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IMG_0492Ok Ok Ok.  I’ve been off-line, my website has been down and I’ve been a little nutty!   Yes, I have received countless emails, calls and letters from stalkers begging me to come back….even threatening me within an inch of my life!   Ok – HERE I AM.  So take a moment and hear what I have to say and see if you are going to be able to forgive me.

Here’s what I’ve been up to……

Let’s start with summer (I challenge you to keep yourself and 4 kids busy).  I went on 3 super fun road trips with myself, my kids and anyone else who was crazy enough to join us.  I directed a show and taught improv at Centerstage Repertory Theatre. I had a nervous breakdown. I performed some random Roxi Starr cabaret gigs in Baltimore and DC.  I did a ginormous gig for the country Qatar at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC.  I planned a wedding for my musician and his partner.  I did a few chicken singing telegrams.  I did quite a bit of swimming, biking and kayaking. I ate and drank A LOT!

Then we move into fall….Hmmm.  Registered the kids in new schools, sold a house, did some more random shows, lost and gained a lot of  weight although I’m not to sure where I am in the cycle right now.  I started writing another show.  I partied a lot.  I recovered from my nervous breakdown. I started taping some random shorts with my daughter Fiona who is pretty stinking funny.  I got a new pair of glasses.  I moved across the country.  I am less than 50 minutes away from my creative partner and co-producer of Tell Baby Productions.  I cleared up a rash I had on my neck.  I fell in love with my husband again.

Most importantly, I managed to keep my children alive for another year!  And social services still hasn’t taken them away!  I must be doing something right!


So please be patient as I update my site and let you know what I have been up to as it happens!  And twitter is around the corner!  There is much much more to come!!!!!  Secret projects, all female sketch comedy etc. etc. LOVE TO YOU ALL!


photoAll of my kids were born around springtime….needless to say summertime was a very fertile time for me.  I have a March baby , an April baby and two May babies.  We do a lot of celebrating this time a year and I mean a LOT of celebrating. We usually have a house party, a friend party and a few other random parties just because.  Heck we even had a party in Arizona for Fiona and one in Chicago for Liam and Seamus.

Now that it is the beginning of June I am happy to focus my partying on anything other than my children’s special days!  Not that I don’t love and enjoy them…but by the end of May and I ready to move on!


-4Our house is about a quarter of a mile from the bus stop.  We usually drive to the bus but if it’s a nice day and we are ahead of schedule we walk.  It’s always a nice opportunity to take Ozzy out for a little walk with the kids.

Today we all walked down together.  Ozzy pulled on his leash while chasing Liam who was several feet ahead of us, the girls skipped happily behind me and Seamus slowly dragged his fireman boots through the mud as he had just rolled out of bed.

After making it to the bus stop everyone teased each other, threw rocks in the stream and the girls fixed their hair.  One of our neighbors pulled up on their way to work and asked the kids if they were excited to be done with school.  Seamus exclaimed, “I graduated last week and I’m done!”  My neighbor promptly gave Seamus a high five and congratulated him.  At this point Fiona piped up and very matter of factly said, “By the way, Seamus just had his hand in his pants.”

It would have been nice to disappear at that moment but I couldn’t help but start laughing.  My neighbor very sweetly said, “It’s ok, I’m a nurse and I always carry hand sanitizer.”   You gotta love that Fiona.  She’s direct, precise and does not sugar coat.  I’ve always told her to be honest so I guess I can’t fault her.


-1A gentleman and a scholar at the age of 5….that’s how I describe my sweet boy Seamus.  The night before Seamus’ graduation he carefully laid out his clothes on the floor.  He was so excited and proud of himself for what was a huge accomplishment he had made.  He attended his cousin’s high school graduation the week before and was blown away by how important the whole evening was for everyone.  It was now his turn to impress his family.

When he got up this morning he showered and went into his room to get dressed for his big day.  He came out dressed head to toe but decided to add a whole new element of style to his outfit. Over his polo shirt and under his fancy jacket he decided to add a sweater vest.  He was so proud of his wardrobe choice and insisted on wearing it even though it was going to be blistering hot.   It was his choice, so I went with it.-2

He looked so darn cute in his cap and gown and we celebrated all weekend.  He totally deserved it.  It’s always good to have things to celebrate no matter how large or small they may be.


photoAll of my kids have taken to some type of sport or activity. They each have their own preferred social/physical time.  For the boys it’s all sports and for Kiley it’s gymnastics and Fiona theatre.  Fiona does not always break a sweat while singing and dancing but she absolutely loves it.

When we she was 6 years old she took a horse camp and hasn’t stopped talking about it since (she’s 9 years old now).  For the past year I have been researching barns and getting recomendations on local farms that offer lessons and camps.   I ended up finding one of the most fabulous stables, Claddagh Manor in Churchville, MD.  It’s very close to where we live but I had always thought it was a private residence and never thought of going for lessons until I noticed a sign hanging on their fence for a summer camp.

Fiona and I stopped in to watch a lesson and her eyes about popped out of her head.  The barn was pristine, the horses gorgeous, the instructors wonderful and the owner, Pat Moran, just like my own mother.  Needless to say we signed up her up that day.

When I picked her up from her fist lesson she was beaming.  She was on a “horsey high”.  She couldn’t stop smiling and was gushing about her teacher Ms. Pat, her horse named Blue and how much she enjoyed the overall experience.  When I got in the car a Dr. friend of mine called and I excitedly told him all about her great day.  Before I had even told him that she had completed her first lesson he said …..”I have two things to tell you before you let your daughter ride horses.”  Well, I already had….but I listened anyway.  “Number one, make sure she wears a helmet and number two, make sure she calls me when she falls.”  I had watched her fall of her horse at the end of her first lesson and she got right back on and continued riding.  I proudly told him she was already wearing a helmet (duh) and that she had already fallen and was fine.

The way I  look at life is that you can live your life in fear or you can be brave and take chances.  If you are afraid to fall then why bother getting on the horse.  Clearly my children take my advice to heart.  GO Fiona!


photoSome things in life are just worth it.  They just are.  At the top of my list is family.  I’m not just talking about my husband and kids but my extended family.  I come from a family of six and several of us have children, so our extended family is quite large. Even though most of my family lives in Chicago I still make every effort to get there at least a couple of times a year and especially for the important stuff.

My only sister Beth has 3 boys and girl.  Her daughter Megan was my first niece and we have always been close.  This weekend she graduated from Marist High School in Chicago with several honors and was ranked 27th out of 430 students in her class.  Talk about some serious achievements!  She is also going to St. Louis University and has been awarded an academic scholarship.  If you can’t tell, I am extremely proud of my niece and all of her accomplishments.  She deserves it all!

photoNow….back to the important stuff….  In support of Megan, my husband, our four children and I all flew to Chicago for the weekend.  We went to the graduation and enjoyed partying with family and friends all weekend long.  Of course the kids were cranky when they had to get up for school but it was all worth it.  It’s weekends and times like this with their family that they will never forget.  Families ROCK!


photoAs a mom I do a lot of clean up….not necessarily my own clean-up but basically everything and anything that is need of being cleaned up inside or outside my home, I take care of.  I really try to encourage my children to clean up but they’re not always real receptive to me asking them.  They would much rather prefer making another mess while they walk through their previously made mess.

Yesterday I was doing the dishes and cleaning all the school papers, crayons, markers and other random art supplies off of the island when my son Seamus said to me, “Look mom, I’m cleaning up my legos!”  Of course I thanked him and told him what a super fab job he was doing.  He was so proud of himself.

The next day I told him I was going to write a blog while he was at school.  He looked at me and said, “Can you write a blog about how I cleaned up my legos?”  I said yes…so here’s the blog.

The picture shown above is Seamus’ box of random legos.  This box came from several boxes of his older brother’s legos that we have accumulated over the years.  Yes, the thousand of lego pieces used to be lego firetrucks, police cars, airports, action figures etc.etc.  Now they live in the land of lost legos in my family room…and they are loved by the one and only Seamus Henry Carney.


light-at-end-of-tunnel611Since returning from the Hoffman Institute our graduating class has had a couple of conference calls.  The conference calls are a great way for the group to check in with each other, see how the process is working for us and how we are integrating back into our life.  We had our first call 2 weeks ago and our 2nd call yesterday.  The first call was wonderful for me.  I was outside in nature taking a walk while sharing with my fellow graduates and then we did a fantastic creative visualization before we ended the call.  I felt refreshed, reconnected and rejuvenated when I hung up the phone.  Just what I needed.

The second call was a little different.  My husband was out of town and the kids were at horseback riding, gymnastics and lacrosse.  I had multiple pick-ups while the call was going on, as the call started at 8pm EST.  8pm is a busy time in my house.   A lot has to be done from 8pm on to ensure an on time bedtime.

As soon as I had all four kids in the car I had to dial-in for the call.  After I had announced myself I immediately muted my phone and begged the children to be quiet so I could hear the call.  For the first couple of minutes the kids were good…after that it all went downhill.   Fiona said something that Kiley didn’t like and next thing you know they’re flinging empty water bottles at each other.  Then Seamus called Kiley a poopface so she pinched him.  At this point Matt, our teacher from Hoffman, starts taking us through a guided visualization.  Then Seamus started to cry and then Fiona got mad at Kiley for pinching Seamus and then Kiley started crying and pinching Fiona.  Then Liam turned up the radio because he didn’t want to hear everyone cry.  Then Kiley started crying even harder because she had to go pee.

We end up pulling into our driveway midway through the visualization.  At this point everyone is crying because they are laughing so hard and they keep telling me to look at Kiley.  Once the car is stopped I look into the backseat and Kiley is naked from the waste down and  with a towel wrapped around her.  Now Matt is telling us to breath deeply and remain centered.  I’m trying to remain somewhat in the visualization so I stay in the car for a minute while everyone unloads.  I look out the window and I see my daughter Kiley standing in the middle if the driveway peeing like a boy.  I about lost it.

We head in the house and while we complete the visualization (still with my phone muted) I give two baths, get my older daughter in the shower, feed my son dinner and put the younger two kids to bed.  The feel of this visualization was a little forced and non-present but at least I tried. Maybe next time I can lock my kids in a closet.


photoI have always thought of myself as being pretty responsible and good with children, after all I do have 4 of them.  I also really enjoy spending time with them and I am sure that they still like to hang with me.  In an effort to spend more time with them I have always volunteered to be a chaperone on any number of my kids school field trips, whenever I was available.  My oldest child is in 5th grade and up until this week I had never been picked to go on a field trip…ever.

I was beginning to get a complex.  Did they think I was going to use swear words with the kids or smuggle in a flask or something?  I understand that I show up in pajamas on some mornings when we miss the bus but isn’t that normal?  The teachers say they pick out of a hat when choosing chaperones but I was beginning to think that it was all a hoax and the teachers picked who they wanted.

Well low and behold today I had the opportunity of riding a yellow school bus with my daughter Kiley’s first grade class.  We went to Eden Mill Nature Center in Jarrettville, MD and I had a blast.  I was given my own group of 5 impressionable 7 year old little girls and so the fun began.

photoOur group name was Susan’s Dynamite Superstars and we even had a harmoninzed counting jingle that went along with it.  While on the bus we sang songs and drew pictures while I put french braids in my group’s hair (thank god lice isn’t a big problem in their school).  My butt cheek was hanging off the edge of the bus seat as we were three to a seat and I felt like I was going to hurl when I got of the bus….but I was still having fun!

Once we arrived we went on a hike where we saw a red hawk, a woodpecker, beaver tracks and a ton of other exciting things.  We had an opportunity to get into a swamp in our rubber boots and pull all sorts of critters out of the muck and THEN we had the opportunity to touch a corn snake.  A real live snake!

Susan’s Dynamite Superstars spent a good portion of our time coming up with a plan as to how we were going to escape with a snake, get it on the bus and then put it in their teacher’s desk drawer.  Mind you, their teacher is petrified of snake and had to leave the room when they brought it out.  We came up with some elaborate plans but unfortunately we were unable to get the snake out of the nature center without getting caught.

I’m  sure the kids will go back to school tomorrow and tell their teacher how we were scheming as to how to scare the living daylights out of her with a 5 foot snake.   I know that will kill my chances of ever going on another field trip….but all that matters to me is I had a blast and so did my group.  Shouldn’t that be all that matters?


photoToday my 4 year old and I rode our bikes to school.  Yes riding or walking to school is a lost form of physical activity for most people.  We either don’t have enough time because we are constantly in such a hurry or we are not big fans of physical activity.  It’s easier to jump in the car.  Whatever the case, this super fun parent/child activity is almost non-existant.

About 5 weeks ago I was feeling that my son, Seamus, was not enjoying 4 year old pre-school like a 4 year old should.  He should have no worries, it should be all fun and he should have a ton of friends to play with.  Day after day I was starting to feel that it was not so fun for him as he never wanted to go to school.  Now I know I am the funnest mom in the world, not to mention funniest, but it was something different.  I was denying the fact that something was wrong until an incident came up in school and the light bulb went off.  He was trying to tell me and I wasn’t listening to my gut or him.

When I picked him up that afternoon I asked if he liked school and who played with him.  He basically said not many of the kids played with him and he didn’t like school that much.  As a boy that was learning at his own pace, he was not digging the pressure to be smarter.  He just wanted to hang and be social.  So that afternoon we looked at schools, visited one he really liked the next day and transferred two days later.  The last thing I wanted for my son was to go into kindergarten with low self esteem.  I knew I was his advocate and if anyone could change the situation I could….and I did.

Now he is in his 5th week of his new school, graduates in 3 weeks and absolutely loves school.  It has completely changed his outlook on the education process.  I did the right thing and I followed my gut and listened to what my child was trying to tell me.  That’s not always easy to do in the face of adversity.  It’s only pre-school but this experience will impact him for the rest of his life.

Every day we either walk, ride our bikes or take the dog with us to school.  It has opened our mornings up to a whole new sense of fun and adventure.  I love it….and so does Seamus.