Friday, October 29, 2010

Having my boobs smashed wasn't so bad afterall...

As soon as I hit the ripe old age of 40 *gasp*, my doctor started nagging me about getting a mammogram.

I'll admit I avoided it because I was scared.  There...I said it. 

I was scared shitless because of all those women out there who have had it done and would love nothing more than to share their horror story with those of us who haven't had it done yet.

You know the horror stories I'm referring to, right?  Kind of like the similar ones you hear when you're 8 months pregnant and actually looking forward to delivering your baby? 

We all have that ONE friend who enjoys terrifying you with her graphic tales from her delivery experience. 

"Oh yeah, I tore from here to there.  I couldn't poop for weeks without feeling like my insides were being shredded all over again.  And now....well, I pretty much need to get to a toilet ASAP because I have NO control over my asshole anymore!"

And, that, my friends, is why I looked forward to having a c-section both times.

But, I digress....back to the mammogram.  So yeah, every friend I know who's had it done, went on and on about how painful the procedure was. 

"They take your boobs and smash them down as hard as possible in between those two cold plates.  And then the tech is man-handling your girls the entire time and you feel like a piece of meat.  It's the most humiliating and awkward experience EVER!"

More humiliating and awkward than crapping in your pants because you have no control over your asshole?  I think not.

Here's the horrifying thing about all this...I need to be proactive.  My maternal grandmother had breast cancer and ended up with a single mastectomy and a lumpectomy on the other side.  She was one of the lucky ones, ultimately winning her battle against cancer (she died years later though after having lived a long, full life).

Every time I would ask my mother if she'd had her mammogram done, she'd say, "Are you kidding?  I can think of a million other things I'd rather do than have my breasts painfully crushed by a huge machine."

Just another person telling me how awful the procedure is.  And I figured she's still alive so...

I know, I know.  You can stop shaking your head now.  I realized how silly my rationale was...especially after reading a blog post written by another twin mom whom I adore, Erin of The Mother Load.

She wrote about how she was just casually sitting around one evening watching a movie with her husband when she felt a lump on her breast.  Next thing she knew, she was having an ultrasound and an MRI done...and not just on the breast where she found a lump but on the OTHER breast where her doctor discovered ANOTHER lump!

Because I identify so much with Erin as a person and as a mother, all I could think as I read her post was, "This could be me.  If it can happen to her, it can happen to me".

It was right then that I decided enough was enough.  I had to just suck it up and get the mammagram done.  No more excuses...I mean, I've survived plenty of painful experiences (IVF injections, c-sections, endometrial biopsies...) so I knew adding one more to the mix wasn't going to be the end of the world.

So I go in the other day and resign to have the mammogram done.  Oddly enough, I wasn't that nervous while waiting to be called back. 

However, upon entering the room and seeing the gigantic machine staring me down, my heart began to pound. 

The tech sweetly asked, "Is it your first time, honey?"

I was too overcome with fear to come up with something sarcastic in response....because you all know I would've if I hadn't been shaking in my shoes so badly.

Nodding my head, I answered, "Yes, it is...I'm kinda scared actually."

The tech smiled and said, "I'm sure you've heard horrible things about it, haven't you?"

She was so comforting about it that I was tempted to ask her to hold me.  No, scratch that.  I was tempted to ask her to adopt me.

She explained, "Well, things are different now.  It's not as painful or uncomfortable as it used to be...you'll see."

I wanted so badly to believe her.  She didn't seem like the type of person who would lie about such a thing, like my mom, who would always say, "This hurts me more than it hurts you" every time she'd spank me.  I always wanted to retort back with, "Then how come you're smiling?"

Walking up to the machine, the tech gently nudged me forward and asked me to take down one side of my gown.  She asked, "May I?" as she reached for my right breast.

"Okay", I answered.  "It sure beats the ultrasound I had last year when the tech told me I had to insert the wand myself...you know, like in my, you know...uh, my privates."

She giggled and said, "Oh, that must have been awkward", as she placed my breast exactly where it needed to be on the machine.

She then guided the plate on top of my boob and then went to her little booth to take the picture. 

I said, "Wait.  My boob isn't completely smashed.  It doesn't hurt yet."

Laughing, she responded, "Didn't I tell you?!  Things have changed!"

The entire mammogram was done in less than 8 minutes.  I'm not kidding, people....EIGHT MINUTES! 

To say I felt silly is seriously understating it.  It was as if a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders.  I couldn't believe how long I had feared this exam and it only took 8 minutes of my life to get it done.

Before I left, she handed me a little box which held an adorable pink ribbon-shaped keychain and said, "In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is a thank you from us for remembering to come in and have your mammogram done."

And that was it....I'll have the results within 2 weeks.  Effortless.  Done. 

My point is that if you're like me...stalling on a simple exam that could literally save your life, don't.  Don't wait any longer. 

It's not as painful or as horrible as you may have heard.  Really, it's not.  And I'm a freakin wimp...I have a very low threshold for pain.  I get a mild headache and I'm practically sobbing. 

It sure beats getting a vaginal ultrasound with a tech who has absolutely no sense of humor, even as you try to lighten things up by telling him you had to clear the cobwebs first when he asks if you had any problems inserting the wand into your own....uh, nether regions.
Now, THAT, my friends, was inexplicably and undeniably dreadful. 

The mammogram...not so much, thank God.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween arrived early this year, thanks to Hershey's!

Make no mistake...Halloween is my favorite holiday.  Perhaps because it's one of the first signs that fall has arrived.  Or it could very well possibly be because free candy is involved.

Yeah, more than likely, it's the latter reason.  While trick-or-treating, I'm the one mom you hear telling her kids, "Come on...you're not THAT tired.  Let's just hit up 20 more houses and then we can go home, okay?!"

Halloween came early at our home this year when I received an offer to review some of Hershey's Halloween candy!  Usually I ask the kids before accepting an offer if it's something they're interested in trying.  I didn't even bother this time...I mean, it's a no-brainer, yes?

Late last week, a huge box arrived on our doorstep full of candy samples.  And let me just say, Hershey's definitely knows how to please a crowd of children! 

We received the new Twizzlers Assortment 120 Snack Size Pieces (Mini-Bars Candy Strawberry, Pull n' Peel Candy Wildberry and Pull n' Peel Candy Green Apple), the new Hershey's Candy Assortment with 100 Snack Size Packages (Reese's Pieces, Whoppers Malted Milk Balls, Milk Duds and Jolly Rancher lollipops) AND a Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin Jumbo Snack Size candy.

I know, right?  That's a serious amount of candy right there.  To say my children were beyond thrilled is putting it mildly.

Immediately, the kids ripped into the bags and began to devour whatever they could get their little hands on as I read the material included with the package, which mentioned some delicious recipes and craft activities to be found at Celebrate with Hershey's.

I had this wild idea of creating some spooky cupcakes or cookies which I could display in this review....you know, like "Hey, look at all the cool fun things we made with our Halloween candy!"

However, the kids made sure that idea never came to fruition as they gobbled up a sick amount of candy that would even make Augustus Gloop wince in horror.

It's okay, though.  Halloween only comes once a year and I fully believe in letting the kids enjoy it as much as they want (provided they manage to eat an apple somewhere in there and brush their teeth twice a day....it can't be ALL sunshine and roses, people).

My personal favorites were the Milk Duds, which I honestly hadn't had since I was a child.  Total chocolatey deliciousness! 

The kids....well, they liked everything, especially the Jolly Rancher lollipops which came in a variety of fruity flavors.

If you haven't bought your Halloween candy yet OR if you're throwing a fabulous party and you want to make sure all your little guests and/or trick-or-treaters are perfectly happy, make sure to buy Hershey's candy!

You'll be the talk of the town....but in a good way!

What's YOUR favorite Halloween candy?

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Monday, October 25, 2010

And the juggling continues...

I finally figured it out. 

Every Monday through Friday, I have approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes to do whatever I want....blog, go for a walk with a good friend, stare at the wall (I do this A LOT), eat breakfast in complete peace and quiet or watch any of my numerous DVR'd shows (the latest one being Real Housewives of Beverly Hills...because my life has absolutely no drama).

All that still didn't seem like enough...I like my plate completely full, if you know what I mean. 

I've gotten super good at juggling since I've had kids...growing two little human beings at the same time two years in a row will do that to a person.

So because I thrive on absolute chaos, it was time for me to pile just one more thing on my plate and start publishing a Macaroni Kid e-newsletter/website for the area I live in!!

Initially, I saw the information about Macaroni Kid on Tami's blog, Hearts Make Families, and immediately became intrigued.   From there, I found there were many other bloggers whom I adored who are also MK publishers for their areas!

Once I had a full understanding about how it all worked and learned that there wasn't a local MK in my city, I lured two of my good friends, Ann and Wendy, on board with me....because crazy loves company, am I right?

We just got our very first newsletter published, after dedicating a whopping 6 hours on a Sunday at Borders to get all the kinks worked out.  The minute we hit the publish button there was such a huge sense of accomplishment.  But it was quickly replaced with dread, as we realized we had to rush home and fix dinner for our families. 

Such is the life of a busy mother.

Not only are my friends and I doing this for the simple fact that this little venture may bring in some much-needed income for each of our families, but our town lacks a one-stop-spot, if you will, for finding family-friendly events.

Not anymore!!

In addition to listing all the fun events, we'll also be sharing recipes, crafts, parenting tips, and money saving ideas.

If you're like me, you could easily waste an entire 60 minutes online in search of a rainy day craft to do with your spawn, while they claw each other's eyes out....or spend an eternity on hold trying to find a restaurant which offers free meals for kids, as you pray no one comes on the line right as one of them decides it's perfect time for an obnoxious tantrum.

But with Macaroni Kid, the parents in our area won't have to waste anymore precious time searching things out.  It'll all be in our e-newsletter/website!!

Feel free to check out Macaroni Kid - Stockton and let me know what you think!

If you're into Twitter and/or Facebook, I'd love it if you'd follow us/like us!!  Find us here on Twitter and here on Facebook!

And if you're interested in becoming a Macaroni Kid Publisher for your area, please let me know and I'll tell you how!

* Sorry I haven't been able to visit many blogs lately!  I plan to catch up more this week!!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

What happened to my kids?!

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Notice that there's only ONE picture of Cole and it's not distorted in any way? 

That's because he's the one taking most of the pictures!  I especially love the last one of Bella in a monkey cage...how perfect is that?!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Did someone say FREE quesadillas??

It seems that I've entered that busy mom phase...you know, the one where I'm constantly in my mini-van driving the kids all over God's green earth.  I'm either coming or going these days.

As much as I would love for my family to eat a home-cooked meal every single night, it's just not possible. 

So on those evenings where we have soccer practice until 6:00 pm or a playdate at the park which runs a little late, I find myself scrambling to come up with something edible. 

Recently, my family and I were offered the opportunity to review yet another

Farm Rich product...remember we tried the mozzarella bites and truly enjoyed them! 

This time we tried the chicken quesadillas, described by Farm Rich as "thin, authentic tortilla-style crust stuffed with a special blend of 100% real Mozzarella, Cheddar, & Monterey Jack cheeses and grilled, all-white meat chicken with a zesty kick".

Now, I know quesadillas aren't very difficult to make and they can be fairly quick to put together BUT....

....when you have 4 hungry children chomping at the bit, the last thing you want to be doing is shredding cheese and frying up tortillas.

I made the quesadillas one evening after soccer practice when we were short on time, of course.  I popped those little babies into the oven and we read books while they cooked in just a matter of a few minutes.

Once they were done, I served them on a plate, alongside two little dishes filled with sour cream and salsa....

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We all agreed that these quesadillas were out-of-this-world delicious!  The kids were asking for seconds before I could even finish my first one and Tim, who's as picky as they come, said, "Wow, these aren't bad!" as he grabbed a couple more off the baking sheet.

The minute you bite into these little morsels of goodness, your mouth is filled with gooey cheese and tasty chicken.  I also liked the fact they didn't fall apart at all like my homemade quesadillas tend to do. 

Okay, so after reading this, I'm sure you all want to try one of the Farm Rich products, don't you? 

Well, the people at Farm Rich were generous enough to send me three extra coupons for one FREE product....your choice!  Yes, I said FREE, people.

Just tell me your favorite go-to quick meal that you like to make for your family when you're short on time!

For extra entries...(please leave one comment for each extra entry)
1)  Like Farm Rich on Facebook (1 entry)

2)  Follow Farm Rich on Twitter (1 entry)

3)  Visit Farm Rich and tell me which product you'd like to try (1 entry)

4)  Join the Farm Rich Fan Club to receive recipes, serving tips, contest information and more (1 entry)

Three winners will be picked on Monday, October 25 at 9:00 pm PST by Random. org.  Please be sure your e-mail is either accessible in your profile or leave it in your comment.

* 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.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I wonder what he was thinking....

Yesterday, it rained...off and on, all day long.  The first rain of the fall season. 

The kids were climbing the walls, making Tim and I completely miserable.  So in desperation, we did what most parents would do....we took the kids to Costco. 

Picture it...Costco, on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  Seemed like there were a hell of a lot of parents there with the same crappy idea.

After surviving that hell hole, we came home and unpacked the mini-van.  The kids began running around the house again, as if they were wild animals on crack. 

I heard one of them bellow, "Let's go to IHOP for dinner!  Can we, PLEASE?"

The thought of containing them in the house for yet another 3 hours until bedtime made my insides ache painfully. 

Tim shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's fine with me."

Now, I know IHOP is not as top rated as, say, Emeril Lagasse or Gordon Ramsay's restaurants but...hey....the kids eat for free.   And Tim and I are all about kids eating for free.

Besides, would I honestly want to take the spawn to a 5-star restaurant, where they would only embarrass me by screaming loudly, "You want us to eat THAT?  It looks like our cat's butt-hole!"

Tim practically threatened the kids with their lives right before entering the restaurant.

Between gritted teeth, he whispered, "You all better behave or else..."

"Or else what?" I asked.  "Are we gonna run away, abandoning them at IHOP if they behave badly?  Ask the family next to us if they'd like 4 more kids?  Beg the manager to let them do time in the kitchen by washing dishes?"

He shook his head and rolled his eyes, classic Tim style.

"Well, you know you continously have to raise the bar with the spawn...each time you threaten them with something, you have to out-do yourself from the last threat or it won't scare them," I explained.

As we waited for the food, Landon began whining about wanting to sit in a highchair, Bella was coloring on her jeans with red and green crayons (in honor of Christmas, she justified), Garrett was cackling loudly and yelling, "I'm evil, I'm evil" and Cole was busily searching the inside of his nose for little green appetizers.

Tim was losing his patience quickly....and doled out another veiled attempt at scaring them into submission.

It must have worked because next thing I knew, they were all quietly coloring the papers given to them by the waiter.

Bella asked, "Is this better, Daddy?  Are we behaving now?"

I looked across the table at my exhausted husband and saw him cradling his head in his hands.  Most wives would've reached out to their husbands, touching him gently on the arm as a silent message of understanding and empathy.

But I'm not most wives.  I grabbed my cell phone and took a picture.

TimIHOP

Even now, I can't stop laughing every time I look at it.  I imagine he was silently praying, "Now I sit me down to eat, I pray the Lord my sanity to keep, if I should go crazy before I am done, I pray I can remember where I put my gun."

What do you think?  If you could write a caption for the above picture, what would it say?

Whichever 4 people come up with the BEST caption each win a prize.  And trust me, you want to win these prizes. 

They're mostly potty trained (hey, it doesn't matter where they pee or poop as long as it's not in their pants, right?), will provide hours of laughter and entertainment (and lots of embarrassment and humiliation...the grass can't always be greener, people), and will prevent you from oversleeping (or sleeping, for that matter).

I proudly announce the grand prizes....the spawn:


YOU get a kid, and YOU get a kid...

EVERYBODY GETS A KID!



* The spawn  are non-transferable. No substitution or cash equivalent of prize permitted.  Prize winners are responsible for feeding, sheltering and loving the spawn, even when they stick their tongues out in total disrespect or smear their poop all over the living room wall. Each spawn will be delivered to winner's residence, approximately 35 minutes after notification by sponsor.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apparently, I am THAT mom....

My kids provide plenty of cringe-worthy moments for me. 

You know, the kind where you wish the ground would split open and swallow you whole...or, at the very least, where you conclude that being struck by lightening right at that very minute would be less painful. 

Let me provide a couple examples for you, in case your children have never embarrassed you so badly that you wished you could die and come back in another life as a shoelace.

1)  Yesterday, when I went to pick up Garrett and Landon from prechool, their teacher looked at me, shook her head and said, "Oh Helene...what are we going to do with Garrett?  I need you to talk to him!"

My heart sank as I prepared for the worst.  Garrett hung his head in shame as he listened to her explain what had happened.

"He's been running around here kissing his friends on the lips.  I told him he can't be doing that so can you please talk to him and reinforce that that's not appropriate behavior at school?" she pleaded.

Every thought possible went through my head...geez, I hope she doesn't think we're encouraging such behavior at home, at least he wasn't HITTING his friends, she must dread when her alarm goes off in the morning knowing she'll have to see Garrett today.

I smiled politely, "Oh no!  Okay, well, I'll have a talk with him.  I'm so sorry!"

As we walked out to the car, I asked Garrett about it and he said, "I just love my friends so I kiss them".

Over lunch, we talked about other ways which were more appropriate to show his friends some affection....giving a high-5, asking if he can give them a hug, holding their hand...anything but kissing them on the lips.

He seemed to get it, repeating verbatim what I had said to him, while eating his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

So where was the cringe-worthy moment....wait for it, you know it's coming.

We arrived at soccer practice several hours later.  One of the coaches asked Garrett how he was this was his reply....

"I'm good.  Guess what?  I kissed my boyfriend on the lips today at school."

The coach looked up at me with a puzzled expression, while I tried to ignore the fact that most of the other parents within earshot were staring at me with the look of pure shock on their faces. 

Trying to recover quickly, I responded, "Uh, yeah...I know.  But at least he wasn't HITTING his friends, right?"

I wouldn't be surprised if my kids are banned from soccer next session....what, with Cole and Bella bringing their dead lizard, Lizzie, to show off and now with Garrett announcing proudly that he kissed his boyfriend on the lips.

2)  Even though we're still knee-deep in this whole short sale mess that's been going on since March, Tim and I have been going to open houses every once in awhile on the weekends...mainly to see how others decorate their homes.
 
I mean, really, when else can you just freely walk into someone else's home and check out their fashion sense.  It's almost as classic as getting tons of complimentary candy on Halloween.  

Last weekend, as we were about to enter an open home, Garrett asked me to hold him.  I obliged and carried him in through the front door, where he proceeded to fart....loudly.

And of course, the real estate agent just happened to be standing right there in the kitchen behind the front door.

I prayed he wouldn't think it was ME who had farted.   I knew he had to have heard it because trust me when I tell you that the fart was so loud, it was like a sonic boom had just occurred.

Garrett boldly announced, "Hey everyone, I just farted.  Did you hear it?"

The real estate agent smiled but didn't make a move towards us for a noticeable reason.

Garrett waved to the agent and asked, "Did you hear me fart?  I farted just now!  I can smell it!"

"Yes, I'm pretty sure he heard you...now stop talking please!" I instructed.

But why stop there when there are so many other opportunities to embarrass the woman who allowed a surgeon to slice open her belly in order to give you life.

That's why he had to tell everyone who walked through that front door that he had recently passed gas, as if they wouldn't be able to smell the obvious.

Each one of them stared at me in horror, while I flinched at the awkwardness which accompanied the offensive odor now permeating throughout the entire home.

After we were safely enclosed in our mini-van, I said to Tim, "Didn't you just want to die?  Oh my Lord, how embarrassing was THAT?"

For those of you who have been long-time readers of my blog, you probably already know where this is going but just appease me, okay?

Tim shrugged his shoulders and asked, "What?  Did one of the kids do something?"

Seriously, how could he have NOT heard all that going down?  It must be nice to be able to block out everything...I would imagine Tim's head is a very quiet and enjoyable place to be on most days.

So, you see, apparently I am THAT mom...

...the one everyone loves to stare at but is secretly thankful she is not THAT mom, the one everyone feels sorry for and wonders what THAT mom must have done so badly to deserve this kind of embarrassment, and THAT mom whose children provides humiliating tales for others to talk about at the playground. 

But that's also the reason why THAT mom never runs out of interesting and entertaining blog material.

Maybe it's not so bad to be me, after all.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Important lessons from an experienced mother of twins...

One of my blogging buddies, Christina, recently asked me to write a guest post for her wonderful blog, Our Life with Multiples.  

Christina is the mother of beautiful twin girls, who keep her running in circles on most days.  Unafraid of telling it like it is, she often relies on humor to help her focus on the sunny side of motherhood.  

When reading her posts, sometimes I find myself laughing out loud, only because I can completely relate to her on so many levels.  And then other times, my eyes fill with tears when she has written something sentimental, perhaps about her baby girls growing up too quickly or fears she has as a parent.

It was an honor for me to write a guest post for Christina.  It would make my day if you'd stop by and read it HERE...and while you're there, be sure to click that follow button and become a regular reader of her blog. 

You'll be happy you did!

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Chaperoning a field trip? You just sold your soul to the devil, my friend...

Last Friday, Garrett and Landon went on their very first field trip to the pumpkin farm with their preschool class.

"Mommy, are you coming with us?" they both asked with excited anticipation.

I have to admit that, in my head, I was going back and forth....I mean, giving up a whole 3 hours of freedom is a HUGE decision. 

I had important plans for that 180 minutes.  Really, I did.  Some of you may not think that sitting on the sofa and staring at the wall is a big deal but it requires a heavy amount of concentation and stamina.  Shocking, I know. 

Landon interrupted my thoughts, "Come on, Mommy.  Come with us!"

Sighing with abandon, I replied, "Okay, I'll sign up as a chaperone".  I couldn't shake the feeling that I had just sold my soul to the devil.

The morning of the field trip, the teacher explained to me and my fellow chaperones that she had assigned each of us 3 children to be in charge of. 

ONLY 3 kids?  Please...this would be a piece of cake. 

Except it wasn't...because 2 of the 3 kids she assigned me were my own spawn. 

I thought I detected the faint sound of laughter but no one around me was laughing. 

"You mean, you want me to be responsible for my own kids?" I asked the teacher.  "They'll probably listen better if they're with another parent."

She responded, "They'll be fine"...which was really just teacher code for "Shut up and put on your big girl panties.  You're the parent here!"

Then she pointed at a sweet, little blonde-haired girl with black-rimmed glasses who I'll refer to as A and explained, "A will also be in your group."

Okay, how bad could this be?  A seemed delightful and I felt assured that if she was a good listener then my boys would probably follow suit. 

Shit, there was that faint laughter in the background again...

From the moment we boarded the bus all the way to the pumpkin farm, I made desperate attempts at getting my boy's to respect bus riding etiquette..."Sit on your bottom", "stop kicking the seat in front of you",  and "don't stick your head out the window or it'll fall off".

Finally, between gritted teeth, I threatened, "Do you want me to trade you to another group?  Don't tempt me because I will do it!"

Each time I looked at A, she was sitting quietly in her seat, staring at me intently.  I imagined she was thanking God that I wasn't her mother.  If she had any doubts, Garrett and Landon were wonderful about reminding her..."She's OUR mommy, not YOURS". 

However, something strange happened to A the minute we exited the bus at the pumpkin farm.  I was positive that I could see the tips of two sharp horns beginning to protrude from her scalp, very similar to the ones on Garrett and Landon's heads. 

The subtle laughter which had been taunting me the entire morning became a bit more obvious.  I was starting to realize it was more than my soul that the devil wanted...he also wanted to make sure I had no shred of sanity left by the end of the 3 hours.

I spent most of the field trip herding my 3 charges together, chanting, "let's all hold hands" as I tried to keep them safe from being eaten by angry goats or falling backwards off the huge tractors set up on display.

Just when I thought everything was going to be okay, A announced that she had to use the potty.  Landon stated he had to go, too.  Damn it, there was that laughter again.

I asked one of the other parent chaperones to keep an eye on Garrett so I could take the two of them to the potty and off we went, in search of the sparkling clean, in-house bathroom.

Except there was no sparkling clean in-house bathroom.  Nope...instead there were two dirty porta-potties at the front of the farm.

"Eeeeewwww", A screamed as she opened the door to one of the porta-potties.  "It smells bad in here!  I don't have to pee anymore!"

I imagined A pissing in her pants on the bus and then I'd have to explain to the teacher why I let a little 3-year old convince me that she didn't have to go pee, even after the child was doing a funny little dance and grabbing her privates with the hopes of preventing her bladder from spilling loose.

"Come on, A...I'll help you," I coaxed her, helping her pull her pants down.  Placing her gently on the potty seat and begging her profusely to NOT touch it, I used my foot to keep the door open partways in an effort to breathe in some fresh air and keep an eye on Landon. 

That's when I noticed that Landon was nowhere in sight.  Crap. 

I told A to sit tight (pun intended) and that I would be right back.  I turned around and saw that Landon had already gone into the other porta-potty and was bent over the hole, examining the contents of what others had left behind.

"Oh. My. God. Eeeewwww, SOOOO GROSS!", I shouted, sounding more like a 5th grade valley girl who had just witnessed a bunch of teenage boys mooning her instead of a 41-year old mother of 4.

"Landon, get out of there!!" I demanded, grabbing him by his now contaminated hands and praying that I didn't puke right there on the spot.

Finally, I got Landon to go pee and gathered both he and A by the sinks to wash their hands.  As I was helping Landon dry his hands, A spotted a brown horse and ran off towards it, with me bellowing behind her, "A...wait up.  You can't just run off without me!"

Oh why yes she can....and she did, never once looking behind to acknowledge that she had heard me.  When I did catch up to her, I noticed gobs of snot running down her face.

A dodged my attempts to clean her face, while she giggled mischievously.  Now, not only did she still have snot dripping, she had clear white streaks across her face where I had attempted to wipe.

Sweet Jesus, I should've just stayed home and stared at the wall.  Or done the 5 baskets of laundry sitting in my family room.  Or stabbed myself in the eyes repeatedly with a couple of rusty nails.

I managed to get A and Landon back to the group in one piece.  Landon spotted Garrett sitting on a bench and shoved him off of it, announcing, "That's MY seat".  Garrett began to cry loudly, as he fell on the dirty ground. 

And now everyone was staring at us.  I tried to laugh and said, "It's always MY kids, right?"

One of the ladies from the farm was explaining to the kids how pumpkins grew when all this was going down.  She noticed the identical twin girls in our class and asked, "Are they twins?" 

The teacher said, "Yes...and we have another set of twins too", as she pointed to Garrett and Landon.

I couldn't help it and said, "Yeah, the two kids who act like they hate each other...they're twins".  The lady shot me a look of sympathy...or maybe it was disgust.  Couldn't be sure.  Nor did I really care by this point.

Oh, but wait...the high point of the day was when the kids were subjected to a lady who worked at the farm who was showing the kids a mouse skull.  Yes, that's right...a mouse skull. 

But not just any mouse skull.  This was a mouse skull which had been regurgitated among hair and other small bones by an owl who had painstakingly stalked that poor mouse for hours as it attempted to steal tiny bits of food on the ground.

The lady walked around showing the skull to the kids as she explained in a haunting voice, "Do you see these holes right here?  That's where the mouse's eyes used to be until the owl ate them.  Yes, owls eat eyes..."

All the kids were rightfully freaked out....except my boys, of course.  They thought that was the coolest part of the field trip.  Well, that and trying to escape from a moving bus out of the emergency exit window.

We made it back it to the school with all their body parts in tact but not before Garrett warned the little girl across from him to sit on her "booty ass"...while I shrank with embarrassment in my seat as that child's father stared at me.

And that, my friends, was the field trip in a nutshell. 

So the next time you see that sign-up list for chaperones for a field trip at your child's school....think back to this post. 

And then run...somewhere far, far away before you're reduced to a pile of quivering nerves, sucking your thumb and rocking back and forth in a musty corner of your basement.

However, try not to trip over all those other parents rushing to sign up...you know, the newbies with stars in their eyes, all excited about the adventure they're about to go on. 

Don't judge them too harshly, though.  We were once like them also...before selling our souls to the devil.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

It was a total Silence of the Lambs moment...

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Two nights ago, Bella awoke Tim from a deep sleep, muttering something to the effect of, "Big brown thing....on my face....I'm scared...."

Too tired to investigate, he let her sleep on the sofa with him. 

At this point, you may be wondering why Tim sleeps on the sofa.  Short version....he snores and refuses to go to the doctor to resolve it, I booted him from sleeping in our room at night. 

Back to the story, in the morning, Bella runs into my room where I'm getting dressed and begins shouting at me. 

"Mommy, I was so scared last night.  This huge brown thing landed on my face when I was sleeping!"

I asked, "Really?  What did it look like?"

With wide eyes and animated hands moving a mile a minute, she explained, "Well...(clucks tongue), I was sleeping and (takes a deep breath) something tickled my chin (clicks tongue).  So (another deep breath), I looked around and saw this BROWN thing and it was flying (clicks tongue)...."

"Okay, Bella...seriously, I have to finish getting ready.  Can you tell me the story without all the pausing and tongue clucking?" I asked, frantic to get my eyelashes curled without poking my eyeballs out.

She looked at me for a couple seconds, clucked her tongue again and said, "I'll try to keep it simple for you."

Oh, why thank you, your royal highness, for keeping it simple for us dumb folks who lost numerous amounts of brain cells during pregnancy.

Waving her hands in the air, she began, "So like I said, this brown thing was flying and it landed on my face.  I mean, my chin.  Well, my chin is on my face (clucks tongue)."

She paused and raised her eyebrows, as if to say, "You following me??"

I nodded my head, practically pleading with her telepathically to get a move on with the story.

The drama continued...."I woke up and I saw it flying in front of me.  It landed on my chin.  I tried to slap it but it flew away.  It looked like a butterfly but it was brown.  It was HUGE!"

Trying to stifle the laughter which threatened to pour out of my mouth, I said, "It sounds like maybe it was a moth".

"A moth?" she asked, crossing her arms in front of her chest as if she was preparing to debate with me over this unknown flying object.

"Yes, a moth.  Moths are brown AND they're attracted to light.  Since you and Cole insist on sleeping with the light on in your room, it was probably hanging out in there when you went to sleep," I offered, hoping this would be the end of it.

Bella replied, "Well, whatever it was it freaked me out.  Can you look for it and get rid of it?".

"Sure," I promised.

With that, she went off to school and that was the end of it.

Until that night, as I tucked her into bed...she inquired, "Mommy, did you find the brown thing that flew on my face last night?"

"Shit," I muttered to myself.

I fibbed, "You know, I looked all over the place and I didn't see a thing!  So, you see, there's nothing to worry about."

She squinted her eyes at me briefly, while she considered what I had just told her.

"Are you sure?" she challenged back.  I nodded my head and responded, "Absolutely sure".

About an hour later, I heard screaming coming from their room, "Mommy, Mommy....it's back!  The brown thing is back!"

I ran upstairs in time to see.... positively nothing at all.  The "brown thing" was nowhere in sight.

"It was on me...on my mouth!  It flew right in front of me and landed on my mouth!!!!" she bellowed, sitting up straight on the top bunk. 

Because I couldn't help myself, I said, "Okay, Clarice....I don't see anything in here flying around.  No signs of butterflies, moths, whatever.  Maybe you're just imaging things in your sleep...like dreaming."

Not only was she tired, but now Bella was also annoyed. "So you think I was just dreaming that a huge brown thing landed on my mouth?!"

"Uh, yeah," I answered.  "I don't see anything flying around in here or in the hallway.  I honestly think you just dreamed it".

I knew what was coming next as her eyes practically bulged out of her head and she groaned, "Two nights in a row?  That's impossible...and who's Clarice?"

"Never mind," I grumbled.

I tucked her back in to bed and said, "I really don't think there's anything flying around in here...try to go back to sleep now, okay?"

As both she and Cole laid back down, I whispered, "It places the lotion in the basket..."

"WHAT?!" they both asked. 

"It's a movie reference, just couldn't help myself...now, go to sleep!" I responded.

As I walked out of the room, I heard Cole ask Bella, "Why does she want us to put lotion in a basket?"

The next morning as I came down the stairs, Bella was waiting for me...."So, the flying brown thing was just a dream, huh?"

Oh for God's sake...

She pointed to the kitchen garbage and said, "Look at THAT!"

People, I present you with Exhibit A...proof that the "flying brown thing"  truly did exist.

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Tim explained, "Last night, I was watching tv and I kept hearing a fluttering sound and sure enough I turned on the light and there it was....that brown moth flying around so I managed to kill it."

Next thing I knew, I was surrounded by a bunch of tiny angry people staring me down as if I had just committed the crime of the century.

"Well," I stammered.  "I never actually saw it myself.  I honestly thought Bella had imagined it."

Clucking her tongue yet again, it was obvious Bella was infuriated with me. 

"I tried to tell you the truth and you didn't believe me.  AND you called me Clarice!!"

Attempting to throw some humor in to the mix, I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Maybe it was looking for the lotion..."

Tim began to double over with laughter but the kids just continued to stare at us as if we had undoubtedly lost our minds.

Bella said, "I don't know who Clarice is or why you keep talking about lotion but all I know is you guys are CRAZY!"

Patting my sweet daughter on the head, I replied, "You're just now figuring that out?   This is a total Silence of the Lambs moment but you're just too young to appreciate it."

She shook her head and said, "Whatever...

I have a feeling someday in the future, we'll be sitting together watching the movie...while sharing a good laugh over this whole brown moth incident.

But then again...maybe not.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whoever coined the phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” obviously never made a guitar cake…

I should've known better.  I knew it was out of my league but I just couldn't say no.

I had asked Cole and Bella, "Do you guys want me to make your birthday cakes again this year?"

They both shouted, "YES, make our cakes again!!"

Then I made the mistake of asking them what design they wanted...this is where Tim said I went wrong.

At first, Cole wanted a Domo-Kun cake but then changed his mind just when I had it all planned out...of course because that's my kind of luck.  Instead, he wanted a Mario Brothers cake, which I was still cool with because it would be relatively simple.

But Bella....oh, my sweet little peanut, who would love nothing more than to see all the brown hair on my head turn completely gray....chose a Hannah Montana guitar cake.

The minute I saw the picture of the cake she wanted, I explained, "Uh, Bella...I don't think I can make that.  It looks super difficult."

My own words came back to bite me in the ass, as she pouted and said, "But, Mommy, you're always telling us that you can do anything you set your mind to....you can do it!"

I stared at the picture and then back at her again, hoping I could convince her to let me do a basic 2-tiered cake with a buttercream transfer of Hannah Montana. 

Did that fly with her? 

Do all 3 of my boys get on their hands and knees on a daily basis and clean up their pee from behind the toilet?

No, of course not....because we all know by now that there is absolutely nothing BASIC about Bella and why would my boys want to actually do something that could be considered helpful?

With that, I let out a huge sigh and allowed myself to be suckered in by my only daughter, as her big blue eyes pleaded with me to not let her down.

I worked on Cole's cake first because....well, it was easier.  Way easier. 

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I even made all the fondant and buttercream frosting myself....and it was still a much simpler cake to make than the freakin' guitar cake that almost cost me my sanity, as if I can afford to lose it any more than I already have.

Once Cole's cake was done, it was time to grin and bear it.  I kept repeating to myself, "It's just a cake....do not be afraid of it.  Don't let the cake control you..."

And, no, I hadn't even begun to drink any wine at that point.  I just happen to talk outloud to myself...a whole lot, people.  Any mother who tells you she never does the same thing is full of shit, plain and simple. 

Moving on...I baked 3 cakes and then carved that son-of-a-bitch.  I was in complete control...mixing gel coloring into the buttercream, spending hours trying to get the frosting as smooth as a baby's bottom, cutting out fondant stars like no one's business. 

It was all good.

Until it came time to make the damn guitar strings.  My beautifully crafted plan to use floral wire unraveled right before my very eyes, as I practically pulled my hair out of my own head and screamed, "Why on earth did I agree to make a freakin GUITAR cake?!"

My lovely friend, Leslie, who had come over to help clean my house (I know, right?!), was fortunate enough to witness my meltdown. 

Just as my head was ready to explode into a million tiny pieces, she poured me a glass of wine and said, "Shut the hell up and quit your whining!  Let's get this damn cake done already!"

Okay, she didn't actually say that, though I'm sure she wanted to.  Instead she smiled sweetly and came up with another plan....we decided to roll out 6 guitar strings made out of fondant. 

The few sips of wine that I ingested turned me into the likes of a horny teenage boy.  I managed to turn every innocent comment out of poor Leslie's mouth into an obnoxious sexual innuendo.

A good friend is someone who will tolerate your immature behavior, no matter how low you sink....she doesn't go running for the hills after you giggle hysterically when she asks, "do you prefer it longer or shorter?" and "is it thick enough for you?", as she's referring to the fondant guitar strings and not your husband's penis.

No, instead, a good friend just rolls her eyes and accepts that friendship is for better or worse, through thick and thin....even if it does take every ounce of her willpower to refrain from bitch-slapping you.

In the end, here was the final result....the Hannah Montana guitar cake from hell. 

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...and I lived to tell about it.  So I guess it is true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

But I will never make a sculpted cake like that ever again.  Because even though it didn't kill me, it did shave a few years off of my life...and I have strongly considered asking my doctor to put me back on Wellbutrin.

Here are some other pictures from the party...

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Bella with her favorite person, Hannah Montana...I know, you'd think I would be her favorite person after making the cake from hell for her.

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Hannah Montana teaching the kids one of her dance routines...thank God it didn't involve a stripper pole.

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The magic show....(i.e. a break for the parents who were crazy enough to stay at the party)

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If you happen to notice that Hannah Montana's concert ticket prices have increased, it's not without a good cause.  See here...she desperately needs a new weave.

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So the birthday party was a success...and I'm relieved it's over.  So relieved, you have NO idea. 

On a final note, I have to come realize that God did cut me a break in blessing me with two sets of twins...only having to throw TWO parties a year, instead of FOUR.  Now, that's a blessing for sure.

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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