Why I Love 3 Year Olds...

Ethan is now at an age where he just says the funniest, randomest, and cutest things. Lord, I love this little man. LOVE HIM.

His Christmas Miracle came in the form of the Batcave and Batmobile from Santa, and all the little Batman guys to go along with it from his sister Kendall. He loves this thing and has spent his every waking moment playing with it or playing with it next.

My friend Sue was over last night playing with him and his Batcave because if you want to interact with him at all right now, you must play Batcave, and then you can be BFF's.

She said that they were loading up the Batmobile with Batman and she said to him, 'Let's put Robin in there with him since Robin is his sidekick and rides with Batman.'

She said that he turned to her and said, 'No, Robin laid an egg.'


No seriously...hilarious.

Do you get it? Seriously. If you need the help...

Since Ethan is obsessed with all things superhero we would sing to him, 'Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. The Batmobile lost its wheel and the Joker got away, Hey!'

We are that childish...it's fun sometimes. Apparently he now thinks that Batman smells also, and the Batmobile is prone to losing a wheel, and that the Joker is a sly little fellow.

Love it.


Why I Love 4 Year Olds

pitter, patter, pitter, patter...they take their turns.

They love to come into my room after we have snuggled them all up with their supplies.

Water? Check? Peed?Check? Books? Check.

There is always something.

Tonight Ethan was, 'scared.' Impossible. His room in lit up like a freakin holiday light show spectacular. The smelly dog is in bed with him, and I made sure that he had his blankie and batman right up around him so that he is 'safe.' Not only that my light is on in my room and I was standing in the hallway in plain sight loading the washer. Back to bed!


Next One.

The Morning Look, love it, because it is actually worse than mine, and that is tough.

'Uh Mommy, I can't sleep, Stanley is snoring too loud.''Uh, Kendall, I hate to break it to you, but there is Stanley, in your brothers bed chewing on a stuffed animal.' (the dog now has a terrible fetish with chewing the eyes and noses off of stuffed animals, its heart breaking)

K: Oh well, can I just stay in here with you? I promise I will go right to sleep, as she zones into the tv.

Me: Nope

K: Well then I am going to read my books. (she makes big threats)

Me: That's fine, that's why I put them next to you.

K: I am going to go ahead and read a million books!

Me: Ok, have fun!

K: No, a thousand books!

Me: Even better

K: Then 21, 22, 23...

Me: Now you're talking

K: You'll be sorry, 25 books! I am going to read actually 20,30 books. (this is her number for 30)

Me: Ok, but that's alot of reading

K: I know, that's why I should stay here with you.

Me: Nope, I would rather you read, it's good for you, you will get a scholarship to college someday with those brains

K: Well I don't want these brains, why did you give them to me, all I want is no brains and to sleep with you.

Me: I'm sorry, it's going to be a tough tough road...now go to bed, brain surgeon

K: That is terrible, I am not going to be a sturgeon, that's a fish.

Me: My point exactly.

Sleep Tight.


Home Goods Holiday Spenditure

**Prefacing this post with the fact that Blogher...which is a truly awesome land of bloggingness that I am a part of, and Home Goods store which I am about to go on and on about because I forgot just how wonderful it is, are the sponsors of my wonderful shopping trip I am about to blog about.**

So me and my sistah decided on Saturday early afternoon that I needed to spend the gift card that I had received from BlogHer, from Home Goods, cause I blog for Blogher and they picked me; nanny nanny boo boo. Ok, so that was a little ridiculous, but I was super excited to be a recipient like they gave me thousands of dollars to spend; which if in fact they do want to go ahead and do this, I would be more than happy to shop again at Home Goods.

So we had a holiday party to be at that started at 3, so of course, in typical fashion we need to cram as much as we can possibly do into one day. So we headed out to Home Goods.

Once I walked over the threshold of this store I remembered just how much I love it. Now it is like a giant upscale flea market. Things are in designated areas, i.e., housewares, frames, furniture, bedding, kids things, I could go on and on, but the bargains are such that you can just not believe it. And it is random things, things you never thought you needed be now really really do, typical to being at a flea market, yard sale, so on and so forth, you know what I mean.

Now with three small children, I don't get a whole lot of time, if any, to just go random shopping, like Home Goods is perfect for. I need to know exactly what I am getting, how much it is going to cost, where it is located in the particular store, and get my fanny in and out of there before there is any time for major meltdowns, because you give them that time they will pull out all their tricks.

So being able to do this on Saturday was just splendid. I stripped my arms, waist, and mind of the children, and marched right to the store, I had a job to do...thanks for the awesome excuse. I highly recommend it. This was my Toy Store, my Amusement Park; I was a kid in a candy shop, all wide eyed. I seriously probably could have very well been committed if I verbalized just how excited I was, because it just isn't normal. And since I wanted to spend the hour or so I had in the store and not in the Psych Unit, I composed myself like I get to shop aimlessly without a care in the world all the time. I don't get out much, can you tell?

It is a store filled with things right up my alley. It is the perfect place to find a gift for a certain someone. I know, I sound like an advertisement, and in all honesty, I was given a gift card to do some holiday shopping there, but that is not why I am writing this review. You need to get yourself there, pronto. Most especially if you are redecorating a room in your home, need a gift for someone, just need to shop and aren't really sure what you really need. You will find something there.

For Blogher I posted my pics through Flickr, but I am more then willing to go ahead and post them here for you, my faithful readers. I gave you some gift ideas and you also get to see my super excited sister and also what I ended up getting with the gift card...I know, the excitement is just killing you.

So without further ado...

Willy Wonka's Overstock

Similar to my husband who purchased a GIANT tub on Double Bubble on an impulse, because our kids like gum.( Looks like he might grow real fond of dental bills), it looks like some buyer went a little crazy with the gumballs. This is to the Home Goods Shoppers delight. There is seriously every freakin flavor of gumball you could imagine. Mango, Plum, Kiwi, Coconut.
And there was green apple. I love me a green apple gumball.

See those ones on the bottom right hand corner? Those would be some sweet, literally, stocking stuffers. $3.99. That's 4 bucks for some gourmet gumballs.

The jars would be a cute little idea for a coworker with a desk, you know so if you are a like a mailman, maybe not so much. But you know if you are looking for something small for someone just to let them know, 'Hey listen, Have a Merry Christmas,' this would be a pretty decent little gift.

The jars of gumballs varied by size, but none were more than $10. Who doesn't want something fun on their desk to give out to visitors, clients, coworkers, your boss? It might just save you your job. That boss of yours might be coming in your office to give you the old heave ho, he pops in gourmet gumball to wet his whistle, and since it is just that good he thinks, 'this creep deserves a second chance.' I don't know, but it could happen.

It is also good for when you are having a pretty crap shoot of a day, just reach in that jar that sits upon your desk and just pop one in, blow some bubbles, it's really not that bad after all.

You don't have to pay me for these gift ideas, it's on the house. Thank Home Goods.

The Rainbow Connection

I happen to be in the market for a new tea pot. I really like bright colored pieces that just pop in an otherwise dull area, like a stove top.

Let's face it, metal tea pots do not last forever. They get all funky with the minerals from the water, some get rusty over time. No one wants a rusty glass of mineral tea. This is what mine had become...10 years later.

These are just cute. Their little pot belly look just wants you to get your favorite mug, a friend, and some muffins. I enjoyed both of these. They were $24.99.

Know someone who needs a tea pot? Grab one of these, get some flavored teas, maybe some freshly baked muffins, and voila! Perfect Present!

Excuse Me?

I get weak in the knees when I see a set of dishes that are just so wonderful. Like these. These are wonderful to me. I love accent pieces that match in some way but aren't matchy matchy, like the pitcher, the mugs with the flowers, and those square plates. Excuse me? Square plates. Love.

See that little serving piece with the ribbon? Remember that...I am in love with them. That one up there on the back shelf is $7.99.

Look at those little bumps on the edges of the plates, and the little creasing detail on them, and the imperfections that make it unique. I looked at my sister and she immediately asked, 'can you register here?'

I don't know. But I would think not. The purpose of Home Goods is deals on overstocked items from really great stores, and that is what makes them so great. Their turnover is fast, so if you like something, scoop it up, you can't afford not to.

If I had had the cash flow you know, like 6 days before Christmas to indulge, I would have indulged her in these. When you add up all the prices of each piece they are clearly cheaper then any set you would get elsewhere for this quality.

Just sit and stare at them. Go grab yourself some coffee. Go to Home Goods and get them. So, so wonderful.

Bowl of Excellence

Who does not like a decorative bowl? Raise your hand. And at that, who does not like a nice clean and crisp white bowl that goes with everything?

This one is a little special due to its shape and it's nice ripple edge. This would have gone to my sister Michelle because she too appreciates a nice decorative bowl.

$10. Yup.

Gift Idea for this baby: Fill this sucker up with some candies. Who does not like some candy on the holidays? Yummy. Or fill it with those clear glass rocks...now follow me....and get a gift card to a specialty grocery store, somewhere fancier then your neighborhood food store, and stick it in there with those rocks so they hold it and make a fancy presentation. This way they can go there and get some ingredients to make something to serve in this bowl. Nice little hostess gift if you do stuff like that. Or a sweet little gift for someone who likes to host parties, or just cook in general. Or just for someone who likes a decorative bowl, and candy.

Explosion of Cuteness

We turned down this one aisle of housewares, we spent alot of time in housewares since I am obsessed with housewares, I could walk around in there all day long. In my head I am planning parties, themes, what we will eat, what I will place on each plate, what I will fill each giant glass jar with. Seriously it was sensory overload. I could have spend hundreds of dollars brought it all home, sat it all around me and just stared at it all for hours, completely elated.

Now they had these little cake plates in all shapes and sizes with all colors of polka dot ribbon intertwined in the lattice edge. Immediately in my head I had them stacked up, largest to smallest crowned with beautifully decorated cupcakes for a tea party.

This plate was $10. I don't make these things up.

Gift Idea: You know someone who likes to make cupcakes? Or wants to like to make cupcakes? Get this plate, get some cake mix, get some sprinkles and some fanciful cupcake pan liners, and if you really want to get all creative get them one of the books, 'Hello Cupcake', or the new one, 'What's new Cupcake?', or both, and you know just put it all together, with that clear gift wrap, gather it at the top with a big fat ribbon, and then maybe tie on the outside a spatula or something thrown in there for flare. I like flare. This would be a perfect holiday, birthday, or wedding shower gift. Go at it.


Who doesn't like a Pitcher? People here in Philadelphia like a certain pitcher by the name of Cliff Lee, but if you really aren't into sports like me, then you like this type, or maybe you don't, and that is fine, but you still have to read about mine.

The one on the left is 10 bucks. 10 bucks, no lie. This one would have gone to my mother in law. I can picture her filling it with her iced tea. Are you like me? Do you look at an object, know who you would give it to and immediately know all of the accessories you would give with it? I would have filled the pitcher with lemons, gotten some boxed iced tea bags of different flavors, gotten one of those clear plastic wrapping things that you gather over the object, gotten a big old piece of ribbon and tied it at the top and sat it on her lap. She would LOVE it.

The one of the right, I think that was $15. Had I chosen this, it would have gone to my Mom Mom. She too likes herself a pitcher to fill with a cool drink or some wildflowers in the summer, and yellow just happens to be here favorite color. For a gift I would have gone and gotten her a real cheap poinsettia, clipped the stem and flower off and filled this pitcher with them, and tied a big fat red ribbon around the middle. Merry Christmas Mom Mom.

Feel free to take any of my ideas...I got your back this holiday season.

Because I like Orange & Coffee Mugs

Recently my favorite coffee mug was broken by an undisclosed rugrat who frequents my home. Well, he lives here. My husband mocked me saying I shouldn't have had it out around them if I didn't want it broken. I'll remember that, that's a clever little retort that makes no sense. It was out because I drink coffee in my favorite coffee mug, I wasn't going to make a shrine around it.

This mug is pretty cute.Most especially for $2.99 I really like random pieces in my dishware. It really makes having a dinner party a bit of a mismatched sloppy mess, but I am ok with that.

And I really like the color orange. I wish I were brave enough to paint a room in my house orange. But I'm not.

The Fanciful Disguised Hookah Pipe

Now this is very clever. This hookah pipe disguised as a tea pot. 'No Mom, we were just getting ready to have some tea...you sit in a circle with all of your friends and pass around the tea pot, and we all have some sips, I'm not hallucinating, it is walking around on it's own, it has four feet.'

It is, um, creative for a tea pot, because that is really what it is, duh, I know that. There is a whole shelf full of them, see? This one was my favorite though, given that it was four feet with these really cool boots on.


I want to know when Johnny Weir got his own holiday themed doll? Is it because he now judges on 'Skating with the Stars?' I also want to know who wants a Johnny Weir holiday doll sitting on their mantel. Go ahead, comment, I will lead you to one right away, because I want to meet you. (you know this isn't really him, right? But doesn't it look just like him? I don't want all you Johnny lovers running to Home Goods and asking for the Johnny Weir holiday doll, and I also don't want Johnny upset thinking he missed out on some cha ching.)

Oh Afternoon Delight

We rounded the corner, our cart filled with goods to make a decision on. We just wanted to take a peek at the little girl holiday dresses, that's all, it was innocent, no ulterior motives. And what should our wondering eyes see? We then saw the circular rack of these lovelies and the cart was abandoned, the decision was made. Kendall, my daughter, was now the recipient of the blessed gift card expenditure. What a lucky girl. I wish they had it in my size. Well...ok...maybe just to wear around the house...or like maybe to a party. Hello, Cyndi? Cyndi Lauper is this from your closet?

Ta Da!

Now this is the ghost of fashion's past holiday gift to my fashionista daughter. No lie. Look for the skirt. She will be wearing it everywhere we go for the next year, yet we will never tire of it. It is that great.

Knee Highs, Baby

Knee Highs, funky knee highs at that. Who doesn't like a pair of funktified knee highs to go with their tulle skirt? I can't think of one person. It's that fabulous.

The Eager Assistant

***She will want me to state that for the record there is no make up on her face and her hair is not done in this photo...she is this beautiful all on her own.***
My sister. Wondering why she endured this shopping experience with me and got nothing from me for her out of it. It's terribly unfair, I think she wanted a tulle skirt too.

So there you have it. I went out for this spenditure without my cling ons and came out purchasing something for one of them.

All of that can be yours for $25 and under...go crazy.


Chub in a Tub

I love chubby babies.

I love rolls, I love indents, I love when the big fat belly just rest on the thighs when they are sitting. I love droopy cheeks, and I love when their little rolls looks like marshmallows all stacked up on top of one another.

Another one of my favorite things is bathing one of my babies in the kitchen sink. It's perfectly made for the little sitter. It's also perfectly made for my back since leaning over a bathtub is not one of its favorite activities. Another Mama Silent Woe. We lean over the tub because we need to bathe our children. We don't ever say a darn thing about it because what is there to say about it? It needs to be done.

Usually by the time I get up close to the tub to scrub them down there is a nice puddle or flood, if you will, on the bathroom floor surrounding the tub that I for some reason continually forget about leaving me with soaking wet pants. Then for another strange reason I become completely soaked like I am in some wet tee shirt contest that I would never ever win. Because let's face it, my hair is stacked on my head in some pony tail that is held together by a silly band I passed on the way into the bathroom. I am in an over sized tee shirt that says, 'Life is Simple. Eat.Sleep.Bowl.,' because I go bowling all the time? I have mascara running down my face from the flogging I have endured while bathing these beasts, and I am in yoga pants that are soaked, looking like I peed myself. This is not your champion.

Oh but then there is the rollie pollie ollie in the sink.

His fat just plops into the drain becoming a suction that keeps him in the sitting position quite well. That is my new invention. Little holes in cushions that with a switch become somewhat of a vacuum and hold the teetering newly sitting baby in place. It will also hold the child wanting to move and crawl and their mama isn't quite ready for it in place as well. My disclaimer is that the child must be diapered, otherwise they will have this permanent ring on their bum for the rest of their lives.

Please stop growing so fast my little meatball. You will outgrow the sink. You will cause my aching back more pain. You will start give me a hard time, you will start to walk and talk soon. Stay my little wuzzle just a wee bit more.


O' Tannenbaum

Whenever I attempt to do something that is essentially continuing on a tradition or starting a new one for our little family, the song, 'Tradition,' from the musical, 'Fiddler on the Roof,' blares through my head. And if you know the song it is a very angry song about family traditions, and isn't that sometimes the way though? We sometimes do these things because we did them last year, the year before, because your grandparents did it, and so did the immigrants who brought your family to America, now stick with it, they rode on a rickety old boat for months, the least you could do is keep the traditions going!

'Who must know the way to make a proper home, a quiet home, a kosher home?'

Christmas tends to bring this out of us. We must do it this way! I am a big tradition follower and also making them on our own for our little family. I look back on Christmas and there are things growing up that consistently happen every Christmas, and if it doesn't well it just doesn't feel the same. It's a rigid way to celebrate the holidays, I know, but you have to to what you have to do.

I can remember when I was really young we went to church where our entire family went to church because that is where you went to church. Each year we would have the Christmas Nativity. One year I was even Mary and got to ride a donkey. That is something. As Kendall says it, I was, 'Mary, the Mother of Jesus.' This is how she refers to her. Joseph is Joseph and the Wise Men, the Wise Men, but Mary, she is Mary the Mother of Jesus. She must have loads of respect for her, as we should.

Anyway, as I was saying, each year we would reenact this on Christmas Eve for the children's service that they have. Each year we would have sugar cookies and milk during the service. I don't know, I don't know why this correlates to the Nativity and Christ's birth but, I would seriously break all out in these cold sweats, stomach turning. I would get all anxious knowing and thinking I had to eat these cookies, like they were communion bread and wine. The milk was warm, whole, milk, almost curdled and the cookies were so sickly sweet that my teeth just wanted to rot right there on the spot. I would go to bed sick every Christmas Eve praying that I wouldn't barf because that is terrible to be barfing when Santa is coming. When we went to a new church and just held candles and didn't have to drink the dreadful cookies and milk on Christmas Eve I sang the Christmas Hymns at the top of my lungs, so joyous, Hark those Herald Angels! But it was tradition, and every Christmas Eve I think of that milk and cookies, it will never leave me and I puke a little in my mouth.

So we do many traditions with the offspring around the holidays. Hopefully I will get to share a bit of them with you as we go through it, we'll see, you never know who is going to go and have an all out bad day threatening a butt load of coal to be expressed delivered, and enabling me to not get a thing done and therefore not post.

So you must start with decorating, who does not decorate every room in their house? Yes, I am an overzealous decorating fool who does indeed decorate her children's rooms stringing lights around head boards and little knick kancks here and there. Sugar.Plums.Dancing.In.Heads.
We recently went to obtain a Christmas tree with the children. It happened to be frigid that day. But you know, according to tradition, we must get out there, get ourselves a real tree, cut it down, make sure it is just the right one to have as the gift bearer this holiday season.

So we bundle them all up, each of them resembling the child in the Christmas Story. Arms out to the side, not able to put them down because of the layers, it was ridiculous. I, of course, think this is hilarious and keep bringing their arms to their side and watching them pop back up. They don't think its too silly.

And we just can't have a fake tree. Give me a break. We need the real one, the one that has all the needles that fall all over the floor. The ones that burn out your vacuum cleaner. The ones that you are still finding nestled between your carpet and trim in July.

So we walk, we walk with the tree hauler, the saw, the children, the stroller, all of us, to find the perfect tree. In typical fashion at the first nice looking tree Andy turns and says, 'how about this one?' In a field of hundreds of trees he is going to stop at the first one. It never fails. It took me an hour to get everyone together in their warm weather wear, we are not stopping at the first tree, we are just not. So we trudge on.

'I'm cold.'
'My feet hurt.'
'It hurts to breathe.'
'My nose is cold.'
'Why are we doing this?'
'Why does Jacob get to ride in the stroller?'

I ignore all of it. However, at one point I turn to my little cherubs and say, 'This is what we do. This is tradition. We will bring your children to cut down a tree, you will bring their children to cut down a tree. No one in the history of our little family will have an artificial tree at Christmas, now get it together, Christmas time is cold, that's they way it is.'

Ethan stops at this one. He likes the color of it. I do too if you like the look of a dead tree. I told him that we could get that one, but we couldn't put any lights on it, because this kind of tree would burst into flames when Mommy puts her 1,000 lights on it.

**This is also what it looks like when a 3 yr. old boy has to pee and says he doesn't. With all the trees available...he waits until we get back to the car.**

So he moved on.

You know the drill. Too fat, too tall, too many holes, too skinny, I don't like the needle type. And then we find one. Ta Da! A little haircut will do it some ddo, but its perfection, that and the baby was starting to scream.

We trudge back. Ethan is very angry at this point...

'Look, we go all dis way to find a tree, and we have to walk all the way back, it's not fair!'

'Not fair, is not having a tree on Christmas. Rejoice. This is Jacob's first Christmas, this is fun.'

So on we go. We get back to the car, and I know it. I know Andy will say it. He does every year.'The tree is so small. I think we got too small of a tree, the guy wrapped it up in seconds, it's too small.'

Does he not know who he is married too? I am like the crazy holiday decorator, I am in the woman in the Target commercial running all over the store. I know what size tree we need.

Later that night after a friend get together, we returned home to the Christmas Tree to decorate it. I promised Kendall had she fallen asleep in the van on the way, I would wake her up. I know, right? It's like telling a bomb you will be back to watch it explode. But I did, I woke her up, and she raced inside. I also tried to wake Ethan up and he replied, 'Leave me alone!' I said, 'we are going to decorate the Christmas Tree, are you ok with missing that?' He screamed, 'Yes! Let me sweep!' Alright, so now we know we have to fight just a little bit harder with this soldier to hammer tradition into his head. Duly noted.

So after the hanging of the 1,000 lights, we were ready to decorate. About 10:30 she asks, 'Mommy are you sleepy, cause I am, you can finish this for me if you aren't.' It's like clock work. You make them think that you desperately need their help to decorate the tree, you get them when they are tired, they help because it is exciting, but they are tired, so their memory is a little fuzzy, you send them to bed, free reign to decorate. They wake up in the morning, tree is done, they proclaim, 'Look at how we decorated the tree, its perfect!' Get that 'we' in there? It is perfect.

Here's hoping that your traditions are going just as swimmingly.


This One Time...

I hate to admit it but I have seen the American Pie movies. They are terrible. I don't even know why I watched them. I think maybe it was the thing to do when I was in college. That is even more terrible, what a follower I was. I may even in the deep pile of movies we have even own some of those movies. So inappropriate. I am a mother for goodness sake.

However, there is a point to me bringing up these ridiculous movies, 'This one time, at band camp...' It was pretty funny. The writers of the script mocking what everyone does at some point, tell stories about someone or something over and over again.

This is my life with Stanley.

Yes Stanley the Super Pug. I tell you, life with a dog just adds something. Chaos is too strong, excitement is a little overrated, he is busy; Pugs in general are, but I don't know what the word I am looking for is, brain freeze.

I know for sure that it's not like having a cat. Cats can pretty much take care of themselves. If you are super duper lazy, you don't even have to feed them everyday. Just get them those self feeder bowls and tell them to go to town on the toilet water. And I love me a cat. Most especially a nice fat one, who's jelly just rolls over the edge of wherever they are perched. Makes me feel skinny on my worst of days.

She is an emotional eater. You can find us during that time of the month in the basement watching Lifetime movies together feasting on sundaes and doritos.

Stanley is a good dog. He is full of energy and definitely is our little herder. When we come home he has to make sure all his little ducklings have arrived safely, and will sniff and circle all of us. When we bring the kids in at night if they are sleeping, he will go in after us to check on them, jump on their beds, lick their faces. We really appreciate that. It's cute, I suppose, if you like that whole children freaking out because the last thing they knew they were in the van and now they are being attacked by slobber thing, we get.

He is pretty well trained. He comes running back when you call him no less then 79 times, and threaten to never ever take him anywhere again, and to not sneak him leftovers or scraps from the kids plate when the boss isn't looking. I mean I put my life on the line here, the least he can do is not cruise the neighborhood looking for the perfect spot to lift a leg to and just go right out front.

Stan apparently also thinks that he is a better parent then me. If the kids are on the swings, riding their bikes, if we are lifting them into the air to fly, or if they are partaking in an activity Stan deems is dangerous, he gets all sorts of crazy. Barking that loud, high pierced bark that is sheer panic. He nips at their pant legs and will not stop until they are safe, in front of him, on the ground. I swear he looks at me with such disgust when they do these things. As if he is saying, 'you dumb girl, who made you a mother, how on earth do you think it is ok to risk their lives in this manner, here I go to rescue them again for you!?!?!'

But we love him. He really smells sometimes and gets this nasty junk in his little wrinkles of his face that I have to clean out regularly. He also snores and snorts alot, and he really does have a mind of his own. But he is devoted to us, and for that, he is a good little dog.

So without further ado...

This one time we took Stanley to PetSmart. Kendall was dying to take Stanley to a store he could actually go in. So we get all in there and Stanley did love it. I mean I swear he had a smile on his face the entire time we were in there. He properly pissed off the cats, the birds, and got to sniff the other dog shoppers rear ends, it was bliss. So we get ready to leave and I have to pull him out the door. Me, three kids, one in a stroller, two just in la la land, and one unruly dog. So we get to the van, I hook Stan's leash to an armrest, and as I am buckling in the kids, this dog wiggles himself out of the collar. All I see when Kendall says, 'hey look there goes Stan back into the store!' is his tail end bouncing through the automatic doors back into dog heaven. No joke. So I do what every bad parent would do, pull up to the front of the store, lock up, and go back in. And there he is, sitting in an aisle with a poodle, pawing at a bag of dog food. Needless to say, we are never going back to PetSmart with Stanley.

This one time we had Stan in the car and we were on our way home. I stopped by the local pizza joint and picked up some hoagies for dinner. I was so excited to get home and eat this hoagie for dinner. They smelled so good. I was even thinking, 'wow, they smell so good tonight for some reason.' I rationalized that I was big and pregnant, I wanted to eat a hoagie so bad, and the smell was just getting my cravings going. We begin to unload and I notice a piece of lettuce on the floor of the van, follow it with my eyes, a trail of lettuce! I look at the bag the hoagies were in and it looks like I left. But I jump in, look around the side of the back seat and there is a heap od lettuce and tomato, and a dog finishing the last bite of a hoagie! I was enraged! He had eatens someone hoagie, but who's hoagie? I ate cereal that night. Stanley went straight to bed with no supper, other than my hoagie digesting in his little loins.

This one time I was taking Kendall to school. On most mornings we take Stan with us. This way we can appease him with a car ride, and he can appease me by taking his morning pee on the way out to the car, killing two birds with one stone. So we are driving there, get there, tell Stan to, 'stay,' which he really get swimmingly now, and we unload and go into drop Kendall off. We turn and wave to Stan, he is in the drivers seat, watching us go. We get back, I am loading up the boys, tell Stan to, 'stay,' he listens to my command. He sniffs the boys hello, is circling the van smelling for Kendall, as he always does. Ethan is not moving into his seat, and I say to him, 'Come On!' not realizing at that moment that this is a command I also give Stanley, that he obeys. 'Come On,' means, get out of the van, it's your turn, move it pal. So he leaps out, nose to to the ground in search of the missing child. I turn and again, I see his rear end going right through the door of the preschool. Awesome. Again, I quickly buckle in the boys, whip around to the entrance, lock up, and run inside. Stan is sniff, sniff, sniffing all the giggling children on his way to find his beloved Kendall. I snatch him just as he is about to run into her classroom door. As I am walking away I can hear Kendall proclaiming, 'that was my crazy dog!' Crazy, alright. Thank goodness she didn't didn't put Mom in that sentence as well.

All in the life of owning a dog, I suppose. Something tells me this is just the beginning of a long line of band camp stories with dear Stanley. Having a dog is just sometimes sheer pandemonium. There, that's a good word.


Funny for a Monday

Dooce had this on her blog today. I laughed out loud. Ethan laughed out loud. I laughed out loud at him because he wanted to know why those cats are talking like us, cats don't talk. Then he got mad at me and stomped away for 'waffing at him.' 3 year olds.

It's still funny! Enjoy. And thanks to Heather...she constantly makes me laugh.

Sorry. It was too big for my screen. Try it again, if you are just dying to see it. Click this time.



The Snaab & other Favs

So, then she gave away the new Volkswagen Beetle. It hasn't come out yet, and they aren't even showing it to the world until May 2011. But everyone in Oprah's audience is getting one. They will in fact be the first ones to own one in the entire world. If you were in Day 1's audience you are most likely thinking, a cruise, we got a cruise, and they got a freakin car? But Oprah, don't you worry about me, I'll take anything. I'm just saying, they really got the short end of the stick. I am a bit nervous that this new design won't even look like a beetle at all. I am hoping it keeps its signature round headlights. Because I just love something about a car that makes it distinct from other makes.

Speaking of...

When I was in college I drove around in a Saab. It was a little old one. I think an '89 or something like that. But I loved it. I love Saab's. I love that they key injection site is in in the middle console. And it was stick, so, you have to pull up on the stick to pop it into reverse. Pretty cool. I had to give it up when I got married. Turn it in. It wasn't mine to own, since I didn't pay for it.I could hardly afford gas for it, let alone car payments, I was in college, working in the admissions office 8 hours a week...geez. But, I couldn't take my lazy boy of a seat ride with me. What is up with that? I don't know. I was the first born. I am certain now however, my parents might think it was a little harsh. It was breaking down, it needed a ton of work. So in actuality, it may have been a bit of a burden, but that wasn't why I didn't get to take it with me. But it is expensive to fix, my father can attest to this. One time on a cleaning frenzy to get it sparkly clean power washed the engine. Yeah. Not recommended. Do not power wash your engine.You learn real quick that not everyone can fix a Saab, and they are pretty pricey to fix once you find someone who knows how to do it right.

However, I still loved it, my little Snaab. I loved it's long nosed front. It reminded me of the principal in the Simpson's I have no idea why. I think it looked like him. But I think that people look like animals, resemble even their own sometimes, and they sometimes even involve looking like objects, hence, a car. But this is just a fair warning to my sister Michelle; you may just be turning in that Beetle, look out. Once you get a ring on your finger, rent out a storage garage, tell no one its location, and store the Beet there. I doubt it though, she's the baby, and we all know how that goes. Love you. Hey, you said I never blog about you...there you go! :)

And it's ok mom and dad, really it is. Since I work with the elderly population now, I have gathered a few common happenings. The children eventually take their parents keys and cars away from them when the children deem they are no longer fit drivers. Karma. That's all I have to say.

But she gave away a beetle, and an ipad, a coach bag, and some diamond earrings among other things. Oh and $1000 in gift cards to Nordstrom. She had chosen her favorite bras, and I guess they sell them at Nordstrom, so she gave away gift cards to buy new bras. If you spend $1000 on bras, you seriously have a serious issue. I think you may need to go and get your head checked, no lie. There is a hemotoma or something pressing on the part of your brain that enables you to rationalize.

And so, Thanksgiving was gluttonous as usual. I don't really think that turkey is my favorite. It is my favorite lunch meat, but not really my fav meat to be chowing down on as like a main dish. I eat it, don't get me wrong, but the sides really just make up for the entire turkey thing. I love mashed potatoes. I really just think that is my favorite part of the meal. What's yours?

Another one of my favorite things in my home is my children's playroom. It began as a man cave. That was 'his' intentions. Andy got the biggest tv that could fit down there, got himself a poker table, some chairs, and put tv's up in the corner so that if they were watching the game, they would be able to see it from every angle, no matter where they sat in the room. Or so they could be watching 3 different things at one time. He had Eagle's paraphernalia hanging on the walls, it was complete. He was so proud when the HD tv rolled in there, 'look at that picture, look how clear it is, don't you feel like you are there!?!?!' Incidentally I was watching Oprah. She just looked really large. I felt bad for her.

Kendall came along and we had a little corner down there with a basket of her toys, which could easily be picked up and put in the closet when the man cave needed to be used for manly reasons, and there couldn't be evidence of a child. Then I got knocked up with E, and well we had a trip to Ikea and got a shelf for the wall to organize the toys on so that when men came over to play, the toys could be put in bins and on shelves. Easy peasy. But as they grew, as their toy collection grew, that poker table was really in the way. I gave him fair warning, I said, impregnate me one more time as we live in the house we are blasting over the toy/man cave line and claiming it as our own, without even a meal to declare a truce.

Once we got to 12 weeks with pregnant with Jake, in all my preggo will power and strength, I crossed right over that line. The super human strength and determination of a pregnant woman cannot be matched. I got that place all set up by the time Andy came home from work one day, I put away the table and chairs that once had smelly men gambling upon it, and placed the kiddie table, the book shelves, the easel in it's place. I don't mess around.

However, you must know I am anal by now. You really must know it. I tell you what, that playroom is cleaned up every day before I retire for the evening. I just cannot settle knowing that there is things out of order. I don't know, I think I might need medication. But I just appease the monster and clean it. Now we clean it. The children and I, because I have trained them so well that they know where everything goes. The layman would just clean it up, pick things up, paying no mind to what bin, shelf, box, etc, they are putting them it. Oh but there is a bin for everything. You know me. So the 3 of us are permitted to clean it. I have also trained my neighbor Sue pretty well, but she doesn't play with Barbies, so we can't always expect her to feel like cleaning up.

This is one half of the room, the original half bestowed to Kendall and Ethan by the boss. Behind me is the other half, same idea.

And it gets messy ok, I am not that crazy that they will put me on a show on Discovery Health. I let them play and spread toys out so much so that you cannot see the floor. The weekends I work are a holiday around here because they dont't have to clean it up at all. That Daddy, he is the greatest!

And don't go feeling bad for him. Please don't. He has a little square in the room. He has his couch, his tv, and so on. He even has a mini fridge in his little area to keep his beverages handy. We even clean up real good and make room for his poker table every now and then. O.k.?

But one of my favorite things for sure is the playroom. I love that they go down there and they have a space all their own with all of their favorite things. I most especially love decorating this space for Christmas. I make sugar plums dance in their head, I try my hardest.


Super Bon Bon

Growing up, I was extremely fortunate to be constantly surrounded by a friend(s). My first best friend in all the land was one of my grandparents neighbors boys, John, or as I referred to him, JJ. For those who know me to the highest extent, it would not surprise you find out that my very first close friend was a boy. I've got that tom boy in me that rears its crazy head every once in awhile, and that is much in part due to JJ. Because see we never played barbies, or dress up, or did water ballet performances in the pool. We were racing around in big wheels, climbing trees, killing bugs and smearing them on things. We did cannon ball competitions into the pool and told scary stories under the big tree between the two houses. It was grand. When Mom Mom would call me in for the night, I would race into the house into the perfume scented bubble bath and beg to get my nails painted and my hair put in braids so it would be kinky the next day, loving the best of both worlds. I would wake up in the morning to race out to find JJ where he would tease me about my kinky hair and lead me to a swampy area to catch toads. I have written before about the day I raced out with kinky hair to have him compliment me instead of tease. What a devastating day for me, no seriously, it was. This was JJ, and some pre pubescent monster had taken over him and I was so angry.

But enough about my lessons in love, for another time, this a completely different post. Gotcha, didn't I? But you will see my life lesson in this, close friends are to be like JJ, they enhance a side of you that needs polishing, that needs to be shared with the world. Had I not been friends with JJ I never would have never seen the inside of a little boy's head and been able to relate to mine as well. I would have never been able to encourage the side of Kendall that is tom boyish. I love that she includes boy's names in her list of close friends at school.

I love that all the little nuggets are developing friendship and little personalities of who they are when they are with their buddies. I loved who I was with my friends. Growing up without my tight circle of girlfriends, I would have never made it through those crazy hormonal teenage girl years. It was always so handy to have someone to talk on the phone with all.night.long, despite my parents annoyance. I always remember telling them that they to can come out of the dark ages and get call waiting if they had a problem with it, I can't help it if people need to talk to me that I just left and will see the next day. It's mandatory, I am in school to learn, not socialize, remember conferences?

As we go into the holiday season, as I said, I would go through and list my silly little favorite things I have sprinkled all over my house, it is kosher to share what you are thankful for. I'm down with that. And if you are my dear friend, consider yourself warned, I am coming after you.

I socialize with many. Hey, if you are going to talk, you better believe I am right there along with you. I am pretty blunt. I kind of tell it like it is. I do. It's a compliment and a detriment. I would like to say I am friendly. I think even more so now that I have kids. Listen, if you have got someone walking around with a little present in their pants stinking up a room, you really have no room to be withdrawn, snotty, so on and so forth. But I am not that personal with the entire world. For me to bear my soul to you, we've got to be tight, and I like it like that. As I think through my little list of tight friends, there are those that I see on a consistent basis, there are those that are family, because your very best of friends can be in your family, and there are those that I see randomly because of distance and life happening, but because of history, I would have no problem picking up and going on and instantly feeling that bond with, and that is awesome to me.

So with that in mind. Over the course of the holidays, I will randomly victimize one of these friends and put them right up here on my blog for all to read about. Good times. Just keep in mind, I said I was thankful for you...that should mean something, really it should...gosh, be appreciative...sometimes you are just so selfish. (and that's ok, sometimes I am too, that's why we are friends.)

On with it. My friend Bonnie is the littlest thing you will ever see. She reminds me of Tinkerbell. No, she could get all in a little Tinkerbell outfit and fly down off the balcony in her house into her living room and sprinkle pixie dust,and I just might question if she is the real thing. And if you don't like it, that's fine. Maybe her husband Kevin would. I'm just sayin.

I would like to start off with a story about Bonnie, and you too would instantly want to be her friend. I will try and make it as brief as possible, because when she tells it, it is like sitting around a campfire telling stories kind of story. Sorry, Bon.

Ok. So Bonnie is invited to two showers on back to back weekends, two different places, two different women, two different days. You already know where this is going? You clever sleuth. Well it is just that, and it is hilarious.

So the morning of the first shower she is to go to she is buzzing around getting ready. Her kids are leeching themselves on to her as children tend to do when you are on a schedule and about to leave them. Her husband is outside doing yard work, because that is how they roll. I think that they think just because we are getting ready to enjoy ourselves, that taking care of the children should happen as usual. That, 'hey listen, you are going out for the day to have all this fun and leaving me with these monsters, that is just too bad that you have snot on your little black dress, this is your penance, I have yard work to do before I have to be all eyes on the kids'...well also on the football games on tv. So rough. But I do love them.

So she is going at hyper speed, leaves the chaos, arrives at the shower. So she looks around, doesn't see anyone she really knows, but figures she isn't really that close to the chick, and she certainly wouldn't know all of her family, so she puts her gift on the table and heads to find a seat. On the way, she goes through the food line, makes small talk, grabs a glass of wine, and then sits down. She finds herself sitting next to a woman with a terrible grudge against her husband, yes Bonnie's husband, Kevin, whom she doesn't even know. In the end, the assumption can be made, that this woman indeed detests the male gender as a whole. While making small talk, Bonnie shares how hectic her morning was trying to get ready and trying to appease her children at the same time. And this woman just blurts out with sheer resentment in her voice, 'well where was your husband?' Bonnie goes on to tell the woman that he was doing yard work and this woman continues on to dig on Kevin, 'well he should have been helping you with the children.' Obviously stating to obvious. But in typical fashion, Bonnie defends Kevin. Because that is what we do. We might think and have most likely said the exact same thing, but it all becomes irrelevant when someone who has no business saying it, says it. Isn't that funny how we work? Bonnie then retorts, 'well it's saturday, he has to get this work done outside, this is a day off for him to, and he is outside slaving away, it's only boogies on a black dress, so what, it comes off.'

So after getting all rawled up, she sips on her wine, and the woman changes the subject onto the bride to be. I do not remember what the bride's real name was that Bonnie was showering on that day, but let's say it was Emily. The resentful woman says something about the bride, like, 'Oh have you heard about the color of the bridesmaid dresses that Suzie picked out?' And Bonnie blurts out, 'Who's Suzie?' The woman looks at her like she has 17 heads and is wearing a pink tutu and replies, 'Uh, the bride.' And it hits Bonnie all at once. She doesn't know or recognize anyone in the room, the shower is clearly underway, and she has no idea who Suzie is. Where is Emily?

So she gets up, laughs in the woman's face thinking thank goodness no one she knows is associated with a husband basher like this, and says, 'I am at the wrong shower.' She walks away, picks up her present from the table, exits the building, and promptly calls her husband to find out just where she is supposed to be.

Seriously? Seriously.

In Bonnie's defense, she was invited to a shower at this facility, however, it was the following week, for the other girl. And, that is the only defense I have.

Goodness. I love this woman. And that isn't the only story like this one. It sure isn't. I just bared witness to my first Bonnie Moment at few weeks ago, and it was great. Another time people, or read it in my book.

I just met Bonnie this past spring at church. Really. I was big and pregnant, and she waltzed right into my life with her cute little family. It was a perfect set up and love at first sight. Bonnie's husband, Kevin, the offending yard working husband, is just like my beloved in so many ways, and in fact as I get to know more and more about him, similar to my personality as well. But when I think about it, Andy and I have very similar personalities. So, I probably would be just as anal as Kevin. (just kidding, slightly, Kev)

But also, Bonnie has a little lady, Emma who is 7, who my daughter Kendall enamores in every way, because girls that are bigger than Kendall are her sun and moon. She also has a little man Ryan, who is 3. This little man and my little man E, are also a match made in heaven. No lie. They are the best of friends. Their personalities are so similar that it is somewhat head turning. All E talks about it is Ry. When we are at the store, 'Mommy, can we get this for Ry? He would just love it, let's get this for Ry for christmas alright?' When he is playing, 'Ry does this with this guy mommy, make him jump off the chair like that, like Ry does.' When he is going to sleep. He has a picture of him and Ryan in his room, and sometimes I catch him just looking at it and smiling. Having a best friend is awesome, having one at 3, is just the best. I hope they are still the best of friends at 40, what a great pair they will be. Then she has little Ellie, my little Stay Puff. Ellie is just about 16 months, right? I think so. She is 9 months older than Jake. Our youngest, Ellie & Jake, have it great. They are betrothed in marriage to each other. It has been arranged by Bonnie and I.

And then you fold us all up into a neat little box and put us on the 'perfectly perfect cute shelf.' Because aren't we just all perfect for each other? So cute.

Really though. I could go on about Bonnie all day. Bonnie is resilient. She has a heart as big as I have seen. She thinks of others consistently before herself. Bonnie is also an open book when you get close to her, which immediately bonded me to her. If you can say anything to another person and know that they will never think negatively twice about something you have said or judge you at all, you are my dear friend. Bonnie is like this. She loves deep. She will compliment something about you on your worst of days.

Bonnie knows how to have fun, and is always up for celebrating something. 'It's cold out! Let's have a party.' Really, she would.

I also love the feeling you get when you walk into someone's house and you know that you are welcome and a part of their home. You are comfortable with them, their space, their kids, and their lives. I immediately get this when I go into Bonnie's home. Beyond loving every square inch of her self-entitled dream house, I am instantly comfortable there, and so are my kids. We enter through the door and scatter, each to our friend, our spot.

Her extended family is much like mine also, and I am certain that this is also why we get along so well. If you are surrounded by similar surroundings and personalities, the ability to feel comfortable, happens so much faster.

I love Bonnie's randomness, her giving nature, her innocence, and devotion. She is devoted to her husband, her kids, her family, her friends, and her God.

For all of this...even though you are 4 years older than me...I am thankful Bonnie, to call you a dear and close friend.

Bonnie & her hubby Kevin...Tink, right? Squint, and tilt your head to the right...yup, see it?


Favorite Things

Listen, I ain't given you a cruise on some giant ark that has an ice skating rink in it, but seriously? Did you watch yesterday's Oprah? I watch this episode almost every year. I sit there and steam. 'Why am I not in this audience?' Seriously. Somebody better write into Oprah and tell her that I am obsessed with her favorite things give away, and that I am the greatest person you ever freakin met, and you think I deserve everything she is giving away.

I sit there and calculate in my head, and yes, it hurts, (haha real funny), the value of the things, and how much everyone in the audience receives money wise and it is literally insane, that Oprah, she don't mess around. And her favorite things? Well really they are favorite things. I want to be on Oprah's christmas list. She is the Santa for my age group no lie.

These people in the audience they freak out over everything they are getting. And why not? I would too. They were freaking out about macaroni and cheese. I kid you not. She gave away this diamond watch that I probably would have screamed about also, but they gave the same reaction to the mac and cheese. The people I was watching it with were like, 'why are they freaking out about mac and cheese?' Let me tell you why. Because at that point the audience is in such a state of shock, that if she said, 'and these are my favorite trash bags,' they would have lost it. Because she wouldn't have given you one box of trash bags, she would have given you like enough trash bags to last you 20 years. Trash bags cost a bit of money. The makers of them get away with charging like 7 bucks a box because you cannot not have trash bags, unless of course you are really strange.

So, I can completely relate to this audience. I too would have been screaming for the entire hour or so it took for them to do this episode. I would have not had a voice for 3 months, the people in this house might sign me up just for that reason alone. 'Dear Oprah, My Wife talks incessantly about the most random things, please have her on your Favorite Things episode so that she loses her voice, and I don't have to listen to the nonsense for 3 months.' Seriously, it would benefit everyone across the board.

She has paramedics on site during the taping of the show, she showed them yesterday. I believe it. If you scream for that long, that loud, and cannot catch your breath, you very well may need a medic. I want to know if she also provided some depends for the ladies, because I definitely would have peed myself. I mean three kids later, this bladder doesn't have super power strength anymore, and if overly excited, I may piddle. And don't care if you think that is too much information. Ask any woman who has carried more than one child in their uterus, you piddle sometimes. Usually not for no good reason, but perhaps like a really aggressive sneeze. It's ok, I am here to also educate. Think before you impregnate fellas, we aren't the same after the war. ( I am sure next time you see me, you will be all, 'she's pees her pants, eww.', and for the record piddle and peeing are two totally different things)

She had another episode airing on Monday, because well one day just isn't enough for Oprah's farewell season. So it is another audience another entire list of favorite things. And by the way, Nike gave away sneakers for everyone in the audience's immediate family. By some miracle, everyone in my family would be a woman's size 8.5. Don't think I wouldn't have shared the wealth, because I would have, I would have had you over for some mac and cheese and a movie. Because, oh, she also gave away the 3-D flatscreen tv, where we can watch 3-D movies as well as our regular blu rays if we choose, because she gave away one of those too. And don't worry about movies to watch, she also gave away 5 years of streaming Netflix to each person.

Santa, for grown women. Believe me now?

People get on Oprah. They get all upset because people follow what she says. Listen, she does have some food for thought sometimes for me, but like I don't listen to the Dali Lama, he's a pretty cute little old man, and he really has some peaceful thoughts and ideas, I don't listen to everything Oprah has to say, and I think she would think it a little creepy if I did. I'm just sayin'. Sometimes I need to defend Oprah. She is just a woman who got really fortunate. All women have things to say, you don't have to listen to us, although it would be wise sometimes to tune into our station. It's just silly to say that she thinks she is God. Sure she has money, she knows how to have fun, she talks about what people want to talk about, and at the end of the day she sits at home with Stedman and her dogs happy because she made others happy. So let her be happy. She isn't going to run for president. Her only fault is that she caused some serious envy yesterday. I just sat there, and was like, 'oh, I would just love that.' And, 'that's it, it's the last season, I will never be on Oprah's Favorite Things.' And for a second I felt bad for myself, like I really ever had a chance, there was no chance in 25 years, but there is always that glimmer of hope. Pathetic.

But I am going to point out to you something I thought really awesome. I mean she gave away a cruise on the biggest cruise ship in the world, but I think this is better, well, ok, maybe not, but it is pretty cool...

You see that? I am an edge person of the brownie. I love the chewy and the soft that this piece provides me with. This pan? You see that with the brownie in it? That pan gives you all edge pieces. Right next to it is the same idea, but a lasagna pan. You know how hard it is to cut lasagna if it isn't an end piece right? You need leverage to press upon to get out a nice square piece that isn't sliding all over, and there it is. The noodles are a perfect fit, genius I tell you, some people are just gifted. Unreal. I'll say it again, it's the simple things.

Man, I'm gonna miss her.

So with that in mind, I started thinking, well if I had a show what would I pick as my favorite things that I have? I am certainly not going to give them away to you, you have got to be crazy. Not only that, some of these things are one of a kind. Picked up at flea markets, yard sales, and bazaars, finding duplicates would be nearly impossible. Things that once belonged to others...envious yet? Some other things are things that I just have and love to pieces, and if I could, if you liked it enough, I would also get it for you, but I am not Oprah. Too bad, so sad. So this week, leading up to the holiday season, I will of course tell you thing that I am grateful for, but I will also try to daily show you something that is one of my favorite things that I have got in my palace, and not ever for the right price, would I give them away.It would also be really great if I had that camera she gave away to take really awesome pictures with, but you know, the one I have is just fine, thanks for nothing, O.

So here is the first thing....

My little display shelfy thing. It has no formal name as you can plainly see. However, what it is is a box that I hung on the wall to display seasonal knick knacks if you will, a photo, or something, and some things just to make someone smile who looks at it. Now that Kendall is in school we get some lovely crafts to display.I love decorating for holidays and seasons, as you very well know, and so deciding what goes in here seriously makes my obsessiveness so happy.

My grandfather made it out of old barn would he had and years ago put a bunch of them together to give to people in the family. He backed it with a piece of burlap, I tore that off so that you could see the wall and I could hang things from it, and also so I could make it look a little less country. Because, I know there are those out there that really like the country look, and don't get me wrong, I think it is cute in your house because it fits you. Country does not fit me, it just doesn't.

So here it is gussied up for Thanksgiving. You could probably also make one of these. It might not look as rustic, but you could easily beat it up with a hammer and stuff and then stain it I guess.

I got it because my great aunt was selling it at her yard sale. I marched right up to it and said, 'How much for the shelfy thing?' She said, 'well technically it is yours, your Pop Pop made it, so free.' Sold! I promptly ripped off the burlap because maybe she could get a quarter for that, who knows.

And she gave away a $1000 gift certificate for closet organizers from the Container Store...whatever, this shelf is way better.


Teething...slowly taking away sanity.

You may think this child is super cute. You may even think how in the world could anyone ever have any trouble with a child just this adorable. Look at him. He is covered in food and he is just so happy.

I am over here emphatically raising my hand. Pick Me! Pick Me!

It's not him, it's the teeth. They are of the devil. I mean I get it. He would look crazy born with a full set of teeth and ridiculous as a toothless 5 year old. But really? It's as if we are surgically attached. Conjoined chins. He is attached to my hip, like he was born out of my side and is just stuck there.

He is presently working on that second bottom one. And why do they say he is working on his teeth? Because if he had a choice he would quit and tell them to come back later. Baby Food is yummy.

He is awnry. You forget these stages, like you forget child birth. He is so agitated that he actually swiped the bowl of food I was feeding him and shook it so it went all over him.

I can't put him down or leave his sight. It makes home management a real trip. My house is a mess.

I would pick him up, but you see my pants are stuck to the chair I am sitting on. It's apple juice, from a spill 4 days ago. It's on the floor too, and you can't very well scrub a floor with a cyst this big on your side.

Looks like it might be naptime.

Tylenol kicked in. SHHH....this will last 10 minutes...because he also has a deuce in his pants. Awesome.


Warning: This Post May Cause Flatulence*

Princess Toot

So if you missed my comment on facebook yesterday, my morning conversation with Kendall went like this...

'Mommy, I am really gassy today.'

'Uh oh'

'Yeah, I can't stop farting, I mean tooting.' (they must not be allowed to say 'fart' at school)

'Do you want to stay home?'

'No Way! If it happens, I will just look around and pretend it wasn't me!'

I just want to ask if you too also wonder where you children learn social nuances like this? I also love the word nuance. I sat there like I was studying some thesis statement or something, when I was really wondering where my child learned that a.) farting was something to be ashamed of, (which I am thankful for no doubt) and b.) that not taking ownership of the fart in certain situations is kosher.

As in typical fashion, I didn't ponder very long, but this time because I had an explanation...her father. Seriously. How many times has this man farted to the point I think he left a hole where he was sitting and has blamed it on the children. And they shriek and holler in delight loving the possibility that their daddy is just that silly that he actually thinks he can convince them he didn't do it! That Daddy, he is hilarious! Not. I tell you this though, if a fart of his magnitude were to come out of their tiny bodies, they literally would explode before our eyes.

And please, don't act like your man does not pass gas. Seriously. And for that matter don't act like you don't either. It's humanly impossible, I don't want to hear it. If you don't like that I am blogging about farting, that is fine too, go pick up your Martha Stewart Autobiography and read away.

Funny Story though. We have these friends, and I am going to keep their names off of this for the record, but let me just tell you about them. They are married, like most of our friends are these days, and let me tell you that they say that they rarely, if ever, farted in front of each other. No lie. The husband cannot stomach it. He cannot stomach farting in front of his wife, and he would definitely lose it if she did. The ironic part is, is that if you knew them, you would in no way think this of them. Not that they look like all they do is sit around and pass gas all day and laugh about it, they just seem like the type that just wouldn't care, you got to fart, you got to fart, it's your home, I am your spouse. But he can't handle it. He doesn't even like her peeing with the bathroom door open. He can't take it if she has to pee and he is in the shower, it is in his presence, he can't function. This is just hilarious to me. Seriously, he would die married to me. Because listen, in the privacy of my own home, with no guests over, well besides like my mom and sisters, I will use the bathroom with the door open if I am in conversation or whatever. The only time I will close the door in the above circumstances is just for sanity reasons. Listen it takes me like 30 seconds to pee, 20 to wash up, so that is close to a minute of me time, I will take what I can get. I don't know, that's just how I grew up. 4 girls in a house, one bathroom, you have to do what you have to do.

So back to my story of our friends, so the wife, my close friend, really only goes along with this because this is her husband, honestly, I think she could care less. So one night they were in an argument in their bed, and he was really annoying her. She either told him to go sleep on the couch, or to leave her alone, or something like that, and he wouldn't. So she said, 'Listen, _____, either you do this or I am going to fart!' And he wouldn't stop, and so she just let it rip. Needless to say, he was so grossed out, he left the room. She won, by farting. That's wonderful. If it were all that simple.

But what I want to know is, and I have never gotten an answer is, what if you really have to pass gas and you are around each other? Do they leave the room? Excuse themselves in mid conversation or mid movie and press pause just to pass gas? Just in front of your spouse? I mean sometimes gas is painful and the only way to relieve it is to just fart. And I am not saying I walk around farting all the time, and encourage my kids to do the same. Really, there is a time and a place. Not sure when that might be, but there is. I teach them it isn't funny, and it is rude, ok? They mind their manners. But they also know that when you have to fart, you have to fart, not at the dinner table of course, and sometimes they slip out, and that we can giggle about that. No' I'm serious, appropriate passage of gas is a life lesson.

And to all you men out there who think that your wives don't talk about you to other wives, and share some pretty private things, I got news for you. You will now look at all of your wives friends and sisters, maybe even moms a little bit different now ,won't you? I mean we know what kind and color of underwear you are wearing. We know about the secret boxes. So start behaving.

Now back to Kendall. I pick her up from school and you know the first thing I am going to ask her. It isn't about the letter of the week or what Rowan brought in for Show & Tell it is:

'So how did the tooting problem go?'


'So it went away?'

'Umm, Nope.'

'Did you have to go poopy during school, did you wipe well, seriously, we practiced this.' (and I'm serious, we did)

'No Mommy, I didn't poop at school.' (and who would want to poop at school? Do you ever remember pooping at school?I think there was like a silent code against this amongst peers)

'So they just didn't smell?'

'Oh yeah, they did. I just pretended it wasn't me, and I looked around and stuff. One time Mary smelled it and she asked me, Kendall did you toot!?!?, and I said, No Mary, that was you!, and Mary was like, No way Kendall that was you, and we went back and forth!' (And she's laughing hysterically about this)

'Oh, well, sounds like you weren't found out, huh?'

'Nope, it was close, but they didn't know it was me.'

Those poor teachers.

Again, another moment where I was like, 'Who is this kid, and when did she grow up so fast?' It is really a conversation about farting, and it is kind of inappropriate, but she is having silly conversations with her peers, without me.

So we get home, and get inside, and I am asking them what they want for lunch. E says PB&J, and Kendall asks what there is. I mention the leftover chili, and she says, 'Oh no! No way, I am not having chili again!' I list some other options and she then asks, 'Mommy do I have school tomorrow, are we going anywhere?' I say, 'Nope.' And she says, 'Ok, then I will have the chili, just wanted to make sure we were the only ones around in case I get gassy again.'

* Title taken from the book, 'Walter the Farting Dog', the beginning page of the book says, 'Warning: This Book may cause Flatulence' We really like this book, especially since Stanley toots alot. It is also becoming a movie, so if you didn't like this post, you won't like the book or the movie, and that's just too bad, you really need to loosen up, try farting.



Ok. Who is the guilty party? Stand up and raise your hand...I'm waiting, wooden spoon in hand. I just got an email from Babble that someone nominated my blog as a favorite, 'Mom ' blog. Seriously? I am flattered, but seriously? I really just blog because it is cathartic. Really. That's the only reason I do it. Because if I get it out and share in my craziness, they one have evidence for when I go crazy from raising these children, and two, so I can actually remember some things, because I page back through my blog sometimes, and am like, wait? That happened?

So seriously?

They say to post a link on my blog so that my readers can click the little, 'like,' button next to my post. So far I have 2. That's funny. Most people have like 100 or so. But 2 is good, I guess, 2 people like me. My Mom and Dad.

I guess you could nominate yourself, but I didn't. I wasn't really going after that and all. But it's nice. But if you have a blog and think it is worth voting for, nominate yourself, I will vote for you, it's the least I can do. Just let me know. I am all about blogging. It's therapeutic. I don't even know what you are voting for really, because it looks like the Top 50 for 2010 were already named. Maybe it is like a vote after the fact, I don't know.

Some of my favorite blogs are on this list. So take some time and read them. They are that good.

In the meantime, if you want to 'like' me by all means. Maybe you don't at all and you are like...you fool, like I would actually support you. And that is fine too, you know whatever.

So here is the link. I didn't even know of this site, whoops. And then as I caught up on other blogs that I read, supposedly I am supposed to. See, I am totally green when it comes to blogging, I just act like I know what I am doing. I think that you click on that little square to the right that says nominate a blogger, and then click the Vote Now, and then scroll until you find me, I am like at the end of the list. Trust Me. I think like Page 2, "Telling One Story for every,'Polkadot,' on my Face.' There is definitely an easier way to do this, but you know me, the most complicated way possible.


Uh, so thanks. Thank God I will never be nominated for an Oscar or something, because my speech would be terrible, and I would be publicly humiliated all over the tabloids.

Tale of 6 month talents

I just want you to look at this photo, and I don't care if you disagree with me, just let me go on and on about how cute he is. Really? Look how he just sits there. Too much.

And on a Sunday when the Eagles play. Here's hoping for the Eagles and Michael Vick. I forgave him, and I love animals, Jake did too, and Michael said that he asked Jesus to forgive him too. So maybe if we all try and forgive him he might feel this surge of love and lead the Eagles to victory. It would really raise the spirits of my sickly husband whose grumpiness is something I cannot tolerate. But more on man sickness this week.

And then there is this little close up....oh be still my heart.

Oh and by the way, he has this awesome new talent. If you are totally disinterested in the Eagles and really feel like holding a grudge, and say, forgive him? Yeah right. That's fine with me too. This will just help you out. He is a little shaky, but in the next week he will surely master it.

Why must children grow? Well, so they sleep through the night for one, and that I am ok with. But this whole growing up bit. I want to cuddle them forever, and I guess I can. However, their friends might think it a little weird when I show up at their college dorm just to cuddle with my son or daughter all day on a Sunday and read books to them, and give them fruit snacks, and ask them to promise me they will never grow up. I've said it before, I am that Mom.
Ok, so here we go...

Wait for it, Wait for it...

Almost ready...

Here he goes....Daddy just has to move his hand for you to believe it.

Why does the kid in back of him grow so fast? Seriously, belly hanging out? That shirt fit a week ago. But back on point...

Ta Da!

He's a little fussy at this point with the posing for pictures gig we've got going on. Sorry. Fussy Models.

A tooth and sitting all in one week. I am going to go upstairs and cry under my covers. Yeah right, like they would let me go and lie in my bed all alone. Seriously.

Ok...like I said he hasn't mastered it yet...whoops...

and look at E looking like, 'uh I hope they don't think I had anything to do with this.' Kendall caught him just in time, by the way, I didn't just let him smack his head on the floor while I snapped away.

*All picture poses were thought of by our creative director, Kendall Anne.*



Is there a particular reason that it seems mandatory to run from house to house trick or treating? Seriously, their capes and wings were about to let them fly! My poor friend Stephanie almost went into labor from the clip we were moving at. I told her to sit down on the porch of some random people who had a candy bowl sitting out, and hand it out for them. We were practically sprinting...at least they held hands when crossing the street. See my parenting is working...when you start to doubt it...here's proof!

I entitle this, 'Halloweenie,' because one year this is what Kendall called Halloween. I don't know. Not sure how the mind of a 2 year old would put this together, but when you have a brother with a weenie, and you say something that sounds like that at the end, well then you say, 'Halloweenie.'

Now Halloween is a very easy day to dread. You have to get costumes, you have to pay too much for candy, and then you have a ton of candy in your house screaming at the top of its lungs, 'EAT ME!!,' to the point you can't hardly function walking pass the bucket of candy. And pumpkins, they are really messy to carve, and if you make one wrong cut, just one, your whole pumpkin is ruined and it looks absolutely ridiculous. My sister, Meghan, can attest to this. She has some talents, but carving pumpkins is not one of them. I love to laugh at her pumpkins every year and then feel bad about it later. I mean seriously. If you saw the way my dad, sister Michelle, and I carve our pumpkins you would feel sympathy for her also. We use power tools. Enough said. Meghan cannot use power tools, she might lose a few finger, and possibly even a toe.

You then have to hope for the best weather. Because if it rains, it is a terrible night. If it is too cold, then you either have a fat princess from all the layers underneath to stay warm, or you put a coat on top of their costumes. That's right. The $30 you just spent on a costume is ridiculous, because you just covered it up with a coat. It's never once been too hot here for Halloween, but I imagine that if you lived in a warmer climate, dressing up in costume would not be fun, most especially with a face mask, that would just be terrible. The sweat, just gross.

But me, oh I love Halloween. I think it is so much fun. There was a period of time before I had kids where I was in this middle zone that I didn't really like it as much as I used to or as much as I do now. It's the time where you get invited to costume parties, and you just don't even feel like thinking of a costume for you and your significant other to wear, you would rather just wear jeans. I still don't like dressing up in costume, but I like to help others think of costume ideas, and that is another great part about having kids. I went to work the day after Halloween and all my residents asked me what I had dressed up as, I told them I was still in costume as a scary witch. See for when you have kids there is no need to dress up, they just being, make you a scary ugly witch. No, no, I am not saying that seriously. But when you have kids, you don't have to dress up anymore, you have good reason not to, you are putting all of your creative energy into their costumes, you have an awesome excuse. Unless of course you are from that special bunch of mom's who like to dress up to go trick or treating with your kids, or to hand out candy. Oh have at it, but you won't be seeing me join you. Maybe it's laziness, I don't know.

I am a bit of a costume snob. And let me preface this by saying to all of you who purchase a costume from a store for your children because that is what they want to be, that is ok with me, I don't even bat an eye. But for me, I think it is a challenge to think of a costume or theme and to go with it, and search store to store for the items that are going to put these costumes together. And my costumes aren't even the best costumes walking from house to house, far from it. I just like to torture myself into finding the best and most affordable way to get a costume together. I know I am a little anally retentive. But to see the flimsy fabric they provide you with that makes up this costume. It's highway robbery!

It is just plain fabulous that for another year I have somehow convinced my children to stay in theme. Now this is easier if you have all boys, or all girls. Because as you know, I have the boys, and then there is Kendall. Kendall who is a special little thing, in that if I tell her to do something one way, she is for sure going to do it, Kendall's way. So I thought, well I can have E be what he wants to be and have Jake go with that theme, and Kendall, well she can be Hannah Montana or whatever crazy thing she wants to be, if it required make up, she was wearing it.

E pronounced that he would like to be Spiderman, then the next day it was Batman, then the next it was Spiderman again. This went on throughout the month of October. So I could not make a decision on Jake because I was waiting for him to decide if he was going to be a Marvel Super Hero, or Batman. So I just let him do this back and forth game knowing that he was going to be some kind of superhero, I just decided Jake was going to be Superman, because Superman does not wear a mask, most children do not like masks, 6 month old children resent them. So the more I talked out loud about the Superhero thing, the more Kendall's ears perked up. My plan going in perfect precision. She finally asked one day if there were girl superheroes. We looked some up online. She asked if they wore make up, of course they wear make up! Andy likes to say that I forced her into being Cat Woman, how dare he. I mean I might have just mentioned that I would paint her face like a cat, paint her nails black, and let her wear black lipstick, but forced? That's a little harsh.

She looks as though she is saying, 'MEOW.' So cute, right? But what she is really doing is yelling for all of us to hurry up so she can go get candy!

So one day the prophetic announcement was made, 'I will be Batman.' I thought for a minute about changing Jake to Robin to stick with the whole Batman theme since Kendall was to be Cat Woman, but the costumes were over priced online, I couldn't find green sweatpants, and Robin wears an eye mask. It was doomed from the start.

I love how when you ask kids to look at you when they have masks on, they have to look up, this has always made me laugh. It's the simple things.

So it was off to put some super hero costumes together. Some pleather pants and a black top for cat woman, with a tail and some ears. Some sweats for the bottom of the boys, cause it was gonna be chilly. I found some superhero shirts at target that they can wear again and are super excited about. Well Ethan is, Jacob would smile at anything. I then gathered supplies to make the boys capes.

Superman, although, with the hat on, he looks like 'Kid,' from Kid n' Play.

'Uh, excuse me, I want a cape too.'

My response, 'Uh, Cat Woman doesn't wear a cape.'

Her Response, 'Uh, this Cat Woman does, she also wears high heels.'

So three capes my sister Michelle and I made. Well I created the pattern, cut, pinned, etc, she sewed it together on the machine because me and the sewing machine don't get along so well. It has been called some names by me that would be instantly bleeped out on standard television shows. It's just not pretty at all. The reason for the capes is that I hated the capes that came with the costumes for superheroes. And even though I was not buying the costume set, I was still determined to do better, because I really like to complicate things. So now they have these capes to pretend they are superheroes in outside of Halloween. And it is really grand to have them flying around the house at top speed ricocheting off of tables and couches, and leaping off of the stairs to rescue the poor baby (Jake) from the evil baby snatcher, (me). Jake loves it and really plays the part of the rescued quite well by squealing in delight when they whisk him in his high chair away. Got to love a high chair with wheels.

Because even on Halloween, and even when the Eagles stink, it is mandatory for my husband to wear a jersey, because they are playing.

On Halloween we had a little get together on the court, where all of us neighbors congregated in front of our house with some camp chairs and a fire pit, and ate tons of fallish foods, handed out candy, and trick or treated. I made this decision since every other year we tend to all huddle together anyway, might as well make it a planned event so that the food is better. And that it was. There was Monkey Bread.

The trick or treaters who managed to stick together through the extravaganza. We spent much of the adventure saying, 'Hey wait for Leah'....'Hey, we went to that house already'...'Slow down'...'You take one piece, not a handful'...and my favorite...'What do you say!?!?!!'

This year Ethan got it. He ran with the pack, banged on doors, yelled Trick or Treat from the top of his lungs, and Happy Halloween, as his bag was filled with candy. Kendall, the old pro, led the pack with her dear friend Sarah who is allergic to half the stuff in her bag anyway, but still loved the entire idea of the night.

My superheroes were worn out. Just as planned. Ethan started accusing Kendall of stealing candy from him, and it was promptly to bed. Because although 400 pieces of candy is just not enough, according to him; according to me, he was speaking incoherently and needed to be sedated from his sugar high.

E, just before his meltdown, as you can see through evidence Kendall and her candy are nowhere near him!

He is so cute...look at those cheeks, how in the world did I get along in my life up to this point without him?
(Jacob, not my dad, but he's pretty cool too, I guess.)

This might have been the end of my trio with the themed costumes, some may say. I'll let you believe that until I cast my spell over them again next year.

And if you aren't quite over Halloween yet, please indulge in the Modern Family's Halloween Episode. Now I have never seen a full episode of the show, somehow know a bit about it thanks to Oprah, but you don't need to to watch it. Go to this site. http://abc.go.com/shows/modern-family/video , and click on the episode entitled, 'Halloween.' I promise you, you will laugh. Get yourself a coffee and watch it at nap time, lunch time, break time, anytime. I laughed so hard it hurt.

Brief Background: The guy who used to play Ed Bundy on Married with Children, is the patriarch of the family. Remarried to the hottie Latina, who is so funny, she has a kid, they live with him. His two kids; his daughter, actress Julie Bowen, is married with 3 kids, is another small entity of the Modern Family, and then there is his son, who is gay, and with a lifetime partner, and they adopted a little girl from somewhere in Asia, who makes up the other small entity.

Seriously. Watch It.