Showing posts from 2011

The Terrible Awful

Sometimes our kids throw us for a loop. Just when you think you've got them figured out, their likes, their dislikes, their interests, etc., they change everything on you. They're a bit like volcanos which have the same volcanic activity for years and then, all of the sudden and for no apparent reason, erupt and everyone is taken by complete surprise.
This is what happened in our family yesterday.
You see, we are visiting my sister and her family in Texas this week. And, as we all know, there is a certain place here which nearly all little girls are drawn. What is it?
The American Girl Store.
Once our girls got wind of the fact that such a store existed, there was no getting out of it. They had to see it. It was a must. So when we took them to the Galleria to ice skate and it was way too crowded to have any fun at all, they started begging to be taken to the doll store instead.
What could we do? They had seen the darn place when we drove in.
Fine. We walked them over …

The 4-Hour Mom

A couple years ago, a book came out which has revolutionized my home. It has, without a doubt, been the single most impacting book my husband has read during our marriage. My dear husband and a couple of his close buddies have spent hours discussing the plethora of knowledge contained in the (many) pages of this, their newly discovered pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
For lack of a better term, they have become groupies. Followers. I won't go so far as to say worshipers, but sometimes their behavior and adoration is pretty darn close. It could possibly qualify as a man crush.
And who is this fantastic, larger than life author who has won the heart of my husband?
None other than the man, the legend, a one Mr. Timothy Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Body.
And I have to give him some props here...he inspired my husband to lose 30 pounds. I lost 30 as well using Ferriss' input as well as South Beach. It's been fun to work on it together and it is easier to chase ou…


This year I may have gone a little overboard on the Christmas decorating thing.
I had a smallish party and wanted to make it special, so I did a few extra things like this:
a little fresh greenery and some ribbon. A nice touch, I thought.
I put some garland and big red ornament balls and lights on top of my china cabinet. It was lovely.
I added a wreath to the mirror in the dining room and set the table with silver charger plates and my fine china.
After all my effort and work (and even my sweet mother coming in to save the day just hours before the party and help me with the things I just couldn't get to), the big moment arrived.
No, not the party guests. My husband.
You need to understand something before I tell you what he said. My sweet husband is what is known as a minimalist. If left to his own devices and free will, he would live in a house with stark white walls, one futon couch, some paper cups and plates, and a bathroom. Done. He'd be in heaven.
I find this trai…

For Cryin' Out Loud, People

Some of us are not helping our image, ladies.
*WARNING...before you read the following blog and get all huffy with me because I sound too critical and judgmental, please know that I am including myself in this intervention. I, too, have been guilty of everything I'm about to address (well, except the Christmas pants in public). AND...if you disagree with me and continue in your ways, please still be my friend. I can be a real jerk sometimes. And my final disclaimer: I know we all have weak moments and bad days. Boy, do I know that. However, those days hopefully should be only once in a while (so if you see me in public looking like a fashion nightmare, please just assume this is one of those days). Okay, there...onward and upward, right? Oh, Oh, and one more very important one...all the pictures in this blog are just from the internet and were NOT taken by me, ok?*

As stay-at-home moms, we are very often portrayed quite negatively. You know the stereotype. Moms who stay …

Medical Concerns

I made an dr.'s appointment for all my kids the other day. There is something really wrong with them. I'm very concerned.
Apparently they have all three gone deaf and are also suffering from short-term memory loss.
It happened gradually, a missed word here and there, a misunderstood sentence, a forgetful moment, etc.
At first I didn't think much about it, just attributed it to a noisy room or maybe I was mumbling when I spoke to them or maybe they were just tired when I gave instructions and their young little minds just simply forgot. No big deal.
But then, as time passed, their conditions became worse. Every day I began noticing things that folks with hearing loss sometimes do, such as inappropriate responses in conversation, not responding at all, or asking me to repeat what I said.
And even more concerning was the memory loss. At bedtime, for instance, we have had the same routine for eight years now (or however long I've had kids who have teeth). Brush …

IQs and kids

The other day I was at a friend's house and just happened to nonchalantly find a place in the conversation to slip in the fact that I have almost completed the longest series of books I've ever read. I started way back in April of this year, and here we are in December and I'm just now turning the 800 some pages of the final book of the series.
This is no small feat when you're a mother.
Typically, I will put the kids to bed, put the kids BACK to bed about 4 to 5 times depending on how many excuses I'm able to intercept BEFORE they initially go to bed, and spend the next 30 minutes or so performing housecleaning CPR on my devastated home.
After that, there are usually a couple lunches to make, calendars to be checked for the next day's itinerary (which I used to NEVER need but at this point in my life can barely remember to take my shoes off before I fall into bed, so obviously I need some written reminders), and make my way to either the couch or th…

Sometimes Traditions are Just Stupid

We've all seen the lines winding and looping through the mall to meet Santa. I've been part of these lines in the past, and they are a thing to behold, let me tell you. I've observed that there are generally three types of children in these crowds no matter how many people are crammed together. Let's examine these three personalities, shall we?
1. The goody two shoes.
This is the little girl or boy who is dressed to the nines, decked out in Christmas gear from head to toe. If a girl, then the Christmas bow on top of her head is absolutely perfectly aligned with the part in her hair and fluffed to perfection. Even her nails are painted and she may even have a tiny bit of glitter on her cheeks. She is standing perfectly still, perfectly quiet, perfectly....let's be honest....creepily.
I mean, what did these parents have to do to this poor kid to get her to display manners better than Emily Post? I am seriously moved to question them and glean from their adm…

The Assisted Living Home

nThis morning my daughter's kindergarten class made a trip to a nearby home for the elderly. They planned to sing a few Christmas songs and recite a verse and be all cute. As you know, elderly folk seem to just love seeing young kids and it was an easy way to spread some Christmas cheer.
I promised Lauren I would be there to hear her sing. First wrong move.
In keeping with every law of nature, my youngest daughter actually slept in this morning. I needed to leave the house by 8:15 to make it in time for the program, so I was faced with a painful decision:
Wake the beast or let the sleeping cherub keep dreaming peacefully?
I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I very seriously considered breaking my promise to my kindergartener and standing her up. You don't understand how bad it can be to wake a 3-yr-old when you don't have a trip to Disneyworld or a lifetime supply of gummy bears waiting to greet her.
And so, overcome by mother guilt, I edged closer to the sleeping child…

The Dukes of Hazard in a Grocery Cart

Growing up is hard to do.
The list of things that you are no longer able to do for no other reason than you are simply too big is growing around here every day.
Tonight we discovered another one to add to the list of restrictions for my 6-yr-old:
The grocery cart ride.
It went down like this: hubby is traveling (again) for work and it's just the girls, me, and Hank. Around 6:30 I remembered that this was my last night to gather the items Lauren needed to bring to school for a Thanksgiving food drive, so I was forced to load everyone up (NOT the dog) and head off to the closest grocery store, which just happens to be Kroger.
I am not a huge fan of Kroger for several reasons (not the least of which are the fruit flies who seem quite cozy in the produce department), but when you just need a couple items, it'll do in a pinch.
Kroger is my kids' favorite grocery store for one reason and one reason only.
The car grocery carts.
They LOVE these things. The novelty of "driving&…

The time we really DID pull over

We are raising not just one criminal now, but two.
A few months back I told you about our youngest child's obsession with taking mail out of other people's mailboxes. It amounts to nothing short of mail fraud. Her sisters have warned her repeatedly of her imminent future at "juvie"but she just won't stop.
It seems the criminal intentions run strong in this family, because now my middle child has taken to a life of crime as well.
You see, she has a substantial addiction to a certain illegal activity. She just can't seem to help herself. It's like a compulsion, a habit quickly taking hold of her life. We are looking into an intervention program.
This is my first time to say this out loud, so it's a big step for me, here it is. My daughter is a...
A serious, repeat offense litterbug.
It started out innocently enough. And I suppose I'm to blame for planting ideas into her little mind. One day, I had no time to make my usual egg beaters…

Skating Sagas

I thought I had a few more years before this hit.
My husband is scared spitless. I'm afraid I'm not much better off.
Girls. Hormones. Emotional gymnastics.
I took the girls and their friend roller skating today since they had the day off school. That sounds like fun, right?
Everyone happily gathered their roller skates, piled into the van, and off we went.
We entered the rink and all the memories from the 80's and 90's came rushing back. The disco balls, the loud music, the carpeted walls, even the radio-voiced DJ announcing games like the hokey pokey and limbo.
The girls put their skates on and were off. But not to skate. Oh, no, off to the arcades, of course. I really could've saved the admission price and just given them that money to spend on ski ball and such. Whatever.
While they were gone, I people watched. I couldn't help but notice the 40 something couple skating like pros in the middle of the rink. We all know the middle is where the REA…

Midnight Stagger

I heard it in the wee hours of the morning. It was still dark out.
A little voice, calling through the darkness with great anguish, seeking solace from the presence of her favorite person in the universe. Me.
And as all good (or honest) mothers do, I put her off for a couple minutes. She didn't sound seriously distressed. I knew she couldn't be injured because she was calling from her bed. No danger of falling off a bike or imminent disaster involving bloodshed could be possible at this hour.
Perhaps she'll go back to sleep, I thought.
When is the last time any mother said this to herself and saw it actually happen? The odds of winning a lottery you didn't even buy a ticket for are considerably higher.
And so, after a few minutes as I listened to her cries grow increasingly indignant, I pulled myself from the warmth of my new down comforter, tried to be very quiet so as not to disturb my peacefully sleeping husband (Oh, whoops...did I accidentally throw the co…

The Few. The Proud. The Trick-or-Treat Experts.

It's that time of year again.
The most glorious night of the year to my three daughters. The night when all their dreams come true.
It is also the favorite night of the year to dentists everywhere, but that is another topic for another day.
The one, the only, Halloween.
Halloween is a highly anticipated even around here for three main reasons: 1. the dress-up. My children are just a little obsessed with being in costume. This is evidenced by our overflowing dress-up box, the fact that they sit at the table for an ordinary dinner dressed as a princess, and at times I have even allowed them to go into public places dressed like fictional characters. 2. obviously, the candy. 3. And in a close second to the candy, the doorbells. Being able to ring strangers' doorbells everywhere?! Doorbells are like the portal to happiness to my youngest. Normally she is banned from random ringings when we take walks, but for this one, glorious night, she can push doorbell buttons to hear little he…

Gumball Gorging

I've been a single mother this week.
It stinks.
My respect for real single mothers grows exponentially every time my husband is gone on business a mere few days. Six to be exact, but whose counting? Fall is a very busy time for him at work.
And so, on "Dad's Coming Home Tomorrow Eve", I took the girls to their favorite place to celebrate that we'd all made it. Alive and somewhat sane.
This is where we wound up: Sweet CeCe's. The world's greatest self-serve yogurt place. Although tonight's visit was relatively uneventful, I will take this opportunity to tell you about the LAST time we were patrons in this lovely little shop.
Someone, who will remain unnamed, was taking great issue at the tyrannical rules of my kingdom. Specifically, my unjust requirement that all my loyal subjects must wear shoes into public places of business.
To make her protests known, she staged a standoff on the sidewalk outside the store. One of us was going to win this. It wa…