A Few of My Favorite Things from 2012: Part One: You Tube

So every once in awhile I will peek onto youtube because let's face it; the things people video sometimes are awkwardly fascinating and some are just all around awesome. Its that bug on a wall complex sometimes. And also sometimes you are like, I totally did that, why did I not record myself, I could totally be viral, or whatever that might be. So as I sit in the midst of a Christmas Break wreckage of toys, pine needles, dishes, and cardboard boxes strewn everywhere; I thought, 'hey what the heck, cleaning sucks, lets post my fave youtube vidoes of 2012 so that all of you can procrastinate as well.'

I love me a good and funny prank. This one is one of my faves because I would totally do it. Who's in next Black Friday?

This is from last year on Jimmy Kimmel, I didn't see it until after Christmas last year, or else I might have been very tempted to do this to my children and then laugh my rear end off.

But I thought you should know, so that you remind me, I will be doing this to my children next summer.

I don't care what anyone says. It is not just the red hair. Shaun White looks just like my cousin Ryan. It is unbelievable. I am quite certain they came from the same uterus, my aunt birthed two children, they told her it was one because the White family cut a sweet deal with the ob/gyn for a flaming red headed baby. Just overlook the age difference. It's cool. Just a two year age difference. And you know, so nice of Shaun to be doing such nice things...even though it was totally necessary for him to clean up his image in 2012.  Irregardless, I will be donating my hair to the same charity once a certain sister gets married in 2013 and there is no reason for fancy hair, i.e., this mangled mane I have now, in an updo, its more about sensible hair.

This next video is from a youtube channel that I find hilarious. I don't know why, I think it is because I live with a bunch of young people who talk like this. They left me saying aloud, 'why did I not think of this ?!?!' I will preface the video by filling you in that these are videos of adults acting out what kids say. A few kids are asked to tell a story about something like, catching Santa or, going to the bank, or going on a blind date, and then this dude records adults acting out these stories. I love it, and if you have children or are around children of the same age, you will also think this, otherwise, you will be like, this is just dumb, and for that, that's a crying shame. YouTube Channel for these instant classics is BoredShortsTV.


Unless of course you live under a rock, you know that there is this new show Nashville out on ABC. I love this show. There was only one other show I looked forward to as much as this show each week, and that is Sex and the City. I am still watching SATC replays, even though I own the dvds, and I wish the show was still going on. And I am aware that the movies are a bit cheesy, I still adore them. I get a little sappy talking about how the show is over...what like 6+ years later? ANYWAY...back to Nashville. These sweet little girls are on it. I have seen them before this show, and I thought they were the cutest and hippest things going. Here they are singing a pretty awesome song and banging around recyclable materials. They are really that good.

This last video is about the grossest and most fascinating thing I have ever seen. My sister and her hubs found the video and passed it on to me. We are obsessed with pores. I really think that at some point my sisters and I will be on a TLC show entitled, 'My Strange Fascination.' In another life I was a dermatologist. Convinced of it. I will readily admit that my sisters and I text each other with statements like this, 'yo, should have seen the giant black head I got off my forehead today.' Sometimes a picture is included. I really could care less what you think about this and I am not afraid to share this information with you. I can also guarantee that after you watch this video, you will encourage someone else to do the same. If you have a weak stomach, do not watch this video, ok watch it, but like be ready to dry heave. I would first like to comment with the same things that you are going to ask yourself; 1. who lets something like this go this long? 2. why in the world are these people doing a home extraction looks like in a kitchen, with clutter around?  You may then ask yourself an additional question as to why there are tons of people there watching like its a party and why it is being filmed? I will not ask myself this question because if someone in my family had this thing going on on their back, I would totally be there and bring the beverages...my sisters and I would even fight over who got to pop it and who got to film it. Yeah...we are that odd.
I will admit...grossest part is her wiping the junk off her arm...ok that is nasty. Also...I would require face masks...this thing has got to reek. And what is with that woman's tan?
 Happy New Year Homies...
Up next...my Fave Things of 2012, Part Two...things I could not live without this year.


Your Card

Another Piece of Holiday Advice:
The best way to lose Holiday Cheer, is to attempt a sibling photo each and every year.
Our advice to you is simple and sweet.
Take them alone and bring sure to bring treats!
Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas.
Kendall Anne
(bribed by Reeses Peanut Butter Cups)
Ethan Thomas
(bribed by a piece of bubble gum and being able to play Wii with his uncle)

       Jacob Michael
(bribed by a Tootsie Roll Pop and singing 'The Wheels on the Bus' 3 times)

Say Cheese

I'm not going to pretend that I don't have the most wonderful of intentions when I embark on taking group photographs of my children in hopes of portraying their undying love and affection towards each other. I even go as far as color coordinating. Because, I don't know, I enjoy torturing myself sometimes.

Sometimes I even think, I am totally going to make an awesome Christmas Card and its going to color coordinate with their outfits of color coordination and we are going to be so coordinated people are going to crap this coordination. I don't even know where this fantasy comes from. I have never once been successful in all 5 years that there have been more then one of these creatures I call my children.

The oldest finally gets it. You sit still, keep quiet, smile, and its over. And your mother just rants and raves on and on about how cute you, are and what a good girl you are for sitting and posing. Then she gives you the piece of candy you were bribed quicker then your siblings. (this is a must) And then you can go about on your merry filled with sassiness way.

The boys. Its like I am asking them to sit still and smile with love so that I can then begin ripping their limbs from their bodies. I beg, I bribe, with my mother in the back ground, 'you shouldn't have to bribe them to behave.' Oh yeah lady? Its my complete and utter understanding that this is the basis of parenting. You go pee pee on the potty I will give you a pop. If you are a good boy at the food store you can pick out a special snack. If you get all your spelling words correct you can watch a special show tonight. I wish someone would bribe me once in awhile. I would be like grand master over achiever. 'Melissa, if you get this whole entire house clean by the end of the day I will let you run away to a destination of your choosing for the weekend.' This house would be so clean by 4 pm they could eat their hot pockets off the toilet seat.

So clearly, I have amnesia to continually come up with the same dysfunctional idea that I can achieve this goal of portraying sibling love. And in doing so, I attempt a group photo a few times a year. Each time it has the same outcome. This is what happens when you have more then one child, and they are not like lets say 8 years apart. I just feel like I should break the news to you. No matter what, one of them is going to have a meltdown when you pre plan something. I constantly live on that edge of anxiety when attempting anything that involves them acting like human beings. I can be seen eyeing each one of them up and down trying to decipher who holds the ticking time bomb of complete mental and physical breakdown. So when I hone in on my target, I can try and heed he or she off by ever so gently squatting down and whispering in their ear with a sweet little smile on my face, 'listen, I am onto you pal. If you so even  as much as let one little hand make a gesture that doesn't mimic pure angelic behavior, its going down in china town tonight.'

This doesn't always work because, lets face it, I don't even take myself seriously, and we don't live near china town. I will pre advise you, since I do not take my own advice all the time and end up annoyed and disheveled; fly by the seat of your pants as often as possible.

This photo shoot was no exception to my not taking my own advice lifestyle, and so without further ado...the next post will have your Christmas Greetings from us.

The theme was gray and blue. That's as far as we got in the parameters of organization. Because I am an over achiever and it is the child's job to make this utterly impossible.

Oldest child smiling, anticipating the chocolate I hold behind my back. Two year old not having it 
because he cannot have the piece of chocolate pre photo. Middle child not even in frame, just outright not cooperating and does not give two flying poops about chocolate bribe.
Oldest child still smiling, clearly my favorite. Two year old has decided that perhaps he does not want to sit in time out for the rest of his life as threatened. Middle child crawling into frame whining and complaining like I asked him solve the national debt crisis instead of just sitting and smiling for a picture for 5 seconds.


Loss of Innocence

Sitting in my blog drafts is an entry I have been working on about protecting my kids innocence.

Did I ever tell you I hate the school bus?  My kids can't even behave in a car driven by me 2 feet away from them with just the three of them in the car and they are 2, 5, and 6. Now you add 60 more kids of all elementary ages in a vehicle thats like 75 feet long with no seat belts and one adult and tell me, how is this good?

And let me tell you. I know a thing or two about the school bus. I rode in one. I'm a professional, alright?  I had an assigned seat in the front back and middle of the bus in my day.  Its a metal bin of potty mouths flying, spit ball flinging, and story telling bonanzas.I may or may not have been exposed to my first nudey magazine in a school bus. I won't mention any names here, but they know who they are, my eyes would never be the same.

I would have been completely fine driving Kendall to and from school daily if it meant avoiding the entire school bus situation. However, like a rite of passage, she so looked forward to this opportunity. To ride in the school bus, it was almost magical.

Kendall also just adores her bus driver. This bus driver has taken the time to learn each of their names and greets them excitedly each and every morning, and bids them farewell daily and occasionally gives them little trinkets and stickers on very special days. But she is one woman against like I said, 60 plus kids. Kendall has told me that due to the older kids not behaving they now have assigned seats.

I do remember this when I was in school. I always sat with my best friend, so in any circumstance, I had an assigned seat with her from kindergarten on. We could essentially hunker down with our knees pressing into the seats in front of us and be in our own world so that last months issue of Hustler was shielded from us by the immense height of the seat backs. In many circumstances while going through school I was completely blessed by this one person who was my better half, the school bus ride is one of many.

So my inner turmoil went on and on as Kendall boarded the bus daily. I reminded her that bullying was not ok, and that I wanted to know about it. I let her know that the things that came out of other kids mouths aren't sometimes pretty things and that she needed to remind herself of that and of what is right and wrong to her and in her home. I encouraged her to sit close to the front, and to find a buddy. I let her know that she is an example and although it may not always seem like it, someone is watching and its ok to show how to behave instead of going with those that aren't even when that seems easier. I reminded her she is a good friend and to look for chances to be one to someone who might not have one. In essence, I was preparing her to lose her innocence on a school bus, because she came from a bubble, like most five and six year olds should,  and all I wanted her to do was wear ear muffs and blinders.

Last week I watched her get off the bus and I could read her body language as she took that last step onto the pavement. I walked quickly towards her as she raced her little legs towards me and wrapped herself around me. As I pulled her away to look at me I could hear the sobs. I quickly asked her what was wrong, she stated, 'some girls on the bus weren't nice to me and were laughing at me.' My heart crumpled into a million little pieces. You know its one of those things that you know the world will not always be nice to your little girl. But you still want to protect them. And in those moments you wrestle with being Mama Bear and growing angry, and to logical mom knowing that this is the way of the world, and I need to tell her how best to handle it. I asked her what her friend and seat partner did, she said, it happened after her bus stop and she was already gone. These older girls I suppose had shared a secret and when Kendall asked about it, they laughed, teased her, and then secreted some more, leaving her feeling awkward and embarrassed. I told her I was sorry, but that I was so very proud of her for sharing with me. In my head I was walking up to these girls on the bus and telling them a thing or two about what I thought about them messing with my baby.

As Kendall and I sat together in our protected little cave, I asked her what I wanted me to do. Did she want to move seats, closer to the bus driver? She said no, all of her friends were around this seat. So we discussed it. At two and three years old, if a playmate is doing something you don't like or not sharing, we encourage our kids to point out the wrong, saying no thank you, or I don't like that. In a bus, when you are six, without one hundred percent supervision because I want the bus driver to focus on the road, we talked about ignoring the girls who had hurt her feelings. That no, it wasn't right, but sometimes the bigger and better thing to do is to just ignore the situation all together so there aren't more problems. She fearfully asked what she was to do if they didn't stop, I told her that at that point we share with the bus driver in private and that she will take care of it.
She didn't want to do this because she didn't want the girls mad at her. I let her know that I too hoped it wouldn't end up this way, and that if worse came to worse I would just come and dangle these girls out the windows by their ankles, while the bus driver whipped around sharp corners, that will teach them to tease younger kids. Alright, so maybe I didn't say that, but I did start some bicep curls of a higher weight this week in preparation. Ok, so maybe I am kidding again, maybe. Watch your back ten year olds.

So she bravely boarded the bus the next day. Yesterday she came to me and told me it worked. She pretended those bigger girls weren't there and she minded her own business and nothing happened since last week. I was her freaking Ann Landers, a hero of advice...alright for this one thing, give me some credit.


But at the same time my heart was extremely heavy. School bus mockery seemed so small in comparison to a stranger storming into your school with guns shooting at you and your friends. I didn't feel foolish for worrying about the bus.  This was Kendall's realm of unfairness and meanness at this point. What I felt was anger. Anger that this is where the world is. That I need to not only worry about children on a bus teasing my kids, but I need to worry about people coming into their school with weapons potentially taking them from me. When I was young we did drills for tornadoes, never for threats of terror. I remember covering my head cowering against the wall in a ball with anxiety thinking, what if there is a real tornado?!?! I would never be able to handle wrapping my head around a drill for potential terror.

 I choose not to discuss this with Kendall unless she has questions. I think she is at an age and grade in school where she will not hear about this tragedy. I trust her innocence enough at this age that if she is fearful, and does hear something, she will come to me. And I will pray silently that what seems to be continually happening in safe environments all over America is never a reality for her or her brothers.

I am slow moving with a heavy heart for those families of all of those children in that school, I am sure they would trade bus ride mockery as an issue in a heart beat, I know I am thankful. But I am also angry for their grief. I want someone to do something. I want gun control and I want a greater awareness of mental illness. I want to only have to worry right now about school bus mockery. Let's start doing this together, NOW.


I'm a little bit Country

I should probably start off by acknowledging my daughter Kendall and Taylor Swift as chief contributers to me writing this post. For without the two of them I wouldn't be singing at the top of my lungs everywhere, thinking that I should have learned to play the guitar and would be better off living in the middle of the country on a giant cattle farm raising cowboys.

My listening repertoire never ever included country. I can fully admit that I used to mock those that wrote a song about everything from their dog Buster to their grandfather who sits on a rocking chair on a rickety porch in Louisiana. I felt they all sounded the same. They all had the same rhythm and the same lines about a no good mister who's granpappy warned her about.

Then I had a daughter. A daughter who believes in fairy tales and princes and that girls can do anything; like play a guitar and write some really awesome songs if she wants to. Taylor Swift quickly became her 'thing.' She still is her 'thing.' I know every last one of her songs since I am privilege to her concert performances daily, reenacted by her number one fan. No lie, this chick has the concert dvd and has got every quirky expression that Taylor makes down to a science.

I couldn't deny it. She was catchy. Quickly there I was singing, 'someday I'll be livin in a big old city...,' like I could actually carry a tune. I was left like, 'hmmm....if shes good and I like her, there must be others.

I had to be completely honest with myself after having children who like music and singing and dancing. The Beastie Boys do not write nursery rhymes. It's a shocker, I know.  However, I have also previously mentioned that I have been known on occasion, to maybe while rocking a baby for hours and having run dry of sweet little lullabies, to I don't know, possibly start singing 'Brass Monkey,' softly and slowly. Then though, your children start to grow and start to learn things, and memorize things, and mimic, something like developmental stages, blah, blah, blah. And well the music that perhaps I liked probably wasn't something I really wanted them belting out in the grocery store or at a family dinner, or while playing with friends. Could you imagine?

Kendall: Hey let's make our barbies sing our favorite song
Friend: Ok
Kendall: 'Coolin' by the lockers getting kind of funky
Me and the crew - we're drinking Brass Monkey'

Yeah, I'm thinking, not so much.

However, there is only so much Laurie Berkner a person can mentally take. I'm all for kids music really, I am. They are silly and the kids identify the characters singing.  But sometimes, I just need a little normalcy; not some 'skit a mir rinky dinky dink.' And Kids Bop. Please. Do not get me started. Children all singing in the same tone a song sung well by Katy Perry about being a California Girl. Then when they start changing lyrics to make them kid friendly and ok to sing, is actually almost enough enable you to willingly commit yourself. They sound like members of some weird kid cult chanting.

Taylor Swift was a compromise. But again, the same music over and over and over and over again, can get irritating on a good day.

So I allowed myself to explore country music for a week. I stuck to it. And what I found was that I liked it. Not everything. The overly country music is still a little too much for me to digest, like goin' out to shoot some ducks in the swamp and drink beer, uh, no thanks. But for the most part, it kind of stuck on me. And you know what? They really don't sing about inappropriate things. Did I just say that?

Yo. You guys. I am totally a mom now. I used the word, inappropriate.

So I sing right along with Lady Antebellum in my off key ugly way, and I don't mind a bit. And the lyrics, I really kind of like most of them. I am still a bit baffled by the entire thing myself.

There are some, I will admit, I listen to on my own, like say Miranda Lambert, but man she's a lady after my heart who sings my songs. I highly recommend her.

We have been listening to The Band Perry on our playlist for a bit and I don't mind at all when I hear:

Kendall: Hey, let's make our barbies sing our favorite song
Friend: Ok
Kendall:Would you walk to the edge of the ocean, Just to fill my jar with sand. Just in case I get the notion, To let it run through my hand...

Because Ken would totally do that for Barbie...as he should, as he should baby girl.

Click Here to Get Down to some of my Faves


Can't Hang

I don't know about you. But my Saturday nights are really awesome.

I mean I say it sarcastically, and there really is nowhere I would rather be but with my little  loves on a weekend night. However, there are sometimes when you think...man, if my younger self could see me now, it might actually jump off a bridge. I'm not kidding. I think I thought of myself as never giving up my youth. That I could have 3.5 kids, a job, and totally hang. I was really just plain stupid. Older self to younger self: 'memories are just that; memories...and you will make some more age appropriate, new, and more important ones, for instance; raising a human being.'

 I also really love the phrasing, 'cant hang.' My uncle...my uncle...makes him sound so old when really he has kids who hang with my kids...anyway, he posted a pic of his kids randomly a few weeks ago of them passed out on a weekend night in the back of his car, captioning it, 'can't hang.' I am all about finding humor in phrasing cause we all know its supposed to be referencing some drunk as a skunk frat kid passed out at a party in a weird location. To spin it and put it on something so simple is funny to me.

I may regret finding humor in this photo in about lets say 10 years when my son  may be the photo taker and driver, and you throw my daughter passed out in the middle of the twins, and then my other son, in the passenger seat,  posts it on twitter, or whatever media site is totally addictive and I will be stalking them on. But for 2012, its funny.

I have a way dry humor. I laugh the hardest when most people were like, 'was that supposed to be funny?!?!' Like Napoleon Dynamite. You either thought that was the stupidest movie in the history of time, or laughed until you pissed your pants.  I mean just the name of the llama, 'Tina,' that was hilarious to me, and the way he talked to Tina I was seriously rolling and playing it over again. Best person to watch this movie with is my Casey cousins, we literally laugh that silent laugh because we are laughing so hard we can't make noise and then when we catch our breaths repeat the line and laugh at each other all over again the same way.

So with this. I would like to start, 'can't hang' themed pics. Please forward me your best and I will post them under this theme. Of your cat, your spouse, your mailman, your cashier. People who clearly; 'cannot hang.'

Here's my homies at 11 on a Saturday night after a day of holiday decorating and a night filled with pounding some mugs of hot chocolate.