10 Telltale Signs You May Have Watched Too Much Downton Abbey

That's me with the cast of Downton.  Or so it feels like I'm part of the family after watching too many episodes.


I'm always a day late and a dollar short to stuff.  It's typical DG form.  It took forever for me to succumb to the Twilight Books, 50 Shades of Gray, Twitter, Pinterest and other Pop Culture-y kinds of stuff.  I have to dip my toe in when it comes to things that Social Media peer pressures me into investigating.  That being said - once I give in, I almost always become completely obsessed with it and give myself a V8 hit in the forehead - like well why didn't I do that a long time ago!

About 9 months ago, my dear friend Jen at People I Want to Punch in the Throat and I were chatting and she casually asked me if I watched  Downton Abbey.  It was the first I had heard of it so I can only assume she was in the midst of a fresh love affair with the show.  I answered that I did not and she strongly encouraged me to do so - that it was really entertaining and I would love it just like she did.  I made a mental note, and as with most things, that mental note blew away in to the New Hampshire air after only a few minutes. About a month ago, she posted a blog called Which Downton Character Are You  (WARNING! THIS HAS SPOILERS SO IF YOU ARE MID-DOWNTON, PRE-DOWNTON, THINKING ABOUT DOWNTON - DO NOT READ!) anyhow, she posted that and I thought if she's posting about Downton - then it must be good.  One of my very dearest friends, Carolyn kept asking if I had watched it yet and I knew she was dying to pull me in to the obsession. Then two of my other dear blogging friends The Bearded Iris and Frugalista Blog were talking/raving about Downton and I caved.  ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT I'LL DO IT.

I was just about to re-start my Dreadmill Routine so I figured I'd grab my ipad, pull up Netflix and start watching.  My promise to myself was that I would/could only watch it on. the. treadmill.   I am now at the last episode of Season 3 and I am so beyond hooked that I think I might have a problem. (Sidenote: Netflix only has Season 1 - I downloaded Seasons 2 and 3 from itunes). Here are some telltale signs you too might be watching too much Downton Abbey...

1.  You have a desire for Tea.  And you know how I love coffee...   But all of this DA has me craving tea.  They drink tea constantly.  Worried? Tea.  Can't sleep? Tea.  Bored? Tea.  Visitor?  Tea.  TEA TEA TEA!   I only drink tea when I am on my death bed with the flu.  I'm starting to rethink and tinker with the idea of cheating on Juan Valdez.  Blasphemy - I know.  This is the power of Downton.

Which brings me to another dilemma...I feel like I really, really need a Butler.  (source:

 2.  You start to feel guilty for never polishing or using the Silver set your grandmother gave you.  And those beautiful shiny copper pots in Mrs. Patmore's kitchen make me want to give my cookware the boot.


3.  You are slightly offended that you have to make your own dinner -and even more offended once you realize that YOU are the Carson of your own home, answering your your family's dinner needs.  You eat last - and you are on clean up duty with Daisy.


4.  You are completely annoyed by the blatant mis-pronunciation of DOWNTON and you stop wondering why they didn't just name it DOWNTOWN to begin with.


5.  Out of guilt, you stop throwing dishes and silverware on the table like you did Pre-Downton and start cautiously folding the napkins with care.


6.  Upon hearing the words "I'm Laura Linney" you get an adrenaline rush.


7.  Your thoughts now have a British Accent.


8. You ask your kids to call you Mama and Papa and have to fight the urge to answer people with Yes M'Lord and Yes M'Lady.

9.  Every time you go to swear you hear Maggie Smith say "My Dear, Vulgarity is No Substitute for Wit."


 10.  Your facial expressions start to mimic/resemble Cousin Violet (Maggie Smith).

Very pleased. (google images)
Surprised. (google images)

That's all for now loves - the Dreadmill and Downton await my arrival.  I am all too excited - and to quote our Dear Cousin Violet - at my age, one must ration one's excitement.


Pinky's Up, Clinks, Cheers, and Love from the Early 1900's...


Snow Much Fun...

One of the perks to having kids...lots of volunteers for shoveling in a snowstorm.  And when I say volunteers - I mean I volunteer them to shovel.

 Snow Days.
Winter 'Vacation.'
February Break.
Those 3 terms all bring joy to kids here in New England.  You know what they bring to Moms?  2 words.

More Work.

(insert minor disclaimer...I know, enjoy them while they're young, these are the things that make fond childhood memories for your kids, suck it up buttercup..I know, I know - but this is my blog and I will vent accordingly so that I can get it out here and be bright and cheery when it's time to go back out into the Great White Arctic Tundra with the kids.)  Carry On.
"Mooooooooom, can we go outside and play in the snow?  Please, Please, Please, Please, Pleaaaaaaase?"

I knew it was coming.  Between the several feet of snow that has accumulated in the past 2 weeks, the huge snowdrifts, and their February Break - it was inevitable that I would have to take them out to play in it.  You know what this means.  A few simple steps to getting them ready to go outside and have loads o' fun right?  ((Gong. Buzzer.  X))  No.  Fun for them - yes!  Fun for Mom - not exactly.

First of all you must begin the layering process.  Long johns, long socks, warm fleecy pants, snowpants, mittens, boots, hats and all of a sudden you have Randy from a Christmas story.  Who can move with so many layers? 

I can't put my arms dowwwn!

Do you think for a minute that you were able to find everyone's everything just like that?  Inevitably, someone's mitten has gone missing, a hat hiding under a table in plain sight - someone left something at school, in their backpack, in the car - who knows.  So an easy ten minutes will be lost looking for someone's missing item.  MOOOOOMMMM WHERE'S MY ______?   MOOOMMMMM I CAN'T FIND MY _______!  MOOOOOM HE TOOK MY ________!  If you're lucky, your kids are persistent and continue to search for things with their eyes open.  Eventually everyone finds found their boots, but chances are someone is going to complain that they don't fit right.  You'll spend another five to ten minutes trying to get the inner lining of the boot to fit in the way it should, then several more struggling with your child's foot.  Those boots are so rugged, there's no way to tell whether or not their foot actually is in all the way or not.  Be prepared for someone to fall over within their first few minutes of walking.

Ok so let's just say by some miracle everyone is dressed and ready to go outside.  The first ten minutes are pure adrenaline from excitement.  This isn't so bad.     Right?   Wrong.

Moommmm can you pull us in the sled?

Immediately, you start to wonder how you became a Siberian Husky (wait, maybe it was too many comfort carby foods this winter? but that's another blog of its own)  but the look on their faces is so priceless that you push forward.   And by push forward I mean trudge through snow that is literally up to your knees and higher.  Your thighs start to burn from the exertion and then you break out in a sweat like you are in the middle of a Body Combat workout.  Hmmm, wonder how many calories this is burning?  The kids snap you out of your calorie contemplations and yell for you to go faster.  MUSH!  MUSH!!!!  You can only keep this up for another lap before you are about to fall over from exhaustion.  The kids, however, seem to just be warming up.

Of course, snow angels are next.   Do you know that snow angels are the cause of the sopping wet mess of an outdoor clothing pile that will be waiting you in just a few hours?  But nevermind that.  What child doesn't want to make his/her angel mark in the snow.  It's a simple necessity of outdoor play.  After all of this fun and innocence goes on for a while - inevitably it takes a turn and starts going downhill.  Someone - and there's always someone in a crowd of outdoorsmen who throws the first snowball and yells SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!  Immediately, my PTSD from younger years kicks in and reminds me of getting pelted in the face with a brilliantly compacted/constructed snowball from my brother or other childhood -Scut- Farkus-type of 'friend.'  Most of my outdoor memories are tarnished with traumatic memories of getting socked with snowballs.  Why is it so hysterically funny to bomb someone with ice cold flying snow?  I still to this day do not know.  One time when we were dating, my husband hit me with one and I had to lay down the law.  Do not ever.  Ever.  I mean never - do that again.  He knew I meant business - and I think part of him felt sorry for me for the extreme trauma that surged through my body when I said it.  Some horrific childhood memories just don't go away.

Most likely, the driving force that brings outdoor play to a halt is either they are too cold, someone got hit in the face with a flying snow torture device, someone can't feel their feet or hands, or someone has to pee.  Any of those things happen, and the show is over.  Now the work really begins for you.

Everyone trudges back inside - and if you're like me and don't have a 'mudroom' this is where it gets tricky.  For me, it means besides my own outerwear, 3 pairs of snow- filled boots , 3 pairs of sopping wet mittens, 3 hats, 3 coats, and of course - everyone pretending like they don't know how to remove snowpants.  Someone is tripping, falling over, playing drama king and yelling but I have to peeeeee!!  What's left is a trail of wet outerwear covering my kitchen floor and three boys fighting to get to the bathroom first.

You can't even begin to tackle the pile because you are now putting on your kitchen maid's hat to prepare the long-awaited cup of hot chocolate - which I think is the real reason anyone goes out in the snow in the first place.  Add some marshmallows and whip cream and now the kids will be on a sugar high while they are thawing out from the freezer burns  from being outside. Soon everyone will be so exhausted from overexertion in the snow, and the sugar crash, they will end up fast asleep somewhere on the couch - leaving your quiet time to be spent doing the countless loads of laundry from soiled piles of outerwear.  Once you finally get everything put away and cleaned up, you'll hear the inevitable....Mommmm can we go back outside and play? That was so fun! 

Rinse, Repeat same scenario every day of vacation and what do you have? 
One tired Momma.

Cheers and Love,


When Good Baby Monitors Go Bad

The baby monitor hates me...and don't worry, I hate it right back.

How did our moms do it without one?  I mean, we turned out ok didn't we?  Maybe we have the ability to yell louder than our children do today?  Maybe we are more persistent than our children are?  Maybe we had more will to drive our parents crazy because we had to yell louder, longer, and fight harder to get their attention as babies.  Who knows.  Regardless, I admire my mom more than ever for not having a baby monitor for us.

My oldest is 13.  My youngest are 4 and 5.  So basically, I've been suffering with trying to find the right Baby Monitor for over a decade.  My conclusion.  There is no such thing as a perfect baby monitor.

Here's the thing.  When they are infants.  The baby monitor is your best friend and your worst enemy.  While it does its job of giving you peace of mind knowing that you can hear them breathing and can see them sleeping on the tiny screen next to your bed, you also know that the very second you drift off into a desperate type of  sleep, it is going to blare the sounds of escalating terror in your ear and scare the crap out of you.  You eventually build up a resistance to this kind of jarring wake up call, and make peace with the monitor even though you still never really fall into the deep kind of sleep you once had the luxury of experiencing.

So once you get through that type of newborn monitor craziness, you feel like they still aren't old enough to survive on their own without the reassuring safety back up of the monitor.  By now, the monitor might be 18 months old or so - and once in a while you might here some feedback, a neighbor's telephone conversation, the hammering of the roofers 3 doors down, who knows.  Meh.  Annoying but not too big of a deal.

"There's no snooze button on the baby monitor..."  Love it. (cartoon from

Enter year 2.  You still feel the need to have a baby monitor - maybe your child has asthma, or allergies, or nothing wrong at all - you just feel better knowing you can physically turn and look at your child without leaving the comfort of your own bed.  Year 2 was funny for us.  Middler figured out that if he speaks directly into the monitor, one of us will come.  I distinctly recall hearing on the monitor.."Mahhhk, Andwea, in anybody der???"  When they start asking for you by first name, you know they mean business.

Year 3 for us brought night terrors and sleepwalking for our youngest.  That's fun.  You finally fall into a decent sleep and are startled by the sound of someone trying to open the door to the downstairs - or shake the baby gate you have there for added safety.  You look on the monitor to find no one there.  That'll get you moving quickly.  2.8 seconds is all it takes to find your little one shaking the gate, confused, crying or sitting in the middle of the hallway half asleep.  Again..thank God for baby monitors.  They have you right where you want them.  Don't even think it's time to let go yet.

Year 4.  Still have the baby monitor up because one enjoys hearing the whistling of the nasal passages while the kids sleep.  But as in dog years. year 4 in Baby Monitor years is like how we feel turning 80.  Breaking down, cranky, can't hear well, vision starting to go - you can bet your monitor is nearing the end.  At this point, the only way to get your monitor to work without the annoying crackly static, is by sleeping with your arm straight up in the air.  This is the only position the monitor will work without noise.  If you turn over, and put your elbow slightly over your head, the feedback may subside long enough for you to fall asleep - but if you shift in bed, be prepared to hear a loud, amplified, noise repeating over and over until you once again either put your arm in the air, or over your head. 

There have been nights I almost felt like committing technological homicide.  I have fantasized about throwing it as hard as I could across the room and watching it shatter in 1000 pieces - never to be heard from again.  I've even gotten a small giggle out of imagining putting my hands around its scrawny antenna and simulating choking it until it stopped crackling.  It's wrong.  But when you're sleep deprived after 13 years of children, you start to get a little loopy.  I've also entertained thoughts of clubbing my sleeping husband in the nose with the monitor itself, since he claims it doesn't get good reception at all on his side, leaving me to deal with the monitor for years.  Sometimes the thought of turning it up full blast and putting it on his pillow near his ear brings me more joy than it probably should.

I've seen them do some really funny stuff on the monitor and it's those times I wish it had a video recording device built in where, at the touch of a button, I could begin recording what they are doing and saying or singing in there.  Why don't these baby monitor companies call me for ideas?  I'd make them so much money.  I'd also request a 2 way button - so I could talk to them through the monitor.  "You're fine - go back to sleep..."  Brilliant.

I'm not ready to retire or choke that monitor yet - I still worry that there are sleepwalkers among us. Just last night, for example, I heard the quiet sounds of stirring and opened one eye to check the monitor, only to find no one in the toddler bed.  I quickly got up and found Youngest in the bathroom trying to squeeze toothpaste on to his toothbrush.  At 3 am.  He was sleepwalking.  I admire him for tending to his oral hygiene in his sleep.  Perhaps I could get him to pick up his toys in his sleep, or fold some laundry..who knows. But the comfort of knowing I can look to the monitor to see they are, in fact, still there (or not) - and to listen closely through the static to hear their steady snoring is still enough to help me get through their childhood.

How do you like your baby monitor?  Do tell.



DG's Silly Coffee Mug Giveaway!

Hey shmoopies!!

Lots of you have emailed me about the silly mugs I've been posting on my Facebook page!  I decided it would be a fun surprise to GIVE them away!!  I have 6 funny mugs along with some delicious flavored coffee from Folgers that is  just waiting for a home!

Rafflecopter here will do the honor of picking 6 random winners on Valentine's Day.  I will post the winners on my Facebook page as well.  The lucky winners will have 24 hours to email me their address to - or the Rafflecopter beast will pick another don't get too wrapped up in Valentine's Day and forget to check to see if you won!!

Good luck.  I am so excited to make some people happy with a fun little prize to say THANK YOU for starting your mornings with me and a good cup of coffee! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Super Bowl Party Penalities

                                Top 10 Super Bowl Party Penalties 

1.  Encroachment:  When a guest cuts in front of another guest at the snack table.
 2.  Holding:  When one guest verbally detains another by talking their ear off, causing confusion and delay in the food line.

 3.  Offsides:  When a guest loiters in front of a particular dish of food,   grazing from the serving dish instead getting his own plate, causing other guests to be temporarily snackblocked.  
 4.  Roughing the 'Cooker': When a guest distracts the hostess with questions or comments causing something in the kitchen to overcook and/or burn.

 5.  Face Mask:  When a guest doesn't mention to another guest that they have spinach from the dip stuck in their teeth.

 6.  False Start:  When a guest goes into the kitchen under the guise of helping the hostess get things ready  but really just wants a jump start on eating the snacks before they get placed on the food table.

 7.  Interference:  Talking/Laughing/Being Disruptive during commercials.  Also see:  Standing in front of the big screen asking who is winning every 10 minutes and inquiring how much longer until the halftime show.

 8.  Illegal Use of Hands - Grabbing food off of the serving trays without using appropriate serving tools provided. Also see: Groping guests while intoxicated. 

 9.  Illegal Motion/Procedure:  Dipping a chip or vegetable in various salsas, etc, taking a bite, and then repeating process with bitten off end.   Also see:  Double Dipping.

10. Personal Foul:  Blatantly passing gas and leaving the room, leaving the people around you to take the blame.