Friday, January 29, 2010

Believe it or not, there were some positive moments this week…

Okay, people…it’s been a rough week. If you’ve kept up with me this week, you already know the gist of it. I’m barely hanging by a thread here, waiting for the weekend. Oh, and no we never did find the lizard so I suppose I have to accept that Garrett ingested it, just like he said he did.

As we head into the weekend, I need to check my attitude and focus on the POSITIVE things that happened this past week….believe it or not, there were some good moments.

One of my newest favorite bloggers, The Girl Next Door Grows Up, has started a meme called “Feel Good Friday”. She provides several different writing prompts to choose from. This is the one I chose…

Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was, I bet you can find 5 things.

So here are 5 things that made me happy this week:

1) My pillow….how I adore my pillow. I confess that I’ve been having a passionate love affair with it. My reasons are simple…it doesn’t talk back, it provides plenty of unconditional love and it does not expect one little thing from me (with the exception of being washed on a weekly basis).

pillow

2) Spending the afternoon making chocolate lollipops with the kiddos. I thought it would be stressful but we actually had a blast! Chocolate always turns a frown upside down, doesn’t it?

lollipops

3) We found our DREAM home and made an offer on it! It’s almost twice the size of the house we live in now and the backyard is huge. This house literally fell in our laps since we weren’t actively looking. The agent has already received a ton of offers on it so there’s a good chance we won’t get it but we had to at least try. We’ll know by next week whether or not our offer has been accepted…crossing our fingers and saying our prayers.

4) I love when I make a dinner that the entire family truly enjoys. It’s hit or miss with them since they’re all such picky eaters. I made a lasagna last night and almost half of it was gone by the time dinner was over. And Tim, who isn’t a huge fan of lasagna, said, “It was actually pretty good”.

lasagna

plates

4) It was that time of year again….parent-teacher conferences. The teacher said nothing but positive things about the kids, thankfully. She did mention that Bella is a bit of a chatterbox, though that didn’t surprise me. Academically, they’re both on target. Socially…well, that’s another story. Let me just say they are probably two of the youngest kids in their class.

5) Garrett and Landon had their first dentist appointment, which I fully expected to be a nightmare. Initially, they both fought over who was going to go first and then it was decided by the dentist that the oldest would go first….Garrett. He gave a pretty good fight but then once he was promised a balloon, he chilled out a bit. I was happy to learn that neither of them have any cavities or signs of tooth decay.

I’m a bit behind on my blog reading and commenting. I’ve also kinda lost my mojo this week, as far as humor goes. I hope to be back on my game by this weekend! Thanks for hanging in there with me!

If you want to write about what made you feel good this week, head over to The Girl Next Door Grows Up and link up with the rest of us!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The 3 words a parent never wants to hear....

It finally happened. I knew it would but I didn't expect it to happen at this point in time...not while my kids are still so young. It's like a rite of passage in childhood, or at least the teenage years.

Oh, you don't know what I'm talking about yet, do you? I'm referring to those 3 little words that hurt so badly it feels like someone took a knife and dug it deep into your heart.

"I hate you"

My 5-year old son said those 3 words to me. Actually, he screamed them as loud as he could to make sure I heard him...and he emphasized the word "hate".

Why? What would cause him to shriek those ugly, hurtful words? You might be thinking I did something completely horrible, like take away his favorite toy or tell him he couldn't go to a playdate with friends.

You would be wrong. When I asked what the kids wanted for breakfast, he ignored me. I knew he could hear me, yet he pretended not to. Bella said she wanted a bagel and it happened to be the last one. When he came to the table and saw a waffle on his plate, he freaked out.

"I want a bagel", he yelled. "Well, then you should've answered me when I asked you what you wanted. Bella called the bagel first and it's the last one. So you get a waffle", I explained.

He crossed his arms in front of his chest and began to cry. Becoming irritated with him, I said, "Look, you have to leave for school in 15 minutes. So you either eat the waffle or go to school hungry". Then, after giving it some more thought, I added, "If you ask Bella nicely, maybe she'd be willing to split her bagel with you".

But he was far too past the "being nice" stage and he hollered, "Bella, give me half of your bagel". She shook her head no and protected her bagel with her hands. Can't say I blamed her.

He stood in the kitchen, with his arms crossed and his face as red as Santa Claus' suit, shouting, "I want a waffle". I ignored him.

He bellowed, "I don't like you anymore, Mommy". I shrugged my shoulders and said, "You don't have to like me", trying to sound calm.

That's when Cole did it....he pulled a Plan B on me. "I HATE YOU", he screamed. My entire body shuddered at the sound of those words.

My mind raced...what do I do? Do I ignore him? Or let him know how much he's hurt me with his words?

I went with the "never let them see you sweat" theory and responded, "Well, that's unfortunate since I happen to LOVE you".

He continued to stare me down. I wondered if I had handled the situation correctly. The one thing I knew with certainty was that my heart ached and, while I wanted to cry, I kept a stiff upper lip.

I didn't want him to go off to school, with those being the last words he had said to me. I'm one of those morbid people who always thinks, "What if this is the last time I see my kids?" Isn't that horrible? But we all know life is short and I never want to be one of those people who spends the rest of her life living with regret.

As Tim called for Cole to go outside and get in the car to head to school, I asked him for a hug and he obliged, saying, "I don't hate you, Mommy. But I really wanted a bagel".

I told him, "I know you don't hate me but hearing those words come out of your mouth made me really sad".

He said, "Okay, let's make a deal. I won't say I hate you anymore and you always make sure we have bagels to eat for breakfast".

Well, that was easy, though I'm still not sure I handled the situation correctly. And while I hope this was the last time I'll ever hear those 3 dreaded words, I have a feeling that won't be the case.

After all, we are talking about MY kids, who have a tendency to be just a tad bit overly dramatic. I have absolutely no clue where they get that personality trait from.

Memorable conversation of the day:

Bella: When are we gonna get a talking unicorn?
Me: Uh….probably never.
Bella: Probably because they live far away from here, right?
Me: Where do they live?
Bella: In New York
Me: New York? Where did you come up with THAT?
Cole: No, not in New York.
Bella: Then where do they live?
Cole: They live in South America with the flying monkeys.
Bella: Yeah, you’re probably right. I forgot about the flying monkeys.
Cole: The flying monkeys ALWAYS live with the talking unicorns.
Me: Am I dreaming or is this conversation REALLY happening?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What’s grosser than gross?

Well, that’s an easy answer….my kids! Just when I think they couldn’t possibly get any grosser than they already are, they prove me wrong. Apparently, there is no end to what they will do to cause me to want to hurl the contents of stomach all over the kitchen floor.

On one of the days when I was lucky enough to convince Landon and Garrett to take a nap, Cole and Bella were sitting with me at the kitchen table coloring. The cat came up to the glass sliding door and wanted to come in. As I let her in, I saw what looked like a dead, stiff lizard on the ground.

Instinctively, I let out a gagging sound and immediately the kids came running over to see.

Cole yelled, “Cool…a lizard!” And Bella surprised me when she said, “Can we bring it inside and look at it?”

“No!! No way is that disgusting creature coming inside this house!” I said, with my arms firmly crossed in front of my chest.

“Aw, come on, Mommy! It’s dead so it’s okay”, they said, trying to convince me. “Dead or not, it’s loaded with germs and diseases….you’ll get warts if you touch it…your skin will get all shriveled up and crack…”, I responded.

They stood there, shaking their heads in disbelief. “We’ll be really careful…come on, we just want to look at it”.

Surrenduring, I said, “Fine…but you have to put on latex gloves first! And let’s be clear…I am not coming within 5 feet of it”.

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After Cole and Bella put on the gloves, they examined the lizard with their magnifying glass, intent on studying every little crack and crevice on him. I tried not to puke every time they touched it.

Cole said, “I’m gonna bring him with me tomorrow for share day”. I said, “I don’t think your teacher would like that.” He responded, “Yeah, she will…she said we could bring anything we want and I want to bring this lizard”. Fine…whatever. Bring the stinkin’ lizard to class.

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After a few minutes of watching them handle it (which included smelling it….don’t even ask because I don’t get it either), I finally said, “Okay, seriously….put that lizard somewhere where I don’t have to see him. It’s creeping me out.”

Soon enough, Garrett and Landon woke up. We had plans to go to a friend’s house for a playdate so I began packing up the diaper bag.

That’s when I noticed it. The lizard was gone. I asked Cole, “Did you put him in your backpack for share day?” He shook his head no.

The very thought of that THING suddenly springing back to life and hiding somewhere, like in my bed, made me want to run out of the house screaming.

I yelled, “WHERE. IS. THE. LIZARD?” But they all just stared at one another, completely clueless. “Well?” I asked, with my hands on my hips, as if that would make me seem like I had more authority.

No one would fess up so I grabbed the camera and said, “I’m getting this on video and showing it to Daddy so he’ll see what I have to put up with day after day while he’s off at work having the time of his life!”

Then Landon, never one to turn down an opportunity to take the heat off of himself, pointed to Garrett. And that’s when things got a little more dicey, as always when MY kids are involved.



We never did find the lizard so all I can do is assume Garrett was telling the truth. What did I tell you….grosser than gross.

Monday, January 25, 2010

There was a little girl….

There was a little girl and she had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead;

bellacurl

When she was good, she was very, very, good,

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But when she was bad, she was horrid!

kitchen4
kitchen2

Awwww, poor Bella! She's not really horrid.....she's just never been one to hide her true feelings. Nothing wrong with that!

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (author of “There was a little girl”)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Which is more disturbing?

bellacat

Which is more disturbing….the fact that Bella was smart enough to finally figure out a way to reach the cat….this picture just screams out “Emergency Room Visit Waiting to Happen”, doesn’t it?

Or the fact that when I discovered her doing this, I yelled “What are you doing?!  Get down from there right now!  Wait…let  me grab my cell phone so I can take a picture!”

Click….”Okay, now you can get down and don’t YOU ever do that again…unless of course I have another case of writer’s block.” 

On a side note, after looking at that picture, it has just occurred to me that the decorative plate above the cabinet is upside down (upper left-hand corner)

…and probably has been for the last 7 years.  And what do you know….the other plates are also upside down!  How is it that I just now noticed this?

plates

Then again, I don’t know why I’m shocked that I had never paid that much attention to it….after all, I was only in the laundry room for maybe 3 minutes (at the most) and I didn’t even realize my daughter was practically clawing her way up the cabinets to get a hold of the cat.

Lord have mercy on me!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Don't worry about me...I'll be just fine!

A couple weeks ago, the kids and I made mobiles. Oh, wait...let me correct that. I made the mobile while they watched, which is what typically happens.

After finishing Bella's mobile, she wanted to hang it up in her room, thumb-tacked right above her bed, on the top bunk. She and Cole climbed up on her bed and they encouraged me to follow.

I said, "I don't think I want to get on the bed. With both of you already up there and then my added weight, the bed will probably break."

Bella responded, "No, it'll be fine...come on". Again, I said it wasn't a good idea. She continued, "Well, then just stand on the ladder".

Now, let me explain that at the time we put the bunkbed together, Tim couldn't find the metal hooks for the ladder so he attached it to the bed with plastic zip-ties. This was only supposed to be a temporary fix...yes, people, the key word here is TEMPORARY...which, in case you haven't figured it out already, is man code for "don't hold your breath waiting for me to fix it".

I eyed the ladder and thought that climbing up just two of the rungs wouldn't be so bad, plus I'd only be up there for less than a minute. So I grabbed the mobile and tack in one hand and climbed up the ladder.

Everything was fine as I reached up to press the tack into the ceiling. However, as I pushed upward on the tack while my feet pushed downward on the ladder, it gave way. Oh, and in case you're wondering, my weight had nothing to do with it. Really...it didn't. Just go ahead and erase that thought from your mind right now. I'll wait.

Okay, so Boom....the ladder fell to the ground with me on it. I bumped both of my shins against the ladder as I fell and holy crap, it hurt. It hurt worst than childbirth. Well, maybe not worse than childbirth. But definitely worse than having my wisdom teeth pulled.

As I laid on the ground grabbing my legs, the kids just stared down at me from the top bunk. I yelped, "Oh man, that's gonna leave a mark...that hurt SO bad!"

They both started whining, "How are we gonna get down from here?" I looked up at them and said, "Are you kidding me?? I'm laying here on the ground writhing in pain and you both are more worried about how you're gonna get down from there??!!"

Without any sign of shame, they both nodded their heads. Then Bella said, "Well, we're also worried about who's gonna cook us dinner if you can't get up". I shook my head in disbelief. "You both are unbelievable....where's the love, where's the concern?" I spat out. I continued, "When you all get hurt, I'm right there with hugs and kisses, putting ice and bandaids on your owies!"

Cole asked, "Oh, did you want ice?" No, don't worry about me....I'll be just fine.

They both managed to climb down on their own without killing themselves and walked out of the room, right past me. They went downstairs and Cole called back up to me, "Mommy, come down and play the Wii with me".

I sat there on the floor, grasping my banged-up shins, not sure if I should be laughing or crying. I could hear Cole say to Bella, "Do you wanna play the Wii with me until Mommy comes downstairs?" and she answered, "No, I'm just gonna color until Daddy gets home." I could hear Garrett and Landon moving the kitchen chairs around, probably trying to stand on each other's shoulders to reach the cereal boxes above the fridge.

So much for their concern...what if I had lost consciousness or had sustained such traumatic internal injuries that I laid there on the floor, bleeding out as I weakly called out for their help? Sure, I had only fallen maybe 2 feet to the ground but it's possible...for a drama queen, it IS possible.

I ended up laughing as I envisioned what the headline would read in the paper the next day..."Mother falls to her death from a bunkbed ladder" and the article would read:

A 40-year old stay-at-home mother died from injuries she sustained when she fell 2 feet to the ground from a bunkbed ladder, as she lovingly attempted to hang a mobile for her daughter. Her children seemed unconcerned when they left their mother laying on the floor, writhing in pain.

When they became hungry, they went upstairs, only to discover her laying lifeless on the floor in the same spot where she had fallen to the ground.

Her oldest child, Cole, said, "I even poked her with a fork a few times to see if she was going to get up and make us dinner". Her daughter added, "We didn't think she was dead at first. But then we noticed her face was kind of blue and that's when we knew we'd have to find some help....someone who could cook for us. I mean, it was already 5:00 and we hadn't eaten anything since 3:00!"

They explained that they called their father immediately on his cell phone to ask when he would be coming home from work, never once mentioning that their sweet mother was laying dead upstairs in their bedroom with the ladder on top of her.

He was over an hour away so they went next door to ask their neighbor if she could make some Bagel Bites for them. The neighbor became concerned, saying, "I knew Helene would never leave her children home alone so that's when I suspected something wasn't right. But the children never told me she was dead! So I cooked them dinner and waited there with them until their father arrived home."

The father didn't find his wife's body until he took the children upstairs to put them to bed.

He said, "I walked into their room and tripped over something and I yelled at them for leaving their toys out all over the floor. What do you gotta do to get your kids to clean up after themselves, know what I mean?!"

He shook his head sadly and continued, "That's when I looked down and realized I had actually tripped over my own wife's body. I can't believe I hadn't even noticed but, then again, the television was on and I became entranced. I can't even remember the last time I watched The Family Guy".

The police chief comforted the father, saying, "I know, dude. I wouldn't notice my wife's dead body on the floor either if The Family Guy was on tv. Don't you just love Stuey? That kid totally rocks!"

The mother's body was transported to the coroner's office while her family stayed behind and ate Bagel Bites.

The last thing the father said was, "Hey, Officer Smith, do you want to stay for dinner and catch the end of The Family Guy with us? But after that, you'll have to leave because I suppose I should call my wife's family and let them know she's dead".

With that, I managed to pick myself up off the ground and hobble downstairs, where I planted myself on the sofa and watched the 5:00 news.

Did the kids notice that I had even come downstairs? Come on, do I really need to answer that for you?

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tell me....does this sound familiar?

Wife: Would you mind stopping by the store for me today?
Husband: Yeah, no problem. Do you need a lot of stuff?
Wife: No, about 4 or 5 things.
Husband: Write them down on a list.
mushrooms
thyme
rosemary
chicken broth
celery
Husband:
Okay, is this it?
Wife: Yeah, for the herbs...just get the dried herbs in the bottles in the spice section, not the fresh kind.
Husband: Okay.

15 minutes later, phone rings

Husband: Hey, I'm at the store
Wife: I figured as much.
Husband: Do you want just one piece of celery or the whole stalk?
Wife: What? You can't buy celery by the piece. You have to buy the entire stock already in the bag
Husband: Oh, I can't just rip one off and put it in a bag
Wife: No
Husband: I shouldn't have to buy the whole thing if you just need one little piece. I mean, we don't buy the whole bag of grapes if we don't need them. I just grab a handful of grapes and throw them in another bag.
Wife: Yeah, well it's okay to do that with grapes. But celery just comes in a stalk, all the pieces are attached already and bagged together
Husband: So are grapes...
Wife: Please, just get a stalk of celery already in the bag
Husband: This is their way of ripping customers off, you know.
Wife: Well, on your way out, make sure to let the manager know that you're onto him. Now, I have to go wipe your daughter's ass...are we done here?
Husband: Yes

5 minutes later, phone rings

Husband: Hey, it's me again. I'm still at the store.
Wife: And?
Husband: I'm confused about the mushrooms. There's a whole bunch of different kinds and then there are some already washed and packed in a container. Some of those are sliced. Which ones should I get?
Wife: Well, I only need a few so just grab a handful of the fresh ones.
Husband: But I think it might be cheaper to get the ones already packed.
Wife: Okay, then get those.
Husband: Well, maybe not? Hmmmm, let me try to do some math here....
Wife: Seriously? I only need a few so whatever you think is best, okay? The kids just lured the cat into their bedroom and now their door is shut. Are we done here?
Husband: Yes

2 minutes later, phone rings

Husband: You didn't say which KIND Of fresh mushrooms you want. There are several different kinds.
Wife: Uh, just get the white ones
Husband: They're ALL white
Wife: No, I mean there should be some "white button mushrooms". See them?
Husband: Oh, yeah. Just a handful?
Wife: Yes
Husband: But they don't even look clean.
Wife: So I'll wash them! I have to go. The cat just scratched two of the kids...one kid is dripping blood everywhere and the other kid lost an eyeball, which is still attached to the cat's claws.
Husband: WHAT? Are you serious??
Wife: I'm hanging up now.

2 minutes later, phone rings

Husband: Me again...
Wife: What on earth could you possible need to know now?
Husband: Do you want chicken BROTH or chicken STOCK?
Wife: It doesn't matter...chicken broth is fine.
Husband: Oh, because at Thanksgiving you used chicken stock.
Wife: Yeah, well, this time it really doesn't matter. Get whatever is cheapest
Husband: You're sure?
Wife: Yes, I'm positive. I'm hanging up now.
Husband: WAIT!! Do you want fat-free, 98% fat-free or low sodium?
Wife: Ugh, you're killing me here! I. DO. NOT. CARE. Get whatever...and do not call back unless the store is on fire and you're trapped inside.

3 minutes later, phone rings

Wife: Don't tell me...the store is on fire and you're trapped?
Husband: No, I was just calling to let you know I'm on my way home.
Wife: Did you happen to pick up a bottle of wine and some tylenol while you were at the store?
Husband: Those weren't on the list. Did you want them?
Wife: Uh...yeah, now I do!

Memorable conversation of the day:

Bella: Mommy, who killed Martin Luther King?
Cole: I know who killed him!
Bella: Who?
Cole: Michael Jackson!
Me: That can't possibly be what your teacher told you in class?!
Cole: Nope, I figured it out all by myself.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Desperate times call for desperate measures

At the beginning of this new year, many of us decided to re-examine the priorities in our lives – begging the question, how does anyone find time to keep up with their blog?

Most of my blogging time is either first thing in the morning or in the evening after the kids are in bed.  But there are times during the day where I crave it…you know, when I just need to connect with the outside world for a few minutes.

Last week, I had one of those days.  Okay, why lie…I had a few of those days, not just one.   Does that make me a bad mom?  No, I think it makes me an honest mom who’s not afraid to admit that sometimes her kids suck the life out of her.

I knew I had to be creative in finding an activity which would engage the kids for a little while. 

As if a light bulb went off above my head (or as Oprah would say, an “aha” moment), I figured it out.

1)  I rummaged through the pantry and fold an old musty jar of sunflower seeds (probably which I had bought at the peak of my “I’m gonna lose 10 pounds” phase, last New Year’s and had since forgotten about).

garden4 

2)  I said, “Hey guys, why don’t you plant some pretty flowers for me in the garden?”  Three of them come charging towards me and they ask, “But you said that winter isn’t a good time to grow flowers in the garden?”  I say, “Oh, what do I know?  Let’s at least try”.

3)  As if this is music to their ears, I notice their smiles, as they come alive from their stupor of complete boredom.  The 4th child was smart enough to stay indoors where it was much warmer and watch tv.

4)  I hand them the seeds and the gardening tools and give them the whole “the world is your oyster” speech, while one kid examines the seeds and finds a brown one in the midst.  She says, “Eeew, this one’s ugly…what should we do with it?”  The “world is your oyster” speech turns into a “it’s not about what’s on the inside, my dear….even something that looks like that can grow into something beautiful” speech.

   garden1

5)  As they work together to dig holes, I sit my ass down on a chair, open up my laptop and breathe a sigh of relief….World,  here I come!

gardena     garden3

6)  Every few minutes, I shout out things like, “Wow, I’m impressed with your gardening skills” and “I like how you all are working so well together”.  You know, things to encourage them to work as a team, instead of using the shovels to pound one another on the heads.

7)  In the meantime, 10 minutes later, I giggle to myself while I check my e-mail and read some of my favorite blogs.  Wow, this is working out SO well.  Too well, in fact.  Something’s about to go wrong.  I can smell it in the air.

8)  Then I hear it, “Mommy, how long will it take for our flowers to grow?  Will they be sunflowers since we planted sunflower seeds"?” and “We’ll have to come out here and water everyday to make sure they grow”

9)  Uh…yeah, crap.  I hadn’t exactly thought of THAT part.  But perhaps I can milk this for what it’s worth. I say, “Well, over the next few days, you guys will have to come out here to water them and make sure the birds haven’t eaten them”.

10)   So cool….I’ve just bought myself at least three more 15-minute breaks throughout the week.  The first two 15-minute breaks will consist of them watering the garden and freeing it of weeds. 

11) As my mind kicks back into a gear I call “cruel reality check”, I realize it’s not so cool after all.  I’ll probably spend that third 15-minute break explaining to my kids that the evil birds swooped down out of nowhere and ate the seeds, while cheering them  up with some new seeds for them to plant.

12)  The following morning, my blogging time will be spent calling various flower shops with a desperate attempt to locate 4 sunflowers, which will make their debut in the garden the next day.

Note to self:  It’s important to think of the outcome of such a plan before implementing it.  Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures but this one may end up causing more of a headache than it was worth.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Be careful what you say...in case they ARE actually listening

I often forget that my kids don't quite have the same sense of humor as I do...not yet, anyway. They take almost everything I say literally...but that's only if they HAPPEN to be listening (every once in a blue moon).

Two nights ago, I was making turkey meatballs and spaghetti...one of the meals I make on a weekly basis since the kids practically lick their plates clean. I love to spend quality time with them in the kitchen, as they help me prepare dinner. That is, until someone slaps someone else upside the head for no reason...that's when quality time turns into excuse-me-while-I-stick-my-head-in-the-oven time.

Okay, so back to the meatballs...Bella was helping me roll the meatballs and placing them in the pan. Immediately after we got the pan in the oven, I said, "Please make sure you wash your hands since you were handling raw meat".

Did she hear me? Of course not.

10 minutes later, as I see her throwing a ball back and forth with Cole, I asked her, "Did you remember to wash your hands because I don't recall hearing the water running?"

She looks at me, guilt written all over her face, "No, I forgot". As I walk her into the bathroom to wash her hands, I mutter, "Great...it's no big deal if we all die from salmonella poisoning, right?"

She bursts into tears...I mean, sobs that cause her nose to drip snot all over the place. Having just had 3 of us suffering from nasty colds over the last few days, as if I need even MORE snot to clean up?

Then Cole rushes in..."What happened?" and before I could say anything, Bella starts babbling something that sounded like, "Mommy said....all gonna die...I don't wanna die...oh my God...we're all gonna die cuz I didn't wash my hands". More snot dripping down her face, mixed in with teardrops the size of dimes.

Next thing I know, Cole starts sobbing, "I don't wanna die either...why didn't you wash your hands?"

I kneel down to their level and take them each in my arms and say, "Guys, I didn't mean we were all LITERALLY gonna die right here, right now. I mean, we'll die eventually but that's only when we're old and gray."

Sob, sob...and more weak attempts of them both sniffling the snot back up into their noses, unsuccessfully of course..."But you said we were all gonna die"

Out of all the words that had left my mouth that day, that's the ONE thing they heard?! Goodness gracious. Whoever said parenting wasn't easy was NOT bullshitting, were they?

I tried to explain the whole salmonella issue...raw meat has bacteria in it, which if eaten could lead to a painful tummy ache, resulting in really bad hershey squirts and puking up chunks of intestine. Okay, maybe now was not the time to try to add a smidgeon of humor to the situation. I was just trying to make them smile but it only made them grab their tummies and dry heave.

I said, "This is a lesson in sarcastic humor, okay? I was trying to be funny about you not washing your hands so I made a joke about us all dying from salmonella poisoning. I get now that it wasn't funny".

Bella asked, "So we're all not gonna die because I didn't wash my hands?" I hugged her and said, "No, we'll all be fine...but just please remember in the future to wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat, next time you help me in the kitchen".

Just when I thought the conversation was over, they began asking me questions about death. "When are you gonna die?" and "How do you die?" and again, I explained that I wasn't going to die until I was old and my body was very tired.

Cole broke down into tears again, "I don't want you to die, Mommy. Who's gonna take care of us? I don't want to live alone in this house without you"...sob, sob, sniffle, sniffle...and even more snot than should ever be allowed to flow out of a human nose within a 10-minute period of time.

"Listen, I'm not going anywhere. You will never be left alone in this house to fend for yourself. Do you understand me? You will always be taken care of", I explained. They nodded their heads as if they fully understood me. I added, "Geez, you all cry more easily than a 12-year old girl who just got her period for the first time!"

"Huh? What's a period?" Bella asked. Oh, forget it...just forget it. Good God, why do I do this to myself? And why were they suddenly paying attention to every little word out of my mouth anyway?

A little while later, Tim came home from work. Bella said to him, "Guess what, Daddy? We're not gonna die until we're really old".

Tim responded, "Well, sometimes you're not old when you die. Sometimes people die when they're young too".

Cue the sniffling and tears...snot city, here we come...again...causing me to walk up to Tim as calmly and quietly as I could and say, "WTF is wrong with you??!!"

He answered, "As if YOU'RE the expert in the correct way to explain things to a child? WTF? I'm not the one who started this whole conversation in the first place!"

Yeah, whatever.....

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

He just had to open his mouth and ruin everything…

Like most men, Tim is slow to cross things off of his "to do" list. Every time I hear him say, "I really need to fix that", I just laugh and say, "Yeah, well go ahead and add that to your list...would this be #67 or #68?”

Now, I know that he doesn't have a lot of spare time to do these things...his weekdays are spent at work and his weekends are spent entertaining 4 little creatures from the black lagoon. So I can't be too hard on him, I guess.

He's been talking about building some shelves in our family room for months now. I could barely listen to him talk about it without wanting to laugh hysterically. But out of nowhere, he went and bought some wood and got all his equipment gathered in the garage and went to work.

Being the pervert that he is, he had a great time driving me up a wall with comments like, “Hey sweetie, do you want to feel my wood and make sure it’s smooth enough?” and “Sweetie, can you hold my wood for me?” If only his hands could work as fast as his sex-crazed brain, the shelves would’ve been up a long time ago.

However, within days, he had the shelves up on the wall...while I sat there with my jaw hanging open.

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There was something HOT about him working so hard to complete these shelves, much to my surprise.

The next day I was whining to him about how my laptop was driving me crazy because one of the plug-ins wasn’t working. He spent an entire 3 hours that night trying to figure out why Adobe 10 wouldn’t work with Windows 7.

Yes, people, my man gave up an entire evening of watching his lame sci-fi shows, while munching on chips and loudly announcing “HELLO” every time he farted all so he could fix the problem. In reality, I know he probably did it because he just wanted me to shut the hell up but still….it was HOT.

His next project was to try to fix my camera, which Landon broke. He took the whole dang thing apart and went to work to salvage my beloved camera.

tim1

However, it was beyond repair. As I frowned, he said, “It’s okay…this camera was old anyway. We can get another one this weekend. I’ll do some research and see what’s out there.”

And, lo and behold, he actually did! Within an hour, he called down to me from upstairs and said, “Sweetie, I found one that’s similar to ours and, best of all, it’s affordable”.

Now, the most impressive thing is that this all took place in a matter of 3 days. There was just something SO attractive about him taking charge and getting things done. He’s on a roll…nothing can stop him now.

Well…actually there is. His mouth. He opened it and said, “So if I get some more things done around here, what are you gonna do for me?” as his hands reached for my ass.

Seriously? Why does everything have to come down to sex? I said, “Uh, let’s see….I’ll continue caring for your spawn 10 hours a day, cooking meals and doing the laundry. Besides, having sex with you is #103 on my to-do list and I’m only at #32; however, maybe…and this is a HUGE maybe…if I’m not too tired tonight, I’ll cuddle with you on the sofa”.

And really….why isn’t a genuine, whole-hearted “thank you” good enough for him?

Clucking his tongue, he said “That’s a raw deal”. I don’t expect he’ll be going out of his way the rest of the year to fix any more things around here.

Memorable conversation of the day:

Bella: Are chickens alive before we eat them?
Me: Yes
Bella: And they had to die so we could eat them?
Me: Yes, unfortunately
Bella: I want to learn how to kill a chicken
Me: Eeeew, you do? Why?
Bella: I don’t know, I just do.
Me: And just how do you think you’re gonna learn how to kill a chicken?
Bella: Well, there’s got to be a “chicken killing” class somewhere. Can you call the YMCA and see if they have one?
Me: Uh, yeah…I’ll get right on that. But first let me call the therapist and find out when he can see you next.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time for a reality check, Mama....

I haven't been feeling my best these last couple of days. I caught a nasty cold from one of the kids and my temper has been very short....absolutely no patience at all.

Yet, the kids keep pushing my buttons with their constant demands..."Mommy, I want juice", "Mommy, I need you to put my shoes on me" and "Mommy, I want you to make me a sandwich". Life doesn't stop just because I feel like crap. We all know that the words "sick day" do not exist in the vocabulary of motherhood.

The other day, Tim couldn't work from home, as he sometimes can. I was on my own with the kids for a good 9 hours...and I was dreading it.

By 4:45, I was hanging on by a thread...after having yelled at the kids pretty much all day long, crying off and on, as well as whining "Who's gonna take care of ME?" I knew if I could just make it through the next 30 minutes, he'd be home to take over.

At exactly 4:47, the phone rang and it was Tim..."Hey sweetie, I'm sorry but I left later than I expected and I'm stuck in traffic. I won't be home for another hour...maybe a little bit longer". I wanted to cry. In fact, I think I did cry....again.

Two of the kids were screaming loudly at one another, one kid was flinging himself off the sofa onto a pile of pillows on the floor and the other kid was running around naked, slapping himself on the ass. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs again for them to settle down but...really...what would that have accomplished? Nothing, obviously, since I had been yelling pretty much all day and they weren't listening.

I quietly excused myself upstairs for a few minutes, being sure to grab my iPhone so I could listen to some soothing music to help me calm down. I told the kids not to come into my bedroom unless someone was bleeding (which is absolutely possible, considering who we're talking about).

I sat on my bed and found the perfect two songs which would give me the boost I needed until Tim walked through the door. Both of them are songs I listen to when I feel like I just might explode into a million tiny pieces, with the hope of disappearing into the atmostphere.

Even though I didn't feel good and the kids weren't exactly making life any easier for me, they didn't deserve to be yelled at. What I needed right at that moment was a 6-minute reality check.

If you've never heard the songs "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins and "Let Them Be Little" by Billy Dean, you really do need to hear them both. And if you have heard them before but you're having a particularly rough day with your kids, listen to the songs again.

Both songs never fail to move me and brings tears to my eyes, especially when I watch the music videos, which I've included at the bottom of this post. It's a healthy reminder that we need to make the most of each moment with our kids, especially when things are rough and we want to fast forward through each and every day, clinging to the hope that things will "get better" at some point.

As the song by Trace Adkins says, you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast....even if your kids drive you to the point of wanting to slam your head against your cement driveway at least 10 times a day.


Trace Adkins "You're Gonna Miss This"

Trace Adkins MySpace Music Videos




So what helps you calm down when you realize the stress is getting to you? Is it a song? A picture? Meditation? Please...share the details!


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Monday, January 11, 2010

Reverse psychology....would it really work?

It never fails. As I'm placing a hot dish on the counter after taking it out of the oven, I say to the kids, "Move away, please. This dish is hot...don't touch it".

"Why?", they ask. And I respond, "Because it'll burn you and you'll end up with a big owie!"

What do you think they do at that point? I'll give you 3 choices....

a) See who can be the quickest to touch the hot dish

b) Immediately move away because Mommy always knows what she's talking about

c) Just stare at me with blank looks on their faces

If you guessed C and then A, you would be right.

If you guessed B, well, then you just happen to fall into that 1% of the human population who have perfect children that listen to every word you say. Don't worry that the other 99% of the human population either hates you or thinks you're full of shit.

So as I'm running 4 burned little fingers under cold water, I say, "Geez, guys...what am I supposed to do?! If I told you that you SHOULD touch the hot dish, you would probably run away from it as fast as you could, right?"

Again, I just got blank stares. Confusion settled onto their faces.

Of course, this made me think of all the other situations we've been in where they didn't heed my warnings. To make it worse, they did the exact opposite of what I asked them to do.

So I figure if I start using reverse psychology, perhaps I'd have a chance of keeping two or three of them alive long enough to graduate from college and make lots of money. You know, so they can buy me that beautiful house on the beach that Tim and I pretty much kissed goodbye when we maxed out our HELOC trying to conceive the little angels in the first place.

This is how I imagine reverse psychology would sound like....

1) Go ahead, stick your finger in the light socket...the jolt of electricity going through your body is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. I know it's been on my bucket list for quite awhile now.

2) Please, by all means....color all over the walls. I just ask that you be sure to use permanent markers this time.

3) Always, always, always be sure to touch the hot dishes I pull out of the oven. Sure, blisters are painful but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

4) It's fun to walk up to strange dogs and shove your hand directly into their face. If it bites you, I'd be happy to take you to the doctor's office for a rabies shot. I have nothing better to do this afternoon, anyway...plus, the doctor always enjoys seeing "the demon spawn", as he lovingly refers to you all.

5) Make sure you only get in the tub when the water is scalding hot. Watching your skin turn bright red as it blisters will give me something to do since after you all go to bed, I'm completely bored to tears.

6) Don't forget to pee all over the back of the toilet. I have nothing but time to kill and it pleases me more than anything to spend that spare time on my hands and knees cleaning up your pee. Plus, I wouldn't want you to get your hands dirty.

7) Sure, it's cool if you change your clothes several times throughout the day for absolutely no reason. It's my sole purpose in life to spend as much time as I can in the laundry room. It makes me feel like I'm being a good mother.

8) Don't bother blowing on your food if it's too hot. Just shovel it in as quickly as you can. I'm pretty sure your taste buds will grow back again at some point.

9) There's no need to be careful with your toys. No big deal if they break...I just happen to have a ton of money wasting away in a bank account. Why not use it to buy you more new toys to destroy? I really didn't want to replace my camera that you broke last week, anyway.

10) Crawling into the fireplace is an ingenius place to hide when you all are playing hide and seek. Or you can always try the washer or the dryer. But make sure you don't tell anyone about your secret hiding place so we can spend countless hours looking for you. The police are sitting around doing nothing but eating donuts anyway...one of their favorite things to do is look for missing kids.

11) Always tell complete strangers your name and address. Don't be shy. And it's an added bonus if you give them our burglar alarm code and let them know specifically when we'll be out running errands. Oh, and it's essential to tell them where we hide the extra key.

12) Yeah, knives are super cool to play with. It's even more fun if you run around the house with one in your hand with your eyes closed.

13) It's fine if you don't want to wear a jacket and mittens even though it's 40 degrees outside. Even better, your hands will be so frozen that it probably won't hurt when one of the other kids slams your fingers in the door of the mini-van.

14) Make sure you drink at least 5 glasses of juice before bed. I hardly ever sleep anyway so changing your bed sheets 3 times in one night is really no big deal.

15) Never brush your teeth, especially when you've eaten gummy bears before bedtime. How else is the dentist ever going to afford that Escalade she's been dying for if we're not constantly in her office getting your cavities filled?

So.....do you think reverse psychology might work?

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

A sense of humor is key….

Whenever I see a young child running around in mismatched clothes or odd-looking shoes, I figure that the child dressed himself/herself.  That’s a safe assumption, am I right? 

Every morning, Landon comes into my room and wakes me up with, “Mommy, you help me put on my clothes?”  There he stands with a shirt and pants that I would never put together as an outfit in a million years.

I just shake my head and ask, “Are you sure you want to wear this?  It doesn’t even match”.  He nods his head and says, “Yes, I wear this”.  I say, “Let me remind you that we’ll be running errands today and going to playgroup…you still want to wear this?”

Well, of course he does.  He doesn’t care if I’m embarrassed by how he’s dressed.  The world revolves around him…he’s 2 years old, for crying out loud.

So this is one of the ensembles he came up with the other day….

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Yes, my friends, he is wearing a lovely green-striped polo shirt along with a pair of Bella’s pink pajama pants.  I dragged him out with me around town and of course he got stared at. 

An older gentleman was nosy enough to point out that Landon’s outfit didn’t quite match.  I smiled and said, “Shhh, don’t say it too loudly.  He’s color blind”.

The next day, he actually didn’t do too badly as far as the shirt and pants went.  BUT….he insisted on wearing Bella’s pink shoes that were about 3 sizes too big for him.  He couldn’t walk without tripping over his own feet every few steps.

I asked him, “Don’t you think you should wear a pair of your own shoes…you know, the BLUE ones that actually fit you just fine?”  He shook his head and wrinkled his brow, which told me he was completely prepared to battle this out with me if I continued to press him on the issue.  So totally not worth it, don’t you agree?

This is how he left the house that day….

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And lest anyone try to point out to me that my male child is wearing PINK shoes that are way too big for him, I simply taped this sign to his back for the rest of the day.

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Sometimes you just gotta laugh at the little things…a sense of humor is key.  Plus, I keep telling myself “this is just a phase…this too shall pass”.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Interview with the experts - the 2010 edition about babies

A couple weeks ago, Cole asked me, "What do babies do in their mom's belly all day?" Immediately, I saw this as an awesome opportunity for another "interview with the experts" post.

Here's the 2010 edition about BABIES...everything you ever wanted to know (or maybe, didn't want to know).

Where were you before you existed?
Cole - At the doctors office waiting for you to come in for your appointment (oooh, this is creepily wierd considering they are IVF babies....I was tempted to say, "Actually, you were in a petri dish in a lab, waiting for me to come in for my appointment")
Bella - I was in the sky flying around trying to find where you lived.

What do babies do in their mom's bellies all day long?
Cole - I'm not sure but I think they probably sleep most of the time. When they're not sleeping, I think they sit around drawing pictures.
Bella - No, they don't because they don't have paper to draw on. They just lay there and play with their toys.

What do pregnant moms do all day long?
Cole
- Check their baby's heartbeat and eat chicken nuggets
Bella - They drink lemonade and eat chicken wings. Sometimes they sing songs to the baby through the belly button. That's why I like Hannah Montana because that's what you sang to me all day long when I was in your belly.
Me - No, I didn't.
Bella - You didn't? Well, you should have.

What do the dads do all day long?
Cole - Probably nothing
Bella - They sleep late and bring the mom lemonade and chicken wings

How long should a baby stay in his/her mom's belly?
Cole
- One week
Bella - One minute....no, maybe 33 minutes. Yeah, 33 minutes.

What do babies look like when they're born?
Cole - They have oval heads and they're really small, like a worm. The skin is the color of my arm
Bella - They have no hair and they have pink skin. Some have teeth.

What's the first thought that the parents have when they see their new baby?
Cole - They probably cry because the baby has an oval head
Bella - I think they're happy and excited until they find out the baby is a pig
Me - You mean, a pig as in hungry all the time?
Bella - No, I mean a real pig.

What's the first thing a baby wants to eat after he's born?
Cole - a big, ole banana with no brown spots on it
Bella - waffles and pancakes from IHOP

What does a baby want to do after he's born?
Cole
- learn to steer a car and play the Wii
Bella - I don't know, probably poop in his diaper

Before babies can talk, all they can do is cry. What do you think they're saying when they cry?
Cole - I want cereal and I want to be a super baby
Bella - They want someone to change their poopy diaper and give them a waffle.


Which parent should be responsible for diaper changes?
Cole - the mom
Bella - the dad

What should every new parent know about having a baby?
Cole
- That it hurts your belly, especially if the doctor has to use a knife to cut the baby out. And that the baby will probably smell bad sometimes unless you give it a bath 20 times a day.
Bella - There's a whole lotta puke and poop. They cry a lot and get on your nerves. That's why I'm NEVER having babies.


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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beer in my sippy cup, please?

While Tim and I don’t drink beer often, we sometimes keep a spare 6-pack in the garage (on a shelf I THOUGHT the kids couldn’t reach) for when my stepdad visits. 

Normally, he doesn’t leave any bottles behind (meaning he can down a 6-pack quicker than I can inhale a meal before my kids have their hands all over it).  He loves beer more than life itself.  Even more than I enjoy a glass or two (or five) of wine.

Landon came in from the garage the other night, armed with a bottle of beer, his sippy cup and his beloved blankie, apparently hoping for a little nightcap before drifting off to sleep. 

A bright smile lit up his face as he asked, “I have beer in my sippy cup, please?” 

IMG_2647 

I laughed hysterically….until I realized the boy was serious, as evidenced by the following short video.

Geez, you’d think I was telling him that Thomas the Train was going into retirement or that the Keebler Elves gorged on their own cookies and then exploded into a tiny million pieces.

Slow down, little buddy….there will be plenty of time for drinking beer and partying when you’re a frat boy in college.

For now, let’s keep it narrowed down to apple juice or milk in the sippy cup, okay?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Does giving birth hurt...and other strange google searches

With the beginning of the new year, I thought it would be nice to start it off with poking some humor at the google searches that have brought people to my blog.
1) can God make my uterus appear? - I've heard of people asking God for some crazy stuff but this, by far, has to be the strangest request I've ever heard. I'd be interested to know if He's able to help you out because I sure would like for my fat ass to DISappear.

2) i'm living with this hudge problem since i was borm - Uh, let me take a wild guess as to what problem you're referring to.....spelling, perhaps?

3) does giving birth hurt - Seriously? You just know a guy googled this after he watched his wife give birth and then accused her of being overly dramatic. I'll bet his next google search was "Will I be able to father more children after being violently kicked in the balls?"

4) A mother turns a merry-go-round while her child rides on it. After the mother stops spinning the mer - And then what? You can't end the google search there. I need to know how this ends. Here, I'll finish it for you...After the mother stops spinning the merry-go-round, her child hops off the ride, grabs her by the hand and says, "You're the best mommy ever. Thank you for bringing me to the park. Let's go home now so you can watch your favorite tv show while I clean my room and make my bed. After I'm done, it would give me nothing but pure happiness if you would let me rub your sore feet".

5) why god made mothers - Well, that's an obvious one....He needed someone to keep things running smoothly in the family, as well as someone who could ensure that the children never leave the house going commando or with dried snot streaks on the side of their faces. Can I get an Amen?

6) Why does my cat stare at me when I'm on my period - Probably because he's waiting for your head to spin around 10 times and then explode. Either that, or he's getting ready to take you down the minute you reach for that bag of chocolate...he's thinking, "Oh yeah, it's that time of the month again and I's about to get me some chocolate, even it does cost me my 8th life".

7) A family with two sets of twins - Yeah, that would be me...what would you like to know? Perhaps the most effective type of birth control? How to go broke in a period of one year? What are the reasons why some mothers drink before 10:00 am? Or all of the above?

8) did you know when you kiss someone their germs stay inside your mouth for 7 weeks - I did NOT know that but thank you for clearing that up for me. Did you know that when you have unprotected sex with someone, their baby stays inside your uterus for 9 months? Oh, and you'll have stretch marks and saggy boobs for the rest of your life (no need to thank me for this additional pearl of wisdom...I kinda owed you one).

9) how to "TRULY" enjoy your child's birthday party - it's spelled V-O-D-K-A. You're welcome.

10) "wife to husband translator" - this poor person landed on this post. I'm curious if it helped at all....or maybe it just made things worse?

11) I'm going to drop kick your boob if you don't give me back my pineapple Dude smoking crack, say what? First of all, this makes no sense. Secondly, does someone stealing your pineapple honestly condone an act of violence? Why can't you just go to the store and buy yourself another pineapple? Geez, get over it.

12) can you take Wellbutrin when you have kids - Well, duh...kids ARE the reason you need to take Wellbutrin in the first place.

13) my husband has passworded his pc, what does this mean - Come on now, are you really that naive that you have to google this? Perhaps you are, so I'll just be straight-forward with you...Tiger Woods. Are you getting the picture now?

14) has anyone ever wanted twins and gotten them - Yes and yes...and then some

15) I'm heaven sent, that makes me hell proof - Unless you heard that from God himself, I wouldn't go around bragging about that. God giveth and He can take awayeth.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Barbie's into recycling too..but not exactly the way I had foreseen

Every single day it's a huge battle to get my kids to clean up their toys. Every. Single. Freakin. Day.

I'm always running around the house screaming, "Put that toy away before you take out another one please"! But why would they listen to me? I'm just their mother.

And it's not just their toys that they sometimes refuse to pick up. It's also simple things like a snack bar wrapper or a used kleenex. They simply throw it on the floor, without a care in the world. I've tried imitating them so they can see how ridiculous it is..."Hmmm, I'm done with this bag of chips" and then I casually toss the bag to the floor and step over it.

Does it make a difference? No, of course not.

A few days ago, Bella asked me to open up one of her new toys for her. It was Barbie and her pet dog. With this dog came, a tiny plastic ball, a bowl for food, a little bone, a garbage can and a pooper scooper.

Oh, but wait...that's not all. Barbie's dog also came with little food pellets, which resemble brown tic-tacs. Can you see where this is going?

As I examined the dog, I discovered that its mouth opened when I pulled on his tail. Guess what was under the dog's tail? A butt-hole. Seriously. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Just when I thought Barbie had everything...alas, she does not. Sure, she gets a 23-inch waist, perky 36DD boobs, and gorgeous flowing long blonde hair but she has no butt-hole. My kids think this is a heinous crime.

Curiosity got the best of me and I put a "pellet" into the dog's mouth. He promptly lifted his tail and the "pellet" fell out his backside. The kids thought this was hysterical and started yelling over one another, "It's my turn to make the dog go poop" and "I'll put the food in his mouth and you catch the poop".

They also discovered that Barbie's pooper-scooper actually works.

So basically the kids feed the dog the brown food pellets and he quickly poops them out his backside. Then they scoop up the pellets with the pooper scooper and place them into the garbage, which dumps the pellets back into the little box of dog food. How's that for recycling? Barbie goes green...who knew?

Bella said, "That's so cool. The dog just keeps eating his own poop!" Uh, no, more like...that's so disgusting...but whatever, if it keeps the kids entertained so I can sit down for one whole minute during the entire day, who am I to argue with them.


And 4 hours later, they were STILL playing with it AND getting along with one another. Most of all, they truly enjoyed feeding that damn dog and making it poop, just so they could clean up after it.

Oh, and then they decided to skip the garbage can altogether and just put the pellets directly from the pooper scooper back into the dog's mouth after it crapped.

Yet, they still won't clean up after themselves.

The way I see it is if the makers of Barbie could turn her into a garbage collector, with a handy little garbage-picker-upper-thingie I may have a shot in the dark of getting my kids to clean up their stuff.

Maybe...but probably not.

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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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