Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just chillin’ with Mother Nature…

Check out this breathtaking view….

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Yes, people…this is where we are right now!

Our annual “change of routine in another location”.

Although, it has been super quiet and peaceful. So relaxing, in fact, that I’ve been tempted to actually call this a “vacation”.

Oh, you’re all probably wondering about the kids?

Well, they’ll catch up with us at some point…

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…maybe.

One of my fellow twin moms, Charlene at Adventures-in-Mommy-Land interviewed me on her blog!

Charlene is…get this….the mommy to SIX kids. And she does super cool crafts with her kiddos and fun recipes, which she shares on her wonderful blog!

I’d love it if you’d go check out my interview here…and while you’re there, make sure to become one of her followers!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

6 major discoveries I made in the last 72 hours...

The family and I are enjoying the beautiful outdoors here in Lake Tahoe so I'm posting an oldie, but goodie!!

Enjoy....


1) My mind is constantly in the gutter. Take for instance, this innocent conversation between my two 4-yr olds:

Bella: Cole, give me one your balls.
Cole: No, I need them. I had them first. Go find your own balls to play with.
Bella: I can't find any other ones. Give me one...you need to share.
Cole: NO!! Go away...stop trying to grab them!
Bella: I just want ONE...and then you can play with the other one.
Cole: Fine....here, just take both of them. I'll go use Garrett's balls.
Bella: Mommy, Cole threw his balls at my face.

To which I responded, once I could stop myself from doubling over with laughter, "Cole, you don't throw balls at your sister's face. You could've just handed them to her"....on a silver platter, like your father did the day he married me.

Oh shush, I didn't say that last part out loud but I was certainly thinking it.

2) Hot Wheels were invented by the Devil. See this cute little helicopter Hot Wheels that Landon was dying to have?



Sure, it looks innocent at first. But when your child leaves it laying on the floor on its side, in this position:



It can mortally injure you. If you're like me, you'll learn this the hard way....by stepping on it with your bare foot in a very dark room.

If you've ever stepped on your child's legos with your bare feet in the middle of the night, I assure you that stepping on a metal Hot Wheels vehicle is much more painful, especially when the sharp point on one of the propellers goes right into your heel. And I mean, right IN to your heel, as in penetrating the skin so the damn Hot Wheels is now attached to you.

3) I'm an even bigger wimp than I thought when it comes to pain and my husband has one of hell of a bizarre sense of humor.

After the Hot Wheels was embedded in my foot, I screamed, "Holy F*****G Hell", what did I just step on???" My husband looked at my foot and laughed. He laughed!!! I was in pain and he actually laughed.

I don't know why I should be shocked by this...this is the same man who sat in the hospital room with me on a chair next to my bed and munched on a hot meatball sandwich from Subway while I was in pre-term labor with Cole and Bella as I writhed in pain from the contractions that were coming left and right. Every 2 minutes, I would groan in pain and as he would take another bite of his sandwich, he'd say "Sorry, sweetie, that you aren't able to eat anything...but let me know if you need me, okay?"....oh, and then he laughed. He still swears to this day that he didn't realize I was in THAT much pain.

4) I have a tendency to go overboard with the "what if's" in certain situations.

Like as my husband removed the Hot Wheels helicopter from the heel of my foot, my foot immediately started bleeding. And I suddenly had images of me being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Why? Because what if I developed an infection from having this metal propeller jammed into my foot. And what if gangrene then set in and I'd have to have my foot cut off.

Then what if we couldn't afford an artificial foot and I'd have to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Or what if I get lead poisoning and I die and my poor kids have to go the rest of their life telling people that they lost their mother to an unfortunate helicopter accident....they'd have to make it sound more dramatic than it really was because who would've thought someone could die after stepping on a child's TOY.

Tim suddenly interrupted me and said, "Well, now that's just stupid....we wouldn't be letting our kids play with toys made with lead paint".

I responded, "Oh no....but we'll let them play with toys with such sharp and dangerous edges that it could actually impale a body part." Lookie here at the result of my mortal injury....



5) The ability to cause someone to feel guilty is a very powerful thing.

When I handed my husband his Valentine's Day card, he joked with me and said, "What? No present?" and I responded, "Hmmm, well, let's see....I gave birth to your FOUR children in a period of TWO years...my tummy now jiggles like jello, my boobs look like two fried eggs hanging on nails, and my pelvic floor muscles are still so weak from giving birth to TWO sets of TWINS that everytime I laugh, sneeze, cough or lift one of the kids, I pee in my pants a little....I think that pretty much covers me for the next 10 years' worth of Valentine's Day gifts".

What could he say after that? Not much, except to retreat to the family room with his tail tucked between his legs. Where was my Valentine's Day present? Apparently, still sitting in the jewelry case at Macy's.

6) Watching Oprah will only give you nightmares and could possibly destroy your marriage.

Sure, I love Oprah. But then she does shows on cheating husbands (did you know that 1 out of every 3 husbands will cheat on their wives?) and I have nightmares for days about it. Every morning I'll wake up and say to Tim, "I had another nightmare that you were cheating on me". He tries to turn it around and says, "does someone have a guilty conscious?".

Yeah, right....after taking care of the kids for 10 hours by myself, cooking meals all day and cleaning the house, I actually have the brain power to come up with a fabulous lie like, say, I need to do some grocery shopping at 9:00 at night....and then go to my lover's house and boink him real quick and still get home in time to get in bed by 10:00 so I can do it all over again the next day??

So no more Oprah for me....

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

That should be the least of your concerns, my love...

Recently, my friend, Marianne, and I were chatting about "stranger danger" and how difficult it is to explain to children, without scaring the living daylights out of them.

I'll readily admit that I'm an overly cautious mother. My eyes are constantly roving the playground, looking for that one stranger who could be stalking my children.

Hell, I avoided going for walks around our neighborhood when I was pregnant, out of fear that some psychopath would kidnap me and rip my unborn babies from my loins.

Stop rolling your eyes...it could happen. Don't any of you watch Law & Order, for crying out loud? All of those stories are based on "true events", you know.

So, in my attempt to keep my children hypervigilant about their surroundings and the strangers who lurk, I've attempted to explain on many occasions how they should handle various situations.

Here are some of their reactions:

Me: We always need to be able to see one another. If you can't see me, then that means I can't see you. Got it?
Cole: Yeah but what if we're playing hide-n-seek? The whole point of the game is for you to not be able to see us.
Me: Geez, you always have to have a come back, don't you?

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Me: Never ever talk to strangers. Even though some strangers are nice people, there are some who are mean and hurtful and don't know how to be kind to children. Those are the people you need to look out for and since you can't tell the difference between a nice stranger and a mean stranger, it's just best that you don't talk to anyone you don't know.
Bella: Do the mean strangers take you to their house?
Me: It's possible that they would do that.
Bella: Well, would they feed us lunch?
Me: That should be the least of your concerns, my love.

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Me: Remember, if someone tells you that I sent them to pick you up, what are you supposed to say?
Cole: We ask them what the password is.
Me: That's right.
Bella: And if they say the wrong one, we tell them, "No! The password is XXXXX. Then they'll be able to tell us what it is".
Me: Okay, NO! If they don't know the password then obviously I didn't send them to pick you up!
Bella: Oh, I get it. So we do NOT tell them the password. If they don't know it, we just tell them, "Too bad. You don't get to steal us today".
Me: Yeah, that's better...much better.

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Me: If a stranger calls you over and offers you a cookie, what do you say?
Garrett: Me loves cookies...me take it and say thank you.

Me: Uh, not exactly, cookie monster. Let's go over this one more time.

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Me: What should you do if a stranger grabs you?
Bella: I yell, "Help me! This isn't my mom...it's a STRANGER!" And then I'll try to bite them.
Cole: I spit on them and kick them in the nuts. And then I tell them that I don't have to apologize because you said it was okay to do that.
Me: But what if it's a woman who tries to grab you?
Cole: Uh, I'll give her a titty twister.
Me: Hmmm, yeah, that'll work too.

So, obviously, it's a work in progress....but we're getting there.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cheese, cheese and more cheese please….

I love cheese…plain and simple. All kinds even…I’m not one to be picky when it comes down to it.

I was recently given the opportunity to try any appetizer from the line of Farm Rich products. They have so many options to choose from…cheese sticks, pizza slices, mozzarella bites, quesadillas and the list goes on…it truly was hard to decide on just one!

The kids and I opted for the mozzarella bites because they’re the perfect size for little fingers….and they’re loaded with cheese, of course!

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Product Features

  • 52 to 54 mozzarella bites per bag
  • Microwaveable
  • Good source of calcium and protein
  • 0g trans fats per serving
  • Convenient resealable packaging
  • Made with 100% real mozzarella cheese

It only took a few minutes to bake them and I served them piping hot with a side of ranch dressing and a side of marinara sauce…paired up with a beautiful green salad straight from our garden.

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As opposed to cheese sticks that you would get in a restaurant, these were very light and tasty, not greasy or smothered in heavy breading. The bites were deliciously cheesy and were tasty enough even without either of the dipping sauces.

The only problem I had was finding the product initially. I finally spoke with a manager at one of the grocery stores I shop at and they were actually expecting a shipment that week!

This product gets a thumbs up from me and the kids!

If you’re looking for a delicious simple and quick snack or meal, definitely try one of the Farm Rich products! Click here to get a coupon from their site!

I received a complimentary coupon in order to review the product. No financial compensation was received. This review is based on my honest opinion of the product.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On second thought...

Tonight, Bella asked me, "Mama, how come you take happy pills?"

I replied, "I don't take happy pills anymore. I'm doing just fine without them."

Pausing for a few seconds to digest what I had just told her, she asked, "So....do you take mad pills now?"

Nice.

Maybe I should reconsider taking those happy pills again...

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Kids (commonly referred to as "spawn" but I'm trying to be nice here)...

Now that I've banished myself to the sofa on a voluntary time-out, I've had some time to think and I owe you all a huge apology for my behavior the other day. I acted like a huge jerk...a mother out of control, if you will.

While the morning went well, the afternoon left much to be desired.

As I was trying to get you all ready to to go the park, you were fighting with one another...yelling, screaming and flat out ignoring my requests. I was losing my patience quickly and I knew it.

Instead of taking a deep breath and counting to 10, I chose to open my mouth and say outloud whatever came to mind.

And once I started, it was hard to stop...

"I'm trying to get you ready to go to the park and I'm practically having to beg you to get your shoes on and whatnot. Trust me, you're not doing me any favors by LETTING me take you. Why do I always have to nag you guys to get ready to go somewhere..."

As if my words fell on deaf ears, you all continued to fight with one another...sometimes getting to the point of a physical brawl.

That angered me even more. And though my brain was screaming at me to quit while I was ahead, I continued to carry on.

"You know, sometimes I just want to run away...just pack my bags and leave. You all probably wouldn't care...or even notice, for that matter."

Still, the arguing continued to the point where I threw myself down on the sofa...physically and mentally giving up.

Then it became quiet...that must have been when you all noticed I wasn't chasing you around the house anymore, begging you to put on your shoes.
"Mommy," Bella had asked, "Aren't we leaving?"

I had answered, "What do you think I've been trying to do these last 10 minutes? I'm practically BEGGING you all to LET me take you to the park. Do you even realize how pathetic that is?? Why does it always come down to this?"

Now that I had your complete attention, I went in for the kill...

"What was God thinking when He made me a mother?! I'm obviously not cut out for this! Do you all think He realizes now what a huge mistake He made?" I screamed, completely out of control.

Oh yes, I went there. Once the words left my mouth, I knew the damage had been done.

Those are words you say to a girlfriend when you're venting about a tough day with the kids....or a play-by-play you give your husband when he comes home from a day at work and makes the mistake of asking how your day went.

Those are not the words one should ever say to her kids...never.

However, I am only human and I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that there are times when I wonder what God saw in me, as far as strength and patience, when He thought I'd make a great candidate to raise two sets of twins.

During my struggle with infertility, I had envisioned having a beautiful family, all of us holding hands and sprinting through the lovely green grass on rolling hills, singing songs as if we were straight out of The Sound of Music...

...and I dreamed you all would thank God every night in your prayers for choosing me as your mother.

That's not reality, though.

For me, reality is having to repeat myself over and over again until I finally have your full attention, cleaning up the same messes continuously, cooking for little people who scream "eeewww" at the very sight of something green on their plate, wiping snotty noses and kissing owies.

By that same token, reality is also having my cheeks smothered with wet, sloppy kisses numerous times a day, hearing whispered "I love you's" each night before bedtime and the sound of true belly laughs which fill our home with nothing but pure joy and happiness.

Reality is this...

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G & L waterfront

...spending my days and nights with four precious children.

It's clear that God knew what He was doing when He chose me to be your mother. Yes, He definitely did.

All my life one of my biggest challenges has been lack of patience. And what better way for me to learn about restraint and composure than delivering four of His most energetic and spirited little angels directly into my arms.

So, I messed up....I had a bad day. I'm sorry. I was frustrated with your behavior and the manner in which I chose to deal with it was not only embarrassing but it was uncalled for.

You all have to meet my halfway, though. When I ask you to do something, please just do it...don't ignore me or make me chase after you repeatedly.

I know we can't erase what's happened already but we can officially declare it as a "do over".

Love you guys so much!

Signed,

Your very tired, but loving mother...who's never too proud to admit when she's made a big mistake

* Thank you to everyone who showed their support and encouragement in reference to Tuesday's blog post! You all are nothing short of AMAZING!!!!

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Perhaps you didn't hear me the first time...do NOT pick on MY child!

Well, it looks as if my "BFF" is back again. On yesterday's post, BFF commented...

"Keep denying that your daughters overweight. holy cow! keep them marshmellows coming.."

While it's difficult for me to ignore all the spelling and grammar problems within that poorly written sentence above, I'll try my best.

As I've stated here on my blog in the past, you can pick on me until your heart's content but you pick on MY CHILD...my innocent, sweet baby girl...and the claws come out.

I suppose I should be flattered that you continue coming back to my blog to read about my wonderful life with my beautiful family. However, I can't feel anything but pity for you.

Since I don't want to waste any more of my precious time calling you out yet again, I've chosen to copy/paste my response to your earlier comment, which you left a few months ago.

Now that you've gotten the attention you've been craving, although maybe not exactly the way you were hoping for, perhaps you can move on and leave me and my family alone.

If you need a recommendation for a therapist who can deal with people like you, I'd be happy to help you find someone, especially since I now know where you live.

You can thank StatCounter and Google for revealing to me your identifying information.

BTW, overweight child or not, all children deserve the privilege of a sweet treat every once in awhile.

Here's my response to BFF from back in March....

Yesterday I did a review on the 8-piece fruit and vegetable set from Curious Chef. In the review, I mentioned being happy that the kids were eating a nutritious snack and that, with these new child-friendly utensils, we'd be eating more healthfully.

Unfortunately, that one statement led an ill-informed person, who went out of his/her way to create an Open ID since I no longer accept anonymous comments, to believe that the only food I provide for my children is high-calorie junk food.

Here's the repulsive comment, which I deleted, written by "BFF"...

Well good maybe you can start feeding your overweight, what 5 year old some healthy food. Instead of fighting her brother for the last bagel for breakfast she can fight over the last banana. Shame on you for letting your child become this overweight. Have you checked out her arms in the pis you posted? Or her thighs on the beach in your header? Seriously?

You can pick on me...say what you want to say about me...think what you want to think about me...but when you pick on one of MY KIDS, that's where I draw the line.

Since "BFF" chose to hide behind a poorly chosen acronym, thus leaving me no way to personally contact him/her via e-mail, I felt compelled to address him/her here on my blog.

Will he/she come back to read this? I have a feeling the answer is yes, since this person took the time to go through my archives in order to make reference to this post.

While Bella does fall into the higher percentile in terms of her weight, she is far from the level of obesity of some other children. In fact, at her last check-up, her pediatrician was very happy with her measurements. He has stressed that the goal is NOT for her to lose weight but to maintain her weight as she hits various growth spurts, which will even her out in terms of height-weight ratio.

As far as what she eats, Bella doesn't eat any differently than her siblings. We make sure all the kids eat at least 5 servings of fruit/vegetables per day and we are careful about portion size.

None of my children sit around eating donuts, cake and candy all day long. Occasionally, they get to eat Apple Jacks for breakfast, along with a glass of milk and a piece of fruit. Last time I checked, half of a whole-grain, high-fiber bagel wasn't considered "junk" food.

Bella also gets plenty of exercise, whether it be riding bikes up to the neighborhood park or running around the backyard with her siblings. She's not a sedentary couch potato laying on the sofa for hours, while eating a bowl of chips.

"BFF" asked if I had “checked out” Bella's arms in the pictures included in yesterday's post. The answer is no….I don’t obsessively scour my children’s pictures looking for what others may consider as bodily imperfections.

However, since you asked, I looked at the following 2 pictures which were posted yesterday and her arms look absolutely fine to me.

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If you are referring to her RIGHT arm, that's not fat you see…it’s scar tissue, for your information, from an ulcerated hemangioma. The skin that is hanging down from the bend of her arm is nothing more than extra skin which was stretched-out beyond it’s elasticity when the hemangioma grew at an alarmingly fast rate.

Here’s a picture that I took recently at the park, which shows the stretched-out skin on her right arm a little more clearly.

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Since you seem to be lacking in knowledge, as well as tact and sensitivity, let me explain. Her hemangioma started out as a dime-sized spot on her arm at birth. When she was 26 days old, it had grown so quickly that it covered her entire bicep, as well as a small part of her forearm, which you can see in the picture directly below.

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The following picture shows what it looked like when she was 2 months old, as it began to ulcerate…

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From that point, it continued to ulcerate to the point where her muscle was exposed.

I won’t post the rest of the pictures because they are rather graphic but here’s a link to an online photo album, should you be interested in looking.

http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y202/heltim/Bella/

If you even dare to think for a minute that we could have prevented this from happening, you’d be wrong, once again. On the contrary, we desperately tried to stay one step ahead at all times with the sole purpose of preventing it from getting any worse than it already was.

We were at our pediatrician’s office practically on a daily basis, including both Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, as we attempted to get the constant bleeding under control.

Our precious baby girl endured laser treatments, steroid shots directly into the ulcerated hemangioma, numerous cauterizations…she was in constant pain and spent most of her days doped up on tylenol with codeine to ease her discomfort.

I spent hours researching various treatments which might have helped and, in the end, happened to stumble upon a miracle drug that finally worked to control the bleeding.

In addition, we consulted with various out-of-town professionals, two in particular being Dr. John Reinisch and Dr. Ilona Frieden, both well-reknown surgeons specializing in children with vascular tumors.

Due to the extent of the scarring, no amount of surgery will ever fully repair the cosmetic damage caused by the hemangioma. The extra skin that sags beneath her elbow can be removed at any time if she chooses, however.

Believe it or not, cosmetic issues and physical appearance weren’t necessarily a priority when we were considering she might have lost the use of her arm after the hemangioma ulcerated down to the muscle.

And you know what? Upon several surgical consults, Bella told us she doesn’t want to undergo cosmetic surgery. She likes her arm the way it is and she’s happy with the reflection she sees of herself when she looks in the mirror.

If her desire to have surgery changes as she gets older, we’ll support her in every way possible.

What makes Bella even more special is her resilience and her lovable spirit . She’s often approached by other children who are curious about what has happened to her arm and she explains it to the best of her ability, often saying, “That’s where I was kissed by an angel”.

In your comment, you wrote how I should be ashamed of myself. No, I think YOU should be ashamed of YOURSELF for picking on an innocent child who has more courage than you ever will.

People with your attitude and ignorance are the reason why we have young teenagers starving themselves or binging and purging…all so they can exhibit how they think they’re expected to look by jerks such as yourself.

Those are the girls with low self-esteem which you should be concerned about…not a sweet, precious FIVE year old child, who happens to have a little extra baby fat on her thighs!

Please know that my issue is not the fact that you expressed your opinion and thoughts on the matter. My problem is the MANNER in which you chose to express those thoughts. You were callous, disrespectful and presumptuous.

I appreciate your concern about my daughter’s weight but it’s well under control. Now that you’ve been assured of that, perhaps your time would be better spent looking deep within yourself to figure out why you are so superficially bent on physical appearances.

I can only pray that if you have children of your own and/or work on a daily basis with young, impressionable children that you are not as judgmental or cruel to them as you have been to my daughter.

Upon reading your comment this morning, I could not stop myself from shaking with rage, after being reduced to nothing more than a heaping pile of bitter tears. I’m not ashamed to admit that I let your comment get under my skin…any caring, protective mother would have felt the same way.

I’ve stewed in anger all day over this. However, now I’m finally letting it go…I NEED to let it go.

I’ve wasted enough energy today on someone who’s so obviously shallow and not even worth a bit of the salt in my tears.






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Sunday, July 11, 2010

There’s always a lesson to be learned…

Our 4th of July celebration began like any other day….at the break of dawn with the kids running around like the Tazmanian devil, high on crack.

My mom and stepdad had invited us, as well as some other family members, up to their house to celebrate. Tim and I are smart enough to never turn down an opportunity for free babysitting.

We were asked to bring a dessert to share and Jenna had shared a link on her blog for an easy and fun recipe that the kids could make….chocolate covered marshmallows.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, we decorated them with red, white and blue-colored chocolate and sprinkles galore.

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Once up at my mom and stepdad’s house, the kids jumped in the pool…happy as little clams.

Oh and I should probably mention that Garrett got the green light to participate in swimming again…thank goodness.

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I have no clue what Tim's doing in this next picture. It’s quite possible he just peed in the pool…or he’s wondering how long it would take to snuff himself out by drowning.

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Here’s where the lesson of the day comes into play.

We brought a ton of fireworks, thinking the kids would enjoy them…which they did.

Cousin Mark enjoyed them, as well. A little too much. He thought he’d show off and try to light more than one at a time…only he didn’t let go of one quick enough.

Bam…fireworks went off, cousin Mark screamed an obscenity and the kids were in awe.

They were very concerned about cousin Mark, as he bent over to show them his now-blistering burn.

“This is why you NEVER get foolish around matches and fireworks,” he explained.

Bella asked, "What about the beer and the cigarette in your other hand?"

"Yeah," I said. "How do you explain THAT, cousin Mark?"

Why oh why do people continue to underestimate my children's intelligence level?

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We still let the kids play with sparklers after that. I was certain there would be some kind of blog-worthy incident there but no such luck...fortunately for them, unfortunately for me.

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After all the excitement, it was time to go down and feed the horses…one of Garrett’s all-time favorite things to do at Nanny and Grandpa’s house.

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If you ever wondered what the inside of a horse’s nostril looks like, here’s your chance…courtesy of Garrett’s expert photography skills.

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We now refer to him as the horse whisper, after he told the horse, “Stand still and smile…” for this next picture.

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Just a boy and his horse...is there nothing cuter?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

As if cursing in English wasn't bad enough...

Here's my confession for the day, for what it's worth. Tim and I are guilty of cursing in front of the kids....on occasion.

Okay, if I'm going to be ridiculously honest here, I'd have to qualify "on occasion" as roughly 2-3 times a day.

Hey, that's the truth and I'm sticking to it. For those of you who know me in real life....shhhhhhhh.

I'm definitely not proud of the fact that I curse in front of my kids...please don't misunderstand. I'm not bragging...more like, using my personal experience as a means of helping others to avoid embarrassing moments with their children.

It's the Mother Theresa side of me that you rarely see here on my blog.

Tim and I were having a discussion the other day when we both realized our cursing has gone too far. In the past, we'd let a bad word slip out of our mouths without thinking....the kids would overhear it and giggle.

Then the kids got bold....and began to repeat the bad words, more to get attention if nothing else. So I had to sit down with them and have "the talk".

"Look, Mommy and Daddy shouldn't say bad words and you most definitely should not be repeating those words! Got it?" I would lecture.

The guilty child would nod their head...eyes all wide in fear.

I would continue, "Oh and if you accidentally say that word outside the home and anyone asks where you learned language like that, just tell them that Daddy sometimes says bad words, k?"

A gentle pat on the head and three cookies later, it was our little secret.

Until recently.

They began using the words as normally as they'd use the words, "I want" and "I need". Let's face it....every single kid in the world begins their sentences that way, am I right?

Picture it. Tim and Cole were playing the Wii a few days ago.

Now I should tell you that Tim has a tendency to get overly competitive and downright evil when playing video games, even when it's with the kids. He forgets that they're young and their brains can only process so much activity in such little time.

He got frustrated with Cole and told him to leave the room.

Cole found me in the family room and, with tears in his eyes, said, "Daddy said I couldn't play with him because I'm being a 'wuss'. He's such an asshole!"

Trying my best to stifle the laughter that threatened to force its way out of my mouth, I explained, "Well, sometimes Daddy forgets that you're little and forgets his manners. With that said, it's not okay to call him that, even though he called you a name. Let's talk with him about it".

And we did. Tim apologized for calling Cole a "wuss" and Cole apologized for calling his father an "asshole".

Later that evening, I said to Tim, "We really need to work on holding our tongues. The kids aren't merely repeating the bad words anymore for attention...now they're using the words in their everyday language!"

He completely agreed.

Flash forward to the following morning. Tim was playing video games again with the kids. Everyone was having fun....the sound of laughter ringing through our home, no curse words lingering in the air.

Until....

Tim's guy got killed and I heard him shout, "Shiesse..." For those of you who aren't familiar with German, that's "shit" in German.

Guess he thought it was perfectly safe to curse in another language.

He would be wrong. If there's one thing that Tim repeatedly fails to learn, it's that our children should never ever be underestimated.

The next time that Tim couldn't reach the next level in his game, we heard a small voice bellow, "SHIESSE...."

As if cursing in English wasn't bad enough...how am I supposed to explain THAT to the snobby moms at the park?

* For some reason, I'm having issues with my comment count. It keeps showing as "0 comments" even though there are comments there. Please don't use this as an excuse to NOT leave a comment...LOL!!

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Monday, July 5, 2010

My garden has been showcased!

One of the most wonderful things about our summer garden has been literally watching the fruits of our labor grow into delicious foods that we have been savoring on a daily basis.

The next best thing is the feeling I get when others admire it, as well.

Stephanie of Sand and Starfish has a weekly segment on her lovely beach-themed blog showcasing various types of gardens.

She recently contacted me and asked if she could feature my little garden this week...of course, I was honored and all too thrilled to share it with Stephanie and her readers.

You can read about it and see my most recent garden pictures HERE.

She and I both love to see how other gardens grow...in fact, she posted pictures of her broccoli plants not too long ago, which have grown far more than ours have. Garrett, our mini broccoli lover, was impressed!

If you have a garden that you would like Stephanie to feature, feel free to contact her through her blog.

Oh, and if you're in need of recipes that will bring out the best flavors of your fruits and veggies, visit Jenna of The Newlyweds (my gardening mentor)! She features mouth-watering recipes each week on her blog that you'll definitely want to try.

We made Jenna's zucchini cakes with a couple zucchinis from the garden a few days ago and they were delicious...and easy to make! I paired them up with some homemade buttermilk ranch dressing and they were a huge hit!

Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe 4th of July!!

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

In need of weight loss tips? I got some for you...

At the beginning of every new year, it seems many of us decide that weight loss should be among the numerous goals.

However, after a few weeks, we get bored. We get tired. And we get angry...angry at all those people out there who complain incessantly, "No matter what I eat, I can't seem to gain weight."

Whatever. Bitches.

We all can't afford to have Jillian Michaels move in with us to get our asses in gear...even though we kill ourselves doing the 30-Day Shred while fantasizing that she's right there in person with us, yelling obscenities in our faces and reducing us to blubbering cry-babies who beg forgiveness for eating an entire coffee cake at breakfast all by ourselves...oh wait, that was just me...

So put down the diet books...stop reading the health magazines...stop thinking you need a nutrition degree from schools online...stop starving yourself...just stop the insanity already!

I'm gonna share some weight loss tips that should be pretty simple to implement into your daily life.

Ready? Here we go....

1) Keep meals under 400 calories.

So technically, under this rule, there's no problem with making an ice cream sundae a meal.

Seriously, consider all the nutritious value it has - calcium from the ice cream, protein and fiber from the nuts, potassium from the banana and if you add a cherry to the top, consider it a part of your fruit requirement for the day.

Wash it all down with a cup of water and you should have no problem keeping this meal under 400 calories.

2) Use the kids as dumbbells.

For those of us who have children and/or work with children, we're picking kids up ALL. DAY. LONG.

Lay on the floor and lift Johnny up and down over your chest 50 times. Carry your toddler on your hip for 5 hours straight. Juggle your twins in a Baby Bjorn, one on your front and one on your back.

The kids are comfy and happy....you're getting your exercise...it's a win-win the way I see it.

3) Eat more fiber.

Sure, this may lead to more bathroom visits but this is where you can kill two birds with one stone.

Since our kids don't understand the meaning of "privacy" anyway, ask them to grab a fun book and pull up a chair next to the toilet. You can read to them while you take care of business.

Think of all the time you can devote to other activities now that reading and pooping are out of the way.

4) Burn extra calories with exercise.

I'm not a huge fan of working out. But here are some ways to burn off calories without feeling like it's exercise....

Have sex - For 30 minutes of sex, you burn 85 calories. Throw some foreplay in beforehand and you can burn an additional 65 calories.

Kissing - At the very least, if you're not up for sex, kissing burns 2-3 calories per minute. It could lead to sex though so be careful. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Dance - Who says vacuuming has to be boring? Dance while you vacuum. The kids will love it. Or....wait until the kids are in bed and put on a sexy bra and panties and then vacuum. If your husband/boyfriend/partner is home, this may lead to sex....and another 85 calories burned off.

Tag - Play a game of tag with the kids. Do jumping jacks while you run. Try not to trip and fall down...like I do.

Arm wrestling - Do this with the kids. But don't let them win or you won't burn any calories. Keep in mind, though, that you'll probably spend the rest of the day listening to your kid whine about how unfair life is while you have to explain that life wouldn't be any fun if it were fair all the time.

Climb a tree - When you reach the top, scream for help. If you're lucky, a hot, sexy firefighter will rescue you (which, for those of you single ladies or those fortunate enough to be married to the hot, sexy firefighter, could lead to another 85 calories burned...)

Do squats, but only on an empty stomach - Squats can easily be done while waiting in line at the grocery store or at the mall. Warning...do not eat a bean burrito, cabbage or broccoli beforehand.

It's bad enough that just doing squats in a public place, other than the gym, will earn you some unwanted attention.

But letting one rip while doing it...well, that will bring you some notoriety that you just can't afford, with the price of gas being as high as it is, it'll be rather costly to continuously drive to the next town to buy your groceries.

So repeat with me....do squats, but only on an empty stomach.

6) Drink more.

I suppose most of the diet gurus are referring to drinking WATER but that's not necessarily set in stone. Plain water can be boring, especially when that's all you've been drinking.

Why not drink some orange juice...with a little bit of vodka mixed in?

Now you've got yourself a yummy screwdriver...go for the calcium-enriched OJ and not only are you getting a healthy dose of vitamin C but your bones are getting stronger with every sip.

Then sit back and enjoy your drink, knowing your body is thanking you for taking such good care of it.

7) Watch your fat intake.

As it goes into your mouth. You won't burn any calories but your far-sighted vision may improve slightly.

8) Brush your teeth.

If you feel like you might just raid the fridge after a long, exhausting day, simpy grab your toothbrush and brush those teeth. You'll feel all minty fresh and ice cream will be the furthest thing from your mind.

I can't say the same about that chilled bottle of wine, though. That'll be on your mind 24/7 no matter what...it's par for the course.

9) Eat each and every meal with your children, if you have some. If not, feel free to borrow my children.

Besides having to bop up and down constantly serving their every whim (you know the routine..."I need more juice", "I want more ranch dressing"), you'll more than likely lose your appetite pretty darn quickly...

...as they spit food onto your plate while they talk, dig their germ-infested fingers into your food and permeate the entire kitchen with a smell that's horrid enough to make skeletons turn over in their grave while they try to "out-fart" one another.

10) Life is too short.

Sure, you can starve yourself and spend hours at the gym, sweating like Richard Simmons on a good day.

Or you can just vow to eat healthier and make better choices from this point forward. Don't cry over the chocolate cake you stuffed down your throat while watching The Biggest Loser. Tomorrow's another day, right?

You can start off in baby steps. Switch out the soda for water. Instead of drinking apple juice, eat an apple.

But don't deny yourself either. If you want ice cream, have some, for crying out loud. Just eat it out of a small bowl rather than sitting down with the entire carton in front of you.

Life is too short to constantly be worrying about every single morsel you put in your mouth. Enjoy life...just make good choices in the meantime.

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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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