Monday Morning

Another Monday morning is here and another week starts with a pile of laundry. Not a very romantic way to start Valentines Day.

One of the best inventions know to man and many dwarfs alike is the front load washing machine. As soon as these came on the market, I wanted one. My top load machine became my enemy over the years. Especially after Ashley came. I used to literally climb into the machine to pull out the clothes. One day I fell in. My legs were dangling out! Yes, it was a hysterical sight to behold! My husband was laughing more than helping me get out. Eventually I wiggled myself out of the machine with the help of God. That was the day that laundry became my enemy!

Happiness was the day that the machine caught on fire. I called the fire department with glee. When the captain told me the machine was kaput, I did the happy dance. The front load machine was within my reach. No more did I have to worry about falling into the wash machine, no longer was laundry my enemy. Anything that makes life easier, is a special occasion for us short people!

Today I am happily doing laundry. It is a good day in the house overall. The sun is shining. I believe the worse of winter is over. Best of all, my husband told me to make sure I answer the door today because I am getting a surprise! I love surprises, especially from my husband.

Take care and have a Happy VD day!


Time goes through your hands like sand. Honestly it does. One minute I am a girl of sixteen, next I am a middle aged mom of a nine year old. How the hell did this happen. When did my life change 360 degrees without me knowing? It’s pretty scary.

I am going through some sort of mid-life crisis right now. I thought I would blog about it to see if anyone else can sympathize.

The goals I set for myself at sixteen, I never accomplished. I wanted to be a Fashion Buyer for a department store. That never happened. Even though I got accepted to Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, my dad would not let me go. He thought if I wanted to become a buyer, I should just start working the counter at Macy and skip college all together.

I came from an era where if your dad said ‘NO’, no it was. You did not question. You just followed. Unlike today when you say ‘no’ to your child, it’s just an opinion, not law.

This is one of my regrets in my life. I should have figured out a way to go to New York City on my own. I was too scared and too confused.

My new reflections of my life then and now came this week from connecting with an old friend. He was a good friend of mine when I was sixteen and the world was my oyster. Unfortunately I didn’t know it at the time.

I am glad that I had such good friends when I needed them. I wish I could find my inner sixteen year old spirit. She is in there somewhere. I just need to pull her out. My balance is out of whack and I hope it will return soon. I am sure it will.

Sometimes you hate to admit it but…

Hey All! How is your New Year treating you? I hope you are doing fine.

Gals you know that you are going to cringe with this next statement but it needs to be said. Sometimes I should just listen to my husband. GASP! I know I just broke one of the golden rules of sisterhood.

I had to eat crow this week which is never a good thing in a marriage.

Here is the story. Back when we were deciding what to get Ashley for christmas. Rich and I both thought it would be nice to give her a camera. She has shown an interest in photography. We thought it would be fun for her to have her own.

Richard being of practical mind wanted to get one of those low price digital cameras. You know the ones at the check-out counter in Target or Walmart. I on the other hand wanted to get her a good digital camera. I thought a cheap camera would break easily and we would be buying her another camera in a year. My first error in judgement.

Okay I’ll confess. I really wanted the Nikon Coolpix and I saw a way to get it. There I said it. You see after Richard bought me the Nikon D40, I have been officially banned from any new cameras for the next 200 years. Ashley getting a camera was the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I figured it would be her camera but mommy can borrow it. Pretty clever huh?

My con game worked. Rich agreed to buy the Coolpix for Ashley.

Christmas finally arrived. Ashley had no clue about the camera. She shrieked with delight upon opening the gift. I taught her how to use the camera and gave her the rules. I needed to know when she was going to use the camera. She just couldn’t take it and use it. The photo shoot would have to be mother approved. Ashley happily agreed to the rules.

It was great timing for the camera. North Carolina had it’s first white Christmas in about 40 years. Ashley darted outside and took the best pictures of the snow and scenery. I thought I was raising the next Annie Leibowitz! All was great in the world. Little did I know dark clouds were forming.

Three days later, my budding Annie Lebowitz decided to take the camera with her while she was roller blading. She thought it would be cool to take pictures on her roller blades. Now this was not a pre-approved photo shoot. If it was, the answer would have been ‘over my dead body you are going to take pictures with your new camera while on roller blades’.

Not only was she on roller blades with the camera but rolling blading down the hills. Can you guess what happened next? Oh I am sure you can. She fell on top of the camera and broke the lens. The lens would not go back into the camera. Something I am sure that could be fixed by a professional. Ashley decided to cut out the middleman and try and fix it herself.
This made the problem worse. After figuring out the camera is kaput. She hid the camera in her closet.

Now speed ahead to this week. Ashley and I are going to her Girl Scout Cookie Rally. I told Ashley that she could take her camera to the rally. I trusted her with the camera. Ashley very innocently replied ‘I can’t’. ‘Why’ I asked not so sweetly. ‘Because it is broken’ Ashley said with fear in her eyes.

She finally spilled the beans about the whole situation. I was livid. I told her to go to her room, that I needed to cool off. My husband had the ‘I told you so’ expression on his face. I hate that! I don’t know if he was more mad at me for getting her the camera or her for hiding it.

Ashley was properly punished. She has to unload the dishwasher until she is 21 and was grounded from all activities for a week. My punishment was hearing about the ills of buying a 9 year old a good camera.

The camera is now in a box on his desk while we figure out if Nikon is going to fix it or not. Like the mother I am, I bought a replacement camera. Ashley does not know I have a new replacement camera. She has to earn it back. I am thinking by the time she turns thirty, she can have it.

The new Coolpix was 50.00 cheaper than the first camera! Another lesson I learned from this fiasco. If you are purchasing a camera for a Christmas gift, buy it the day after Christmas!

Bottom line, once in every ten years of marriage, your husband can be right.


I am back!

Happy New Year to all! I am glad to say ‘I am back’! I took a break for a while to take care of myself. I am happy to say that I am twenty pounds lighter and still going down! I feel a thousand times better too. I am no longer tired and slug like. I am motivated to stay healthy.

I am also getting brave too. As you can see, I finally posted a pic of myself! What a shock! In the past, I have always hated pictures of myself. I just don’t like the way I look. I don’t know if this is a dwarf thing or a woman thing but it’s been a lifelong hang-up. My husband feels the same way too. Believe it or not we have never looked at our wedding video! We really don’t like to look at ourselves. I am getting better though. I allowed this picture to be taken of me when we were at Hilton Head in October. Oh by the way, I am 10 pounds lighter from when this picture was taken.

I apologize for being a bad blogger. I promise that will not happen again! Stay tuned because I feel 2011 is going to be very interesting!

Miss you all!


I’m bored…..

This is the battle cry I have heard for the past 4 weeks. Thank-goodness Ashley goes to year round school. I could not handle being camp counselor for 3 months.

I have been wanting to go to a local ceramics shop since moving to Cary. Today with the temps being in the mid nineties and my daughter watching the same Spongebob episode for the 400th time, I felt it was time to go. It also helped that I had a ‘buy one-get one’ coupon. Love those coupons.

Believe it or not Ashley did not want to participate in this adventure. She wanted to watch ‘Phinneas and Ferb’ AGAIN. I did what any mother would do in this circumstance, I threatened her with chores if she did not go. It worked.

Look how miserable she looks. What a mean mother I am. She hated it so much that she did 2 projects. Gosh I am cruel.

I love painting ceramics. As a child I used to go with my mom and paint pots. In a throw back to my childhood, I chose a very cute snowman jar. I hope it comes out okay. I sort of gave him a black freckle under his eye. We get the glazed projects back next week. On the blog next week, I will show you our works of art. Well, I promise they will be ‘works’ not necessarily ‘art’.

It has been almost two weeks since I started Weightwatchers. I am now starting to get creative with my meals. Creativity with the meals is key to staying on the plan. Here is a 5 point sandwich that is really tasty.It is my version of a low fat quesadilla.

To make this sandwich:

You take one whole wheat tortilla, you fill it on one side with two slices of low fat deli ham and one slice of Alpine lace swiss cheese. If you like you can add tomatoes, lettuce and mustard, all of which will add no points to the sandwich. You fold over the tortilla and stick it in toaster over for 2-3 minutes.

You can have it with a side of fruit or baked potato chips. It is really tasty and satisfying.

That’s all that been happening at Chez DJD this week. Hope you are having fun and not working too hard.

When you are four feet tall and feel like a……

Okay I am not be this big but I am weighing a little more these days. I have been indulging in the foods of the south and now am paying the price. Curse you BoJangles chicken. My weight has ballooned to 150! Weighing 150 and being only four feet tall, is not a good combination.

To get back on track, I joined WeightWatchers. I have had success with the program in the past and hopefully will again. I love WeightWatchers because you can eat real food just less of it. You can even indulge a little and still loose weight. My goal is to get down to 120. Even though I am short my frame is rather big. God Bless the Albers family gene for that! I wish I was built petite like the Italian side of the family. Oh well you can’t change genetics! Sorry mom!

My absenteeism on the blog is due to Ashley being on vacation. We have two more weeks until she goes back to school. While on break, I have been reviewing math and reading with her everyday. She is not thrilled with the idea. When she whines about doing ‘homework’, I remind her that my dad made me do a few math problems every day during the summer. Why do kids always roll their eyes when you tell them about your childhood?

Now it is not all work and no play. Yesterday we went to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC. If you live in the triangle or visiting, I urge you to go. It is a cool place. The museum is a combination of a science exhibits and a zoo. There are animals to see, rockets to explore and the best butterfly house in the country. It is worth the trip to Durham.

Tonight there is a new show on Discovery Health channel about dwarfs. The show is called ’I Am Pregnant and…’. It’s about a couple that is going to have a dwarf baby. The couple is a ‘mixed couple’ meaning the mom is average size and the dad is an achondroplasia dwarf(like me). It should be interesting to see. It airs at 9 pm on the east coast.

I heard from my mom that dwarfs babies are painful to give birth to due to the size of our heads. Every mother’s day she reminds me of the agony she went through with me! I think she tells the story so I get her a good mother’s day gift.

On the Discovery Channel tonight, the fleet finds out about Captain Phil on the ‘Deadlist Catch’. Last week’s episode made me cry all over again. Poor Captain Phil. I love the Cornelia Maria. I hope Jake and Josh quit smoking. Every time I see them with a cigarette, I want to rip it out of their mouths! I love the show and have been a fan for several years. It is a great show and if you have never watched it you should.

What have you been up to this summer? Where have you gone? What movies have you seen?

I must leave you and count how many points is in a Oreo cookie. I hope only a few because I REALLY WANT ONE!

It’s been awhile….

Hey, How are ya? I know I know…I have been a very bad blogger. I haven’t posted in a long time. Life has been moving slow and I just needed time to unplug.

There has not been much excitement going on in North Carolina. In fact, it has been down right boring.The weather has been dreadful. It is hot and I mean HOT! Sunday the temperature was 103 with 100% humidity. We have been staying indoors playing Xbox and scrapbooking. It’s been so hot, that I haven’t cooked much either.

While locked up, I was inspired to do some summer pages.The first page is about my daughter turning 9. I cannot believe that my baby turned nine this year. I wanted to capture who she is right now. What does she like to do and who she is right now. I wrote down some questions and had her in her own writing answer. Ashley does not have the best penmanship in the world, so I had her practice writing the answers before writing them on the actual page. For this project I used my favorite new line Basic Grey ‘Basic’.I love love love this line! It is really cool for school pages or when you want to document milestones. Other page elements are K&Company chipboard and Prima flowers. I wanted a doodling effect for the photo matt. I stamped pink swirls before adhering the pictures. The title was done with a digital font which I enhanced with a gel pen.

The second layout is a vacation page. During the summer we love playing miniature golf. It is our favorite summer pastime! Here is a layout showing our last mini golf outing in Myrtle Beach. For this page, I went retro. I used magic mesh for underneath the title to give a gritty look to the page. Magic Mesh is a product that is hard to find. I used it a lot when I first started scrapbooking. The patterned paper again is Basic Grey . It’s their ‘Boxer’ line. The letters and brads are also Basic Grey. Green was the theme of the layout because golf is the color green!

I also have been getting into some real trashy reality tv. My new favorite is ‘Real Housewives of NJ’. As if you didn’t know that already! As Teresa Guidice would say ‘I love love love this show’. The Manzo family so reminds me of the people I grew up with in NJ. They are just good salt of the earth family types. I would love to sit and eat with this family(especially if Caroline is cooking). Of course there is the villain of the show which is Danielle Staub. Danielle reminds me of the girls who used to hang out in the smoking lounge of my high school. You know the types. Been around the block a few times and stink to high heaven of pot and cigarettes. This is who I hope my daughter doesn’t turn into later in life. Still in all, love all the gals and as they say in Jersey ‘Jersey Girls rule the World’!

That’s been my life in a nutshell. So what have you been doing? What are your summer plans? I promise I will stay on top of the blog this summer. It will be tough but us Jersey girls can do anything.


Yes, I have been ‘LOST’, not on the ‘island’ but in the state of North Carolina. I have been busy lately. Ashley is on vacation and I broke a few things around here. Life has had more ups and downs again.

Speaking of LOST, did y’all watch the final episode? I have mixed feelings about the end. I wished the parallel world was better explained. I am assuming the bomb did not work. The parallel world was their version of the after life. The only people that truly got off the island was the pilot, Sawyer, Kate, Claire and Miles. My interpretation of the whole series was that you saw the time line of Jack’s life. Jack’s life was intertwined with life on the Island. Speaking of Jack, what a fine specimen of a man! I would break vows for him. So what are you views on the show? Did you like how it ended? Let’s discuss.

On the topic of breaking things, I side swiped my husband new car. It was lovely. He parked in the driveway which he rarely does. I was thinking of what I had to buy at the store instead of watching backing out of our very narrow drive way. All of sudden I heard ‘BAM’. I thought oh crap! I knew what I did. My car was stuck to the side of his. The worst was telling him I did it. He did not get mad but was upset. The car is only a month old. I now have to find a good body shop in Raleigh. Finding a good body shop is like finding a needle in a haystack. We were recommended one from a neighbor. We now just have to find the time to bring the cars in.

Other than crashing into cars and watching TV, I completed one item on my bucket list. With much begging and pleading with my husband, we took a trip to Asheville, NC. My dream in life was to see the Grand Lady on the hill. I finally got to tour Biltmore. The way some people follow star trek is the way I follow the Vanderbilt family. I am a Vanderbilt family geek. I have read at least ten books on the family and have toured two homes(Hyde Park and The breakers). Biltmore was the gem in the collection of Vanderbilt homes and it did not fail its reputation. What a gorgeous home.

The tour is not for the faint of heart. Many stairs to climb. It was tough but I got through it. George Vanderbilt and his wife had to be the most healthy couple in Asheville at the time. Just to get to the second floor was 4 flights of stairs. At one point I thought a tour guide was going to find me keeled over on the floor. Needless to say Rich did not join Ashley and I on the tour.

Here is a trivia question for you. Guess who is currently the most famous Vanderbilt family member. He is the son of Gloria and the great-great grandson of the family’s patriarch Corneilus.It is none other than Anderson Cooper. As I toured the home, I wondered what his thoughts of the home would be. Did he ever tour it? What does he think of his great-great Uncle’s accomplishments? If you read the blog Mr.Cooper, please drop me an email. I would love to have a cup of coffee with you to talk family.

In conclusion of this long post, I have to tell you about the major spill I had in the kitchen. I was getting ingredients prepared to throw in the slow cooker for dinner Monday morning, when I took a major tumble. I was at the kitchen sink and I mis-judged when climbing down the stool. I thought I was stepping down, instead I tumbled down and twisted my leg. I was laying flat on my back screaming for Rich. I thought for sure I broke my leg. I didn’t break any bones thank-god, but I am still sore. This stool is a death trap and really need to get it replaced. What a few weeks it has been!

I am off to Charleston tomorrow to visit family and to go to Folly beach. I hope you have a good Memorial Day weekend. Please say a prayer for all our soldiers that keep us safe. Take Care and be safe.

Back to scrapbooking…

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day. My family took me out to my favorite restaurant PF Changs. My husband had the foresight to make reservations. It was the smart thing to do because the wait was over 2 hours for a table! We were seated as soon as we arrived and the service was first class. The food was awesome and I was very happy being with my family.

Last week, I worked on several scrapbook projects. I would like to show you step by step how I construct a page and where my ideas come from. My inspiration for this project came from my trip to DC last year. Ashley and I took a tour of DC. It was Ashley’s first visit and she loved it.

First step in planning a layout is picking the papers that will be used. All my layouts are 12×12, unless I am working on mini-albums. I usually choose a sheet of patterned paper and a coordinating solid background. For this layout I used pattern paper from Making Memories ‘Passport’ collection and sky blue card stock from Bazzill Basics.

To make the pattern paper ‘pop’ from the background, I inked the edges of the paper. I pick a darker shade than the colors being used but still within the same color palette. I love Tim Holtz’s Distress Inks. The Inks are great for outlining papers and elements.

Next step is to work on the title. You need to choose where your title is going to go on the page. The title defines the layout of the page. Make sure it is what catches the eye first. For this project, I am going to stamp the words ‘Washington DC’ on the map. I first stamped the title on a piece of scratch paper to see if the ink and title will work. It’s important to stamp your colors on a scratch paper first because you can’t erase ink! Once you are satisfied with the look and color then you are ready to add the title to your layout.

Finally it’s time to work with the photos. I first lay all the photos(and I mean all) on the layout. Next I start to move photos around, take photos off and add page elements. This process maybe repeated several times before I start adhering the photos. I want the pictures to tell a story so it is important to get the right placement in the layout.

After I adhere photos, I add my journaling then I am done. Depending on techniques used, it takes me an hour to two hours to do a two-page layout. This is a beginners way of doing pages. More advance techniques will come soon.

On a different note, for safety reasons I had to remove last week’s blog post. I should have thought it through more before I posted. I guess I was just really angry. If you have questions or want information on how to protect your child, please email me. I will be glad to help.

Have a great week and we will talk soon!