Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It always seems like a good idea….at first, anyway

The summer garden.   I have a love/hate relationship with it. 

You see, it’s a lot of hard work.

In the beginning, as the weather becomes warmer, the kids and I start making a plan for what we want to grow…tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, eggplant, green beans, herbs?  The choices are endless.

Once we’ve made our decision on what to plant, we put our plan into action. 

Normally, we’ve grown all our plants from seeds but due to the immense amount of guilt I feel when forced to thin out all the growth, I made the call to go with plants and avoid the hassle of seeds. 

We hit the store one day to pick all our plants out. 

People, this is an experience in and of itself…taking the 4 mini spawn to any store is hardly the highlight of my day.  It’s not unusual for a total stranger to stare at them lovingly, commenting, “They are absolutely precious”….and then look away in horror when those same “precious” children pull one another’s pants down and attempt to smell each other’s asses.

So yeah…we’re at the store, sorting through the various vegetable and fruit plants.  In less than 10 minutes, I’ve threatened them, I’ve pleaded with them, I’ve yelled at them.

Oh yes, people.  I am that mom at Home Depot, desperately telling her kids, “If you all don’t stop hitting one another and start behaving, I will leave you here and throw myself into oncoming traffic”. 

20 minutes later,  we’re walking out of the store….the kids have their plants, I have a massive migraine and people are staring at us, as if they’re fully expecting to see Supernanny and her camera crew trailing behind us. 

After arriving home, I’m way too wiped out to do any kind of gardening….well, that and the thought of spending any more quality time with the spawn makes me want to pull my hair out…one by one, by the root.

A few days later,  the plants are threatening to die off if we don’t get them in the ground soon so a-gardening we will go.

However, two of the spawn have since decided they are SO over the whole gardening thing.  It must be that lack of instant gratification….plus, plants can’t spit back at you so where’s the fun in that?

Let me introduce you to the two spawn who were more than happy to assist me in planting our 2011 Summer Garden….

Here’s Landon….properly equipped for a day of fun in the sun, becoming one with nature as he grows his very own greens.  He’s ready to dig in and garden. 


And here’s Bella….completely unequipped for a day of fun in the sun.  Yes, she looks pretty darn cute wearing her cool shades but take a look at her feet.  When’s the last time you saw someone gardening in high-heeled sandals, besides Brie on Desperate Housewives?


Whatever.  It was so not worth arguing with her….and, let’s face it, I need all the free help I can get so I wasn’t about to nit-pick the fact that she insisted on wearing inappropriate gardening apparel.

After emptying two huge bags of garden soil into our little side yard area, we spread the soil where it needs to be and begin to dig holes for our plants.  All the while, Bella is loudly whining about how gross the dirt feels squished between her toes.

I explain, “Well, I told you not to wear open-toed sandals”.

She shrugs her shoulders and replies, “Yeah but I wanted to look cute while I garden.”

And who can argue with that?



Before I know it, one of the spawn has traded in gardening for hanging out on the swing set with his brothers….but not before ripping a hole in one of my window screens with the handle of the shovel.

I have no idea how much it’ll be to repair it but, what the hell…it’s only money.  And apparently, the spawn are under the assumption that we’ve planted a money tree somewhere in our yard.



While I’m inspecting the hole in the screen, another one of the spawn grabs my camera and shouts, “I’m going to take a picture of you Mommy….smile!!”


Fortunately, I was having a good hair day.  Aren’t I absolutely stunning?!

No, that’s not a mistake.  That is indeed a picture of me, except I’m on the ground and not in the sky.   The kid can’t aim a camera to save his life but the thought and effort was certainly appreciated.

Finally….FINALLY…the plants were all in the ground, where they should be.   Zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, eggplant, watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Our summer garden is good to go.


And just as I’m about to call out to the spawn, “Okay, who’s ready to help me clean up all the gardening supplies?”, I notice I’m all by myself.

They are nowhere to be seen, conveniently.  Until I hear a little voice coming from the family room window, “Hey, Mommy, did you know there’s a hole in this screen?”


Like I said already, the summer garden….I have a love/hate relationship with it. 

Is it easy to see why?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pouring My Heart Out….Forever Treading Water

I’m treading water.  My body is upright, my arms are flailing in a constant state of panic…commanding myself to keep my head above water, where I can safely draw short, shallow breaths in a feeble attempt to stay focused.

This too shall pass, I try to convince myself.  Keep moving, keep paddling…do not fall below the surface where the monster lurks, threatening to pull me so far down under that I fear I’ll never find my way back up again. 

At times, I’m unaware that I’ve begun to drown until the very last minute, when it happens so quickly leaving my body absolutely depleted of energy, running on empty with nothing left to give.

On the outside, I appear controlled, calm….at peace.  But on the inside, my soul is screaming for relief from the daily stressors of motherhood and life in general. 

While the kids fight with one another and the noise level escalates to a point that literally makes my head throb violently, I mentally check out as my brain becomes a pile of senseless mush.

I can’t think clearly, I can’t feel anything, I can’t find find any consolation other than to throw myself onto the floor behind closed doors in a heap of cowardly defeat, sobbing quietly into my hands.

But then there are times when the monster creeps up on me slowly, as the familiar feelings of wanting to snap and break free continually nag at me.  It begins with a feeling of uneasiness, where I could cry just as easily as I could laugh.

In order to gain some kind of control, I become preoccupied with cleaning the house...all toys must be put away, nothing on the counters, no dishes in the sink.  The kids have learned to stay out of my way when they see Mommy sweeping the floors obsessively, mumbling to no one in particular that no matter how hard I try, everything is always such a mess...a fine metaphor indeed.

Soon enough, I can’t even muster a smile as my children recall a funny story.  I implore myself not to speak, out of fear that my words will cause more harm than good.

I can see the confusion and sadness in their eyes, at times, and I can't help but wonder if that's what they see in me, as well.  It's not hard to imagine how tough it must be for them, walking around on eggshells, never knowing what my mood will be day to day.

They wait for a kind smile, a gentle word of praise, a loving hug….they wait for a sign, any sign, that tells them Mommy is going to be okay…for now.

Thankfully, children are full of unconditional love...their bountiful hugs and kisses serve as a soothing reminder of that well-known fact.

But there’s a reason I cannot stop treading water…because the monster is always on the prowl, crouching in the darkness below, waiting to suck me under in a moment of weakness.

I am obligated to summon the energy to keep my head up, force myself to breathe and continue the desperate dog paddle, for there is no other option except to be trapped in the darkness forever…something my family cannot afford to have happen.

If there's one thing I have come to understand, it is that this will be a lifelong battle....one I don't plan on losing.

Thus, the treading continues....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stella & Dot...the best of both worlds!

Do you ever find yourself fantasizing about having the best of both worlds?  You know...the fantasy where you get to stay home with your kids AND have the freedom and flexibility to earn your own income, at the same time?

It sounds too good to be true, am I right?  Oh, but it’s not!

Let me introduce you to my friend, Jennifer McCloud, who has discovered an awesome way to have the best of both worlds!

Jennifer is a SAHM to adorable 2-year old triplets and also runs her very own successful Stella & Dot home-based business.  So, if a busy mother with young triplets can “have it all”, surely anyone can!

When asked how she got involved with Stella & Dot, here’s what Jennifer had to say:

“I was introduced to Stella & Dot as an invited guest at a trunk show last summer.  I immediately fell in love with the jewelry.  I had never considered doing direct sales before, but the more I thought about it, I realized that I could make my own flexible schedule, contribute financially to our family and sell an amazing product that I personally loved.  I have not looked back since!  It has honestly been one of the best decisions that I could have made.  Having my own business has given me something else to focus on besides my kids, and I can work when it's convenient for me in the comfort of my own home (and in sweatpants!!) and then when I have trunk shows I get to get dressed up and mingle with other women and meet new friends.  I absolutely love it!”

Stella & Dot, an incorporated 500 Fastest-Growing Company, is a San Francisco based social selling company that creates flexible entrepreneurial opportunities for women.  Founded by Jessica Herrin, a mother of two, the home-based business provides women with the ability to achieve success and balance through a career they love. .. doing it all with style! 

Their jewelry collection is beautiful, stylish and unique.  When Jennifer offered to send me a piece of jewelry to review, I was unable to settle on just one thing.  After spending several minutes with Bella gazing at all the lovely pieces and still not being able to decide, I asked Jennifer to choose something for me.

As a fellow mother of multiples, it didn’t take much for Jennifer to completely understand what my sense of style was….simple and casual.  But, in addition to that, I really needed something that would add a little pizzazz.

When the package arrived, Bella and I agreed that Jennifer was spot on in knowing exactly what would help set me apart from the other ponytail-wearing, minivan-driving, scatterbrained soccer moms. 

How do you like my bling?

Well, as you can see, I’ve been forced to share my beautiful new jewelry with Bella, who announced to me shortly after this picture was taken, “You know what would look great with OUR new jewelry?  Pink nail polish with sparkles.  Let’s go get manicures.” 

I hope Jennifer realizes this is about to become her life, as well, in just four more years with her young daughters.

Seriously, though, isn’t this matching earring and necklace set gorgeous?!  I love that they’re so simple  yet elegant and that I can wear them with just about anything in my closet!  And, what I love even more is that it’s obviously good quality jewelry…a far cry from the poorly constructed jewelry I buy at Target which often falls apart after the 2nd or 3rd wearing.

So, if you’ve been dreaming of running your own business in which you can earn as much money as you wish selling a high-quality product that you love and make your own hours…all with the luxury of still being able to stay home with your kids, joining Jennifer’s team could be exactly what you’ve been looking for!

Almost all of the training is done online so anyone can join her team even if you are in another state. She’s available to communicate with you weekly and would always be available through email and via phone and can train and encourage you from afar.

For more information and/or to join Jennifer’s team, visit her site at:


If you’d like to view the jewelry she has available for purchase, you can click HERE to browse through her collection.  She also has adorable jewelry for little girls, as well as cute and stylish totes!

Thank you to Jennifer for the lovely jewelry to review.  This review is based on my honest opinion of the product. 

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Now I've heard everything....

Just when I thought my kids couldn't come up with any more unbelievable, yet creative excuses to avoid bedtime, they still surprise me.

Here are a few I've jotted down in the last month...

The earth is spinning too fast and it's making me dizzy. 

I feel like I might puke up my entire skeleton.

I keep having nightmares that our grass is dead.

What if I wake up and my eyeballs are gone?

The moon is being too loud.

I'm afraid of peeing in my bed and Batman doesn't like kids who pee in their beds.

I want to dream about Justin Bieber but I always just end up dreaming about worms crawling inside apples.

I can't sleep because our room is the wrong color.

I don't want my arms to grow too long while I sleep.

Where is the sun right at this very minute?  What if it forgets to come back?

Does God ever sleep?  Who answers everyone's prayers if He sleeps?

Why do they say to count sheep if you can't fall asleep?  I'd rather count jellybeans or graham crackers.

What happens to our spit when we sleep?  I don't want my stomach to explode.

I think I hear birds chirping outside our window, probably because our clocks are wrong and it's really morning and not night time.

And my personal favorite (when Cole refused to eat dinner one night):

Cole:  My tummy hurts.  I'm probably gonna die because I didn't eat dinner.
Landon:  You won't die.
Bella:  Yeah, you're not gonna die.
Cole:  How do you know?
Bella:  Because Mommy always says there's starving kids in Africa and they're not dead, just hungry.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Things you might want to know....or not


{1} What game show have you always thought you could be on and totally WIN?

Wheel of Fortune.  But then, maybe not.  Considering I've been playing Words with Friends and getting my ass kicked left and right, perhaps Wheel of Fortune isn't my thing.

I'd have to go with Family Feud but back in the old days when Richard Dawson hosted, mainly because I wouldn't have minded making out with him on national television.

{2} Do you have a tattoo(s)? What are they and what made you chose them? If not, would you get one, yes/no/why?

That would be a definitive NO.  I'm too much of a wimp to ever get a tattoo.  

Remember, I'm the girl who much preferred being gutted like a fish during childbirth rather than push two human beings, one after the other, out of my nether regions.

You'd think after having to stab my ass cheeks with a 22-gauge needle for 12 weeks straight with every IVF cycle, I wouldn't have a fear of needles...or pain, for that matter.

But, alas, I'm still a huge wimp.  I'll stick with the temporary tattoos that the spawn get for me at the local pizza place, thank you very much.

{3} What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own?

Definitely my engagement/wedding ring, by far.  Why?  Because I earned this rock, people.  

Me, my rotting ovaries and my shriveled uterus put in 7 long, exhausting years waiting for Tim to come around and realize that I was his Mrs. Right.   

When he did finally come to his senses and propose, he made the HUGE mistake of stating, "I didn't get you a ring yet because I want you to come with me and pick out what you want."  Yeah, HUGE HUGE HUGE mistake.

I walked into that jewelry store like I owned the joint, looked at the owner point blank and said, "Dude, he made me wait 7 years for him to propose...with many ups and downs, lots and lots of drama.  Therefore, I want a rock the size of a small island with tons of smaller diamonds surrounding it, preferably a marquis cut with a wide 18k gold band.  Show me what you got..."

The owner looked at Tim for approval, fully expecting him to be passed out on the floor.  But the fact that Tim was still standing there, completely alert, was his green light to move forward and showcase his finest engagement rings.

He brought out a few beautiful rings for me to drool over, while I waited for Tim to pull the guy aside and ask, "Are you trying to drain my bank account?!"

Finally, I spotted "the one"....the ring I had been envisioning.  It was gorgeous, sparkly and exactly what I wanted.  

The owner encouraged me to try it on and the minute that ring was on my finger, I was sold.  

Then he told us the price and I immediately took the coveted ring off my finger and said, "I can't allow you to spend that kind of money on an engagement ring.  I mean, yeah, sure I did my time to earn it but still...that's a lot of money".  

My man just smiled and said, "Sweetie, if this is the ring you want, don't worry about the money.  I want you to be happy."

"Really?" I asked.  "Are you sure?  I feel guilty about it, though.  How about if I don't have a wedding band...this ring can serve as both my engagement ring and my wedding band!"

He agreed and the rest is history.

Love, love, love my ring!!!   My crusty old hands...not so much.

4} What is your driving pet peeve(s)?

Ugh, I hate when I get stuck behind someone driving way below the speed limit.  

My theory is if you're in your car,  you obviously have some place to be.   So quit driving like you're just out enjoying the scenery!  I got places to be and, chances are, I have 4 loud, whiny spawn in the backseat driving me to the brink of insanity.

{5} What was your favorite sitcom growing up that you wish was still on?

While everyone knows that my all-time favorite show was Roseanne, a close runner-up would be Facts of Life.  

I just adored Blair Warner...hell, I wanted to be Blair Warner.  Sadly, though, I was more of a mix between Tootie and Natalie. 

The show ran during an awkward stage of my life, so I found it comforting that they dealt with heavy subject matters which other shows rarely focused on.   Like boys, reputations, friendship and loyalty.  

And everyone needs a Mrs. Garrett in their lives, don't you think?  

Plus, I just loved the theme song...."You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life.... 

I still know every single word of it.  Probably be singing it in my head all day long now.  So much better than Justin Bieber's "Somebody to Love".


Side Note:  My blog was nominated on Circle of Moms Top 25 Parents with Multiples!  How awesome is that?!

I'd love it if you'd take a minute and head over there to vote for me!  You can vote once a day up until May 30!  

Just click below and the button will take you to the place you need to be....scroll down until you find my little ole' blog and click "vote"!!!  Thank you!!

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Friday, May 6, 2011

This week's confessions....

I confess:

I laughed at my husband when he suggested we do the nasty when the electricity went out the other night.

As we sat there in the dark, surrounded by dim shadows of candlelight, I complained, "Well, what are are supposed to do until the electricity comes back on?"

He offered, "Well, there are a couple things we can do to kill some time until the lights come back on.  You know, most babies are conceived during power outages."

I laughed.  Hysterically.  Until I realized he was serious.

"First of all," I explained.  "We are done having babies.  D. O. N. E.  Done...."

Before I could finish, the electricity came back on.

"God has spoken," I said.

He retreated upstairs to watch television while I stayed downstairs and read a book.

Is our love a fairytale romance or what?

I confess:

While jumping on the trampoline with the kids, I peed in my pants.

And not just a little bit of pee, people.

I peed in my pants, as if I were 2 years old again and completely lacking toilet training skills.

Very concerned, Bella asked, "Mommy, did you seriously pee in your pants?  Why would you do that?"

I rolled my eyes, "Come on, it's not like I did it on purpose!  After carrying YOU all in my belly, I cannot seem to jump, laugh and hold my bladder at the same time."

They all just kind of groaned a collective, "Eeeewwww".

But wiping their asses is supposed to be the highlight of my day, right?

I confess:

I was SO sick of listening to Tim give me fitness advice that I finally challenged him to put his money where his mouth is and join me at one of my workout sessions with my trainer.

Completely shocked when he agreed, I texted her and said something like, "Kill him.  Murder him.  Make him do the elliptical for 10 minutes at a 17 resistance!"

The next day, as we stood in the gym listening to her describe what our circuit would be, I couldn't help but steal glances at him.  He didn't seem to be shaken or fearful....until we were in the midst of our workout.

I left him in the dust when we had to jog across the parking lot....he crashed to the floor after holding a plank for a mere 30 seconds....after 5 Bosu burpees, he was grunting, "How many of these do we have to do?"

And then when my trainer started to truly feel bad for him, she cut him some slack and let him do the elliptical for a few minutes while my friend and I continued our workout.  

When we were all done, he laid on the floor, panting for breath....while my friend's kids pointed and asked, "What's wrong with him?"

Later, at home, I commended him on the fact that he showed up and did the workout...even if my trainer did go super easy on him.

I asked, "So, do you think you want to make this a regular thing?"

He threw me for a loop with his answer.  "I think I need to work on getting my endurance up before I can go back to the gym.  Once I'm in better shape, I'll go back."

Really?  Isn't this a little backwards?  Don't most people go the gym to get more fit...or am I missing something?


Got a confession? Link up!!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Well, who died and made them boss?

I'll admit that I can be a nag to my kids.  I'm constantly reminding them to clean up after themselves, treat others with respect and not to pick their noses and wipe it in each other's hair.

I'm the mother.  I'm supposed to be full of life lessons, am I right?

So why is it that suddenly the tables have turned?  The spawn are on patrol, out to bust me every chance they get.  They're just waiting for me to screw up so they can pounce and spew forth all their wisdom onto me.

Here are some ways in which I've been corrected and/or enlightened recently, that I'm sharing with you to save you the same embarrassment and humiliation.   Because no one likes to be put in their place, especially by a child who can barely wipe his own ass.

Consider this a "now you know" kind of post.

1)  It's never cool with God when you use His son's name in vein.  If you mutter "Jesus Christ" in your children's presence, don't be surprised to hear a soft voice reprimanding you, "Um, you're supposed to say Cheese and Crackers.  You're making God very sad when you say Jesus' name for no good reason."

Side note:  Telling the kids that it's all good because you already have a one-way ticket to hell isn't cool either.

2)  Saying the words and phrases "frack", "dangit" and "son of a mother" are not acceptable, especially when the kids know you're simply substituting a nonsense word for the real deal.  They STILL know you meant to say "fuck", "dammit" and "son of a bitch".

You can't pull the wool over their beady little eyes so don't even try.

3)  Never let them watch Oprah or Dr. Oz because children, too, are entitled to have "a-ha" moments.   The kids will make your life miserable, with constant, annoying reminders such as....

"You shouldn't be looking at your cell phone even though we're sitting at a red light.  Oprah says it's not wise to text and drive."

"Mommy, Dr Oz says you should eat one apple a day.  Did you eat an apple before you ate that bowl of ice cream?"

Try to ignore the fact that the kids NEVER listen to you...but Oprah and Dr Oz, their words are golden.

4)   "Fat" is a bad word, even if you are simply describing the part of the chicken that you are removing prior to cooking.  In fact, using the word "fat" in any way, shape or form is considered a crime within the preschool population.

5)  Farts are too precious to be wasted in the privacy of your own bathroom.  It's so much better if you corner an unsuspecting, innocent person (preferably a younger sibling) and back him/her into a corner, forcing the poor child to inhale the foul odor of what your body considers garbage.

6)  Why waste perfectly good saliva when spitting in someone else's hair is totally acceptable?

Bonus points if that person is fully unaware that he/she just got spit on.

7)  When saying "I love you" to one another, it's essential to to get into a bidding war over just HOW MUCH you love that person, such as...

"I love you to infinity and beyond, times 1 trillion, 2 billion, 5 million and 10 seconds..."

"Well, I love you more than the earth loves water..."

"Oh yeah?  I love you more than Santa Claus loves his reindeer and more than the Easter Bunny loves grass..."

"Well, I love you more than Daddy loves soda..."

None of this will make sense but the sillier the better.  If it makes your kids feel like they are loved more than humanly possible, who cares, right?

Just don't let anyone else hear this conversation or you may get a phone call from the school psychologist, requesting you be present at her next workshop...Appropriate Ways to Show Your Children Affection and Love

8)  No one's gonna die if you leave the dirty dishes in the sink for longer than 30 minutes.

It's way more important to play the board game "Life" with the kids 3 times in a row, even if they win the game as retired billionaires with a mansion full of grandchildren while you retire with a measly $685,000 and 2 unappreciative kids who never even said as much as "thank you for going broke so I could go to college" .

9)  Making the kids clean up their toys every day is senseless.  Why?  Because they have every intention of making the same exact mess the very next day.

Now, there's an "a-ha" moment to top ALL "a-ha" moments.

10)  Think before you speak.  For example, it's not very nice to answer "Mommy, what was I like before I could walk and talk?" with the following statement...

"Quiet.  You were quiet.  Life was peaceful."

They would prefer to hear this instead...

"You were actually a little boring.  I couldn't wait for you to talk and walk because the house was too darn quiet all the time.  I looked so forward to the day I had to chase you all over God's green earth in order to prevent you from becoming a street pizza in a busy parking lot....oh, and I could hardly wait for the day where you would repeat all the bad words I say to your grandmother.  That was a proud day for sure!  But the best part, hands down, was when you would wake up at 3 in the morning, stand up in your crib and scream "Mama, mama, mama" repeatedly until I finally stumbled into your room, half asleep, simply because you needed a kiss."

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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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