Friday, October 30, 2009

What every wife should know about her husband...

It's a well-known fact that Tim has made it clear he has no interest in reading my blog. When asked why not, he responded, "I don't have time...and plus I don't really want to read about all the embarrassing things you write about me".

I said, "I do NOT write embarrassing things about you....okay, well maybe one or two things". He rolled his eyes.

To make things fair, I offered to let him do a guest post. He had no idea what to write about. I said, "Well, what would you want every woman to know about her husband...if you think most women complain about their husbands in their blog, why not do some complaining of your own?"

His eyes lit up...there was a sparkle there that I haven't seen in years....probably since our wedding day. He said, "Okay, let's do this..."

So this, my friends, is what Tim thinks every wife should know about her husband:

1) Since when is it required for me to have a response to everything you say? You're simply making a statement. If you say, "I'm so tired today", that really doesn't need a response, does it? But then you stare at me with eyes wide open as if I just committed the crime of the century, with your hands on your hips and saying, "Well? Are you gonna ignore what I just said?"

2) When I'm in the bathroom for those 20 glorious moments of peace and quiet, I'm not actually going to the bathroom. Surprise! I'm pretty much just sitting there finishing a crossword puzzle in your People Magazine, while I listen to you yell from downstairs, "Geez, how long does it take you to crap and has anyone seen my People magazine?"

3) Despite what you think, I cannot read your mind. When I offer to go to the store to pick up a few things and I ask you, "Is there anything else you would like me to pick up?" and you say, "No, not really", don't get pissed off at me when I arrive home with the exact things I set out to buy, while you scream, "I can't believe you didn't get me my favorite ice cream!" Did I NOT ask you if you wanted anything from the store? Case closed.

4) I'm a man and it comes naturally for me to want to solve problems. It is downright painful for me to stand there for 10 minutes listening to you rant and rave about how horrible something is, without giving you advice or telling you what you should do. If you don't want my advice or opinion, just say that up front.....so I can be sure to tune you out while you complain.

5) On the other hand, don't ask for my opinion if you're just going to argue with me ABOUT my opinion. Does this sound familiar:

Helene: How do I look in this outfit?
Me: You look fine.
Helene: Fine? I look like a lard-ass.
Me: If you think you look like a lard-ass, then why did you bother to ask me?
Helene: Oh, so you DO think I look like a lard-ass?
Me: (silence)

5) Let's address the "invisible to-do list". When you ask, "Can you take out the garbage please?", we both know you expect more than that. You expect me to empty every single waste-basket in the entire house and then walk it all outside to the trash can. And then somewhere in there, I'm supposed to remember to run the dishwasher and feed the cat, make sure the kids brush their teeth before bed, figure out ways to reduce my carbon footprint and ensure that Siberian tigers never go extinct.

6) If you put as much effort into our sex life as you do into your blog, we would both be much happier. Or at least, I would be.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What the hell Wednesday...


Stacy and Elle at Blue Monkey Butt are hosting a hilarious new meme called What the Hell Wednesday. Here's what they say about it:

Wednesdays are great for Wordless and Wordful posts, but we decided to go a different route and create our own Wednesday fun. We figured what the hell. That’s how we started What The Hell Wednesday. Who are we kidding? That’s pretty much how we decide on almost everything. If you want to play along, grab our button on the sidebar, link up to us in your post and don’t forget to sign in to McLinky below. Really, what the hell?

I have a lot of little random things to write about so I figured why not join in on the meme....what the hell, right?

1) Why is it that when I don't understand something my children say and I ask them, "What are you talking about? I don't understand"....they simply repeat what they've already said?? Like, for instance, yesterday Bella wanted me to read a book to her. She asked, "Can you read me that book with the red in it?" I asked her, "What book? What do you mean by the one with the red in it?" She repeated again, "The book with the red in it!" and again I said, "What?? Which book? I don't understand what you mean". She stares at me as if I just grew a 3rd arm right in front of her very eyes. "You know, the one with the RED in it". By now, I'm simply frustrated with her..."I know what you SAID, I'm asking you what you MEAN....can you describe the book another way so I'll have a clue what you're talking about?" She says in a louder voice, "THE BOOK WITH THE RED IN IT!"

Couldn't she just as easily get up, walk over to the bookcase and get the book herself so we could end this extremely frustrating conversation? What the hell?!

2) Cole's had a fever these last few days. No other symptoms, other than the fever. Tim finally said, "You know what his problem is? He hasn't pooped in a couple days. Once he poops, his fever will go away". What the hell?! I said to him, "Seriously? That's the craziest thing I've heard of. Where on earth did you hear that?!" He said, "My mother told me".

He sounded like such a 3rd grader. And, of course, if his MOTHER told him that then of course it must be true. But I could tell him something obvious like the maintenance light in my car is on and he'll argue with me about it for 10 minutes. What the hell?!

3) Tim took the kids to his parent's house for a few hours on Sunday. I stayed behind to....uh...."clean the house". After they left, my MIL calls me and says, "Bella's yahoo is red". I asked, "Her WHAT? I don't understand what you're talking about" She repeats with emphasis, "Her YAHOO is RED". What is it with this family who just repeats the same thing over and over when you ask them to clarify....I'm not freakin deaf, just a little confused, that's all. What the hell?!

She said, "You know, her privates....whatever she calls it...her yahoo looks red and irritated". I laughed and said, "Oh, you mean her hoo-haw?" and she said, "Yeah, that". Then I was treated to hearing about how her "hoo-haw" gets red and irritated when she uses the cheap toilet paper that my FIL buys from Sam's Club....and somehow that led to a conversation about how her sister in Germany needs to wipe herself with a warm washcloth after every time she pees. As if this is vital information that I need to know? What the hell?!

4) Landon, for the most part, is doing well with his speech. But there are still a lot of words that come out of his mouth all garbled and hard to understand. On the other hand, Garrett's speech is coming along really well....I can understand most of what he says.

Yet the other day, Garrett kept asking me something and I had NO clue what he was saying. We were both getting frustrated with one another...finally Landon walks up and Garrett repeats to him the same thing he said to me. Then Landon says in perfectly understandable speech, "He wants to watch Baby Einstein". What the hell?! Sometimes I honestly think these two mess with my head just to keep me on my toes. Kids will do that to you when they want to send you to an early grave.

5) When I pick Cole and Bella up from kindergarten every day, I ask them, "What did you guys do today in class?". They usually just shrug their shoulders and say, "Nothing". I ask, "So you basically just sat there for the entire 3 hours and stared at the wall, huh?"

Yesterday after school I asked Bella, as always, "So what did you do in class today?" and without missing a beat she said, "We just stared at the wall". What the hell?! That was MY line!

Wanna join in the fun? Do your own "What the Hell" post and link up to Stacy and Elle's blog!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My daughter, the healer of broken hearts....

It's amazing sometimes for me to think how far I've come in the last 6 years, in terms of motherhood. I can recall almost every detail from each IVF we went through and each miscarriage. Yet, when it comes to actually talking about it, it's still hard....still painful.

After my 1st miscarriage, I put together a memory box, full of momentos from that pregnancy. It included ultrasound pictures, congratulations cards from friends and family, a pregnancy calendar my sister had given me and a few pregnancy books I had been given as gifts. As wierd as it may sound, I had even saved all the home pregnancy tests I had done after having received the results from my beta (just to convince myself that I was STILL pregnant).

It also held all the sympathy cards we received after the loss of our pregnancy, flowers that I had dried and saved which we had received from friends and a little porcelain angel that a good friend had sent me, along with a beautiful poem.

It took me months to finally gather the strength to put all those special things in a box and tuck it away inside my closet. I never had any intention of opening the box for quite some time....until my next 2 miscarriages.

The 3rd miscarriage was especially hard because we had become attached to that pregnancy more so than the others. We had had the opportunity to see and hear the baby's heartbeat on 3 different occasions and had allowed ourselves to believe for just a few weeks that we were "out of the woods". Then came that fateful day when, at an ultrasound appointment, I learned that we had lost the baby.

Once those memories were all inside the box, I closed it and put it in my closet and never looked back. I had no reason to...I knew the memories were there and, of course, they were always in my heart.

Anyone who has been through the same thing will tell you that those memories never quite go away. You get past the grief but your heart never fully recovers....there will still be that small bit of emptiness that you will carry around with you for the rest of your life.

So, years have gone by and I'm now a mother to 4 beautiful children. The memory box is still in my closet, though I had never looked through it....until recently.

I was in our bathroom one day getting dressed and Bella was in there talking with me, while trying on some of my sandals and shoes. I left the bathroom for a few minutes to go downstairs and grab some clothes out of the dryer.

While I was gone, for just those few minutes, she had gone into one of the closests in our room, found the memory box and had emptied the contents of it out onto the floor. I walked into the room and saw her looking through everything. I was immediately stunned and speechless.

She asked, "Mommy, what is all this stuff?" and I couldn't answer her. The words were stuck in my throat. She held up an ultrasound picture from our 1st IVF pregnancy and said, "is this an X-ray?" Looking at that picture literally took my breath away. I remembered the exact moment when my RE had handed me that picture...it was still so clear in my mind.

I said, "I'm not ready to talk about this with you yet....let's start putting all these things back in the box". She continued to look at the other ultrasound pictures and she said, "Can't you just tell me what THIS is", as she pointed to the picture of a perfectly formed baby that we would never get to hold in our arms.

What could I say? How could she possibly understand this, at such a young age? I couldn't bring myself to say anything at the moment. I just looked at the ultrasound pictures, the HPT sticks, the cards....I flipped through the pregnancy calendar which I had already begun to fill out with excitement and hope. I think another little piece of my heart broke....

I finally said, "It was a baby....." and she looked at me and then back at the ultrasound picture again. She asked, "Who's baby is it?"

Again, I felt that lump in my throat and I tried my best to stifle the tears that threatened to come. I answered, "It was our baby...but it just wasn't meant to be...God wanted our baby up in Heaven with Him". She touched the other ultrasound pictures and asked, "Are they all the same baby?" and I told her that there had been 3 babies but that they were all in Heaven now.

Now I know I complain an awful lot about how sassy Bella can be but, for some reason, I think right then she sensed that this was as far as I could go on the topic. She stood up and wrapped her arms tightly around my neck and she whispered to me, "It's okay, Mommy. You have us now".

It's moments like these that I cherish the most. Somehow children can sense our emotions and they know exactly what to say, right when you need to hear it the most. Even though we may not realize it, children are capable of healing our broken hearts, just as much as we heal theirs.

And I said back to her, "Yes, I know and I'm so very lucky, aren't I?"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Seriously, is this really worth arguing over?

It's funny to me how something so trivial to us as adults can be SO important to children. Such as, proving that you're right, even if you're not.

Take, for instance, the following argument between Cole and Bella the other day while we were driving home from soccer practice.

They were watching Shrek 3 on the DVD player and it was the scene where the frog king dies....you know, where the Beatles song "Live and Let Die" is played.

So this is what I hear:

Cole: I like this song....(he starts singing) Liver Man Die...

Bella: That's not what they're saying in the song...

Cole: Yeah, it is...listen...see, they're saying Liver Man Die

Bella: No, they're saying Live and Then Die

Cole: No, they are NOT saying that. You just made it up to make me mad.

Bella: Nuh-uh...I don't care if you're mad because I know that I'M right. It's Live and Then Die.

Cole: No, I'm right and you KNOW I'm right.

Bella: There is NO such thing as a Liver Man. You just made that up because you don't know the real words. The real words are Live and Then Die.

Me: Uh, guys....you're BOTH wrong. It's a Beatles song and they're saying Live and Let Die.

Nothing but silence from them

Cole: Well, who asked YOU anyway?

Me: I'm just trying to help out...seriously, is this really worth arguing over? Aren't there other things we could discuss without having it blow up into a huge argument?

Bella: Yeah, we could talk about all the stuff I want for Christmas.

Cole: YEAH!!!

Me: You know what? Just go back to arguing about the song, okay?

And argue, they did...all the rest of the way home. "It's Liver Man Die"...."No, it's Live and Then Die". "I'm right, you're wrong"..."No, you're wrong and I'm right".

When we got home, I offered to download the entire song on iTunes and let them listen to it, while reading the lyrics online. They both looked at me in complete silence.

"What?" I asked.

Cole said, "I don't even care about the words anymore. I just want her to tell me that I'm right!!"

Bella countered back, "Why would I tell you that you're right when I'm the one who's right??"

Tim asked, "What's wrong with them? What are they arguing about?" and I said, "You know, I don't think they even care about what they were originally arguing over....now it's a debate about who's right and who's wrong".

And as God gazed down up on us from the Heavens, He laughed.....again.



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Sunday, October 25, 2009

What the teacher says vs What the teacher really means

It's lazy Sunday. I got nothing but a few unfinished blog posts....so I thought I'd re-post an oldie but goodie....

What the teacher says vs What the teacher really means:

I went in for a parent-teacher conference a few months ago with Cole and Bella's preschool teacher and I listened to her use words like "spirited" and "natural-born leader" to describe my kids. While most parents would be beaming with pride to hear their children described by those words, I know better.

Back in the day, I used to be a preschool teacher and I also used words like "spirited" and "natural-born leader" to describe some of the kids in my class when I spoke with their parents. I liked to put a positive spin on things....to, well, lighten the blow. No parent wants to hear a teacher come right out and say, "Johnny is bossy and talks too much. None of the kids in the class like him and, come to think of it, neither do I". I just prayed that the parents would be able to read between the lines.

To be helpful, I thought I'd compile a list: "What the teacher says" versus "What the teacher really means".

What the teacher says: Johnny is very spirited.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is stubborn, non-compliant, cries at the drop of a hat and has the temperament of....um, a lion in captivity...and that's putting it mildly.

What the teacher says: Susie is a natural-born leader.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is bossy, pushy and overly opinionated.

What the teacher says: Johnny is very artistic.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is drawing pictures of skulls dripping with blood and it's really freaking me out.

What the teacher says: Susie likes to say what's on her mind.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is missing a sensitivity chip.

What the teacher says: Susie is a social butterfly.
What the teacher really means: Your kid never shuts her trap.

What the teacher says: Johnny enjoys his alone time.
What the teacher really means: Does the word "sociopath" mean anything to you?

What the teacher says: Susie really challenges me to be a better teacher.
What the teacher really means: Your kid makes me wanna drive off a cliff at the end of each school day.

What the teacher says: Johnny has boundless energy.
What the teacher really means: Your kid can't sit still for a minute. He kind of reminds of the Tazmanian Devil......on crack.

What the teacher says: When encouraged, Johnny seems to succeed well.
What the teacher really means: What the hell are you saying to your kid at home to make his self-esteem so low?

What the teacher says: Susie is always so organized.
What the teacher really means: Your kid is a type-A control freak.

What the teacher says: Johnny is such an easygoing child.
What the teacher really means: He's the laziest kid I've ever met. Pretty much have to light a fire under his ass to get him moving and shaking.

What the teacher says: Susie has a wonderful imagination.
What the teacher really means: Your kid lies her ass off. She could be the next James Frey.


What the teacher says: Johnny loves to share with his friends.
What the teacher really means: Thanks to your kid and his frequently snotty nose, most of the kids have been out sick this month.

Friday, October 23, 2009

BLOG MAKEOVER GIVEAWAY - you WANT to check this out!

I was ready for a change. For my blog. Although, I could personally use a makeover for myself but that'll just have to wait.....for, like, 15 years. You know, make sure I still have hair left by the time the kids all graduate high school.

So yeah, I got a blog makeover...how do you like it? I was kinda getting tired of the old look....ready for a change. And perhaps a beach theme seems a little, uh, well, out of season but we just love everything about the beach so it fit well. The colors are so calming...every time the kids stress me out, I just take a look at my blog and imagine I'm laying on a beach somewhere with a margarita in my hand!

Danielle at The Design Girl did my makeover and she was wonderful to work with. She sent me links to her portfolio and allowed me the freedom to choose whichever look I wanted that would represent our family best.

At the same time, she was extremely helpful when I needed her opinion on something, especially since we all know how I have a hard time making even the simplest decisions. She was honest about what she felt would look best, based on the design I chose. After perusing through the many blogs she's designed, I completely trusted her opinion.

Once I made a final decision on everything from the design, the elements and the background, she brought it to life and I was blown away by how awesome it looks. I'm one of those people who has a difficult time imagining in my head how something will look...that's because I have, like, zero creativity.

What Danielle put together for me far exceeded my expectations. I'm in love with the new look! And she was such a pleasure to work with...great communication, answered e-mails promptly...everything you would expect from a truly amazing blog designer, who takes great pride in her work.

Danielle has been generous enough to offer one of my readers a FREE STANDARD PHOTO BLOG MAKEOVER (valued at $75.00).

To enter the giveaway (this is the main entry), we've made it simple for you....

Become a follower of Danielle's blog, The Design Girl (then come back here and let me know in a comment what # follower you are)

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

-- Add Danielle's button to your blog (you can find it on her right sidebar HERE)
-- Post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to my blog
-- Tweet about this giveaway (leave the URL to your link)

This contest ends on Friday, October 30 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.

In addition to the giveaway, Danielle is currently offering my readers a discount on the deposit for a blog makeover....rather than pay the usual $35 deposit, new customers can pay just $20 to get on the wait list! That's $15 off! Just e-mail Danielle at thedesigngirl@gmail.com to take advantage of this offer (and tell her I sent you).

And that's not all....Danielle is also offering my readers a generous 20% discount on any of her scrapbook kits purchased at Polka Dot Plum or Funky Playground. Use the coupon code "livingproof123" when you place your order.

Both of these offers will expire on Friday, October 30.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Playground do's and don'ts.....my own personal version

After my interview with the experts the other day, it's apparent that my children have a firm grasp on playground rules.

We are what I call "park connisseurs". I take the kids at least 2-3 times a week, weather permitting of course. We try to visit different parks frequently so they don't get bored since every park offers something different.

Recently, I've noticed that even though most kids have the playround do's and don'ts imprinted into their brains, some parents simply do not. So I thought I'd make a list of my own personal "Do's and Don'ts at the Playground for Parents". Most of the following rules are a given but, believe it or not, there's always a reason why rules have to be stated and spelled out. Because you know there's always one seed in the whole bunch that doesn't....how to put this....uh, play well with others.

1) Bring a snack for your kid. Plain and simple. Kids play, they exert energy...they are bound to get thirsty and hungry. If your child happens to see me giving my kids a snack and asks for some, rest assured that I will tell him to ask you for permission first. But please don't send him back asking, "My mom wants to know if the string cheese is organic and if the goldfish are from Trader Joe's". Beggars can't be choosers. Next time, bring your own organic snack from TJ's, if it's THAT important to you.


2) Most playgrounds have sand. Here's an obvious equation for you....Kids + Sand = Dirty child. It's gonna happen, just accept it. Why bring your kid to the playground if you don't want him/her to get dirty? That almost seems kind of cruel...."Now, Daniel, remember....no playing in the sand, in fact, don't even LOOK at the sand. And no climbing on the monkey bars and no going down the slide. Oh and you know I don't like pushing you on the swings so stay away from those too. That pretty much covers it...now go have fun". Seriously?!

3) It seems to be an unwritten rule that when kids bring toys or riding equipment to the playground that it's okay for other kids to borrow those, after asking permission of course. If you or your child doesn't want anyone borrowing their stuff, leave it at home. Teaching our children to share with others is one of the most important lessons we can teach them, don't you agree?

4) By that same token, however, if your kid leaves the park with more things in his hands than when he arrived, clearly he has taken the belongings of another child. The proper thing to do would be to have your child return those items to the child he took them from.

5) There is such a thing as playground attire, even for us parents. I have no clue what would possess you to wear designer jeans, pumps and your most expensive pair of glasses to a playground....and then have the nerve to become upset when some kid dumps sand on your expensive Jimmy Choo's or when you sit on a piece of chewed up gum on one of the benches that someone left behind.

6) This one is important - there will be NO JUDGING of other moms while at the playground. Let's not forget that we are a sisterhood. We are here to support and encourage one another, not knock each other down. I don't want to hear you clucking your tongue when I don't fall victim to one of my children's temper tantrums. You have no clue how my day has gone...or the fact that this is the 25th tantrum this child has had within an 8-hr period. I'll just say this...if you think you can parent my children better than I can, go for it. BE. MY. GUEST.
I can pretty much guarantee you'd be bringing them back to me within 10 minutes.

7) If you are at the playground with a group of friends and you happen to notice another mom across the way all by herself, it's okay to say hello to her and ask her to join your group. No one likes to feel left out. Plus, I thought the whole clique thing ended when we all graduated high school. Grow up and go introduce yourself....you may make a new friend for yourself AND your for child. If the other moms you're with make a big deal out of this, then they never were your friends in the first place.

8) Don't sit on a bench across the other side of the playground from your kid and yell over to him. Either use the universal hand signal for "get your ass over here now" or simply get up and go to where he is to talk to him. Yelling at your kid when he's like 25 feet from you just seems....well, rude. Plus no one likes to hear you constantly screaming, "Jonathan, don't pick your nose", "Jonathan, share your toys" and "Jonathan, don't keep grabbing your pee-pee unless you need to use the potty".

9) If your child is sick, leave him at home. There's nothing worse than seeing a kid sneeze green snot all over my kid when they're playing together. This also goes for when your kid has the runs....I mean, seriously, there's nothing grosser than seeing a kid go down the slide, leaving a huge brown streak behind him.

10) SUPERVISION. Yes, it is expected. No one else is responsible for watching your child except YOU (unless you have friends with you who are willing to supervise him/her). Chatting on the cell phone or reading a book is fine...I mean, let's face it..most of us parents bring our kids to the park so we don't have to spend one more hour entertaining them. But, really....is a 45 minute phone call to your friend to discuss another friend's latest faux pas really that important? Especially when you consider that your 2-year old is about to jump off a 6-foot high climbing structure? Keep your eyes on your child at all times. 'Nuff said.

* This post has been inspired by Mama Kat's Writers Workshop.

** You may have noticed that my blog has a new look!! Tomorrow I'll be posting more information about it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An interview with the experts....

I love listening to Cole and Bella when they're having conversations. Sometimes the conversations are serious, sometimes they're just plain funny. As they were sitting at the table today eating lunch, I got an idea....why not interview them and see what they have to say?

What do you look like:
Bella- I have greenish eyes but not enough to be green like a monster and I think I'm pretty....and I used to have 2 holes where I lost my teeth
Cole - I have medium blue eyes, yellow hair, 1 freckle that's gonna grow into another freckle and 2 freckles on my neck

What do kids like to eat?
Bella
- sushi, ribs and candy
Cole - soup, ribs, pork chops, salmon and candy

Who should do the cooking in a family, the mom or the dad?
Bella - The mom but if she's sick then the dad should cook
Cole - It depends on who cooks better. Our dad can't cook so there you go

What makes moms happy?
Bella - I know what makes YOU happy....when we're nice and when we listen. I even like you when you tell me to put my toys away
Cole- Moms get happy when you use your manners and when you put your dirty socks in the washer yourself. Moms are not personal maids.

What makes moms sad?
Bella - When kids aren't nice. And when kids fart at the dinner table.
Cole - When we don't give you hugs, when we don't use our manners and when it's hot outside

What makes kids happy?
Bella - When our mom is happy and when the sky is blue
Cole - If you let me have a baby t-rex it would make me happy, I'll be even happier when you get me a baby turtle or a baby stegostaurus. I won't love you as much if you don't get me a turtle. I think every kid would be happy if they could have a turtle.

What will happen if kids don't brush their teeth?
Bella - You'll get cavitities and you'll have holes in your teeth forever
Cole - Your teeth will get ripped out and that would probably hurt

Is it okay to lie?
Cole - No
Bella - No

Do you lie?
Cole - Uh, yeah
Bella - Yes, but only because I have to sometimes

What time should all kids go to bed?
Cole - 6:15 pm
Bella - 6:00 pm

What happens if kids don't eat any vegetables and fruits?
Bella - You'll never get candy
Cole - That, and you'll never ever grow and you'll stay a little kid for the rest of your days

Are kids supposed to be quiet in the library?
Cole - Yes, or the library girl will kick you out because you're talking and then you'll look stupid in front of everyone
Bella - Yes, everyone wants to read books so you have to be quiet all the time but not at home. At home, you can be as loud as you want

What should kids do if they get scared in the middle of the night?
Cole -
They should kill the monster and then wake up their mom or dad and make sure they know that everyone is safe now
Bella - Stop, drop and roll
Cole - Duh, that's for fires
Bella - NO...you can stop, drop and roll if there are monsters. The tooth fairy told me that

Speaking of fires, what should kids do if there's a fire in their house?
Bella - When your door is hot, you put a blanket under it to keep the smoke out. Then you call for help. But if your door is cold, you can open it and go to your mom and dad's room. If they're not awake yet, yell in their face "there's a fire"
Cole - Or you can open your window and yell for help and just hope that someone will hear you before the fire gets on you

What are the rules of the playground?
Bella - No running or you'll get bark stuck in your knee and that really hurts. I know. And you should always wait your turn but if the other kid is taking too long, you just say, "You're being rude".
Cole - No running or you'll bonk your head and it'll crack open like that one time and you'll bleed blood all over the place and you'll need staples in your head and it's really scary and you'll need to drink some Tylenol

Do you think you'll have children when you're older?
Cole - Yes, just 1 kid. I do NOT want twins. No thank you
Bella - No I don't want kids. I don't like them because I don't wanna have to wash their clothes because I don't even know to wash clothes
Me: What if I taught you how to do laundry?
Bella: No, I still don't want kids. I just don't like them and that's the God's honest truth.

If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Bella - For it to be Halloween everyday.
Cole - I would want dinosaurs to come back to life but only if they're nice and don't eat people. Well, they could eat bad people but not good people who have cats and use their manners

If kids could rule the world for a day, what would the world be like?
Bella - We'd all ride unicorns around everywhere. And we'd just watch movies all day long.
Cole - Everyone would live in bounce houses and no one would ever have to nap or eat shrimp

What should every parent know about their child?
Cole - That we're smart. Not as smart as teenagers but we're just a little smart. We get smarter everytime we eat an apple
Bella - That we like hugs and kisses. And we're sorry for clogging the toilet

Is there anything else you want to add?
Cole -I don't have anything else to add because I don't know how to do math.
Bella - I'm gonna marry Jason from High School Musical. We'll live in a new house in Tahoe. And the house will be red. Or maybe pink. And we'll have no kids...ever.

Why not interview YOUR kids and see what they have to say??


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Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween is in the air...

I love Halloween, much more so than the average person. I mean, what other day of the year can you dress up in costume and get free candy from neighbors?? But it's not just that...it's the spirit of everything, the pumpkin patches and carving pumpkins, it's about all things scary.

Fortunately, my children share my love for Halloween. Well, they never really had a choice but still.

We had a blast decorating the front of our house this year. There were fake cobwebs everywhere (and some real ones too)....."beware" banners (which we really should just keep up all year round)...and our little ghoulish skeleton dude who welcomes people to our home by saying, "Beware....turn back, leave now...while you still can" (we should probably keep him by the door year round, as well).

Jenna at The Newlyweds is hosting "The Pumpkin Round-up" where everyone can post anything they want, as long as it includes pumpkins (recipes, art, carvings, whatever your little heart desires). So get those pumpkin posts written and then come link up....

Here are some of our pumpkin decorations.....

This is Garrett's pumpkin obviously....he wanted a carving of a demon. It fits, oddly enough. And the adorable spiders were an idea I got from Missy at Two Little Monkeys (she also had an awesome tip on how to make cool spider webs, which I'll post further down). The kids had so much fun making the spiders.



Bella's pumpkin...she gave it a heart-shaped mouth. How sweet.



Landon's pumpkin...he specifically asked for a big mouth. Probably because he has one, too.



Cole's pumpkin....he insisted that his pumpkin be "mean and scary".



Here's all our spider webs....yeah, we went a little hog wild with those



This is our front porch in the evening....



These are the spider webs that Missy did on her blog, though mine didn't come out anywhere nice as hers. The kids wanted to add glitter to the webs, even though I tried to convince them that real spider webs don't have glitter on them. Some battles just aren't worth fighting.



Yes, we even caught a fly in our web...



A quick video of the kids screaming at "the evil owl" hiding in the bush. Good times, as always...








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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Stealing....


Sunday Stealing: The ABC's of Meme

A- Advocate for: children, animals and all things Oprah

B- Best Feature: Uh, my fingernail beds? No, seriously.

C- Could do without: Commentary from my husband while I'm watching one of my shows

D- Dreams and desires: For my kids to grow up happy and healthy and for someone to come up with a calorie-free cookie that's good for you

E- Essential items: Wellbutrin (that's no secret, though), Oreos, chapstick and my pillow

F- Favorite past time: Staring at the wall (why? cuz I can)

G- Good at: Rocking babies to sleep, making my husband laugh, carving pumpkins and keeping secrets....whoah, that's all so totally random

H- Have never tried: skydiving (and have no plans to) and giving birth vaginally....I'm one of those wierdos who was much more comfortable with having a c-section...yeah, I'd much rather go under the knife and have my belly slit open than deliver a human being out of my vah-jay-jay, makes perfect sense to me

I- If I had a million dollars: The "nice me" would donate some of the money to charity and then travel the world with my family. The "evil me" would stash it in a secret account and never tell anyone...

J- Junkie for: sushi, backrubs and a Harlan Coben novel

K- Kindred spirit: Larry the Cable Guy

L- Little known fact: Let's see....I had a breast reduction ages ago. You can't even tell now. Pregnancy and childbirth will do that to a person. And I've found that watching the kids' hermit crabs eat is actually relaxing. Wierd, I know. Did you know that hermit crabs totally dig fresh pineapple? And Ritz crackers?

M- Memorable moment: Our 1st ultrasound when we found out we were pregnant with Cole and Bella. And then of course the 1st ultrasound with Garrett and Landon....that one was definitely memorable for sure.

N- Never again will I: make the same mistakes twice...yeah, I know that's kind of a boring answer but there are some things better left unsaid, if you know what I mean...

O- Occasional indulgence: a pedicure and sex (not necessarily in that order)

P- Profession: Mom, Mooooommmmy, Mama, Ma and wife

Q- Quote: That's what Willis was talking 'bout

R- Reason to smile: my kids....awwww. But you knew I'd say that, of course. Okay, how about....I ate ice cream 3 times last week and I somehow didn't gain any weight...

S- Sorry about: Losing my temper with my kids sometimes and drinking the last of the Cranapple juice and telling the kids that Daddy finished it.

T- Things you are worrying about right now: That I might be pregnant. Alright, all jokes aside....I worry about my kids all the time, especially when I'm not there with them. Oh and I also worry that Breyers will discontinue my favorite ice cream flavor....God forbid.

U- Uninterested in: overly dramatic people who thrive off of chaos

V- Very scared of: Losing one of my kids and spiders who lurk in the dark

W- Worst habits: Freaking out when the house is completely disorganized.... and saying, "Cuz I'm the mom, that's why!" at least 5 times a day

Y- Yummiest dessert: Cake. Just give me a huge piece of cake and I'm happy for days. But only with buttercream frosting, not whipped cream frosting....the more sugar, the better

X- X marks my ideal vacation spot: Anywhere that's tropical

Z- Zodiac sign: Aries


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Tricks of the trade....

I don't claim to be an expert on motherhood or marriage. As a matter of fact, I'm still learning a lot as I go. You do your best learning through trial and error. You know, live and learn...natural consequences, whatever.

At the same time, you can save yourself a whole lot of heartache and disappointment if you know someone who'd be willing to share her mistakes with you so you can avoid making those same mistakes. Kinda like a "guide to motherhood - tricks of the trade" sorta thing. Just think....if we all shared just one tip or trick we've learned, how much easier our lives could be!

So here are some tricks I've learned along the way, which I would like to share...

1) Transition time (for me, not him): At approximately, 4:30 pm on some days I take the kids out front to play (weather permitting, of course). They drag every piece of riding equipment that we have out into the street....




...and as you can see, it's quite a bit of stuff. Bikes, scooters, tractors, ride-on toys. You name it, we got it. Let's not forget the sidewalk chalk, either.

And by the time I've finally gotten them all settled with their stuff, what'daya know....Tim pulls up in front of the house after a day of work...a day away from his precious children. I glance at my watch and say, "Oh, I didn't realize the time....I need to get inside to start dinner. Can you watch the kids and then help them clean up this mess when dinner's ready?"

As if I hadn't really notice the time?? Are you kidding me?! I had this whole thing strategically planned in my mind. And you can bet it's a beautiful thing to see come to fruition. I'm now indoors where it's peaceful and quiet....and he's now outdoors with the noisy children and the loads of crap that needs to be put away in the garage.

Now before you go all feeling sorry for Tim, let me just say...he's already had his transition time during his 60-minute commute home. He was sitting in his car listening to his talk radio shows while driving home at a leisurely pace. I say "leisurely" because I know for a fact it should only take him 45 minutes to get home.....and that's WITH traffic.

On a sidenote, I'll have to think of something to come up with when winter hits. But I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

2) The substitute chef who didn't know he could cook: There are a lot of days I honestly don't feel like cooking dinner. But, like most folks, we can't afford to get take-out all the time. There has to be another way, right? Trust me, I wouldn't lead you astray....stop shaking your head.

In the late afternoon, I take the kids with me on a "last minute" errand (you know, like the playground so they can stretch their legs a bit). It's a shame I won't be home in time to get dinner started....oh, but HE will. It's okay to smile at the thought of how sneaky you are. If we don't give ourselves pats on the back sometimes, who will?

I call Tim on his cell phone and say, "How close to home are you?" and he says, "Maybe 5 minutes, if that". But, see, I already knew that because it's all about planning. I say, "Look, I had to do a last-minute errand that couldn't wait and I'm not gonna be home in time to start dinner. Would you mind getting it started? I'll give you instructions...just call me as soon as you get home".

A few minutes later, he calls and says, "Okay, what do you need me to do?" and I give him the blow-by-blow instructions. He'll ask a million questions and I'll say, "You're just boiling spaghetti and microwaving frozen meatballs, for God's sake...you're not making a gourmet dinner for the President!"

When I return home, dinner's pretty much almost done cooking. He says, "That was perfect timing...dinner's almost done". Why, yes, dear husband it was perfect timing now, wasn't it? It's a win-win situation, when you think about it. He feels all productive and proud of himself for starting dinner and I got to take the night off from the kitchen.

Some may say this seems like an awful lot of effort being wasted just to get out of cooking dinner. But if you hate cooking as much as I do, you get it. You just totally get it.

3) There's a place for everything: It's important for you to know where all essential baby items are at all times. Make a secret list and stash it somewhere...I don't care how you remember, just as long as YOU know where everything is.

Let's use the snot sucker as an example. I keep ours stored downstairs in the medicine cabinet. But the obvious place for a snot sucker would be the children's bedroom, right? Awww, too bad ours isn't in the obvious place.

Say I've got one kid who's got a snotty nose and his nose needs to be suctioned again, for like the 20th time that day. But I'm too worn out to chase him down and struggle to hold his face still while sucking his brains out with the snot sucker. So I run upstairs and then yell downstairs to Tim, who's home from work by now, "Hey, can you see if the snot sucker is in the medicine cabinet down there? I can't find it up here." I giggle quietly to myself as I hear him rummaging around in the cabinet. "Yeah, I found it...", he screams up to me. Well, of course he did because I'm wicked evil like that.

Then I yell down to him, "Since you already have it in your hand, can you suction out snotty kid's nose? I'll be down in a minute, I just realized I need to strip the sheets off of one of the kids' beds...might as well do it while I'm up here".

Now, hold on a minute....don't go clucking your tongue, thinking that stripping the bedsheets is just another chore for you. You simply grab some clean sheets from the linen cabinet and bring those downstairs with you...just mess them up a little bit. I mean, he's probably not even gonna notice....if your husband is anything like mine, you could strip all your clothes off and light yourself on fire and he wouldn't even bat an eye. He may know which bedsheets are on YOUR bed but, trust me, he doesn't have a clue whether your child is sleeping on the Toy Story sheets or the Hot Wheels sheets. Nor does he really care.

When you can't hear the snot-nosed child crying anymore, that's your cue to go downstairs with the "dirty" sheets. Store them in the laundry room for awhile. When husband is finally out of sight (meaning he has retired to another room to watch one of his lame sci-fi shows...oh wait, is that only MY husband who does that?), grab the bedsheets and place them back neatly in the linen cabinet.

No one is the wiser. Seriously. And you've just gotten out of having to suction your kid's nose for the 21st time that day. Oh, and you've gotten a nice little break because while you were "stripping the bedsheets", you've actually been sitting on your bed, clicking the remote control to check what's on tv that night. This would also be a great time to set your DVR to record some of your favorite shows.

If you're concerned that your husband will actually remember where the snot sucker is, you needn't worry. Honestly, men can't remember things like we can. After he's done with the snot sucker, he'll simply throw it back in the medicine cabinet again and forget about it....that's when you move it back up to the child's bedroom. And you go back and forth like that...see where I'm going with all this. The old switcheroo...he'll never catch on, really.

Now, as a dislaimer, I don't think this is exactly what I would call being dishonest with my husband. It's more like....well, being creative, if you will. Sure, it's kind of a sneaky way to fit in some nice, little breaks for me here and there but no one's being harmed in the process...there's no blood or tears involved. I'm just tapping into that creative side that I knew once existed in my former life, at some point. It's a great way to prove to myself that I haven't completely lost all my brain cells once I became a mother.

Any tricks of the trade you want to share??

ETA: Tim is aware that I have a blog but he has informed me several times that he has absolutely NO desire to ever read it. However, if it was written completely in HTML or included pictures of naked women, he'd probably change his tune.


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gotta Catch Santa Claus....

If there's anything my family loves, it's definitely the fall season and the holidays which occur during the months of October, November and December. Ever since I was little, I loved all the holiday classics....Charlie Brown Christmas...The Grinch...Miracle on 34th Street...A Christmas Story. My kids enjoy those movies as well, but now they're into the more modern Christmas movies, like Jingle All the Way and Polar Express.

Last week, I was offered the opportunity to watch and review a new CGI-animated Christmas movie called Gotta Catch Santa Claus, featuring William Shatner as the voice of Santa. So I asked the kids if they would like to see it and, of course, they were all excited, especially Garrett who is our little movie addict.

Gotta Catch Santa Claus centers around a boy named Trevor who is a true believer in the spirit of the holiday and Santa Claus. His best friend, Veronica, is a bit skeptical of the whole idea and she challenges him to prove that Santa is real.

So Trevor and his friends set out on a wild adventure to catch Santa and reveal the true magic of Christmas. Along the way, they encounter a character called LeFreeze who, along with his little snowman sidekicks, tries to put an end to Christmas altogether.

The movie is very cute and the songs are certainly catchy....my kids have been singing them for days now. It's humorous and sure to become a favorite with children of all ages....and adults! Also, the movie is so modern that in one scene one of the characters says, "Let's check the internet".

My kids enjoy the movie so much that we've been watching it every evening during dinner. They used to request Polar Express but that has quickly been replaced by Gotta Catch Santa Claus as the new family favorite.

Click HERE to view the trailer of the movie. Gotta Catch Santa Claus is now available on DVD and can be purchased through Amazon (click HERE to order it). It will also be one of the movies featured during the "25 Days of Christmas" on the ABC Family channel.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary DVD of the movie, in order to view it and write a review. There was no monetary compensation involved.



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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

They may be twins but don't expect them to cover for one another....

On Monday morning, after Garrett and Landon had already eaten breakfast, I got their shoes on and then sat down on the sofa to put my shoes on. I was about to take them for their flu shot....I was absolutely dreading it.

Not just because I hate to see them in any kind of discomfort but also because I knew that whoever was unfortunate enough to be in the same waiting room as us would be staring at me...judging me....thinking "what kind of mother is she?"....as my 2-yr old toddlers run around the waiting room like 2 little Tazmanian devils on crack.

Anyway, so that's when I saw IT.....

Someone had scribbled with marker all over one of the cushions on the sofa, as well as the armrest. If that wasn't bad enough, someone had also rubbed some glue on the armrest.



When could this have possibly happened? How could I have not seen this going down? Why do I continue to underestimate these children and what they're capable of?

I looked over at Garrett and Landon, who were standing on the stairs, peering around the corner at me. Judging by the looks on their faces, I instantly knew one of them was the guilty party. I was worried that they might cover for each other....you know, as siblings often do.

Oh, but not these guys....one of them was quick to throw the other one under the bus. He did NOT want to be held responsible for this horrible act of destruction. He gave up his twin brother in a heartbeat....and, that point, the guilty twin really didn't have much room to argue.



Don't you just love how the guilty twin acts like this is the first time he's heard the rules on appropriate places to color? Like he missed the first memo or something...



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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What went down at the pumpkin patch this year....

We took the kids to a pumpkin patch last Saturday. Good times, as always. Kinda...sorta

The first area the kids wanted to go to was the petting zoo, of course, because what's a day at the pumpkin patch without risking the chance to be infected with E coli .

Oh, those unfortunate animals. I would imagine if they could talk, this is what they might say....

"Hi there, little boy. You look friendly enough. Wanna pet my soft, fuzzy ears?"



"I asked if you wanted to pet my soft fuzzy ears....not spit on them. Good God, you humans are so disgusting"



"Uh....okay, now I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed. How many of there ARE you? Where are your parents? Who's freakin idea was it to sell me to the petting zoo in the first place? This really bites..."



"Oh no, oh dear God, there's FOUR Of them....think of a happy place, think of a happy place, think of a happy place...."



"Yo, Ricky Bobby, look...I found a kid who's not being closely supervised. His mom is more interested in taking a picture for her blog than protecting her beloved child. Let's run him down and strip search him for food. Then she can put THAT on her blog."



"Guys, would you look at that? The boy here thinks he's got some kinda super powers or something? He thinks he can scare us off by sticking his hand out while saying "go away, goats". Isn't that cute? Boy, I'll tell ya, that's a good way to lose a finger or two. Oooooooh, I'm soooo scared...bwahhahaha"



"Uh, yeah....do you realize you're trying to feed me a piece of my own poop? No thanks.....why don't you go offer it to your little brother who was trying to ride me like a horse a few minutes ago? Tell him it's an M&M"



"Hey, kid....your face says it all. Oh yeah, fresh from the oven, just the way I like it. If any of the other goats come near you, I got first dibs..."



"Come on, little dude, just tell us how you're able to hide your horns so well and then we'll leave you alone..."



"No worries, baby girl. I eat boogers too....beggars can't be choosers, ya know? Now hand over that fresh, juicy one you just picked"



"Kid, you are taking way too long to open up that nut for me....I'm totally gonna bite your hand off in a minute. And, trust me, you don't want that to happen, it could get ugly around here. Why? Because sharks are attracted to blood, that's why. Okay, THAT made no sense....sheesh, what is IN these nuts?"



Next was the play area, where Bella had to learn the hard way why I told her that wearing a skirt to the pumpkin patch was NOT a good idea. Let's just say that the smile on her face quickly disappeared once she was at the bottom of that haystack. When will she learn....Mommy always knows best.



I got nothing for these next 2 pictures....but they just looked so darn cute, I had to include them. Horse swings made out of rubber tires...very clever. Added bonus: they couldn't get off of them without help so at least I knew where 2 out of 4 of my kids were for a good 10 minutes.



Daddy, get me down and stop laughing at me. I'm all freaked out here. You better hope and pray that I'm not the one in charge of your care when you're old and dicrepid....I'm just sayin



What's that? Do I want to get down from the tree? Oh, now you think you're being funny, right? I got a funny for you....last night, when you left the table to go to the bathroom, I licked your pizza....and then I sneezed all over it. Oh and by the way, did I mention that I've been feeling kinda congested and just plain icky these last couple of days? I sure hope it's not the swine flu, don't you?



Show off...climbed up there all by himself. Aw, too bad he doesn't have a clue how to get down.



Hmmmm, Landon kinda reminds me of someone in this picture but I can't quite place who it is......



Oh yeah, now I remember....here's Johnny.....



Wow, what do ya know....Charlie Brown finally found the Great Pumpkin. Although, personally, I think Garrett resembles Linus more.....minus the blanket and the know-it-all attitude.



Awwwww, so sweet....the big twins helped the little twins climb up the huge hay bale so I could get a picture of the 4 of them together.



Not so sweet...they abandoned one of their little brothers immediately after the picture was taken.

....Uh, guys? Hello? Where did everyone go? How am I supposed to get down?



Cole: I wanna be the donkey butt first...

Garrett: No, I wanna be the donkey butt...

Mommy: Stop arguing....everyone will get a chance to be the donkey's butt.

Daddy: I bet that's not something you ever expected to come out of your mouth when we were trying to have kids.





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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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