Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Color coded kids

I've known since they were discovered in my belly (almost three years ago to the day today!) that there is something unique about having identical triplets.  I've known that the odds of this naturally occurring event are about one in a hundred million and I am convinced that we won the baby the lottery the day these guys were born -- happy, healthy and relatively huge for triplets given that they weighed well over five pounds each.

Even so, I've plodded along treating each day as though it's nothing unusual.  In the beginning, we were so sleep deprived that it only seemed right to paint each little guy's big toe -- one red, one blue, one green, so we could tell them apart.  It seemed natural to dress them in "their" colors and in fact, it still does.  When they say your kids are "identical", they are really not kidding.  These guys look exactly alike.  Des and I can tell them apart -- most of the time.  Their big brother and sister can tell them apart -- most of the time.  The challenge is when they are either A. naked or B. moving very quickly in opposing directions, as they are keen to do with a jubilant sense of "Game On!"

Our color-coding system extends beyond big toes and hand-me-down clothes to sippy cups, bouncy balls, socks and Crocs.  Kevin is red, Declan is blue and Cormac is green.  Their colors make it easy for neighbors, friends, preschool teachers and yes, even my own parents to tell them apart. Here's the thing though -- I fear our system is backfiring and there's about to be a rainbow revolt here in the Lyons Den.  A few recent examples...
  • I accidentally gave Declan a red sippy cup and he threw it at me angrily proclaiming "I"M BLUE!"
  • When I wore a red sweater last week, Kevin tugged on it and sweetly said "Mine."  To which I replied "Yours? Why yours?" To which he responded quite naturally "Because I'm red!"
  • Then there was St. Patrick's Day.  A festival of green, if ever there was one.  Wow, was Cormac ever in heaven.  As our resident "green" guy, he thought the day was his own personal tribute!
Clearly, we have an issue here.  Our color coding system seems to be causing a slew of issues that range from anger managment to identity confusion.  As parents, we do our best and can't help but worry about how our best intentions may ultimately be doing more harm than good.  All I can say is that, well, I'm doing the best I can.  And I'm pretty darn positive that the day looms in the not so distant future that my color coding system will fade away... just like the polish on their tiny newborn toes.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

From the mouths of babes -- the funny things kids say

When you have five kids and the oldest is only six, you realize that kids say a LOT of funny things. You also realize that as a parent, YOU say a lot of funny things. One of the things I will always remember saying is “Liam, please don’t drive your tractor through the feta cheese”. This is when I knew I had most certainly crossed a line and was most definitely not in Kansas anymore. I thought it might be fun to share with you some of the most silly, absurd, incongruous things that my kids and I have said in just the past few weeks and, invite you to share a few random remarks of your own. I’m sure that you and your tots are just as insane at times as me and mine… I hope you are anyway. If you’re not, it proves that I just might be insane! But, since I am willing to take that risk, here are a few of my recent favorites:

Last week, we took the kids out to celebrate Liam’s good report card. Mind you, Liam is only in first grade but he seems to be on the right track and that seemed to be worth celebrating so, last Thursday we went out to dinner and that event yielded a handful of colorful commentary:
  • As we loaded the kids into the car, explaining that we were headed out for a celebratory meal, Ciara whined from the backseat “But what about MEEEEE? Can we also celebrate that I wished upon a star?!” Really, this is true. If only I could get someone to take me out to dinner every time I wished upon a star!
  • After he begged, kicked and screamed for chocolate milk, we finally caved in and ordered it for our little man Cormac. Upon delivery, he took one look at it, pushed it away and loudly proclaimed: “NO LIKE IT! This milk is DIRTY!!!”
  • When Liam’s plate of mini-burgers and major fries arrived, he gobbled down the burgers and just picked at his fries, prompting me to ask “What’s the matter buddy, you don’t like them”? His response? “I do Mom but don’t you know that fries aren’t good for you?" So much for celebrating!
Last Saturday, we were taking the kid for haircuts and noticed a helicopter hovering overhead. I’d heard on the news that there had been a bank robbery a few towns away and commented that perhaps they were doing an aerial search for the bad guys. This prompted some priceless remarks, including:
  • From Ciara: “So Mom, do bad guys usually run on the right side or the left side of the street?”
  • From Liam: “I don’t think they usually run, do they Mom? Ciara, I think they will be the guys you see tip-toeing down the street all hunched over. They’ll probably be wearing black tights and masks.” Thank you, classic cartoons, for providing this timeless image of bad guys!
  • From the triplets in the third row of the mini-van: “Bad guys! Bad guys! I see bad guys! Over there! Bad guys over there!” I should have known. The pint-sized police are always on high alert!
This weekend prompted a classic. After 36 hours of tripping over Legos, blocks, trains and rocks (yes, the rock collection somehow made it inside!), we’d had it. The “clean up song” has lost its allure, the notion of teamwork wasn’t working and we were at our wits end. Des, who never loses his cool actually yelled at them. He yelled “IF YOU DON’T CLEAN THESE TOYS UP, I AM GETTING A TRASH BAG AND THROWING THEM ALL OUT!” Liam, unable to contain a giggle and a smirk was put on the hot seat. “You think it’s funny?!” , Des asked. “No Dad,” he responded with a grin. “I’m just thinking you’ve never done it before so you’re not going to do it now.”

Yikes. Where is the owner’s manual for these little people when you really need it?! Since I don’t have one, we’re just doing the best we can and trying to laugh as much as possible. If we don’t, I’m quite certain we will in fact go insane. Until then, I’ll keep sharing the crazy things our kids (and we!) say and hope that you will do the same.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Turns out that running just may be a team sport

I had a lot of anxiety about running the New York ½ Marathon on Sunday.  For starters, I’m not a distance runner.  I’m more of an ambling jogger who routinely trots along for four miles a few days a week.  Given this, one might expect there was an extensive training regimen leading up to Sunday’s 13.2 miles; alas, there was not.  Between snow, sleet, ice, five kids, a new job, dark mornings and darker evenings, it was hard enough to get in my typical weekly runs let alone amp up the mileage in any substantial way.  I did manage to get in a seven-miler and ten-miler a few weeks before race day; neither was very much fun and neither filled me with confidence that I would actually cross the finish line.  As my Mom so aptly put it on Saturday night, “Well, Ker, you know the way home if you can’t make it!” 

So, as Sunday morning dawned – actually, an hour or so before dawn, while that remarkable full moon was still in its splendor – I really wasn’t convinced that I’d be celebrating the completion of the half marathon; I thought it far more likely that the city sanitation trucks would sweep me up with the other stragglers.  Turns out I should have had a bit more faith in myself… and, as with most of life’s challenges, turns out that I most certainly didn’t do it alone.  There were facebook cheers and family fans and my running buddies who never doubted that I could do it and told me as much.  Then, perhaps most significantly, there was Des.

As I mentioned in my last post, entry to the New York ½ Marathon is lottery based, unless you’re an elite runner, which we’ve clearly established I am not!   Against the odds, Des and I both got a number.  Since he ran the New York Marathon (26.2 miles!) in November, I figured this would literally be a stroll through the park (Central Park) for him.  I figured we’d drive in together, line up together and then he would take off and I would linger behind, glad to have Lady GaGa and ABBA on my iPod to keep me company.  Instead, he stayed by my side when my hip and knee went somewhere between miles six and seven and I stayed by his when he visited the PortoPotty somewhere around the 11th mile.

This is notable for a few reasons.  Like many couples, we have to do a fair amount of dividing and conquering.  With five kids, a dog, our jobs and the responsibilities they all entail, it’s the only way to get things done.  For better or worse, I’ve become somewhat accustomed to flying solo or simply administering tasks and making demands.  Our situation has been all the more intense the past two years as we juggled newborn triplets with two toddlers and then suffered through Des' brother’s losing battlle with lung cancer last summer.  Divide and conquer was key to our survival.  “You take Liam and Ciara to the park; I’ll feed and bathe the triplets.”  “You go to the hospital with Conor; I’ll take the five kids to the pool.”  “You take out the trash and walk the dog; I’ll clean up the kitchen and make the lunches.”  And so it goes.  You. Me. You. Me. But what about us?

Rediscovering the “us” was an unexpected by-product of our own amazing race.  We did it together.  We stayed together.  Those 13 miles had their ups and downs just like the past few years and the many more ahead of us.  But we did it together. And it was nice.  Really nice.  Running isn't typically known as a team sport but, after crossing the finish line together, Team Lyons is stronger than ever. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The NYC Half Marathon puts Mama in a panic!

Tomorrow is a big day.  It's the day I've been waiting for since I got an email in early January informing me that I was in -- that I got a number and will be joining thousands of runners through 13.2 miles of city streets.  Daunting, right?  I remember the flurry of emails that went around the day the acceptance/rejection letters were sent.  "Did you get in?"  "Nope." "Rejected.'  "Maybe next year?" "Maybe there's another one we could do later in the year?" None of my hardcore, early morning, weather defying gal pals got in.  Just me.  Leaving me to wonder if I really wanted to do it all.  Here I am, the day before the big event and I still feel the same way!

Last night I didn't sleep a wink.  I am in full-blown panic about whether or not I can actually go the distance.  Whenever I'd drift off for a few fitful moments, pre-race paranoia dominated my dreams.  In one, I forgot my race number and couldn't get to the starting line.  In another, I forgot my running clothes (don't ask!) and had to run in my pajamas.  In another, my socks fell in a puddle before I put them on (that's weird, right?!) and I was faced with 13.2 miles in soggy socks.  Not good.

I am really in a tizzy.  Part of my panic is driven by fear of injury.  The only other time I've run this far was exactly ten years ago and as you might suspect, my decade younger, pre-kid body was in far better shape than the one I have now.  Granted, I'm fairly fit but have definitely suffered some, um,  structural damage after five kids -- especially since the last three of them arrived together!   In any case, the last time I attempted a half marathon, I distinctly recall limping the last few miles and not being able to walk up stairs for a week.  Really makes you wonder why I even signed up in the first place, right?! 

The rest of my pre-race jitters are all related -- simply put, Mama Lyons can't go down!  There isn't time for injury or even recovery when your daily activities include any combination of lugging kids and laundry up and down stairs, wrestling them in and out of the car, chasing them up and down the block, you get the idea.  A strong, healthy Mama Lyons is a necessity to keeping the Lyons Den in working order.  This is why I didn't sleep last night.  This is why the butterflies in my stomach feel more like a herd of elephants. 

Today I'm going to do my best to psyche myself up, to channel my inner little engine that could and repeatedly chant "I think I can!"; I will hydrate; I will carbo-load and I will most definitely lay out my running clothes before bed tonight so that there is NO chance of running the race in my pajamas.  Wish me luck and think of me when you're having your Sunday morning coffee -- with a bit of luck and hard work, I will hopefully be crossing the finish line just about then!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without some Irish Soda Bread!

After I mentioned that Des made Irish Soda Bread a few weeks ago (it's true, in our house, Irish Soda Bread isn't confined to March 17th!), I received quite a few requests to share the recipe... which, of course, I would love to do however, he got it from a book that Liam brought home from the school library which, rather surprisingly, has been returned on time and therefore is no longer here!  (Trust me when I tell you this is a rarity; I've been avoiding the town library for months because I'm mortified about a $30 late fee from last summer!)

I did a bit of searching and the attached recipe from is pretty close to the various recipes we've used in the past:

Lyons Den Endorsed Irish Soda Bread recipe

Lots of raisins and a lack of caraway seeds are what make it a crowd-pleaser in our house.  I'm sure the purists out there might prefer to include the caraway but, having tried it and suffered the moans and groans of our own little leprechauns, I would't recommend it for yours.  Needless to say, the Irish Soda Bread is best served out of the oven with a side of butter and for you, perhaps even a pot of tea.  Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day... may your Irish eyes be smiling just like all of ours! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Manic Monday

One of my first bosses, who is now a close friend, dubbed me “Pollyanna” after knowing me for just a few days. Even in the workplace at the beginning of my so-called career, my unfailing optimism and extreme idealism couldn’t be missed. Indeed, it is these very qualities that allow me to pop out of bed each morning, genuinely happy to face the day ahead and the challenges it entails.

Each day most certainly contatins its own challenges – some big, some small. Liam might miss the bus or we might run out of milk or there may be three or four kids with raging fevers as I scramble to make myself presentable and get to work on time. As I’ve mentioned before, most days are good days and thankfully most of our challenges are small. But sometimes, even our small challenges add up to something bigger than I can gracefully manage; in those moments, the Pollyanna in me disappears. She is replaced Cruella deVille or the Wicked Witch of the West or some other such character with a dark disposition and menacing laugh. Last night this dark alter-ego appeared and I have to say, I think I dislike her as much as my husband and kids do.

Yesterday was the most Monday of Mondays. Everyone was tired and loathe to get out of bed, suffering as we were from switching the clocks over the weekend and waiting for our bodies to adjust. Work was, well, work. A lot of work! The day passed swiftly by and before I knew it, my tired, cranky bod was on its way home and fielding a call from Des who was going to be an hour late. The expletive I muttered under my breath wasn’t missed and it’s a wonder that the poor guy got on the train and decided to come home at all!

As I turned onto our block, pondering the mayhem and dinner preparation that awaited me (and just me!), I was almost run down by five tykes on trikes and bikes all of whom, as it turns out, belonged to me and none of whom were eager to go inside to accompany me while I started dinner. That was Battle #1. Simply getting them all inside was a Herculean effort with a resulting deafening roar of dismay and disagreement. With my head pounding, I did the only thing I could think of to quiet the masses – I offered them a snack. This kept them busy for about approximately three minutes while I popped the salmon and potatoes (prepped before I left for work!) into the oven.

With the snack gone and dinner cooking, the chorus of whining and wailing began. “I’m tired. I’m hungry. Can I have a banana? When’s dinner? Can we watch TV? Mac Mac bit me! I have to pee! Kevin’s taking his pants off! I don’t want salmon! Can we have more Goldfish? I’m STARVING! Declan threw a block at me! Where’s my baby stroller? Can I have another snack?!” And so it went. And so I texted Des “This is a NIGHTMARE. When will you be home?!”

That’s when the smoke started to come out of the oven, one of the kids fell off the counter barstool and I literally started to scream like a banshee. I just lost it. I was tired, they were tired. They were screaming, I was screaming. Dinner was burning, the table wasn’t set, the dishwasher needed to be unloaded and the groceries that had been delivered cluttered the counter. It wasn’t pretty. Des walked in shortly thereafter to a smoky scene that resembled a warzone. It was me against them and I’m pretty sure they were winning. Somehow, we salvaged dinner and by the time the sun came up this morning, I had almost found Pollyanna again. She’s still reeling a bit from her alter-ego’s violent outburst but firmly believes that today will be a better day. And tomorrow will probably be even better. Phew. She’s back!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pint Sized Police

With last week's arrival of Lent and the challenge of finding something to “give up” for  forty days, I am reminded once again that our children thrive in their role as self-appointed pint-sized police. We have an usually large task force at work here in the Lyons Den – a team of five who are constantly on the prowl, eager to catch someone in a forbidden act and then promptly rat them out to the prevailing parental unit which, for better or worse, happens to include a legitimate local judge.

Our pee-wee patrol alternates between committing and reporting on numerous petty crimes. The two-year old triplets are eloquent in the language of accusation – “he bit me!”, “he hit me!”, and perhaps most unfortuantely "he PEED on the floor!" are part of a daily refrain which is often followed by stern self-administered sentencing: “NO Declan!”, “Time OUT Mac Mac!”, “Bad boy KooKoo!”

The “bad boy” expletive is puzzling to us since we do our best not to actually tell our kids that they are "bad". Because, of course, they’re not. They’re just kids. While I’ve certainly slipped up and dropped an F-bomb now and again, I honestly don’t think I ever called one of them a “Bad Boy”. As it turns out, I didn’t; their Big Sister has.  It appears that Ciara has taken on a Lieutenant role of sorts and I'm told that she lets that “Bad Boy” fly routinely while we’re at work. She was outed by her Big Brother, who assumes the Captain role in their pee-wee patrol unit.  This all helps to explain why one night when I strongly suggested the triplets finish their dinner, I was verbally assaulted by three two-year tyrants screaming “Bad Boy Mama! Mama BAD BOY!!!!!!”

Then there’s the big kids – they don’t let anyone – including me and Des, get away with anything. We were driving home from Costco last week and they overheard me talking to a friend about our Saturday night plans, saying something like “oh, I’d love see a stupid, mindless movie for a change – especially since the last thing I saw was Black Swan!” I was immediately interrupted by the petite police in the back of the minivan, “MOM! You said STUPID! STUPID is a BAD word MOM! What’s stupid anyway? Why did you say that? I’m telling Dad.” Oh geez, I thought, here we go… it starts by telling Dad that I said "stupid" and then quickly escalates to the fact that I was talking while driving, might have rolled through a stop sign and somehow spent almost $600 at Costco! It’s all fair game to my four foot and under platoon.

 Knowing as I do that I can’t get away with much, I really struggle with what to give up for Lent. I am under the contant scrutiny of five sets of eyeballs (six, if you count my husband the Judge!) who are just waiting for me to screw up… waiting for me to sneak that potato chip or cookie I’ve tried to give up in the past, waiting for my shrill outburst when I’ve promised to try harder to keep my cool. So, what’s a gal to do?! Giving up wine is out of the question, I’ve tried that and failed miserably and just couldn’t stand my own kids urging me to “just say no.”

So, as I write this, I haven’t committed to giving anything up; my pint-sized police have perhaps put the fear of God in me because I just can’t stand to fail in front of them. Or maybe it's that being called “bad boy mama” is quickly losing its charm. In any case, if you have any suggestions for something I can give up (or take on) between now and Easter, please let me know -- and, should you have your own pee-wee police at home, consider yourself warned! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lessons from a first grade field trip

Last Friday, I had the good fortune to accompany Liam's first grade glass on a field trip to Lyndhurst (, a stunning Gothic Revival mansion overlooking the Hudson River -- a place that I've walked by, run by and driven by countless times but never set foot in. The trip and tour were understandably geared toward a six-year old mentality. While I would have loved to learn more about the amazing architectural details, original artwork and Tiffany glass, I instead came away with a better understanding of life today versus the way it was roughly a hundred years ago.

As a Mom, I can clearly see that many things are easier now than they were then – take for instance laundry and vacuuming. While our kids may put us through the wringer, at least we have washing machines to tackle our soiled wears. And, while vacuuming may not be my favorite chore, it sure beats moving the furniture, rolling up the rugs, taking them outside and beating the crap out of them… although, come to think of it, that sounds like a pretty good way to work out your frustrations!

Playdates as we know them today didn’t exist. If Junior wanted to do some socializing, you had to send a letter, await a reply, summons your horse and carriage and pack your overnight bag because the odds were good you’d be staying awhile. Now, while this does have some alluring qualities, it’s certainly a lot simpler to call, email, text or, as one vocal little lady put it “just go downstairs! I live in an apartment building and can always find a playdate!”

As for the kids, well, they seemed pretty content to live here in 2011 rather than way back when. Beyond the obvious challenge with playdates, they were visibly disturbed to learn that children at the table could only speak when spoken to -- can you imagine?! Dinnertime without the common complaints I’ve become accustomed to --  most of which start or end with “I don’t LIKE it!” I think maybe these pioneer parents were on to something…

Then there were the clothes and toys. You should have seen these kids faces when they saw the bathing costumes (which, frankly, I think would truly flatter my figure right about now!) and heard that the “comfy” clothes they were all sporting were off-limits… it was petticoats for the girls and pressed shirts for the boys… something that’s all the more impressive when you consider what it took to iron pre-electricity! As for entertainment, those poor kids had no video games, no TV, no DVDs -- as one feisty fella put it “they had NOTHING!”

I would beg to differ. One of my lessons learned was that they actually had quite a lot. They had the freedom to be kids. To roam the property. To let their imaginations run wild as their little bodies followed. They respected their elders, minded their manners and from what I can tell, usually ate their string beans without whining. Perhaps I’m a little old-fashioned (or maybe a lot?) but, I think there’s some good to be had in embracing the wisdom of generations past. And for that, I am grateful to have joined the first grade trip to Lyndhurst. Liam, on the other hand, may not be so glad – especially since I now have some new ammunition to remind him that kids have indeed survived without a DS or iPad of their own. Come to to think of it, Liam may not invite me on any future trips… although, I suppose he won’t have the opportunity to unless I invite him to speak first!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Our Irish Heritage: reflections and traditions

Though the winter has been long, it's hard to believe that March is here, thus beginning a holiday season of a different sort here in the Lyons Den. As February turned to March, my husband Des and I found that our monthly calendar synch was full of many more festivities than usual... there's theBrehon Law Society Dinner, Irelend-US Council Luncheon, Friendly Sons dinner (it has always struck me that these "friendly" sons are not so friendly after all -- if they were, I would think on occasion a "daughter" or two might be invited to partake in the fun!), and seemingly countless evenings where he "has to" meet someone "for just a pint."

March is a month of merriment that builds up to St. Patrick's Day and maintains a lively tone for the days and weeks after. It's a month where we all feel especially proud to be Irish and inspired to reflect upon our hertiage. My Mom was an O'Brien and my maiden name was O'Connor. I always loved having that "O" as part of my name. When we went to church on Sunday, our parish was full of O'Connors -- most of whom I was related to. What distinguished us from the others was the weekly greeting from our priest "Ah! It's the five Ks!" he would say as my dad Kevin, mom Katie, sister Kristin, brother Kevin and I shuffled in. Irish in name, looks and spirit, St. Patrick's Day at our house meant corned beef and cabbage and house full of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who seemed to be even more jolly than usual on March 17th.

Des is always proud to boast that his Dad was a "Cork man" and played hurling with the legendary Christie Ring. This husband of mine is addicted to Irish tea (although I've always thought it ironic he prefers Barry's to Lyons), adores a well poured pint of Guinness, looks dashing in his ages-old Irish knit sweater and can make an astonishingly good Irish Soda Bread.

As we raise our little Lyons Cubs (regrettably, Des turned down my suggestion to change his name to O'Lyons and I have to say, I really miss my "O" -- especially in the month of March!), we've started a few traditions of our own -- one of which was a highlight of this past weekend: the annual family outing to Rory Dolan's ( -- a legendary spot on the Yonkers/Bronx border that has a festive crowd, great music and does indeed pour the perfect pint.

Additionally, rather than scowl when they see us coming with our five tots six and under, they welcome us with open arms, oohing and aahing over Liam, Ciara, Kevin, Declan and Cormac. I suppose that's one of things that I'm most proud of in this season when "Proud to be Irish" buttons prevail; I am proud to come from a culture that always welcomes people with open arms and if there is just one tradition, one value that I pass on to our little brood, I hope this is it... in March and every other month of the year!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mom's Night In

Last Saturday, Des had a long overdue night out with the guys... which, of course, left me home "alone" with our five little Cubs.  All things considered, I get out a fair bit  -- work dinners, book club and the occasional Girls Night Out satisfy my need for a break from the constant action in the Lyons Den.  This time it was his turn.  But things were NOT looking good at the beginning of my Mom's Night In.

I was bleeding (due to improper knife technique while making dinner), Liam was sporting a new black & blue egg on his head (due to a wooden block thrown at close proximity by Ciara), Ciara was pouting (due to the time-out she was in thanks to the aforementioned grievance) and the triplets were howling in their highchairs (due to a lack of nap, distaste for dinner or both).  As Des sauntered out the door, I had to muffle the primal scream inside that said "TAKE ME WITH YOU!"  I had to remember that this was his night out, my night in.

I'm quite pleased to report that it actually turned into quite a nice night.  The bleeding, pouting, and howling were relatively short-lived and all seemed well as five little Cubs took a bath, five little Cubs put on their PJs and five little Cubs snuggled into our bed for story time followed by a new episode of the Backyardigans -- my favorite of all the kid shows, so much so that I've been known to remark "but really, the music and choregraphy are great!"  Geez, whatever happened to my so-called life?  The answer, it seems, is not much.

By 8:30, they were all tucked into their cribs and beds while I pondered what might come next.  Hubby's gone, kids are asleep, now what?  A bubble bath? Good book?  Glass of wine?  I'm more prone to tackle "2010: the year in pictures" or "2011: regain control of our spending!"  -- both active items on my "to-do" list.  But, I refrained from these expected or obligatory options and instead did just this:

I heated up a Trader Joe's Mac & Cheese (quite tasty, I'd recommend it!), got a glass of apple cider (I'd had my daily quota of wine at a Christening earlier in the day), grabbed the pile of junk mail that grew over the week and got into bed with the remote control. With my better half out for the night, I was able to easily skip over FoxNews and anything sports related.  I loitered a bit on some reality shows and sitcom reruns until I found what I was looking for:  When Harry Met Sally.  A good reminder of how lucky I am to have found the guy to grow old with -- even if he won't eat mac & cheese in bed while watching cheesy 80s movies.  I think, after all, that's best left for a Mom's night in.  And, in case you don't have one of those on the horizon, well, here's the last few minutes -- the happy ending.  Because every Mom's night in deserves a happy ending.