Wednesday, December 28, 2011


My children do not know how to play alone. That's not true--Addison is the youngest and she could play alone for hours. It's the other two. ANY TIME I send them anywhere away from me, they report back to me within five minutes.

"Mommy--there is nothing to do." "Brayden--Santa is still up in the air somewhere, and you are ALREADY over your new toys? Really? REALLY?!"

"No--but there isn't anything to DO."

SERIOUSLY? Dollar signs start flashing around my brain only to be replaced by the mom-rage and "Those ungrateful..." musings that visit me so frequently.

If you can't find something to do, I will FIND YOU something to do!" I know this is an old one. I know parents have said it for centuries, but I couldn't help myself. The problem is, that WORKED on us--we knew that our parents would give us something HORRIBLE to do, so we made ourselves scarce, if only for an hour. THIS is how I know my children are spoiled.
"Okay, mommy--what should we do?"

"Fine--first, you can bring these piles of laundry upstairs and put them in your drawers."

"But why do we have to do that?"

"Because FIRST of all, they are YOUR clothes and you should be putting them away anyway, but SECOND of all, you ASKED me to find you something to do--I didn't say you were going to like it!"

"FIIIIINE. We'll FIND something to do."

Here's where it gets tricky--on some days, I am so annoyed that they are so spoiled and mouthy that I continue the battle for the entire day--forcing them to clean up laundry, toys, dishes (which translated means that I clean up these things with them following me around and whining about having to do it), but on others I say, "Great. I do not want to see you for AT LEAST fifteen minutes unless someone is bleeding. And not the kind of blood that doesn't move on your skin--the kind of blood that's of the picked-scab variety. I'm talking about the kind of blood that makes you think we need an ER. THEN and ONLY THEN you may report to me."

Thirty-seconds later: "Mommy--Ryan won't let me use the pirate costume."

"I don't care."

"That's nice--you don't even CARE about us--you just want to work on your COMPUTER all the time!"

"Go play."

"Mommy...can we have..."


"...but we NEED..."

"All you need are the MILLIONS of toys you have in your PLAY ROOM. Do you know that A LOT of children do not HAVE play rooms? You have an entire LEVEL of a house devoted to YOU and your play things, yet you seem to "NEED"  everything else. GO PLAY."

[Almost] Two minutes later (yes--I time it now):

"Mommy--we are going to put on ALL the costumes and then we are going to pretend--"

"Now you are telling me what you are GOING to do? Why don't you DO it and then tell me how much fun you had?!"

"But I'm just telling you that--"

 "Don't tell me--ANYTHING. Just DO."

"I know, I just wanted you to know that--"


"[Exasperated sigh] FIIIINNNE!"

I hear them going back and forth down there. It has been about three minutes now--a record, yet the littlest one is squeaking about something that sounds like it could end in her showing her face up here. I was close--she hops up the stairs to not only show me her face--but to show me her ENTIRE NAKED BODY. No words...

"I just didn't feewel comfowrtabewell in my undewerpants, Momma. now I'm NUDIE--and I need cwothes!" she hops her naked butt up the stairs to her room, singing Christmas carols and (is that Britney?) as she hops. Hearing a (young) five-year-old sing Britney Spears as she naked(ly?) hops around the house is disturbing if not funny. it seems three minutes is their limit. Or maybe it's MINE.

Here come the other two--I'm waving the white flag. Right after I give the lecture about how many toys they have that they can't be bothered to play with and how they WILL NOT play with ANYTHING that requires an electrical outlet or a battery until they learn how to play with actual toys AND each other. I'm selling it all on ebay and buying a yacht. I'm going to call my yacht "Sans Children" and I am going to sail it out to the middle of the sea where inevitably my cell phone will ring (or the Coast Guard will find me) and I will inform my children (AND the Coast Guard) that I have NOTHING to do and NOTHING to play with and I LOVE it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Children of Mass Destruction

[I started this last week and my blog stopped working, so I was out of commission for a few days.  I'm BAA-AAACK--and I decided to continue on this one. I don't know HOW I got from A to Z (I rarely DO!), but at least I finally FINISHED it!]

I don't know what's WRONG with me. I KNOW there is a list of the MILLIONS of things that we definitely KNOW are wrong with me, but some things are still a mystery. For example, all three children are now at school, yet my brain seems to still be fuzzy and I don't get NEARLY enough done considering the little people only hinder me for a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. Don't get me wrong--they do a FANTASTIC job of hindering me--they passed Hindering 101 years ago and are now working for a Master of Science in the Hinderance-of- Mother degree. It is AMAZING how skilled they are--so much so that they do not even have to BE here to hinder my progress. Gifted children, I tell you...

When all is said and done, I have at least five good hours to myself EVERY DAY. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That was a bit dramatic since it actually isn't true. I don't have that time on weekends, so it's not EVERY day,  but twenty-five hours a week are ALL mine--unencumbered by yelling, screaming and fighting, or little people running around behind me undoing what I've already done. Unless I'M the one in a hindering mood--then I'm in trouble.

You see, I KNOW that after the last seven years of giving up my mind, body and home to three little people, it's going to take a while to bounce back, but I still cannot help but think that TWENTY-FIVE hours should be enough hours to get SOMETHING done. I can't even say that I am resting or napping (which I LOVE and feel we all have EARNED)--I am even too tired for THAT on most days. In my defense, my children wake me up almost EVERY night for some reason or another. I have a friend who told me that she locks her door at night, so I tried that and it worked--BRIEFLY. NOW they simply knock on the door and keep knocking. If we don't answer, they assume we can't hear them so they start POUNDING. And screaming. LOUDLY (as if there are OTHER kinds of screams) until one of us finally gets up to talk to them. Depending on the day (or WEEK) we've had and how truly exhausted we are, we either A. coax them back to bed--THEIR OWN beds (which--when I do it at least--takes a good hour or two depending on the child and the night), or 2. grab them and silence them by bringing them to OUR bed (which ensures immediate silence and a HORRIBLE (if ANY) sleep to follow). Each child takes a turn doing this to us each night of the week (perhaps giving us ONE night off, during which we wake up anyway since we are so used to doing it) and THEN all three will do it on the same night (THAT is always SO MUCH FUN). I know what you're thinking--"The Supernanny would NEVER allow this to happen..." right? "No WONDER these children are up every night--there is no consistency AND they let their children sleep with them!"  Don't you think I KNOW that?! It is SO EASY to be on THAT side of the computer. I was there once--all judgy and well-rested. *SIGH* Well, those days are gone and here I am now--the person who allows her children to wear her down on a regular basis.

There is something you should know about having children (if you haven't already learned it through experience). Having children in the house is like sharing your home with Iraqi insurgents. Maybe not EXACTLY like that, but you can't trust them--AT ALL. They are cute--I will give them that--sometimes RIDICULOUSLY so, but what a great way to conquer the enemy, don't you think? Go all Cindy Brady-meets-Shirley Temple-meets that kid from Jerry Maguire--on their a@$&s? That ENSURES victory, doesn't it? Here's how they do it. They start out acting like you are the ones in control. They slip into your hearts undetected and then one night, BAM--a nightmare. On just a few hours of sleep, you think, "My child just had a nightmare--how can I turn him away? What kind of person makes a sweet child deal with a nightmare all on his own? I have nightmares ALL the time and I don't want to be alone when I wake up--why should a small child who is MUCH more adorable and vulnerable than I have to be alone?"

He doesn't. You first try to bring them back to their own beds and console them by rubbing their backs and giving them hugs and kisses. Easy enough, right? Easy for some, but in THIS house, the children crawl up your body while hugging you and refuse to put their feet down on their beds, indicating that their BEDS are the source of the nightmares. If they were in YOUR bed, they would be much safer from the horrible nightmares. You fight for as long as you are able to do ANYTHING at that time of night, try to force them to lay down with you in THEIR beds (which is only slightly detrimental to your scoliosis) which only works SOMETIMES and always results in your staying with them for a good three hours of slight dozing on and off while you try to figure out HOW to escape without throwing the child into a fit that will wake up the entire block. After that happens a few times with EACH child and one day with ALL of the children, you start to think "What is the big deal if they sleep with us? It's not like they are going to do it as TEENAGERS. In FACT, when they are teenagers, they won't even want to spend ANY time with us--they CERTAINLY won't want to SLEEP with us, so REALLY we should WANT them to sleep with us now. SOME people have "family beds" and if those children can make it through life unscathed, certainly my allowing my child to get into bed with me so that the noise will JUST stop--I mean--so that the NIGHTMARES stop--isn't going to be detrimental, right?  Only it IS. Because ONE night with ONE child turns into THREE nights with THREE children while negotiating with them in the off  nights to just sleep in their own beds. Of course, they don't want you to give up completely and they LIKE the routine (yes--the good news is, you finally  have a routine. I think you KNOW what the bad news is...), so they usually grant a reprieve somewhere in the middle of all this. On THIS particular nightmare-free night, your spouse will usually be up either coughing or using the bathroom an impossible amount of times just to be sure that you do not get any sleep at all even though your children are finally letting you. Stonewall Jackson couldn't have planned it better. You see, with so little sleep, you confuse easily. Add to that any illnesses or weaknesses you may already have and they see your white flag waving before you even KNOW where your white flag IS.

While you are in this state of sleep-deprived-dementia,  they use ALL of the persuasive marketing tools (you know--the ones you learned about in high school--maybe even college or GRAD SCHOOL--YOUR children knew them as toddlers--I told you, GIFTED) on you, their favorite (and most effective) being circular reasoning. Depending upon your degree of SDD, they may not even have to go the complete circle (so to speak) before your confusion get the best of you, so you cave and allow them to play ping pong on the roof with their little sister--AS THE BALL.

Every so often they will throw a red herring at you and slip in some name-calling--these kids ARE clever--and it is all too much for your exhausted brain. You know you would trade even the cutest one for five uninterrupted hours, and THEN you get to deal with the guilt (yes, guilt IS for the weak, and I think I've shown just how weak you are at this point) of being the mother who jokes about trading her children for sleep. Their rhetoric works just as planned and suddenly THEY are in control. Only it isn't sudden at all, is it? They strategically planned to conquer...YOU...and they succeeded.

We really need to look into using small children to fight our battles. There would be no use for WEAPONS of ANY type of destruction--we would have "CHILDREN of Mass Destruction" and if we got these little people on OUR side, we would definitely win--just think of the innocent lives we would save by doing it like this. I know it SEEMS wrong and inhumane, but remember--the only "weapons" would be under four feet tall and would not use physical means to defeat the enemy (except for the occasional kicking feet or freakishly strong elbow lean on the pelvis).

I've read (and others have told me) that children know when you are not feeling well and they adjust their behavior accordingly. When I read (and heard) that, those discussing it indicated that children feel sorry that you are not well, so they become better behaved. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Clearly THOSE children are not in on the "plan." THOSE children do not realize that the time to attack is when your enemy is weak. My children sense weakness and make their moves. I was sick the other day and you would have thought that fifty-three children stormed the house, armed with baked goods (and FROSTING of course), candy and toys. By the end of the day, they were quite literally jumping ON me and I was quite literally BEGGING for mercy. And I was AWAKE for [most of] this. They just...kept...talking...until I had NO IDEA what was happening around me and I couldn't make it stop.

 I'm waving my white flag vigorously, but they scoff at my flag and continue the fight. Though I admire their tenacity, I am THIS is why so many parents say, "One day you are going to have children JUST LIKE YOU and I am going to laugh...and laugh...and LAUGH!" I hate when my mother is right.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I love how every blog I try to make a comment on tries to "prove" that I am human. Evidently, if I am able to type words like "sIttonniT" and "Do  OmeD," I am a living and breathing being. Who knew? I just cannot help but be insulted by some of the things it asks me to type. I swear, one time I typed THREE different times and the words were; "Lo  o    S   E R," (though it was spread out over the page and had random lines in it) "so R    r E     E    E" and  "gOT    2   gv U    p." Seriously?!

I want to see the little man who is behind these "words" to find out HIS story. In this particular case (there are SO many--I usually look around the room when it happens to see if I am being video taped. Because if I WERE being videotaped, I would suddenly be able to SEE the perpetrator by simply looking around the room...), the computer seemed to become irate when I was too incompetent to type the correct words and/or symbols.  It's even WORSE to hear the audio version of whatever it is the strange little man wants you to type. It is seriously like something out of a horror movie. C-R-E-E-P-Y!

Anyway, on this particular day, instead of letting me comment after the third mishap, it asked me to type in numbers. Specifically, it asked me to ADD numbers. Now, we all know that I am NOT the brightest bulb, but I have not lost the ability to do simple addition--ESPECIALLY when I have a calculator. SO I DEFINITELY got the answers right. Which is why it was strange that I got the message, "Sorry, but we cannot confirm that you are human" THREE TIMES. Maybe the little man thought that there was no way ANY human would go to THAT much trouble to type in, 'Great blog--thanks for following me!" but he CLEARLY has not met THIS new blogger. IT'S ON, strange little man behind the computer. WE'LL SEE who is or is not human once and for all. (I'm not sure what my plan is here, but I wanted to scare him the way he has been scaring me. I'm afraid it was more like the time Ross tried to act tough on Friends--HILARIOUS to think that  he THOUGHT he could be tough, and only scary because he truly believed he WAS tough...either way, it IS on...)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Niceness" is DEFINITELY underrated

I try to be a nice person all the time, but as I get older, I get crankier. I also think there is a direct correlation to how many times I gave birth and how crabby I am. If I were that Duggar woman, you would have to HIDE from me on a daily basis. Seriously--if I am THIS crazy with THREE, IMAGINE what I would be like with THIRTEEN (I shudder to think of it)--or NINETEEN (I honestly have no idea how many children she has--I'm not sure SHE knows, either--and I don't blame or judge her for it AT ALL-- is it twenty? Twenty-five? Who cares, really--after the tenth or eleventh she MUST have lost her mind, right? Because I lost mine and I only have (I know I told you, but it is pertinent to the story) THREE). I only saw parts of the show (I think it IS nineteen--isn't the show CALLED "Nineteen kids AND COUNTING"?!) YEARS ago, but she appeared to be happy enough--certainly not cranky. I feel like that is the dementia that takes over when you have NINETEEN kids and you are STILL counting, so the lack of crankiness doesn't really count in that case, I guess. So maybe I need to have eleven more children to conquer my crabby...

Oh my goodness--I had to step away for a few minutes so that I could LAUGH and then CRY. N-E-V-E-R GONNA HAPPEN! And not just because I am missing my parts. Last night at dinner, Ryan (my middle daughter) looked at me and said, "I really want a brother."  I need you to remember that we were ALL sitting at dinner TOGETHER--Addison (the youngest SISTER) was on her left and BRAYDEN (the oldest--BROTHER) was on her right. I stared at her for a second, looked at Brayden...looked back at her and she said it again. "WHAT? I want a BROTHER!" I slowly looked at Brayden, then looked back at her. We all started to laugh. She then clarified, "NOOOOO--I mean, I want a LITTLE brother," to which the other two vehemently agreed. Interesting...but probably not going to happen. I mean, DEFINITELY not going to happen (even MARY had her parts--not that I'M ANYTHING like Mary--nothing "immaculate" has gone on in MY life for YEARS. Is this sacreligious? If so, can I be forgiven? Please don't answer these questions--I don't want to know.), but maybe one day...probably NOT, but I DO think about adopting or becoming a foster parent. WHEN  (and IF) I get my brain back. You don't need to worry, though. My husband would NEVER go for it--he won't even let me get a PUPPY!

So back to me being nice...I kind of lost my "niceness" these last few years, but I still try to do random acts of kindness every day--things that don't really FEEL like random acts of kindness because I think that everyone who isn't a big jerk would do them. For example, holding the door for the person behind you at school, the store, church, gas station, get it. ANYWHERE there is a door and you are entering or exiting. This seems like it would be a natural thing to do, right? I mean, you are going in--you simply hold out your hand so the door doesn't slam into the face of the unsuspecting soul behind you, OR you step aside and--yes, I'm gonna say it--ALLOW that person to enter FIRST. Crazy, I know, but it CAN BE DONE. I watch my children and their classmates push each other out of the way (sometimes they even STEP on each other!) to get to the door first and I realize that there are TOO MANY "grown ups" who do the same thing. It always makes me laugh--OUT LOUD--when the person in front of me goes out of his or her way to NOT touch the door when they enter a building and does not even LOOK to see if someone is entering after them. REALLY? REALLY, person who cannot be bothered to take one half of a second to glance back and hold the door for another human being--you are okay with that? You are okay with the door slamming in someone's face because you wanted to be ONE HALF of a SECOND earlier?! 

Of course, I always feel guilty when I hold the door for a person who is several feet away and they feel like they have to hurry because I am holding the door for them. I'm always sure to tell them to take their time, though they usually start running. THEN it is no longer a good deed. I feel compelled to tell them about when I was pregnant with my youngest and I had to waddle with the other two maniacs to hurry to get the door and that isn't really "helpful" at all. I am QUITE certain they LOVE that I tell them my story. Maybe THAT'S why I hold doors for people. Not to be nice, but to FORCE them to listen to my stories.  Hmmm....interesting...

The thing is, common courtesy and random acts of kindness are melding into one. I always thought that random acts of kindness needed to be big gestures--things that people wouldn't normally do--perhaps because they hadn't THOUGHT of doing them. Like paying the toll for the car behind you (which I tried to do a few times a month when I lived in Buffalo (I would hit the toll pretty frequently commuting from home, to school, to work, to work...and it was only like fifteen cents..something even I could afford!), though once I moved, I was rarely on toll roads), or bringing a homeless person lunch (though a few years ago when we lived in Virginia, I was driving with my friend's daughter and my oldest two. We came upon a homeless guy and I wanted to give him food, but I thought it wouldn't be appropriate with someone else's child in my car (I wasn't sure how her parents would feel about me pulling up to some strange man with their daughter in my car). I decided to slow down (not stop) and crack my window enough to throw a juice box and a cheese stick AT him. Yes...AT him. So now, instead of thinking, "Wow--it is so nice to give food to those who need it, she is thinking, "Wow--Mrs. Corwin THROWS FOOD at homeless people!" Great.

Bringing your cart back at the grocery store (though when my kids were little, I LIKED to find a parking spot with a cart next to it!) or helping someone to carry something awkward or heavy are just things that EVERYONE does, right?  Or helping someone who is short a dollar at the register (or when we were at the airport last year and this younger (I KNOW--EVERYONE is younger than me--he was about twenty) guy didn't know he would need to pay for his bag (because it was like a half of an inch bigger than the box. STUPID DELTA). He tried to pay with a credit card, but Delta evidently does not accept credit cards for baggage--NICE. I know there were people who were far wealthier than us who simply looked annoyed with this guy instead of feeling compassion for him. I know that the Delta personnell COULD have thought of SOMETHING to do to help this guy so that he could make his flight, but they chose to give that blank "I'm through with you--thereisnothingIcandoforyou...NEEEEXXXT" look that I HATE. At least PRETEND to want to help me, ya know?! We didn't necessarily have an extra twenty to spend, but I have BEEN that guy before, and even if I hadn't--how could I NOT help him?  We paid for his bag, which embarrassed him to the point of discomfort--maybe because everyone was GAWKING at him. He went on about how he would get the money at the first ATM and we both told him not to and not to give it a second thought. When things like that happen, I KNOW I married the right person. I cannot even IMAGINE what some of my ex-boyfriends would have said about THAT behavior--especially if we were hurting financially, but my husband and I were BOTH on the same page and we didn't even have to discuss it); or letting someone go in front of you either A. because you are being nice or 2. because they have ONE thing and YOU have ONE HUNDRED...everyone does THAT, right? WRONG.  This is another case of me thinking that everyone thinks like I do--I know, scary, but some of it is good...

So  on December 13, I decided to officially join this facebook 12 Days of Giving challenge. Although I try to do nice things on a regular basis (I swear I do--I'm not crabby ALL the time), this was going that extra step. Instead of dropping extra money in a toll, I drove through drive-thru simply to buy food for the next car. I bought coffee/cocoa for the construction workers down the road. I bought lunch for a few people at Wawa. The problem is, my "random" acts of kindness are NOT kind to our wallet, which is NOT kind to my husband! It does feel great, though. I always want to be the person who could pay the $200 bill for the person in front of me whose credit card is declined. Even when we HAD money, I don't remember ever doing THAT and it disappoints me. 

Yesterday I volunteered in my son's class. Every time I go to his (or his sister's) class, I try to bring coffee/cocoa and a treat to the teachers (mostly because I remember how excited I got when parents would do nice things for ME when I taught--it would make my whole week (sometimes MONTH) so much brighter! While I was paying for the coffee/cocoa, their Spanish and PE teachers got in line behind me. I said hello to them and chatted for a minute before I decided to pay for their lunches. At first they were surprised, then both couldn't stop thanking me as if I did something far more than pay for their meals--at WAWA. Both gave me a hug and I couldn't help but think, 'This really isn't a "RANDOM" act of kindness because they KNOW me and now feel in debted to me. I told them to NEVER mention it again. The thing is, I was going to pay for the person behind me anyway, so isn't it great that the two people behind me do things to directly help my children every day? Two birds, one stone. So to speak...

ANYWAY...I spilled a little coffee when I was trying to get into my car. THEN the coffee did a triple flip as I pulled out of the parking lot. I almost died (quite literally) pulling over to try to pick it up so it wouldn't spill anymore. When I parked at the school, the cups tipped AGAIN and when I went to catch ONE, the other lost its top and spilled all over the driver's seat. Most people would have given up on the coffee by now, but NOT ME. I'm P-R-E-T-T-Y tenacious when I want to be. I DID NOT go through all of THAT to simply THROW OUT the coffee. I entered the school soaked with coffee/cocoa mixture and proudly delivered (what I can only assume was tossed into the garbage) each coffee with the Reader's Digest version of the previous events. I'm a dropper. I'm a dropper and a spiller. AND a faller (refer to These are the things I do ALL the time and I've learned to live with it. I don't ACCEPT it--I live with it. But at least I can be a NICE dropper/spiller/faller, right?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fight for your right to...throw MY party...?

I have the BEST friends. Really--I do. I don't know why I have been so lucky to meet and befriend such great people, but I'm happy it continues to be the case. I don't necessarily DESERVE to have these amazing people in my life, but they seem to stick with me no matter how I behave, so I guess I should just be happy and keep my mouth shut. BAHAHAHAHAHA--as if I could EVER keep my mouth shut!

Now that you know how lucky I am to have wonderful friends, I need you to know that I HATE throwing parties (seems unrelated, but bear with me)--HATE--with a BURNING passion. I always buy stuff I don't use either because I forget or because my children "use" whatever it is (party hats, blowhorns, TABLECLOTHS...?!) BEFORE the day of the party. S-T-R-E-S-S. I know some moms who are SO GREAT at throwing parties and who seem to LOVE it. Nary a bead of sweat forms on their brow and they seem to even ENJOY themselves AT the party.  I want to hate them because of my insane jealousy, but instead I admire them and continue to hate parties.

My friend, Tonya is the poster-person for this type of party--she is so..."together."  She has three kids as well (though she does it MUCH better than I do!)--her oldest are twins--a boy and a girl--and her youngest boy is about three (maybe four or five--I don't even know how old MY kids are half the time! That's a blog for another day!) years younger, I think. When we were neighbors, my kids were always invited to their birthday parties and they were all so fun! She was always the perfect host and always had themes that complemented each other and the boys and girls got the greatest goody bags--with babies even getting age appropriate gifts. I buy goody bags and forget to give them to the kids--and I NEVER get cool or appropriate things when I DO remember. The babies end up with blow pops and the middle schoolersget A, B, C books. Tonya had everything PERFECT--right down to the last detail and she NEVER broke a sweat. I throw a party and don't breathe again UNTIL IT'S OVER. It's utter chaos, and the WORST part is I'm always running around like a lunatic with my hair wet from the shower I barely took (or the sweat that inevitably encompasses my body) as guests are arriving and I usually end up with some disaster like no cake, a missing child or forty two-year-olds running around and screaming like crazy people--SOME disaster or another to set me into sweaty mess mode. It can be fifty degrees below zero and I will have sweat POURING out of me like someone attacked me with a bucket of water. Did you ever see Ben Stiller's reaction--to Thai food I think--in Along Came Polly? I make him look calm, cool and collected. Especially "cool."

The worst part of the party for ME  is the opening of the presents. ALL of the children want to open the presents AT THE SAME TIME and there is yelling and fighting (not just from me!), tissue paper and gift bags are thrown about like Jiffy Pop (I get it--you are all too young to know Jiffy Pop--let's just say they throw everything up in the air. I need to work on getting better metaphors aimed at my younger audience--noted) and I never know WHO gave WHAT gift making the thank you cards that I NEVER send that much more difficult to do.  I'm getting stressed out just THINKING about it.

For Brayden's second birthday (WHY I would go to so much trouble for a two-year-old birthday is BEYOND me--those of you who do not have parties until your kids are in school are BRILLIANT! Once you start, you can't go back and with THREE...ugghhh!), I invited WAY TOO MANY kids and their parents all came as well. I was a wreck! Worrying about fifty people and activities to do with toddlers and other kids (aged 1-10) almost gave me a breakdown. LUCKILY, my college roommate and dear friend, Kate came down to help to see me through it. I felt like those of you who are lucky enough to hire a party planner or who were able to have a wedding planner--SHE worried about the organization and fun keeping the Niagara Falls of sweat at bay. I was still kind of stressed--but she made it SO MUCH BETTER!  I don't think I mentioned how CRANKY I get when I entertain...cranky is really too nice. I am SUCH a B%#@! when I throw a party. I don't know WHAT happens to me. Not just because of the sweat (which really doesn't help with the crankiness), but ANYTHING can set me off for NO reason. My husband is usually the object of my rage, but when Kate comes she runs interference--and knows how to handle me (and my RIDICULOUS behavior).  Unfortunately, she moved to Scotland and we moved to Montana--where I missed my middle daughter's birthday (in July) completely (I didn't actually MISS her birthday--I just didn't give her a party--which was noted by her brother, making her dwell on it more than she usually would. Brothers are great like that, aren't they?!). I finally decided to have her party in October and I told her I did it on purpose so that she could have a Halloween birthday party. Not the first time I lied to her (that DAY) and not the last. The number of lies I tell my children each day is a source for ANOTHER blog post. Or a book... youngest daughter turned five in November (YIKES!) and I realized I had to give her a party--mostly because she kept reminding me and on the day of her birthday she cried and told me, " wroooined my bewerwfday because you won't let me have a pawewerty," (she was REALLY tired!) because her siblings (again--GREAT helpers with this!) told her that she would have a party on her birthday. Nevermind that we celebrated with friends over the weekend (her birthday was on a Monday) I brought a cake into preschool and we were taking her to a fun restaurant for dinner...she thought she would have a huge party at home. NICE. I tried explaining to her, but again--she was EXHAUSTED (and a bit of a brat, I hate to admit about my baby). Of course, AFTER the fun night, she could NOT stop thanking us and smiling, so there's THAT. ANYWAY...when I spoke with "Aunt" Kate about the dread I felt simply ANTICIPATING the party that was not planned, she offered to save the day again. LOVE her!

Here's the problem: Kate came and truly saved the day, but I was a BEAST. Really. I was SOOOOO awful to her--and to EVERYONE. I told you I am horrible, but I was even WORSE this time. And if she hadn't come it would have been DISASTROUS! The thing is, Kate knew not to take anything personally. This is why men and women have such a problem in relationships. Everything I said and did to Kate would have sent my husband to an attorney, but Kate just nodded and smiled or walked away while I did whatever it was I was doing to sabbotage her efforts to make the party stress-free. When the last person left at 4:30, we all exhaled and I felt really good about how it went. Kate decided to give her son a bath (which turned into ALL children getting in their suits and into the tub. How fun for her, right? It gets worse. Before she came down, the doorbell rang. One of Addison's friends from school had lost the invitation and thought the party STARTED at 4. It was 5:20, so they thought they made it for the last hour of the party. As we chatted with the mother and cousin, Addison played with her friend and Kate and her husband watched television with their son in the other room. WORST. FRIEND. EVER. I couldn't even MAKE it stop! I finally told the mom that we needed to get dinner, but by then it was too late--everyone was tired and hungry and...TIRED. SO RUDE--I KNOW--I just didn't know what to say to the friends mom. Oh well--lesson learned I guess! 

So the general theme here is that I have great friends who make it possible for me to do things I most likely would not do without their help. And I still hate parties. My son's birthday is in January and I'm already wondering if we can bribe him into skipping the party. I'm pretty sure I've maxed out my party-planning pleas with Kate and even if I didn't, I SHOULD have, so I'm going to try some breathing exercises (you know--the ones that are COMPLETELY USELESS during childbirth?) and try to count to ten when I feel stressed. I'm pretty sure I will get to google (yes, son informed me when he was four that google is the highest number and that I don't know ANYTHING if I think it's infinity...THIS is the person I am worried about throwing a party for? REALLY?!) SEVERAL times, but we shall see. UNLESS Tonya is reading this and wants to be my next victim party helper...? One of these days my friends are going to realize how great they are and how NOT great I am, but  hopefully by then my children will be planning their own parties.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I gave MY kids a terrible Christmas present...

So I viewed this link on SuperMomWannabe's blog and I couldn't stop laughing. After sharing it like a thousand times on facebook, I couldn't resist doing it to my own children. I'm sure I am too late for Jimmy Kimmel's show, but it was still fun. I found it HILARIOUS, but they are MY children, so of course I did. Admittedly, my video isn't HALF as funny as the previous clip, but I had a ball doing it! After we stopped taping, my daughter said, "I DO like bananas, Mommy--I was just kidding~thank you for thinking of me!" and gave me a huge hug and kiss. SOMETIMES, the madness is worth it...

I Gave My Kids a Terrible Present ~ Jimmy Kimmel's YouTube Challenge |

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Healthy tips

I need to be a DIY type of girl. I have so many friends who make EVERYTHING--from wheat flour to washtubs--themselves. I remember sitting in a MOPS meeting when I first moved to Montana, listening to women talk about how it was a difficult year for them because they had to buy flour at the store. I was happy to hear it, since I had been contemplating giving them that information myself. I truly thought they may not KNOW that you can buy flour at the store. Why ELSE would you make your own?! Since that time, I actually had the experience of making flour, though just the one time. I DO know the benefits of doing most things yourself, only I am lucky to get out of bed on my own most days--I can't IMAGINE churning butter! Since I'm not sure what I have to offer in the way of crafts, these are some strategies I use(d) to help my children to eat healthier and to help keep myself relatively sane as a parent. 1. Always stock fuit and veggies in your freezer. I use frozen veggies to cool down hot soup and my kids LOVE it. They actually like to eat the veggies frozen, too...and I say, go for it! I use frozen berries in smoothies and they eat them plain or in yogurt, but the real reason I keep them stocked is so that I can cool down their oatmeal. This is the BEST oatmeal recipe I throw together in the morning: Ingredients: Steel-cut oats (fill a bowl leaving room for yogurt or milk) ground flax seed frozen banana (thawed)or extra ripe banana any frozen berries milk or yogurt I mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and put it in the microwave for about four minutes. Yes, I know they are steel cut oats and they supposedly cannot be cooked in the microwave, but I do it almost every day and my kids LOVE it. I use any or all combinations on that list to make their oatmeal. Vanilla yogurt tastes the best in it, but if you use the banana (or any of the fruit, really), plain will work. I try to buy the greek yogurt (SOOO good for you and high in protein!) when I can, but considering I will have to sell a KIDNEY to afford it these days, store brand yogurt is fine. 2. Keep olives, chick peas, beans...anything easy and easy to eat with little hands in your cupboards. When my kids were in high chairs, I would crack open a few cans and dump them on their trays. They ate healthy and had fun doing it. We do "Olive Fingers" which I've found is frowned upon almost EVERYWHERE else, but it helped my kids to LOVE to eat olives. Of course, my Addie got in trouble by some other adult recently for playing with her food--oops! I quickly explained that I actually TAUGHT her to put olives on all of her fingers and wave them all around. Nice--I know! But to this day, al three of them LOVE olives. Coincidence? I think not! 3. Have them make their own meal. I did this ALL the time when my oldest was younger. I slacked a bit more with the other two and it is quite noticeable. Don't get me wrong--I have three great eaters, but the younger two are DEFINITELY more difficult than the first. And the YOUNGEST...well, SHE is my pickiest--probably because I stopped parenting once I had her. In my defense, I was tired. SOOOO VERY TIRED. Anyway, I used to give my son a plate with spinach, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers,sprouts, avocado, chicken, turkey--I would put different foods into different compatments on his plate, give hime a 100% whole wheat pita or bread and tell him to make his own sandwich. At two, he was making a sandwich Dagwood would have been proud to eat (if you don't know who Dagwood is, please don't tell me. I feel old.) and was choosing (and loving) healthy options. 4. Slip spinach and/or ground flax seed into practically EVERYTHING. These two "super" foods do not taste like anything. Really. They take on the flavor of whatever you par with them, so they can be mixed in smoothies, brownies, soups...whatever. Obviously you don't want to advertise that you are doing it, nor do you want the food to be green (no one likes green food--unless it's salad, but you know what I mean), so if you are making a smoothie for example, mix the spinach in first and add the berries until the color has no signs of green. There were a few green smoothies and popsicles we had to get through before I decided it would just be easier to hide it altogether. There are so many things we all do each day that we assume others are doing as well--but we are wrong! We need to share EVERYTHING with others to make their lives easier! Number two (eew--don't be gross!) actually came from advice my sister gave me about going to dinner with a toddler. She said that if there isn't a salad bar, I should always ask for some olives or chickpeas, crackers or beans to give my toddler something to do while we wait for and eat our meal. BRILLIANT! I did it EVERY time we went out to eat and some people were SO VERY accomodating. Others, not so much, which helped me to assess their gratuity. I ALWAYS tip AT LEAST 20% as long as the person doesn't act like waiting on me is the worst thing that has EVER happened to him. I don't even care if mistakes are made--just don't act like it's MY fault. It's when my being there seems to be an inconvenience that I "SHOW THEM" and only tip 15%. I'm heartless, I know. I waited tables for years and what I lacked in...skill...ability...balance...I made up for in personality. Not to sound like an arrogant jerk (which I kind of did...), but I was always friendly and [tried to] acted as though my customers were doing me a favor by being there. I think of that when I ask if they have crackers or olives or something for my child. I also think about the fact that bringing those things won't just make it easier for will make THEIR job easier when they don't have a frazzled table with an irate toddler to deal with all night. Looking out for the greater good... I may not be handy with a knitting needle, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve for this parenting business. I don't know if ANY of it is helpful, but if you are sitting on something that you think everyone just knows to do, share it, because chancer are there is SOMEONE (like ME for instance!) who WANTS to know and is waiting for YOU to tell!

I'm DOING my BEST. THAT'S why it is SO VERY SAD...

I need to cover a few things today, so hang on--and try to follow. First--I TRIED to make paragraphs--I did. In FACT, when I initially type out my ramblingsdroning words, I always include paragraphs. And indentations. In FACT, the last post I wrote (Elves...) had about eight lines between each paragraph, yet when I viewed it on the blog--NOTHING. I swear--I am learning to LIKE paragraphs. I've used them since I posted in OCTOBER, yet you are unable to see that because they GO AWAY for some reason AFTER I hit "Publish." I need to take a class or something... (New paragraph) Yesterday I thought I would take it upon myself to insert paragraphs (AGAIN) into my work. Surely it was just a little problem that could be fixed with the click of the mouse. Yeah...about that. What took my dear friend at a day to create, it took me ONE CLICK to destroy. You see, I have a similar relationship with computers as I did with my hair (back when it was salvageable and I actually TRIED to look good). Everything could be just fine, yet I feel the need to TOUCH it and BAM! I look like Yound Frankenstein. THAT'S what happened with the computer except it was FAR worse than any Young Frankenstein hairdo I have EVER had. The computer (like my thighs, hips and stomach) hates me and will not stop until it has defeated me. I don't think it got the memo about how EASY I am--I know what you are thinking and no--I DO NOT mean "EASY" like a drunk freshman college student with daddy issues. I MEAN easy like to DEFEAT (though I guess that is kind of what the other would mean, too...hmmm...). (New paragraph) For example, if I were being chased by a criminal or...well, ANYONE...I am pretty sure I would fall to the ground in the fetal position. I mean, I would think that if they were CHASING me, they must REALLY want whatever it is more than I would really want anything. EASY TO DEFEAT. Another example, If my son asks one-million-five-hundred-and-thirty-FOUR times for something, I'm gonna let him do it. Or have it. Drive the car at seven, put his sister in the dryer, drink vodka--WHATEVER. If my youngest asks me...well, ANYTHING in that squeaky-sweet-"you-are-the-best-mommy-EVER" voice and face,I will let her have/do it immediately. If my middle child metions that she is often forgotten about or even HINTS at having "middle-child-syndrome," whatever she wants is hers. E-A-S-Y. So WHY the computer INSISTS on going through such ELABORATE steps to bring me down is beyond me. LUCKILY, Melissa at does NOT hate me--YET--and was willing to swoop down to fix the disaster that I created. She was even able to [somehow] post my AWARD. (New paragraph) Now for those PARAGRAPHS...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crazy-Russian-Biker- Mobster-Dude

There is a creepy old Russian man who yells at me and judges me every day. He rides his bike everywhere at all times of the year (which is actually a NICE thing about him)and I'm certain that one day HE is going to run into ME. Crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude lives down the street and is responsible for getting his grandson on and off the bus each morning and afternoon. I'm not sure what else he is responsible for each day, though he does find it necessary to comment on just about everything I do (or DO NOT DO) and he is CLEARLY unimpressed with me and my--mothering parenting the way I choose to parent my children.

Every morning he yells, "Despierte" (?) or something he THINKS I should know in Russian and viciously indicates with arms flailing that my children should walk down the driveway and around the yard instead of through the yard to get the bus each morning. "Profesora..." he chants as I just nod and smile and pray to GOD that the bus will come before he A. judges me for EVERYTHING or 2. I have a breakdown. Several posts ago (okay..."several" in this case is like FIFTY, but you know what I mean and if you DON'T, for the love of all that is good in this world could you PLEASE PRETEND to know?!) I wrote about how HORRIBLE mornings are around here and on our particularly bad days, I find myself fighting the urge to cuss out crazy-old-Russian mobster (yes, I believe he is in the mob which doesn't bode well for me, I know. Of course, I would take a mob boss over an irate, underrested mom ANY day, but that is because I KNOW what we are capable of--ESPECIALLY when we are being judged on our parenting. BRING IT, old what I say under my breath on THOSE days, but usually I am as polite as I possibly could be and encourage my children to be polite as well.

The problem is, crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude isn't happy with pleasantries and judgment. Crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude wants MORE. "I FRIEND, " he yells at my children every morning. "Despierte...I FRIEND. YOU LIKE--I FRIEND?" and shakes his head disgustedly when I don't respond the way he thinks I should. I'm really not sure what he wants here--My children all say good morning and we are all VERY polite--unless it's one of THOSE mornings. If it is one of THOSE mornings, I mutter under my breath like a twelve-year-old and shake my head at the ground while intermittently...urging my children to hurry. Okay--you know me better than that. I scream for my children to get ready like the maniacal post-menopausal, sleep-deprived lunatic I am and say "GOOD MORNING." as I sneer to myself and mutter, "I don't know what else you WANT from me Old Man...we SAID good morning..."

 We first...met...our kindly old neighbor (or pain-in-the-ass-crazy-Russian stalker) when we first moved here and waited for the bus for the first time. I urged my children to make eye contact and to be respectful as he indicated by gesturing vigorously that my children were not dressed appropriately for the weather and that they should not be standing on our lawn because of the morning dew. We live on the corner of two roads that have cul-de-sacs and our yard is on both streets. The bus stops next to our lawn. If you care (which I can't imagine that you DO), the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, which my children know all too well. I COULD make them only walk in the street and I COULD make them stay off of the grass, but I don't WANT to. I DON'T CARE if they are in the lawn and I DON'T CARE if the morning dew dampens their shoes. I don't care because the SECOND they are on that bus they are doing eighty-five things I do not want them to do and there is SO MUCH I need to fight with them about in the morning--THAT is not important to me. WHY would I spend time fighting about that when the SECOND they get OFF the bus at school, they are going to barrel through the dewy lawn since I am not there to tell them not to?

 I fight with them EVERY morning about wearing coats/hats/mittens/SHOES/ CLOTHES..., so sometimes I compromise. Sometimes. Of course, no matter what jacket I have them pick, it is never the right one for my Russian friend--oh no. HE indicates on a fairly regular basis that I am an idiot of a mother who does not know how to parent properly. Tell me something I DON'T know old man.

 The BEST was the snowy, wintry day that Addison INSISTED on wearing a sleeveless dress to bring her brother and sister to school. I made her wear a sweater and a winter coat OVER said dress, and we debated for what felt like YEARS until she was willing to agree to those terms. I dropped the two off at school and as I was pulling into the development, my "friend" was waiting in front of my house. He indicated that I should roll down my window. Did I mention that Addison had stripped down to the sleeveless dress and even took off her tights and shoes? Of COURSE she did. I sighed, rolled down the window and he LITERALLY tsked while wagging his finger at me. HE TSKED ME. That SONOFA...TSKED at me. Addison proudly waved and showed her bare feet. Thanks, Addie! Crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude walked away, tsking and shaking his head from side to side while waving his arms in the air. "Keep walkin' old man!" I muttered as Addison giggled with glee.

 A few weeks later, he accosted my husband at the mailbox. "You...[wildly indicates a driving motion] me..." and walks to our car door. After about five minutes, my husband came in to get his keys and said, "I think crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude needs a ride somewhere. He just got into our car and is waiting for me to drive him!" Sure enough, my husband drove him to church (a story HE would have to tell!) one Wednesday night while CRBMD said, "I friend..." the entire way there.

 He is not always crabby and judgmental. On Halloween this year he brought out BOWLS of candy and said, "I FRIEND" as he walked with us around the culdesac. That wasn't so bad until Addison ran ahead and tripped on the Batman cape of her "Batman meets Snow White" costume and landed on her face. THAT wasn't so nice and CRBMD seemed put out that we needed to stop pretending to understand what he was saying so that we could tend to the small, crying, bleeding child. We left CRBMD in the dust tsking back to his home.

 One morning (not one of THOSE mornings) a few weeks ago, CRBMD indicated that my kids should come closer to him while saying, "I FRIEND. Profesora...I FRIEND..." HERE'S where it gets tricky. I expect my children to be respectful, especially to their elders and I [generally speaking--I swear!]do the same. HOWEVER...he IS crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude AND my daughter is...well...MY DAUGHTER, and she did what he said and then gave him a hug (as he indicated he wanted one), BUT...I don't WANT her to feel like she has to give a hug to crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude or ANYONE for that matter. Of course, she is part of an Italian family so she is used to hugging and kissing complete strangers, but at least most of those people are FAMILY, right? That reminds me--crazy-Russian-biker-mobster-dude often shakes his head and says something like "You love the Mussalini?" to me and has mentioned Hitler as well, because he THINKS my husband is German. We all know how EVERY Italian LOVES Mussolini and EVERY German is so proud of Hitler (does ANYONE like Hitler really?! The fact that we are NOT German and try not to sterotype people so blatantly aside, I'm pretty much certain that EVERYONE who is not a hate monger or supremacist is NOT a fan of Hitler)--I never mentioned Stalin to him, though it may come up one morning. "Your Stalin-loving butt better stay OUT of my yard and AWAY from my children or I will get my Hitler-loving husband to throw my beloved picture of Mussolini at you!" HIGHLY inappropriate, I know, but it could prove to be effective. I'll get back to you on that. And for those following my progress with the gym, the gym is KICKING my A@%! NOT because I am going so frequently that it's whipping me into shape--I WISH. No, I've been like three times in two weeks. I could list all my excuses, but I won't. Gym:8 Me: 3. FOR SHAME...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Yay me--I got an AWARD!

I've been slacking a bit on the blog lately--I feel like I'm losing my mojo. I know I ramble and sometimes it works for me (rarely, but SOMETIMES), but sometimes it's just rambling. Lately, I have been so tired and busy and I feel like the maniacs are ALWAYS hovering over me, so it makes it tough to be funny when I'm screaming at hoverers. THEN I feel guilty for yelling and for not spending time with them and it goes into the cyclical mom guilt spiral until I just need to be done with it. I hit return and pray that some of the words came together enough to make it somewhat entertaining--if only to make people laugh AT me. Imagine my surprise when fellow blogger,, gave me the "Tell me about yourself" award--right when I was feeling like perhaps I'm not as great at this whole blogging thing as I THINK I am. Thank you, for motivating me to try again! You are also inspiring me to learn about things like buttons--hopefully the one you sent me will show up on my blog...I 'm new to the "button world!" So, as part of this award, I need to write seven things that you may not know about me, though I find this hard to do because I tell everyone PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING, much to their dismay! This will be an EXCELLENT treat for my children when they are in middle and/or high school--I'm sure they won't be embarrassed AT ALL! Okay...brace yourselves. This COULD BE painful for ALL of us! 1. So the ENTIRE state of Montana AND close friends and family members know this, but most people don't. I have some sketchy autoimmune diease that either A. has not yet been discovered (out of the DOCTOR'S mouth!) or 2. is Sjogren's, but doesn't come up as Sjogren's in the blood test, but seems to be [kind of] managed with Sjogren's meds. Does THAT make it Sjogren's? I really don't care, since NOT being diagnosed for years really sucked--at least now I [kind of] have answers! 2. I'm afraid of basements. ALL basements. It doesn;t matter if your million-dollar-movie-room is dwon there--I WILL run up the last few steps to escape...the basement monster? I don't know, but whatever it is it envelopes me at the top of the stairs of EVERY basement. 3. I thought I would be one of those mothers who got pregnant when her children were just about to go off to college. No worries now because... 4. I have no uterus or ovaries anymore! They were in a battle against the rest of my body and we called in for back up--TWICE. My doctor won--thank goodness--and those parts of my body are no longer around to rebel (and to get the other parts of my body all riled up). 5. I love my children so much it makes me angry. 6. I used to be SOOOOOOO nice (seriously--I was RIDICULOUSLY nice and wanted approval from EVERYONE--NOT healthy in this cranky world!) and one day I snapped. THAT was before marriage, so my husband and his family never saw the nice me. Maybe remnants of her, but not in its entirety. Motherhood has brought out BOTH sides of my personality. This "harder" version of myself is more practical than emotional and wants to be strong for my children so that they can endure ANYTHING with or without me. I also feel weak when it comes to them because I love them so much it clouds my ability to reason at times. THIS is what makes me angry. THIS and the fact that they spend their days trying to hurt themselves and others when that is what I work to prevent every day! 7 . Hmmmm. Number SEVEN...I had (have? What is the proper protocol for this?)a baby sister. Some people know this, some don't. I'm pretty sure she watches out for me, but whenever I fall (which is ALL the time) I think it is her trying to pay me back for the sibling rivalry we never had the chance to have. She's DEFINITELY winning, though I haven't fallen yet today...I guess I'm due... Some of you know all of this already, so I'm typing this for those few people who read my blog WITHOUT being threatened by me to do so! The threats WILL continue, but hopefully my material will pick up--it IS the holiday season--crabby shoppers and angry bell-ringers should supply me with SOME funny material, right?! So now I need to nominate FIFTEEN bloggers for this award. I have had the opportunity to find SO MANY great blogs these last few months--I feel like we are all friends! Fifteen should be easy--at least easier than coming up with SEVEN things you don't know about me! 1. html 2. http://​www.thejoyfuljungle.c​om 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. I also wanted to give the award to my friend whose blog (sweetmiasdesserts) on wordpress I could not find, which is a shame because she makes AMAZING desserts (she also does head bands and American Doll clothes for Katie J. Designs on etsy). is also a top pick for me, though already "awarded" her. I thought fifteen would be difficult, but there are so many talented people out there who have just as much to say as I do. Well, maybe not AS MUCH as I do (who could possibly beat THAT amount?!), but they provide me with a great amount of entertainment--if you find your mind drifting in my posts, let it drift to one of these blogs to bring you back again! Thank you, ladies--and to Naked Mommy for sending this award to me! I look forward to you all shaking my hand back! (Is this looking suspiciously like a chain letter?! That's OKAY! Shake my hand anyway, just because I MEAN it when I compliment and thank you all!) I look forward to learning your "seven secrets" and to finding your fifteen bog suggestions! if only I could figure out how to place this button...

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So there has been A LOT of commotion about elves on shelves and my post ( ) has gotten a lot of publicity--not because of the ACTUAL elf, but because of the descriptors chosen to describe said elf (or hula dancer, I believe...)in the comments section. Because of this...incident...I have been able to read about other families and their elves and I have to say, I am quite impressed (NOT with the fact that there is so much...strife as a result of one of my posts, but with the fact that some of these elves REALLY chose some great homes. MY elf is going ot get elf-envy). Jimmy, for example is quite mischievous after (or maybe before...) he travels back to the North Pole to report the happenings of the day. On the first day he created an "I'm BAACK" sign, one day he was caught with a cupcake, another he was repelling down the side of a cupboard...whether he is bulding a town out of blocks or stuffing himself into a wine glass, Jimmy is always caught doing fun things. Considering OUR elf (Ernie) has only moved ONCE in two weeks (probably because A. he has SO MUCH to report to Santa--he has to wait until our behavior IMPROVES a bit before he goes back or 2. Someone touched him so his magic is fading. My children don't fight ENOUGH, so I try to give them MORE to fight about--mission accomplished. NOW they are spending their time "figuring out" who touched the elf and stole the magic. If I could get more sleep, I swear I would be smarter. Anyway, check out Jimmy on and take a look at Perspective Parenting's poem at: There is also a contest for the MOST inappropriate elf at Vote for number sixteen (What HAPPENS at the North Pole STAYS at the North Pole), but be warned--it is INAPPROPRIATE, so if you DO NOT LIKE inappropriate things...well, vote anyway (it's just the nice thing to do!), just don't be offended. Just as a sidebar...NEVER be offended when you read something on here. EVERYTHING is done with a light heart and a love of humor, so PLEASE...laugh it off--life is WAY TOO SHORT to take yourself (or anyone else) too seriously. After all, if I didn't laugh, I'd cry--and I would MUCH rather laugh--wouldn't YOU?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Potty talk...

My children never flush. EVER. This proves to be QUITE a problem because my house ALWAYS smells like pee. The thing is, they USED to flush. I'm not sure what happened--I think it may be because when we first moved into this house there was a flood in the dining room. I know it sounds like a stretch, but hear me out on this. We moved here last October and had only lived here a week or two when the sewer backed up and there was an inch (maybe more) of water in my powder room, laundry room and dining room. NICE. At first, I had thought that the washing machine had overflowed and then I thought it was a clogged toilet issue (my kids, like MOST kids use A LOT of toilet paper). We finally found that the problem wasn't with the actual toilet (though that is where the water came from initially--yum...) it was with the well and the sump pump and a million other things I don't understand. When all was said and done, we hat trennches going through our front yard and an insurance check to cover all that was damaged. Except for my psyche. I think I've mentioned my psyche before, but I didn't mention how damaged it got when I went sloshing through the dining room--IN MY SOCKS--when the sewage was slowly enveloping my home. When I found out WHAT it was on my feet, I peeled off the socks and wanted to dip my feet in bleach. Instead, I showered. And showered. Then showered again. My body has never been so clean--OR so dirty! It didn't help that we have well water which (to me) smells like sewage anyway. Just thinking about this is making me throw up a little in the back of my throat, so let's move on from here. My children and flushing. Or NOT flushing. Every time we enter one of the FOUR bathrooms, we are greeted with the foul stench of stagnant pee. Nice, I know, but it is getting to be an issue. Whenever I mention this to them--ANY of them, I get similar responses: "WHAT?! Geesh--the toilet is clogged..." or "I KNOOOOOOOWWWWW---I AAAAAMMMMMMM, but the toilet is clogged" and "But Momma, I can't fwlush da toiwlet because it is awelll cwlogged up," and they are correct--our toilets DO seem to clog pretty easily, but recently I have realized that nine times out of ten the toilet is NOT clogged and my children just ASSUME it is clogged for some reason--maybe pure laziness and lack of desire to flush? I don't know, but when I tell them to "...just try..." to flush, they always meet with success. Until the time they don't, in which case they will be scarred from flushing for life. That is a chance I am willing to take to have empty toilets and a fresh smelling house again. I'm pretty sure that all of this is because I arrogantly watched as other people's children did things like throw their dirty toilet paper in the garbage (Addie does that sometimes now because she is afraid it will clog the toilet. That she DOESN'T flush) as I silently judged and thought, "Why does that even make SENSE to throw poopy toilet paper in the GARBAGE?! MY kids never did THAT! How DISGUSTING!" And I gave my BEST sing-song-teacher voice to those children who wouldn't flush and wash when they were at my house, all the while thinking, "Don't THOSE parents ask THEIR children to flush and wash at home? What is WRONG with them?!" As if ANYONE is happy with the result of an unflushed toilet. I'm pretty sure other parents aren't out there going, "Hey, after you do your business in the bathroom, just leave it there to fester and rot. Then maybe we will have guests over and they can reap the benefits of it. What would be even BETTER would be if you would do the same when you go to other people's houses--but don't stop there. I also want you to throw the dirty toilet paper into their garbage so that their mom can get a surprise when she goes in to flush your mess down the toilet. "Atta boy...!" Like everything else in this hellblessing job of parenting, we can teach them and tell them anything we want to, but they ultimately do what they want when they want until one day, they are flushing the toilet and washing their hands without you busting a vein in your forehead to get them to do so. Oh--and today is Gym: 1, Me:2. I kept my kids home today because of our flooded driveway. Maybe I'll tell you about THAT tomorrow...
Yesterday's (incomplete) post: Day two. Gym:0 Me: 2. How come the fact that I am winning doesn't make me feel ANY better?! Hopefully by next year at this time I will be laughing at what a wimp I was and sharing stories of how I kicked [the] Gym's a@!, but right now I'm not feeling it. So who is REALLY winning here? Stupid Gym... On a brighter note, I showered this morning. Yes, I realize that it is counterproductive to shower BEFORE going to the gym, but I've been lost in that trap for a while now and people are suffering because of it. Yesterday morning I didn't shower because I was going to the gym. I planned on showering after, but instead I did things with my daughter (like...sleep!) who SHOULD HAVE been at school (but she makes an AWESOME snuggli and a terrific excuse to take a nap)! By the time I thought I had a chance to do it, everyone was home and it got away from me. I thought about showering before bed, but it was late and I figured, "I'm just going to the gym in the morning, so why bother?!" which leads me to the's neverending. THIS is why I took a shower this morning. It's getting pretty disgusting around here. I used to take at LEAST one, maybe even TWO showers a day. Now that seems like SUCH a waste of time to me considering, A. I get interrupted forty-seven times and 2. I am sweaty and dirty again in a matter of seconds. You would think that this would inspire me even MORE to shower, but you would be wrong. Add to that the fact that no matter WHAT I do with myself these days, showered or not, it just. Ain't. Happenin'. I guess my new..."thing" should be to go to the gym AND to shower. Hmmm. In shape AND smelling good? my husband might get the wrong idea...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Do you ever wonder what it is I am even TALKING about? Always, you say?

I went to the gym today. I decided that I am going to start EVERY post with this news--IF I do indeed make it to the gym. I know most (okay, probably ALL--except for maybe my aunt or my mother IF they are even READING this!) of you do not care AT ALL about whether or not I go to the gym (unless I share a story like the time I was at the gym with my friend, Kristen and we were chatting while on the treadmill (Our own individual treadmills. Obviously.) and suddenly I was holding on to the bars as my legs were dragging behind me yelling like a lunatic. I think Kristen was yelling, too and then after what seemed like hours, she was able to turn off the treadmill. The funniest part (okay--THAT was the FUNNIEST part...the WEIRDEST part) was that no one...I mean NO ONE even looked up from their machines or the front desk or anywhere, to see what the commotion was. It wasn't like we were tucked away or anything. We were in a huge open gym (about twenty feet from the front desk) called American Family Fitness and it is enormous, but open. There were people close enough to hear. LUCKILY they didn't care--AT ALL! I ended up with a gnarly gash on my leg THAT HURT LIKE A MOTHER--a bruised arm and a crushed ego. Have I mentioned how much I HATE the gym?!), but if I start with this information--even if it does not fit into the rest of my post--I will at least have SOME motivation to get there. Health isn't enough of a motivator for me because my psyche is five and still pissed about all the time it DID spend at the gym without any rewards at all. I keep telling [my psyche] that it was a good thing I WAS going to the gym regularly at that point because I could be SO MUCH worse right now, but my psyche does not believe that I could be ANY worse and is pissed at my whole general make-up. My psyche looks at other psyches and has psyche envy. It wonders why WE can't have good genes and why WE can't live on a diet of chocolate and...well, chocolate. I understand completely. THIS is why I need to trick us into being motivated for OTHER reasons and those "other" reasons are all of you(Or BOTH of you...)who are reading. I have a few friends who are ALWAYS at the gym AND they are ALWAYS happy,so you would think there is a direct correlation between the two, but there is not. It is merely coincidental--it has to be, because going to the gym makes ME angry. It wasn't ALWAYS this way--I used to be okay with actually going (though I NEVER loved it nor was I ever EXCITED to go. I started to get pissed THEN because I knew so many people who did NOT go to the gym, who abused their bodies, and they looked FANTASTIC. Not. Cool.), but when I started having health issues and vowed to eat healthier and workout more regularly, I got even worse. I KNOW it was not BECAUSE of the gym. I KNOW that working through the pain would have been BETTER for me, but INSTEAD, I stopped. Completely. For two years I did NOTHING. Well, I had my children (then 4,3 and 2!) with me, so that's SOMETHING, but I did not partake in any activity that was solely for the purpose of exercising. Okay, maybe I went on a bunch of walks, but you get the point. I was recently [kind of] diagnosed and am being treated for my bazillion ailments (it's like I am NINETY), so now it's time. I said it was time last April when I JOINED the gym, but evidently what I meant then was: "It is time for me to open the door just IN CASE I WANT to go to the gym MAYBE three times a week" and I DID--go about three times a week for a while. The problem is I planned to go every day. THEN in the summer I did not go at ALL, but I swore that EVERY TIME I was in the pool I would be sure to be moving constantly. I actually stuck to that on most days, but it turns out I needed more. MUCH more. I already told you about my "training" for the big Thanksgiving football game/capture the flag--four or five times at the gym from August to November--so sad--and two of those days were the Monday and Tuesday BEFORE Thanksgiving--so my new motivator is you. I will be sharing on here IF I go each day and my goal is to bore the hell out of you with this information each day. You're welcome. The OTHER thing I wanted to tell you about is that I want to start reviewing television shows. I am a TV-HEAD. I seriously LOVE too many television shows and get WAY too attached to them. I'm still smarting a bit because of shows that were pulled in '04 and '05 and believe that my "friends" from those shows are off living a wonderful life in the land of forgotten sitcoms and/or dramas. My husband is just as bad as I am. We DVR EVERYTHING. In fact, we are almost at capacity (we have 4% left!) on our DVR because we tape SO MUCH. It really only makes sense--do you know how many OTHER shows we can watch if we eliminate commercials?! It's BRILLIANT! I also have my guilty pleasure shows--those are the shows I am either A. EMBARRASSED to watch (ANY show that has "houswife(wives)" of ANY kind--deperate or otherwise in the title or 2. Shows that my husband doesn't watch because he knows we watch WAY too many already (Once Upon a Time...Revenge) and THESE shows I generally watch On Demand. We actually HOPE that some of our new shows get cancelled each season just so that we can have an easier lineup, but most of the shows we choose (ANY CBS crime show and USA/TNT comedic dramas fall into this category) stay on FOR-EVER. We even tend to stick with a show far past its shelf -life, hoping it will pull through in the end. Suburgatory is one of those shows. It isn't quite funny, but it isn't terrible either. We aren't sure what to do with it, but we DO know that every time we watch it we want our twenty-two minutes back. Up All Night is the same. These are shows that are funny in THEORY, but in actuality, they are just circling the funny drain. I know this may seem extensive for a grown man and woman as far as television goes, but when you have three ridiculously exhausting children, you just want to be able to veg out on the sofa each night and have someone else do the entertiaining for you and you DON'T have time to waste (THANKS A LOT Suburgatory). SO at the end of the night when Whitney's sassiness is up against Coach's new gig as a hippie father and grandfather to Lorelai and that guy who is always on Punk'd, it would be helpful to hear from a crabby-gym-going-gal who happily assesses shows like Suburgatory to save me from wasting my time. I've decided to BE that gal--it's for the greater good and although I may not be motivated to do a whole lot, I DO like to advise people on important things like television. That's just the kind of gal I am. Oh--and I am evidently the kind of gal who uses the word "gal," though I really need to modify THAT sometime soon.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Check out this ULTIMATE GVEAWAY!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Do YOU "looklikewhodiditandran"?

The other night as I was barreling through toys to get to my bathroom to get ready for bed, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and actually gasped in fear. Like I had seen some horrible monster or something, but the monster was ME. I shudder to think of it and I REALLY shudder to think that the same thing would happen right now if I were to waddle over to the mirror that is five feet away from me right now. But I don't WANT to look in that mirror. Or any OTHER mirror for that matter--unless it is a MAGIC mirror that can shave off fifty pounds, fix my split ends, apply just-enough makeup to look good and not trampy and get rid of the bags that are cemented under my eyes. Oh--and cook dinner. I mean, WHILE it's here... Seriously, though--I only caught a glimpse and thought "I look like 'Who did it and ran?'" and "I look like I was 'rode hard and put up wet," two sayings I A. NEVER thought I would hear again and 2. NEVER. EVER. Thought I would say and MEAN about myself. The first saying goes back to Snooki (who, now that I am trying to get people to actually LISTEN to me may find out and get offended by that is SO GREAT that I am no longer a person who CARES about S*@! likr that! Oh--and if you don't know about "Snooki--my version" refer back to the "Chin Hair" post. I would rather forget it...) in college. On a daily basis SOMEONE would "looklikewhodiditandran" and it was HILARIOUS! It became part of our slang and though I still THINK it on occasion--I NEVER SAY it! One of our housemates commented about "...whodiditandran..." on facebook the DAY AFTER the nightmare in the mirror--like she KNEW I wanted to write about it. SO WEIRD. The thing is, I am ALWAYS writing a blog in my head. EVEN WHEN I WASN'T BLOGGING I "wrote blogs" in my head and I would REALLY crack myself up (still do)! The problem is, I waste most of my REALLY funny stuff on...well, the inside of my head because the SECOND I fall asleep, get out of the shower, leave the bathroom (we ALL use the bathroom Snooki, so take it easy!),escape the madness that is morning...whenever I am ABLE to type, I either A. forget what I wanted to type or 2. WORSE--remember what I wanted to type and then type it out in a MUCH less entertaining way than I did in my head. So that is definitely the case with "Who did it and ran--" You would have LOVED the first thing I "wrote!" As for "Rode hard and put up wet," this is a phrase that a friend of ours in Charlotte used to say ALL the time. Anyone who looked tired, had on a lot of makeup or maybe could lose a few punds fell into this category. The thing is--MY FRIEND who SAID it fell into this category, so I found it funny that she would call out OTHERS on it! Don't get me wrong--I'm sure I could use it to describe some people now and I CLEARLY am the poster child for BOTH phrases, but KNOWING you are a part of it is different. SAYING it about others and THINKING you are above it--THAT'S a problem. Which brings me to ANOTHER blog I "wrote" in the shower about hypocrisy. It was least in my head! Maybe tomorrow I will try to put it on the screen...I need a device to link to my brain that will TYPE what I am THINKING for me. If THAT isn't the LAZIEST thing you have EVER heard, then we REALLY need to hang out more...

I could have been a Calligrapher

There is someone living in my basement. isn't my Great Aunt Edie and I'm not talking about my mouse (EVER. I am NOT TALKING about my MOUSE EVER.)It is someone with opposable thumbs. I know this because on the oh-so-rare occasion that it is silent in my house--bahahahahahahahahahaha--sorry--that whole "silent" thing really made me laugh--I hear a toilet flush or a door close. When these things happen I pause for a moment, then think that I am happy that at least SOMEONE flushes the toilet in this house and then I move on to whatever I was doing prior to the door closing or toilet flushing, which in this case, was "talking" to you. One of these days someone is going to come bursting through the basement door at me, expecting a fight, but I'm pretty sure I will continue typing. Unless it is one of my children so-help-me...but they are still too young to try to skip school. Right? And surely I would notice--right? Well, the school would certainly CALL me--RIGHT?! It had BETTER be the polite ghost of some dead relative or I am going to be P-I-S-S-E-D.

 So anyway, I dropped Addison off at school this morning and one of the dads (Yes, DADS. They parent, too (unless I am in a pissy mood and feel like bashing them)--in this case MUCH better than I do!)handed me a calligraphied (I don't care if I spelled it wrong because I haven't USED or THOUGHT of the word since the sixth grade when I was thinking abouut making it my career. Yes..."calligraphying" as a career. Of course, I could probably make MUCH more than I'm making right now with my master's degree that is buried beneath old bibs and burp cloths and I'm PRETTY sure that "Calligrophy" school would not have cost FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS...) envelope with Addison's name and a sweet sticker on it.

Sidebar: On MONDAY. Of this week. I brought in chicken-scratched-dollar-store invitations (that didn't even MATCH!) to Addison's birthday party that is SATURDAY. THIS Saturday. The sweet child with the calligrophied envelope? December 17th. You know--enough time for people to plan and RSVP--oh and to buy their present for Toys 4 Tots because the sweet little girl (who NEVER complains when HER mother combs her hair or asks her to wear clothes that MATCH. Or clothes THAT FIT.) has enough toys (WAIT 'til they see MY house!) and wants to help needier children instead. The beautifully typed invitation was quite clear on the directions unlike my invitations that may or may not have had a phone number OR an address.

I. SUCK. I do--I know I do, but I can't stop myself from sucking (get out of the gutter--THAT stopped long ago...)! This is such a great idea for next year (which we all know I will be lucky to give ANY of my kids parties next year (a lot of you know the July birthday/Halloween celebration story of '09--those who don't, it's pretty much JUST like it sounds!)and several of my friends are just as good as this dad (okay, I'm just gonna say it because we ALL are thinking it--DADS included--this was ALL the mom, right? Unless the mom is like ME so the dad has to make up for it...INTERESTING. Of course, there is always OUR situation: the mom is like ME AND the DAD is like ME. It doesn't make for a good birthday planner, I'll tell you that!). Regardless, I'd better make damn sure I RSVP by the correct date. Now WHERE is that invitation...?

PLEASE push my buttons...

HA! I have BUTTONS and I [may] know how to use them! This is very exciting for me, since I basically know NOTHING about what I'm doing on here and have relied on the help, support (WORK) of others to keep this bog in motion. But today--today was different. TODAY I got BUTTONS. That's right--save your applause for later. I retrieved buttons from Twitter (or is it twitter? and PLACED them on my blog. I am quite certain I removed power from the state of Wyoming while doing it, but who really lives in Wyoming anyway?! What's that you say...MY family almost moved to Wyoming? Well then they (those Wyomians? Wyomans? Wyomingans?)should be HAPPY I only wiped out the electricity and DIDN'T MOVE there! Anyway...back to me. Wyoming has gotten enough press, don't you think? So ME. I placed BUTTONS. You have NO IDEA how happy this makes me. My friend Melissa made my blog...well...pretty--and user-friendly...and fun...and with a facebook page I have no idea how to use...and I...well, I pretty much just type in the words! It's a shame because her blog(s) Designherbrands and Adoredbefore have so much to offer and just a few days ago one of the two was offering FREE (we ALL know how I feel about FREE--that is if we have been keeping up!) FONTS to those who would have fun with them. My friend Gayle is a font-fanatic as well, so I should really link the two of them up, but I didn't have the energy after pondering over the fact that I would LOVE those fonts, but I wouldn't know how to USE those fonts. Then I spiraled into a funk that I could not get out of until--yes, you guessed it--I placed my buttons! SO, now I have buttons for people to "follow" me on twitter or to "Tw...EET?" about my blog which is pretty interesting considering I'm not really sure HOW to get to my twitter.