Thursday, October 29, 2009

I feel famous!

Well, I feel special at least.

My friend Sandy has a great blog called Modern Simplicity (it's in my blog list to the right of the screen as you look at it) and she asked me to do a Q&A for her and it's on her blog RIGHT NOW. Check it out and then check out the rest of her blog. It really is fantastic!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A mystery

How do my smoke alarms know to start the low battery beep in the middle of the night? Apparently when we last changed the batteries we missed one or something. It decided to let me know at 2am. I have never in my life had one start to beep in the light of day. Why is that?

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Great Pumpkin

You all know and love the story of Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch for The Great Pumpkin, right?

Well around here we wait for The Great Pumpkin too.

See, a few years back I realized that my kids love candy. I know, I know, all kids love candy, but my kids love it in a "I'll do anything to have it and I cannot leave it alone until I am on a sugar high bigger than Mount Everest and even then I'll eat it 'til I puke" kind of way.

And I value my kids cute smiles and dental hygiene so I devised a Halloween plan. Thank you Linus!

Every year, after Trick or Treating around the neighborhood, they get to dump all their loot out onto the table and choose a set number of candy items they'd like to keep. This year I have said 12. I have no idea what I said last year or any other year. So far, the kidlets haven't noticed the discrepancy.

Then, they put the rest of the candy back in their Trick or Treat bags and set them out on the back porch (or right inside the slider if it's raining.) While they are sleeping The Great Pumpkin comes and trades them their treats for a small gift or 2. He takes the candy, they get a gift! They always have the option to opt out if they want to keep their candy but they never do.

This works great in my house for 2 reasons: 1) it saves their teeth and 2) it replenishes my potty training treat supply (yes I bribe and reward with food. Sue me.)

I never spend more than $10 or $12 each and they think it's great fun. The bonus is that they go to bed nicely so they can get to the morning faster to see their gifts!

I love the Great Pumpkin. And I love that he always leaves me the Snickers bars.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Play

StinkyMan had been telling me for days that he wanted to do a play. He even went so far as to pull out a chair for me one day, but it was bedtime and I don't allow much fluctuation in bedtimes during the week.

Finally yesterday he told me that it was time for a play and showed me to my seat. I sat down and was handed a thin, rectangular, wooden block. Not sure what to expect I watched and waited as he and Peanut sat on the coffee table about 6 feet in front of me.

"You hafta pick me or Peanut" he ordered.

"Oh. OK, I pick Peanut"

"No, you hafta pick me for the first one."

"All right then. I pick you."

StinkyMan then proceeded to begin to walk around the table. And around. And around. Finally he said, "Mommy! You have to get me! Click me with your meyote (remote)"

All of a sudden it dawned on me. He wasn't putting on a play. He wanted me to play him. The wooden block was my controller, he was the Wii game and I was the player.

"CLICK!" I said and he fell to the ground. "You got me Mommy! It's time for level 2."

Now he jogged around the table. It took a few clicks to get him this time, because you know level 2 is harder than level one.

We played a total of 6 levels, each busier and harder to pass than the last. By the 6th level, he's exhausted himself, running full speed ahead, spinning in circles, bouncing off the couch and waving his hands in the air like a maniac.

I was clicking like a fool to no avail, and I'm wondering how much longer he can keep this up when, still running and bouncing and waving, he asked "Mommy? (pant pant) Can you push the pause button?"

I aimed the block, er, remote at him and said "PAUSE!" and he stopped and caught his breath. 'Thank you Mommy. You can unpause it now."

"UNPAUSE," and off he went.

Just 5 more clicks and I won the game. I think he realized he couldn't continue much longer and didn't have any clue what would make level 7 more difficult than level 6, especially for him!

That was the best video game I have ever played. Very realistic looking, too. And so much better than watching a play.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rotting Their Brains

I'm that mom.

The one the better mommies whisper about.

The one who's kids will have ADD or weight issues.

I'm the mom who lets her kids watch TV.

They don't watch it all day or anything, but they do watch it.

And for all the studies that suggest it's bad for them, I say that my kids have learned a lot from TV.

I have, until now, really managed to keep it to mostly educational programs like Sesame Street, Dora (*cringe*) and Blue's Clues.

When Curly was 2 she got locked in a closet and I heard this tiny little voice saying "Ayudame, Mommy. Ayudame!" She is still interested in learning different languages

StinkyMan is reading. Yes we have worked with him and yes I think he is exceptionally smart and yes he goes to a good school, but Elmo taught him a lot of the basic components for sure.

Peanut knows her numbers thanks to the LeapFrog DVD series, but her favorite show is Wow Wow Wubbzy (blech!)

Even BabyGirl is fascinated by the Classical Baby Series by HBO, which blends music and art in a way that is both educational and interesting. Think Baby Einstein-ish.

But we are venturing into new territory now. A lot of those programs bore the heck out of Curly. I won't do Hannah Montana. I just want to smack that chick up the head (the character that is. Although I'm not really in love with Miley Cyrus either.) We will allow an occasional Wizards of Waverly Place, which StinkyMan mistakenly calls The Wigglers of Wiggly Place. And we're all for Phineas and Ferb (Husband has been caught watching when the children are nowhere to be seen)

It's hard though. When Curly puts on some insipid cartoon of my generation or before I just want to scream "There is no value in that! Turn it OFF!" and sometimes I do.

Sometimes I dream of just unplugging it and seeing if we could go a week without it. What would my kids do? How well would they play? What would they create, invent, draw, imagine or configure?

Then I remember something. The TV allows me my daily shower. The TV allows for my dinner prep. Some days the TV allows my sanity to stay intact. Heck, some days the TV allows me to blog.

No, we won't be getting rid of the TV. Because I am that mom.

But that's fine with me. Because at least I've showered.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Meet Henry:

We had guinea pig custody this past weekend. Henry belongs to StinkyMan's school and was he ever excited to bring Henry home.

We picked Henry up on Friday after a quick trip into Target, throughout which StinkyMan said "Mommy, now? Now can we go get Henry? Now?" By the time we got to school he could barely contain himself.

Miss Teacher took Henry's cage to the car while StinkyMan carried the backpack full of all things vital to guinea pig care like food and books about guinea pigs. Peanut sat next to Henry, which was surprisingly OK with StinkyMan. I guess he knows better than to get upset over the unchangeable position of car seats..

When we got home I told Peanut and StinkyMan that we would take our Target bags in first and then come back for Henry. StinkyMan said "I will stay in the car with Henry so he won't be lonely" and he did.

Once Henry was inside StinkyMan said "Henry you are staying with us for a little while" and he and Peanut rarely left the cage alone.

At one point I found him reading Henry a story (he read him two over the course of the weekend) and every morning he'd go to the cage and say "Good morning Henry" and every night he would turn off the lights in the room and say "Good night Henry. See you in the morning!" After we talked about not startling Henry, he would approach the cage and say "Hi Henry. It's just me, StinkyMan" in a really soft, sweet voice that really echoed my baby boy's compassionate heart.

Peanut, on the other hand, was not so delicate, yet in her own way utterly fascinated by Henry. The funniest thing was that she couldn't remember two things: 1) That Henry was a guinea pig. She would not stop calling him a cow. And 2) That his name was Henry. She called him Hermie. Hermie the cow. So all weekend long we'd hear "HI HERMIE! MOMMY I SAID HI TO THE COW! I SAID HI TO HERMIE!" Poor Hermie, er, Henry, probably had a heart attack or 2.

Today we took Henry back to school. The kids were sad to see him go, but StinkyMan bravely said "I will still see him" before confessing after school "I miss Henry." And Peanut just walked around saying "Hermie's gone. Hermie went to school. Mommy, Hermie went bye-bye in your car."

As for Henry, I imagine that, as I type this, he is sleeping in his little plastic purple house, enjoying the dark and currently quiet corner of the school and wondering where that nutty family he stayed with was keeping that poor cow named Hermie.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Things I Love

Besides the obvious, like my kids, my husband and my family, there are a few things in life I really, truly love. It's a phrase we toss around quite loosely. For example, I'll tell people all the time that I LOVE my homemade laundry detergent. And I do like it a whole lot, but love? Real, honest, love? Not so much. But there are some things I really do love and I thought I would list them for you.

I love:
  • My son's laugh. He has the best infectious giggle ever.
  • My Bounce Dryer Bar. Seriously. You need one.
  • The way it smells outside after the rain. Mmmmm.
  • My kids' preschool. Best. School. Ever.
  • Curly's curls. They are so beautiful.
  • My good jeans.
  • My giant Mickey Mouse hoodie. Disappearing into that on a cold day is the best!
  • A great bargain (like my FREE cereal at Target today!)
  • My in laws. All of them. How many people can say that?
  • My Chevy Tahoe.
  • When my BFF calls on her commute home every day. You must love someone if you can talk to them every day for 45 minutes and still not be done chatting when time is up.
  • Actually, my BFF in general. I love her.
  • Disneyland at Christmas time.
  • Christmas as a whole.
  • Peanut's smile. It's so big and she's so small that it takes up most of her face!
  • The way Husband sticks his tongue out when he's concentrating really hard.
  • My crockpot (you knew that already, right?)
  • Blogging.
  • My 1000 thread count Sateen sheets.
  • U2's song "One"
  • O Mio Babbino Caro. Someday I WILL go to the Opera.
  • My Wootie Girls
  • The way BabyGirl's eyes light up when she sees me.
  • Footy pajamas on little kids
  • My giant bathtub.
  • My kitchen floors.
  • Really good chocolate.
  • The sound of rain in the roof and windows as I go to sleep at night.
  • My life in general.

What do you love?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I was contemplating all kinds of blog entries today when I realized that several of them involved feet. So I put them all in one.

These are the cutest little feet I know. Busy too:

As you can see, Baby Girl has mastered the stairs and has also become a true toddler, taking tiny, lurching, toddling steps. She is dangerously close to dropping crawling all together and becoming a full time walker. Her mama isn't ready for her to be a walker, but it's so going to happen and sooner rather than later.

And Peanut got her first pair of winter shoes for the year. She put them on in the store and proclaimed "I fancy!" I have not been able to convince her to take them off for anything other than sleeping. She thinks she is hot stuff in her hot pink Stride Rites and calls them "My Fancy Shoes."

Her feet are not the least bit small. Unlike the rest of her tiny self, her feet are enormous, measuring only half a size smaller than her older brother's. She got brown ones too, although I'm not sure if drab brown will be as exciting as magenta.

And finally, with the shift into fall and cooler temperatures I get to bust out my favorite cold weather hallmark:

Footy pajamas! (see my baby walking! Yikes!)

I love nothing more than seeing a little kid in footies. I love how warm and cozy they look. When I zip Peanut up in her jammies she says "I cozy!" and pats her belly and shakes one foot to show just how covered and comfy and cozy she really is.

And I love when they get out of bed on a cold morning, hair sticking every which way, sleep still lingering in their eyes and voices, and they are all snug in their footies, ready to cuddle.

I love the sound of the pad on the bottom of the pajama feet on my tile floor, I love knowing that they are warm in their beds and I love, love, love how they look on my babes. The good people at Carters have cornered the market on darling footy pajamas and they have more than a few of this sucker's pennies.

Feet. Only a mama could love someone enough to write a whole blog entry about feet.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Halloween Lesson #1

Fake vampire teeth+Tootsie Roll= big, drooly mess and unsalvageable vampire teeth.

Trust me.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I couldn't pick just one Deal of the Day, so I thought I'd give you a separate post about 3 more:

Go here

Take the pledge and (have your printer on and ready) get a coupon for buy 1 carton of eggs, get the second free! The best part? Hit your back browser a couple of times (past the web page expiration notification) and it will print the coupon TWICE! And they are good until the end of the year, plenty of time to use all those eggs for holiday baking. Hurry, though. It won't last long!

Secondly, free sunglasses from PRVCY in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Go here, fill out the form, give them one friend's email to inform them of the deal and you'll get your free glasses mailed right to you. This also won't last long! GO!

And finally Herbal Essences is giving away a bunch of FREE shampoos and conditioners! They have reached the limit for today, but check back, because this give away is going on for several days. Here's the link and they should refresh it tomorrow, but it's always worth checking back today just in case.

And of course, don't forget the Deal of the Day!

Enjoy your freebies!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Riddle me this.....

...if the king sized bed I have is 76 inches across (that's more than 6 feet!) why, when I share with Curly, are we always just using about 24 inches of it?

All night long I look longingly at the unused 52 inches. And it makes no difference how I move or if I move her, inevitably my little snuggler will burrow into my back and we wind up with her snoring in my ear, one leg slung over my knees, one hand in my hair.

I suppose some people would argue that it's cozy. I guess so. It's also very crowded, quite warm and not very restful for me. She, on the other hand, sleeps like the proverbial baby.

One day I will look back and think fondly of these nights. Today, I will just try to stay awake.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time for Rapunzel Mode

It is nearly time to lock Curly in the tower.

I was informed by my beautiful 6 year old that she is playing a game with boys at recess where they all try to catch and kiss each other.

She thinks it is great fun. I think it's kind of funny. Daddy will have a small stroke.

I did tell her not to play with anyone who says they don't want to, to be respectful of boundaries and that if an adult asks them to stop they should immediately stop and not ever do it again. I was imagining those horror stories where students are expelled for such games.

But I'm not going to tell her to stop. My dramatic, pretty, pretty princess could use a good dose of tomboyish running around and mock terror screaming. And she says no one actually ever gets kissed, or even caught. Apparently there is a really big "base" on which to seek refuge.

I can't wait to hear about it when she comes home from school today. When she told me about it earlier she was giggling and her eyes were sparkling and she was super animated. Clearly she is enjoying her recess.

And I played those games too and didn't come out any the worse for wear. It's part of being a kid. And it sounds like fun to me.

Now if she actually gets kissed..........................

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Crafty time!

Martha Stewart, I am not. But I sure can pretend to be. And Martha sure does make it easy sometimes.

Earlier this week Curly had a playdate over and they made these:

Cute right?

A while back the Deal of the Day was Martha Stewart Art Kits at Big Lots for $2 each. I told you to get some for the upcoming winter weather. If you haven't gotten any, you really really should.

Martha thinks of everything. And when I say everything, I really mean everything. When I opened the package, each farm animal came individually packaged, so there was no guessing as to which parts belonged to which animal. And each piece that needed to be stuck on had, wait for it, pre-applied stickiness! No glue needed, just peel off the backing! Each animal that had parts for the front and back of the balloon had pictures of the front and the back for the kids to model theirs after and yes, each packet had a balloon. I opened 2 packages so the girls could make the same animals if they wanted to and all told, they each made a total of three and were happily busy for well over an hour. Each kit has 8 animals total. An absolute steal at $2!

So, I have already decided on Peanut's birthday. Yes I know it's in February, so what? We are going to have a farm theme and guess what the favors are going to be? That's right, $2 art kits from Martha Stewart, courtesy of Big Lots. Better than a cruddy goody bag for sure and a great rainy day activity for the recipients. (Plus see today's Deal of the Day for an extra good deal for these kits!)

There were all kinds of kits. Picture frames, hand puppets, balloon animals and more. You absolutely should take a trip to Big Lots. These are great gifts for birthdays, stockings or just to bust out on a rainy, yucky, boring day.

Addition: I changed the Deal of the Day, but here is the link to the Big Lots coupon I mentioned in this entry. Happy shopping!