The Invasion of Sir Stanley...by Lillian, the cat.

Look at me, I am beautiful, who could need more then me?

My life with my family began fabulously. I was spoiled cat, eating expensive food, excreting in lovely scented litter box that was cleaned daily, if not more. My holidays were spent eating top of the line canned cat food, and a stocking stuffed with cat treats and cat toys. I was groomed regularly and showered with love. When they went on vacations people stayed with me in our home, not just stopped by to feed me. This was a cat's dream, and I knew it. I loved my owners, oh how wonderful my life was. They didn't even tease me about my weight problem.

First rugrat came around. I was curious about this creature, but was still so very adored. My female owner even fretted about how I would adjust to Kendall. Obsurd, I know. During late nights with Kendall I would come and sit at her feet as she cried in complete exhaustion. My intentions of course to show her, that see, you had to go and birth a child, look how simple I am.

Then came the next rugrat, and in my opinion a little bit too fast for my liking. Things started to get a little hairy around here. I was shooed off of beds and my owners would actually say late in the day, 'oh sorry Lil' we forgot to feed you today!!' Forgot to feed me. As those children sucked in milk to their belly's delight, it was abuse, I get fed first thing, before anyone even has a chance to pee, you feed me. I could not believe what was happening. One night I was found in the baby's crib and the owner came in yelling and screaming, and tossed me out. How dare she? Here I was trying to help out. So I am a little large, I would never smother the thing.

Then these human offspring began to move around, got in my food, and started fussing with my tail, and pulling my hair. I would swat at at them, and then I would get yelled at and my nose swatted. What in the world is that all about?!?! I don't even have front claws, now you take away my dignity too?

Things started to settle as these little humans grew. The boy chases me quite often around the house growling and screaming, like he is some beast, and now he is the one getting scolded. I started to get some ground back. Sure now when they go away, I either get two bowls of food or they send the old lady over to feed me every few days. All she wants to do is pet me and squeeze me onto her lap. Not into it, lady. So I attack her as soon as she cracks the door open. Sure she yells, and my owner tells me I am going to cause her a heart attack. But would you want to be squeezed and petted, and told, 'oh you're such a nice kitty, now you sit here on my lap, you be a lap cat' over and over again!?!? And the litter box, ok don't even get me started. I have a mountain in there and it stinks to the high heavens before they are like, 'oh Lily, that just stinks.' Yeah, well have no plausible thumbs, what do you want me to do about it, fools. The door to the basement gets shut after playtime, and if I am dozing and don't notice it happening, I get shut down there too. The only way they know I am down there is when I hear them I stick my paw under the crack in the bottom of the door and move it back and forth, and then bang on the door for a few minutes. They feel bad when they open it, real bad, I sulk for like 3 hours, nothing like a good guilt trip, they deserve it.

I still get my time with my owners, they still pet me, say hello to me, and let me drink water out of the fish bowl, I mean, I have a pretty good life. I see those strays on the street, going in my trash can. I shudder at the thought of being out in the rain. It must be terrifying.

And now, now, they have gone over the top. I heard them coming home yesterday, almost got off the couch to greet them, but was just too comfy, and then the door opens and in with them comes this ugly creature. I have heard them say, 'oh he is so ugly he is cute...he is so well behaved...look how much the children love him...' Yeah, shove it.They call him Stanley. What kind of name is that? Stanley. If I have anything to do about it he is going to be Flat Stanley. This thing snorts all the time, and is all in my face wanting to be my friend. He's lucky I don't have those claws, those bug eyes of his would be lying on the floor. He actually had the audacity to sleep with me and my owners last night. What was that all about? And they didn't even care! They say to to the children he is just here for a little vacation. I know what the real plan is, I know that if he works out, he is going to come back for good. His owners are planning to move away across the country, and he is going to go and move in here.

It's going to be a long weekend, but somebody has to do it. I am going to make the dog bark its head off and crap on the floor, then it will be shipped back, with no return address. I haven't been so successful so far, they brought him home some treats. But mark my words. It's on.


All in a days work.

So this past weekend we roll over one day to our neighbor Joe and Danielle's home to say hello while Ethan is napping. They are just getting ready to clean their carpets. Trumpets sounding in my head, hallelujah chorus'. When Andy sees this, he is going to want me to clean the carpets.

My neighbor and friend Danielle and I are so much alike when it comes to cleaning things and seeing; a. what you can get up and b.what it looks like when you are through. So things like Dyson vacuums and carpet cleaners are right up our alley. I don't know, it's that domestic thing they put in our brains. To be able to empty out the Dyson canister and say, 'that is awesome, did you see all the hair it got up, gross,'

We watched Danielle's husband Joe become borderline obsessive compulsive and possessive about the cleaner. It was a carpet cleaner from their family, and it just wasn't doing the trick. Do you know how hard it is to get stains from children out? You have no idea the mess sippy cups, juice boxes, and little feet make, if you don't have them. Let alone my husband who could not remove his shoes when coming in the door if his life depended on it. Sometimes when he comes in the door with his golfing shoes on after a day of rain, I just sit and stare at him in disbelief as he makes his way to the carpet. Thoughts that run through my mind are, 'really, your mind really works like that? So Joe was practically lying on top of the thing to get it to suck up the dirt, and here is my husband crouching down, pointing at the trouble spots. What a team. Danielle kept saying, 'Joe, I want to do it.' And he kept looking at her like she had five heads. He was going to get this carpet clean and be victorious, Danielle was not going to take the credit. Yet at the speed he was going, his back would be out, and he would still be cleaning their floors today, 5 days later.

Finally the question comes out of his mouth, 'how much does it cost to rent one of those cleaners? ' HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!' Joe just says, I don't know, like 30, 40 bucks, want to split it? And next thing I know they are out the door. I have only been telling Andy that we need to rent one for 6 years or so. But sometimes ladies, we just have to let them think, it was all their idea and just rub their backs when they are done. This really helps, trust me. Avoid the, 'I know it was my idea all along, I have only been telling you this for 10 years,' line and therefore argument. It's a man thing, it strokes their ego a bit, helps them feel like they are providing, and making their woman happy.

It is only twenty four hour rental, I politely remind him that I have to work that day and tomorrow, and so he would have to do a lot of it, but to leave me some. I mean one foul step, those stains stay on the carpet, the bane of my existence. He then replies, 'oh I know babe, just get up early tomorrow, get the carpets done, and then take it back before one.' Oh is that all? I don't even get into it. Again, ladies, you know you are a super woman, you don't have to get all snippy toward the man, they can't help but spew out evidence as proof. In your heart of hearts you know you can get this done. I know it's just the principal, but they will never get it, and that is ok, we will never get their anticipation surrounding just sitting and watching football games for 8 hours straight.

So I am at work, he calls I don't know, two hours into my shift. 'Hey babe, I am cleaning the carpets. He then begins to tell me about how they are looking, what he has gotten done, and then goes on to say, 'this is impossible to do with the kids by the way, all they want to do is run around.' Again, it just comes out of their mouths over and over again so simply, pure evidence that we, us mothers, housewives, are in fact super heroes.

We women, we have super human powers, that enable us to push children out of our vag's, do piles of laundry, work competently outside of the home, make a roast beef dinner for six, change diapers, clean carpets, know the schedule of each family member two months in advance, keep our man and children happy, all at the same time; tucking them all into bed every night, so you have time and are finishing the Twilight series in two week time frame. It's serious business people. You don't just have to have children to possess these powers, it comes with the ring ladies, once the kids come though, there is more powers, they are hard to contain. Go ahead try it, when you are frustrated and determined enough, you too can carry two 35 pound children, a vacuum, sippy cups, and a snack up the stairs all at one time for time out, all while going off about their unacceptable behavior without being winded when reaching the top.

But see, the things we get to use to get things done can sometimes become appealing to the man after you have been working for years to brain wash him into thinking that doing the dishes and taking out the trash are all fun things to do. Take for instance a swiffer, making brownies, a carpet cleaner. I start with the most fun items and will work my way down to eventually cleaning the toilets. Andy will never admit it but once in awhile, he secretly enjoys a housewife task.

For instance, the next morning of the 24 hour period. I am in bed. Ah, sleep, sleep, I love you sleep. Bed, my comfy bed, you are the greatest thing on earth. All of a sudden I hear heavy metal music. My eye pops open. I scan the room. Nothing. For a minute I think I have a radio alarm clock again, and I am in high school. I grouchily cry out, 'What is it, turn it off, what time is it?!?!' A voice replies, 'It's just before 7,' the voice is cheery. It is my husband, the sound is coming from his iphone. He is listening to his morning show, Preston & Steve. He then says, 'don't you want to get up, we have carpets to clean.' Housewife task that is fun. I didn't put up with months of a dirty carpet to give up this victory. So somehow we all get up. I begin my super powers, I am making breakfast, moving furniture, pointing out stain spots, providing water for the cleaner, helping the children water color, and brushing my teeth, again, all at the same time. You know, all in a days, all in a days. Andy, well he is pushing around the cleaner.

By no means do I expect him to do more then that. This, this is enough. I have clean carpets to prove it and I got to see the dirty water and claim its complete disgustingness before he dumped it. All I ever wanted. I also got to giggle while he enjoyed a housewife task, and know that next time the carpets need to be cleaned, he is on board. Thank you my love. Now take off your shoes when you come in the front door tonight.


Sleepless in Pennsylvania

You may know this you may not, every other Saturday I work a 16 hour shift. What? What is that all about? Yes, 7am to 11 pm, unless you are in the medical arena yourself you are thinking that I have gone crazy. If you are in the medical arena you are thinking, that's nothing try working the double 3pm to 7am. Killer. On the same weekend I then work Sunday 3pm to 11 pm, and then top it off with working every Monday 3pm to 11pm. So it's roughly 40 hours a pay period. A nice part time job. The reason I work the double is so that I am home for one more day out of the week. If I do two shifts in one day, then I am only gone that one day? Following? I could tell you tons about my job and make you laugh from here to bedtime, but then I am breaking privacy laws and who wants that? I will tell you this, that the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in which he is aging backwards, your senior years will be much like this, but your appearance will not change like Brad Pitt's did. It seems as though when we hit, I don't know 80 or so, our brain starts to go backwards again. Do you want to know how many arguments I break up between 90 year old women because one of them used the other one's fork by mistake? It is much like my home on a daily basis. I am well equipped for this position.

So in order for me to survive these shifts and come out of it a normally functioning person who can form complete sentences, I need to sleep soundly. I am on my feet all of those hours, going up and down hallways, meeting needs and so on, so it is physically exhausting. On top of that, it is mentally exhausting. Elderly people are unfortunately prone to be lonely people and I get to hear everything from the size of their poop, to how much money they won at Bingo, their latest ailments, and how sick and tired they are of Depends. I would be too. You see what I mean about regression?

So on a typical night, I would arrive home at midnight, lift the children into bed, because Andy likes them all to be together and snuggle to fall asleep when I am working, and then I read to fall asleep. However on this past Saturday night, the evidence of a coming sleepless night is surrounding them, like weapons in crime, it is easily solved. Andy had come home from a golf outing on friday with some cases of a sports beverage that I will leave unnamed. There is two of them empty on the bedside table, one includes the word, 'energy', in the title, the liquid that was in there is red in color. Another is your basic sports beverage, which at one point contained orange liquid. I empty sippy cups which one has a bit of the the red liquid in, one has the orange.

It's a simple equation. 50/50. One of these children consumed the red beverage, the energy beverage. I am not even going to point out who may or may not have given the children these beverages, it could have been a sports beverage fairy. All I know is that I skip the reading for that night. Already knowing what is going to come, and you know it too.

The clock read, 1:52 am.

'Mommy!, Mommy!?!?!'
I enter the child's room.
'Yes Ethan, it's sleepy time, time to go back to sleep.'
'I thirsty Mommy.'
'Ok, come in my room, Mommy will get you water.'
First mistake. Well actually not, at this point we are going on three or four, counting the distribution of the beverage.
I give him the cup of water, lie him in the middle of us, he finishes, I hand him his blankie. I am out.

2:23 am
'Mommy, I want to watch Wiggles.'
'No, E, it is sleepy time, and the Wiggles are sleeping too.'
And I hear it coming, the sniffles, the mouth opening and closing, then the wail.
'No, E, now lie down.'
Crying lasts about 5 minutes.
I am out.

2:43 am
'Mommy, I have snack?'
'No, E, it is sleepy time, no snack, when you get up we will have breakfast.'
Again, sniffles, this time fists clenching, then the wail.
'No, E, now lie down and go to sleep, you are going to wake up Kendall.'
Crying again, about 7 to 10 minutes.

3:04 am
'Mommy, I watch Wonder Pets?'
You know where this is going.
'No E, it is sleepy time, the Wonder Pets are sleeping, now lie down.'
No sniffles this time, it's an all out scream,
'No, E, go to sleep!'
Crying 5 to 10 minutes.
I am out.

I wake up at 3:30 am to pee, he is out. Praise Jesus.

7:15 am. Wake up call for E.
I can smell the coffee.
Andy comes up with a cup for me and then asks E if he wants to go play trucks.
Wait? I look at him. I don't even say a word, it might ruin the moment. I sip the coffee and am back to sleep.

9:30 am
Second wake up.
I hear children coming up the stairs.
Two children.
Wait? That means Kendall got up at some point and went downstairs too. Could this be happening?!!?!

I slept in. The love for my husband surged forth, he had just given me the equivalent of flowers and a night out, and a strawberry margarita.

He is on a roll lately, huh?

I ask Andy at breakfast what those drinks were that he had come home with.
'Oh they were from the golf outing.'
'Kendall and I didn't like the red, we liked the orange, but E liked it.'
'Really? I never would have known.'


So they think they can dance...

So a favorite show in this house is So You Think You Can Dance. I love this show and yes even sometimes I laugh at Mary Murphy. I do. It's her gig people, she is supposed to be obnoxious.

The kids love to dance to it, and I love to pick a winner and get all mad when they don't win. For instance I picked Brandon, clearly not a judges favorite in the beginning. I thought he might be doomed since Mia Michaels had it in for him, but he pulled through, second place. I am sure he will be on tour with like Celine Dion or something. Wait, she is pregnant with an 8 year old frozen embryo, so maybe like Whitney Houston or something.

The new season starts September 9th. We don't have to wait an entire year for it to be on again. I am a little nervous. If it isn't a summer show will it be ruined? Is this too much dancing for everyone?

Mia Michaels is by far my favorite choreographer. I love when she gets all emotional over a dance. I also love that she isn't some stick figure dancer. That woman has some booty. Clearly loving dance and life. Not that I think if you are thin you aren't happy. But there is something to be said about curves.

Regardless. I dig this site, Jib Jab, you can make really silly videos from your pictures. I have done it before. Kendall and Ethan cracked up at this one. They thought it was the best thing they have ever seen. I must have played it at least 60 times for them in one sitting. Tears come to Kendall's eyes.

So without further ado, Kendall and Ethan's audition tape for So You Think You Can Dance. I don't know, for some reason they didn't get on. I like a good disco, apparently Nigel didn't.

Check it out HERE


Our Fearless Leader Child

What makes a person have zero to no fear? And if they don't have it are they deemed courageous? Because sometimes having no fear can lead to some pretty stupid mistakes. I wouldn't call someone who jumped in a pond filled with alligators courageous.

Kendall possesses little to no fear, and sometimes it makes me a little worried. Like will more fear, at some point, set in? I don't want her in a pond with alligators. Kendall is only afraid of the lawn mower. Maybe she has weird dreams about lawn mowers, or maybe if there is a past life she was a landscaper that got run over by a mower? I don't believe in past lives, so that isn't really possible, but oh wouldn't that be just terrible to be run over by a lawn mower? Whatever makes her fearful of them I am glad, because it isn't like she will ever have to mow the lawn, so she can be scared all she wants. She has a brother. Blessed.

Now Kendall loves amusement parks, carnivals, things with rides, safe looking or not so safe looking. She loves to ride her bike really fast.She likes to jump off diving boards and go down water slides head first. And I will tell you what, she gets mad if you tell her she is too little to do something, the reaction is pure fury. HOW DARE YOU!?!?' She has to climb to the highest point in a playground. She likes to be around animals, large and small. She also likes to you know, just hold a giant worm. Oh wait, she is afraid of those giant cicada killers we have going on right now. That exterminator that did the neighborhood did a real bang up job since they still circle the children's heads when they ride their bikes by. Those things give me the creeps they are all big and bright and dig these holes, really they are just gross. So can you blame her from being scared? I think I saw the exterminator running after spraying a hole.

I experienced the full realm of Kendall's fearlessness at this po dunk carnival we were at. I was extremely skeptical of all the rides, but it was the second night of the event, and no one had died yet, so if we stay on the kiddie rides the worst that can happen is someone loses a chunk of hair or a finger. I don't know. So Kendall goes on a few of the children's rides. Why is it that at carnivals the rides go at warp speed? Is it just me? She then goes down a giant slide with Andy that she wanted to do by herself. She made these terrible scared faces when going down because of the hills and bumps. When she got off I asked her if that had scared her, she was already in movement to the next ride and shouted over her shoulder, 'Nope.'

The next ride. The Ferris Wheel. She wanted to try out the Ferris Wheel, ran right up into line, she probably would have gotten on alone. Now in the past I have never really been nervous on amusement rides. My adrenaline went up sure. I would get a little bit of butterflies right before flying down a hill, or when someone was dropping you and your friends out of the sky attached to each other and a bungee in a flying position to swing back and forth. But now I am all out nervous. I think it is because I have life to sustain and live for, I am not done with these kids. Yet once in awhile, I am clearly not nervous enough to not do it, like I don't know, say my husband. And so I agree to this ride, someone has to. I climbed into that seat with Kendall and her friend Sarah. I sat right in the middle of them. Part of me expected them to scream in fear when we reached the top for our first time up and around, and then that would be the end of the ride, we can get off and on with our lives.

Oh, no, no no. They were screaming with delight as I gripped the rails trying not to display my fears, yet even if I had, I don't think it would have phased them. The second time around Kendall felt the seat rock a bit as Ferris Wheel seats do, and she yells out, 'hey this thing rocks back and forth like a rocking chair, let's do it!' Uh yeah, I put a stop to that and let her know that we aren't supposed to rock the chairs we will have to get off if we do. And you aren't supposed to rock the chairs, alright? I know amusement ride rules. So then we go around the next time and she says, 'I wish I could fly.' I mean who doesn't wish they could fly? O.k., people that are fearful.

Kendall is the person on the roller coaster with her hands in the air. She even did it on the kiddie roller coaster at this place where the thing whips around turns and is all jerky. The little boy who rode with her, God Bless him, he must have gotten smacked in the head 56 times.

Then we move on. She did the Ferris Wheel I guess that qualified her for big people rides. Sarah's cousin who is with us she is about 12 years old comes and asks me, 'can Kendall ride the Scrambler with me?' She bypasses her brother, all other adults we are with, and picks the three year old to ride this ride with her. Yeah, Kendall is going to be that kid. The 'go to' person when you want to do something daring and/or mischievous,she will be the ally. Because certainly if Kendall does it, and she does it with you, your punishment won't be as bad, you won't die alone, and you know she is going to be all in without a second thought, its fun. I had those friends. Of course I was typically the person in search of an ally. Oh the trouble we would cause. Another time, that might require a book, not just a blog, oh the adolescent years.

I have her stand in line. Surely this gentleman running the ride, taking the tickets, would take out that little pole and measure the little children about to board this ride. And this carney lets them through. Two three year old children, a smidgen over 3 feet, onto this ride, I say 2 because well Sarah just followed all the kids, no idea to what is awaiting her. Her mother and I start to get nervous for our little baklavas, the men, the fathers, just say, 'what's the worst that could happen?' I don't know, brain damage, flying off the ride when whipping around the corner since there is no safety harnesses to name a few. But I let her on. I see her sit in the middle, her and Sarah's tushes sitting between the two older kids in the group. The door locking them in shuts, and I can't even see their faces, just these ponytails, I tell her to look up, she is all smiles. At the completion of the ride I hear what it was like from the older kids before I see Kendall. 'Sarah and Kendall kept bumping their heads into each other, we couldn't stop it.' I expect the worst, tears, blood, bruises, concussions. Around the corner comes my daughter, laughing. I ask her how it was, 'Me and Sarie kept slamming our heads together, it went so fast,' and she is just laughing. Brain Damage, for sure. I needed to google symptoms.

She then looks to the ride beyond the Scrambler, this death machine that locks you into this box that rocks and flips, and goes around and around like a Ferris Wheel, only I am certain vomit is involved. She points, and before the words even come out of her mouth, I grab the pointed finger place it back at her side and tell her that Mama wants her to live to see 4. We go onto the flying elephants which I am sure is equivalent to watching Barney all day when you are used to big kid shows like Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. Life just isn't fair.

I somewhat admire Kendall's fearlessness. It allows her to experience things she otherwise wouldn't. It will allow her to dream bigger. I also admire her intelligence. I know at some point it will counter balance the fearlessness and we all will live happily ever after. Until then, can I get a lawn mower on stand by to drive by the next time she wants to climb a tree to the tippity top? That should stop that idea before it even gets started and she will be back safe in my arms, where she belongs.

The Budding Artist

There will be a post today about the darling Kendall, but that will hopefully take place at nap time. In the meantime, I have this little preview of what she has been doing on these super hot days when Mommy keeps them in so they don't melt during the peak hours of the day. Alright, so I don't like the crazy heat, like you do. Go grab a popsicle. What about those storms last night? At least the siding was power washed as a result, since no one around here seems to want to do that.

Back to my sweets, she seems to always have a recipient of her artwork she is working on and where they should place it for all the world to see.


Highly Recommended: A few days away from the kids.

No really, call me what you will. It is fabulous to get reacquainted with yourself and your spouse. After I got home from dropping my children at my parents, the house was eerily quiet. I mean and our house is loud. There wasn't the sound of tattle tailing, books being yanked off shelves, toys flying through the air, cars and trucks crashing into the wall trim. There wasn't someone following me around, 'Mommy where are you going with that? Mommy, I am thirsty. Mommy what is there for a snack? Mommy can we go outside with our friends? Mommy can you wipe me, there is still poopy. Mommy, I got boogies, get dem.' Was there life before the chaos? Seriously some days I should count the demands, requests.

In preparation for our weekend away I really coached Kendall and Ethan. I wanted them to fully get that I was going away with Daddy, and that unless they ended up in the emergency room, we weren't coming home until Sunday. I would remind them on walks, we get a lot of talking done on walks, I would say remember you are going to sleep at Mom Mom and Pop Pop's for two nights. Ethan would then in typical fashion ask, 'Why?' Kendall would then reply, 'Because Mommy has been married to Daddy for a really long time.' 'Oh.'

Yup. That's right, we ladies, we deserve something for being married for a really long time, and don't let them forget it. It's definitely not wrong that my daughter thinks this. Set the bar high is what I say, and don't do their laundry for them until you are married to them, and even then, teach them how to sort and turn the thing on. And I think it's important for Ethan to know: you take that wife of yours away, you give her the moon, she is going to birth your children and wash your streaked up boxer briefs. Not that I know anything about that previously mentioned item.

I want to meet the people who created this sign and didn't think it was cheesy, but romantic, and then hit them over the head. Fortunately for us, this person was only hired to design the sign, and not the entire place.

My dear husband, he took me away to the mountains for some time away. People actually asked me what my name was. You know when you are out and about with your children, people will ask, 'oh what's your name little girl?' Once you have children there is no association with you. Not that I would enjoy people asking my name every time I was in Target, 'Oh what's your name lady?' I am just saying that you simply become your child's entourage. Forget the fact that you wipe their butts and taught them how to speak, you are now second fiddle. So when people actually associated with me without my two shining starts to initiate the conversation, I really didn't know what to say. Me? Who will talk about anything and everything? Yeah, well it just so happens that besides swapping child rearing secrets, I got nothing to offer to adult conversation. It was like learning how to ride a bike all over again, but I am proud to say that by Saturday the training wheels were taken off. Ok, ok, so I had some strawberry margaritas, and maybe a sangria or two.

When we got there on Friday night after a brief detour because someone forgot his wallet at home. I mean it couldn't have been Andy because he always remembers everything, and I am the one with the dementia. And like a good little soldier, I kept my mouth shut, until we got home and the front door was wide open. Apparently forgetting your wallet and to shut and lock the front door go hand in hand. Who knew? Dinner was being served until 8 p.m., at this point on our second departure to go 90 minutes tops, Andy was all aggravated. I said to him, we will have plenty of time to eat, I mean how long do you really need to eat, he replied, 2 hours, I am going to eat and eat, and he promptly hit the steering wheel. Seriously folks, we were done in 30 minutes after one plateful. I am not going to say it, not going to, I just won't even tell you that I am always right.

After dinner we went to check out our room which had a pool in it. No, nothing Olympic size, but let me just tell you that it was big enough and deep enough for Andy to do a cannon ball into. Unfortunately no photo was taken of this. I didn't think you would want to see a bare butt in cannon ball pose anyway. I mean I am sure there can be a reenactment for you upon request. And you will be happy to know, in case you were wondering, no, nothing was injured, and we can only hope he can still produce his end of the deal in baby making. But there was water splashed all over the place and a slight typhoon hit all over the edges of the pool.

Saturday morning we went golfing on the little 9 hole course they have there. Andy had already put in 9 holes before I got up because like any mother on vacation our top priority is sleeping in. Andy was up for his morning swim and out the door before I even got one eye open. He then attempted to teach me to golf. This is his extent of teaching me: Hole One. This is how you stand, this is the way your body should turn, don't take your eye off the ball. One hit. Oh, excuse me, I got to put it once too, I think on like hole 8. Not that I have some burning desire to play golf. He tried. Andy is one of those who will never ever be able to coach any of Kendall's teams. Every last girl will go home in tears vowing to never play again, Andy will call the team hopeless, Kendall will be dubbed the girl with the ball hogging father, and this was just the 5 year old team. So I acted as caddy, simply just told him, 'use the driver, and aim that way.' I think we have a future in the PGA Championships. I at one point asked him how he knew to use a certain club, and his reply was, 'because I am that good.' Have I ever told you my husband is slightly cocky when it comes to athletics? It must have slipped my mind.

Why yes those are raccoon eyes from mascara, because yes, I actually wore make up during the day.

Later we played some games, indulged in gluttonous behavior with a 5 course steak dinner, went back and hung out in our room so Andy could try out some new daring jumps into the pool, and soaked in the hot tub. Do I even have children, what are their names again? That night we went again to listen to a band, and I may or may not have been seen on the dance floor with the band's tambourine shaking it to the beat. It's debatable. I will deny everything. We then watched a stand up comedian. Why are they called Stand Up Comedians? Are there Sit Down Comedians? Are they more funny?

Yesterday we slept in. Hard. I slept in on a Hugh Hefner inspired bed and probably slept as soundly as he does each night. There is something about round beds. I don't know it could have also been the fact that I had 10 down pillows to get lost in, and again, those margaritas. Why are they so good? We then had breakfast and it was my turn to pick the activities. We went on a bike ride, went pedal boating on the lake, and then went miniature golfing, much more my speed. I then was ready to go. I missed them. I missed my babies. I wanted to squeeze their cheeks, hug them tight, have them make requests, demands of me.

Today we are back to reality. Wake Up Call #1: 6 a.m. to get Andy off to work, because, I do that. Wake Up Call #2: 8:30 a.m. I attempted to stay awake to see the announcement of the new Dancing with the Stars cast, but the first cup of coffee failed to do its job. I also get to go to work at 3 today. Awesome. We are watching Yo Gabba Gabba, Ethan in a giraffe costume and Kendall is of course a princess. I have broken up 3 fights, cleaned up cold scrambled eggs off the floor, and changed a poopy diaper.

There is something to be said about weekends away. It's refreshing. Like water after you have been out in the hot sun. Or like a strawberry margarita when you haven't had one in years. Sugar, not salt on the rim. Did I tell you I enjoyed my margaritas?

There is also something more to be said about home, and not getting asked what my name is, because after all, once they arrive, you really are chopped liver, and I love every bit of it.


Mama's Boy

Oh the love and admiration my son bestows upon me is quite lovely at times. Due to that affection, the attachment he has with me is quite irritating sometimes. Am I a horrible mother for admitting this? I mean this kid wasn't even breast fed, why is that he feels this desire to be super glued to me? I will for certain remind him of this when he is 16 and hates my guts because I grounded him to his room for 10 days for letting a pig loose in the school cafeteria. I will say, 'hey you know what, there was a time you would have given your right eye to be near me, now suck it up kid.'

I don't know where I got this pig loose in the cafeteria idea, but for some reason Ethan strikes me as someone who will do this and not think twice about the consequences. Right now I envision him being the quintessential jock with no other purpose then to eat a lot of food, win the next game, and make his friends laugh. Kendall will be mortified. I am thinking now about sending them to separate schools since I envision her being the girl with her nose stuck in a book giving anything to ace the next exam and worrying about getting to ballet class on time. Although I hope they will both dabble in theater because the theatrics that go on in this house sometimes is just wasted talent if not put to use.

So my son. Oh my darling son. I do exaggerate a bit because well he will occasionally let me out of his sight for an extended period of time if any of his trusted comrades are there, like his father or my father as an example. If my Dad is around, I could actually board a rocket ship that was going to circle the earth for 3 months, and he wouldn't bat an eyelash. There is the rest of the select few he will entrust with his time, but this is on the occasional. Because sometimes, this doesn't even work.There are some tricks and these moments are usually redirected and calmed if there is a distraction, but if you don't know them, you are screwed. But above all else, this kid hates sunday school. I have no qualms about leaving him. But I find it quite unfair to all the other children in the room when he is screaming like the teacher is ripping him apart from limb to limb for the entire hour or so. No joke. This kid does not calm down. And I sometimes can here him from the sanctuary, over the music. I know it is him and I cringe. I don't necessarily feel sad for the kid. It's not like he is in a terrible predicament. He would love it there if he chose to look around. We are usually sought out to come and get him, and then since he has exhausted himself to the point of no return, he will fall asleep on top of me, still shaking in a convulsive manner to catch his breath, for the remainder of the service. He doesn't even care what the other kids think of him. He wants his mother, and you can go poop in a corner.

If you were to see Ethan in his own environment, you might never guess he has this desire to live inside my uterus. He is a social kid, a silly kid, a bossy kid. He can tolerate me going in and out of the house, paying attention to and caring for other children. In fact right now he is playing in his playroom and has been for an hour. That is because he knows I am around. But if I make a move to go somewhere without him, or if I sneak away and he goes to do his Mommy status check and it registers that I am not around, forget about it, then you would see the disorder. I do go, don't get me wrong. This kid isn't going to be the conductor, but that still does not stop him from showing some pretty awesome fits from what I hear. I have seen and heard of worse forms of attachment with other children and their mothers, that does nothing to console me.

I am certain that someday I will long for him to just want to give me the time of day that he does now. I know there will be those, remember whens. He loves me that much right now. That much that when asked who is best friend is, it is me. When in a room, even with his Pop in it also, he will seek me out to cuddle with. It is endearing. He enamors me, wants to be like me, oh how wonderful...I repeat this over and over again some days.

Here is a recent example of just how much he enamors me, if the convulsions from leaving him in sunday school did not get you.

One night I was getting ready for bed and walking around in just my bra and some shorts. The kids were in our room and Kendall turns and asks, 'When I get bigger will I have boobies like you Mommy?' Ok, so she is fascinated with all things that pertain to getting 'bigger,' and you know when you think about it, it is quite odd, the whole from nothing to something in the chest area if you don't know how or why that happens. So I just say, 'yes Kendall, when you are bigger you will.' Ethan then says, 'I have boobies when I get bigger too.' I quickly interject into this learning moment of what makes him a boy and her a girl and say, 'No Ethan, you are a boy, boys don't have boobies.' I don't go into the whole man boobs explanation, that would only confuse them beyond belief, and let's just hope that in the next few years they don't see someone with man boobs and blurt out, 'See Mommy, he's a boy and he has boobies!' Back to the story at hand, Ethan begins to cry. But it is not that whiny cry, it is a cry that his heart is just breaking. I ask him what is wrong, and he cries out, 'I want boobies like Mommy too!' I try to console him, that no, boys don't have boobies, and you are a boy, but that is ok. His heart breaking cry continues. I am at a loss. I don't even get into it any further, I just hug him and let him cry it out. A realization that there is a connection lost between us because he can't have boobies was obviously a difficult moment for him. I mean what do you say?

I am my future daughter in law's worst nightmare.


Summer Nights

Every summer there is this event that takes place entitled, 'Musikfest.' It takes place about about 20 minutes from our home in the city of Bethlehem. Those of you that don't know Bethlehem, and think perhaps I am living in Israel, no, it is just a small city in Pennsylvania. They do boast a cheesiness factor and have a star that lights up on one of the hills every night for all to see, not just at Christmas, and one of the Hotel's in the city is named, Hotel Bethlehem. But no, this is not the birth place of Christ, and kings do not travel from afar to go there.

So anyway, for 10 days, part of the city shuts down to normal everyday comings and goings and large tents, stands, and stages are set up and just as the name, although misspelled for cultural value I suppose, implies, it is a MusicFestival. There are a number of different performers every night on I think maybe 4 stages and you just walk around part of the city and enjoy the tunes, take a look at what the vendors are showing, and my favorite part about it, is eat the food. I am not kidding when I say the food is that good.

We were driving there on the first night and it had started to rain. Andy actually suggested that perhaps we stop on the way there and get something to eat while the rain passes. What is he nuts? I looked at him like he just suggested that I go into the nearest home and ask what was for dinner. It was that foreign of an idea. Uh excuse me pal, I didn't not eat all day to stop at McDonald's. Nothing against McDonald's, I love myself a good value meal, but there is something about me that you should know. When I get to look forward to a meal, a particular meal, if it is not delivered I am at the highest point of annoyance my body can handle. I prepare myself all day for something I am going to eat that I know is going to be good. You have to save that appetite. Similar to Thanksgiving, if I liked Thanksgiving dinner. I am not much of a Turkey Dinner fan, so on this day, I do eat breakfast. But you might like Thanksgiving dinner and therefore can relate. All I wanted was a Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wrap, and nothing was going to stop me.

And I got that chicken wrap. And it was good. And it stopped raining.

My children enjoying their nutritious meal of corn dogs. There is tons of food there. I am not kidding you. You could gain like 50 pounds easily in those 10 days. Precisely why I just stick to one night. If I were to go every night for dinner, Andy would be renting a flat bed to get me home on the last night.

Frank eating a turkey leg. Lord only knows where they get that many giant turkey legs. But again, if you like a turkey dinner and also like to eat like a barbarian, you too may enjoy this leg.

Sticking to these kind of event menus, I think each festival has little challenges against other festivals entitled, 'What can you fry next?' Like: we just fried a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, what do you have on that? Yeah, well we just fried a hunk of cheesecake, back to you. Seriously, a hunk of cheesecake, since I am just like this and will pretty much ask anyone anything within reason, I asked a kid what he was munching on, and he confirmed it was fried cheesecake. I don't know, some people with heart conditions might just go into cardiac arrest at the sight of something like this.

One stand we passed was selling fried pickles, and our friend Brian decided to get some. I mean, really? Pickles? If he wanted to taste something different fried he couldn't have picked something up at, I don't know let's say the fried twinkie or oreo stand? In case you were wondering, they were gross. Think about it, warm pickles. Ethan LOVES pickles, so he could stomach these all for the taste of the pickle, me, not so much.

Here is another little interesting fact about Musikfest. The beverages. Each year its organizers decide on a design for their mugs. Here is the rules, if you want a beer, you have to have it in this mug. You can bring mugs from years past, but you have to have a Musikfest mug to purchase a beer. Like a secret little society. These mugs are the size of those giant coffee mugs you can get at Wawa. Is this necessary? I mean I get the whole beverages in a concealed, plastic, lidded container, but these things are really very awkward in size, and since when do we sip beer from a lid that is similar to a coffee mug lid? How about a mug that fits into a strollers cup holder. I realize that sounds even more oxymoronic, but I don't know, they are just big.

But I fight the large crowds, the inability to find a parking spot anywhere closer then a mile radius or more to the event,the awkward beer mugs, the counting of tickets, because also within the secret Musikfest society you have to purchase everything you eat or drink with these tickets, no cash. I shouted at my daughter over loud music in dark port-a-potties, 'If any part of your body touches anything in here Kendall, it will fall off.' I couldn't see, alright? This justifies the lying. I endured all of this for the music and the food.

My children, they love to dance. I mean I wonder where they get it from? I don't know, could it be that they have a mother that breaks out in song and dance in the car, or in the kitchen, or when jumping on the bed? Could be. It's either they get dance moves out of it or wonder why Mommy is so crazy. They are still young,so music playing loudly, with a good beat? You can't not move.
Kendall & her BFF Sarah moving it to some swing.

My children quite enjoyed the cuban band the best, and were so mad when we left them and their booty shaking music. Kendall shouted to me as she was dancing, 'Mommy, they don't make any sense, it's so silly!' She is just so cultural, right? Time for some lessons in diversity, and what better place then Musikfest? See, it was more then the food, I am not that much of a fatty, my children were experiencing different cultures. Learning experience.Get off my back.

Lazy, Hazy Days

A look like that can only mean one thing. You know you have seen it and experienced it too. This can only lead to one of those days, and you know you have them. Those days where getting out of jammies just doesn't sound like fun. Kendall will sometimes ask me if we can have a 'Pajama Day.' These are mostly on the days when she decides to nap. It's really awesome that she only naps every once in a blue moon. Kendall was never ever a sleeper. I pulled all nighters with this child when she was a newborn. They say this is a sign of intelligence. I have nothing but lost mine thanks to this. She has since been a wonderful nighttime sleeper, but on most days does not require a nap. We just have down time with book reading and movie watching while Ethan naps. No friends, no crazy activities, just some quiet time. This is my compromise.

I love the lazy days, the jammie days. We snuggle, we read, we nap, we are quiet. On our last lazy day we had massive rainstorms. This also adds to the mellowness of the day. I encourage you to take a lazy day every now and then. If your lives are anything like ours, which I am sure they are since you read this blog, then you are always on the go, always have a full schedule. Lazy Days are required to not only keep the sanity, but to also keep the importance of just being the four of us a top priority.

I will try and make it a regular thing to post pics of my lazy days when we take them so that you are reminded that it is ok to stop time, even if just for a day.

Andy not adhering to the Jammie requirements, but really do we want him walking around all day in his boxer briefs? Yeah, so we let him bend the rules a little bit.

Scene from my set up on lazy day. And yes, that is a cat on the kitchen table. You might think that is gross, I think you have issues. I bleach, ok? Table is clean when you sit down to eat at it. Plus how else is she supposed to enjoy her lazy days if not out of reach from rugrats?



Lily and her dear friend Peanut.

They sat like this for hours yesterday, staring at each other through protective glass.

Every once in awhile one would make a movement due to muscle spasms from an intense staring contest. This would lead to each of them charging the glass attacking each other making insane sounds that would lead some to think I was torturing cats for fun. They then would resume this position.

Peanut has returned again today.

I think at some point in the next few months we are going to need a new sliding glass door. Lily's head is that thick.

She needs a new hobby and some new friends. This relationship is destined to fail.

And I clearly need to clean the base of my door, that is just embarassing.


And they call it, Puppy Love.

I would like to introduce to you the newest member of our family.
Oh now he is just so cute isn't he?

Why yes, yes he does still have puppy breath.

And why yes, yes, my children did get jumped on, licked all over like they were covered in puppy chow, and nipped at like they were his very own rubber bone on their first afternoon together.

And why yes, Kendall did remark, 'I am not going back to see that puppy until he is 1years old and knows how to be like a big dog!'

Because, he is not technically our dog, he doesn't live in our home. He is the newest addition to the home of my cousins. Timmy received this little guy for his 12th birthday present.

The name of this cuddly wuddly saber toothed canine, is Donovan.

No,now don't go thinking he is named after Donovan McNabb. Timmy will quickly tell you otherwise. It is found in an Irish name book since they are all about being Irish, I guess it is their last name or something. I tend to think that secretly he did name him after Donovan McNabb and is safeguarding himself from the humiliation if the Eagles have yet another disappointing season. I don't blame him.

At one point Donovan had Ethan cornered in the office of my aunt's home and was pouncing all over him, and seemed to be saying, 'come on kid, get up and play, what is your deal? Get up pounce back' While Ethan screamed bloody murder at what he surely presumed was his death.

So needless to say we need to take some precautions in regards to the children and the puppy. Next time they go over I will just have them wear those outfits people wear in self defense classes when they are playing the part of the predator. Nothing seems to get through those get ups.

However, our afternoon getting acquainted with Donovan did get me further onto the get a dog bandwagon which the rest of my family is presently on and has been circling the block for sometime now waiting for me to hop on. I am all about rescuing animals and giving a dog a home that wouldn't otherwise have one. This is clearly an opinion my children now agree with. A dog over a year or so old would be the way to go. It will definitely lessen the chance of being mauled in a dark corner of the home. However, I cannot safeguard against the humping.

Which brings up another whole topic. Why do dogs do this? Ok, some say it is to show dominance and their manliness. I mean really, could they not just bark alot and go drink a beer? That is how, Andy, uh, some guys show they are men.

Anyway, I just thought I should do the honor of introductions between you and the new little fellow in the family. I mean after all there will be pictures of this little schnutzel on the blog, I think it would be rude to leave you just sitting there, feeling all awkward as I ramble on and on about him and what cuteness prevails all around him as he attacks my children with puppy love and then they have nightmares about puppies for the rest of their lives.

They'll adjust...he is that cute.


"This is true love -- you think this happens every day?" -- The Princess Bride

Commemorating 8 years of marriage, what a splendid thought. With the consideration that about 50% of marriages in America ends in divorce, well then it is unarguable that we should celebrate sticking it out. Because let’s face it, marriage is tough. What an awful thing to say, you are thinking. Especially on her anniversary, she is such a mood killer, but what better day to say it?

I will go ahead and say, yes raising children is tough. That yes struggling through a terrible economy, yeah, that’s pretty tough too. But marriage is something that should never ever be taken lightly, or assumed that it will be easy, since you found your soul mate. What a silly thought. That since you have found the love of your life, your perfect match, that all things will go splendidly. Let me tell you, I married the love of my life, there are times things are going swimmingly, there are also times that I want to hit him over the head with a 2 X 4, and I am certain he thinks the same exact things.

Foundationally, God’s purpose for marriage is uniting two people to become one. Two people to become one? When you really sit down and think about it do you know how difficult of a task that is? That everything, our baggage, our opinions, our faults, our interests, our emotions, and our histories, need to come together and become one. I really think that after about 50 years of marriage that is why you start to look like each other. You have become one so much so, that there is nothing else but the outside appearances to become one. Becoming one is an ongoing task to me throughout marriage. On the day of your wedding the pastor will most likely make mention of this. I think on that day, the staples are placed, uniting the two of you, but in no way does the perfect couple just balance it all, accept it all, and live happily ever after from that day forward. Marriage is work; it is sifting through everything, sorting out what makes you a complete couple. It’s getting rid of the garbage; sacrificing, adjusting to make room for things you don’t necessarily want; compromising, and placing the things that you love about each other and about being with each other on the mantels of you married lives; creating unity.

I will tell you this that marriage is worth fighting for. I think people quit way too easily. I won’t lie, I will say that I have been so frustrated that for certain walking away would be the easy way out, and I am certain Andy will tell you the same thing. But it is this whole unconditional love thing we have going on. It is this contract that we have with each other and God to stick it out. I can pretty much guarantee that we will be blessed more for combating through the hard times. I can also guarantee that we will be given a pretty difficult time if we had and were to quit on each other. There are for sure times that I do not like Andy, but I will always love Andy. Here is the thing, to me ‘like,’ is a variable, and ‘love,’ that is a constant. I many not always like something someone is doing, but if I first loved them, that love never goes away, and that is worth staying together for.

I do think God has a sense of humor. It of course is a loving sense of humor, not a spiteful one. And I do think he laughs sometimes when he chooses a soul mate for some people. But he also has a purpose. I do think when he created Andy and me, he snickered when he decided to pair us together as partners for life. ‘I will take this bossy freckle faced girl, and pair her with this lanky domineering boy; this should be a good one, lots of fun.’ Forget reality television; tune in here every day for some live entertainment. “Blessing” us both with extremely dominant personalities is one thing, but I still don’t understand where in God’s eyes that makes for a perfect match? But we are living proof that when God does something that doesn’t always make sense to us, it is clear as a bell to him. Andy and I do indeed fit. However, we have yet to figure out exactly what we are to do with that purpose, except bang heads together every so often. We are just at year 8, so we have some time. I think at year 8, we will both agree that we have finally figured these dominant personalities out, and how to live together with them, now we are moving on to what to do with them.

You know those personality quizzes you take at premarital counseling with your pastor? You find out what the personality of you and your partner is and then get advice on how to compliment each others personalities as a married couple? Andy and I took this quiz, and our results were both, ‘D’s’, which is Dominant, now Andy is a high D. You are thinking really? Andy is highly dominant? Never would’ve guessed, right? I am a low D, but really no one’s dominance can compete with Andy’s he wins the title, hands down. However, that was the only difference between us, a few measly points. My pastor looked at us, and said, ‘well I have never had two people take this quiz and both be dominant, best of luck to you both.’ And that was the end of premarital counseling. No, not really. He did really say those words, but we continued through the counseling. And he did share that we would have our work cut out for his, but that there was a specific reason for this pairing. I don’t know maybe we are supposed to be the next Bill and Hilary Clinton, and unite our dominance for good, like freeing American’s from foreign prisons. However, the most important thing is, is that we were paired together for a reason, and it’s our purpose to continue to strive to continually become one, dominantly or passively.

I make it sound as if all we do all day is puff our feathers at each other trying to prove who is the biggest ruler of the roost, and that is the furthest from the truth. There is more to Andy and me as a couple then being domineering. However, I bring up the dominant personalities, because this is our biggest hurdle as a couple, in my opinion. And when it is put out there like that, sharing that it is something we are tackling together, doesn’t it make marriage seem worth fighting for? There is no problem too big or too small when you love each other this much.

Marriage is something I whole heartedly support. Yeah Marriage! You will find me on the picket lines. When you find someone you truly believe you are to spend the rest of your life with, I say go for it. You will not be clunked on the head by some board that has a message for you, ‘you are to marry so and so,’ but I can attest to the fact that when you know, you know. I also think that giving up is copping out.When you marry someone, you have everything and nothing to lose, and that is what makes it so rewarding, really, I promise. I will not tell you it is easy, but I will tell you that marrying Andy, deciding to spend the rest of my life with him, is hands down the best decision I have made. Well besides deciding on my living room furniture, which has also survived 8 years, and has really held up.

Beyond all of that, Andy is my best friend. Those of us who are doing it can attest to the fact that going through life with your best friend makes it all the more enjoyable. I cannot imagine my life without him. Awww…But really, I love this man with everything I have. Sure sometimes he is my punching bag, and I throw all that is wrong with my world right onto him. But that is what is so great about having a 6’5, 220 pound man as your spouse; he can catch every one of the blows.

Andy is the most familiar thing I have, and it is so comforting. The way my hand slips into his is perfect. My world has the potential to move at 100 miles an hour and I can count on him to slow me down.

8 years with him is nothing in comparison to the milestone of 40 or 50 that we will someday reach. But in comparison to 8 years ago, and what we have become collectively since then, I think 8 is great.

How did I meet my prince, and how did he win me over and get me to marry him?

To Be Continued…


Shawnee Style, Part II

So as I was blogging about how many children we adults took on our vacation with us, a thought occurred to me. The poor children who had to have 6, and at one time 8, adults with them on vacation. 4 Mom's reigning and 4 Dad's and their firm reprimands. Who in the world would want that?

Not that these children are in anyway old enough to survive on their own, but just the same, it can be a bit overwhelming. And not that there was a lot of discipline thrown around either, for the most part, these kids were really well behaved. I mean I think we escaped potential disaster. Preschoolers, a lot of them, together for a week, this can be compared to a nuclear bomb. You know there is the potential out there for disaster, and you just hope and pray that mercy is shown. We definitely got out by the skin of our teeth. There was only the occasional push and shove. 'You're not my best friend,' like I said was a little over used, but it was also easily curtailed. There was also a rule instituted that there would be no tattle telling unless there was blood. I even did my part, and after I swiftly came in to rescue this child or that, that was pushing or shoving, or having a toy snagged from them. I would interve with a quick word of advice, 'Listen, you don't do this again, and I won't tell your Mom.'

So what did we adults do to keep the sanity? There was golf played. My husband, in particular, partook in a lot of golf. I mean, I suppose if I was really good at something, I too would want to spend a lot of time doing that activity. But there is not an activity out there that I have found that would occupy 4-5 hours with no interruption. That is virtually impossible. Most especially with the prospect of more children lingering out there. The 20-30 minutes I now have is going to be taken away from me completely. It's frightening. Why do we do it? Oh that's right, because we have been blessed with these lives to mold and shape, ok, ok.

At one point when we were having a conference about his golf schedule for the week, and I remarked, snottily, 'All I want is a full day as a family day.' I mean seriously, we were on vacation for a week, that is the potential for 168 hours of family time. I think taking away merely 20 hours total for golf from that is a reasonable request. But not for me on that day. Oh we women can be so selfish sometimes, right? 'I am the queen of this castle, now do as I say!' I think what I really wanted him to say was, 'My dear, beautiful, intelligent, wife, what are your plans for this week? Could you please, let me know when you would like for me to play golf, if at all, and so then on the other times I can be at your beck and call?' So then I thought about my snotty remark, and softened, and remembered that this too is his vacation, and he loves golf. And really, he was scheduling golf early morning and over nap time, so the potential for actual quality family time would not really occur during those hours. And he works hard, and he is stressed, he should have this time. So we are going on with the conversation, and just as I am about to say, 'You're right, babe, golf away, there is plenty of time for us to do stuff together, I am being silly,' he turns and says to me, 'I don't know babe, all I want to do is play golf, that's all, it's a vacation.' As he mimics my previous tone. Oh no he didn't. Fool, I tell you. Almost 8 years of marriage...

Then my dear and wonderful friend Trista says, 'I saw an ad for the spa in the activity guide, I want to get a massage.' Now that, that was the best idea I have heard in a long time. All.over.it. So I quickly convince my husband that this is so very much needed for my survival. We call the spa to see what is available. Only day that had two times near each other was Wednesday. That was the day that Tucker and Cherie were coming with the Hibblets. Now what do we do? I mean we can't very well go to the spa and leave Cherie there with the guys and all the kids. So we call her and facebook her: Did she want to go to the spa? Uh yeah. Immediate response. There was not even time for consideration. I think at some point when you are a mom anything that gives you a break, a moment of clarity, you are all over. I could have said to her, 'Hey Cherie, want to go and check out the sewage plant with just us girls,' and I would have gotten the same reaction. Watch poop alone for 2 hours with real live lady friends or change poopy diapers and run around after 12 kids at the pool for 2 hours? 12 kids? You know you would watch poop churn for 2 hours too.

Becky and Cherie were up for the pedis. Trista and I got swedish massages and hydrotherapy. My massage was an hour, Trista's was 90 minutes, hey big spender. I interrupt to say that there are some things in life worth spending some money for. Like a house, good coffee, flip flops, electricity, and a trip to a spa for a massage. There are more on those list, but these of course, are the top. All of us ladies, left the men and the children and head off to our afternoon at the spa. We are walking out the door and realize that we do not of keys to a vehicle. Becky volunteers to get hers. We begin walking to the car again and realize that Becky's car should not have been the top pick since she has two bigger car seats, not just boosters. We think for a split second about going in and getting someone else's keys. Reality then hits us. If someone goes back in children will cry, hang on legs, men will ask where the peanut butter is to make the sandwiches, someone will have to go pee pee, and this is not conducive to leaving for a spa appointment. Trista and I decide that we will sit in the car seats. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
What in the world is Hydrotherapy? Glad you asked. Here is the description of what enticed Trista and I to get this:

Steam & Hydro Capsule:
While you lie on our pre-warmed wet table, steam will envelop your body to stimulate your pores and release any impurities. As the steam and showers invigorate your skin, enjoy a scalp and facial massage.

Excuse me what did you say? Steam enveloping my body and a scalp and facial massage? No need to say anything more. What did I do to deserve this? Well I watched Jake and Trista's children while they played golf. As a reward for schlepping through the mud during a scavenger hunt and then bathing, feeding, and getting them down for naps they offered to treat me to a Hydro Capsule Experience. Calling all babysitters, this is where it's at! Ok, Ok, so they are good friends, and I am a pretty great sitter, but no one can embark in Hydro Therapy alone. You have to have a comparison.

Basically a Hydro Capsule resembled an upscale tanning bed with a hole at the head with a pillow, so your head sticks out and lies upon the pillow. It then has the lid close on you and all these showers are turned on and just go to town spraying your entire body while you get a massage on your head and face.

I could have stayed in there all day long.

We just about wanted to set up camp and send a telegraph to the boys that we would see them on Saturday. But all good things come to an end, and we tore ourselves away and crammed back into the car seats. Yeah, really good idea at the time of escape, not so good idea after a massage.

However, the benefits were that I was completely relaxed, smelled of wonderful oils, and in complete envy of women who go to a spa regularly, without having to be on vacation or trekking through a forest digging up giant earthworms and teaching children how to pee in the woods.
Examination of a giant worm.

A natural. This child was self-taught on the great art of peeing outside. Protege, clearly.

Other then many more children centered activities, after we wrestled children to sleep at night, we adults played games, sipped beverages, talked about everything important and unimportant, snuck away to read, smoked cigars, ok so I didn't smoke cigars, but Jake did, and sat and enjoyed.

Of course a good time was had, clearly by all, as we were leaving Gabby broke down in tears that we were leaving.

Some of my favorite pics of the week...

What to do on a rainy day? You take children who haven't napped, Bowling.

The epitome of Ian.

Girl Soup. The little ladies taking a bath in the Dunk Tank, er bath tub.

In the infamous 'inside pool.' Look a Hibblet!

Pic from Crazy Hair Day.

Last Night, cleaning up dinner, getting ready to go out for ice cream, Gabby was going to throw that away in the trash, apparently got side tracked. No, ice cream for Gabby.

Sweet Dreams.

But she sure did get some ice cream! Jules, 'sharing,' Kendall's leftovers. She was spooning it in so fast when she thought no one was looking. Caught.