Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter Salsa

Emma: Is it still Hannukah?

Carina: No, Hannukah is over.

Emma: Why?

Carina: Because Hanukkah is before Christmas

We then started talking about specific people we know and whether they do or don't celebrate Christmas.

Mike: He doesn't celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah. He celebrates something else.

Emma: Oh! The Winter Salsa?!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's the Thought that Counts

Image picked by Emma.
Emma:  Is Christmas about caring?

Carina:  (laugh)  Yes, Christmas is about caring.  On Christmas, we show each other that we care.  Where did you hear that?

Emma:  I don't know.  My brain?  But what about the presents?

Carina:  Well, on Christmas we give each other presents.  One day, you'll be able to give us presents.

Emma:  Eh?

Carina:  Yeah, you can pick your own presents that you want to give to people.  I can help you with that if you want.  Who do you want to give presents to?

Emma:  Bella!

Carina:  And what would you want to get her?

Emma:  Uh, she needs earrings because she lost her baby squid earring, so she needs a new one.  We can go to Wegmans and get earrings in the jewelry section of Wegmans.

Carina:  (laugh)  Ok, yes, we can do that.  Who else?  What would you want to get Bello?

Emma:  A tool.  Because he works a lot.  A tool that will help him paint tables.

Carina:  So you want to get him a brush?

Emma:  No!  Not a brush!  He has brushes.  He needs a tool that will dry the paint for him so he doesn't have to wait while the paint dries.

Carina:  Wow.  That's so very thoughtful Emma.  Ok, how about Grammy?

Emma:  Heart earrings.  Yeah, heart earrings.

Carina:  Uncle Sammy?

Emma:  I don't know Uncle Sammy that well.  What does he like?

Carina:  What do you think?

Emma:  Well...he likes me...

Carina:  So, you want to give him a picture of yourself?

Emma:  No, I want to get him a crown.  A toy boy crown.

Carina:  (laugh) about Daddy?

Emma:  Daddy needs a tool too.  A wrench!  Not a screwdriver.  He already has a screwdriver.  Oh, and Miles!  I want to get Miles a super-fly-high helicopter!

I just loved how honest and thoughtful all of her responses were.  Obviously some of these gifts aren't possible, or are things you already have.  I just thought I'd share because - after all - it's the thought that counts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A student walks in to the library...

Student:  "Hi.  I was looking for a book that I'm hoping you have.  Have you heard of a story called Beowulf?"

Somehow I kept a straight face...

Me:  "Yes...I've heard of Beowulf and I'm sure we have it.  Let me just look up where it is."

Beowulf, according to Dewey, is 829.3, so off I go towards the stacks with the student following behind.  

Student:  "History?  Why are we in the history section?" he said rather nervously.  "I thought Beowulf was fantasy.  I don't want history!"

Me:  "Actually, this is the literature section.  You know that Beowulf is old right?  Like really REALLY old?  Some consider it to be the first story EVER?"

Student:  "You mean, Beowulf is like the first ever fantasy?  COOL!"

Keep it cool, keep it cool...

Me:  "Which English would you like it in?"

Student:  (blank stare)

Again, I somehow maintained a straight face.

Me:  "Beowulf was written so long ago that it was written in an English that is very different from the English was speak today.  Here let me show you."

This was obviously the first time the student had ever heard of Old English or was introduced to it.  It was an amazing thing to see his eyes light up and his jaw drop open.  

Student:  "This is English?!  Do you have Beowful in like now English?"

In the end, the student walked out of the library with a facing-pages copy of Beowulf with Old English on one side and modern English on the other.  That was an awesome experience and I just can't stop laughing.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012


Things my daughter drew tonight:

A giant surfboard so that everyone in the entire world can surf on it.

A two giant surfboard so that Emma and Miles can surf.

A surfboard contraption (her words).

A water holder machine with an on and off button.

A duck that really looked like a duck.

A Lotdog with legs like a doggy and a hotdog on it's back. (said like hotdog)

A man digger contraption.

A Seven-eyed eye grabber that picks eyes off your glasses so a new eye can grow in.

The cells in her body trying to get rid of the cheese and dairy. (She was stuffed up last night and we
told her it was probably because of the food she ate)

A none-eye fanner (No idea) with two faces that have eyes.

A giant duckling.

A none-eye Snake with four eyes so little that you can't see them, and they just need some glasses.

A dragon-face body with wings from a pegasus.

A cell-lady. (It actually looked like a cell too, but with a smiling face.)

A dog with three legs and a pegasus.

A fruit painter and a door for the fruit painter's house with a smiley face.

Three silly bags of food.

A flan and a flish.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Emma Time

Mike: Emma, do you know how long mommy and daddy have been married?

Emma: 20 days?

Mike: 6 years.

Emma: I don't believe it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stir-fry Love

Emma:  Do we put love in our food?
Carina:  Love?
Emma:  Yeah, like Theresa.
Carina:  Theresa puts love in her food?
Emma:  Yeah.  Do we?
Carina:  I guess so.  What do you think Daddy?  Do we put love in our food?
Daddy:  With every stir.
Emma:  Only in stir-fry?!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Allergic to Rainstorms

(While watching the rain storm).

Emma:  Achoo!
Mike:  Bless you.
Emma:  Daddy, I love watching rainstorms with you - achoo - but I think I'm allergic to rainstorms.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Funny Log - Maine Edition

Since we didn't really have much access to the internet, we kept a log of all of the funny things said while we were in Maine.  Enjoy:


Emma:  Are we there yet?  (Said about 2 miles from our house on the way to Maine).


Emma:  Can I have a hug Daddy?
Mike:  Not right now Emma.  I can't.  I'm driving.
Emma:  Mommy, can you hug me?
Carina:  I'm sorry honey.  I can't get to you right now either.  We're in the car.
Emma:  Can we have a group hug when we get to Maine?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where we could go.

Carina and Mike were enjoying a pie in the sky discussion about sailing around the world. Emma listens to all this and chimes in rather firmly with the following:
Emma: If we had a car, we could drive to China!

Emma's Story


Excuse me, I'm going to tell you a story.

Once, long ago, there were two bugs and friends who wanted to go to the park.

They went to the first park, but there were humans sitting there!

They went to a second park, but there were humans there too.

So they went to a third park and there was nobody there so they played happily ever after the end.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

She Knows Facebook?!

Carina:  Emma, which picture do you like for this next blog post?

This one...

or this one...

Emma:  I like the first one.  Let's put it on facebook!

Holy Sneeze

Emma:  Achoo!

Carina:  Bless you.

Emma:  I'm so blessuous!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chicken Bottom

Miles: Well I get my eggs right from the farm, Emma.
Emma: Oh really?
Miles: Yes, they taste so much better because they come right from the chicken's bottom and then I eat them.
Emma: MMMM! That sounds GREAT!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Birthday Wish for Retta

Retta holding baby Emma
The following is a request.  Please add Retta and Jack Sheerin to your prayer/thought/casting/whatever-you-call-it lists.

Many of you know Retta.  For those who do not, she's been a friend of mine for about 15 years; was maid of honor at my wedding as I was at hers, and has had a really rough time the past few years.  Here's an idea of some of their recent challenges:  Her husband, Jack, lost his father, his job, and Retta developed hyperthyroidism which resulted in having to have her thyroid removed.  And all that happened in the same year that they were married!

But they never gave up.  This bullet-proof couple just kept working at their dreams; believing in each other with complete faith.  They decided to become even more self reliant (if that's even possible) and buy a farm.

However, life has once again decided to get in their way.  On the evening of May 18, Jack was in a traumatic motorcycle accident.  He was driving alone when he hit a deer and was whipped to the ground.  If not for some neighbors who found him, it's unsure how long he would have been left there.

Jack & Retta at their wedding
The accident left him with a contusion on his hip, a broken collar bone, and short term memory loss.  He's currently at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange.  The outlook is quite good, but recovering from brain damage takes time, the patience to deal with it, and a lot of faith.

For those unfamiliar with this kind of injury (as I was), Jack currently has trouble converting short term memory to long term memory.  I'm sure others reading this could explain it far better than I can, but the bottom line is that he only remembers what's been told to him for about an hour or so.  That means Retta has had to tell Jack that he's been in a motorcycle accident dozens of times over the past couple of weeks because each time he wakes up, he doesn't remember what happened to him, where he is, or why he can't do things by himself right now.  A comic reference would be the movie 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.  Obviously there's nothing funny though about having a spouse that remembers little every morning and to whom you have to relive the whole awful thing again and again.

At Theresa's Baby Sprinkle
As I said before, the outlook is good.  Don't get me wrong.  We think that Jack will be fine in the end.  This is just a very trying time and I needed to write about it.  There's very little I can do for them right now besides being there for Retta on the phone when she's not in the middle of making major medical decisions for Jack or keeping him from trying to leave the facility because he doesn't understand that he's injured.

And considering the fact that Retta is 5'2" and Jack is 6'6" that ain't easy!

What can you possibly say to a friend who is going through something like that?  Who has already gone through so much yet always seems to persevere with a grace and resilience that I can't fathom?  When something like this happens - to someone that means so much to you - all of your problems and issues seem so stupid!  Everything you worry about like bills or cleaning the house zooms out until it looks like a speck of dust that you can just blow away.  It's all so insignificant and you feel insignificant for having worried about all of that in the first place.

A rude lesson for the last two beautiful people who needed such a lesson.

The reason I'm writing this today instead of earlier is because I was lying in bed unable to sleep, thinking about things.  My mind wandered as to what I could possibly do to help Retta and Jack at a time like this.  Especially because - get this...

...tomorrow is Retta's birthday.

So for her birthday I would like to send as much love and thought her way as I can.  It's the best I can do.  Will you help me?

(I wish I had more pictures of Retta and Jack, but they're both very private people and expert camera dodgers!  I'll post more as I find them.)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Prehistoric Patriotism

Emma was in the backseat while I was driving, playing with an American Flag sticker that she'd just been given for Memorial Day.

Emma:  Mommy, how many symbols are there?

Carina:  Symbols of what honey?

Emma:  Symbols on the flag?

Carina:  You mean how many stars are on the American Flag?

Emma:  No, how many velociraptors?


Emma:  Yeah, how many symbols - like velociraptors - are on the American Flag?

How do you respond to something like that?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Irony in plant form

Mike: This peace lily looks AWESOME!  It looks like a Mace stuck into a flower!
Carina: HAH! PEACE lily! MACE! HAH!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Carina: So I think I'd like to go for a (and she says the following letters individually, spelling out the word so little furry doggy and three year old ears can't understand, in case we don't actually DO the thing mentioned) W - A - L - K.  What do you think?  Want to come?
Mike:  I'm still eating, and I think I might like to take a (spelling again) B - I - C - K ride.
Carina: A bick ride?
Mike: Oh... right.  Yeah. Umm... Bike...  Bike ride. I can spell... Really.


During dinner, Carina dropped her potato on the floor.

Carina:  (In an Irish accent).  Ach!  I dropped me potato on the floor!
Emma:  (Imitating Carina).  Potato on the floor...
Carina:  (Laughing)  If there's one thing I've learned about being an elementary teacher, it's that kid love accents!
Emma:  Accents?  Like pee and poop?  Kids like accents?!
Carina:  No Emma!  That's accidents!

I think Mike fell out of the chair at that point laughing so hard.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Ma B: (On seeing Emma's playroom in it's normal messy state) Emma, how can you find anything in this room?
Emma: You turn on the light!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Color Blind Beauty

Carina:  Do you want to go for a walk Emma?
Emma:  Yes, I want to go for a short walk.  To the place with the girl that's a different color.
Carina:  What?
Emma:  The girl whose a different color than me.
Carina:  Color of what?
Emma:  The girl.
Carina:  What color are you Emma?
Emma:  White.  And the girl is white too but brown too, like me.
Carina:  You mean her hair?  Her skin?
Emma:  No mommy!  Her house!  Her house is white and brown like mine!  *Then she rolls her eyes at me.*

Monday, April 23, 2012

Favorite House!

Emma: I like Bella's house better than our house.
Mike: Why?
Emma: Because Bella's voice is so terrific!
Mike: Oh.  Good reason.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012


Emma: Wow, that's a Liout!
Mike: What's a Liout?
Emma: It's a lion with a lions head and a snakes body.
Mike: Oh, of course, how did I not know that?
Emma: I don't know! Emma runs off yelling: It's a job for Snake! Got it!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thank You Mom and Dad

I was watching this television show and the episode was about a woman who was in her early thirties and still didn't quite know what she wanted to do with her life.  Much of the episode involved flashbacks of her parents and their none-too-subtle comments about what she should be and what she should do with her life.  They expected her to be a lawyer, have two kids by the time she was thirty, and no other path was acceptable or even conceivable to them.

They thought this is what would make their daughter happy because it's what would make THEM happy.

This obviously leads the character to make a series of horrible mistakes in her life because most of her decisions are made under pressure out of the desire to please her parents.  A direct quote from the show is "I am suffocating under your collective disappointment."

Most times I like to watch such realistic fiction because I can relate to the character.  I like leaving a show feeling a connection with what I've just seen; having been somehow affirmed or vindicated.  But as I clicked my laptop closed I realized that...this is one problem I never had.

My parents never made me feel like I HAD to do or be anything but happy.  I was never pressured to become a doctor or a lawyer (not that there is anything wrong with either profession - they just aren't me).  No matter what I wanted to be at the time, they supported me and allowed me to make the decision myself. 

When I was just an 8th grader and decided that I wanted to be a marine biologist (because I really wanted to be a vet but I'm allergic to animals), they allowed me to do research on the Marine Academy of Science and Technology - a special magnet high school for those seeking careers in the ocean sciences.  I have no idea if they were just placating me, but it sure felt like they were ready to let me move to Cape May to follow that dream, if that's what I wanted.

When I decided to be a computer animator in high school, they drove me all the way to the Rochester Institute of Technology to let me see for myself if this was something I wanted to do.  But RIT didn't have a band, they didn't sing musicals, and they expected me to draw....on be a computer animator.  Definitely not the place for me.

But again, they let me make my own decision.  They didn't dismiss my ideas.

When I eventually decided on a college that was "just a liberal arts school" they fully supported me.  There were many reasons I fell in love with TCNJ, but I'll be honest.  The brand-spanking-new acoustic music hall is what really had me weak in the knees for the place.  I need music in my life to learn well and be happy.  I knew that about myself back then, even if I wasn't aware of it nor was I able to articulate it. 

I'm not sure they understood it either, but they supported me.

After TCNJ I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I had an English degree but had no desire to teach English.  I played around with being a Science Fiction editor for a real long time.  I even worked at Realms of Fantasy, the largest magazine in the world devoted to fantasy, for 4 years as their slush editor - FOR FREE - because I thought it would lead to a career in publishing.  It didn't.  And they probably knew that it never would because most publishing houses are in cities and I HATE cities.  But they just let me do my thing anyway, rolled their eyes, shrugged, and smiled.

I lived in different places with different roommates.  Bought a house when I was only 21.  Hopped from clerical job to clerical job, sang my operas...and just...lived.  My parents never once made me feel like I wasn't the most incredible, most accomplished person on the planet.  They had complete faith in me.  Or at least they had me happily fooled.  They always made me feel competent and like I was "going places."

Like the character in the television show I was watching, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life either.  At least in regards to a career.  I didn't figure that out either until I'd turned about 30 too.  Once I figured it out, I went back to school, got my masters, and now I'm finally doing something that is truly fulfilling.  Sure, I complain about my job like everybody else, but it really is finally a good fit for me.  I get to learn about everything and anything every day, while making a difference, and still singing on the side.  My cup of tea.

Yet my parents remained unsurprised.  It's like they'd already been here and had already seen what I would accomplish before I could.  They taught me to always follow my gut and to have the confidence to go for it; that I can do anything.  I know far too many people, and have far too many friends, whose parents did not give them that same level of respect and trust when they were young, and it's now that they're really suffering for it.  They're paralyzed; incapable of moving forward because they are stuck in their own past.  But thanks to my parents, that's not me. 

I can do anything.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

Your daughter,
The Librarian

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Phone Protocol

Mike had a late meeting today, so Emma and I had to start dinner without him.  We try to have dinner together as much as possible, so Mike "phoned in" from the road.  I put him on speaker so Emma, Mike, and I could still talk while having dinner. 

Emma:  I made a racecar today Daddy.
Mike:  You made a racecar today?
Emma:  Yeah, in school.
Mike:  Oh, that's great!  Can I see it when I get home?
Emma:  It doesn't have wheels.
Mike:  Oh.  Well that's ok.  Will you show it to me when I get home?
Emma:  No.  I left it at school.
Mike:  Oh.
Emma:  Ok bye.

Emma then tries to hang up on Mike.

Carina:  No!  Don't hang up on Daddy!
Emma:  Why?
Carina:  Because I'M not done talking to him yet.
Emma:  Oh.  After you're done, can I hang up on him?

Game On!

Emma has started playing video games by herself.  Her current favorite is Diego Safari Adventure. 

Carina:  Emma, it's time for dinner
Emma:  (no response)
Carina:  Emma?

Carina walks over to Emma's playroom, saves Emma's game, and holds her hand out to her.

Carina:  Emma, I said it's time for dinner.
Emma:  *sigh*  Ok.  I guess I'll have to save the elephants after dinner.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Potty Play

Carina:  (tucks Emma into bed)  Goodnight Emma.
Emma:  *whimper*
Carina:  What is it Emma?
Emma:  I have to potty.
Carina:  Are you serious?
Emma:  Yes.  I always have to go potty at night time.
Carina:  *sigh*  Alright, let's go.

After Emma is sitting on the potty a good long time...

Carina:  Are you done peeing?
Emma:  No.  It doesn't want to come out.  I think it's busy playing with the poop.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

J - O - P

Carina and I were discussing our groceries list today and this was Emma's addition to our list.
Emma: J - O - P!
Carina: What does that spell, Emma?
Emma: Chocolate Milk!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The dream told me to

Carina walks past the bottom of the stairs about an hour after we put Emma to bed and looks upstairs to see Emma playing with her My Little Pony at the top of the stairs.
Carina: You're out of bed!
Emma: Yes.
Carina: Why are you out of bed?
Emma: I had a dream.
Carina: And the dream told you to get out of bed and play with your My Little Ponies at the top of the stairs?
Emma: Yes.

Smokey the Bandit Emma

Emma:  Dad, can you help me eat my dinner?
Mike:  No Emma, you can do it yourself.
Emma:  But Dad, only you can...
Mike:  ...prevent forest fires?
Emma:  What Dad?
Mike:  Never mind.  It was a joke.
Emma:  Only you can prevent forest tires!
Mike:  (laughs)
Emma:  That was a joke!

My Tummy Says!

Emma:  (sitting at the dinner table, with an unfinished plate of food in front of her) Daddy, my tummy is full.
Mike: Oh really?
Emma: Yes.  My tummy is telling me not to eat any more.  My tummy is telling me it is time to play video games with you!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Baby Whale, no, Crow!

Emma: (sitting at her drawing table) I'm going to draw a baby whale!
Mike: Great!
Emma: No, a baby Crow!
Mike: Sure.
Emma: No, a baby dolphin that can FLY!

Girl Chewing

Emma: (while sitting down at dinner) Daddy?
Mike: Yes?
Emma: You sound like a girl when you chew.
Mike: Umm... thanks.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Unconditional Love

Emma: Bella?
Carmen (Emma's Grandmother, known to Emma as Bella, since she couldn't pronounce abuela when she was younger, and it stuck): Yes, Emma?
Emma: I love you!
Carmen: Why do you love me?
Emma: I love you because I love you! I love you even if I am far away in my house!
Carmen got teary-eyed and gave her a big hug!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mario Brothers!

Emma: Can we play Super Mario Brothers?
Carina: No, honey, we're working right now.
Emma: (five minute later) Can we play Super Mario Brothers?
Mike: I'm sorry, Emma, we're still working right now.
Emma: (3 minutes later) Can we play Super Mario Brothers?
Carina: Ok, Emma.  We can play Super Mario Brothers now.
Mike: I don't think she's excited at all.
Emma: I am! I AM!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Floor cookie

Emma drops a cookie on the floor.
Carina: Uh oh!
Emma: That's ok, I like it that way!

Walking Head

Emma: And one time my head was walking by itself, with eyes!
Mike: Really? Walking with eyes?
Emma: Yes, and with nose and mouth.
Mike: Ahh, that clears it up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A mysterious little baby

Emma: (sitting in the back seat of the car talking to herself) Here at the Gala I find a mysterious little baby.
Mike: (Slightly incredulous, and wondering if he heard her right) Emma, What did you just say?
Emma: Nothing.
Mike: You did!  You said you found a mysterious little baby!
Emma: No, I didn't!
Mike: Yes, you did!
Emma: NO, I DIDN'T!
Mike: Ok...

Pony Hair

You know you're a mom when...

You go to the bathroom in the morning and the only comb you can find is a My Little Pony Brush.  And...lacking any alternate means you actually use it to do your hair.

And your comes out FABULOUS.

And you think to yourself, "Wow, my hair looks as good as Pinkie Pie's.  Maybe I should switch permanently to this My Little Pony Brush."

And then you realize that you just considered always styling your hair with a toy and that the celebrity you wish you looked like now was an animated pony.

But hey, at least Emma will think I'm totally cool!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Emma: (after crying for about ten minutes, she gives a little forced laugh and says the following) Sometimes you just have to giggle!

Mike: Yes, Emma.  That's the truth.
Emma: Yes, it is.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Brilliant and Amazing

Emma:  Dogs are brilliant!

Carina:  Brilliant?  Seriously?  I think you're brilliant.

Emma:  I'm not brilliant.

Carina:  No?  Why not?

Emma:  I'm AMAZING!