Ketchup With Us

I mean , how could you not love a woman who dresses up like a bottle of ketchup and then asks us about our favorite books, memorable vacations, our secret guilty pleasures or gives us a space to talk about our families?

I love her because she has a huge heart, a great sense of humor and a lovely introspective spirit (she also knows the healing power of NAPS). Plus she adores her family and is a mommy who inspires me to cherish every moment (funny or frustrated) with my own children.

She’s here today to share a really beautiful moment about the bond between moms and children.

Truth is,  we all need our moms, no matter how old we get.

I give you Mel’s Proud Mommy Moment:




Call home to check on kids:

Me: “I got a text from Tucker that he has a headache?”

Mother-in-law: “Yeah. His temperature was 102.5.”

Me: “Okay. We’re on our way home.”

Mother-in-law: “He told me that he just wants his mom.”

Me: (melting) “Tell him I’ll be there soon!” 


When I was younger, I can remember babysitting for my cousins and friends’ children. No matter how close I was to them, how many of their diapers I changed or how much I played with them, when they got hurt or felt sick, they always wanted their moms. I was certain there was a space in a child’s heart that was reserved for the love and affection of his or her mother. A place that cannot be whole unless his or her mother filled it. I knew this place well. No matter how old I got, I still NEEDED my mother at times when no one, no matter how close they were to me, would suffice. Her voice calmed me in seconds, rationalized my most irrational mood, tamed my most crazy moments and above all, made me feel complete, accepted and secure. 


I knew the side of NEED well. That is, until I had my first baby. Then, everything changed. My world spun and I became someone’s mom. I was thrust to the other side of that place in a heart. I became the filler and NOTHING in the world could have prepared me for the strength and endurance it takes to hold that role. No one could have explained the absolute exhilaration you felt to be able to be the one to kiss a boo-boo away, to bring a smile to a face just by walking into a room, to be a shield, to be a gentle nudge, to be someone’s EVERYTHING. 


Nothing in the world could have prepared me for the greatest role I’ve ever had in my life. I think that if someone had tried to tell me, I wouldn’t have believed them anyway. How can something that great and pure exist? 


Simple. It lies completely in the eyes of your child.


 Mel and her handsome son, Tuck.

Didn’t I tell you she’s amazing?

Here are some places you can find her…


Like According To Mags on Facebook

Follow @AccordingtoMags on Twitter

and please go and discover the beautiful podcast she and her husband write and produce:

 Night Light Stories podcast, featuring original children’s stories.

Thank you  so much for being here Mel.

I’m so glad that you were the Mommy that brought these Moments back to the Corner.

I am honored and humbled to have you here today.


Essence of Now (The Catch Up Version)

Essence of Now


Have you ever gotten caught up in the vortex of your own blogging life?

The place where you have a laundry list of things you want to write about, share, engage people with and then you just get sucked into another writing prompt or another meme?

This is what has happened to me lately.

I mean if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram (or even Twitter) you know that I will take pictures often enough to keep you in the loop with my life, but when Friday rolls around I run out of time to do a good Essence of Now post.

SO today, what I am going to share is a culmination of my favorite pictures (stories) from the past few weeks.


We’ve been to beach…Pt Pleasant on the New Jersey Shore a few times already.
The salt air is good for the soul, the boys sat the bar for the first time and Jacob got over his fear of “rides”

( we  even came home with” Sprinkles” on one trip..more on that story next week)







and then bless our little JERSEY HEARTS, the parents of this little girl let me take her picture…

I cannot tell you how much I adore this. PHOTOGRAPH anyone?


We’ve been to the BIG APPLE of course…

hanging out in Central Park, enjoying the weather, getting our fill of the playgrounds. May2013NYCGio&JacobonRocks



John and I even had a day in NYC ourselves in April to see THE DAILY SHOW with Jon Stewart

it was so much fun!



Back at home…

Hmmm, well there have been BIRTHDAY PARTIES (for other children) at Build-a-Bear

April2013JacobGioandBearsforblog April2013Jacob&Spidermanforblog



This is the boys and Gio’s best friend (dare I say girlfriend?)  Sydney.

Isn’t she a cutie?

I was syndicated on BlogHer with a really personal story that is taking votes for VOTY.


And last week the boys had their Kindergarten Screening.

My sons are old enough to go to Kindergarten in the fall.



I think it’s safe to say that things have been busy but GOOD.


and I’m learning that NO ONE Rocks a hat like Jacob


Have a wonderful weekend!

Or link up your own pictures and stories with Essence of Now with

Natalie of Mama Track & Jessica of My Time as Mom.