Sunday, December 26, 2010

The year 2010 in review....

January 2010:  We began the new year off by making fun of the interesting google searches which bring some poor souls to my blog, such as "does giving birth hurt" and "how to truly enjoy your child's birthday party". 

The spawn got a lesson in reverse psychology while I finally learned that sometimes they DO actually listen, just not exactly when I WANT them to listen.  

And, of course, there was the time when, in a desperate attempt to prove to myself that I deserve to be Mother of the Year, I tried to hang up a mobile for Bella....and almost fell to my death.

February 2010:  After watching Jake Pavelka on The Bachelor suck up to yet another innocent victim, I discussed what men are really looking for in a woman.  

In a rare moment filled with regret, I wished I had spent more time enjoying the children when they were teeny-tiny babies.

This was also the month I reached 1000 followers!!  Such an exciting time!

March 2010:  This month began with Cole and Bella sharing some deep thoughts.  Garrett and Landon turned 3 years old, which turned me into a blubbering blob of sappy tears.

I shared details of my very first real kiss and gave the lowdown on why Tim is so.....uh, for lack of a better word, naive.

And, of course, we mustn't forget about "BFF" who felt the need to litter my blog with cruel and hateful words about my daughter, while cowardly hiding behind an anonymous blogger ID.  I wrote this post to show "BFF" and the world that you can pick on me, but you DO NOT pick on my child.

April 2010:  April started off with a bang as the kids informed me that I was getting a boyfriend for my 41st thoughtful of them.  I revealed 10 things that make me.....well, ME.  

In an effort to cleanse my soul, I poured my heart out in a gut-wrenching post about the differences between my mother and myself.

However, I was rather proud when I heard Bella repeating some of my all-time favorite phrases, dripping with sarcasm....imitation is the best form of flattery, so they say.  

I quit Wellbutrin...cold turkey, quite by accident.  Don't worry, people, I'm back on it again...much to Tim's happiness and joy.

And Tim read my blog for the very first time and said he was actually "blown away" by it...especially after reading this post I wrote about the one thing I'm truly good at.

May 2010:  In honor of Mother's Day, I chose to write about the honest truth about the process of becoming a mother.  I hung my head in shame as I revealed that I lack common sense and Garrett allowed me to share his views on potty training with the blogosphere.

We took the kids to Disneyland and, upon returning, I wrote this post about how to survive a family vacation at the "happiest" place on earth. 

Cole learned how to ride a bike without training wheels and Tim caught a soccer ball....with his face.

June 2010:  Just as summer break began, we learned the hard way why you should never carry your child on your shoulders.   After much hard work, the kids and I began to see the fruits of our labor, our summer garden.

I shared some weight loss tips for those of us still struggling with the New Year's Resolutions which we had made 6 months earlier to....uh, lose weight.

July 2010:  We celebrated the 4th of July by allowing the spawn to play with sparklers.  In a moment of raw honesty, I apologized to the kids for losing my cool in front of them. 

And I made a vain attempt at teaching the spawn about stranger danger, which didn't go over so well.

We took our annual family trip to Lake Tahoe, also known as our "same shit, different place" adventure

August 2010:  This month began by pouring my heart out again, as I shared the graphic details of my experience with PPD.  

To get back at me for re-negotiating my marriage contract in honor of our 7th wedding anniversary, Tim re-negotiated his marriage contract in honor of our 8th anniversary....and he actually wrote this post himself!

I was honored when asked to submit a couple short stories for a book filled with a heartfelt look at parenthood...and my stories were published!!

And Cole and Bella began 1st grade, while Garrett and Landon started preschool....and the school year got off to a good start when Garrett loudly asked me to "hold his balls".  I also shared a haunting tale of senseless eating.

September 2010:  I offered to make a wedding cake for my stepdad's niece and I shared all my cake-baking secrets...sarcasm and all.  My little ole' blog was listed on WE Magazine's list of 101 Women Bloggers to Watch.

Then there was the time that I tried to teach an important life lesson to the spawn in "do what I do, NOT what I say".   And Cole and Bella convinced me that a dead pet was better than no pet at all.

October 2010:  This month started off not so great when I discovered that whoever coined the phrase "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" obviously never made a guitar I nearly killed myself making birthday cakes for Cole and Bella's 6th birthday. 

I shared my beliefs on why chaperoning your kid's class field trip is basically like selling your soul to the devil and I finally bit the bullet and accepted the fact that apparently I am "THAT" mom.

October ended on a good note when I went in for my very first mammogram and was shocked that having my boobs smashed wasn't so bad after all....and I got a clean bill of health, to boot.

November 2010:  I wrote about the unique privileges of being a parent and what NOT to do when you're invited to be on a talk show.

And then, of course, there was an Interview with the Experts:  The Thanksgiving Edition. 

December 2010:  My kids thought I had no clue and I had to come to terms with the fact that they were probably right.  Also, I poured my heart out again and shared why I hate the phrase "cautiously optimistic". 

We wrapped up 2010 with a final Interview with the Experts where they satisfied your burning curiosity about such things as where do babies come from and how to get your kids to do more chores around the house.

We'll begin 2011 off with The Experts answering the rest of your questions...they've been kind of busy, what with attempting to spy on Santa as he delivered presents and trying to poison the elves with sour milk.

Hope you all have a wonderful (and safe) Happy New Year!!! Registered & Protected

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Interview with the Experts: Answers to YOUR Questions

First off, let me just say how excited Cole and Bella were when they heard how many questions came in from you all for their Interview with the Experts series.  Like uber excitement...such a boost to their little egos, which weren't exactly suffering in the first place.

Next thing I know they'll be asking for designer clothes for the red carpet....

The experts were only able to answer half of the questions so we'll do this in two parts, with the next part being posted next week.

1)  What is the best thing you get to do with Mommy that you wish you could do all the time - Angel at Angel Believes

Bella:  Is that really what she wants to know?
Me:  Yes
Bella:  Is her name really Angel or do they just call her that because she's an angel?
Me:  Both
Bella:  Can you start calling me Angel?
Me:  No
Bella:  Well, it didn't hurt to ask.
Cole:  Let me answer the question already!  I like to play the Wii with my mom and I wish we could do it every minute of the day!
Bella:  I'd like to play tennis with Mommy all the time, if I could.  Even though we never really play it.

2)  What is your favorite thing about your Mom - Shell at Things I Can't Say

Cole:  Um, I just love her so much and I like when she plays the Wii with me.
Bella:  You already said that when you answered the first question!
Cole:  So...I can answer how ever I want!
Bella:  I like when she plays tennis with me and when we decorate the Christmas tree.
Cole:  Me, too.  I love decorating the tree.
Bella:  Copycat!
Cole:  Whatever. 

3) What do you think it's like to be an only child - Big Sis at Speaking of Witch

Cole:  Oh, that's a hard question.  It would be nice because it would always be quiet.
Bella:  Uh, I think it would be good.  Very quiet and very good.  Very very good.

4) If you were President of the United States and could pass any laws you wanted to, what laws would you make - Karen at Right Where We Belong
Cole:  I got two new laws.  Wait, what's a law?
Me:  It's basically a rule that everyone has to follow or they get in trouble.  Like the speed have to obey the law or you get a ticket.
Cole:  Oh, got it.  My laws would be that everyone had to eat candy at every meal and only go to school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  And decorate a Christmas tree every day.
Bella:  No eating candy because it's not healthy.  No drinking juice either because it's only a little healthy but not a lot.
Me:  Yeah, but Bella, what would your laws be?
Bella:  I wouldn't make any new ones because I like the earth just the way it is.

5) What are Santa's all time favorite cookies - Ms. Bibi at The Queen of Average
What kind of cookies do you make for Santa - Denise at Together We Save

Cole:  Decorated sugar cookies with sprinkles and frosting, I think.  I usually make him cookies shaped like a stocking.  With his initials on it.  S.C. for Santa Claus.
Bella:  Chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies because he can never decide.  Next time, ask what MY favorite cookies are, okay?

6) What's the most fun about having a twin - Eva at Wrestling with Retirement

Cole:  Well, my twin plays Wii games with me and even games that are funner than the Wii.  We share a room and we're always together.  But I don't like always being with her.  We're in different classes this year which is really cool because it's like I don't have a twin.
Bella:  I don't have anything fun.  Wait, I guess I should come up with something...that would be the nice thing to do.  It's mostly bad but I guess playing Wii and trying not to ignore each other and eating and getting dressed together.

7)  How many times a day do you poop - MiMi at Living in France

Cole:  Um, once a day and I even pee every day too but more than once
Bella:  I thought I said NO questions about poop!! 
Me:  Maybe she was just super curious and couldn't resist asking.
Bella:  Okay, if she really needs to know...I poop a lot every day.  But I still have a hard time wiping my butt because I get those dingleberries...
Me: I know why you didn't want to talk about poop.
Bella:  Yeah, it's kinda gross, huh?
Me:  Yeah, pretty much.

8)  Why don't you like eating vegetables? Is there a secret in getting you to eat them - Kimberly at All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something-Something

Cole:  Actually, I like vegetables because they're healthy and my mom tells me to eat them.  And if you eat junk then you'll get sick.  Vegetables taste really good when you dip them into ranch dressing.
Me:  But what about the law you want to pass about eating candy at every meal?
Cole:  Come on, Mom, that's probably never gonna happen though so everyone should just keep eating their vegetables.
Bella:  I like vegetables...corn with butter, little corns without butter, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes and broccoli.  The secret is to tell the kids that it'll make them smart if they eat lots of vegetables.  Broccoli will make them fart so don't serve it to them before they go to school.

Kimberly also wants to know what's up with Justin Bieber's hair...

Bella:  We don't even know what a Justin Beaver is...
Cole:  What is he?  What kind of hair does he got?
Me:   Justin BIEBER, not Beaver.  He's a famous know, the dude whose hair brushed forward into his face?
Cole:  oh yeah I know who he is.  He just likes it to cover his right eye.
Bella:  No, it doesn't.  It covers his cheeks.
Cole:  Whatever, you think you know everything
Bella:  Cuz I do.  Next question.

9)  How do I get my kids to do more chores around the house - The Mother at The Mother's Handbook

Bella:  Is her name really The Mother?  She makes her kids call her that?  The Mother?
Me:  No, she doesn't make her kids call her that.  Or maybe she does.  See, her kids are older than you guys and they probably respect her way more than you guys respect me.
Bella:  We respect you.  Sometimes.  But usually not.
Me:  Well, I sure appreciate your honesty.
Bella:  Thank you.  You said to never lie.
Cole:  My answer is to make your kids get better at doing chores, print the chores out with a famous character on it so they'll be happy and then they'll end up thanking you for letting them do chores.  And they'll probably give you a kiss too. 
Bella:  Yelling always works.  Or you can print a chore chart out with decorations...whatever you want to do.

10)  What are you getting your Mama for Christmas - Rebecca at Unexplained X 2

Cole:  Oooooh, I totally got this one.  I'm gonna make her a leaf pocket.  You get a leaf and poke the stem through the middle of the leaf and then it's a pocket.  If you make a tight one, it'll look like a bird.
Bella:  I'm going to get my mom some more jammies and clothes.  She has good style but she just needs a lot more clothes.  And definitely jammies because she wears the same ones all the time.
Cole:  And she'll be pretty if she gets more jammies with her favorite decoration on it.  Probably a star.
Bella:  Wait a minute, is this our cousin Rebecca?  How does she know we have a blog?
Me:  Okay, first of all, it's MY blog not OUR blog.  Secondly, it's not your cousin Rebecca.  This is another Rebecca and she has boy/girl twins too.
Bella:  How come all your friends have twins?
Me:  Not all my friends have twins.  What are you talking about?
Bella:  Never mind.

11)  Where do babies come from - Tina at Big Cute Beach Girl

Bella:  Oh, that's an easy question.  Is it a grown up who asked this?
Me:  Yes
Bella:  Does she have kids?
Me:  Yes
Bella:  And she doesn't know where babies come from?!
Me:  Well, maybe she's curious if YOU know where babies come from...
Bella:   Hmmmm, kinda like a test...I got it.
Cole:  If you get married, moms grow babies in a little bubble in their tummy and then the lady or the man at the hospital will cut the mom's belly open and take the baby out and leave it in a special place for a few weeks. 
Bella:  Um, babies come from a mom's belly and they do something to their belly to take the baby out, how ever many are in there...and then they all go home.
Me:  How ever many are in there?
Bella:  Like you had 2 babies at a time.  But some people have more than that or they can have only 1.  It's really up to them.

12)  What do you want santa claus to bring you - The View from a Saddle

Cole: Oh, this is a good question.  That's what I'm talking about.  I want him to bring me a Mario set with the Olympic games, a robot, a Raving Rabbid game...
Bella:  And a picture of Rudolph?
Cole:  No, this is my turn.  Be quiet.  And a X-Box and my own tv for just me and no one else and a statue of a character from Mario....
Bella:   Okay, that's enough stuff.  It's my turn now.  First I want something special and I really want it.  It's a guitar and I'm 6 years old. 
Cole:  I want a guitar too.
Bella:  You're such a copycat.  I want some more stuff but I can't think of anything right now.  I'll get back to her.

13)  Where does the tooth fairy keep all the teeth she collects - Amy W at Great Cakes Soapworks

Bella:  Awww, Amy.  I love Amy.
Me:  You don't even know her.
Bella:  Well, I like the name Amy.
Cole:  The tooth fairy collects the teeth and makes them into a tower on her desk.  Once she's done with her tower, she just makes another one.  When she's all done, she moves it to, actually she shows it to the other fairies and then the people are so happy because they lost their teeth and helped her. 
Bella:  She comes to our house and takes our teeth.  And then she probably puts them in an envelote and writes our name down...
Me: envelote?  You mean, envelope?
Bella:  No, I mean envelote...this is my story, not yours.  She just keeps them in her room and tries them on in her mouth or maybe just puts them on her dresser.  If she has a bedroom.
Cole:  And if you give her a picture, she'll send a picture back or she'll write you a thank you note and hang it on her fridge or on her desk.  I'm not sure if she has a fridge because fairies don't eat.

14)  Have you ever received a present that you hated - Blueviolet at A Nut in a Nutshell

Cole:  If I saw a present that I hated, I would be mad and disappointed at Santa because he knows what he's supposed to give me.
Me:  Gosh, Cole...ungrateful much?
Cole:  Uh, yeah.
Me:  You know, Santa giveth and he can take awayeth.
Cole:  Huh?   That makes no sense.
Bella:  I love every present I get.  And I'm not just saying that because the elves are watching me right now. Registered & Protected

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sippy cup confusion...finally resolved!

Picture're at the park with your kids, enjoying the beautiful weather and the fact that you can actually sit down for a few minutes and indulge in some adult conversation with your mommy friends.

Out of nowhere, an unfamiliar snotty-nosed, crusty-eyed child comes up and grabs your child's sippy cup and begins to drink from it...purely by accident, of course, as he too has that very same sippy cup....because you and his mother just happen to share an obsessive-type love with Target. 

Everyone gets their sippy cups from Target, am I right?  So you can see the's nothing other than a case of sippy cup confusion.

I've tried writing my kids' names on their cups but it just wipes off the minute their sweaty little hands grab onto it.  It seemed there was really no solution, except that we should all just shop at different stores.  Yeah, right...

When I was contacted by ViveVita and asked if I'd like to review their Bandettes, I realized I had just found the resolution to the sippy cup confusion. 

Created by a busy mother of 9 children who obviously understands this dilemma, Bandettes were designed with the purpose of ending sippy cup confusion...and not just that, but they also come in handy for kids who have allergies so they can recognize their sippy cup, with no harmful repurcussions.

Bandettes come in kid-friendly bright colors and each one has an adorable animal adorned on it.  The best part is that there is a space on the Bandette where a parent (or a child) can write a name, date, allergies or whatever information necessary in ballpoint pen directly on it.   You can choose to either keep the name on it long term (by simply placing the Bandette in boiling water or the dishwasher with the name already written on it) or you can wipe it off and start fresh the next time.

Even young children who can't read yet can benefit from Bandettes by easily recognizing their cup by color and/or animal. 

Here are some features of the product:
  • Bandette cup labels are dishwasher and microwave safe.  (Just remember, before dishwashing, rub off the information that you do not want to remain long term.)
  • They fit most cups and bottles (even small containers and adult cups!)
  • They are completely reusable and easily moved from one cup to another.
  • They make children’s cups easier to grip.
  • Made of non-toxic material that meets FDA standards for plastics that come in contact with foods.
  • Patent Pending
As soon as we received our package of Bandettes, the kids were immediately excited and they each claimed their own personal Bandette.  Cole and Bella wrote their own names on theirs, while I wrote Garrett and Landon's names on theirs.

The kids have been using them ever since!  I love that I don't have to take the Bandettes off the cups when I put them in the dishwasher....but if the kids want to switch cups, the Bandettes are easy to remove. 

And you know what...since we've been using Bandettes, there has been no sippy cup confusion at the park!!  Problem resolved!

Bandettes are available at Babies R Us or you can click HERE to see other stores in your area who carry the product.

The people at ViveVita have been generous enough to offer one of my readers a set of their very own Bandettes!!!

To enter the giveaway, visit ViveVita's products page HERE and then come back here and leave me a comment about another one of their products that you absolutely love (they even have toothbrush label bands and clever boo-boo covers!).

If your e-mail isn't visible in your profile, please leave it in your comment.

For extra entries: (please leave me a comment for each entry)

1)  Tweet about this giveaway (and leave me the URL in a comment)
2)  Write a blog post about this giveaway (and leave me the URL)
3)  Follow ViveVita on Twitter
4)  Like ViveVita on Facebook

This giveaway ends on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 12:00 am, PST.  The winner will be chosen via and notified by e-mail. Registered & Protected

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's YOUR turn to interview the spawn...oops, I mean, the experts

So it seems that most of you really like the "Ask the Experts" interview series I've done here on my blog.  And as much as you all enjoy reading it, Cole and Bella have a blast answering the questions.  It brings out their....uh, creative side....yeah, their creative side. 

Recently, I sat down with them and asked, "What would the experts like to chat about this time around?"

We threw around ideas such as Christmas ("we did that last year"), playground etiquette ("boring"), sibling rivalry ("lame").....they obviously didn't like any of my ideas, as you can plainly see by their responses. 

Shrugging my shoulders, I said, "Well, then you guys come up with something".

They were quiet for a minute or two and then Bella spoke up. 

"How about if we let your friends ask us questions...about anything!!" she exclaimed.

Cole chimed in, "Yeah...they can ask us anything and we'll answer....cuz we're experts, you know."

"So nothing's off limits, huh?" I inquired.

Bella looked at Cole...he looked back at her. 

"Okay, no questions about poop," Bella announced.  "Or snails...", Cole added.

Alrighty, people, let 'em have it!  Ask away!!  Everything and anything you have ever wanted to know or needed an explanation for....

The Experts are ready to take your questions!!  Just leave it in the comment section and sometime later this week, the experts will be back with answers to satisfy your burning curiosity!

But, please remember, no questions about poop.....or snails (I random, but I'm sure he has his reasons)

If you'd like to read any past interviews, feel free to click the links below....

Interview with the Experts - Random stuff

Interview with the Experts - The Christmas Edition (2009)

Interview with the Experts - The Superhero Edition

Interview with the Experts - The Baby Edition

Interview with the Experts - The Thanksgiving Edition (2010) Registered & Protected

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pouring my heart out...Cautiously optimistic

"We have every reason to be cautiously optimistic," she had said, as I pressed my cell phone harder against my ear, wishing so much that I had misunderstood her.

While tears filled my eyes, I asked, "So are you saying that there's very little chance that we'll have any viable eggs to work with?"

"Well, no, I didn't say that.  I think we should just be cautiously optimistic," she tried to explain.  I imagined her on the other end of the line, keeping a close eye on her watch, anxiously wanting to get off the phone with yet another desperate, yet hopeful infertility patient.

My chin quivered, my hands shook and it felt as if my heart would burst right out of my chest.  "What EXACTLY does cautiously optimistic MEAN?!" I screeched loudly into the phone.  "Does it mean that you think my eggs are crap?  Does it mean you've seen eggs like mine make beautiful embyros?!  What the HELL does it MEAN?!"

Tim reached over from the driver's seat and touched my arm, silently willing me to end the phone call and just accept the news for what it was. 

We had been driving home after my egg retrieval during our 1st IVF cycle, when my RE called to deliver the news that most of the eggs which had been retrieved were not in good shape.  She had called them "dark and grainy". 

No one had ever used the phrase "cautiously optimistic" with me.  

Was it a good thing?  A bad thing?  I had no clue at all.

Within time, I came to learn that it meant something bad was in store for us...something tragic, heartbreaking and completely gut-wrenching. 

The phrase soon became a personal jinx of some sort.  Everything would be going along just fine and then a doctor or a nurse would randomly throw out, "We should just continue to be cautiously optimistic" and I knew our fate had just been sealed.

As we anxiously waited for the blood results of that first IVF cycle....let's be cautiously optimistic.

As we sadly listened to our RE explain that sometimes 6 weeks is just too early to see a heartbeat...let's be cautiously optimistic.

When we learned that we had lost that baby, the good news was at least now we knew I could get pregnant....let's be cautiously optimistic.

As we switched RE's and were given all kinds of false hope that the 2nd cycle would be successful...let's be cautiously optimistic.

When that same RE looked me straight in the eyes and told me my dreams of having a biological child had already slipped out of my grasp but there were still lots of options available to us...let's be cautiously optimistic.

During our 3rd IVF when we begged and pleaded with him to allow us to transfer 4 embryos because we simply couldn't bear any more heartbreak, we compromised and agreed to transfer only 3...let's be cautiously optimistic.

After we learned I was pregnant with twins, every time I would experience sudden cramping and/or bleeding...let's be cautiously optimistic.

Each time my body went into pre-term labor...let's be cautiously optimistic.

After giving birth at 32 weeks, I watched with both overwhelming joy and anguished sorrow as my first-born miracle babies were whisked off to the NICU...let's be cautiously optimistic.

Soon enough, we stopped hearing that dreaded our twins were released from the NICU after 26 days and we entered our home for the very first time as a family of four.  Something we believed would never happen.

After four months had passed, I lost another pregnancy....yet I had no idea that I had been pregnant until I was in the midst of a miscarriage.  Even though there had been no time for dreams and hopeful expectations, I still grieved, blaming my damaged body once again for another devastating loss.

When I went in to my doctor's office for a follow-up, I asked him if he thought I may be able to get pregnant again on my own in the future.  His words stung me as I heard, "I would like to think so.  You have every reason to be cautiously optimistic".

Soon, there came a time when hearing that phrase didn't hurt so badly anymore.  I'd hear someone casually mention those two seemingly innocent words and it wouldn't phase me in the least.  The pain and burden of infertility had finally passed and wasn't as fresh in my mind anymore. 

Until we decided we wanted more children.  I knew exactly what was in store for us as we begin another IVF cycle with our frozen embryos when our RE said, "All I ask is that you be cautiously optimistic". 

Yes, cautiously optimistic....with tragic results yet again.  Another pregnancy loss.  More tears and agony.  And even more anger, bitterness and confusion than ever before.

After the loss, as I broke down in my OB's office, I begged her to explain to me why....WHY did this happen again.  Was I selfish for wanting more children?  What had I done wrong?  Is it because I wasn't cautiously optimistic? WHY?!

She answered, gently, "These things just happen, sometimes we're never meant to understand why.  I know you want more children.  Maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't.  You'll come to terms with it somehow.  I know you will."

Never once did she mention the distressing phrase I had come to despise hearing.  Every single time I had heard it, throughout my journey of trying to conceive, my stomach would turn and my heart would sink.

As I went about my daily life, I knew I had to accept that more children may not be in our future.  It was difficult and there were still times that I would find myself sobbing out loud, especially as my babies began to outgrow their little onesies and my broken heart reminded me that there may never be another baby to wear those same clothes.

"Let's be cautiously optimistic", I thought I heard God whisper to me one morning while deep in prayer, as I begged for relief from the burden of grief.  I thought I had overcome it but deep down I knew I hadn't.  There would always be a void in my life for what could have been...what should have been.

Three months later, I became pregnant with Garrett and Landon...our 2nd set of twins.  A completely (and surprisingly) spontaneous pregnancy. 

It wasn't supposed to happen.  They had all said we would never conceive a take-home baby on our own without medical intervention, even as they made empty promises and advised us to be cautiously optimistic.
But finally, after everything, we had beaten the odds.  Suddenly, it was okay to be hopeful, to feel excited and full of joy, to experience nothing but happiness and pure be optimistic, WITHOUT caution. 

* If you want to pour your heart out too, go visit Shell at Things I Can't Say.... Registered & Protected

Monday, December 6, 2010

My kids think I have no clue...and they're probably right.

The other day I took the spawn to the mall to meet up with a friend and her kids.  All was fine and dandy until Bella announced she had to go poop.

You're probably thinking, "So what?  She had to go poop".  What you don't get is that this child has to poop wherever we go.  She has no fear of pooping in public bathrooms, whether it's at the park, school or at a restaurant. 

Honestly, I think she just likes checking out public bathrooms.  Everyone has their fetish, I suppose this is hers.

Anyway, moving as I'm walking her to the bathroom, which is like 10 miles away, of course, we pass Santa Claus hanging out in his temporary new digs inside the food court.

Bella did a double take, as we walked past him.  He waved at her, she waved back.  All was copacetic.

On our way back to the play area, Santa caught her eye again.  He waved, she waved back.  Then she stopped and turned to me.

"Mommy," she said. "Is that the REAL Santa Claus?"

My brain began to sizzle as it tried to come up with something brilliant enough to appease her.

"Uh, yeah," I said.  "Of course, he's the REAL Santa."

She looked at Santa and then back at me.  "Well, how is it that he sent a video to Garrett and Landon yesterday from the North Pole and now he's HERE in the mall?"

Craptastic.  Wonderful.  Why does shit like this happen to me?  And why did she pick NOW to bring this up? 

She might as well have asked me where babies come from, because my mind was a blank totally not prepared to have this conversation with her just yet.  She's only 6, for God's sake!!  Let her believe in Santa for just a little while longer...please!

But she stood there, staring at me...waiting for an answer, some kind of answer which would help her little mind be at peace with all this.

"Well", I began. "You see, he can fly super fast because he has reindeers who eat their vegetables and so they're really strong and can fly wherever he needs to go.  I mean, how else do you think the dude gets every single kid in the world presents in just a matter of ONE night?  He has powers that you can't even imagine.  Santa can be anywhere he wants to be in a short period of time because that's how he rolls."

I paused and looked down at her, praying she'd accept that lengthy explanation.  Glancing at Santa one more time, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "Whatever...."

Whew...crisis averted.

Until later that night (of course)...this is the conversation I heard coming from her and Cole's room:

Bella:  You know how I saw Santa today at the mall?
Cole:  Yeah
Bella:  Well, I was confused because you know he sent Garrett and Landon a video yesterday from the North how could he be THERE one day and then HERE the next day?
Cole:  Did you ask Mommy?
Bella:  Yeah.
Cole:  What did she say?
Bella:  I don't know.  She said something about reindeers and vegetables.  It made no sense so I was just like whatever.
Cole:  But maybe the North Pole is really close to where we live.
Bella:  No, I don't think it is.  Because it snows there and it doesn't snow here.
Cole:  Yeah, that makes sense. Maybe we should just get a book at the library next time we're there about how Santa travels so fast.
Bella:  Yeah, we should.  Then we can read it to her because I don't think Mommy really knows where Santa lives.  I don't think she knows a lot of stuff. 
Cole:  That's mean to say.
Bella:  But it's true.
Cole:  Yeah, I know.

Someone needs to come up with a freakin' manual, people, for situations such as this.  If the spawn have already figured out that I'm a total fraud when it comes to explaining shit like this, I might as well stop working so hard at coming up with exuberant explanations with the hopes of keeping them innocent awhile longer.

From now on, I'll just simply say, "Why don't you go ask your father?" Registered & Protected

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Okay, I'll admit it...I'm a Fanilow

One of my newest bloggy buddies, Kimberly from All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something gave me an award....awhile ago. 

And you want to know how much I suck as a bloggy friend?  I can't even remember what the award was...that's how long ago it was. 

But last night as I was going through all the million and one drafts I have (half-written), I stumbled upon this one and realized I never finished it.

Cuz I suck.  Oh wait...we've already established that, right?

Just because I forgot about the award doesn't mean I adore Kimberly any fact, she came up with my latest favorite word "fracken".  I told her I was stealing it from I walk around saying, "Fracken this" and "Fracken that".  

Or wait, maybe her word was "facken"....geez, my memory really does suck.  So I could be walking around saying the word wrong...either way, it's much better than saying the actual F word, right?

Of course, I have to watch anything I say around the spawn...who soak up everything I say, except the stuff I want them to hear, know what I mean?

From my half-written draft, I know I'm supposed to write about 10 things that I like.

Here goes nothing....

1)  Barry Manilow.  Okay, I've said it.  I am a Fanilow. And I don't just like Barry Manilow, I love Barry Manilow.  Sure, he's not easy on the eyes like, say...Ryan Reynolds or Mark Wahlberg...but his smooth, velvety voice makes him pretty damn sexy.  I can't listen to his music without wanting to cry a river.  Oh Mandy....

2)  Peace and quiet.  As if that was a shock, right?

3)  Bangs.  I grew out my bangs years ago and finally decided I hated how my hair looked.  So I went to my stylist a couple weeks ago and after she was done touching-up my highlights, I went in for the kill. 

"Uh, I'm thinking I want bangs again", I stammered.

"Bangs?  Are you sure?" she asked.  She's obviously not a huge fan of bangs.

With each little bit she cut off, she'd look at me in the mirror and say, "Is that good?" and I would shake my head and answer, "Nope, shorter". 

I think she was afraid I'd have buyer's regret and spend the next 3 years asking her why she let me do this to myself.  I'm sure in her head she was trying to figure out a diplomatic way to tell me, "Please, for all things sacred, do NOT tell people I'm your stylist!"

But, you know what, when she was done cutting and styling my hair...I loved it!  Totally and completely LOVED it!! 

I'll have one of the kids take my picture soon so you can love it, too.  And if you don't...have a heart and just lie to me.

4)  Listening to my big spawn trying to explain things to my little spawn.  Take, for instance, the other night after they had all had a bath.  Landon noticed his hands were all wrinkled and pruny from the water so he asked Cole why.  Here was Cole's answer...

"Well, you know sometimes, how there's waves in the water.  Well, they get into your skin and you end up looking like an old person."

And Landon was completely satisfied with that explanation. 

But you know if I had given him that same explanation, it wouldn't have gone over quite as well.  Cuz that's just life.

5)  Old re-runs of Roseanne.  I'm a die-hard fan for life, people.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that when the show was originally on the air, I wished so much that Roseanne and Dan Connor were my parents.  They seemed cool....and happy.  I related most to Darlene...she used humor to get through any situation.  That's me, in a nutshell.

6)  Baking.  Who knew?  There's a kind of rush that I get from baking...I can't explain it.  I love being able to create something out of nothing.  And I absolutely love the looks on people's faces when they see a cake I baked and they ask, "You made that?!  Wow!"

7)  Hanging with good friends who totally get me (and they still like me anyway).  The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to surround yourself with friends who are supportive and encouraging...and who won't go running for the hills when you say, "I can totally understand why some parents shake their kids", when your 3-year old is having his 4th tantrum in a matter of 10 minutes.

8)   Cocoa Krispies.  Hey, everyone has their weakness...

9)  When my kids get along.  It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's a serious melt-my-heart moment.

10)  Wellbutrin.  That's right, people.  I bit the bullet and got my grumpy ass back on my all-time favorite drug.  I did pretty well when I went off of it for the first few months but recently I've become unglued over the littlest it was time to face the music and start popping happy pills again. 

However, I'm not sure it's taken full effect as of yet.  How do I know?

The other day, Bella saw me take one and she asked, "Mommy, are those your happy pills?"

I answered, "Yes, I decided to start taking them again."

And she, completely uncensored as always, replied back, "I think you need to take more because I wouldn't consider you happy just yet.  Maybe about 5% happy but that's it."

Go visit Kimberly's blog and tell her I sent you!  Her writing is amazing...and she's fracken hysterical (or is it facken hysterical?) Registered & Protected

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tired of the same old boring purse? Then enter to win a Reverse-A-Purse!!

How often have you wished you could have a purse that matched almost every outfit you own?   I tend to always buy black purses because...well, it goes with every outfit I wear.   But carrying a plain black purse ALL THE TIME can be a little boring after awhile.

My other issue with purses is that they are never quite big enough to carry all my necessities.  You see, now that Garrett and Landon don't wear diapers anymore, there's no need for me to lug around a huge diaper bag anymore.  By the same token, I still need to bring extra pants and underwear with me everywhere we go in case they have an accident...which has happened from time to time.

So here I am in between a rock and hard place...but when the people at Reverse-A-Purse contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in receiving their product, I knew I had found my answer!

Reverse-A-Purse is such a fabulous idea...I wish I had thought of it!!  Basically, you can pick any style of purse you like...from small clutches to large totes.  Then you pick out designs based on your own individual preferences! 

Here's how they describe their product:

"Now you can carry a stylish, colorful reversible and interchangeable purse that matches every outfit in your wardrobe. Simply flip the interchangeable/reversible decorative cover to completely change your look. Or, remove the cover for simple elegance.  Reverse-A-Purse® handbags are three purses in one - the ultimate in value and convenience. Additional reversible and interchangeable purse covers add additional options."

How cool is that?!

I chose the large-sized tote with the Lipstick design and I was pleasantly surprised at how roomy it is!  I can easily fit everything I need into the tote and still have a classic look that doesn't scream, "Hello, mother of two sets of twins now arriving!"   I can use it as a diaper bag, if needed, or I can use it when going out with friends (minus the kids!).  I love that it is so versatile!

It really is easy to reverse the patterns.  Literally, it takes me less than 60 seconds.

And by now, after reading this, you all probably want one for yourselves, am I right? 

Right now through December 31, all my readers have been offered a special discount of 20% off any purchase!  Just use the code LPG15 to receive your discount.

Or you can enter to WIN a Reverse-A-Purse, just like mine!!!

The winner will receive a Tote and 1 reversible cover for 3 looks.  The tote is perfect for the traveler, the on-the-go mom, or those who just love a big bag...14" high, 12" wide, adjustable strap length, 3 interior pockets (1 zippered).  Retail value is approximately $60.

To enter the giveaway, simply visit their online collection by clicking HERE and then come back and tell me your favorite purse style or cover.

You can earn additional entries too by doing any of the following:

1)  Tweet about this giveaway (and leave me the link)

2)  Blog about this giveaway (and leave me the link)

3)  "Like" Reverse-A-Purse on Facebook

4)  Follow Reverse-A-Purse on Twitter

Please leave a comment for each entry and if your e-mail address isn't visible in your profile, please leave it in your comment.

This contest will end on Wednesday, December 8.  One winner will be picked through and will be notified via e-mail.

*  I received a complimentary Reverse-A-Purse (shown above) in order to review the product. No financial compensation was received. This review is based on my honest opinion of the product. Registered & Protected

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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