Sunday, May 30, 2010

My idea of Tim's perfect Father's Day...or not?

I owe Tim big time. And not just because he let me post a picture of him with a black-and-blue eye he received while catching a soccer ball with his face.

I don't say it often enough but Tim goes above and beyond when it comes to helping me with the kids.

Sure, he runs off to work every Monday through Friday with a little skip in his step, as he anticipates where he may eat lunch that day or just being able to listen to Rush Limbaugh on his car stereo in peace and quiet as he sits in rush hour traffic.

But when he comes home, literally from the minute he pulls up in the driveway, I do the hand off..."Yeah, Daddy's home! Mommy's off the clock!"

Some dads need a cool-down period when they get home from work but Tim knows that even if he demanded it, the kids wouldn't give it to him.

He welcomes them with open arms, greeting them at the door with "Hey guys, I see you managed to keep your mother from checking herself into the psych ward today...high 5's for everyone!"

After dinner, on most nights, he'll rush them upstairs to give them a bath so I can either wash the dishes without 8 little hands clawing at me or sit down at the table and zone out on my laptop.

So with Father's Day in mind, I feel like I need to pull out all the stops and really let him know how much he's appreciated around here.

After him spending the day lounging around on the sofa, we'll have a nice, romantic dinner (well, as romantic as it can get with 4 rugrats under foot)...a big heaping bowl of buttery Pasta Boobs...what man wouldn't love to eat sexy noodles for dinner?

And, of course, there will be no veggies in sight because it is all about Tim, after all, and he's apparently allergic to all things green, orange and yellow.

Then we'll get to the presents, the best part of the holiday...

Every Father's year, I buy him various t-shirts because the 25 he already has just don't seem like enough. Usually I buy him a couple funny shirts, with my personal favorite thus far being "You can't scare me, I have two sets of twins".

This year, I'm thinking of a t-shirt that says "Who are these kids and why are they calling me Dad?" or "Some people are only alive because it's illegal to kill them".

And, of course, because he's a soccer lover, a few FIFA t-shirts are almost a given.

Since I'm all about useful gifts, I'll have to include a package of crossword puzzle toilet paper. But then again, maybe not...I don't need to give him any excuses to spend even more time in the bathroom than he already does.

Maybe a potty night light would be more appropriate...but that might be considered more of a "to you, for me" present since I'm the one who gets stuck cleaning up all the pee behind the toilet, courtesy of the males in this house who have poor aim.

The kids want to make a craft for him, probably something that incorporates their hand prints because that always seems to bring out Tim's sentimental side.

Originally, they wanted to make him one of those "Our Dad rocks" paper weights but I can easily see that becoming one of their weapons of choice.

Now that I think about it, he'd probably just prefer to have the t-shirts, the pasta boobs and the house to himself for the entire day.

Can't say I blame him...

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Friday, May 28, 2010

I love a good challenge...

My good friend, Marianne, at Diary of a Fickle White Woman challenged me to publicly accept an award she left me on her blog and of course I couldn't turn down a good challenge.

I'll admit that I totally suck when it comes to the whole awards thing. I've received many and while I'm eternally grateful and appreciative, I feel badly about having to pick and choose who to pass the awards on to.

And then I feel like if I don't follow the rules of the award by not passing it on, I'll seem thankless and selfish.

But you know when Marianne called me out and practically DARED me to participate...well, I couldn't say no.

Well, that and she has a soft place in my heart...especially since we both share an obsession with Keith Morrison that may even border a little on the creepy side. I mean, it's not like we have a Facebook fan page for him or anything but we both do enjoy his devilish commentary during his crime reports on Dateline way more than the average person.

When you get a free minute...like, right after you leave me a comment (because you were going to comment, weren't you? Shout out to the lurkers...), do yourself a huge favor and go visit her blog! While you're over there, add yourself to her follower list and leave her a comment!

She's gracious, adorable, passionate and has a wicked sense of humor! Girlfriend can write, too...it's one of the reasons why I love her!

So thank you, Marianne, for sending me this awesome award! I'm totally diggin the panda bear, by the way.



Along with the award came these questions...

1) Why do you blog?

Well, I suppose I should say it's because I want to document my children's milestones and other happy memories. And, really, that IS one of the main reasons.

However, since I began blogging 3 years ago, I've discovered that writing is a passion of mine...it's something I truly enjoy. I love tapping into that creative side that I never knew existed.

Plus, I have to admit, it's a wonderful outlet for venting. Lord knows Tim doesn't want to hear me moan and groan any more than he's required to per our marital contract.

2. What was your favorite age to be and why?

I'd have to say the ages of 18-22, the college years, were the best for me. I was finally living away from home and learning about life in the real world.

I loved the freedom I had...I remember one night my roommates and I were up late and we all had early classes the next morning and we were like, "Hey we don't have to go to bed if we don't want to...NO ONE can tell us what to do!!"

It was a wonderful realization!

3. What's your favorite sport to play?

Uh, yeah....see, I don't play sports. I've never been a die-hard sports fan. I was more the girl you saw on the sidelines that no one ever wanted on their team.

I wasn't even a cheerleader, for God's sake...though I did date a guy on the football team for 3 years while in high school. As if that counts?

4. What's your favorite sport to watch, and who's your favorite team?

My favorite sport to watch is WWF: Twin Mania. I'd love to pick a favorite team but that would just be plain wrong.

As a parent, I hear it's pretty shameful to have a favorite.

5. If you could pick your perfect career (and money doesn't matter / the kids are out of the house) what would it be?

Definitely something to do with writing...whether it be writing a book or freelancing for various magazines. I would love nothing more than to wake up in the morning, settle down at the kitchen table with my laptop and spend the day in my jammies, while doing something I absolutely adore.

And while pouring my creative juices out into the form of a blog post or a chapter is fulfilling, what I love the most is connecting with an audience...knowing that something I wrote from my heart touched someone in a way that made their day a little more enjoyable.

6. Do you ever feel guilty for blogging?

It really depends on the circumstances.

Sometimes, I'll get the kids involved in an activity and then sneak away to do some blogging...and while I'm writing about something funny or interesting that they did, I worry that I might be missing out on creating yet another wonderful memory with them.

But then there are times where I have to remind myself that I deserve to take some time for ME, doing something I enjoy. That's when I tell myself, "Self, blog your little heart out. You have done your job today and you've done it well".

And by job, I mean...none of the kids have gotten lost while out in public, Tim hasn't rolled his eyes at me more than 3 times in 1 hour and I haven't begged him to cart me off to the nut house.

7. What is your favorite holiday?

It would be a huge tie between all the fall holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the FUN and the spirit of it all.

The one thing I'm really looking forward to is when the kids are all adults with families of their own...having huge Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.

Both Tim and I come from small families with no extended family nearby so holidays were always a little bit dreary for both of us growing up.

So the thought of having a full house on both holidays in the future makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

With that said, I fully understand that, with having 4 children, the chances of spending every single holiday together is slim but I'll go wherever I have to go to be with my kids and their families on special holidays.

8. What's your favorite kind of music?

I love anything from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I'm not really into country, except for maybe a few songs here and there.

I like to think it's impressive that I still know all the words to "Baby Got Back", "Bust a Move" and almost every Will Smith, Bell Biv Devoe and LL Cool J song ever made. A little "Poison" or "I Need Love", anyone?

9. Do you consider yourself a good driver or bad driver?

I can't even remember the last time I got a ticket so, just based on that, I'd have to say I'm a pretty good driver.

Oh, and then there's also the fact that the kids practically beg me to take the wheel instead of Tim when we go on long drives. That's a pretty good indicator, as well.

10. What's the farthest away place you have visited?

Hmmm, probably Hawaii. I've been there only twice but it's easily a place I could visit more often.

Someday, I'd love to visit Greece and Australia...a girl can dream, right?

Please make sure to vote for one of my favorite bloggers, Erin, at The Mother Load for Mommy Blogger of the Year over at Project Mommyhood!! The poll is located on the top right sidebar on Project Mommyhood...just find "The Mother Load" and click to vote! You can vote once per day! Spread the word!!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

It’s not what you think, I swear…

I know some of you may look at the following pictures and think, “Poor Tim!! He just doesn’t know when to back off”…

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As often as I’ve fantasized about slamming a frying pan against his head, I can’t claim this damage, people.

Apparently, Tim’s idea of playing keeper in soccer is to catch the ball…flying towards him at 60 mph…with his face.

Don’t you just love his expression in the first picture? I had just asked him, “Holy crap, did it hurt?”

He answered, “Uh, yeah…it hurt pretty bad.”

But you know me… I always have to one-up him.

Taunting him, I responded, “Yeah, but probably not as bad as the recovery from two c-sections, in which a doctor sliced your abdomen open with a razor-sharp scalpel and ripped two human beings from your belly both times…

…and every time you sneezed, laughed or coughed, it felt like your intestines were going to burst through the incision site. I’ll tell you, though, you’d never take being able to get up out of bed easily for granted again after having had a c-section”.

Tim rolled his eyes…. well, his one good eye, anyway.

Then I said, “I hope you don’t mind but I absolutely HAVE to put a picture of you on my blog…you know, for memory’s sake and all”.

He continued eating his dinner and answered, “But of course…the blog. How could you not?”

Have I mentioned how much I love my sweet, understanding husband…willing to put himself out there in all his black-and-blue glory just for your entertainment?!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A healthy craving for vegetables…

Panko-breaded eggplant, zucchini and tomato smothered with grated parmesan cheese and marinara dipping sauce on the side …

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Asparagus, tomato and mushroom omelet…

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Grilled salmon with roasted asparagus…

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Chunks of grilled tuna over green salad with lemon-garlic vinaigrette…

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One of the best parts of the spring/summer season is definitely the bounty of fresh VEGETABLES!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another milestone done and gone…

There’s something about witnessing your oldest child ask his father, “Daddy, can you take the training wheels off my bike? I’m ready to try riding like a big boy” which tugs at your heart strings….

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… and makes you gasp each time it looks like he’s going to fall, only to hear him reassure you, “Mommy, I’m fine!”

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Tears threaten to blur your vision as he pedals further and further away from you…a cruel metaphor for what the future holds, as a brief vision of him exchanging wedding vows someday with the woman he loves invades your thoughts.

Instinctively, you want to run after him and tell him to slow down before he gets hurt…

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But then, just as quickly, he heads back towards you, with a huge smile on his face….much to your relief.

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“Mommy, I did it..I did it all by myself! Aren’t you so happy? I’m riding my bike like a big boy!” he yells, his voice overflowing with excitement and pride.

This milestone, like many others, forces you to tell a little white lie.

Painfully smiling through your tears, you respond, “Yes, I’m so happy for you! You’re really growing up, aren’t you?”

Suddenly, your thoughts take you back to a time not so long ago when it was YOU having to console HIM when he insisted on staying little forever.

You continue watching him pedal faster and faster, the wind whipping past him as he laughs out loud, feeling empowered by this new freedom and sense of accomplishment…

Just then a warm breeze dances by and begins to dry the tears which have long since rolled down your cheeks, leaving trails of salty sweetness as evidence of your anguish.

And you’re reminded of a quote you once heard…

Don’t count the years….count the memories (author unknown)

Coledragon

Coledragon2

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to survive a family vacation at Disneyland…

1) First things first, there will be plenty of onlookers who will pass judgment on you, no matter what. It doesn’t matter if you’re pulling off the best Supermom act of the century or if you’re having to face the fact that you will not be winning any awards for Mother of the Year…again.

There will be people who rudely stare at you as they deem you the most evil parent in the world. They won’t say it out loud, of course…but you’ll be able to see the accusation in their eyes.

But, my friends, they don’t know your situation.

They have no clue that merely 5 minutes prior to them witnessing your meltdown in the middle of Main Street that your 3-year old refused to sit in the stroller because he wanted you to hold him for another hour or that your 5-year old screamed at you for not letting her ride Indiana Jones, even though you explained over and over again that you don’t make the rules.

"Mickey Mouse makes the rules, not me…deal with it," you might have yelled back at her.

Also, when other parents gasp loudly as your husband tilts the stroller forward to get down from a curb and your toddlers spill out onto the ground, your expected response should be to gasp in horror along with those other people….not cackle as if you just heard the best joke of the century.

However, if your husband laughs right along with you, then it was obviously funny…either that, or you’ve both lost touch with reality.

More than likely, the latter.

2) Disneyland is only the happiest place on earth for those people who added a whole lot of rum to the tiny amount of coke they’re sipping on.

And that’s a straight up fact, my friends. Plain and simple.

3) You and your adult travel partner(s) will be desperate to find some kind of humor in the day-to-day stuff. So it’s okay to engage in a little bit of inappropriate talk, such as….

“Hey sweetie, wanna touch my one-eyed monster?”

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…and after deciding that Buzz Lightyear looks more like an overly eager pedophile rather than every kid’s average superhero as your children approach him, saying in your best Buzz Lightyear impersonation...

“Hey little dude, you wanna know the quickest way to get me to infinity and beyond? Just grab onto my big Astro Blaster right here and pull the trigger a few times…yeah, just like that, little buddy. And tell your brother and sister that they can join in on the fun too…the more, the merrier I always say.”

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4) It’s essential to find like-minded parents who will appreciate your parenting style, as well as your humor.

While waiting in line for yet another ride, I saw a mom of 3 young boys looking like she was about to go ballistic on them. She rolled her eyes, looked at me and said, “I just got off the phone with my husband at home back in Alaska and he wanted to know how everything was going”.

I retorted, “How did he get so lucky to be able to avoid this chaos?”

She could barely maintain herself as she answered, “Well, I took the older kids and left him home with our 1-year old twins!”

We both laughed hysterically for a good 3 minutes…seriously, laughed with our mouths wide open and tears coming out of our eyes.

In a nutshell, we totally bonded right then...she and I.

You truly need another person with a similar parenting style to appreciate a sweet moment like that.

5) You should continue to use the same nicknames for your children which you use at home…even if someone stops you mid-sentence and asks, “Excuse me, but did you REALLY just refer to your children as “the spawn”?”

Remember, consistency is key. You don’t want to start confusing your kids in the middle of a crowded theme park where there are a million and one Bella’s running around.

6) Do realize that some of life’s most important lessons will come back to haunt you.

Take, for instance, lying.

We tell our children all the time that honesty is to be valued and lying is just plain wrong. So don’t act all surprised when they realize you just lied to the person at the front gate about the age of your youngest children so you could avoid paying for them.

It doesn’t matter if you have a valid point…so what if your kids just turned 3 years old 2 months ago…you still lied. It’s a fact.

And your kids caught you in that lie. Thank goodness, though, that the spawn can be easily bought off, usually with a bag of candy or the promise of staying up past their bedtime.

7) If you’re driving to your destination, do yourself a favor and take the time to stop for a bathroom break.

Even if the kids insist they don’t have to go potty, threaten them with their lives if they don’t at least try.

Trust me…you don’t want to be stuck on the freeway in downtown Los Angeles in bumper-to-bumper traffic at rush hour when your 5-year old son exclaims that his bladder is about to burst.

You may think that helping him try to pee into a paper cup is a good idea but, truly, it is not…especially when your husband is on a business call with a new client and your kids are screaming, “Eeeewww, some of his pee just splashed on my face!” and “Oh my God, he peed on the back of Daddy’s seat!”

8) For every couple traveling without kids who think that your kids are “absolutely precious”, like these sweet people…

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…there will be 3 more couples traveling without kids, like these Golden Girls…

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…who will be completely mortified that your children have been crying for 2 minutes straight because you refuse to buy them cotton candy. You might even catch one of them rolling her eyes, while the other one shakes her head.

It’s all good, though, because you’re almost positive they heard your daughter ask in her not-so-quiet manner, “Mommy, why are you taking a picture of those old ladies?”


10) Lastly, even though you’re pretty sure you just lost another 5 years off your life span, this is the reason why it was all worth it…

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Remember to bring these essentials...for you, not for the kids:

extra-strength tylenol, earplugs, numerous bottles of wine, your back-up bottle of Wellbutrin just in case YOU can't stop crying, those meditation tapes which keep you repeating "that which doesn't kill me makes me stronger", your amazing sense of humor and your love and passion for adventure...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Did I leave you hanging?

Okay, people....I'm back.

Back from where, you may ask?

From the "Happiest Place on Earth", of course.

We took the kids to Disneyland on a mini-vacay, courtesy of my BIL who called us out of nowhere and said, "Hey, let's do a family vacation..."

Because everyone knows how much FUN a family vacation is, right? I laughed hysterically for about 10 minutes when Tim told me that his brother thought that vacationing with our family would be "fun".

So we packed our bags, grabbed the kids and headed down to Southern CA.

Not that it actually happened that smoothly....

Let's just say, I was all excited about it until the night before we left, when I began hyperventilating into a brown bag at the very thought of chasing the spawn all over Disney....and then sipping wine directly from the bottle when I could finally catch my breath.

It was a vicious cycle, my friends...let me just tell you that.

I've got lots of blog material stored in my brain that I'd love to share with you all...as soon as the fog in my head clears (and my hangover wears off)...such as:

Memorable Conversations...like this one

BIL: Tim, do you wanna ride the Tower of Terror with me?

Tim: Dude, I LIVE the Tower of Terror. Have you been to my house? Have you met my kids? I think I'll pass.

Also, my Best Tips on how to make a family vacation with your spawn more enjoyable...or, at the very least, more survivable so you can avoid your next reservation being at the Betty Ford Center.

And you better believe some of those tips will include a personal message to those people who choose to vacation at Disneyland WITHOUT KIDS, yet they have the balls to act completely annoyed and horrified when they see a young child having a tantrum....as if.

Until then, I'll leave you with this super adorable picture....



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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Potty training 101...according to a toddler

Many moms I know are going through the potty training blues with their little ones...myself included. Garrett has had success in spurts...he'll go a few days with no accidents and then, out of nowhere, he regresses.

Now, Landon just decided as of today that he wants to use the potty. I've been bugging him for weeks...taunting him with, "I'll buy you some really cool Thomas the Train underwear" and "If you want to start preschool in a few months, you can't wear diapers!"

The minute I backed off....bam, he wants to use the potty. I'm certainly not complaining.

So I thought I'd re-post this oldie but goodie for those of you who are going through the same exact thing right now....

Potty Training 101...according to a toddler

Just when I was pretty sure that Garrett and Landon wouldn't be interested in potty training until they were.....like 6 years old....2 weeks ago, Garrett suddenly announced that his diaper was yucky. Yes, just like that....he tore his diaper off, said "this is yucky" and that was it.

I said, "Well, if your diaper is yucky and you don't want to wear it anymore, you'll need to use the potty". My jaw hit the floor as he said, "Okay" and walked into the bathroom, sat down on the little potty seat and peed! It was THAT simple. He's 2.5 years old (31 months, to be exact) and he was ready.

As parents, we bang our heads against the wall, frustrated with our children over such milestones as potty training. It's definitely not for the weak at heart. When it comes to potty training, there's a lot to be said about waiting until your child is ready...not when you're ready.

If Garrett could give some pointers, I would imagine there would be some important things he'd want me to know, such as....

1) This is the most important rule....I'm just gonna come right out and lay it on the line. I am in control here. Not you. Not Daddy. Not the moon and stars in the sky. ME...I am in control. I will use the potty when I am good and ready...and not a minute before that. Yeah, yeah...I know you gave me life and all. Save your breath cuz I really don't care.

2) Let's go over the rewards system. If I'm gonna be honest here (which you know is RARE for me) the one reward that means the most to me is just seeing you incredibly happy. I mean, if seeing a little bit of pee in the potty from lil ole me makes you beam with pride, I'm all for it.

With that said, if you INSIST on giving rewards, here's a list I put together which might be helpful:

-- candy (preferably, lollipops....lots and lots of lollipops)

-- stickers (of all my favorite tv/movie characters, definitely not Big Bird...he kinda sucks)

-- temporary tattoos (the ones with skulls, not the ones that say "My mom rocks")

-- time-out for all my siblings (hey, it's MY reward...don't ask any questions)

-- toys (let's be clear...good things do not come in small packages! The bigger the better, just sayin')

3) Pull-ups vs diapers. Honestly, there's no difference. Pull-ups are really just glorified diapers. And they're more expensive. Save your money and just get me a big screen tv for my room.

4) Underwear - okay, here's the deal. It is of the utmost importance that you let me go to the store with you and choose whatever underwear I want to get. Running into the house all excited with a bag full of new underwear that YOU chose from Target isn't gonna go over well with me. Just so you know.

Remember, the control issue? It all goes back to that. If you come home from the store waving a package of new underwear in my face that I did NOT pick out myself, then you should fully expect a huge setback, more than likely, in the form of a big ole steaming pile of crap on your white bedroom carpet. Yep, that's how I roll. With your kind of luck, you actually won't discover it until you step in it.

6) Please, please, please try to make this whole potty training thing entertaining for me.

Here's what's UNacceptable:

-- You sitting on a stepstool in front of me, staring me down as if your brain can telepathically send a message to my bladder and my colon, urging them both to take quick action so you can go update your Facebook page, bragging about how awesome you are at potty training your child (as if....)

-- Calling the entire family into the bathroom to watch me perform. I know it's hard to resist because I'm just so darn cute sitting on the pot. I mean, I'd want to stare at me too. But now that I've agreed to give up diapers, I have the right to privacy in the bathroom. I've earned it. Oh, and before you even think it....YOU, however, do not have any right to privacy....ever.

-- NO taking pictures of my poop and e-mailing them to Daddy at work with the subject line reading, "You HAVE to see this". My poop can only truly be appreciated in person.

--NO saying, "How can such a little body make such a big poop?" Let me just remind you that YOU do the cooking around here. I can't help that my body considers most of the food you make garbage.

-- Singing silly, stupid songs (say this 10 times fast successfully and maybe I'll consider holding my bladder for an entire night so you can get 8 consecutive hours of sleep - but, then again, don't hold your breath)

Here's what I think is super fun....see, I'm a huge Disney freak. So my mom let me pick out my own underwear at the store and of course I picked all Disney characters cuz I'm cool like that.

This is a picture of me, proudly holding all my underwear....



I know....so cute, right? Anyway, she tacks them to the wall in the bathroom
right next to my little potty, like this....



While I'm doing my business, I stare at them and imagine Dori saying, "Just keep peeing, just keep peeing" and Buzz Lightyear saying, "To infinity and beyond..." when I flush the potty.

It's FUN. I totally dig this.

7) There WILL be regression....when you least expect it, of course. Like, say, when we're at a playdate at someone else's house. Or when you finally decide to be brave enough to take the entire family out for dinner. It's not that I've forgotten how to use the potty....it's more that, for some reason, you got in your head that YOU are in control. This is simply not the case.

I am in control and this is how I put you back in your place (must we review #1 again?). You'll look disappointed and say, "Now, why did you do that? You know how to poop in the potty!"

Yeah, see, that isn't the point...of course I do. It's YOU who has forgotten how we play the game. And sometimes you just have to reminded of who the REAL boss is.

8) Lastly, don't be in such a hurry to rush me through the potty training process. Remember, I'm only this young for a little while. Cherish these times and appreciate them.

Trust me, you'll think potty training was a breeze compared to the hell I'll put you through when I'm a teenager.

So there you have it....potty training 101, in a nutshell, courtesy of yours truly...




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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our own personal salad bar in the backyard...

Our summer garden has really taken off...much to the kids' excitement. Now that we've managed to get the snails under control...

Here's Garrett proudly displaying his broccoli sprouts....grown personally by him from a packet of seeds. I kid you not. The boy has a natural green thumb.

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This is the romaine lettuce which I desperately need to thin out but I don't have the heart to do it. Each one of the sprouts look so healthy...it's hard to choose which ones to pull.

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Our strawberry plants (with one tomato plant in the mix)...I think the birds have given up trying to eat them, although Cole did see a "bald eagle" looking at them.

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Little watermelon plants in the making....

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Tomatoes (roma, early girl and cherry), green beans, zucchini and cucumber...

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My future endless supply of wine....I'll happily share but you have to babysit my kids, in return. Don't worry..the wine will take the edge off, trust me.

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Awwww, look at these beauties close up...

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The pathetic orange tree with no flowers, which has begged a million times over to be put out of its misery...

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The lonely dwarf tangerine tree...

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...with lots of tiny tangerine buds all over it

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The peach tree, which can't decide which way to branch out...

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The little raspberry bush that we thought was dead but has since come back to life after Mother Nature brutally drowned it in water....

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So whether salad, fruit or wine is your pleasure...we have it all at Casa de Loco.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yet another fine example of my lack of common sense...

You know how some people are what they call "book smart"? Well, that would describe me perfectly.

Am I "sensibly smart", though? Not exactly.

I have a MA in Psychology and I can diagnose a schizophrenic from miles away. However, when it comes to common sense...well, that's my downfall.

Need some proof? No problem...

Here are a couple examples from the past...

I once tried to convince my college roommates that eventually Halloween had to fall on Friday the 13th. Seriously, how cool would that be?!

They kept trying to burst my bubble by telling me it would NEVER happen. But I insisted that it would happen at least once in my lifetime.

Until one of them finally said, "Look, Halloween is always on October 31st, therefore it will never fall on the 13th. The day of the week it falls on will change but the actual DATE will NEVER CHANGE!"

Oh, yeah....I kind of forgot about that minor detail.

Then there was the time I told Tim I wished there were some way I could make Cole just half a sandwich with only using 1 piece of bread. He just stared at me, as if my boobs had suddenly inflated to twice the size of Dolly Parton's boobs.

In total disbelief, he said, "Tell me you're kidding".

I answered, "You know a way to make half of a sandwich with only using one piece of bread? Please enlighten me then, he-who-can't-boil-water".

He took one piece of bread, cut it in half and made "half" of a sandwich.

So it wasn't exactly one of my finer moments but my excuse is that I had been up the night before for 3 hours straight with 6-month old twins who were teething.

Now that you have those fine examples as proof, I'll bring you up to date on the latest...

The other day I was chatting with a friend of mine about taking the kids fishing and she had mentioned buying some worms at the bait shop near the marina.

I told her, "Oh, I probably don't need to buy any. We have plenty of worms in our garden in the backyard."

Then I quickly added, "But wait...I can't use those because they're earthworms."

She asked, "Why not? Worms are worms, aren't they?"

I answered, "Yeah, but these are EARTHworms. They won't be able to breathe under the water."

There was nothing but total silence on her part for a few seconds, and then I could've sworn I heard her trying to stifle back laughter.

When she could finally sputter out words without giggling, she exclaimed, "Are you serious?!"

I responded, "Yeah...what's the problem?"

I imagined her rolling her eyes as she explained, "Well, two things, actually. First of all, who cares if the worms can breathe under water because you'll be using them as FISH BAIT. HELLO....they're gonna die either way.

Second of all, the irony of the situation is too much. You're concerned about the worms not being able to breathe under the water yet you're willing to capture a fish by lodging a metal hook in its mouth, suffocate it once it's on dry land and then grill it and feed it to your family for dinner."

I replied, "Oh yeah...I guess you make a good point."

Then she said what I'm sure many people have been wanting to say to me for years now..."Honestly, Helene, sometimes I wonder how you've gotten this far in life..."


Memorable conversation of the day:

Bella: Mommy, what do you want for Mother's Day?

Me: Peace and quiet.

Bella: You know you're probably not gonna get that though, right?

Me: I know, I know. But I can still dream, can't I?



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Thursday, May 6, 2010

The honest truth about the process of becoming a mother...

I've written a post or two about what no one tells you about parenthood... motherhood, to be more specific.

However, what about what it takes to achieve motherhood...you know, the nitty gritty part.

I realize for some people this is the FUN part....the "let's do the nasty and get ourselves knocked up" part, where they partake in a few minutes of sexual activity and then get back to their everyday lives without a care in the world.

Then there are those of us, me included, who can't seem to get pregnant...to save our lives, no matter what we try.

So here's what no one tells you about the process of BECOMING a mother...

1) All those myths about sexual positions and the like may not (and probably will not) result in a pregnancy.

You can lay on your back with your hips propped up and your legs in the air for a whole 15 minutes after sex....that ain't gonna make you a baby.

In fact, all it will bring you is a horribly painful UTI, as well as an uncomfortable wet spot that you'll be stuck sleeping in...again.

2) Your sexy, hunk of a man will no sooner become nothing more than a piece of meat to you.

When he starts accusing you of just using him for his body, that's when you know you've hit an all-time low....that, and he finally catches on that the reason he can't sleep at night is because you've been secretly switching his caffeine-free coke with regular coke so his sperm would swim faster.

Oh, and for what it's worth, referring to his sperm as "baby batter" will, more than likely, not go over well with him.

3) You don't even go the extra mile anymore to spice things up.

Instead of dressing in sexy lingerie and cooking him his favorite meal as a way of buttering him up, you meet him at the door after work wearing absolutely nothing, and yelling, "Hurry up and get naked...my ovaries just shot out an egg like 38 minutes ago! Let's go, let's go, let's GO!"

4) There is no such thing as "not in the mood" when you're trying to make a baby.

Tim once pulled that excuse on me, to which I responded, "I don't need you to be in the mood, I don't need romance...hell, I don't even need foreplay...I just need your half of the DNA, for crying out loud!"

5) You'll have major fights over the silliest things.

God forbid he turn up the heater at night and now you have no idea if your temperature is really based on the fact that you've already ovulated or if it's a false reading because you were sweating in your sleep

You can't believe that he won't reschedule his business trip for the week AFTER you ovulate. I mean, the world can certainly wait for him to make a deal with Kawasaki for a new voice-over IP but I only get ONE chance each month to hit the baby jackpot.

6) Infertility isn't an equal opportunity employer.

It will target you, hunt you down and make you suffer. It doesn't matter if you're the next Mother Theresa, sharing all your wealth with the homeless people downtown under the freeway....and it doesn't matter if you're the most selfish, disrespectful person on earth.

Infertility doesn't care who you are or what you've done.

Even though it's not the elite group people want to be a part of, there is a sisterhood among those of us women who have been forced to join the ranks. You could have nothing else in common with another woman except for your mutual diagnosis of infertility...and suddenly she becomes your closest friend and confidante.

7) It's okay to be angry with God. He totally gets it.

When a pregnancy doesn't occur within those first few months of trying, you'll chalk it up to bad timing. Any longer than that and you start to wonder if maybe God has it in for you.

You'll try to strike up a bargain with Him....you'll go to church/temple more often, you'll stop swearing, you'll give half of your paycheck to the poor....all that and more if He'll finally bless you with a baby.

Don't be surprised if He doesn't answer your prayers right away. That's not how He rolls.

But don't ever lose hope or faith. That really pisses Him off.

If with each failed cycle, your determination to become a mother only grows stronger and more persistent, that's the work of God right there.

8) Never say never.

Traditional chinese medicine, acupuncture, femoral massage, drinking Robitussin by the gallon, gorging on baby carrots and pretzels, peeing on ovulation sticks, taking pictures of ovulation sticks and posting them online seeking your friends' opinions, buying stock in Preseed, avoiding oral sex like the plague because you read somewhere that saliva can kill sperm, forcing your husband to stand in front of the mirror and stare at your boobs with you in search of any tell-tale signs of early pregnancy, comparing your cervical mucus to pictures on the internet because you need to be 100% sure that this is what egg-white cervical mucus looks like, bitterly shopping at Target at midnight because chances are you won't run into any pregnant women, leaving a voicemail for your ob/gyn, asking "Can you please tell me EXACTLY how low and open my cervical opening needs to be during ovulation?", non-chalantly jamming 22-gauge needles into your own ass cheeks even though you're normally scared shitless of even the smallest of needles, understanding what the acronyms 2WW, IUI, FET, AH, ICSI, DPO, DPT, BFP and BFN stand for...

I'll repeat it again...never say never.

9) It's all worth it in the end.

Everyone will tell you that a million times and then some during your entire struggle of trying to conceive. You won't wholeheartedly believe it, though, until you finally experience parenthood yourself.

Trust me when I tell you that even though you'll be severely sleep deprived and not know which end is up half the time...and you'll still bear the battle wounds and scars of infertility...you'll appreciate parenthood that much more, specifically because of what you had to endure to get there.

10) With that said, don't be surprised if, at least once a day, you find yourself wondering why you wanted to be a mother so badly...

...especially when you've gone days without a relaxing shower, hours without a meal to satisfy your grumbling belly, or a meaningful conversation with someone who doesn't need their ass wiped or a bottle held in their mouth.

Even though you desperately wanted to be a mother, you're also entitled to have your bad "why me" moments, as well.

It doesn't mean you're not in love with parenthood or that you don't appreciate this blessing which God has bestowed upon you...it just means you're human.

Wishing a happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers out there...whether you're already a mother, a soon-to-be mother, a struggling future mother or the mother of an angel baby (or babies)

And, yes, I officially suck at reading/commenting right now...I'll make it up to you. I promise.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My kind of luck is the reason why....

...my kids seem to poop at the EXACT moment I'm about to shovel the first bite of hot, savory food all day long into my mouth (nothing like hearing "Mommy, I need you to wipe my butt" as I'm about to sit down to a nice, steaming bowl of chili)

...the doorbell rings right at the same time my butt is about to plant itself firmly on the sofa for the first time in hours and even though I tell the kids "Sshhhh, let's not answer it", they run over to the door and scream loudly, "Our mom will be there in a minute"

...the kids are completely quiet while I'm on hold on the phone but as soon as the operator comes on the line and announces, "Thank you for holding....how can I help you?", all hell breaks loose and they need my immediate attention right then and there

...I spend 30 minutes making pancakes from scratch for the spawn and after the first bite, they claim they like "Daddy's pancakes" better (the same pancakes that just happened to come frozen in a box which he microwaves in only a matter of 20 seconds....yeah, he's a regular Wolfgang Puck, isn't he?)

...the one strawberry the kids have been waiting to turn a bright, juicy red has been chowed down by two rebel snails, who decided to go against the norm and avoid eating the snail bait for a change

...some of the parents who drive luxury cars at my kids' school zip out of the parking lot without a care in the world, as if I should be watching out for them because their car is more expensive than mine

...while trying to make a good impression on some moms at the park, I wanted to crawl in a hole when one of my kids fell off his bike in front of the group of them and he responded, "I think I'm okay...but my nuts got a little smashed" when one of the moms asked if he was alright

...when this same mom wasn't sure she had heard my son right and asked, "Excuse me?", he repeated it again but this time he put extra emphasis on the word "nuts", while pointing to his little man package

...just when I think the spawn couldn't possibly come up with any more interesting and creative excuses to stay in bed, they will come up with something that is truly outrageous ("my pillow scares me", "the nightlight is talking to me", "I might choke on my own spit" and "what if the toilet overflows in the middle of the night and we all drown")

...Tim and I finally sneak upstairs for some one-on-one time (literally) and one of the kids happens to have a nightmare at the precise same moment
as...well, you know

...my 5-year old son thinks it's hilarious that for Recycling Day he expects to get away with telling his teacher that he recycles his own boogers and that's how he helps to preserve the planet

But my kind of luck is also the reason why....

...when Cole and Bella said their prayers last night, they included (without any prompting, mind you) my sweet friend's two young daughters, who just lost their father to cancer 2 weeks ago...

"....and please remember to bring lots of peace and comfort to V and E because their daddy is up in heaven with you now. We don't want them to be sad. Please let them know that he is an angel now and that he's watching over them.

....oh, and thank you for the sunshine and blue skies. And next time you see Jesus, tell him we said hello and that our cat killed another mouse."

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Monday, May 3, 2010

What went down at the pumpkin patch...

Sorry, people. But I'm drowning in laundry over here...can barely come up for air before another load is done in the dryer.

So I'm leaving you with an oldie but goodie from back in the day...hope you enjoy it!

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

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

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

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

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




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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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

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



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

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

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

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







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

----Roseanne Barr



 
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