Saturday, January 30, 2010

How to really love a child

If you're a mom, right click on this and save it to your computer.  Pull it up on those days.  It's like a deep breathe or a time out.

Courtesy of Marvelous Kiddo

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Are smartasses born or bred?

Really, I wonder.  Some kids are very literal for a very long time and some, well, not so much.  William seems to get it.  He's not literal.  We joke and kid and play (Kid 'N Play!) all his joyous moments throughout the day and it's a ball.  He has great facial expressions and uses his hands like an old Italian man.  I wonder how he became this way, though.  We joke and have fun and make light of stressful situations (like having to go back upstairs to get your sweatshirt or something tragic like that) so I know some of his disposition has obviously been learned.  I just wonder if you are who you are who you are.  You know? 

Tonight the four of us were playing in Drew's room before bathtime while Lauren was already asleep.  William yelled.  I told him not to, reminding him that Lauren was asleep in her room down the hall.  He yelled again.  I told him very sternly that I would spank his bare bottom if he did it again.  *this is where I must say, just in case you don't really know my parenting all that well, that I absolutely do not tolerate disprespect or rude behavior in any way, shape, or form *  William said with enthusiasm, facial expressions, and hand gestures, "If you spank me, I will kick you.  And believe me, I'm an awesome kickah."  He laughed just as hard as Chris did.  Where the hell did that come from?  He has never kicked me nor has he ever threatened to, I can assure you.  He knew the response was inapporpriate yet funny yet he was in a safe enough place to say it.  

Soooo, at the tender age of  3 years, 4 months - has this been learned or is this just who he is?  And this comment is just the tip of the iceberg with him.  Trust me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I don't mean to be insensitive but...

Whomever is responsible for the placement of ads in articles should be fired.  Or given a high-five.  'Cause this is hysterical.

If you can't see it very well, just click on it.  It magically becomes big.

Monday, January 25, 2010

When he turns out to be a stoner I'm totally tracing it back to this.

Listen to the last line.

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William was 2 and a half years old here, not quite one year ago.  Love that high pitch baby voice.  Where did that sweet boy go in such a short period of time?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No-nap, quiet time, pennies, oh, my!

It's a sad, sad, sad day.  I have to just admit to myself that naps are a thing of the past.  2/3 of my children are awake from 7am to 8pm and I feel like this truly is the end of an era. A good era.  A peaceful era.  If you know me at all you know that the clock runs our house and honestly it wasn't until about 8 months ago that anyone actually saw 2:30pm on the clock.  Sleep had always taken over by then but not anymore and I'm devastated.  I still require quiet time which means they have to be quiet doing something, either together or alone, for a certain period of time every afternoon after lunch.  I will give them a time and until the clock says that they know I am not to see or hear them.  This is good for all involved, trust me.  As I type this I hear pitter pattering upstairs as they run from each other's rooms.  As long as they don't bother the sleeping baby OR me then it's fine.  I've come to terms with the no-nap thing.  But I don't like it one bit.

The big challenge now is in the morning.  William tends to be somewhat of an earlier riser than the rest of the family but at the tender age of 3 he doesn't quite understand why if HE is up why everyone else isn't either.  I love when he comes to my bedside at 6:20am and just starts having a conversation with me.  Ummm, Buddy, I'm sleeeeeping.  This morning I woke up to this cute little blonde boy in my face saying, "You know, mommy, when I'm 100 years old I'm not going to sleep in a bed anymore.  I'm just going to sleep on the stairs.  Do you think that's a good idea?"  

We're on round two of  my penny reward system and it seems to be working.  Well, needless to say William didn't earn any this morning, but for the most part it's working.  If the kids stay in their rooms until their clock says SEVEN ZERO ZERO in the morning then they get 2 pennies.  When they get 20 pennies they get to buy whatever they want.  William earned his before Drew *shocker* and after wandering Target for a little bit this is what he bought:

He had his 20 pennies in a baggie and he paid for the train by himself.  He handed the bag of pennies to the lady while I discreetly swiped my card stood by and watched.

Today Drew earned her 20th penny so after quiet time we're off to the mall.  She wants to browse the Disney Store.  I love that they earn their own and pay for their own.  I hope I'm not screwing them up by allowing them to think that everything everywhere costs... 20 pennies.

And since we're talking about sleep, I just have to brag that Lauren, just a week from turning 11 months old, sleeps 13 hours a night.  Straight. 

The end!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This post is dedicated to one of my besties.  She knows who she is and I love her.

There are lots of things in my life that I'm extremely proud of.  There are only a few things of which I'm not so proud but really nothing that I'm ashamed of.  I feel like the following info falls into that middle category.  I'm definitely not ashamed of this but it's not something I thought I'd ever really put out there.  Then I had a great conversation with one of my closest friends.  She made me feel a little less weird about it all and it's to repay the favor that I'm putting this out there for her.

In a period of 4 years and 3 weeks I had 3 babies.  Add to that the umpteen months of combined nursing and the fact that I ain't a spring chicken anymore and my hormones have just gone apeshit.  Now that I'm done having babies *sniff, sniff* and I'm done nursing, it's time to address the issue that my hormones are on the edge of the cliff, just waiting, waiting, to be pushed off again into that abyss of pregnancy and nursing hell.  They aren't listening to me although I've spent a lot of time over the last few months trying to convince them that I am done.  They can chill out.  The moodiness can take a hike.  It just hasn't worked.  So, for the sake of my sanity, my kids' love, and the affection of my husband, I called my doctor.  I made the call.  I had to.  I needed help.  Thankfully I don't experience any sadness or anything like that, I just have moods that are unpredictable and that's not fun for anyone.  It may sound like a total cop-out to go right to prescription meds but trust me on this.  I thought long and hard before even talking to Chris about it, let alone my doctor.  What's funny is that I thought Chris didn't know.  Ha!  Like when you think being a plus-size woman is a secret but it's obviously not.  I felt like I had come out in a sense and admitted that I think all the changes I forced upon my body in the last 4 years had really caught up with me.  I said, "You know, I think my hormones are a little crazy and they aren't calming on their own."  I expected Chris to say something like, "Really?  Do you feel differently?  What are you thinking of doing about it?"  Instead he said, "JESUS, ya think?!"

So, for 10 days a month I take a tiny aquamarine pill that has restored a calm into my house, my life, and my relationships.  I hope this is temporary and once I'm further out from this post-pregnant, post-nursing self that I can manage things and my hormones will be unlike my children (by that I mean they will actually listen to me) but until then I am at the mercy of modern medicine.  And I'm not ashamed of it.  Nor am I ashamed of being a plus-sized woman.  But, sssshhhhhh.  That part is a secret.  

The sky is falling!

Well, not really.  But if you listened to the all-mighty weatherman you'd think so.  People from other parts of the country may think us wimpy for making such a huge deal out of each big storm that comes through but they have to understand, we just don't get weather.  Where I live it's 100 hellish degrees or more during the months of June, July, and August.  It's in the 80's and 90's until late October.  We get low 50's during the winter and spring is often nice and in the 70's.  Rain comes and goes but not all that often.  When there is a report of a BIG STORM with ohmygod WIND, too, everyone prepares.  I think it's funny even though this is how it's always been. For me this weather is more of an inconvenience; the wind wakes the kids at night and freaks them out, I'm stuck inside with them all day (way more painful for them to be stuck with me than me with them, I'm sure), and I have to walk three little people through semi-flooded parking lots no matter where I choose to go when we head out.  Aside from that, I enjoy seeing all of our backyard trees swaying, listening to the wind on the windows.  Oh, and I don't really like that Chris is always put on standy-by to report to his USAR team to go out and help any of those communities that need assistance with flooding.  

Lauren's first big storm. 

When it rains we do go out and play.  The kids love to stomp in puddles.  But c'mon, that takes 15 minutes.  What to do the rest of our waking hours?  This is what we do when daddy is home.  It's called Couch Toss.  I just made that up but it's a good name for it.  Lauren is big enough to get in on the mix although I didn't film her.  And trust me, when I drop a few ell bees I'll be in line, too. 

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Stay dry, fellow Californians. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ahhh some

I woke up this morning with the holy-crap-it's-raining-and-the-kids-have-no-school-and-Chris-is-at-work-today blues wondering what in the hell I was going to do to occupy the two bickering little people who live in my house.  (I know Lauren is happy to do anything so I don't worry about her.)  At breakfast William said, "Mommy!  You know what would be ahhhhh some?!"  I could come absolutely no where near his level of enthusiasm but I tried.  "What would be ahhh some?"  He said, "We should go visit daddy at the firestation today!"  Oh.  Here was my answer to a crappy day with nothing planned.  We called him to see what his day looked like and he said coming for Sunday brunch would be a great idea.  We've done this quite a few times in the past and the kids LOVE Sunday brunch at the firehouse.  I made homemade brownies while the kids finished their breakfast to bring along with us.  It was on.

We left much later than we'd expected due to that saint of a baby I have.  Her naps take precedence over everything, even a Sunday visit with daddy.  We arrived after the guys had all eaten but there was plenty of food left for the kids.  They settled right in at the kitchen table and Chris served them.  Not long after, the guys had to leave on a call.  We rushed to the window to watch them pull out onto the streets in full lights and sirens.  That never gets old, especially for the kids.  We went back into the kitchen and as Drew and William stared at the television, I stood at the sink and washed dishes while talking with (ok, TO) Lauren.  It struck me how funny it was that we drove an hour in the rain to sit at a different kitchen table and for Chris to serve them with one of his yummy meals while after, they go watch TV while I clean and chat with Lauren.  Anyway, the guys were gone only minutes and when they got back we played with all the fun things the kids love so much:  Chris's chair in his bedroom, the exercise equipment, and the fire engine.   

After a great meal and lots of playing, we drove home in the rain and while all three slept I listened to CNN radio and learned quite a bit about what really is happening in Haiti.  That's some scary shit and if all I have to worry about is a 3 and a 4 year old who do nothing but bicker than I need to be snatched back into reality when I start complaining about that.  Alltosay, William was right.  It was awesome today and I am grateful for it all.

As usual, a picture summary:

Watching TV after eating breakfast

Spinning Drew in Chris's chair

A split second before he fell out and bonked his head.  He didn't want me to tell the other fireman because he feared they would take him to the hospital.

Back in the saddle

Who knew exercise equipment was so fun?  Not me, that's for damn sure.

This is exactly how happy I look on the precor when I'm working out. 

My party of 5

It'd be a sin to show up at the station empty-handed.  I think so, anyway.  Here are the goods.

Hope your Sunday was ahhhhh some and filled with William's enthusiasm.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Aside from my immediate family (parents, one brother and now his family) my side of the family consists of only 4 other people.  I have one aunt, one uncle, and two cousins.  That's it.  All four of my grandparents are gone.  My aunt, uncle, and cousins all live on the east coast so we see each other once a year if we're lucky.  I think it's one of the reasons why I really wanted three children at least.  I have almost as many children as I do non-immediate family members, that's crazy.  

One of my two cousins came to visit us for a few days.  Jennie lives in Boston and was able to get 4 days off of work to come to California.  The kids haven't seen her in nearly two years and she'd never met Lauren.  Drew and William have great memories of Jennie from when she's visited in the past and they were so excited for her to come.  Drew really wanted Jennie to take her to the library and help her check out books about princesses (which kinda flopped but not for lack of effort, our library just kind of sucks) and William just wanted to play.  Lauren didn't know it but she just wanted an extra set of loving hands on her.  All was accomplished and we had a great time.  I took Jennie to the train last night and our little Jennie-vacation is over.  The kids were disappointed this morning that no one greeted them with a, "Waz up, homie?"  I can do a good impression but it's not the same.  Maybe we should move to Boston?  There would be a hundred good reasons to do so but the top two reasons would be that William already sounds like a Southie and would fit in great and... Jennie lives there.  

Last few days, in pictures:

Sledding at Dell Osso Farms

Mom came to visit while Jennie was here.  See ya!

Jennie rode tandem with Drew on the zipline.  I went solo.  By the way, the worst camera angle EVER is apparently someone on the ground zooming up 5 stories.  Gah-ross.

Zipline... success!

Jennie probably kicking Chris's ass in tennis on the Wii

Teaching William how to tie shoes

Since Jennie is a basketball player, she's the perfect one to give the kids some pointers

Natural talent.  It's in the genes.

Jumping fun

With her homies


Appreciate your family, no matter how big, no matter how small.

Helloooooo out there!

I've eluded to the fact that I have six readers and I got lots of replies saying that I have more than that.  I'm going to change my guesstimate to sixteen.  I'm still ok with that.  What I would like to know, though, is who really is reading my blog?  I think this is the first generation who does this sort of thing - airs our not-so dirty laundry for the world to read.  The generations before us think, "Who the hell gives a crap?"  *Mom, I'm talkin' about you*  Sooo, in honor of National Delurking Day, I'd like to know... who gives a crap.  Leave a comment for me!  You don't need to stroke my ego, just let me know you check in every once in a while.  That's all.

Thanks, Amanda, for keeping me in the blog-know.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Construction Junction

We're starting what I lovingly call Phase II of our horrid house remodel. If you've been here, you know what I'm talking about. I figured I'd document it in case it becomes what most construction projects do become - a freaking nightmare. Let me start at the beginning...

Our married house was a cute, little house in a friendly cul-de-sac. We knew we'd be starting a family and that I would no longer work so we decided to move to a bigger house that was closer to Chris's work. In our married house his commute was an hour and 40 minutes without traffic. Although we LOVED the town we lived in, it didn't make sense to stay there. We had lots of requirements for our new bigger house. It had to be in a cul-de-sac, we wanted a big lot so that our neighbors weren't right on top of us, we wanted lots of bedrooms to fill, Chris needed an office, and we wanted a private backyard. It took nearly 2 years of Chris dragging me around to complete dumps before I told him to continue his search on his own and let me know when there is something for real.

Drew came before a bigger house came and that was ok. Chris kept looking. One morning when Drew was just 2 months old Chris called me from work to tell me to drive 45 minutes away to another town to an open house he'd seen on Craigslist. It was the first and only day this house was being shown. I went and was PISSED that he'd sent me to another shithole to look at. The outside was great but once you walked through the orange and yellow stained-glass front door you had entered a complete time warp. The house was dark, full of gold and orange furniture, and smelled musty. The realtor told me it had been vacant for FIVE YEARS but the owner often would come sleep in the house and she kept a gardener and a housekeeper. Her love and affection for the house kept her from selling it during those five years.

I faked interest, toured the house, and left. I called Chris from the car and told him what a trip that house was and it was not an option. He asked me if the house had potential. Potential? I don't know. He told me to go BACK to the house and look at it all again with visions of hardwood floors, new paint, walls knocked down, etc. I walked back in and thought, "Yep. This is our house."

Fast forward nearly 5 years. Here we are today just now starting Phase II. Phase I we finished last fall and it was a big one. We had velvet wallpaper removed from 5 rooms. Yes, velvet! It was lovely. Really.

Phase II is going to be a walk-in pantry, a small expansion of the existing laundry room, and a desk built in to the wall in the eat-in kitchen area. I envision homework will be done there, or it will be used as a timeout place. Whatever.

Here are a couple pics of the before and what we have so far. It's only day 2:

I know, you can't even tell what this is.  This is an open area (read: wasted space) between our kitchen and laundry room.

The sliding glass door which leads out to that wasted space.  This will soon be a solid wall and the wasted space will be our walk-in pantry.  Oh, and that bag of garbage outside the door?  That's just decoration.

This is part of the eat-in kitchen.  The window is where the desk will go and the blank wall next to it is where the door to the new pantry will go.  And that wall paper is the most modern decor of this house.  No joke.

William and Lauren watching the construction guys break up the concrete.  The guys LOVED having an audience, I could tell.

The cement truck came early one morning and we got up to watch.  Great fun.

In case you just can't imagine what a time warp this place is, let me show you.  But trust me when I say the house has tons of potential.  We'll get there.  After Phase 14 this place is going to be the bomb.  Baby steps.

The front.  Deceiving, you'll see.  And ignore the pile in the front.  That's the old cement the construction guys put there.

The heavy, lined curtains.  They probably cost a fortune back in 1979 when they were hung. 

The gold veined mirrors.  We have three of these.  I like doing my make-up in these mirrors cause I focus on how hideous they are and not how wrinkled I'm becoming.

My microwave.  The Smithsonian has dibs on it when I'm done.

One of the downstairs bathrooms.  Whoever thought rock AND carpet in a bathroom was a good idea should be shot.

One of the light fixtures in that bathroom.  These puppies are going on ebay when we get rid of them.  I'm sure some Liberace-lovin' person wants them.

See?  I wasn't joking.  Our furniture looks out-of-place but after all this time I'm used to it.  And everything you see will eventually be changed.  Who knows, maybe by the time we get to Phase 14 some of these things will be back in style.  Yeah, right!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I was going to write a little - mainly just vent - about people who have their kids watch TV in the car when they go to the grocery store.  What the hell is that about?  I am definitely not against television.  I love it and my kids love it.  We closely monitor what they see but they are 3 and 4 years old.  That's our job.  That's not sheltering.  But letting them watch TV in the car during a jaunt that is under a couple hours?  Really? 

We bought a new car in June and one thing we looked for was the edition (or whatever) that DID NOT have a television in it.  Chris's family lives in southern California and that 6 hour drive (8 hours with potty, food, stretching, running) is rough with a group of little people.  The last trip we made we actually did purchase individual DVD players for everyone hoping that it may make it easier and we decided that at the Grapevine we'd let them have them (that's 4 hours from here).  Between here and there we read and talked and sang and sat in silence and napped.  It's funny because even when we gave them the DVD players they'd pause them themselves and still look out the window quite a bit. 

I don't want to get all judge-y about it.  I just don't get it.  I like to hear the kids' observations about what they see, ask questions, and sometimes just enjoy their own company as they sit in silence.  And YES, my kids do fight in the car.  But I'm not willing to silence the fighting with television.

This is one example of why I don't think they need television - in the car, that is.  Here is William allowing his imagination to run a little wild.  (He hit his eye on the footboard of our bed this morning while he and Drew were wrestling around.  I told him that if someone at school asks him what happens he should say that he got in a fight with a big purple monster.)

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

MY kind of resolution list

Once again, my friend Amanda has proven that we most likely were separated at birth.  Her latest blog post is something I could have written  and has me thinking. Since I just posted yesterday and nothing utterly fascinating has happened in my life for me to write about quite yet, this is a perfect filler. 

If you're a blog reader (which I am) you have probably read every blog writer's new year's resolution.  I've always made new year's resolutions but I've never declared them aloud.  There are two reasons for this: 1)my resolutions are stupid and 2) I never keep them.  I hardly think I'm unique in the latter.  My resolutions are things like I want to take my vitamin every day, I want to burn ALL my good candles and not just use them as decor, I want to cook more and bake less, stuff like that.  They're dumb, and I fail.

I saw this on Amanda's blog and knew this was more practical for me.  Here is a  list of things I will CONTINUE to do in 2010.

1.  I enjoy going to the gym whether it's 14 days in a row or 2 times in 3 weeks.  I realize life happens and there is no point in beating myself up over missing days. Consistency is key.  I will continue going to the gym in 2010.

2.  I love my sleep and my time without my children.  I will continue to enforce quiet time every afternoon and a 7:30pm bedtime in 2010.

3.  I've been trying to be better about letting Chris know how much I appreciate his hard work which allows me to be home and do awesome things with the kids.  I will continue to be outwardly grateful and not just keep it to myself in 2010.

4.  I single-handedly keep our local Costco in business.  I will continue to go to Costco twice a week for milk, eggs, and a churro in 2010.

5.  I love laying down and reading a story to both kids when they smell like shampoo and lotion right out of the bath.  I will continue to read a nightly story to my babies in 2010. 

6.  I'm enjoying my blog although I am convinced I have a total of 6 readers.  I'm ok with that.  I will continue to blog in 2010.

7.  I think my kids have too much and get too much on a daily basis and I've already stopped some ridiculous habits that could possibly contribute to me raising spoiled brats.  I will continue to try and make 'special' special again in 2010.

8.  I have raised over $600 a year for the past three years and participated in our local Relay for Life.  Even though the American Cancer Society puts only about a quarter of its earnings into programs and research, I will continue to support the cause.  It's important the kids are active in a community event that supports a cause that effects us as a family.  I will continue to raise money and participate in Relay for Life in 2010.

9.  Like Amanda, I hate cheese.  And just so you know, there is no such thing as "you can't even taste the cheese" if you really don't like cheese.  I will continue to despise cheese in 2010.

10.  I have zero tolerance for rude people, presumptious people, and people who don't respect others.  I will continue to steer clear of Walmart in 2010.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Music in early childhood

When Drew was 4 months old I enrolled her (us) in a music program that we attended once a week.  We drove 50 minutes one-way for this class.  I mostly did it because I was going apeshit at home.  I was new to the stay-at-home-mom world and needed something to do.  We'd been in our new house and new town just a few weeks and I got online and went searching for something.  I found this class, enrolled, and we loved it.  She wasn't even sitting up yet so she literally laid there while I patted the beat on her tummy or danced around with her.  We continued going to this music class until I was too pregnant with William to enjoy sitting on the ground during the class anymore - Drew was 18 months old.  As soon as William was born, we started back up again.  We missed just one semester.  We had the most fabulous teacher, Miss Jody, and we followed her from Pleasanton to Livermore to Brentwood.  Finally she opened a class just 20 minutes from our house which was awesome, we didn't have to travel so far anymore.  Once the kids started school our schedules just got too busy and we stopped going.  Just this afternoon I enrolled Lauren in Miss Jody's class and we start next Friday.  Drew and William will be in school and it will be a special time for just Lauren and me.  I can't wait.

When I was teaching I used music in my classroom to teach everything from math to the states and capitals.  I often had 30 fifth graders who could sing all 50 states and capitals - in alphabetical order - in less than a week.  Think about it.  How does a baby learns all his letters?  By singing them.   There is an immense amount of research that proves music is essential to learning and is incredibly beneficial in early childhood especially.  To find one great article you can click HERE.  

So, what started out as just an activity to get us out of the house turned into a much more enriching experience for both Drew and me.  And then William and me.  And now for Lauren and me.  I'm excited.

If you have a little one, are looking for something to do with him/her, and have a free hour a week, look into a local class.  There are lots of different programs.  The one we attend is called Music Together.  You can find their info. at if you're interested.

Here's Drew at 16 months  (June, 2006).  She was speech delayed and didn't have any real language until 25 months so this was exciting and I attributed much of what she hummed (her only communication at that point) to our music classes.

Don't judge her by her lovely 'do.  Her mother was a complete idiot and cut her hair for the first 2 years of her life.  Her bib should say, "Don't blame me for my mullet,  blame my mommy."

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Monday, January 4, 2010

If objects could talk

William tends to speak for things and so we actually play this game quite a bit at home.  Only without the cussing. 

Dear Ugly-Ass Fountain,
   You have adorned our front flower bed since we moved in nearly 5 years ago.  At first I thought you were kind of charming.  Then you just became an eye sore.  Then when I saw that black widow sneak back inside you as I walked by a few weeks ago I saw you as a danger.  If you hadn't been so heavy I would have been rid of you years ago.  Enjoy your new home at the dump.  Black widows love it there.



Dear Jersey Shore cast people,
  I love you.  I love your show.  Maybe because I'm a sociology major and I find you and your behaviors fascinating I just can't stop watching.  Or maybe because I've never touched my hair in my life as much as Snookie does in one episode.  I don't know what it is.  It's a freaking train wreck and I love it. 



Dear old renters,
   You owe us a crapload of money.  You have two young children and are a sad set of role models.  You ruined our yards.  You have ignored our letters and we're suing you.  You could have put our family in financial trouble.  You suck.



Dear blog,
   You give me an outlet to write.  You provide a venue for me to create somewhat of a family diary during this special time in our life while all three kids are little.  Someday I'll have you published into a beautiful book for us to have in later years.  You give me something to do while I'm laying awake at 11:08pm waiting for Chris to get home from teaching and for that I am grateful.  I hope someday the kids will read you and enjoy the descriptions of our tiny adventures as well as their mom's thoughts about them.  And I hope they love it.

Your mother


Dear Crib
   I love you. 

Love, Lauren


Dear mornings,
   You come much too soon.  EVERYDAY.  You clearly have no children because if you did you'd hold off at least another hour.  It'd be awesome if you could work on that.

Not holding my breath,
A mommy who loves to sleep

Sunday, January 3, 2010


If you've read any of my previous posts you know that I struggle with indulging my kids and allowing them to be indulged by others.  This next post is completely contrary to all of my previous statements.

I've been bitten by the Birthday Party Bug!  As soon as I had Drew I knew that I'd want to do a special birthday for her every year.  Then William came along.  Then Lauren.  I get to do 3 special birthday parties a year for the next 13 years (or whatever)!  Whoo hoo!  Special meaning... I'm not sure.  Fun, obviously.  Tons of friends, of course.  Memorable, that's it.  Memorable.  I think this may be the first year that the birthday party we have will be memorable.  Not because the others haven't been fun (even though they've all been at our house and they are always the same) but because this birthday she is turning OHMYGOD FIVE and I think she'll remember it.  

I think starting at age five it's time to do something five-ish.  You know, like big kid-ish but still 100% parent controlled.  And at this age the parents still need to attend.  I'm willing to do whatever but I don't want to be responsible for your kid.  Sorry.  That's why this year Chris and I decided to have her party for just her preschool friends (and a few close friends as well) and not the whole group of 40 we usually had at our house.  We'll have all family and friends invited for Lauren's first but for Drew's party this year I think it's time to make it more about her and her friends than us and our annual February reunion.  

Once I started looking into places to host her party I realized that you pretty much have to be a gajillionaire if you want to do it right.  It's insanity.  Then I remembered how much I love doing birthday parties and having everyone around and celebrating just her on that day and figured if I talked about party this and party that that Chris would get terribly annoyed and tell me to just take care of it.  "Do whatever, just stop talking about it." He's so predictable.  OKEEE, DOKEE!  That's just what I did.  So we are going here for Drew's birthday to celebrate that she is turning OHMYGOD FIVE.

The sledding hill!
See, we don't get snow where we live so this new attraction just miles from our house is AWESOME fun.

Drew and William sledding

They even let old ladies sled!

I hope the families we invite come and enjoy the day with us and their own kids.  Don't ever underestimate playing with your kids.  I hope that is what will make this day special.  I mean memorable. 


Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve

Chris was at the firehouse.  The babe was in bed at 6:15pm and the older two in bed at 7:45pm.  I sat and watched worthless television (which I notsosecretly LOVE) and wrote thank you notes.  Since I don't drink I had some of Drew's stocking present bubble water in a pretty glass and wrote thank you notes.  It was pretty close to perfect.  

Happy Oh Ten.

Life would suck without these, dontcha think?

As I lay here in bed with my laptop, just 20 minutes away from ringing in the new year, I'm beginning for the first time to really reflect.  Not so much on what the last year brought us or what the new year may have in store, but I'm thinking about all the conveniences I have in my life and you have in yours that people didn't have 30 years ago.  Hell, 10 years ago.  I think the fact that I just spent the last hour laying here reading the news (, catching up on my beloved pop culture (, and shopping the post-holiday sales to see where I can spend my Christmas gift cards (, has made me realize two things: 1)  this is why we're all a bunch of lazy fatasses and 2) we're extremely lucky to have such conveniences which allow us to be lazy and fat.

Here are some of the modern conveniences that help make my day easier.  I'm not talking about major inventions like the escalator or the internet.  Those were clearly sent directly from the heavens. I'm talking about things that John ThankYouGod invented to help make my life, and yours, too probably just a wee bit easier.

1.  The remote to open your car door.   Am I right?  I can't imagine holding a 9 month old, a venti mocha, a pocketbook that weighs 13 pounds, screaming at two toddlers AND have to actually put a key in a hole to open my car door.  I mean, really.  I am only one woman.  Love the car remote. 

2.  The video baby monitor.  I can't hear the kids from downstairs so a monitor is a must but the video monitor lets me peek without having to listen to that awful white noise static monitors just seem to have.  Punch a button, see the babe doing nothing, end of assessment.  Thanks, Ally!

3.  Wireless tv headset.  More often than not when we go to bed at night Chris watches tv and I either read or just go to sleep.  With these he can listen to the tv without me having to tolerate the noise.  Too bad they don't have those creepy virtual reality mask things for personal tv viewing 'cause honestly the light is more annoying than anything.  I go to bed, close my eyes, hear nothing, but can see a rave through my closed eyelids.

4.  The Dropstop.   Have you seen this?  You haven't?  Oh, my.  This is GENIUS.  And not just because my brother's great friend is one of the inventors.  For reals.  Bookmark this and buy your dad one for Father's Day.  It's a great gift.  

5.  The carriage cover.  I'm not psycho about germs but this thing is awesome.  The only downside to this is it kinda makes me resent Lauren because all I want to do is trade places with her.  I want her to stand and push the carriage and shop all while trying to manage two toddlers at Costco while I sit in a cozy, comfy little seat that contains all my little loveys.

6.  Cell phone camera.  'Cause really, what would I do without a .5 inch x .5 inch picture of William that I can't get onto my computer to save my freakin' life?  Oh, yes.  Thank God for that cell phone camera.

*No picture here because I can't figure out how to get them off my phone*

7.  Chemo.  Without it my mom and my aunt probably wouldn't be here.  Ok, so not a modern convenience for me but I needed to mention it.

8.  The timer on my coffee pot.  This benefits everyone.  Them: "Mommy, wake up!"  Me: "Is the coffee pot on yet?"  Them: "No."  Me: "Then it's not time to get up.  Go back to bed."


9.  The Disney Channel.  I hate to even admit that.  I limited television so much for the first 3 years of Drew's life and then... well, I'm not sure.  Now I'm all, "Hey, isn't there a show on or something?  I'll make you some popcorn and you can snuggle under the blanket.  It's a Hannah Montana marathon?  Awesome.  Let me know when it's over, we'll play or something!" 

10.  Skype.  When Chris is gone at the firehouse we can still check in.  And the kids love to make him do things like put his nostril up to the camera or open his mouth wide so they can see inside his mouth.  Oh, and they tell him about their day and say goodnight, too.  It's fun and comforting. 

 What are some of the modern conveniences you wouldn't want to live without? 

Oh, and Happy New Year.



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