Thursday, February 25, 2010

1000 followers?! Seriously?!

I can't believe it. I reached 1000 followers. How crazy is that?!

I remember when I first added the little follow widget and within a few days I had 8 followers. It blew my mind that there were people out there who were actually interested in what I had to say....you know, because it's not like my own family listens to me.

I never imagined that the blogosphere could be as wonderful as it is...I have caught myself many times talking to someone and saying, "My friend, Jen, wrote the funniest post today about her kids..." or "my friend, Missy, came up with this super fun craft to do with the kids..."

Yes, I referred to people I've never met in real life as friends. Because they truly seem like a friend, in every sense of the word, along with many other bloggers I follow.

Something about these friends feels safe, supportive, encouraging and inspiring. They do not sit in judgment or harshly criticize us. They have our backs and can be fiercely loyal when it's necessary.

For someone who doesn't blog, they simply have no concept or understanding of what this means. They might think it's a little strange, even.

In many instances, it begins as a friendly exchange of comments on one another's blog. Then, at some point, the blogger e-mails you personally or you e-mail her to further continue a conversation that started off in the comment section.

You both reveal a little more about your lives to one another and realize how much you both have in common. Before you know it, a genuine friendship has blossomed...she becomes someone you care about. You hurt when she hurts, you laugh when she laughs, you cry when she cries.

When she's going through something you have experienced first-hand, whether it be a difficult pregnancy, depression, losing a job or marital issues, you want to hold her hand and help her through it.

The best way to describe it is you have become invested in one another. If you lived closer, she's someone you could see yourself wanting to spend time with, sharing a cup of coffee and some giggles.

Of course, in this day and age, you have to be extremely cautious and observant because unfortunately there are predators and imposters lurking on the internet, just waiting to pounce on an innocent person who seems trusting and open to some kind of connection.

Fortunately, I have never experienced this but I know of others who have and it's heartbreaking that there are people out there who want nothing more than to exploit or take advantage of a well-intentioned person.

Okay, so enough of the seriously mushy stuff...I want to share a few blogging tips I've learned along the way, which I hope some of you might find helpful, especially if you're wanting to increase your readership and/or followers.

-- Sign up for google alerts. Google will send you a notice whenever your blog name, URL or your first/last name are used anywhere on the internet. If someone mentions my blog in a post or links to me, I'll usually leave them a comment, thanking them for the shout-out.

-- Make sure to have some kind of tracking system on your blog so you can see where your traffic is coming from. I personally like Statcounter because they give you every single detail you could want about who's visiting your blog. If there is a particular person or site which is sending many readers your way, be sure to visit their blog or site and show your appreciation.

-- In reference to keeping tabs on your traffic, don't worry so much about general blog hits. Pay more attention to your unique visitors and return visitors. What's the point of having 600 blog hits per day if no one ever returns?

To me, it's more important that people keep coming back to my blog...this is how you gain a loyal readership. It's all about content...if you notice lots of people are visiting but either don't stay for very long or they never return, it's probably time to breath new life into your blog content.

-- Refresh your blog on google reader at least once a day (if not twice), especially for those bloggers who post every other day. You always want your blog to be near the top of someone's google reader list instead of buried at the bottom. You need to subscribe to your own blog first, then click on the link and hit "refresh" at the top.

-- Use LinkWithin on your blog. Those are the little boxes at the bottom of your posts that show other topic-related posts on your blog. Once someone finds your blog, you want them to stay and make themselves at home.

The longer someone spends on your blog reading your content, the better the chance that they will be back again.

-- Comment on at least 2 new-to-you blogs per week, if time permits of course. As you maintain your regular readership, you also want to continue to grow.

-- How do you find those new-to-you blogs? Mostly, I find them by looking at the blogrolls of those bloggers I truly enjoy. I've also connected with some fabulous bloggers simply by noticing that they were commenting on many of the same blogs I comment on, so it was obvious we shared the same reading interests.

Definitely check out all the blogs on my blogroll...I promise you will not be disappointed.

There are multiple social networking sites you can join and find other bloggers who share your same interests. Some of my favorites are
SITS, Multiples and More (for those people who have twins, triplets or more), and Mom Bloggers Club. Two new ones that I just discovered are Lady Bloggers Society and Comment Crack Whores Anonymous.

You can also request to be a "featured blogger" on many of those sites and that will most definitely draw in many new readers and followers to your blog.

-- Add a link to your blog in every signature, whether it be in your e-mail, on message boards, or social networking sites. It's like your own little personal ad, that screams "Read me, read me!"

-- Comment, comment, comment on other blogs! And I'm not talking about comments that simply read, "Great post" or "LOL". I'm talking about genuine comments that relate to what the blogger has written.

The point is to let that blogger know that you took the time to read his/her post and that you either enjoyed it and/or got something out of it. There's no better feeling than realizing something you've written has touched or entertained someone else.

-- Keep it real. Write from the heart...be willing to open up (to the level that you're comfortable with, of course). If you're having a bad day or you need to vent, go for it. No one's life is 100% glamorous and you want your readers to be able to relate to you, not envy you.

At the same time, don't always be a downer...find some positive things to share as well.

-- When someone new comments on your blog, be sure to visit their blog within a couple days and write a comment which relates to their most recent post. At the end of your comment, add a quick "Thanks for stopping by my blog". People want to be recognized and appreciated, they want to know that their comment matters to you, especially if you tend to get a large number of comments and they're #56 on the list.

-- Make sure your profile is linked to your blog....when someone clicks on your profile picture, you want them to be able to find your blog easily. There have been many people I'm unable to follow back for that very reason.

Same thing goes for the whole "no reply" blogger issue, which drives me nuts! You can take care of all this by going to "edit profile" on your dashboard and make sure you have "show my e-mail address", "share my profile" and "e-mail address" all checked off and filled in with your contact info.

Lastly, I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to those who read my blog, especially if you follow me. The fact that you take time out of your day to read my little ole' blog gives me warm fuzzies. It means the world to me and I appreciate it more than you know!

And for those of you who lurk but don't comment (come on, I can see you on Statcounter so I know you're there!), leave a comment sometime...I'd love to hear from you!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The basics of customer service etiquette...

Is it just me or does good customer service seem to have fallen by the wayside these days?

Whether you're at Target, the grocery store or even a fast-food restaurant, it's almost as if there's a national contest to see who can be the rudest employee ever.

On that note, I feel like it's my responsibility to outline the key factors to providing excellent customer service...sarcasm included, free of charge.

-- Eye contact: When a customer comes up to the check-out counter, mumbling to him or her "Hi, how are you?", all the while avoiding eye contact isn't exactly what I would call friendly or welcoming.

No, that's what I would call "avoidant personality disorder". Please refer to the DSM IV - TR for more information, if you're so inclined...although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you're already aware of this disorder.

Maybe a job in customer service was a poor choice, you think? Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable being a zoo keeper.

Apes and tigers aren't as judgmental as humans are. Sure, you'd have to deal with monkeys throwing their crap at you all day long and you probably stand a good chance of losing a finger or two to a hungry tiger...but eye contact will not be one of your concerns.

-- Helpfulness: That's part of your job, too, in case you weren't aware. Asking if I need help locating something and then saying, "Oh, I don't know where the powdered donuts are...I work in produce" is a serious WTF moment for me.

Why did you even bother to ask me if I needed your help in the first place? I mean, you can clearly see that I'm in the bread aisle so obviously I'm not looking for the romaine lettuce and tomatoes.

It's imperative that I know where you all moved the donuts to...do you not understand that?! My every bit of happiness depends on it.

It's the ONLY thing on this entire planet that makes my husband forget about sex.

-- Put on a happy face: In this day and age, consider yourself lucky that you still have a job. Does it really take much to put on a smile and act like you're enjoying your day?

Even if your boyfriend just broke up with you so he could date the town whore or your girlfriend of only 3 months announces she's pregnant with your best friend's baby, don't take it out on an innocent customer.

For God's sake, just put on a cheery face for the next 2 hours of your shift. Then you can go home and stuff an entire quart of ice cream down your throat, while you cry your heart and swear off dating for the rest of your life...or until the hottie at 7-11 offers to buy you a coke-flavored slurpee.

-- Show some professionalism: Seriously, this should be a given. When I ask for a gift receipt, responding with a low groan as if you're a panda bear in heat who can't find a mate, is not acceptable.

My goodness, it's just a receipt for crying out loud. It's not like I asked you to give me your first born child. God knows I have 4 of my own...I don't need one more...who more than likely inherited your hatred for all mankind.

-- No TMI allowed: I like hearing that your family enjoys a product that I'm trying for the first time. But after you scan my box of Morningstar sausage patties, I don't want to hear you say, "Oh, I wouldn't eat that if I were you. I ate some the other day and it gave me the worst explosive diarrhea I've ever had in my entire life!"

Just keep that little tid-bit of info to yourself, okay?

Is there anything I left out? Feel free to share...

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What were the odds...

- that when we were at the park playing frisbee and I yelled to Cole "run, Forrest, run", there would be a family behind us having a picnic...whose son just happened to have a noticeable limp.

Talk about "stupid is as stupid does".

- that I would be able to avoid devouring 2 boxes of Girl Scout thin mint cookies in a matter of ONE hour. I know, right? Those cookies were created by the devil himself.

-- that I'm not the only wife in the world whose husband suffers from a horrible case of PMS. Seriously. I think Tim's had his period now for about 10 days.

-- that Garrett will wake up tomorrow and not say, "Toy Story 3 coming out in theatre in June...me wanna see it, okay?" over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

-- that the 2 people who called and said they wanted to buy the strollers I had listed on Craigslist would actually show up at the time they said they would with cash on hand...surely, the most shocking event in Craigslist history

-- that for JUST ONCE Tim could avoid taking an innocent question and turn in to something completely sexual.

Like when I was about to start painting the downstairs bathroom and I asked him, "So do I use an up and down stroke or just a down stroke?"

He could hardly contain himself as he replied, "Well, personally, I prefer the up and down stroke...feel free to practice it on me to make sure you have the technique down...you know, before you actually start painting so you won't make any mistakes".

Yeah, as if he's looking out for MY best interest?

-- that it would take me an entire 6 hours to paint one little bitty bathroom. Now that's one hell of a way to get a serious contact high...and a raging headache

-- that I would think to myself that the luscious deep chocolate brown paint that we loved as a sample looked a little more like purple once it was on the wall...

and that immediately upon seeing the finished wall, Bella would ask, "Mommy, why did you use purple paint?"

-- that after the entire bathroom was painted, Tim took one look at it and said, "Hmmm, I'm not sure I really like the brown, plus it looks like you missed some spots".

It's all good, though. I told him to go change his tampon and not to talk to me again until he has something nice to say...or, at the very least, until his period is gone and his hormones are back in check.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It makes my heart ache…

Oh, how I miss the days when my babies were immobile and the only words out of their mouths were “mama” and “night-night”.

View Cole


I wish I had spent more time cuddling with them and less time complaining about how heavy they were to carry around all day long.

View Bella


I wish I had spent more time enjoying those middle of the night feedings and less time rushing them through just so I could get back to bed.

I wish I had spent more time pinching all their little baby rolls and pudgy thighs and less time racing through bath time so I could put them to bed.

View Cole & Bella


I wish I had spent more time playing with them on the floor and less time desperately trying yet failing to keep the house clean.

View Landon


I wish I had spent more time living in the moment and less time trying to hurry each stage and milestone by with the hope that it would get “easier”.

View Garrett


I wish I could remember every single detail of those first 6 months with my babies rather than being able to easily recall every horrifying minute that post-partum depression held me captive.

View Landon & Garrett


I can wish all I want but it won’t turn back the hands of time….and that is what makes my heart ache.

I said my HEART, people. NOT my uterus!

For those of you with little ones 6 months and younger, enjoy every minute while it lasts…even though you’re severely sleep deprived, even though your baby may scream for 4 hours straight due to colic and even though you feel like you might collapse from pure exhaustion.

Try your best not to hurry the days by…because you’ll never get them back again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What does ice cream have to do with sex?

The other night, after the kids were in bed, Tim and I were lounging around, reveling in the peaceful quietness that filled our home.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted him looking at me with a mischievous smile on his face. He said, "So, sweetie, what do you say? Wanna fool around?"

I shot back, "What's the matter? No sci-fi shows on tonight?"

He answered, "Oh, give me a break, will you?"

"You know, honestly, I'm just really tired. Unless you have something spectacular up your sleeve, count me out for tonight," I explained.

Tim look perplexed. "Spectacular?" he repeated.

I hesitated for a few seconds and then said, "Don't you get bored with the same thing ALL. THE. TIME? From start to finish, it's all so....uh...well, predictable. Not that predictable is a bad thing, I'm just saying it'd be nice to mix it up a little bit every once in awhile."

He still seemed confused but then his eyes lit up. "Oh no", I said. "Don't you dare go THERE. I don't swing and I don't share".

"Okay, let me clarify something to you about the whole boredom factor," he began. "I'm a MAN. Sex doesn't always have to be adventurous or unpredictable...it's not about hanging from the chandelier. To a man, sex is sex, no matter how you do it, whether it's exciting or the same old-same old."

My voice consumed with doubt, I asked, "So you're telling me, truthfully, that you're never bored with it?"

"Well, it'd be nice if it were more exciting and spontaneous from time to time but, you know, I'm certainly not going to turn you down when the opportunity presents itself," he explained.

He continued, "Look at it this way...I'm a creature of habit, like most men. Come on...I go back and forth between the same two flavors of ice cream, strawberry and heath bar crunch. Sure, neither flavor excites my taste buds like it used to but, hey, it doesn't mean I don't still love ice cream."

Squinting my eyes at him, I said, "So you're comparing sex to ice cream? You and your lousy metaphors..."

As he moved closer to me, he said, "Well, it's the best way I could think of to convey my thoughts to you." He added, "But, more importantly, did it make you wanna fool around?"

"No," I responded, as I got up from the sofa. "It made me hungry for ice cream, actually..."


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

You win some, you lose some...such is life

I feel like I've been away for weeks but in reality it's only been a few days. And what a few days it was...

Remember in my last post I wrote that I had awesome news to share? Well, I did...have news to share, that is. No, it wasn't that I'm pregnant, although that could've been good news...if I could absolutely guarantee it would only be ONE baby this time.

In another earlier post, I had mentioned that we made an offer on our dream home. Someone else got the house....it became a bidding war and obviously we hadn't made high enough of an offer. I was bummed but Tim comforted me as he said, "Sweetie, that house was almost TOO big for us...just think how much more cleaning you would've had to do".

Silly Tim...as if I clean the house we currently live in now?! And, for the record, going from a 2000 square foot home to a 3600 square foot home would not have been a hardship for me. Just sayin'.

We chalked it up to something that just wasn't meant to be...God's plan and all that jazz.

From there, our wonderful agent showed us 2 more homes (and I say "wonderful" in every sense of the word...seriously, the fact that she could hang with our kids for more than 5 minutes without running out of the house fearing for her life is just downright amazing).

We loved those homes as well, especially the fact that they both had unusually large lot sizes. Tim envisioned building a shop out back where he could work on cars.

I imagined shoving the kids outside and saying, "Now, go play...see you in a few hours", while I got reacquainted with Oprah, Ellen and Dr Oz.

Even though we wanted to make an offer on both homes, the agent of one of them wouldn't even call or e-mail our agent back...rude!

So we made an offer on the one home and it was accepted, much to our surprise. We honestly thought the bank would laugh at our offer, even though we went $20,000 over the asking price. A 40-day escrow was arranged and we were waiting for our agent to get an appraiser and an inspector out there to write their reports.

In the meatime, we decided to do a couple drive-bys, just to check the neighborhood out at various times of the day. On the nights Tim drove by, he said everything was quiet and peaceful. We drove around there on Saturday morning...again, it was quiet and peaceful.

A little too quiet and peaceful, if you asked me. In our current neighborhood, people are always out walking their dogs, riding bikes, mowing their lawns, especially if the weather is nice. But this neighborhood was absolutely dead.

Something didn't sit right with me and I couldn't put my finger on what it was but I just had a gut feeling.

The next morning, I told Tim that I was going to do more research on that specific neighborhood, particularly the crime index reports. I had glossed over them before we went to look at the homes but nothing stood out (probably because I had only GLOSSED over them).

The further I examined in to the crime reports, everything seemed fine; however, I still couldn't shake that gut feeling. And then...

I clicked on the part where it read "sex offenders living in this zip code" and I could NOT believe my eyes. There were TWO sex offenders living in that same neighborhood....one of them lived 6 houses down on the same street and another offender lived diagonally behind the house we were buying. There was another offender who lived a couple blocks away, right by the neighborhood park and down the street from the school which the kids would attend.

My stomach turned as I read what their convictions were...the most serious one being forced sodomy of a child under the age of 14 years old.

I told Tim about it and we both agreed it was an instant deal breaker. Our agent was away for the weekend so we touched base with her yesterday morning and she completely understood. Thankfully, we were still within the 10-day period where we could break our contract without any consequences.

We ended up looking at a couple homes yesterday in OUR neighborhood. One of them was an automatic NO for many reasons but perhaps the funniest thing was when the kids were screaming in the backyard while we looked at the home. As we were about to leave, an older lady rang the door bell and explained that she was the next-door neighbor and she had heard some children screaming, which made her concerned.

Tim and I apologized for the noise. She smiled sweetly and said, "This is a very quiet neighborhood". Once we were back in our mini-van, I told Tim, "Uh, I think that was her passive/aggressive way of saying she'll raise hell if we move in there with our demon spawn".

The next home was pretty nice....large enough for our family with a suitable sized backyard. So we'll see....we're considering making an offer on it.

Needless to say, though, Tim and I are a little burnt out after all this. Valentine's Day came and went, with neither of us even noticing. I'm sure Tim was thrilled about that.

I'll be back on track again this week...I've got so much catching up to do! However, it was refreshing to not be completely attached to my computer this weekend...just spending the time hanging out with my family and really just being in the moment. I need to spend more time doing that.

Once again, it boils down to wanting it all and finding a happy medium.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear Someone...

Short Mama over at Family of Shorts hosts a weekly meme every Thursday, called "Dear Someone". You got something you want to get off your chest? Write a letter and then come link up with the rest of us over on her blog.

Dear Cole, yesterday at lunch time, you saw me give Landon more ketchup for his hotdog. I asked, "Does anyone else want more ketchup?" You didn't respond so I put the ketchup away. Not 5 seconds later, you're whining, "I want more ketchup".

You do this to me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Why do you always decide you want seconds on something the minute I put it away?? I'm over it. From now on, I'm making one single announcement..."If anyone wants seconds, speak now or forever hold your peace". If there is silence, I will take that as confirmation that it is finally time for me to sit on my ass and take a break.

Dear kids, thanks to you I have lost about 4 pounds this week. As luck would have it, each of you have pooped right at the same time when I was about to eat a meal. There's something disturbing about being interrupted during a meal to wipe someone's ass and then going back to the meal, which oddly resembles the poop that I just cleaned up.

I don't think I'll ever be able to eat beef stew again for as long as I live
.

Dear Gardeners, I think it's pretty ironic that when I ask you to trim the bushes or the tree in our front yard, you can't speak or understand a word of English....yet, I can hear you all speaking English perfectly while you're arguing about whose turn it is to use the blower versus the lawnmower.

Next time, you come to my door requesting payment, don't be surprised if I've conveniently forgotten how to speak English too.


Dear Cat, can you please refrain from sitting on the neighbor's fence and taunting their dogs? It's just a matter of time until one of the rescue dogs they bring home is big enough to reach you with its powerful jaws. But now that I think about it...maybe that's what you're hoping for. I know the last 5 years with the kids has been tough on you. I can't say I blame you for knocking on heaven's door.

Dear Subconscious, this is 2 nights in a row now that I've had erotic dreams about Simon Cowell. Come on.. why HIM of all people?! Why not Ryan Reynolds? Why not Mark Wahlberg?

Although I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how sexy Simon was in my dream...and afterwards, he winked at me and said, "I really REALLY like you".

Dear Tim...sweet, naive Tim...yes, the world does revolve around me. Don't act so surprised.

I've got 2 out of 4 kids at home sick. Sorry I've been lagging in my commenting. Stick with me, though. I'll be back in swing again soon! Plus, I've got AWESOME news to share...

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Because I’m crafty like that…I think

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  It’s really not a big deal for me anymore since I’ve been married and every ounce of romance that ever was has long since disappeared, along with my perky boobs and bladder retention.

The best part of the holiday, by far, is seeing how excited the kids are to give/get Valentine’s.  So when Cole and Bella came home from school last week, waving a bright pink paper in my face, I knew what was coming.

“Mommy”, they screamed, “We have to do our Valentine’s!”

We went out right away to the craft store to see what was available.  Cole found some store-made dinosaur Valentine cards that he loved so that was easy.

But Bella wanted to make something different and unique….of course, just like she is.  So we came up with our own little version of a “sweet Valentine’s day flower”.

Bella’s Sweet Valentine’s Day Flower Craft

Get some cardstock in a variety of colors.  We also got some fancy scrapbooking cardstock for the middle of the flowers.

Per flower, cut out 3 heart-shaped petals, 1 flower-shaped middle, and 2 leaves.  Punch holes at the bottom of each.  Write the “to” and “from” on the leaves.  This was the most time consuming part…waiting for Bella to write all the names.  I swear, I could feel my hair turning gray while I waited for her.  Have I ever mentioned that I have a serious lack of patience?

craft1

Okay, if you haven’t died of old age at this point (assuming your kids can write super fast),fold all 3 heart petals in half and then open them up again. 

craft2

Then take the hearts and overlap them so it forms a flower shape.  Add the flower center and make sure all the holes line up.  I put a little bit of glue on each of them to make sure they stayed put.

craft3

Then turn your flower over and add the leaves with glue, again making sure that the holes line up.

craft4

Turn the flower back over and put a lollipop through the center…add a tiny bit of tape at the bottom of the lollipop stick to make sure it stays in place.  Nothing worse than a kindergartener freaking out because he didn’t get a lollipop when everyone else did.

craft5

We made 32 of them…all in various colors with a different design in the middle of each.  I hope her friends will like them!!

Memorable conversation of the day:

Me (walking out of Cole and Bella’s room, after putting them to bed): Goodnight! Stay in your beds! Do not come out unless you're bleeding from your eyeballs!

Cole (to Bella): Bleeding eyeballs?!  How can you bleed from your eyeballs?

Bella: I could stab you in the eyes with a pencil. That'd probably work.

Me: I heard that....there will be NO stabbing of anyone's eyeballs!

Bella (to Cole): Well, I could just pull your eyelashes out one by one and then they'll probably bleed. And it would probably hurt way less than me stabbing them with a pencil.

Me:  Both of you need to stop talking and go to sleep!  Besides, your conversation is seriously creepy and disturbing! 

copyright

Monday, February 8, 2010

Apparently, I've missed the memo...yet again

February 8, 2010

To: Mommy
From: Your LOVING demon spawn (the oxymoron of the century)
Re: Past memos
===================================

We are tired of listening to you bellow, "Who forgot to turn the lights off? Did I miss the memo saying that electricity is now free?" and "Why can't you all clean up after yourselves? Did I miss the memo saying that I'm your personal maid?"

We hate to be the bearers of bad news (yeah, right...it's what we live for, actually) but yes, in fact, you have missed a whole lotta memos around here recently.

Since you continue to claim that pregnancy has cost you most of your brain cells and you don't recall receiving the memos, we thought it would be helpful if we sent you a not-so-gentle reminder.

1) As you've already guessed, electricity is now free. So stop your moaning and groaning when we leave a couple lights on after we leave a room or leave the television on when we're not watching it. How do we know it's free? Because there's no swipie thingie for your debit or credit card next to the on/off switches...duh.

2) The kitchen hours have changed....it is now open round the clock, 24/7. If we're thirsty at 3:00 am, we can walk downstairs and get ourselves a glass of juice. It's no big deal if we spill it all over the floor because you need to clean the floor anyway, for the 5th time in one week.

What? The fridge was left open all night long? No worries...electricity is free, remember? And all that food that went bad during those 5 hours...we were just gonna waste it anyway.

3) For those of us who still have baby teeth, eating candy is no longer a big deal. Furthermore, there's no need to brush twice a day because baby teeth fall out anyway so why bother to take care of them. The Tooth Fairy even said so. See....


I'm the Tooth Fairy and I approve this memo.

4) Peeing in the tub during bath time is acceptable. In fact, it always has been cool to empty our bladders in the tub but parents everywhere started rebelling, saying we might get dysentery and keel over in the middle of soccer practice so we had to put an end to it.

However, since it's a known fact that OUR time is more precious than YOUR time, we will be re-implementing this rule. You know, pee in the tub while bathing ourselves....kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

If it makes you feel any better, human pee actually isn't harmful if consumed...it's only yellow-tinged water, after all. Now, if we're talking about pooping in the tub...that's a whole 'nother issue. Even we have our standards, believe it or not.

5) The studies showing that television is bad for children is a crock. It has recently been discovered by a random group of kindergarteners (all 2 of us) that children get into LESS trouble and mothers pull out LESS of their own hair when we're being entertained by the babysitter television. In many cases, it has saved the lives of numerous children....not to mention, it has prevented the overcrowding of bald mothers in the insane asylum.

6) The phrases "because I said so", "because I'm the parent here, not you", "use your inside voice" and "use walking feet" have been abolished from the human language. Enough said...

7) R.E.S.P.E.C.T. If you want us to listen to you, then you need to listen to us. No more saying, "uh-huh" while you keep your head buried in your People magazine when we're telling you for the 3rd time that day about the gnarliest greenish-brown booger that Sam pulled out of his nose during share time in class. Surely, that's more entertaining than Heidi Montag's 4th nose-job or the most shocking scandal ever to happen in Bachelor history (again).

We know you're NOT listening...we're mischievous and somewhat evil, not stupid.

8) An apple a day keeps the doctor away...that now applies to parents, as well as children. No more piling fruits and veggies a mile high on our plates while you scarf down oreos and donuts at every meal. For someone who claims to be healthy, the junk in your trunk and the jiggle in your middle indicates otherwise.

9) Share and share alike...isn't that what you always say? It goes both ways...you now need to share YOUR things with us, including but not limited to, your make-up (yes, the eyelash curler and the mascara are on that list), adult scissors (we'll give a whole new meaning to the term "running with scissors" and it'll be downright scary), your brand new laptop, the keys to the mini-van, your digital camera, all 10 tv remotes, and Daddy's endless supply of Dr. Pepper which you keep hidden in the garage. Let the good times roll...

Thank you for your cooperation. If you would like to dispute any of the items included in this memo, you can suck it.

We reserve the right to change these rules any ole' time we please...simply because we can.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dear Someone....

Short Mama over at Family of Shorts hosts a weekly meme called "Dear Someone" and since I have some things I need to get off my chest, I thought it would be fun to participate. If you have something you need to tell someone, write your letter and link up with the rest of us on her site!

Dear Landon, I know it's horrible of me to pretend to cry when you misbehave. Your big brother and sister have ruined me and it's come down to this...I've had to be creative to get through to you all. It's so sweet, though, how you run over to me, all concerned, to give me a big hug and say, "Don't cry, Mommy. I love you." I almost feel bad about being so manipulative (key word here being "almost"). Stop misbehaving and I won't have to sob shamelessly anymore.

Dear Garrett, you're adorable and I love spending time with you. But you seriously need to stop walking into my bedroom in the middle of the night and standing next to my bed, staring me down as I sleep. What are you thinking in your little head as you watch me sleep peacefully? Never mind, I don't want to know. Just please stop doing it...it's creeping me out.

Dear Pharmacy Tech guy at Kaiser, I seriously wanted to die right there on the spot today when you handed me my refill of Wellbutrin and my son said, "Those are my mom's happy pills. She has to take them so she doesn't kill us with her bare hands". Thank goodness, you have a sense of humor. I wouldn't blame you, though, if you called Child Protective Services on me the minute I walked out the door.

Dear Pediatric Therapist, I appreciate you coming to my home to do an OT assessment on Garrett. You were cool and you seemed to know your stuff quite well. However, what you seem to lack knowledge about is that it's unprofessional and inappropriate to smack your gum noisily while meeting with a client. To make it worse, your heavy breathing reminded me of a 13-year old boy I made out with once at sleep-away camp. Let me suggest that you discontinue this bad habit, especially since it's obvious you don't know how to breathe and chew gum at the same time.

Dear Bella, thank you for always knowing when I need a good laugh. You cracked me up today when you asked, "Mommy, do you remember when we were singing Happy Birthday to Landon and he stuck his hand in the cake before we were done with the song?" I said, "Bella, how can you possibly remember that?! It was TWO years ago!" and you responded, "Because there was cake involved. That's the only reason I remember it." PS - You might want to work on clenching your butt cheeks when you sneeze. The fact that you fart almost every time you sneeze is actually quite adorable...however, it won't be so adorable in a few more years. Consider yourself informed.

Dear Cole, our cat will never have kittens. You just need to accept it already. When we adopted her 10 years ago, we got her fixed. No, I will not take her back to the vet to have her "unfixed". We are not getting any more animals...no kittens, no puppies, no goldfish, no turtles, no dinosaurs...end of discussion.

Dear Tim, when I bend over to empty the dishwasher, it is NOT a written invitation to come over and grope me. I mean, where's the respect? Geez, at least wait until the kids are out of the room. I know the experts say it's healthy for kids to see their parents being affectionate with one another but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is NOT exactly what they were referring to. Plus, I don't need the added headache of trying to explain to them why they need to respect other people's personal space but Daddy doesn't.


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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The WHOLE truth about what men really want in a marital partner...

I can't help it. I'm addicted to reality shows. One of them happens to be The Bachelor. I love to laugh when the girls start sobbing, as they're telling Jake their sad stories of love gone wrong...or how the other girls in the house are mistreating them ("They're all just jealous because I play the role of 'selfish bitch' so well".) Hey, I'm pure evil...what can I say?

But this past week's show left me laughing so hard that I might have peed in my pants. No, cancel that. I actually DID pee in my pants, but only a little bit...it's just one of those left-over perks from being pregnant with twins. I thank my kids every day for leaving me the gift that lasts forever.

So, getting back to The Bachelor, Jake went on several different dates with the women who are left. On those dates, he asked each girl what their expectations were of marriage and what they were looking for in a husband. In turn, they wanted to know what he was looking for in a lifelong partner.

What viewers were treated to were the typical boring answers most people give one another when asked these questions. You know, like honesty, loyalty and a love so passionate it will stand the test of time.

Excuse me while I puke.

Okay, I'm back. There's really nothing wrong with those answers except for the fact that not every single man is completely honest. Some of them tend to hold back the entire truth out of fear that it might scare off the potential lifetime partner...who's probably the one woman who is way out of his league.

Anyway, at one point during the show, Jake told one of the girls, "My wife will be the last woman I ever look at". Oh geez, hold on a minute...yep, peed in my pants a little bit again.

Alright, so do you see the problem with that statement? He's not being entirely truthful. Any woman who has experience with men should know full well that a statement like that is complete bullshit.

What Jake meant to say was, "My wife will be the last woman I ever look at....unless the neighbor across the street has a sweet Southern drawl, humongous double-D boobs, and a tight ass, to boot. Then all bets are off."

Here are some more examples of what some men say they want in a potential marital partner and what they should say, IF they're being completely honest.

"I want open communication....unless we don't agree on something. Then it's my way or the highway."

"I'm looking for honesty in a partner....unless, of course, she doesn't like my best friend. Then she should just keep her mouth shut. And she should never make me choose between her or the best friend because she won't like the answer."

"I will always be faithful....unless she's been denying me sex and the perfect opportunity presents itself, more than likely, on a conveniently-timed business trip."

"I want someone who shares my religious beliefs....you know, we both believe that I am God."

"I want my wife to be my best friend...unless, of course, she starts interfering with my Wednesday night drunk-fests at the strip club with my other best friend, Mike."

"Inner beauty is what's most important...unless she gains 500 pounds or suddenly needs to borrow my razor to shave off the little stray hairs sprouting from her chin."

"I want to marry someone who loves to travel...the 3000-mile trip across the country to visit mummy at every holiday, including the 4th of July and Mother's Day, of course."

"I want a woman who is open-minded and not afraid to share her true feelings...and doesn't mind if I sob laboriously on her shoulder every time we watch Steel Magnolias or Tears of Endearment."

"I'm looking for a partner who can laugh at the little things in life....unless it's my 3-inch penis, which tends to bend a little too much to the left, that she finds so humorous."

"I want to marry a girl who has a big heart...and big boobs. However, a girl who has a big ass is unacceptable. No can do."

"I'm looking for someone who shares my love of children...and won't mind raising my demon spawn virtually on her own while I go off to work all week and then go play golf with my buddies on the weekend."

"I want a partner who's kind, polite and has good manners...but she shouldn't expect the same from me because I am a man, after all, and burping and farting are the highlights of my day. And I prefer a partner who will clap and cheer when I finally accomplish the abstract art of burping the entire alphabet."

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Monday, February 1, 2010

I think it’s safe to say we have a few problems around here….

Problem 1: The balloon. Oh, good Lord, the freakin’ balloon. Garrett and Landon each got one from the dentist last week. One popped in the car on the way home…it’s so Murphy’s law, am I right? Two kids, one balloon….World War IV breaks out. Or is it World War V? I never really paid attention in History class, obviously?

Eventually one of the kids pulled the string off the balloon and let it go…where it floated up, up and away to the top of our vaulted ceiling.

At first, they lost track of where it went…only to discover it an hour later when they were hanging out in the loft. In the picture below, you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

I especially love that Bella’s hand is outstretched towards the balloon, as if summoning it with her hand will bring it back suddenly in her direction. But I can’t blame her for thinking that might have worked, being that when she screams “Jump”, her little brothers yell back, “How high?” with fear in their trembling little voices.

balloon1

Problem 2: Well, this isn’t more of a problem, but more of a phase. At least I hope it’s just a phase…I cannot keep the boy away from his sister’s clothes. Is it possible for a 2-year old to be considered a drag queen?

outfit4aoutfit2

Problem 3: Before I was a mother, a co-worker friend of mine laughed hysterically when I informed him that never in a million years would I ever pinch off a snot bubble protruding from my child’s nose nor would I ever do the sniff test….you know, where you bend down and smell your child’s butt to see if he/she is in need of a diaper change.

Now I can see why he thought it was so funny because 5 years later, I smell butts every hour on the hour around here. It’s second nature to me, as I blurt out to my kids, “Hey, come here…let me smell your butt”.

I honestly thought it was no big deal until I saw this….

Garrett2

Yes, that is Garrett standing behind his father, sniffing his butt. This happened after an ominous foul odor filled the air and, when asked, Tim quickly denied that he was the one responsible for it.

Garrett said, “Me find out who did it!” and he walked up behind Tim and did the sniff test. Then he backed away and said, “Nope, it wasn’t Daddy. Landon, come here…let me smell YOUR butt”.

We thought it was funny….at the time. Now, I’m just holding my breath waiting for that moment where he walks up to a total stranger in the mall and grabs them from behind and says, “Let me smell your butt”. It’ll happen, I just know it will.

Problem 4: The picture below is what I call a moment of desperation. Every parent has one…don’t deny it for a second. I just wanted some peace and quiet so I could get breakfast cooked and served. Is that so wrong?

kids1 kids2

Memorable conversation of the day:

Me (to Cole and Bella): How come you do whatever Mrs. Helms asks you to do but you don’t do what I ask you to do?

Cole: Because our brains tell us to listen to her, not you.

Me: Yeah…real nice.

Cole: Well, I don’t make the rules…my brain does.

Me (to Tim): Why are they such smart-asses?!

Tim (smiling like the cat who ate the canary): I don’t know, sweetie. Why do YOU think they are? Aren't you the one always telling me that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?

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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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