Saturday, December 31, 2011


Whatcha doing tonight?  Anything fun for New Year's Eve? 

Most people don't have to work tomorrow.  Firefighters don't observe holidays, however, so tomorrow is a normal day for Chris.  Because of that, which means he gets up at 3:45am, staying up 'til midnight isn't really smart for him.  More importantly, for the safety and well-being of my children tomorrow, staying up 'til midnight isn't smart for ME.

We're having our great friends over for a fabulous meal made by me (I mean Chris), have a few drinks, play some games, let the kids run wild, and we'll be celebrating at 9:00pm with Anderson Cooper or Ryan Seacrest or someone on east coast time.  We'll ring in the east coast new year so that we can be in bed at a reasonable hour.  

Some may call that sad.  I call it brilliant.  I won't be hungover or a danger to my kids tomorrow because I'll still get my 8 hours necessary for everyone's safety.  New Year's  or not.

Be safe and I'll chat at you next year.  Like, in 24 hours.


Friday, December 30, 2011


Damn Santa for bringing this chatterbox kid something he can now narrate and share all. day. long.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Don't hate me because I'm a genius

I woke up this morning and before I even opened my eyes all 3 kids were on my bed fighting over who got to lay next to me first.  With my eyes still closed I told them all to get out of my room and go watch TV, that I'd be up in a few minutes.  They left.  They came back.  This time they were on my floor coloring only to knock over the big bowl of crayons and then they took turns yelling at each other for being the one who did it and who had to clean it up.  I peeked my eye open and it was not even 8:00am yet.  I grabbed my phone off my night stand and texted our fabulous sitter and wrote, "Are you available today?"

She wrote back, "Yes, I am."
By 10:15am I was out of here and didn't return until 2:00pm.

I know. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Damn that fat man

The big kids got a DSi from Santa for Christmas.  And, thanks to all the grandparents, a slew of games, too. 

William, whose brain NEVER stops, is in love with it, just as I expected.  As in, he hasn't put it down yet.  It's new, it's vacation, and it's fine.  We will, however, put a limit on it in the next few days.  And that isn't for his benefit, it's for MINE.

This kid not only narrates whatever he's playing, he calls me over or brings it to me and shows me and explains what has happened, what is happening, or what is going to happen next.  All the time.  Every game.  The whole time he is playing.  At first I feigned interest.  I even asked questions.  Then I just did the "uh huh" stuff while I looked on.  Now I don't even look or say anything and it's as if he doesn't even notice.  I'm not being completely dismissive to be mean - of course not!  I'm in DSi survival mode.  I can't tolerate the talk about it anymore.  For that reason, and that reason alone, the DSi has to be limited.  30 min. a day after homework or something like that.  I may be able to tolerate that.  We'll see.

It's melting his brain.

It's melting mine, too.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Looks like she's been in a bar fight


Santa came last night:

The Tooth Fairy will come tonight...

First front toof lost on Christmas Day

It's a good thing the Easter Bunny has a few months before he's due to arrive.  The sparkle and magic in this house has just 'bout hit its limit.  By that I mean I'm fresh out of creativity and ideas.

Hope your day was sparkly and magical. 

Merry Christmas, friends.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dear Santa - Love, Ashley

You can think one of the following:

(a)  We are such great examples for our children and want them to know that it IS greater to give than to receive.

(b)  Although we have donated to the food bank and to Toys for Tots in the last week, we are wanting to be sure we cover all bases and give to those adults who may be in need of stocking gifts.

(c)  We are too lazy and cheap to go out and buy gifts for each other to fill each other's stockings with between now and tomorrow night but we are afraid of what the kids will think when the see that Santa "forgot us". 

Hmmmmm.  I see what you think of me.   

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh, hell no.

I saw this and immediately my blood started to boil a little. 

I don't use time out but if I did, it wouldn't be a feel-good place.  Yes, it's important your kids know you love them regardless of the bad choices they may make but really?  An I LOVE YOU written on the time out chair?  I know some will completely disagree with me about this but I think this is ridiculous.  I'm all about consequences and discipline as well as love and kisses but I'm not sure that they mesh like this. 

My time out chair would say, "Turn around, don't look at me, and keep your mouth closed until you are ready to come apologize and explain to me what you could have done differently.  If you are sincere I will likely give you a hug and send you on your way."

What do you think about this?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

What is delicious served on hot buttered toast with a glass of brandy?  Why, reindeer paté, of course! 

If you really are interested, you can order it here, at

 Oh, wait.  They are OUT OF STOCK due to such HIGH DEMAND. 



*sad face*

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas cards - what do you do with them?

What do you do with the Christmas cards you receive in the mail?  In the past I've hung them on a paper clip thingy or put them each on our fridge.  This year I haven't done anything except put them in a little basket on the counter.  Friends who have come over have enjoyed going through them but it seems kind of silly to just have them there.  Do you have a good soloution?

Also, do you want to share your Christmas card?  Post it on our facebook page to share with other readers.  I would love to see it and so would they! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dear Blog Readers,

Dear Blog Readers,

I miss you!  I'm still here, I'm just drowing in snot and coughs and wrapping and baking and mailing and napping and...  you know?  My head is busting at the seams with things I need to write down.  Please keep checking in with me, I swear I'll be back every few days.  The every day blogging thing has to chill for now, I just can't do it.  It just means when I do write for the next 2 weeks or so it should be really good, right?  Then come 2012 I'll be back on track.

Now go wrap something!  Or mail something!  Or bake something! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Question of the day

Sometimes I wonder WHY the kids want to be with me all the time.  Like when they follow me into one of the bedrooms when I am putting laundry away.  Or how they eventually make their way into the kitchen as I'm putting dishes away.  Or how they end up rolling in while I'm curled on the chair in the front livingroom in the complete dark trying to hide while on the telephone.  Somehow they always find me.  And it's not to sit and chat with me or even to ask me a question.  It's to wrestle with each other, argue about something stupid with each other, or to practice their whistling and arm farting skills.  Why is that?  I know someday I'll miss them when they've moved out or when they don't want to be around me but all I can think of is why do they want to be with me when all I do in those moments is shoo them away, tell them to shush, and tell them how rude they're being.  Why would you make an effort to be around someone like that?


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Goodwill gifts

Drew and I took a big bag of toys (that the kids don't play with ever) to Goodwill.  After we dropped our bag off we went inside.  Drew had never been inside and she thought it was awesome.  We went in for Drew to shop for William and Lauren for Christmas.  She was very thoughtful in her choices.  Here, $7 later, are the two gifts she chose for her brother and sister.  They will be thrilled, without a doubt.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hello, Hello!

Our Elf on the Shelf (his name is Hello) has done jack shit for behavior this year but it has provided great entertainment every morning.  Lauren usually finds him first because she's up at the crack everyday.  She's learning to let Drew and William look for him without blurting out where he is as soon as they come downstairs.  They are enjoying the silliness this year.

So far this is a few of what we've had:

He was too tired to fly to the North Pole so he took my car and flew in that.  It was parked crooked in the driveway and there were sparkles all over.  This was the biggest hit yet.

He made a mess of the blocks on the coffee table and we found him sitting like this.


Hanging out with the utensils

The chocolate bar belongs to William - he won it at Awana.  Tomorrow morning when he sees this setup he's either going to get a hoot out of it or be pissed that Hello opened his candy.

Have any other great ideas?  Pass them on!  I've got 15 more nights to do this!

Just can't catch a break during this busy time

Today I had so much to do: Christmas shopping, change sheets upstairs because of an *ahem* accident last night by one of the children, the daily laundry, the daily putting away that never gets done, grocery shopping, taking our new pup to the vet, all while doing the normal daily stuff of dropping off and picking up at two different places at four different times.  I know it's a busy time of year for everyone so I'm not complaining at all, it's just a fact that the day was chock full of things that needed to be done. 

Lauren, the expert iPhone photographer, caught me in the middle of the action this afternoon. 

I am hoping for an equally productive day tomorrow.
ps.  My iPhone has a "make her nose look ginormous" button that was obviously set to on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

It's that horrifying moment when you realize that your friend's fat arm makes you look naked in that office party photo

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Off the chain

In the last 48 hours we:

* Added to our family with our new dog, Holly Winter Peters

* Went away for a night to celebrate the holidays with Chris's fire station crew, past and present

* Crashed a wedding

* Drank my weekly allotment of calories in one night of alcohol

* Had a one hour facial that was perfectly heavenly

* Put up and decorated our Christmas tree

To some this may be kind of every weekend-ish.  (Well, not the Christmas tree part.)  For me, as you know, it's not.  We had the best time ever and when my headachey hangover goes away, I'll write in detail.  It was, as the kids say, off the frickin' chain. 



Have a great Monday, friends.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On my mind every day

1. Being a better cook

2.  Being a more attentive mommy

3.  Getting healthier (that's mommy speak for losing a shitload of weight)

4.  Being a more appreciative wife

What are your somethings?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm up everyday now at 5am with a little girl whose internal clock is whack.  I am eating dinner tonight at 9pm for the 4th night in a row because it's the first time all day I get to actually SIT.  I am still reading the same book I started 4 months ago.  4 MONTHS.  I am behind 3 weeks in all my Real Housewives shows.  I am buried by laundry.  And apparently I've caught the attention of Mr. Sore Throat who has been flirting with me for quite a few days and comes and goes but when he comes he's aggressive.

Can a sister just get a minute?  Just a minute?  The bad part about not feeling overwhelmed very often is that when it hits - it hits. 

Do you feel me?

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

I learned 2 new things by watching this video:

1.  Kim Kardashian beat up on her soon-to-be ex-husband of 72 days.

2.  At about the 1:16 mark they are clearly telling me I'm a bad mom because yes, I would let my kids do it this way.  Not because it's the right thing to do but because I'm too tired to do the whole, "Use your words" thing anymore.

What the hell is she beating up on her new husband for, expecially when he's 3x her size?  Did she not know there were cameras in the room?  Does she not know you don't take a swing at your spouse?  Does she not know that he'd knock her into next week if he wanted to?

Monday, November 28, 2011

A special Hello kiss!

I'm back!  I have so much to catch up on but instead of dwelling on the whole I-don't-have-time-to-do-that-right-now I'm just going to move on.  I may try and catch up on things I've missed posting throughout the week.

Sooo... what's new with you? 

What's new here is that HELLO has arrived!  The kids don't know it yet but they'll find him tomorrow morning.  He's waiting with a surprise for them!

The note says:  "Drew, William, and Lauren,  Look in the mirror!  I gave you a HELLO kiss last night!  Happy to be back with you!  Love, Hello"

Each child has a kiss on his/her nose.  Can you see it there?  Hard to take a picture in the dark and have it show up well but there is William's kiss, a big red one right on his nose. 

I didn't think of this on my own, I found it on Pinterest.  Let's all just file that under the Shit I Wish I'd Thought Of But Didn't category, shall we?  You can credit me for the idea if you'd like because given a free second or two I probably could have thought of it.

Can't wait to see their reaction in the morning.

AND, if you don't have an Elf on the Shelf, you need to get one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where ya been?

My poor, neglected blog!  I've never in 2 years gone this long without blogging.  A combination of exhaustion, apathy, and having no wireless internet (therefore having to sit at the desk) to be online has kept me from my babyblog.  Sorry and thank you if you've been checking in. 

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, whatever that may look like for you.  Friends, family, food, football...  For us here it's dinner for 10, dessert for 13, sledding, swimming (indoors), and sleeping (for me).  Looking forward to every second of it.

I'll be back after the weekend and will be back on a roll!  Until then, friends - eat, drink, and be merry.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cold meds, need your help, and damn Starbucks and their holiday cheer

Here are just a few things I've been wanting to share:

Hyland's Cold and Cough.  Have you tried this stuff with your fluish-like baby or toddler?  If not, why not?!  It's a miracle in a bottle, I'm not kidding.  It happens to be homeopathic which to me means notsomuch because I'm all about modern medicine or whatever makes them better but I suppose that's a bonus. 

Lauren has a nasty cold right now.  Watery eyes, super runny nose, cough, and she looks like hell.  Thanks to the cough she's sleeping like hell, too.  After the first dose her symptoms were minimized significantly.  After the second dose she stopped coughing altogether.  It could be a coincidence but as of right now I'm totally sold on this product.  The reviews on the website are great, too.  Of course they are on their own website, right?  But still...


Our dining room is empty after 6 years of enjoying our friends' dining room furniture.  It was special because it was his parents' so long ago and we were able to enjoy 6 years worth of holidays and special occasions using it.  It's time now to return it and to get our own.  That's where YOU come in.  Do you have a job at a computer but find yourself browsing online during the day?  If so, do you want to be my personal dining room furniture shopper?  You DO?!  That's fabulous!  Ok, here's what I like:  I need at least an 8 seater (with a leaf).  I'd like dark wood or possibly even black.  Probably no upholstery on the chairs but leather would be fine.  I would really really love a farmhouse table.  Chris has few requirements except that it is not a farmhouse table.  So there ya go.  Get to shopping.  Oh, and here's a look at the room.  It's not huge but not as small as this pic makes it seem.

OH!  And I also need a china cabinet or a hutch.  Obviously something that matches the table.  I like a more traditional style as opposed to modern.

I'm not really exaggerating when I say I think I wanted this house because of this chandelier in the dining room.


We're going away this spring for our 10 year anniversary/honeymoon trip.  Like going away, going away.  We will be coming back but it will be after a long alone trip somewhere far far away where we've slept and swum and eaten and had too much to drink.  Anyway, the body I occupy right now I have decided is not invited so I'm working very hard to have a healthier one before the trip.  I won't bore you with my workout regimine or my daily caloric intake or the app I use to record even the air I breathe, but I will tell you this:

This bad boy - a peppermint brownie cakepop from Starbucks - is 170 calories and is nearly 12 minutes of kicking ass on the elliptical.  Worth it?  Only on gym double-days. 
Damn you, Starbucks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The experienced voices are louder

7 years ago I would have said there were so many things wrong with this picture.  You shouldn't be on the floor, we're not buying that book, the floor is dirty, you're in the way, you're being rude, people will look, where do you think you are?, who do you think you are?, you're in the way, and most importantly, people will look!

Now, 7 years later, I still say those things in my head but they aren't as loud as the voices that are saying that she's not bugging me, she's not asking for something, she's not fighting with her brother and sister, she's not throwing a fit, she's not hanging on me, she's not currently in anyone's way and anyone who looks and is judgey can bite me.

Funny how time changes things.

Monday, November 14, 2011

48.26 and proud of it!

A “Kardashian” is a unit of measure representing 72 days of marriage.

How many Kardashians have you been married??

Click on the Kardashian Calculator to find out!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Take it like a man

Yesterday I went with two girlfriends to see J. Edgar.  It's a wonderful movie and the acting is terrific.  I knew very little about the man so it was interesting on top of entertaining.  I was gone for 6 hours while our fabulous sitter had all 3 kids at home and Chris was at work.  I came home to a report of NO FIGHTING.  Isn't that amazing?  I declared it to be McDonald's Ice Cream Night after we ate dinner because of the good choices they made while I was gone.  Then, not 10 minutes later, William called Drew a butthole.  He lost his opportunity to get an ice cream.  He hooted and hollered like he does and it was ugly.  Like U-G-L-Y ugly.  About 40 minutes later we piled into the car to go get the girls their ice cream and he dealt with it like a man.  I was proud of him.  Guess his fit earlier had exhausted all his rage about it.  On the way home, as he sat empty-handed, I said, "Are you ever going to use that word again?"  He said, "Not if it means no ice cream." 

Alrighty, then.  Mission accomplished. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eleven eleven eleven

 They say since this won't happen again for another one hundred years that it should be an epic wish.  My epic 11-11-11 wish came true yesterday.  My new vacuum cleaner that I ordered arrived. 

Remember, epic is a relative term. 

What will you wish for? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For sale

Alarm clock for sale!

*  The time can't be changed on it and it goes off at 5:45am every morning.

*  You can't set it to music.  It only says, "Mommy" in a really lovely singing tone.

*  You can't adjust the volume.  It comes on one setting only:  annoyingly loud.

This alarm clock is really valuable to me but based on the above criteria I just feel it's time to let it go.  Let me know if you're interested and we can discuss a price.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

Michelle Duggar and I are sisters.  Not sister sisters but sisters in this Motherhood Club.  I feel like with 3 kids ages 6 and under that I have earned maybe... I don't know, V.I.P. status in this club maybe?  Michelle Duggar, however, has now officially earned herself the status of Cray Cray Queen.  We may be sisters in this special club but that's about where our common thread breaks.

Everyone has their own opinion about what the Duggars are doing (by that I mean reproducing like house flies).  You can guess what mine is but I'm thinking now with the news of her 20th pregnancy about some things that, as her sister, I am familiar with: the post-pregnancy body and hormones.   I'd like to ask her the following questions: 

1.  I'm guessing you never jump on a trampoline anymore, right?  

2.  How do you sneeze?

3.  How have you never taken Prozac?  I'm serious.

4.  What kind of bra do you wear?  I know it's got to be a gooooood one.

5.  How do you remember their names, birthdays, weight, clothing size, and shoe size?  I only have 3 and can't do that sometimes.

6.  How does it feel to have had carseats in your car since 1988?  I've had carseats since 2005 and I'm sooooo over it.

7.  How do you continue to feed them all so well?  My third eats Cheetos for breakfast somedays if she wants 'cause I'm too bothered to deal with anything else. 

8.  Do you look forward to doctor appointments and dentist appointments for yourself like I do?

9.  Do you feel guilty having all your older children do so much of the child-rearing of your younger children?

10.  Number 20 due in April, 2012.  What the hell?? 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My vibe. Hmmm...

Do you ever wonder what people think about you?  Even if you for realz don't care, do you still wonder maybe what vibe you give off?

Obviously I put it all out there with this blog.  There are only a few topics which I've never written about and never will.  I've discussed my crazy hormonal imbalance after I had Lauren (and still?), the sadness of losing one of my favorite people on the planet, how inept I am at cooking and nearly everything else that stay-at-home-moms traditionally do, the struggle in choosing a school for our kids, my mom's cancer, and giving up my career and much of myself to take on this mom gig, just to name a few.  I give anyone who reads my blog an opportunity to form an opinion about me or to judge me.  I for realz don't care but I do wonder what kind of vibe I give off.

How 'bout you?  Is it something you ever think about?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

At a loss and out of humor

Off the hook.  Off the chain.  Out of control.  Insane.  <---  All words to describe the fighting and nagging and bickering that goes on this house from the time the little people wake up to the time they go to sleep with absolutely no break in between.  I am not exaggerating when I say that it is always something.  Always.  Now that Lauren is 100% in the mix there are many combinations of kids who will bother another which starts the bickering which turns to fighting which turns to whining which turns to crying.  Every. Single. God. Damned. Time.  All day long.  It's nearly driven me to tears these last few days.  I just can't handle it anymore. 

I've tried lots of positive! feel good! behavior charts and all kinds of other bullshit and honestly it's so draining to keep up with it.  Maybe that is the answer and I fizzle out on it too soon but I just want them to STOP without having to get a freaking sticker or a penny or something.  Just stop Stop.

I know it's normal for siblings to argue.  My brother and I are a year apart and we fought all the time.  I'm not concerned for their future relationships with each other at all.  I know this is how it is now and it won't forever be this way.  For now I'm worried about one person.  ME.  I'm losing  my mind.  I'm losing my patience.  I'm losing my temper (a lot).  I'm losing my cool which in turn is making me lose my power which I will never allow to happen.  I think that's part of it.  I'm feeling a bit threatened by all of this fighting between them because nothing I do or say can stop it.  It's like this thing that needs to run its course and it's out of my control.  I'm just a helpless, bitchy witness to it all.

I don't intervene most of the time but it doesn't matter.  Just hearing it is exhausting.  At the end of the day I feel like I've run a marathon sometimes, just so completely wiped out.  When really all I did was laundry and drop off and pick up from school, maybe went to the gym, possibly made dinner.  But the physical toll that the emotional abuse I am forced to endure at the hands of my 6, 5, and 2 year old is the real deal.  I'm just... exhausted.

I love love love them.  But I go to the gym to get away from them.  I love love love them.  But I secretly sing the Hallelujah chorus in my head as I bound back down the stairs at 8:03pm everynight.  I love love love them.  But I let them watch 2 hours of Spongebob straight during Lauren's naptime just so they'll stay quiet.  

I am out of humor when it comes to this situation, friends.  They have even drained me of all my snark.  That's how bad it is.

Wait!  Bonus!  We turn the clocks back tonight!  Know what that means?  An extra hour of sleep.  For me, and them.  


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, a pictoral summary

Our Halloween, in pictures.

We had a special Halloween dinner of orange pancakes with chocolate bits, strawberries, and bacon to decorate with to turn our pancakes into pumpkins. 

William's pancake.  His chocolate bits were melting and he was getting pissed.

She was so proud of her creation.

Drew loved her creation, too.  As we had to tell William in regards to Drew's pancake - beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Cupcake is ready...

Bumblebee is ready, too.  Her costume was allofasudden too itchy, though, so she wore the dress as a skirt with a t-shirt instead. 

Dragon Ninja was totally ready.  Flip flops and all.

Group shot before we left.  Of the 5 I took, this was by far the best and most serious one. 

Lauren and me trick-or-treating. 
Note to self:  Old Navy sweatshirt is very unflattering in shadow pictures.

The bowl of candy - full sized candy - which looked like this at 6pm and looked like this at 10pm.  We got ZERO trick-or-treaters this year.  Our house is only one of two houses in our cul-de-sac that isn't pitch dark and closed up.  We're the house at the very end of the cul-de-sac and apparently people just don't want to venture all the way down here for a little piece of candy.  This year I bought big ones so the word would hopefully spread a little and we'd get a few more next year.  You know, the whole, "That house gives out good candy, let's go there" thing.  It's fun for the kids to give out candy and they don't get a chance to living down here.  Oh, well.  The trick-or-treating part was really fun and they got loaded up with tons of candy and we saw some friends and met some nice people. 

I have not stolen any of their candy yet.  I did not have any for breakfast.

I am totally lying.

Now... on to Thanksgiving!!



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