Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pajamas, Pancakes and Pampering, Oh My!

Saturday was Curly's birthday party. In a stroke of utter genius I convinced her that a pajama party without the actual sleepover part would be great fun.

And so a total of 10 little girls arrived at our doorstep at 9:30 in the morning, all clad in pj's ranging from footies to nightgowns. They decorated pancakes with goodies like strawberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, whipped cream and syrup. Then off they went to various "pampering" stations. A friend of mine came to do "fancy hair" (thanks M!) while two of Curly's favorite aunties came to do face painting and nail polishing. When they were finished with their pampering they could go to the table and color some pictures I'd printed out.

I have to say that they were supremely well behaved. They all had lovely manners, were all quiet and respectful and patient and sweet. The party was mellow and at no point did it seem like I had 11 girls seven and under in my house.

After pampering and coloring we did presents and were just doing cake when the first parents returned to retrieve their beautified little girls at 11:30.

I think they all had fun. I know that Curly did. And I can retain my title of little girl birthday party thrower extraordinaire for at least one more year.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Stinkyman: Mommy, how come boys have peanuts and girls don't?

Mommy: Well, boys and girls are just different. Girls pee-pee out of a different place. Girls are just built differently than boys. Boys are built differently than girls. That's all.

StinkyMan: Oh.

5 minutes later......

StinkyMan: Mommy? Are people made out of wood?

Mommy: Out of wood? No. We're made of skin and bones and blood and a heart and a brain and a bunch of other stuff.

StinkyMan: But we are not made out of any wood?

Mommy: No, we're not.

StinkyMan: But you said boys and girls are not built the same. How are we built if we are not made out of wood?

Mommy: Ooooh. That was just a way of saying we are not the same, that boys and girls are different.

StinkyMan: Then you should just say that. Don't confuse me.

Mommy: My mistake. I'm sorry.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Seven years ago...

....I was admitted to labor and delivery. The doctor hadn't liked my blood pressure at my weekly appointment and decided that at 39 weeks I was close enough to go ahead and induce.

As we walked in from the parking lot I shoved a granola bar down my throat, knowing there would be no food for me for a while. Husband was hurrying me along. He had spied another pregnant woman waddling towards the doors and was concerned that there might be only one room left and two women who needed it.

Amazingly his intuition was right. And the other gal was none to happy about being second. We, on the other hand, were quite pleased.

We got settled in our "stolen" room. Paperwork was done. Meds were administered. Family came and went.

She was born at 5:24am. The number had significance for her dad...24 is his lucky number, his birthday is 5/24. I have several pictures from the first hour of her life and in every single one of them Husband is looking at her. He simply could not take his eyes off her. For this, and for giving her to me, I loved him even more than before. I hadn't known that I could.

She was a beautiful baby. The nurses called her The Gerber Baby. I completely agreed. I still agree. I was and still often am, awestruck at the little person we had created.

Seven years ago our lives changed for the better.

Happy Birthday, Baby. Thanks for being such a great kid. We love you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Curly's teeth are yellow.

There really isn't any getting around it. Her teeth are yellow.

She is painfully aware of this fact. Has been for a while. It didn't help when two weeks ago a little boy at school told her her teeth were brown.

We aren't sure why her teeth are yellow. Mine aren't the whitest ever, but hers are worse than mine and I'm a (recovering) big time soda drinker and current mug-a-day tea sipper. So if it's hereditary we don't know from where. We suspect high doses of antibiotics when she was a toddler may have contributed to her adult teeth being much less than pearly white, but the truth is we'll never really know. Whenever we go to the dentist she gets an A+ for dental care, so it isn't anything we are or aren't doing.

She is due for a cleaning and we will be going on Monday. She is so excited to go so we can ask the dentist about whitening her teeth that it hurts my heart a little. She'll be 7 in two young to be so worried about her looks.

Some may argue that I should teach her to be happy with who she is, yellow teeth and all. What lesson is there in changing her looks?

To that I say: Horse pucky. You look your sweet baby in the eye and refuse to fix something that is hurting her heart. Tell her to get over it and ignore comments from others. Tell her you won't do everything in your power to make it better. That instead she can suffer and learn to deal with it.

I don't think you could do it. We aren't talking about designer clothes or the "right" shoes or the "in" hair cut. We are talking about her smile. The one I risk potentially losing if I don't fix this for her.

I'm her mama. I won't be able to protect her fragile heart all the time. Some day she will learn about mean girls and false friends and what it feels like to love a boy who doesn't love her back. She will learn the hard way that life isn't always fair, that people young and old can be cruel and that sometimes, even when you do the right thing, things don't always go right for you.

But she'll face it all head on with one hell of a white smile, even if it is through tears. Because that's one thing I can do for her. And I will.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I like you...just not that way

Mommy: Peanut, I love you.

Peanut: Oh, I like you Mommy.

Mommy: You like me? You don't love me?

Peanut: No. I like you.

4 hours later.....

Mommy: I love you Peanut

Peanut: I like you Mommy.

Mommy: *sigh*

Friday, January 22, 2010

Game On!

I have given up Diet Coke.

To add insult to injury I am also hard core dieting.

In the past, Diet Coke has been my diet crutch. Feelin' hungry? Pop open the soda. Ahhhh.

I understand that was not the healthy approach. I do. But it just made it a little I a treat I could have as often as I wanted.

But not this time.

My friends and I are engaged in something called the Game On Diet. I will call it GO for short, mostly because G.O.D just seems wrong.

Anyway, basically GO is a competition with strict guidelines and scoring. It advocates not only losing weight, but overall lifestyle changes.

So far I like it. It's been less than 2 weeks, I'm down 5 lbs so far. I'm drinking crazy amounts of water (the GO requires 10 10oz glasses a day to get your points.) It asks you to practice one good habit per day and ditch one bad habit. I am moisturizing my face twice a day and not slacking on laundry. 7 hours of sleep is required every night (minus one "off" night) to get your points. Exercise also earns points. You can be docked points for breaking rules, like snacking or stepping on the scale more than once per day. It suggests a meal plan, but allows you to use your own foods and programs like Weight Watchers if you so desire. What they do not advocate, at all, is soda, especially diet soda.

My GO team has 3 members versus another 3 member team. We are playing for 4 weeks. At the end of 4 weeks a victorious team will be declared and another friend has promised to mail out prizes to the winners. Also in contention: the good bed at our Spring get together.

I do miss my Diet Coke. The first week was the worst, but it's getting easier every day. I drink hot tea if I feel like I need the caffeine, but even that hasn't been needed on a daily basis

So there you have it. I blogged sometime back, after the death of actress Natasha Richardson, that mommies need to take better care of themselves. With GO I feel like I am. And while the weight loss is great, so are the other results. I think my skin looks better. I haven't had to search madly for any clothing, all stressed out because I can't find matching socks, my eating choices are better and I'm getting more sleep than before.

When our 4 weeks ends, I will blog the overall results and whether or not we are going to engage in another round. My competitive self says we will, especially if I am not amongst the official winning team members.

I suspect, though, that we all win, if not in points, then in lifestyle. And that is certainly something I can recommend to anyone.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good Mommy Invitations

Soooo, around here January is the kick off to Birthday Season. Curly is up this month, Peanut in February and StinkyMan in March. Thankfully BabyGirl was kind enough to be born in late summer.

So, because we throw one party after the other after the other, I like to be mindful of my budget while still throwing kick-butt parties. Ever thrifty, I like to find ways to be creative and fun without spending a lot of moolah.

So with creativity and thriftiness as the top two criteria I am especially pleased with the way Curly's invitations turned out this year:

Cute, right? And they didn't cost me a dime!

Here is what I did:

I collected toilet paper rolls and all my extra, random bits of scrapbook paper. Once I figured out what size paper would fit the longest tube (nope, they aren't all the same!) I cut down all the paper to that size.

I used spray adhesive to wrap the paper around the rolls and get it to really stick.

Cut down to the roll on each side, making lots of little tabs.

Fold them over, thereby covering the cardboardy looking ends of your tube.

Then smash it flat!

Punch a couple of holes. I had to use a 3 hole punch with a lever. My hands were not strong enough to use a single hole hand punch. Ouch!

And you just pull ribbon through the holes to help keep the inside card from falling out and then embellish and decorate as you like:

The inside is just a piece of cut down card stock with the party info on it (that side is not facing you) What you see is where I have attached the ribbon so the receiver can pull the information out.

Cute, cheap and creative, no? Curly loves them and so do I. Let's hope the rest of the party measure up as well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


You know how sometimes you watch a clothing designer's runway show and you think "Really? Who would wear that?" Yet they are heralded as "creative" or "cutting edge."

I certainly have. I like to think that is the future for my Peanut.

You see, she is a little fashionista. She wears what she wants and has no desire to wear what I or anyone else thinks she should wear. She has no regard for seasons, patterns, colors, textures or size. What she wears are combinations no one else would think to put together and she is always quite pleased with herself. Flowers go with stripes, polka dots are great with plaid, velvet is for all occasions and her baby sister's pants become capris.

This fashion forward thinking doesn't just pertain to daywear. Oh no. She's quite smitten with dressing herself in eveningwear as well. And around here eveningwear means pajamas.

Every single night, we zip her into her pajamas and she says happily, "I'm cozy!" and shakes her foot to show just how cozy she is. Then we read a book, sing two songs and tuck her in.

Without fail, within 5 minutes we can hear her. She climbs out of her crib, turns on both her light AND her fan and proceeds to choose her own bedtime attire. She generally chooses shorts and a tank top, then climbs back into bed and ends up crying because she is too cold, with her summer wear and fan on in January, to sleep.

If we go upstairs and catch her changing her clothes, she stares at us like a deer caught in headlights. Several times we have put her back in her jammies, tucked her back in, only to go upstairs later to find that the only lesson she has learned is to be more stealthy, because the light and fan are back on and she is in her outfit of choice.

It all makes me laugh and shake my head in wonder...until I have to take her out in public somewhere. At least it's winter and I can throw a jacket over her couture outfit. That way people might not think her mama doesn't love her enough to by some fitting, matching, seasonally appropriate clothing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I can almost see the light

The one at the end of the tunnel that is.

Today I took StinkyMan and Peanut into the the pediatrician to get their throats swabbed. When I took BabyGirl in yesterday he suggested I return today with the other 2, since he had diagnosed both Curly and myself earlier in the week as well.

No shocker, both kids are also positive for strep. That makes 5 out of 6 in our household.

Husband is the last man standing; the only remaining member of this house NOT on antibiotics. Really, the little bottles are having a meeting in my refrigerator, just hanging out until the morning when I will interrupt them to distribute their contents to my children, just before I pop my own capsule of amoxicillin.

So there is that light. I am so close. 24 hours after first does is typically when people start to perk up....I've got about 13.5 hours to go.

Just in time for us all to head into the weekend, when I'm sure Husband will go down for the count. How could he not? All the rest of us have. It's simply his turn. Clearly we are a family that shares.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Bloggerversary to Me

I was going to write up this big long "One year ago today" thing about starting my blog. I've been at this a year now, and while in the beginning it was a little of a chore, now it's a habit.

That said, we are sick. It started with StinkyMan, then Curly, although I can't be sure it was the same illness, then me and now BabyGirl. We are down for the count with Strep. By the way, did you know you can have Strep in other places besides your throat? Yeah, neither did I. I do now.

So, thanks to you for reading my blog. Some of you have followed me this whole time, some are more sporadic readers, but it's nice to know people out there care about me and my kids and our lives.

I'll be back when the strep has left the building.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Let it snow

Chalk this up to the kind of thing that only happens when you have kids.

Because I am cheap, er, uh, thrifty, I don't often invest in diaper ointments from the baby aisle. I usually just use corn starch and it clears right up. I just starch up the diaper, put it on the baby and we're good to go. (Note that there are yeast diaper rashes as well which corn starch is NOT a solution for. I am well aware of how those look and know when not to use the corn starch. For yeast rashes you use foot anti fungal ointment. Another tip for you!)

Anyhow, BabyGirl has a regular ol' diaper rash so I starched her heinie up real well yesterday, put on her diaper and let her go while I went to do something real quick (I don't remember what it was, I have 4 kids.... I do everything real quick.)

Then I heard it.


Then another.


The unmistakable sound of diaper tabs being undone.

By a baby with a diaper full of corn starch.

I went around the corner and found BabyGirl standing there naked, diaper on the floor, tush covered in powder and a "Whatcha gonna do about it" grin on her face.

And off she ran.

Over my brown tile.

With her cute dimpled baby butt shaking with every step, shedding the corn starch as she went.

Let's just say that yesterday evening, it snowed in my house, all over my kitchen floor.

Corn starch snow.

Brings a whole new vision to "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow" doesn't it?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Letter to my child

Dear Peanut,

You are 2, nearly 3 and Mommy has decided that you are a little bit nuts.

I embrace the nuttiness most of the time. It doesn't matter to me if you wear JoJo's Circus pajama bottoms with a pastel striped shirt and your baby sister's sweater over top and call yourself dressed and fancy. It doesn't matter to me if you only want to wear lopsided ponytails. It's fine that one of your favorite past times is to spin and spin and spin until you fall over. And that you then do it again. And again. If your panties are on backwards and that's how you want it, OK by me. And I think it's funny that you know, before you are 3 years old, that your big ol' smile will get you out of a good deal of trouble.

Here is what is not okay:

Please, for the love all things good and holy, stop screeching about every perceived insult. You are screeching

Please stop climbing out of your crib in the middle of the night, turning on your light and your fan, changing into summer clothes (after pulling out every piece you have and throwing them around your room) and then crying that you are cold when you try to go back to bed. I love your inner fashionista. I just don't want to meet her at 3am.

Please understand that whining gets you nowhere, so you can stop now.

Please understand that Mommy loves you, but no means no and you need to listen. Please see the above about whining.

And finally, please understand that the world does not revolve around you. I know you think it does. Maybe it should. But it does not. Sometimes you just have to wait.

I love you Peanut. Please stop acting your age, even for just 10 minutes. I need a break.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


If you are anything like me, you have been laughing for the past year or so at the idiocy of the product known as the Snuggie.

The commercial is ridiculous. So cold is the woman that she needs a blanket, yet she lacks the skill to keep it on her body. She wants to change the channel on the remote, but it's just too hard with that darn blanket.

The answer? A Snuggie, of course, a glorified backwards robe.

Curly has been asking for one for a while. We have discussed at length how products on TV are usually not as great as they seem in their commercials. We have managed to avoid The Touch N Brush, Bumpits and a myriad of other heavily promoted products. But she was not to be deterred from the Snuggie.

So for Christmas we got her one. It was met with a shriek of joy. She loved it and wore it a good bit of the day. It made her top 5 gifts of the day, along with her Nintendo DS, her boots, her new lunchbox and the gumballs from her stocking. And it was pink. Nothing could be better.

That night, well after the kids were in bed, and Curly had been convinced that she really couldn't sleep in her Snuggie, I felt a little chill. And handily enough Curly's Snuggie was right there.

I am not laughing at the commercial now.

I am a Snuggie convert.

And I asked for and received one for my birthday.

Guess what? I can blog with it on, covered all the way up to my neck. Try that with a blanket.

Who is laughing now?

The Snuggie people. I can hear them giggling all the way to the bank.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


My kids are in a tough spot, TV show wise. Curly wants to watch some bigger kid shows, like Wizards of Waverly Place, while StinkyMan is perfectly happy watching Little Einsteins and Peanut prefers an episode of Wow Wow Wubbzy over anything else. So, during TV time, they each get to choose one program. It's fine with me to have the TV on that long, because for the most part they don't have any interest in watching each other's programs, so their individual time in front of the TV is fairly limited.

So the other day the age difference became extremely apparent while Curly was watching Wizards of Waverly Place (she met one of the stars in line at Disneyland, so her interest in the show is high.) StinkyMan was playing his video game and looked up at the TV, looked at me and said "I don't think The Wigglies of Wiggly Place is a very good show." And looked back down at his game while my heart melted.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The things they say:

Today I was trying to scooch past Peanut and I said "Excuse me, Baby" and she said "Oh, thank you! Good manners Mommy!"

Then, as Husband was tucking in StinkyMan tonight he asked StinkyMan how come he gets up so early in the morning and was told "Because when I open my eyes, I want to get up because I don't want to miss anything!"

And Curly told me that there was no way she got up in the middle of the night last night because "I felt this soft, soft pillow under my head all night long. So it wasn't me, because my pillow never left."

And BabyGirl's big new word? "YES!" only it's more like "Yeth" and it's sooo stinkin' cute. Much better than "No!" although I'm sure that will come about soon enough.