Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I think when you're handed your kid for the first time, you inadvertently sign a contract that waives your rights to certain privileges for all occasions in the  foreseeable future.

1.  Personal Space - From the beginning, small children thrive when invading your personal space.  Your baby wants to be held?  He or she has NO qualms squealing until you pick them up and snuggle them.  This is why babies are cute.  So we don't mind the invasion so much.  Then they get bigger and gain this weird need to try to climb back into your body.  Or at least that's what you assume they're doing as they jockey for space on your head.

2.  Your Right to be Alone in the Bathroom - You will rarely, if ever, go to the bathroom without a little person "keeping you compa-dee" or at the very least, pounding on the door and little fingers sticking things under the cracks.  Efforts to instill a barrier with the lock will result in at least one of your children becoming a stellar locksmith.

3.  Regular Showers - Remember the days when you showered every morning or every evening?  Remember when you didn't feel the need to lean your face down for a covert sniff to see if you're passable for public interaction?  Yeah, me neither.  Also, if you manage to get a shower, don't expect to complete it without a little face snatching back the curtain, peering in, and saying, "Mama?  Whatcho doing?"

4.  Eating Your Whole Plate of Food, By YOURSELF - You can serve the exact same dinner on two plates, giving one to your child and keeping one for yourself and every single time, you'll find your child eying your plate up and saying, "Mommy?  I want a bite of YOUR food!"  It's even worse when you try to eat something different than what they have.  Never mind that they have formerly professed their undying hatred of broccoli. If it's on your plate, it's suddenly as appetizing as a candy bar.  But obviously, forget using this to get your kids to eat vegetables.  They'll see through your plan in a hot second.

5.  White Clothing Items/Dressy Clothes- I think this is a no-brainer.  You can only fend off sticky fingers for so long.  And if you manage to get dressed to go out, you'll lean down to give your kid a hug and they'll do one of the following:  a) Throw-up on you.  b) Wipe boogers on you.  c) Have a marker in hand when they hug you.  Etc.

"But I wanna HUG, Mama!"

It's a darn good thing they're so cute.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Parent Style

I'm sure this has been done many times over, but it was too fun to think up, so I'm continuing the trend...  And hereeeeee weeeee gooooooo!  Sing along!

On the first day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  a lego embedded in my knee...

On the second day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the third day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the fourth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the fifth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the sixth day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the seventh day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the eighth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the ninth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the tenth day of Christmas, my children gave to me... 10 snow day layers, 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the 11th day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  11 rolling giggles, 10 snow day layers, 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a lego embedded in my knee...

On the 12th day of Christmas, my children gave to me...  12 funny stories, 11 rolling giggles, 10 snow day layers, 9 calls for "DORA!" 8 scorned veggies, 7 brand new wall marks, 6 temper tantrums, 5! Mismatched Socks! (Ba Dum Dum Dum)  4 missing cookies, 3 slobbery kisses, 2 naked kidlets and a... lego embedded in my kneeeeeeee...

Merry, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

(This year's money shot.  Way worth it :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

That Dreaded Day

It came.  The day I was dreading.

The day that the two year old started to drop her naps.

To be fair, she still naps most days, but oy, she makes a big, fat, hairy deal about it.  Or she makes a big, fat, hairy deal about bedtime later.  So I'm left treading the precarious balance between getting her to take a nap, but not a long nap, and then, making sure that she runs enough energy off to snuggle down easily for bedtime later.

It doesn't help that she is FULLY her mother's daughter in the lack of sleep = complete crankiness department. So skipping naps, while easier in the short term, is most certainly not easy at 6pm.   (Her sister has my genes in the lack of food = complete crankiness department...  what can I say?  I like to sleep.  And eat).

Sometime around 4 am, she's also been having bad dreams.  So she sounds hysterical, one of us runs to get her, and generally, she snuggles in between us and crashes again.  (I really don't mind... she's VERY warm and VERY still, unlike her spider monkey sister who ends up with her toes in my ears on the rare occasions she ends up in our room).

So yes, the child is a sleeping mystery lately.

Two nights ago, I was trying rather unsuccessfully to convince her that she was NOT coming into my bed at bedtime like she demanded to do and that she was going to lie down under her blankets, snuggle her night-nights, and go. to. sleep.

She wasn't buying it.  There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Shaun and I alternated to see what we could do to get the kid to calm down, (and conversely, quiet down enough to let her sister fall asleep), and finally I started asking questions.  The first one I asked proved to start a rather interesting conversation,

"Caly, honey...  what's the matter?"

"I had a bad dream, Mama...  a bad dream!"   Nevermind that she hadn't actually fallen asleep yet... I was on to her but I figured I'd let her finish...

"Alright kiddo... well, tell me about it.  What was the dream about?"

She sniffled, looked up, and flatly said, "You."

Um, excuse me?!  I know I can get scary when I don't have my dinner, but geez, I'm not THAT scary!

"Um, Caly?  Me?"



I chose complete avoidance.

"Oooook.  So, um, let's talk about some good things to dream about...  What do you think?"

She thought for a second, and then... "I think...  I think that I could maybe dream about... froggies.  And you, and Daddy and Lexi and Sayer."

So there you have it...  I can be scary enough for a fake bad dream...  but I come in as a very close second behind froggies as the top good dream, too.  I'll take it.  I think.

(And it's worth noting?  Right after that, she rolled over and went to sleep without a peep).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quite a Sniffer

My 2 year old daughter has a remarkable sense of smell.  There are days when she's the first to notice her brother's um... odor, "Moooooooooooommmy!  I smell poopy!  Sayer has a stinky bottom!"  And alas, she's right, every time. 

I chalked it up to her head being closer to the source of said smell. 

Then she started commenting on other smells.  While she played with her sister in their room, I heated up the oven and made a quick pizza.  Ten minutes into baking, she wandered in, "Mommy?  I smell pizza."  I assumed she had seen my prep or heard me talking about it. 

But she kept it up, often at times that I was 100% certain she couldn't have known about the source ahead of time... like this morning, when I hid in the kitchen and stuffed a chocolate cookie in my mouth.  I finished, washed it down with some milk and rejoined the kids in the living room.  Caly walked by my seat on the sofa, paused, turned back, sniffed and said, "Mommy.  I smell chocolate.  Where's my chocolate? Can I have some chocolate?"

She's like a bloodhound.  Who calls me out when I sneak off for a treat. 

But then there are times when she gets kind of bizzare...  two days ago we were in the car, quietly listening to Christmas music when she pipes up from the back, "Moooooomy...  I smell...  I smell...  I smell elephants."

Even a bloodhound misses the trail sometimes. 

But I'm still totally going to hide a bottle of mouthwash next to my cookie stash. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

TweetThanks! And The TweetThanks Challenge

A simple tweet suggesting people join me in starting the day with thanks has snowballed into something worth being thankful for.  One by one, my friends started posting things ranging from the mundane to the magnificent.  The tone of my twitter stream started to change...  complaints decreased and people were taking time to count their blessings. 

This caught the eye of a friend who took the idea and ran with it. was born.  Now, TweetThanks is no longer a random collection of thankful thoughts, it's the beginning of a movement. 

If you go to the site, you can post your own thankful thought, regardless of whether you're generally on twitter, facebook, neither... whatever.  Because really... starting the day with a thankful thought, or even just focusing on the good things in your day, makes a difference in the day as a whole.  And if you're feeling uninspired, I totally invite you to stop by and read the thoughts of others.  It'll brighten your day, I promise. 

And now?  We're starting another initiative.  Instead of simply collecting thanks we are trying to give others something to be thankful for.  Here's the deal:

For the next 7 days, TweetThanks, through the generosity of a donor, will give $.50 to for every person who either:

1.  Newly follows @TweetThanks on twitter and posts a #tweetthanks or @tweetthanks tweet. 
2.  Joins the and creates a post with a sentence of thanks.

(Maximum total donation for this portion: $250).  Best part?  This doesn't cost you a dime, just a moment or two of your time, (and a thankful thought of course). 

And, if you're feeling particularly giving, consider making your own donation to  Every donation will be matched by TweetThanks through a donor. Please forward your donation confirmation email to so we can keep track of donation totals for matching purposes. (Maximum total donation match for this portion: $250). 

So conceiveably, the people of TweetThanks could donate a total of $750 to  How cool is that?  Almost as cool as this:  Every donation made to Feed America is currently being matched through a grant.  So our $750 could become $1500.  According to their site, $25 feeds a family for a week.  $1500 could feed that family for over a year.  That's pretty awesome. 

Kindly post a comment on this blog letting me know which you did so we can tally up at the end of the 7 days. 

So here we go, people...  let's take our gratitude and use it to help others.  Spread the word!

Giveaway Winners!

The winner for the Yoplait Smoothies and blender is Grace!  Yay Grace!

 The winner for the FiberOne Bars is Emilie!  Woot Emilie!

Just a reminder, please leave a way to contact you when you comment.  Due to the time sensitive nature of these giveaways, I can't post a winner's name and hope they'll contact me at some point.  Next giveaway, I'll post a reminder!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mornings By the Numbers

Right now, only two out of my three kids are dressed for the day.  One is in bright pink footie PJ's and considering that I'm not dressed in real clothes either, I'm counting it a win that no one is naked. 

The two littlest kids are putting a puzzle together.  Together.  Zero kids are fighting.  That's worth noting.

Well... The no fighting streak lasted 17.9 seconds. 

One kid is stationed under the kitchen table.  Why?  I don't know.  But she's quiet and entertained.  I learned never to bother a happy kid. 

They watched 1 hour of TV this morning. 

I got 10 minutes of cleaning done.  The other 50 minutes were spent procratinating.  I'm very, very good at that.  I've had 28 years of practice. 

I'm not going to mention how many stinky bottoms I've wiped. 

I've had at least 30 minutes of toasty snuggles.

The thermostat is set on 65.  We snuggle to stay warm.

There are 86 puzzle pieces on the floor.  Combine that with 105 acorns and you've got a veritable minefield. 

(Don't ask about the acorns).

We own about 15 baby dolls.  All of the kids love them.  However, they usually all love the same baby doll at the same time.  One coveted baby doll + 3 kids = 1 smile, 2 crankypants. 

Three kids make a ridiculous amount of noise.  But right now, it's happy noise. 

We've been through a pound of cheerios, 3 bananas, 2 apples, 1 giant mug of tea, 4 chocolate chip cookies (for me), 4 cups of milk and/or almond milk, some animal crackers, and 198 raisins.  It's 10:35am. 

Two kids are jumping off of the couch.  One kid is bound to get hurt.  He doesn't actually know how to jump... it's controlled falling. 

I'm praying for 5 inches of snow. 

I will run the dishwasher twice today. 

There are at least 5 silly bands floating around that look vaguely obscene.  My daughter assures me that they're princesses.  Right.

At the end of the day, I'll have:  12 books read, 11 presents bought, 10 socks matched, 9 snuggles given, 8 emails replied to, 7 thoughts blogged, 6 meals made, 5 coats hung, 4 shoes found, 3 kids hugged, 2  dogs run, 1 house cleaned and a partridge in a pear tree!  (If I'm lucky!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yoplait Frozen Smoothie Review and Giveaway!

I'm on a roll lately, people.  Here's another review and giveaway for you.  Consider it an early Christmas present. 

This time up, Yoplait's new frozen smoothies.  These are bags with different varieties of frozen fruit and frozen yogurt chips.  Pop them in the blender with some milk, almond milk, or whatever your preference, and you have a snack that's far better than that candy you were looking at.  (What, that's just me?) 

The smoothies come in the following varieties: Blueberry Pomegranate, Triple Triple Berry, Strawberry Banana, and Mango Pineapple.  We did the Strawberry Banana, (my favorite flavor in any smoothie), and Triple Triple Berry, (which still cracks me up... shouldn't it be Triple Triple Triple Berry?)

I popped the strawberry banana flavor into the blender as soon as Shaun brought it in and divvyed it up between the three kids with a taste for Shaun and I.  Everyone was a fan, of course.  It's fruit and yogurt... what not to love?  I think the biggest fan was Caly, actually, which was fun since she's the pickiest. 

So as with the last, here's my list of pros and cons:

Pros:  Love the ease of being able to toss the ingredients into the blender with minimal prep.  Also, I loved the probiotics added.  I have yogurt on hand most days, but for some reason, when we get a hankerin' for a smoothie, I'm often out.  I like that it can blend with most any liquid.  I suspect using orange juice would be fantastic. 

Cons:  They use sucralose, (i.e. Splenda).  I didn't notice this til I had made and handed out the second bag.  Huge deal in this household.  For one, I think the fruit and yogurt would be sweet enough to stand on their own.  Second, I just don't use artificial sweeteners, especially for my kids.  I wish they would have used sugar, (well, I wish for nothing at all, but I do understand making it sweet).  So for us, it's probably not ideal, but if you're not sucralose opposed or if you're looking for a way to add more fruit and probiotics in your diet without too many added calories, I think this would be a great solution. 

Anyway, I love the concept and hope that there's an unsweetened version on the horizon soon!

For you lovely readers of mine:  Comment on this blog post with your favorite fruit in a smoothie.  One commenter will win a VIP coupon to try the smoothies for free and a pretty dang awesome KitchenAid smoothie blender to whip it up!  (The blender is awesome, dude).  Giveaway will close on Saturday, December 11th at 10am!  Good luck!

*For purpose of this review and giveaway, I was provided with coupons to try the Yoplait frozen smoothies by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark and a new KitchenAid blender courtesy of KitchenAid through MyBlogSpark

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fiber One Review and Giveaway

Recently, we got an opportunity from MyBlogSpark to check out Fiber One's cereals or granola bars.  Since one of my kids, (not mentioning names), would benefit from more fiber in his or her diet, I thought this one would be perfect to try. 

Shaun actually got to do the picking and came home from the store with the oats and apple streusel variety of granola bars and the raisin bran variety of the cereal.  (The first shouldn't surprise me, as my huband and children are apple obsessed). 

Verdict?  Everyone loved the cereal.  I liked the fact that my kids THOUGHT they were eating carbs, but were instead ingesting MORE FIBER!  Muahahahaha.  The granola bars were an equal hit with everyone except for me, (I thought they were too sweet), and Lex, (she hates all granola bars equally). 

So:  What I liked - They tasted good and were an easy fix to the sometimes difficult problem of getting more fiber into my kid.  What I didn't like - Not a fan of the high fructose corn syrup.  I really wish more companies would get on board with phasing that out. 

Anyway, if you're interested in trying some FOR FREE, (you know you are, admit it), comment on this blog post telling me your favorite snack to stuff in a purse or diaper bag for a chance to win a coupon for both a free box of FiberOne cereal and a free box of the granola bars AND, (best part), a $25 gift card to Safeway, (or an affiliate grocery store in your area).  Woot, right?

Giveaway closes Thursday morning at 10am. 

**Through MyBlogSpark, FiberOne provided me with the VIP coupons, Safeway giftcard and identical prize pack to giveaway.  I was not otherwise compensated for this review.  All views are my own honest assesment of the product provided. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Card Outtakes - Episode 2

What do you get if you take three kids to the mall to possibly hope for a few good shots against the Christmas decorated backdrop?


I think we were a trifle optimistic to think that these highly distractable kids were going to sit pretty and smile at the same time when LOOK!  There's something SHINY!

Combine that with crap lighting and bad camera settings and hey, at least you get some outtakes!

(I will send out a Christmas card if it kills me.  I will). 

Hey C!  Put your head on Sissy's shoulder and then smile!  Hey um, Lex?  You LIKE your sister.  I promise.  You might want to pretend at least.  Or not. 

Smile with your WHOLE face!  Not just your lips!  Those, yes THOSE, they're cheeks!

Smile Caly! Or um, do that. Right. OK, nevermind. 

Round 3 to resume post nap.  Send flurries and hot chocolate. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Essence of 2

Caly got some new-to-her underoos from the hand-me-downs and they happened to have a favorite cartoon character on them.  Excited, I showed her the first pair and asked, "Hey!  Who's here on this pair?" 

She grinned and shouted, "ME!"

It was a picture of Curious George.

Later, I pulled her into my lap to do the regular nail trimmings that can cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  She's usually pretty good about it, thankfully.  I told her I was about to begin and she pulled her hands away from me, "Wait, Mama!"  a pause... "You can cut this one, and this one, and this one, and this one... but not dis one."  She tapped the index finger on her right hand and gave me a serious look.  "Nope Mommy, not dis one."


"Because I eated it."


"Um, what?"

"I eated dat fingernail.  It's in my belly. 

Ok then.

Sometimes she calls upon her junior medical degree to survey an injured person or one in need of medical attention.  I'm thankful that junior medical degree is most certainly not real.  (Though when she offers to give me kisses to  make my kidneys feel better, that's pretty dang sweet). 

She sat on my lap the other day and pat my belly and said, "Mama? Does the baby need to come out?"

"No babe, not for awhile." 
"I take it out?  I take the baby out, Mama?"

"Um, no?"

"I take it out Mama.  I need a spoon."

Oh my word, NO.

She's 2.  And at times, pretty much impossible.  But she's hilarious.  And that pretty much keeps my sanity intact.

At the halloween festival we attended, they had face painting.  Lex got a butterfly.  When asked what she wanted, Caly requested a purple chicken beak.  I think she stumped the artist. 

That's my girl
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