Monday, August 31, 2009

If you suffer from recurring UTI's, you'll want to read this....

If you've ever had a UTI (urinary tract infection), you know how painful it can be. I've only had a few infections in my lifetime but I have several friends who experience UTI's quite frequently. Unfortunately, the only way to treat a UTI is to take an antibiotic prescribed only by your doctor.

But there is now an over-the-counter product called Cystex that you can take to help alleviate your painful symptoms until you can get in to see your doctor. It can also be used as a preventative measure to help lower your chances of recurring UTI's.

Physician and pharmacist-recommended Cystex® Urinary Pain Relief Tablets is the only over-the-counter (OTC) medication that has a dual-action formula to help manage urinary tract infections (UTIs) while waiting to see a doctor. Unlike other drug store medicines, Cystex® helps to relieve the pain and burning associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI) while also inhibiting the progression of the infection with an antibacterial. It is the only OTC urinary pain relief medicine to combine a key pain-fighting analgesic, sodium salicylate, with an effective antibacterial agent, methenamine, to help stop the pain and progression of a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Board-certified urologist, Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, author of “A Seat on the Aisle, Please! The Essential Guide to Urinary Tract Problems in Women” has teamed up with Cystex to provide helpful information, as well as answer any questions you have, about UTI's and overall bladder health in the form of a video series, called Know Your Bladder Better. In these informative videos, Dr Kavaler addresses several issues that most people aren't aware of, such as cranberry juice only being effective in the prevention of UTI's and not as a treatment and that squatting, instead of sitting, when urinating can contribute to the develoment of a UTI.

The Cystex site also has an area where you can ask Dr Kavaler a specific question that may not have been addressed already. Just visit the Ask the Urologist page and submit your question....easy as that!

You can buy Cystex at many retailers, drug and grocery stores throughout the US, as well as online, at http://www.drugstore.com/ and http://www.amazon.com/

The generous people at Cystex have offered to send one lucky winner their very own box of Cystex Urinary Pain Relief Tablets!

Here's how to enter the giveaway:

Leave a comment here telling me what preventative measures you've used in the past to avoid another UTI, if any.

For extra entries:
** You must complete the first entry above for other entries to count. Please leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each additional entry.

-- Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to
my blog
-- Add yourself to my follower list (or let me know you are already following)
-- Follow
me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (leave the URL of your tweet)

This giveaway ends on Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 9:00 pm PST. One winner will be chosen via Random.org. Please make sure you leave your e-mail address in your comment if it's not accessible on your blog profile.


*Disclaimer: I have not used this product personally, as I do not experience recurrent UTI's. However, in the event that I were to develop a UTI, it's a product I would not hesitate to buy until I could get in to see my doctor.


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Friday, August 28, 2009

I'ts a bird, it's a plane, it's.....uh, wait, it actually IS a bird!

We moved into our home over 7 years ago. Little did we know that we would have another family joining us soon after. A lovely little family of sparrows....

Above our front door, outside, is a little nook-type area. The sparrows discovered it early on and decided it would be a wonderful place to build a nest. We loved watching them that first year. We especially enjoyed watching the baby birds take flight for the first time. Then winter came and the sparrows disappeared.

The following spring, the sparrows came back. And they brought friends with them, who set up their nest above our neighbor's front door. I had no idea that birds could crap SO much. We tolerated them, knowing they'd disappear again once the weather got cold. We even had our exterminator take down their nest, as soon as we knew for sure they were gone.

But they came back.....again, the next spring after that. And they've been back every single spring since then. Each year, we tolerate them....we clean up the crap they leave all over our front porch....we enjoy watching the baby birds take first flight....and then we knock down their nest as soon as they leave, hoping they'll find a new home the following year.

Amazingly, none of the sparrows have ever flown into our house....until the other day. Garrett and Landon's IE teacher was leaving and the kids were waving goodbye to her, when Landon suddenly bolted out the door and ran down the street, with me chasing him. I left the front door open, without giving it a second thought. As soon as I got him back in the house, Tim starts screaming, "There's a bird in the house".

As the bird flew around the house, trying to find his way out, Tim was up on the stairs swinging a broom at it.


I'm not sure how he thought that would help, other than scaring the crap out of the bird. And I mean that in the most literal sense. That bird flew around my house, crapping everywhere.....all over my beautiful newly painted walls and our new gorgeous wood floors. So there Tim was swinging a broom at the bird, thinking that would help him find his way out of our home....and there I was, yelling at the kids, "Go out to the front yard...he's gonna poop all over you guys" (which was the worst thing I could've said to them because then they were intrigued by the possibility of that actually happening, as they ran around trying to be the first one to get pooped on, screaming, "I'm gonna be the first one"...."No, I'm gonna be the first one...get outta my way") and I was running around with an antibacterial wipe, trying to clean up the crap as quickly as it landed.

I have to say that as beautiful as sparrows are, they are stupid stupid animals. We had the front door open and we had the back door open.....but he continued to fly frantically around the house, finally bashing himself into a window above our kitchen sink. I was thinking, "Wait, he thinks the window is his way out, yet we have 2 doors wide open and he can't figure that out??" Even the kids were saying, "Man, WE'RE not even that dumb".


Then the poor thing finally got so tired that he flew up to the loft and perched himself up on the shelf and tried to catch his breath.


And as he took a breather, apparently the word had gotten out on the street that a sparrow had been taken hostage and the other sparrows in the neighborhood were not gonna let one of their own go down without a fight. Some were perched above our garage, some were flying in the front yard and others were just sitting above our front door.....staring at us. They were dive bombing us every time we walked out the front door. I could've sworn I heard them chanting, "Donna Martin graduates....Donna Martin graduates".

We all finally managed to get outside safely and I happened to see our neighbor outside who said he had had the same problem with sparrows who were above his front door. After he gave us a couple tips on how to capture the bird, we went back in the house and there was no bird. Gone....just like that. We were relieved that he had finally found his way out.

So then we took the kids for a short walk down to the park and back. Then I went out grocery shopping, while Tim stayed home with the kids. By the time I got back, Tim had fallen asleep in Garrett and Landon's room but Cole and Bella were still awake. They eagerly greeted me at the door and told me that the bird had taken refuge in our bedroom.....are you kidding me??!! No, apparently they weren't joking....there was bird crap all over our room.

I woke Tim up and he said that the kids had gone into our room for some reason and noticed things had been knocked down from the dresser. Then they saw the bird sitting on a ledge above our bedroom window. Tim was quick enough to throw a sheet over it and took it outside to be released....but not before he let Cole and Bella pet the bird.

"You WHAT??!! You let them touch the bird?!", I yelled. He said, "Yeah..what's the big deal?" and the kids were all smiles as they said, "Yeah, Mommy....it was really cool". Yeah, real cool....as I sat there later googling "bird flu" and "what diseases do birds carry".

Cole said, "Mommy, aren't you glad we found the bird....what if we didn't see it and you went to bed and it was in there with you while you slept". Bella added, "Yeah, you should be thanking us....it could've crapped all over you in bed". (Note to self - it's time to cross the word "crap" off the list of suitable words to use when we think the kids aren't listening. Crap, obviously, is not a good replacement word for "shit"). We had to cross "shit" off our list due to another incident that had happened a few days before the bird incident....when the kids were running around the sideyard playing in the blow-up pool and Bella yelled, "Eeeeew.....there's dog shit on our grass".

I tell you, never a dull moment in our house....never, ever a dull moment.



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Thursday, August 27, 2009

There is a recurring theme around here and I don't think I like it....

Monday through Friday, it's a given. We have to wake up early because Cole and Bella have to be at kindergarten no later than 8:35 am. Perhaps that doesn't seem real early but we're discovering that the traffic at the school is horrendous so Tim has to leave the house super early just to make sure that the kids arrive at school on time. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, people.

Anyway, so on weekends, Tim and I like to be able to sleep in (you know, as in sleep past 6:30 am) and then when we do wake up, we like to take it easy and just relax. Well, Tim does anyway

For me, it's a whole different story. I was woken up last Saturday morning by Bella at 6:15 am...."Mommy, can I get in bed with you?". Why did the child have to wake me up to ask me that? Couldn't she have just quietly crawled into bed next to me? No, apparently not. So then while she fell back asleep, I stared up at the ceiling counting cobwebs and reciting Cheetah Girl songs in my head. Clearly, I have gone to the dark side....you know that's happened when you're in the car listening to High School Musical and Cheetah Girl songs....and you're by yourself. And you realize you're never coming back from the dark side when you're singing along with the music....and you know ALL the words.

So moving right along, last Saturday, once the kids were all downstairs, happily sipping on warm milk, I announced that I was going upstairs to shower. Perhaps that's where I went wrong. I should work on this. I mean, really....wasn't that just an open invitation for trouble? I need to start figuring out a way to sneak upstairs without anyone noticing (and then lock the bedroom door once I've managed to steal away).

Tim was laying on the sofa, sleeping. Or maybe he was pretending to sleep. I honestly don't know how the man can sleep while 4 children are running around screaming at the top of their lungs and the tv is blaring so loud that people in Florida can probably hear it.

As I'm in the shower, Cole runs in, "Mommy, Landon won't leave my train alone". I say, "What do you want me to do right this minute? I'm in the shower...please ask Daddy to help you". He says, "But he's sleeping...".

Then Bella comes in, but unlike Cole, she actually opens the shower door instead of screaming to me through the door..."Mommy, can you find my orange shirt for me? I can't find it". "Can you please shut the shower door...water is getting everywhere...ask your father to help you find your shirt," I say. She responds, "But he's sleeping...."

Next Landon comes in, knocking repeatedly on the shower door, "Mommy....Mommy....Mommy....". Everytime I say, "Yes, Landon...what do you need?", he just continues to bang on the door saying "Mommy, mommy". I finally open the shower door and say "WHAT??". He smiles and says, "Hi Mommy". I respond, "Hi Landon". He says, "Daddy sleeping". I said, "Yeah, so I hear. I need a few more minutes in the shower, k?". He says, "Okay" but continues to sit right outside the shower door, screaming "Done yet?" every 5 seconds.

Then finally Garrett comes in and he's crying hysterically. I open the shower door and say, "What....for crying out loud, what is wrong??". He says, "I want to watch Nemo movie". I say, "Well, go downstairs and ask Daddy to put it on for you then...". He says, "No, Daddy sleeping".

When I got out of the shower, they were all standing in the bathroom, just waiting for me to serve them. Are you freakin kidding me? So let's get this straight....Tim can sleep on the sofa downstairs without being interrupted or woken up but I can't even take a quick shower without the kids coming in every few minutes needing this or that.

I finally asked them, "Why do you all do this? Why do you bug me about everything, yet you let Daddy sleep peacefully?". Cole said, "Because he'll get mad if we wake him up....plus, you're a Mom....you HAVE to do everything. All Daddy has to do is sleep and go to work".

Apparently, my "Memo to the Bosses" must have fallen on deaf ears. Looks like it's time to renegotiate that contract again, as well. Or maybe it's just time to sign myself up for Wife Swap....and let my sweet family experience quite the opposite of what they've been accustomed to. Hmmmm, the wheels in my head are spinning now....



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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The world according to a toddler....

My 2-yr old twins, Garrett and Landon, are constantly keeping me on my toes. I do have to say, though, that this stage that they're at is BY FAR the best stage so far. They're finally figuring out how to talk, they have such a wonderful sense of humor and they still think I'm the coolest person that they know.

I think one of the reasons I'm probably enjoying this stage of toddlerhood so much is because I finally feel like I have a handle on things. If there were anything I'd want new mothers to know, it's what to expect from your toddler...and most importantly, how to understand the world according to your toddler.

So here it is...."The World According To Your Toddler". Everything you should know, everything you need to know and everything you thought you knew but you were really only kidding yourself.....brought to you courtesy of Garrett and Landon.

1) "No" is a perfectly acceptable word in my vocabulary. However, it is not an appropriate word for YOU to have in yours.

2) When you offer me a graham cracker, offering me just any graham cracker will not do. It has to be from the package that is NOT YET OPEN, even though I know there's already another package that has been opened. And it has to be the bottom graham cracker. The top one simply isn't good enough for me. Leave that one for Daddy.

3) Don't get all excited that I ate the peas you put on my plate today. I can assure you that the next time you serve me peas, I will throw them off my plate one by one, as if peas were the most horrible food known to man.

4) You may think that the contents of the toilet bowl is completely disgusting. But I, on the other hand, think it's pretty darn cool. It's even more enticing if someone has left poop in the bowl, unflushed. And I'll just warn you up front...I will not be able to resist unraveling all the toilet paper and attempting to flush it down the toilet....all at one time. Oh, and just so you know, there are plenty of other things around the house that I find intriguing, such as the dirty broom, the garbage pail that holds my dirty diapers, the space underneath the oven, the cat food and the top shelf of your nightstand. How was I supposed to know that the tube of slimy stuff wasn't diaper rash cream?

5) It is adorable when I run around the house naked. It is NOT adorable, however, when you do it. Enough said.

6) Putting a gate in our bedroom doorway to prevent us from leaving our room at night was a clever idea, even I have to admit that. BUT, I don't understand why you continue to underestimate my strength and power. I can bust that gate down quicker than you can scream "Get back in your room". Now you know....consider yourself informed.

7) Here's the scoop on sippy cups. It's really pretty simple. Repeat it with me...

All dark juices go in the orange sippy cup:




All clear or light juices go in the blue sippy cup:



It doesn't have to make perfect sense to you. It makes perfect sense to me and, really, isn't that all that matters? Live it, love it, respect it.

8) For the 100th time, under no circumstances are you ever to break a piece of food in half and offer it to me. If you give me a banana, it better be a whole banana. Same rule goes for cheese, crackers....giving me half a cracker is not acceptable and I won't stand for it. Oh, and don't think you can turn your back away from me and cut it in half, on the sly....I may be a toddler and I may be what they call a "clean slate" but I'm not stupid. Are we clear now? Okay, moving on....try to keep up....

9) When I'm upset, I expect you to sit there and try to figure out what it is that I need or want. Here's the list of things you should ask me:

--does your tummy hurt?
--do you have an owie somewhere?
--are you thirsty?
--are you hungry?
--are you tired?
--do you need hugs and kisses?
--are you scared?
--do you want world peace?

I'll still continue to sob uncontrollably...maybe mumbling a comprehendible word here and there. Just keep on guessing and at some point when I'm tired of hearing your voice, I'll just simply point to what I want and then you'll get up and go get it for me, k?

10) What's mine is MINE. Get it? Don't expect me to share. Don't expect me to be all thoughtful and generous. My toys are MY toys and no one else's. It wasn't MY idea to host a playdate....that was YOUR idea. Just because you want to impress all the moms in the playgroup doesn't mean that I have to play along and be nice. I'm a toddler... I'm rude, I'm selfish, the world revolves around ME and only ME....don't expect anything otherwise.

However, every once in awhile, I will surprise you. If you're really nice to me....and I mean, SUPER nice...I may even be willing to haul the trash to the front door, without being asked of course.



But you should know that this will not be an everyday occurrence. Yeah, don't expect miracles to happen all the time. On most days, I reserve the right to completely annoy you to the point where throwing yourself into oncoming traffic sounds more exciting than hanging out with me for the rest of the day.



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Sunday, August 23, 2009

9 months and counting....

For the most part, Tim and I have our household responsibilities down pat. I try my best to keep up with the cleaning as much as I can and he helps whenever he has time (or the desire).

Now when it comes to decorating our home for the holidays, that's all ME. I'm a huge holiday person, especially during the fall season. As soon as the leaves start turning brown and falling off the trees, I'm already digging out our Halloween decorations. Spider webs, skeletons, pumpkins, witches....Halloween galore. Same with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

However, usually by Christmas, I've far outdone myself. Between putting together the Christmas tree, displaying all the Christmas cards we receive, putting up the nativity scene, decorating the house with lights....I'm exhausted.

Then January 1 rolls around and I look at Tim and say, "Wow, Christmas just came and went so fast this year. I guess it's time to take down the decorations, huh?" He knows this translates to "I have no freakin intention of getting off my ass and doing it all myself so uh, HELLO....grab a ladder, buddy, cuz you're helping!" He may still be somewhat naive when it comes to understanding the female mind and how it works but he's definitely getting better at some of the translations. Like "Oh, hey, if you're gonna be anywhere near Target today, can you pick up a couple things for me?" really means "I expect you to be near Target today so you can pick up my entire shopping list for me, including a popcorn maker, 5 bottles of vitamins...and if you see a really nice mirror, grab that too....oh, and make sure you have your cell phone turned on because I'll probably call you at least 3 times to add more stuff to the list. I don't do voicemail...".

But mostly, Tim will take pity on me and help me at least take down the Christmas tree, as long as I put away all the decorations (which we all know is a huge pain in the ass because every ornament has to be wrapped and put away in its own box).

We always seem to forget about the Christmas wreath on the front door, though. In the past, I'll usually notice it around mid-January and grab it off the door and put it back in the garage in storage. But this last Christmas, I kept asking Tim, "Oh, hey....when you leave for work today, can you just grab the wreath off the door and toss it in the garage?"

Well, because he's a man and he can't store anything in his brain for more than 10 seconds (unless the stored information has anything to do with sex or food), he'd forget. He might have had a fleeting thought as he headed out the front door, something like, "Hmmmm, I know I'm supposed to do something but I can't remember what it is....and, damn, this Christmas wreath is so annoying every time I open the front door".

So then it became a contest between the two of us. Who would finally take the wreath down? Everytime I'd ask him to do it, he'd say, "Well, why don't you just do it since you seem to always remember to nag me about it". I'd say, "That's not the point....it's the principle of the matter. I asked you to do it and you said you would."

9 months later....where is our Christmas wreath??


Yep, still hanging on our front door. Don't you just love the gold reindeer wreath hanger that's also still hanging on the door, holding the wreath? People who come over are constantly saying, "You know you still have your Christmas wreath on the door, don't you?". It's gotten old....I just roll my eyes now when people mention it.

I suppose if I wanna see the "glass is half full" side of this, 9 months isn't bad compared to the "Happy Birthday" banner that stayed taped to our sliding glass door for 3 years. I put it up for Cole and Bella's 1st birthday and it stayed there until their 4th birthday. But at least, that made some sense....when someone's birthday rolled around, we already had the banner up.

So Christmas will come and go again as it always does but the wreath will probably continue to hang on our front door....for the next 10 years. Nothing surprises me anymore. But I suppose this was bound to happen eventually when you mix one stubborn person with one strong-willed person. It can't be all sunshine and roses every single day, now, can it?



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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Be still my beating heart....

Dear Cole and Bella,

Yesterday was your first day of kindergarten. I'm still having a difficult time understanding how you both managed to go from this:



to this..........................



Everyone told me that the time would go by quickly but I never realized just how quickly. It's almost as if I blinked and you both changed overnight. As much as I would love to turn back the hands of time to when you both were so tiny and fragile that you literally fit in the palm of my hand, I know the future is something to look forward to, even though my brain needs to convince my heart of that fact most of the time.

At breakfast, yesterday, you asked me what happens after you're done with kindergarten and I told you that you'd go on to 1st grade, then 2nd grade, then 3rd grade and so on and so forth. Then I said, "And before you know it, you'll be graduating high school and moving away to go to college. Then after that, you'll probably get married and have children of your own". In an instant, I saw most of your childhood and early adulthood flash before my eyes. I know it will go by faster than I anticipate...I want to soak it all in....I want to remember every detail that I possibly can.

Bella, you said, "What do you mean we'll move away? I don't want to move away. I always want to live here at home with you, Mommy". And Cole, you agreed..."I never want to leave home". My heart smiled upon hearing this. But I couldn't help but get teary-eyed, knowing you feel this way now but also realizing that when the time comes, you'll be all too happy to leave home and start your own lives as responsible adults.

My one source of comfort is knowing that as you grow up, you will always make us proud and knowing that you will go on to accomplish so many wonderful things in your lifetime. If anyone's going to make an impact and a difference in this world, I know it will be the both of you.

As you hopped into Daddy's car yesterday for him to drop you off at kindergarten, I took this picture....you both look so grown up, running with your backpacks on your back.



As I wiped away the tears from my eyes, I looked at your little brothers and I said, "Can I shrink-wrap both of you and stick you in my pocket so you won't grow up??". Landon laughed and said, "No, Mommy.....". If only it were that easy....




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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So my whole "psycho killer" theory wasn't so off now, was it?

So last night I was sitting at the kitchen table playing around on the computer, while watching a re-run of Oprah. Happy as a clam....yes, I was. The kids were asleep....Tim was upstairs watching his favorite show. All was good in my world.

All of a sudden, the electricity began to flicker....on, off, on, off, on, off....it stayed off for a few seconds. Then it went back on again. Hmmmm, I had no idea what was going on. Then it happened again...it just kept flickering on and off as if someone was messing with the wires outside.

OMG, some psycho killer is outside of our home messing with our wires, trying to cut off our electricity and our phone lines. I sat still for a minute, with the tv muted, waiting to see if I could hear anything outside. I didn't hear anything so I went back to playing around on the computer. Then the lights flickered on and off again, as well as the tv. And then something hit the back porch sliding door.

I ran up the stairs and burst into our bedroom where Tim was laying watching tv. I said, "Did you notice the lights flickering on and off?" and he said, "Yeah....". I just stared at him and then said, "Well....what are you gonna do? I also heard something bang against the back sliding door!" He said, "What do you want me to do?". In total disbelief, I said, "There's probably some psycho killer outside messing with our electric box...he's probably already cut the phone lines. And I bet that thud I heard against the sliding door was our cat. I bet he's killed our cat and he threw her at the back door to taunt us! Aren't you gonna do anything?!"

He laughed. He found this amusing. He said, "Are you serious?" then he quickly dismissed that question when he realized I was damn serious. He said, "Did the neighbor's electricity go out too?" and I said, "I don't know....if it had, I'm sure it's not a coincidence. Maybe the psycho killer has already shut off their electricity, murdered them and now he's moving on to our home....". He shook his head...but he continued to lay there.

I handed him the flashlight (which also doubles as a weapon, in case you weren't aware of that little fact) and said, "Please go check it out...". He rolled his eyes but before going down the stairs, he went into his office and grabbed one of his swords from his sword collection (no, I'm not joking...yes, he's a grown man with a sword collection).

I tiptoed behind him as he walked to the front door. He opened the door and screamed, which made me scream. He turned around and started laughing.....jerk. I said, "Come on...knock it off. This is serious". He said, "Okay, I'm getting serious...". He walked to the side of the house where our electricity box was and then all I heard was silence. I said in a loud whispered voice, "Tim....is everything okay?" No answer. "Tim.....are you okay?". Again, no answer. I said it again a little louder but he still didn't answer. Geez, great....the psycho killer had probably grabbed the flashlight from him and knocked him unconscious so it was gonna be up to me to protect our family. What was I gonna do....give him a vicious titty slap? Oh well, maybe if I seemed confident in my fighting skills, I'd scare him off.

I walked around the side of the house and Tim was nowhere in sight. And it was pitch black outside. I said, "Okay, Tim....stop screwing with me. I'm going back into the house and I'm locking the door!!". As I was heading to the front door, I saw him come out from the backyard rolling the garbage can down to the sidewalk. "I figured I might as well take the trash out to the front, in the meantime....", he said. Yeah, whatever. He said, "There's no one back there...I made sure the electricity box is closed tightly, okay?"

We both went back inside the house. I got back on the computer and he retreated to the bedroom to watch his show. About an hour later, the lights flickered on and off again a couple times. Then I heard Tim scurrying about upstairs and as I ran up the stairs, he came running downstairs. He said, "Okay, now I'm convinced that something is going on....I'm gonna go outside and check again".

As he opened the front door, we saw a car turn around in our court and drive off. I stood on the porch, while he went around to the electricity box to examine things. He quickly came back and said, "Someone was messing with our breakers". I said, "Stop messing with me....you're freaking me out". He said, "I'm not trying to freak you out, sweetie, but I KNOW I closed that box tightly and now it's wide open. It's not like it could open up by itself...someone had to have opened it up". I still thought he was messing with me and I said, "You're totally messing with me". He grabbed my hand and walked me around to the side of the house where he demonstrated how the box looked when he had shut it tightly earlier and then how he had found it wide open. Okay, now I was officially flying off the handle....

"OMG, we need to call the police...." I yelled and he said, "Well, at the very least, at least call security and ask them to patrol around our court and see if they notice anyone suspicious. Honestly, I think it's just some smart-ass kids playing their version of doorbell ditching". I said, "What ever happened to throwing a flaming bag of dog crap on someone's front porch and then running off? I mean, that's how we did things back in my day...". Man, I felt like I was 75 years old at that moment. Back in my day?? 40-yr olds aren't supposed to use that terminology.

I called security and yelled into the phone "Someone was screwing with our electricity box and it's the 2nd time now within a 2-hour period. Can you please check it out?" and the security guy said, "It's probably just some kids fooling around but I'll come check it out". Before I hung up I said, "You know, my husband said the same thing but you all can't convince me that it's not some psycho killer escapee from the mental ward trying to harm my family". Tim started rummaging through every drawer he could find trying to look for a padlock so he could lock the electricity box. Yeah, that thought never occurred to him earlier than tonight, I guess.

The security guy came by but apparently he didn't see anyone so whoever it was probably decided we were too boring to kill. Finally, after an hour of searching, Tim found the padlock and put it on the electricity box. He walked back in the house, all proud, and said, "Yeah, if they come back, they'll be in for a big surprise".

I stared at him in disbelief...."What is wrong with you?? People who do things like this have their ways...they know this stuff. You don't think he's gonna come back and notice the lock and then run to his car to get his padlock clipper thingies??", I said. "And next time, I'll bet he's gonna cut off our phone line FIRST so we can't even call security or the police....you think he's done with us but I bet he's just begun his reign of terror on our family...we're gonna be THAT FAMILY whose story ends up on 48 Hours Mystery. You know, the show that's hosted by that freaky blonde guy who always has just the slightest edge of insanity in his voice?? He'll be like, 'So what happened on that fateful night as this family of 6 slept in their home? Was it someone they knew or was it the mental ward escapee who had been wreaking havoc in their neighborhood, which they never knew about because their kids insisted on having the tv on the Disney channel all the time so they NEVER saw the news reports??' I'm telling you, that's gonna be US".

Tim shook his head and said, "Goodnight, sweetie....go to bed. Your mind is working on overtime now...". I said, "You may think that but I'm the one who insisted someone was messing with the breakers and I was RIGHT....that'll teach you to not believe me again, won't it? You should be THANKING me right now!!"

Did I get a thank you? Nope! Two days ago, I learned the hard way that motherhood is a thankless job. Last night, I learned that being an alert and informative wife is also a thankless job. What do I gotta do around here to earn some recognition and appreciation??!!



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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My poor bored and underprivileged children....

Like most mothers, I feel guilty if I don't spend a good amount of quality time with my children. I'm one of those people who thinks she needs to spend every waking minute of the day entertaining her children. Sometimes I'll turn on a DVD and let them watch it so I can get things done, like housework.....or just to have 5 seconds to pee in peace and quiet. But then I'll look at their 4 tiny faces glued to the tv and immediately I feel guilty.

Perhaps this isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, the kids have become accustomed to having 100% of my attention most of the time. A friend of mine recently told me she was sewing Halloween costumes for her kids this year and I said, "Good luck finding some time to work on those" and she told me she's already halfway done. Crazy friend say what?! I asked her, "Okay, so tell me what's your secret to getting your kids to entertain themselves for a little while so you can do this?" and she said they always find some way to entertain themselves, especially this summer. She said she can sit in the backyard while they play in the sprinklers and ride bikes and she'll just sit out back with a huge glass of ice cold lemonade and work on the costumes or she'll read a book. I wanted to spit on her through the phone. Yes, I did tell her that...I have no shame.

This morning the kids were fighting like cats and dogs and working my last nerve so I said, "Okay, everyone get their shoes on....we're gonna walk down to the lake and feed the ducks". Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was walk to the lake in the 98 degree heat but I had to get them out of the house. Cole and Bella rode their bikes, while I pushed Garrett and Landon in their little mini-cars. 20 minutes later, we were at the lake....but there were no ducks in sight.

So we played several rounds of Simon Says (I cut them off after things started going downhill, with them saying "Simon says pick your nose", "Simon says fart in someone's face"), they ran up and down the sidewalk (until Garrett wouldn't stop running and I had to chase him down the street while the other kids screamed "Go Garrett Go"), and running around in the grass by the lake (and getting completely covered in mud....). Good times.

After they were all worn out.....oh, who am I kidding....when I was completely worn out, we headed home. What I'd love to know is why did it only take 20 minutes to walk down to the lake, yet it took us 35 minutes to walk home??

While they all sat down and rested, I made them lunch. I really wanted to make them PB&J since that just seemed so easy but they really really really wanted macaroni and cheese. I'm a total sucker, what can I say? Yeah but I had my reasons...I figured with a full belly, Garrett and Landon were more likely to take a good nap. I figured wrong....

Then the little twins went down for their quickie nap while I played Barbies with Cole and Bella. I was really dying to get on the computer and check my e-mail so every few minutes I'd steal away and connect with the outside world....only to be summoned back by the bosses...."Moooommmmyyyy, we're not done playing Barbies....".

After their 45 minute nap, Garrett and Landon came downstairs and I said, "So what does everyone want to do this afternoon?". 2 of them wanted to do art projects while the other 2 wanted to go to our neighborhood pool. Oh Good God, why today of all days?? But going to the pool was much less of a hassle than getting all the art crap out of the closet and making a huge mess. Isn't that funny? I actually think taking 4 young children to the pool is easier than doing art projects....even the prep to get to the pool was more enticing (which involved 25 minutes of putting sunscreen on everyone, getting them into their bathing suits, gathering up snacks, juice and towels and telling Cole and Bella they had better go to the bathroom before we go because if they peed in the pool, the pool water would change color and we'd get booted from the pool FOREVER AND EVER).

We all swam for 2 hours. That's right, folks. TWO WHOLE HOURS. I had scratch marks all over my back from them all climbing on me while swimming, my bathing suit top was all stretched out from them pulling on it (as if it weren't hard enough to keep my boobs in my top?) and my sunglasses ended up with water stains and fingerprints all over them. Here they are during a quick break eating their snacks....don't they look like they're having a horrible time?


On the drive home, I asked, "So are you all worn out like I am? When we get home, I just wanna lay on the sofa for a few minutes before I have to start dinner so I need you all to play together nicely on your own."

From the back seat, Bella said, "Can we make that chocolate zucchini bread recipe you told us about?". I said, "Uh, no....I just said I'm tired and I want to rest for a little while before I have to start dinner. We'll make it tomorrow". My head almost spun around 5 times and popped off when she clucked her tongue and said, "You never do anything with us....". Then Cole chimed in with, "Yeah, we never get to do anything fun....".

I was so angry I couldn't even say anything. When we got home, I sat them down on the sofa and said, "Look, I just spent my entire day with you all...doing what YOU wanted to do. It seemed like you all had fun...I recall hearing plenty of giggles and laughter throughout the day. Motherood is such a thankless job, I tell ya". I think they felt bad after that, because they did give me a few minutes to rest on the sofa while they tore the house apart. When Tim walked in the door, all I had to do was give him "that look" and he knew in an instant that I had pretty much had my fill for the day....and it was only Monday.

Oh yeah, my poor underprivileged children never get to do anything fun. Someone break out the violin. You can bet that "tough love" starts tomorrow first thing.





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Monday, August 17, 2009

It's a Disney kind-of life....

When I had Cole and Bella, I knew because they were boy/girl twins that, more than likely, they'd have different interests. I guess I expected that because Garrett and Landon are both boys that they'd have similar interests and be the best of friends. At 17 weeks, at one of our ultrasounds, when we learned we they were both boys, I instantly envisioned them sleeping next to one another while holding hands, always wanting to be close to one another and enjoying the same things.

Instead, Garrett and Landon are like night and day. They don't have one thing in common, other than they both shared a womb at the same time (and, yes, I realize that the carpet on the stairs is completely disgusting...). Landon is on the left and Garrett is on the right.


For this picture, I finally had to say, "Come on, guys....sit closer to one another and at least act like you LIKE each other!"



In this picture, you can see how much they even differ in size. Landon is considerably bigger than Garrett (and don't pay attention to the kitchen floor...that was before we put down the wood floor)

While Landon enjoys the same things Cole does (trucks, trains, cars, dinosaurs....typical boy stuff), Garrett loves movies, particularly Disney movies. Most kids run around with a specific blankie that they are attached to....maybe even a pacifier or a pillow. But Garrett....he carries around DVD cases. Nothing but Disney movies, of course. He even brings them on playdates and freaks out if anyone dares to touch his DVD case. One time, he even brought a Finding Nemo sprinkler head to the park where we were having a playdate. The other moms just looked at me, as they noticed him carrying around a huge SPRINKLER HEAD. I just shook my head and said, "Don't even ask...."

When he gets angry, he screams out the name of Disney movies. Once, at the playground, some kid took one of his sand toys and Garrett stood up and got in the kid's face and screamed, "Flushed Away!!". The poor kid didn't even know what to make of that so he started crying and ran to his mother for comfort. All I could do was smile at her sympathetically and shrug my shoulders. The look in her eyes was something like "I can't believe you let that....that.....that devil reincarnated loose in the neighborhood".

But sometimes he can be really cute about it. For instance, last school year, we used to go to a weekly playgroup the school district organized to try to increase his use of language. As soon as we'd walk in the door, Garrett would head for the mini-trampoline and jump for as long as he could recite every Disney movie he could think of.....Finding Nemo (jump, jump), Shrek (jump, jump), Ice Age (jump, jump), Monsters Inc (jump, jump). The teacher would watch him do this and then she'd say, "Well, at least he's TALKING....". Oh yes, this definitely called for a "glass is half full" kinda mentality on my part. Can't always be looking for the black spider on the wall, I suppose.

Last week, the speech teacher, Michelle, from our local IE program came over to work with the boys. She comes once a month and the boys really enjoy working with her. She rummaged through her bag of goodies and pulled out a magnetic board, with a plastic jar full of pictures with magnets on the back of them. She said to the boys, "Let's name all the animals on the magnets....".

Every time she'd pull a magnet out, she'd ask them what it was. Here's how they both answered.....

Landon - fish
Garrett - Nemo

Landon - elephant
Garrett - Horton Hears a Who (said more like Horton-A-Eeeww)

Landon - monkey
Garrett - Curious George (said more like Curry Gorge)

Landon - lion
Garrett - Lion King

Landon - tiger
Garrett - Kung Fu Panda (said more like Kung Pu Panna)

Landon - zebra
Garrett - Madagascar (surprisingly, he could actually pronounce this correctly)

Landon - cow
Garrett - Barnyard

Landon - horse
Garrett - Bullseye (pronounced Bulleye - from Toy Story)

I just looked at Michelle at this point and said, "Can you believe this?? What am I supposed to do about him? Everything is a Disney movie to him!!"

She really didn't have any advice for me, other than just the fact that he IS talking more and he's able to relate objects to things that he enjoys. But isn't this borderline obsession?? I mean, what's gonna happen to him when he's off to school....is he still going to relate everything to a Disney movie? Is that even a good thing?

I have to wonder if this is how life started out for Ron Howard or Steven Spielberg. If that's the case, I guess there's really nothing to worry about, is there?


Create your own FACEinHOLE



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Friday, August 14, 2009

To Peanut.....with love...

Today as I was shooting a video of you, you lost your first tooth. There we were preparing to do a video of our lovely new living room with its fresh paint and beautiful wood floors...when all of a sudden, your tooth fell out.

It was such an exciting milestone...and I'm sorry that I rained on your parade with my incoherent sobbing. I want you to know they were happy tears....happy that my baby girl is growing up. But also a little sad that it's happening so darn quickly. I can't help it....you're growing up right before my very eyes.

I promise you that I will not shed any tears when we go shopping for your first training bra....or when you enter "womanhood"....or when you go off to college. Okay, okay....perhaps "promise" is too strong of a word. Who are we kidding? I'll be sobbing just as hard as I was today....snot dripping down my face, mascara smeared under my eyes, the works...

But I will certainly make my best attempt to hold back the tears. Hey, I said I would TRY...that's the best I can do.

* On a side note, our kitchen floor doesn't normally look like that. We had just removed the linoleum and we were waiting a few days to put down the wood flooring.

* On another side note, Garrett....I hope your sister will forgive you one day. I know, as a male, you are naturally attracted to the television. I know you can't help it. But you could have at least faked your excitement for a minute or two. You are your father's child...without a doubt.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And the moral of the story is.....

Bella: Can you drop us off at school today, Mommy, instead of Daddy?

Me: I can't today but I'll drop you off tomorrow.

Bella: Is today tomorrow?

Me: No, today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow. Today is Tuesday, tomorrow is Wednesday.

Bella: So when was yesterday?

Me: Yesterday was Monday. Yesterday was the day before, today is the present day, and tomorrow is the next day.

Bella: So....if today isn't tomorrow then how will I know when Halloween is?

Me: WHAT?! Halloween? How did we end up on Halloween? Talk about random....

Bella: No, I'm not talking about random. I'm talking about Halloween...which is tomorrow or is it the next day, which was yesterday, right? Just tell me when the unicorns are gonna be here.

Me: ARE YOU EVEN FROM THIS PLANET??!! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

Moral of the story: Conversations like this one will only make your head throb....violently. No good will come out of it and you'll just end up even more confused than your child was before she asked the initial question.

====================

Me: Hey Tim, don't forget I have a dr's appt on Wednesday morning, okay?

Bella: Mommy, why do you need to go to the dr?

Cole: Well, she either needs to go get her freckles checked OR she needs to get more happy pills so she can be happy all day long.

Bella: OR she needs to have the dr look at her girl parts to make sure they're working right, even though Daddy sometimes thinks HE'S the doctor.

Moral of the story: Don't discuss personal dr's appointments with your children.....because that WILL be the only thing that penetrated their brains all day long. They won't remember that you spent 2 hours making sugar cookies with them and they certainly won't remember that you sat outside in 100 degree weather (melting) so they could run around at the park. But they WILL remember that there are only 3 reasons Mommy sees the dr.....because as a youngster you worshipped the sun to the point where now you think every brown spot on your body is a death sentence just waiting to happen, you heavily rely on happy pills to get you through every single minute of the day and you have no shame in admitting it to your kids, and you've had to learn your lesson the hard way that you should ALWAYS lock the bedroom door before engaging in, uh.....sexual activities.

================

Bella: Mommy, when you type, why do you also talk out loud?

Me: I do? What do you mean?

Bella: You're typing but you're also moving your mouth like you're talking. You're kinda whispering.

Me: Oh, I didn't even realize that I do that.

Bella: Well, you do....why do you do it?

Me: To annoy you. That's my goal in life....to annoy you.

Bella: Well, it's working. Are you happy now?

Moral of the story: If you're a smart-ass to your child, chances are you'll learn very quickly that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Introducing the Liv Doll (giveaway!!).....

When I was little, I was a huge Barbie fan....I would happily play with my Barbie dolls for hours. Well, really, any doll made me happy, especially if I could cut their hair. Since having a daughter, I get to re-live my youth because Bella also loves dolls! I have to admit I got all sentimental when we bought her very first doll for her. I envisioned us sitting on the floor for hours, surrounded by dolls, doll houses, tea sets...while sharing some wonderful mother-daughter bonding moments.

Let me just say that I have not been disappointed at all....those visions have turned into reality. When she and I walk down the doll aisle at Target or Toys R Us, we're like two kids in a candy store. Only she's actually a kid....what's my excuse?

I recently received an e-mail from the people at Spinmaster, asking me if I had a daughter who would enjoy playing with their latest creation....a new fashion doll line called Liv. I immediately showed Bella the images of the Liv dolls and she was excited about receiving one.

The Liv dolls are 4 totally new, totally cool best friends that each come with a great outfit, shoes, two funky wigs and their own extra awesome wigs that you can change, cut, curl and style. Not only that, they've got moves you've never even seen before!

From left to right....

Alexis: She lives for fashion. And loves to dress her friends.

Daniela: She totally lives for the music and she's dreaming big.

Katie: That girl lives for the thrill! But take away her wheels and she's a total klutz.

Sophie: She lives for the latest hairstyle and loves helping her friends change up their looks.

Bella received the Alexis doll, along with a wig pack and accessories (which included extra earrings, bracelet, necklace, shoes and a purse). She immediately began trying different looks on her doll....changing the wigs, accompanying the silver bracelet with the gold bracelet, changing her earrings. One of the most fun things about the doll is the ability to pose her in any position...her limbs are so flexible that you can actually have her do backbends, pose her hands on her hips...she can sit in any position she's placed in.

There's also a website, LivWorld.com where doll owners can connect to the daily diaries of the girls, as well as their virtual closets, and more.

As a parent, one of the things I really like about the dolls is that they honestly remind me of real teenagers, who have real interests and hobbies. My oldest niece Jess, who's 17 years old, changes her hairstyles often....she loves to wear colored streaks in her hair, she loves to curl it and change up the style according to her mood. She's also into music and hanging out with friends. Most importantly, she's a positive role model for Bella, who really looks up to Jess.

The Liv Dolls are now available at all major retail stores in the US (...and yes, Target carries this new fashion doll line....Bella and I checked out the other dolls and their accessories last time we were there!!). You can also order them online directly from the LivWorld.com site.

GIVEAWAY....GIVEAWAY....GIVEAWAY.....

The generous people at Spinmaster have offered to send one very lucky winner their very own Liv Doll, along with a wig pack and extra accessories!! If you have a daughter (or a niece, granddaughter, or even a friend's daughter) I can tell you that, without a doubt, this doll will be a huge hit, just as it was with Bella, as you can see here in the picture to the right.

Here's how to enter the giveaway:

Leave me a comment here telling me which doll you think the little girl in your life would love to have.

For extra entries:
** You must complete the first entry above for other entries to count. Please leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each additional entry.

-- Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to my blog
-- Add yourself to my follower list (or let me know you are already following)
-- Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (leave the URL of your tweet)

This contest ends on Monday, August 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm PST. One winner will be chosen via Random.org. Please make sure you leave your e-mail address in your comment if it's not accessible on your blog profile.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Fresh Air Fund....



Sometimes I tend to take the blessings I have in my life for granted. Like the fact that we live in a nice neighborhood with beautiful green grass and trees....crisp, clean air.....the ability to just drive to the nearest lake or ocean and enjoy a good swim.

When I was recently contacted by the Fresh Air Fund and learned that some children living in inner city New York, most who are from low-income families, do not have the luxury of enjoying summer vacations, I knew I wanted to help spread the word about this wonderful organization.

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2008, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

Most of these children live in apartment buildings, with no backyards or open, large areas for them to run freely in. Can you believe some of these children have never even enjoyed the privilege of running barefoot through lush green grass or an open meadow full of wild flowers?

So what can you do to help? Visit the Fresh Air Fund site to learn more about the program and to consider opening your home for a 2-week vacation for these children, whose lives could be so much more enriched with your help. The organization is still in need of homes for the month of August. If you can't help by hosting a child's stay in your home, consider donating to this wonderful organization so you can help them to continue to provide this opportunity for needy children! Click here to donate! Also, you'll feel good knowing that your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous group of donors!!

Next time you take your kids to your local playground or park or for a swim in the ocean, remember to be grateful for even the littlest of luxuries we have in our lives. When I think of another child who has never stepped foot on a beach, I can't help but feel a little sad.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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