Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crazy Girls

Yesterday I was cleaning the bathroom while the littlest girls were gated into the family room playing with BabyGirl's ball drop toy. After a few minutes the music stopped and I hear Peanut crying a soft but distressed cry and saying something I can't quite make out.

As I exit the bathroom and round the corner I can hear she is saying "I am not a couch! I am NOT a couch!"

When I have them in view I can see that Peanut is lying on her belly on the floor and that BabyGirl is sitting on her head.

Indeed, BabyGirl, your sister is not a couch.

Then today, Curly wanted to call a neighbor girl to see if she could play. I said that was fine so she went to get the phone. When I found her she was sitting next to the phone with a relieved expression on her face and a blank piece of printer paper in her hand.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I wasn't sure if I remembered her number right, so I had this piece of paper ready in case I dialed the wrong number. Then I could just crinkle it up and say 'I think we're losing connection' so the other person wouldn't know I dialed the wrong number! But it's okay, because I called the right house."

My girls are crazy.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday StinkyMan

Dear StinkyMan,

Today you are five. Truth be told, Mommy is struggling with that a little bit. Tonight I told you stories about when you were a baby. You thought they were so funny. I remember them like they happened yesterday.

Where did my baby boy go? Where is my baby who chewed his books instead of reading them? Where is the baby who was afraid to step on grass? Now I have a boy who loves to run in it. Where is that baby who said "Dadu!" when he saw his Daddy? Now I have such a little man who says "Daddy, do you want to play Wii with me?"

StinkyMan, you are my most loving child. Your heart is as big as your smile. You love your family wholly and without reservation. You give the best spontaneous hugs. Your giggle makes me giggle and your belly laugh gets me laughing just as hard.

You are so smart. You can already read, blazing through Curly's list of 1st grade words to know and surprising me constantly with what you already know. You ask good questions and retain the answers, thinking about them from all angles, then packing the information away in the corner of your brain for when you might need it later. I can almost always see your little wheels turning in your head.

I'm so, so proud of you , my one and only boy. You are funny, smart, kind, gentle, loving, funny, sweet and determined.

You are my favorite little boy in the world.

Happy 5th Birthday, StinkyMan.

Mommy loves you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mario Party

All StinkyMan wanted for his 5th birthday was a Super Mario party.

The downfall to this particular theme is that you can't buy the stuff in the stores, it's only online. And it's EXPENSIVE! And I'm, well, thrifty. I did try to convince him to change his mind, but he was determined that Super Mario was the theme.

So the first order of business was the invitations. I got the idea from here. The lady made it seem easy peasy. I guess in theory it was, but holy cow was it time consuming. After spending close to 3 hours making the invitations (I didn't have some of the Cricut options she had) this is how they turned out:

Then I ordered a Mario Bingo game from this seller on Ebay. It's awesome and cost effective and a great way to pass some party time.

No way was I going to pay through the nose for Mario plates and cups and such, so we went with red and blue, like Mario's clothes. I made this centerpiece for decoration:

I just cut down a gold gift bag, printed pictures off the internet, cut them out, stuck them on straws and then stuck the straws in flower foam and covered it all with gold gift wrap shreds. Thank you Dollar Tree, because that cost me a whole $3. Cute, right?

Next up were favors. I wanted to do small yellow takeout boxes filled with chocolate gold coins (like in the game.) Who knew that chocolate coins were so crazy expensive? Well not me, because I was SHOCKED. And then Michael's had every other color of takeout boxes EXCEPT yellow. On to plan B, which was much cheaper and just as well received by the guests:

Sugar cookies are always a nice option. One 59 cent cookie cutter and some black icing and yellow sprinkles and we were all set. I didn't wrap them fancily, I ran out of time. I don't think the kids cared that they were just in a plain old Ziploc baggie.

We really were going to need more than just Bingo to entertain the kiddos, so we decided to make hats like Mario.


Our version:

StinkyMan didn't want his initial...he felt like his age was a better option. Makes sense, since that was what we were all celebrating after all. Foam hats were from Michael's for $1 each, but of course I had a coupon. The circles were cut from self adhesive foam and the letters were cut from construction paper using the Cricut. Each child got a circle and their initial and a turn with the glue stick. All told just under $20.

But what I am most proud of is the cake. I was nervous, but it came out well. Husband helped me tremendously by taking on the task of sculpting fondant mushrooms, while I handled the more simplistic shapes and the actual cake baking and general decorating.

And it tasted pretty good too, if I do say so myself!

All in all it was a lot of work, but it was well appreciated by StinkyMan who was very excited about his party. He had a great time and I think the guests did too....we had more than 20 kids here! It was crazy, it was loud and the preparations were time consuming, but in the end my StinkyMan was thrilled and that makes it all worthwhile.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The kids...

...didn't miss me.

I don't think that is totally true for all of them, but I guarantee you that StinkyMan and BabyGirl didn't. She had no reaction at all upon my return and StinkyMan never once wanted to talk to me on the phone. It is true that Husband is the more fun parent and that Grammy pitched in big time with special trips to Taco Bell and Frozen Yogurt and the park and her house, but I thought they would miss me a little bit. They didn't.

Curly missed me, but not as much as I thought. I came back late Monday night and they were all asleep. I woke her up, as promised, to say hello, and she just said "OK, bye-bye" and rolled over and went back to sleep. She was pleased to see me in the morning, but that's about as exciting as it got.

Peanut, upon discovering I was home, gave me a big long hug and said "You're home!" Then, for about the next hour or so she would walk up randomly and say "You're not with your friends anymore. You're here now. Eeeeeeeeeeee!" And hug my leg. Now that's more like it.

The house was not only still standing, it looked great. Husband had done and put away a lot of laundry, washed some windows and the TV, cleaned the kitchen and fixed dinner all but one night. I believe he also did all 3 girls hair everyday. Most days, I can't even get to some of the stuff he got done. I knew he was capable, but still I am very impressed.

It doesn't bother me that they didn't miss me or that Husband is a better task master than I am. It just makes me feel good to know that I can go have a few days for myself and that all of them, Husband included, will rise to the occasion, and not only manage, but thrive.

And it makes me ask all over again, what would we do without my mom, the kids' beloved Grammy? Thanks Mom!

With such fantastic results, I'm already planning my next getaway. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm baaaaack!

I have returned from my girls' retreat. It was AWESOME! We had such a good time. We chatted and giggled, chatted and laughed, chatted and cried from laughing so hard. We did a little shopping, some gals got tattoos and there were a few piercings! I let the girls choose the color and dye my hair. That was about as wild as I got. I'm an old soul that way. We also had reflexology, a lesson in making fondant for cake decorating and we played games...Taboo is funnier when some of the participants have been drinking! There were eleven of us total and I think everyone had a wonderful weekend.

A common thread amongst us is bargain hunting. I announced my Deal of the Day to the girls that made Gap T-shirts, camis and tanks $5.50 and that I had the discount that would make them $3.85 a piece. Then one of the other girls said "Well, I have a Banana Republic Card, which would make for free shipping." One by one we took our turn at the screen, adding to the Gap order. By the time we were finished we had ordered $240 worth of Gap T-shirts! I expect 37 T-shirts to arrive at my door any day now, and I will send them on to their proper owners.

It was so nice to get away. I had such a great time and can't wait until next year to do it again. It's so nice to have such a fun group of friends. We are all so different but so much alike: all mommies, all bargain shoppers, all in need of a getaway.

Tomorrow I will tell you about my homecoming and how the family did without me and how they were upon my return. I'm sure there is a giggle or 2 in there for you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm leaving....

...on a jet plane.

OK, I don't know about the jet part, but I am leaving for a few days for a loooong weekend with my friends. I have never left my kids and Husband this long...heck other than to have babies or an overnight here and there I've never really left my kids at all.

So this is new for me and I'm very excited. Mostly we'll just be gabbing and hanging out, maybe some crafting and game playing. I can't wait.

I'm going to try to sign in and do the Deal of the Day each day, but I can't promise. There are about 100 of you who check in regularly, so don't give up on me. I'll be back, refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to blog next week!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Volume control

So I'm singing a nice little duet of the Itsy Bitsy Spider with Peanut, when she stops singing and looks at me funny.

"What?" I asked.

"I need you to turn that down, Mommy."

"I'm just singing."

"You're too loud."

"But isn't my singing pretty?"

"No. It's loud. Turn it down"

Nothing like being put into place by a 3 year old.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Party Hearty

I was trying to remember the last time I went to a party that didn't involve goody bags or noisemakers or that wasn't about the end result being me buying something.

It had been a long time.

But when I got the invitation for a shindig for my friend's bowling birthday party, I knew it was right up our alley, pun totally intended.

It didn't start until well after bedtime, so we tucked the kids in and Grammy came to sit in the quiet house while we snuck out to a grown up event.

We had so much fun. We bowled, we laughed, we chatted. If felt so good to be out amongst the adults at a function FOR adults. No one was discussing potty training or preschools or homework. No one was talking about school events or kid functions. I'm not even sure I talked once about our kids. We just relaxed and enjoyed.

It felt good to be someone besides "Mommy and Daddy" for a few hours. Even when Husband and I do date night, we usually go to dinner and then do something practical, like grocery shop or go looking for something for the house. This time there was no end goal; nothing needed to be acquired, nothing needed to be accomplished. We just went and hung out and bowled and the only goal was to have fun.

Mission accomplished. I hope we do it again soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


You know you are a mom when you need a flashlight and the first one you can locate is shaped like a lion and roars when you open it's mouth to turn it on.

And you use it anyway because it's easier than looking for another one.

Lip service

So ever since my friend Sandy said something about exfoliating her lips, I've been stuck on the idea of making my lips nicer. I honestly had never stopped to consider that I need to exfoliate my lips like I do my face or my elbows or my legs. It just never ever occurred to me. But now that I DO know about it, it's a mini obsession.

So Sandy (who also happens to write this totally awesome blog that you should click on when you are done here) buys stuff from Mary Kay and swears by it. I'm sure it's amazing stuff. However, I am cheap, er, thrifty, and I thought to myself "I wonder if I can DIY my way to better lips?"

Guess what? I totally have. And I am in love with the results. I wore lip gloss last week pre exfoliation and I didn't think it looked bad. Then I put some one post exfoliation and I thought my lips looked better. Husband said they felt softer too. He would be the resident expert on my lips, I guess, having put in more than 10 years researching and studying them.

You know you want to try it too, right? Of course. Here is what you need:

1 kid toothbrush. I, of course, bought mine with 2 coupons, making it free. You can get a cheapy at Target for $1.



olive oil

Mix together about a tablespoon and a half of sugar and a teaspoon of honey. Add in some olive oil to the consistency that you would like....mine was like a thick paste.

I held a warm wash cloth on my lips while I watched the last few minutes of a TV program. Then I went to the mirror, slathered on the scrub and started scrubbing with the toothbrush. The upper lip was the hardest, because I wanted to get it where my lip naturally curls under a little and that was tricky. The lower lip was easy peasy. I just move the brush around in little circles.

When I felt I had scrubbed them well, I took the warm cloth and washed my lips off a bit, then sealed in the moisture with petroleum jelly. I was going to use Chapstick, but I had left it in the other room and the Vaseline was right there. I was pretty sure I could already feel a difference when I applied the petroleum jelly, but I thought it might be my imagination.

Then I went to bed.

When I got up in the morning I was thrilled with the results. They are super soft. I hadn't gotten the upper lip quite as well as I wanted to so I did it again the next night. I went ahead and used the Vaseline again since I felt my lips had come out so well.

Now the key is just to remember to keep them moisturized daily with lip balm and I think I can get away with exfoliating a couple of times a week tops. You could probably even do it in the shower while your conditioner goes to work if you wanted to.

I'm curious to know if anyone tries this and what you think after even just one night of scrub and Vaseline. Let me know, because I am sold!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A childhood constant

You probably did it.

Your kids have probably done it or will do it.

Your parents probably did it when they were kids.

Their parents may well have done it as children too.

Your grandchildren will probably do it and your great grandchildren as well.

We can buy them all the fancy toys in the world. We can buy them Wii games and movies, and noisy educational toys. We can buy them dollies and blocks and cars and stuffed animals.

But nothing, NOTHING, stands the test of time and imagination like a bed sheet fort:

StinkyMan and Peanut (those are her big feet) spent HOURS in there today. They watched a TV (which was a pillow) and talked about the show they watched (something about a whale who spins plates), they ate a snack, had some milk, made up passwords, took pretend naps and told me I could not come in and could I please keep the baby away? She knocks the fort down.

And all the expensive, fancy, battery operated, noisy toys sat in the toy box unused for today. It wasn't the fanciest fort ever, but they were happy.

Happy kids=Happy Mommy.

Brotherly Love

I adore the way StinkyMan loves BabyGirl. This morning I was lucky enough to overhear this little gem after I brought BabyGirl down from her crib and put her in her seat at the table:

"Good morning my baby waby. Did you have good sleeps?" Complete with a hug.

He is too cute, if I do say so myself.

Monday, March 8, 2010


This made me laugh.

It's almost as good as this and this.

For history about Jimmy and Matt watch this. It's a joke, but it looks real!

If you don't know anything about Matt Damon vs Jimmy Kimmel, watch the last link first, then the second and third and then watch the first video. It's all well worth your time if you need a laugh.

I think I might have to start watching Jimmy Kimmel more often.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Did you know....

....that the little chewy candy bears that you can get on top of your frozen yogurt are in fact called Scummy Bears?

StinkyMan told me so.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Today is my 10 year wedding anniversary.

The children are whiny and Husband just ran to the store to get kiddie Tylenol.

So not what we envisioned this day 10 years ago.

I wouldn't change a thing. Marrying him was the smartest thing I ever did, and I'm a pretty smart girl and I've done some pretty smart stuff. Good thing that my brain and heart were in sync on this one.

I still think he is handsome. I still think he is smart. I still think he is kind. I still think he is funny. I have learned he is a good father. I have learned he is a patient and kind husband. I have watched and realized he is a good son in law to my parents. I have learned just how hard he will work to give us a good life. I have learned that my love for him grows all the time; grows greater, stronger and deeper.

I have learned that he loves me, no matter what.

And that is exactly what I signed on for 10 years ago today.

I love you so much, Babe. The first 10 years have gone by in a blur. I'm sure the next 10 will too. I'm so glad I have you to hold hands with as it all whirls by.

Happy Anniversary.

Update: I didn't think I had any pictures on this computer, but I do have one scanned in. I thought I'd share, even though it's not the best, quality wise.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I must get some things off my chest:

Yesterday morning I made mac n cheese for Curly's lunch. I gave the rest to BabyGirl for breakfast. I may have had a few bites myself.

The kids wanted a chocolate egg. I told them they were gone. They asked who ate them all. I told them "Daddy did." He didn't.

I have given up Diet Coke very successfully. That didn't stop me from finishing up the little bit that was left after Peanut's party. It was equal parts awesome and gross.

Peanut is taking her nap buck naked, save the Dora stickers she stuck to her belly. I told her it was too cold, but she didn't care. I decided not to care either and just piled her with blankets. It's California...she won't freeze to death, right?

I don't want my son to go to Kindergarten next year. I'm fine with Peanut being 3 now, but StinkyMan turning 5 is freaking me out. He's my baby boy!

I actually don't love putting my kids in bed. I love them being in bed, but getting them there wears me out. I audibly sigh with relief when I close the last door of the last kid after the last "sleep tight." Some moms love the story and snuggle time. I'm not one of them. I love the end result more.

I'm going to a girls retreat in 2 weeks for basically 5 days and I haven't told Curly. She'll be nothing but drama about it until I go and I don't want the guilt. But I also feel guilty about not prepping her. I'm not sure I can win this one.

I love losing weight, but I think I love chocolate more.

Ahhhhhh. I feel better already.