Blueberry Memories

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I grew up on the coast of Maine in a sleepy little fishing village half way up the coast. My parent’s property looked over St John’s Bay, tucked down through the woods at the end of a dirt driveway. Behind our house were more blackberry and raspberry bushes than we could count. On lazy summer days I would wrap myself in blankets and make my way through the tangled berry thorns to the center on the patch where I would lay my blankets out and soak in the sunshine. It was my little slice of heaven, tucked away among the bramble.

At the height of summer, I would abandon my sanctuary and venture to the very edge of the front yard where the grass met the rocky Maine coastline. It was there the sweetest of all the berries grew. Tiny berries no bigger than the round end of a thumb tack, peeked through think, low lying bushes. If you blinked, you would miss them, Maine blueberries.

Further down east (north and to the east for those from away) there were miles of fields of these tiny berries where workers with rakes that resembled hair picks would spend their days raking in these sweet treats. For 14 years, Maine blueberries were all I knew. I didn’t know until I went away to boarding school that blueberries the size of my thumbnail existed. Yes, I lived in a shelter little bubble. Heck, I didn’t even know white eggs were an actual thing until I was 21, but that’s a story for another time.

Despite this new and mind blowing discovery, I remained loyal to my tiny little Maine blueberries until I was well into my 30s…right about the time we moved to New Hampshire. Now I find myself visiting the coast of Maine less and less. Instead, I find myself staying closer to home, creating new memories separate from those cherished childhood ones I’ve held so close for so long.

It is here, in New Hampshire, that children are forming memories of gigantic blueberries where only 10 fit in your hand at once. With a local blueberry field practically in our backyard, we’ve been creating moments at sunset as we pick these sweet treats to bring home for pies, jellies, and snacks.

They say home is where you hang your hat, but in summer, I would argue that home is where you pick your blueberries.

Not Going Anywhere

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About a month ago I decided to shut down Mommy Undressed. My kids were a little older and I no longer had poop stories or sleepless nights to talk about. I had been in a relationship with a man who more or less hated my blog and it sucked the fun out of me making fun of myself as a mother. I no longer had fun doing what I had always loved to do, writing. I tried to write about other things but let’s be honest, nothing is as funny as parenting. Please excuse the horrible posts from the last few years.

Then, in walked this gorgeous 23-year-old who seemed to have a thing for older women. Actually, he was 33 and had a kid but he still liked older women so I went for it.

Long story short, nine months into the relationship I pounced on the opportunity to keep him around for a long while and proposed to him. You read that right, I proposed to him. *chest bump, ladies* So, now I’ve got this young hot stud (who comes with a funtastical little dude) in my life who will be waiting at the end of the aisle for me in August. The kids are 9, 10, and 11 and we are swiftly coming up on the teenaged years. Needless to say, I now have PLENTY to write about without anyone bitching about it!

So, stayed tuned, life on the farm with a blended family is promising to keep us on our toes and provide me with more than enough material. Also, teenager’s hormones suck ass.


Happy Holidays from The Vassiliou’s

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Happy Holidays from the Vassiliou’s


I was fairly certain as an adult I would never write a holiday letter to friends and family. Once I became a mother I was positive I never would. Yet here you are, reading a holiday letter from me and the kids. Hell has officially frozen over.
Our year has been so exciting, and with so much change, I couldn’t resist sharing it with everyone in this dreaded fashion. The first half of our year was pretty much ops normal, living in Connecticut…wanting to get out. In June a position at KUA opened up and I applied. By the end of July we suddenly found ourselves scrambling to throw everything away pack up the house, get schools lined up, and searching for a place to live in New Hampshire. We only had three weeks to get everything done, resulting in a two week camping excursion, more grey hair for me, missing house hold items, and having to get rid of one cat. Perhaps the hardest part. Although I don’t mind not having to scoop as much poop.
Regardless of the mass chaos that ensued, we were settled in to the world’s smallest two bedroom condo our new house and well on our way to what have become our happiest days yet!
I want to thank everyone who helped, in every way possible, to make this dream a reality. Love and thanks especially to Seth Campbell, Gillian and Pam Frothingham, the one who chooses to remain anonymous, Joe McDaniel, Kim Simon, and my ever supportive parents. Without all of you, this move wouldn’t have been possible.
The Plainfield area had a rush of new families moving to the area this summer, resulting in a fresh and crazy wonderful community. We have found our little group of people who will tolerate us niche, and have adapted nicely aside from the occasional rocking in a corner.
May you all be blessed in the year to come and may happiness find you always.

Love and giggles,
Brandi, Theo, & Pheobe


Shaving, Kids, and Camping Don’t Mix

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It’s no secret that I am the hairiest woman you will ever meet hairy. In the past 4 months every mole on my body has decided to sprout at least one absurdly long hair from them. This includes moles on my thighs, neck, and butt. Yes, even on my butt. Then you add my ever thickening mustache, my “happy trail”, chest and nipple hair, and places only a Hobbit should grow hair. If I didn’t pluck my eyebrows the hair there would become one with my eye lashes, who oddly enough seem to be thinning. It’s also possible that I have some back hair as well, but seeing as how I can’t turn my head like an owl and take a peak, I’m just going to assume it is in full force back there as well. But it’s just hair. I can handle hair. My bathroom is outfitted with multiple styles of razors and waxes. I pluck and pull; cut and groom. Even with all the practice I get from my grooming habits, I’m not the best at it, but I get the job done.

In short, I don’t look a Neanderthal woman. I look like…..well….I look girl-ish.

But recently, that bathroom I was telling you about. Remember? The one outfitted with numerous hair removal techniques? Yeah, that one.

It is currently packed away in several boxes in the BACK of a storage unit, NOT at the campground with me. Don’t sit there and shake your head at me saying I should have at least brought a razor with me to tackle at least my leg and arm pit hair. My drunken adrenaline rush to go camping for two weeks with two small children didn’t corrupt my mind as far as causing me to ‘forget’ a major necessity such as a razor. I have one with me, trust me.

What I failed to take into account, however, is that while camping by yourself with two small children, you don’t get to shower by yourself…if you get to shower at all. I have had one shower this entire week, and it was spent saving my daughter’s life from the ferocious daddy long legs and making sure she didn’t drown in the trickle of water coming from the shower nozzle. Not to mention having to run back and forth in my towel from the women’s showers to the men’s to save my son from an equally, if not more, ferocious daddy long legs in his shower. What. The. Fuck. That was our one and ONLY showering experience we will be having while camping. Instead I have set up a “bathing area” using a tarp and string. It gives us the privacy of bathroom but with all the pains wonderment of bathing with a spaghetti pot.

Don’t worry, I now have fire and the water is quite warm and pleasant. This is possibly my one, and only, mommy win for this adventure.

As you can imagine, all these less than stellar bathing accommodations have resulted in a lack of opportunities in which to shave. I am now seeing just how many hairy moles I have, and no longer have a need to wear pants to bed to keep warm. It’s sprouting out of areas I didn’t even know hair could grow. My legs itch and wearing pants has become next to impossible. There are now lines in my deodorant from the patches of hair filling my arm pits. My Hobbit toes are enjoying the camping life style as I trod through the campground with the kids barefoot. I can almost handle all this new hair growth, but what is going to put me over the edge is the hair growing rampant on my lady bits.

Any woman who has ever tried to grow out the hair on her bikini line, or otherwise, can attest to the extreme discomfort that goes along with the whole process. The pain and itching is enough to turn any loving and caring mother, such as myself, into a raving lunatic. Now add the bottom of the clean laundry pile, where the sheer underwear live, to the mix. This morning I found myself walking around with barbs in my pants; ripping at my flesh with every step. Luckily I have access to a real shower, by myself, tonight. A shower where I can take my pretty pink razor and can of shaving cream in with me, throw my leg up on the side of the tub, and have an orgasmic shaving experience. So if you all don’t hear from me all weekend it’s because I have become with a private shower and my razor. I bid you ado until after I have painstakingly removed every last strand of hair on my body from my eye brows to my toes and every lady bit in between.

Bear Attacks and Free Children

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As parents we can’t help but love our children all the time at least until they grow up and become ass holes. We spend countless hours rocking them to sleep and kissing their boo-boos. We wipe snot from their noses and clean up their vomit. We wipe their butts and scrape their dinner from the walls. Through all this we love them. We may curse under our breath or out loud if it suits you but we still love them.

Three weeks ago I was offered a job in New Hampshire. A job that started…well…yesterday. Panic! So I had three weeks to pack up the house and kids and move 200 miles away. You know, no big deal. Shoot me. And I did it. Packed everything up, moved it, found a school and a daycare, and found a house. Great, right? Not so much. That house I mentioned, it won’t be ready for another two weeks. Stuck in house limbo, I had no choice but to find some sort of alternative. I had three options, stay in a hotel and spend more money than I earn in one pay period, live out of my car with the two kids, or camp in a campground. Being the modern bohemian mommy I am, I obviously chose camping.

How bad could it be anyway? <== That is the question I asked myself as I booked 12 nights at a campground. Yes, you read that right, 12 full nights in a tent…..just me….and two young children….in a tent….for 12 nights.

I was obviously drunk on the adrenaline of moving.

Much like being drunk in general, you wake up the next day asking yourself what exactly you did. By the time I pulled the tent from the back of the car I could feel the hangover settle in. I almost immediately wanted to climb the tallest tree and pretend I was an owl…far…far…far away from my children. Pheobe was screaming for no apparent reason although I’m pretty sure Theo was throwing a baseball at her head and Theo was mocking everyone who walked by.

But I still loved them, unconditionally. I convinced myself all this chaos was due to them being away from me for the two weeks prior and being stuck in a car for the greater portion of that day. I was sure all this would die down by the next day, and it did. For the morning anyway.

All three of us were up and at um by 6am and ready to start our new adventure in New Hampshire. I was starting my new job and the kids were starting their new daycare. A quick breakfast minus the coffee (ugh) and we were off. Life was good and it was just going to get better. At the end of the day we made a quick trip to the grocery store for some dinner goodies and headed to the campground. That was until I remembered we didn’t have fire wood and I didn’t have coffee for the next morning. So we made a stop at the most expensive store in the area, but our problem was solved for about $40. Now staving and ready to eat each other, we finally made it back to the campground. Almost immediately Pheobe was screaming about something, and by screaming I mean blood curdling.

The noise resonated throughout the campground. Trees bent from the sound waves. Campers fled to their tents and campers in fear of the obvious bear eating a small child in a near by sight. Even the lifeguards at the pool herded swimmers to a “safe” corner. To our delight the campground had removed the port-a-potty from our area leaving us to take our screaming masquerade on parade. As we made our way to the bathrooms a mile away Pheobe continued her show intermittently. Any campers still outside then made their way into whatever domicile they had. All I could do was grin nervously as I prayed the campground would not kick us out for excessive noise. Scream. Laugh. Scream. Laugh. Their was nothing I could do to keep this fucking child on a, preferably positive, even keel. Everything set her off.

She didn’t see the squirrel soon enough.

There was a stick in her shoe.

We were walking too fast.

We were walking too slow.

I was talking too loud.

Theo didn’t wait for her.

She farted.

Everything. Set. Her. Off. EVERYTHING.

Back at the camp sight it was discovered we didn’t have a lighter…or a match…or anything fire related other than 2 large bundles of wood. Perfect. More screaming. Related, this mommy cannot make fire appear out of thin air. AKA rubbing two sticks together. Now both kids are starving hungry. I’m about to eat my arm off; or start screaming next to Phoebe. Theo reached his breaking point and started throwing his baseball in any direction that would lead him far away from his now devil sister. Defeated, I sat at the picnic table watching Pheobe as she screamed louder waiting for her head to start spinning. If only I had had popcorn to eat while enjoying the show.

Without fire we were left with PB&J for the second night in a row. Throughout our meal I was reminded several times, by Theo, that I really should have brought fire so we could cook. Thank you captain obvious. By  7pm the showers were closed, resulting in all three of us washing up with cold water with our brand new crab bath scrubber. Oddly enough the cold water seemed to subdue Pheobe and the screaming finally stopped. As long as I continue to freeze my child to death, she might actually shut the hell up. 8:30pm and both kids are tucked into their “beds” giggling. Theo then looked up at me and said, “Mommy, can we stay here forever?”

I responded with a big smile and a sweet voice, “No, next week we move into our new home so we can sleep in our own beds and play with our toys.”

With that, they both settled in and I was reminded how much I love them. Through all the bear attacks screams and frustrations my love for them stays strong. That is until tonight when it starts all over again and I am tempted to tie Pheobe to the guard shack at the campground entrance with a sign that reads:

“FREE! To a good home or whoever will take her!”