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Saturday, April 30, 2011


My toddler, Mase, has a new favorite game.  It's called, "Wake Up,  Baby! Wake Up!"  This game is best played at around 5:45 a.m., when everyone else is asleep.   It also works during the day, especially when the baby has been sleeping just long enough that he will NOT go back to sleep.

Earlier this month, the game traveled with us to kindergarten orientation.  I could not believe my luck--the baby was asleep for the meeting!  And, I was prepared for my toddler too.  I had toys, books, drawing paper and snacks.

My arsenal lasted a grand total of about five minutes.  Then, Mase spent another five minutes emptying my pockets and purse, searching for more treats. I was OK with his shenanigans until he found a standby feminine product to play with.  Game over.  

But, I was out of ideas and I knew he just couldn't help his impulse to play his favorite game.  "Stay away from the baby."  I threatened in my sternest whisper.

"I no wake up baby--baby needs hat," he replied innocently.   I attempted to put Mase on my lap, but he loudly protested and escaped. "Baby need hat!"  It was too late.  Surprising to my Mase, the baby did not want the hat nor did he want to wake up.  He let us know.
I spent the duration of orientation in the hall, bonding with another mom of a toddler.  Fortunately, my future kindergartner had packed a friend.  I handed her over in an attempt to cheer up my grumpy guy.  The baby stared Cinderella Barbie down, then catapulted her out of his cozy seat.   He was happier after that.

Mase got his energy out.

My 7-year-old came up with her own brilliant toddler-like game.  She and her friend dragged each other with a jump rope. 
 This game did not end well either.  (The school's jump rope broke and I made her replace it with one of her own jump ropes!  Could I be any meaner?!!  Mooah-ha-ha!  Tears and drama ensued the entire weekend.)

The three kindergarten teacher's passed my clan and the other mom on their way out.  One of the teachers commented, "Oh, you two are old pros.  You both think you don't need the orientation because you've already been through this."

I think she was joking.  If not, I have a toddler I would like to lend her for the week.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Appreciate my always eventful life.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Catchy Ditty: What!?!

I usually try to to talk to my kids when we're driving.  BUT!  I happened to have the radio on the other day.  A catchy song came on that I recognized from American Idol. 

I’d catch a grenade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (yeah, yeah, yeah)

The radio wasn't very loud and I didn't turn it off.

On our way to church this week I heard my 7-year-old, Dani, singing a lovely little ditty.

I'll make a grenade for ya.  I'll take it away from ya.

"That's not how it goes." pipes 5-year-old, Evie.  It's like this,

I take a blade for ya.


And here's where I made my second vital error.  I say, "Enough with that song guys.  Do you even know what a grenade is?"

"Ya, Mom.  It explodes. " says Dani.

I then, unfortunately, attempted to make the song sound more reasonable.  "In the song, he's trying to explain that he would do anything for this girl.  He isn't actually going to take a grenade for her."

This silences my young musicians.  Then, I am relieved to hear Dani begin a new song.

Twinkle, twinkle, little...grenade.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Year:  Know when to turn my radio (and my mouth) off.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lessons I've Learned from my Children

I've heard numerous people say, "I learn so much from my children.  They teach me every day."  I completely respect that, but I never thought I had those type of children.  Recently, however, I find I am learning, quite a bit.

My 5-year-old daughter, Evie, for instance, is now a fount of helpfulness and wisdom: 

Evie:"Mom can I organize your bathroom while you get ready?"
Me: "You want to organize?  Uh...yes."

 A few minutes later she is in a serious organizing zone.

Evie:"Mom, where does this go (eyeliner)?"
Me: "In the red pouch. " 
Evie (exasperated): "Mom, you shouldn't call it a pouch.  Someone might think you have a kangaroo because only kangaroos have pouches.  Instead, you should call it a purse."
Me: "Oh, you're right about that.  I wouldn't want to confuse anyone.  Most people actually call that a makeup case or makeup bag."
Evie (deadpan) "Then why did you call it a pouch?"

On another education note:  This week my toddler, Mase, taught me that if you fill a glass of water from the refrigerator water dispenser and tip the full glass backwards so it leans against the water dispenser lever, and leave it there, the kitchen will flood, quickly.

And, finally, a positive lesson, prompted by my 1-year-old:  I discovered if someone purposely drops the remote control for an adjustable bed into the toilet and abandons it for someone else to discover an hour later, you can just dry it out under the ceiling fan for the day.  It may still work.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Today I'll be taking organizing and  proper speaking lessons from my 5-year-old. 

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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Highs and Lows of Hunting

We, with a bit of trepidation, made our way to our city's annual Easter egg (mostly candy) hunt.   So did everyone else.  My husband went off with my older girls.  I helped Mase and Dax.

The toddler area was at least five people deep, around a small square of candy filled grass.  We were in the middle of the crowd when the sirens went off.  The people in front thought it would be an excellent idea to pick up candy exactly where the were standing.  It's possible I might have unintentionally injured someone as the masses pushed forward.   Luckily, no ambulances were called.

 It was all worth it in the end--Dax was in lollipop bliss! 
After the hunt, my kids wanted to see the Easter Bunny, but he was swarmed and a little scary looking.  Instead, we settled for a visit to a lonely Easter dragon.   I thought he was adorable!  My children were also thrilled, as you can see. 
Our family hunt was much less crowded, just us.  After my previous chocolate overload and my children's Saturday sugar rush I went a healthier route and filled the plastic eggs with cereal and graham cracker bunnies.  And, I was very proud of my budget conscious self.  I recycled some of last year's Easter themed gifts.  I didn't think anyone would notice.

Dani: "Hey, we got the same wind-up bunny last year."
Me: "Really?  The Easter Bunny must really like those."
Dani: "It's not working.  The wind-up bunny we got last year didn't work either."
Me: "Whoa.  What are the chances of that?"

I think they're on to me.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Counting my kid-filled blessings.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Wardrobe Wars: Then and Now

My quite spirited 7-year-old daughter, Dani, has waged some magnificent clothing campaigns through the years.  Here is just a small sampling:

Must Wear Skirts (Age 4)
"I can't wear pants!!! Everyone wears skirts! I--NEED--SKIRTS!!!" she tearfully cries for numerous hours of her life.

No More Skirts (Age 5)
I was mean and made my daughter wear pants, but we slowly accumulated a wardrobe full of skirts.  Then, as you would expect, Dani decided she's not that into skirts anymore.  She wants pants.

Just Soft Pants (Age 6)
"These jeans are sooo scratchy.  Only soft pants!".

Must Change Clothes (Age 6 and 7)
Finally, my opinionated girl has slightly mellowed her clothing choices, but there has to me something, right?   "Mo-om, I can't wear the same clothes for the whole day!" 

A New Chapter Emerges
My, now 3-year-old, Mase, has decided to follow in the footsteps of his oldest sister.

He came home from church last week and disappeared.

About five minutes later he surfaces, dressed in an entirely different ensemble.
"I change clothes, all by self." he proudly states.

The Daddy Nightshirt
I thought I'd seen it all, but my innovative little dude came up with his own unique clothing battle: 

Last month, I was a bit more behind on laundry than usual (hard to believe if you saw my usual) and ran out of clean pajamas for Mase.   No problem.  I grabbed one of my husband's old tee-shirts and handed it to him, calling it a daddy nightshirt. 

Now, he will only wear his cute jammies during the day.  Most nights, he demands a daddy nightshirt! 

We were having company Wednesday night, so I attempted to dress him in some lovely moose pajamas. He wouldn't have it.  "That not Daddy nightshirt.  I'm man. Want daddy nightshirt!"  How can you argue with that?

Little does my man know that most of his daddy nightshirts are actually mommy nightshirts.  Shhh.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Surrender

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Muskateer Madness


I know my daughter will have to take some toys or treats to school for Easter.  So, I splurge.  I buy a bag of cheap toys and a bag of candy.  I make sure to choose a type of candy that doesn't tempt me.  I have a past, issue.

I, innocently, end up opening the package of candy, for a perfectly good reason.'s a little hard to remember just what that reason was now.

Then!  I discover I can't live without those luscious melting Muskateers and they're so small, it's really no big deal.  All things in moderation--that's what I always say.  I can eat two, three, or four, or...the whole bag.

What just happened?

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Season: Only granola bites and fruit leathers for Easter this year. 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Flavorful Feast

Guess what the baby had for lunch yesterday.

I'm glad he puts those new teeth to good use.
Luckily, Dax decided it wasn't quite tasty enough.  I found little bits and pieces of foam all over the living room.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  Keep a closer eye on my not-so-picky eater.

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Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm not a big believer in karma.  Terrible things happy to great people and vice versa, but sometimes, the little stuff catches up with you.

I had run out of a few essential items and headed to the grocery store this past week.  I am normally quite courteous to my fellow shoppers, but I was rushed.  When I was done shopping, I made a speedy beeline to the checkout area.  In my hurried state I, accidentally, cut right in front of someone.  I didn't stop.  Instead I just hollered out a quick, "Sorry.".

Then, I heard something that stopped me dead in my tracks.  "Hi!"

I turned back.

Yes.  I knew the person I had cut off.  She is a widow that attends my church.  I must have looked like a deer in the headlights.  I unintentionally blurted out, "Oh no!  I wasn't suppose to know you!"  She was, thankfully, very gracious.

In possibly related news:  Two more pregnancy pounds magically disappeared from my body the next day, two weeks after I finished breastfeeding.  Sadly, those pounds were taken entirely from my already flattish chest!    As a consolation for my loss, a lovely zit also popped up in the middle of my 35-year-old chin.


Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  I will improve my grocery store etiquette and embrace my new anti-voluptuous figure.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Little Liars

I have some skilled fibbers among my offspring.  A couple years back, a mystery child downed an entire (mostly full) jar of gummy bear vitamins.

I was mortified when I saw the empty, supposedly child proof, jar and called Poison Control.  After they assured me my child might become a little ill but was not about to die, I redirected my efforts towards finding the thief.

Dani was almost five and Evie was three at the time.  The baby, Mase, was not a likely candidate.  Surprisingly, nobody fessed up.  Dani was the girl with the extensive criminal history so I started to go for a confession.

"Dani, I saw who stole the gummy bears."

(In retrospect, lying myself probably wasn't the best tactic, but I wanted to make sure my over gummied kid was OK.)

My daughter still held her ground for at least a good half hour.  Impressive, but not completely convincing.  She had pulled off an hour long denial before and had been found GUILTY.

I then, a bit more gently, grilled my, normally innocent, Evie.  I promised her I would not be mad.  I just needed to know.  She tried to hold out like a pro, but finally gave in to the pressure. "I ate the gummy bears. I loved them."

Yesterday, a new culprit decided to test out the waters of deception.   Unfortunately for my now toddler, Mase, his first attempt was not so successful.   

"Mom, Daxy made big mess.  Look!"
"Mase, Dax is in his high chair.  He did not make that mess."
"Who made mess???"
"You did Mase."
Ya, me made mess.  Sawy Mom."

I think he's got some potential though.

Grateful Mom Goal of the day:  Lots of love for my newest little liar and, most likely, a few time-outs too. 

Cherry Juice Concentrate

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Nightly Children Migration

Some curious goings-on have been transpiring in my house, on a nightly basis.  Just as the baby started sleeping through the night, as if planned, the children migration hit full throttle.

After I am soundly asleep at night, I am, more often than not, awakened by a tiny little body, stealing my blanket.  I love kiddo snuggles more than anything, so, I have been letting them come.

Last week, I reached my snuggle limit.  I was completely surrounded!  Evie squished onto one side of me.  Mason wriggled onto the other.  Then, my husband flopped his feet on top of mine!  I kept kicking his feet off of me, but they kept returning!  By morning I was exhausted and noted my husband's feet were actually my daughter, Dani.  Whoops! 

My husband and I have started returning them to their beds, most nights.  Now, the migration is still in progress, but has slowed.  That's exactly how I like it.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Lots of daytime snuggles for my little ones, especially the one that got kicked.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pathetically Amazing Tea Party

Some days, as a mom, you just do the best you can.  Our dolly tea party was a huge hit, but only because it was an total flop.

First of all, I couldn't find any tea sets!  We've had plenty of them, but they are all either broken or missing, so I improvised with mugs, and a measuring cup for the pot. 

I was also missing our usual teatime juice and lacking any tea appropriate treats.  We ended up using strawberry milk, Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal and a few mini-M&Ms.  Luckily, my kids didn't seem to notice the meagerness of our spread.  My 2-year-old even did an involuntary jump when he saw the small packet of M&Ms.

I then magically transformed my voice into Miss Crumpet.  She is my version of a very proper, but silly, English lady with a bad accent.   My kids request and prefer Miss Crumpet to me, most days.

My two girls and toddler son all  invited their guests.  I told my girls to invite their dolls, but instead, there was an animal invasion!  A dog, duck, bear, and a ferret with glasses showed up.  The guests were introduced. The tea was served. 

Then our tea party took an unexpected turn.  Miss Crumpet (truly unintentionally) spilled the entire remaining pot of tea on her lap.  My kids nearly fell over in hysterical fits of laughter.

And that was the grand ending to our quite pathetic, but ultimately successful, tea party.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: Time to invest in a another cheap plastic tea set.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Gender Education for Kids, Gone Wrong!

I recently read over part of a discussion about teaching sex education to children.   There seemed to be a mom consensus that this type of learning should be a gradual process throughout the child's life.

I like the idea of having age appropriate discussions when my kids start getting curious.   I definitely don't want my children being educated at school, by their friends.

We've had a bit of curiousness at our house.

I was at the library last week and I  happened to notice some sex education books in the juvenile section of the library.  Perfect.  I thought it might be good for my 7-year-old (Dani) and 5-year-old (Evie) to finally learn the real names of the parts.  I grabbed what appeared to be a fun book about gender.

When we got home, I casually mentioned that I had a book about the differences between girls and boys.  My daughters have two younger brothers so I didn't think this would come as any shock.  In fact, Evie (the real mommy of the family) is the chief potty trainer for my toddler son. 

The book started out innocent enough.  The first few pages talked about how boys and girls usually act different and look different, but not always.  Then, I slyly skipped over the page showing a cartoon boy and girl with the correctly labeled part.  We'd work up to that.

One of next pages had another cartoon little boy, using the potty standing up.  It did show his duty (our name for it), but it was hardly noticeable.  I quickly read over the page and started flipping to the next page.

Dani immediately halted my page progression.  She is not a subtle girl and couldn't help herself.  "Look at that!  Mom, did you see that?!?  He's peeing!  You can totally see his duty!  This book is great!"

My potty trainer, Evie, initially was not impressed, but also started chuckling and pointing after Dani's observation.

Then, they couldn't get enough of the book.  The were anxious for more funny photos.  I was not, and hurriedly finished the book.  Now, there was no way I was going back to the gender body part page.   Dani kept asking me to turn back a page.  She was afraid she might be missing something good.  Luckily, my sneakiness was only suspected and never discovered.

I hid the book.  I think most kids would be fine learning the real names, but my oldest cannot yet be trusted with this information.

For safety, I do teach my kids about what's OK and not OK, but maybe I'm not a gradual process kind of mom after all, at least not with picture books.

I'll probably just give my daughter the "big talk" in a couple years.  To her, I'm sure it will be hilarious.  

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  I'm taking our gender book back to the library, while Dani's at school.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Justin Bieber! Already???

First grade has brought a plethora of new experiences to my daughter, Dani.  One new experience I was not expecting quite so soon: The Justin Bieber Phenomenon. 

Is it a requirement for all first grade girls to love Justin Bieber?!?  Apparently.

"All the girls love Justin Bieber Mom." Dani authoritatively states.
"He's just so great."
Have you even seen a him before?  Do you know what he sings?"
"I heard part of a song once and it was really awesome."

A couple weeks ago, my daughter was invited to a dance themed birthday party.   We received THIS last week.
And, an extra bonus, Dani confessed (proudly) that she kissed Justin--twice!  I love the Mom who threw the party and I'm not upset.  My mind just hasn't been able to process this picture, or my daughter's confession. 

I know I wasn't secretly in love with my fellow student, Ben Neighborgall, until the end of the third grade and I'm sure I wasn't obsessed with the amazing Richard Marx until I was starting my teenage years.

My little girl is growing up--so quickly!

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day: My girls and I will have a dolly tea party, 
and watch Strawberry Shortcake.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Monkey Without A Plan

Do you have any monkeys???

I'm am the proud mama to three monkeys and one wannabe monkey.  Wannabe monkey can climb up, but is not so good at getting down. 

Last month, Wannabe thought she would scale the baby's crib.  It didn't go so well.  She got stuck.  I am a cruel mother, and took her picture before my astounding save.  I think her future children will thank me for the rescue, and the picture.

Recently, Wannabe has discovered a covert new place to stash her stashes, at the top of her closet.  This idea has backfired also, but Wannabe is not giving up, as you can see.

She squawks at me when I make her get down, (by herself!) but usually manages the four foot daring drop, unharmed.

Yesterday, Wannabe did something I've NEVER seen before (outside of the movies).  She crawled up on my kitchen counter and slipped.  She is quite a lightweight and the cabinet handle snagged her skirt on the way down and actually caught her!  "Owahhhhh!!!  Help!!!  Mom!"  There she was, hanging from the handle, by her skirt.  "It's not FUNNY!--MOM!" she screamed. "I'm going to fall!!!"  I couldn't help teasing her, just a little, as I helped her down.  But even I wasn't quite cruel enough to take a picture.
Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  I will try not to tease my children.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Daughters, Drama, and a Melting Miracle

My oldest daughter, Dani (now 7), has been a treasure of highs and lows, since birth.  The other night she was so sweet.

"Oh Mom, I love you so much.  No, you don't understand.  It's much more than love.  I just love you more than any daughter could love a mother."  Ahhh.

Then there are the lows.

Her first grade homework/reading, which should take about 35 minutes, usually ends up taking closer to 90 minutes due to, a bit, of a focus issue.

She has not been performing so well on her spelling tests lately, so I simply amended her teachers instructions for spelling practice and, now, have her write out those spelling words---one extra day! (gasp).

Yesterday was the extra day and Dani was not happy about these additional few minutes of work.  She eloquently explained her terrible plight with a loud dramatic cry, "None of the other kids have to do this! I want a new mom! You've ruined my life!!!"


After the waters calmed and backtalk consequences were laid out, Dani finally resigned herself to do what she knew she was not getting out of.

We were just starting our additional spelling words when a spelling diversion miracle happened.  My five-year-old daughter, Evie, ran upstairs excitedly yelling, "The basement flooded!  There's water everywhere!"

We all traveled downstairs to check out the damage.   The snow had melted quickly and the water was covering the tile floor, seeping into the carpet, and still coming in.  (This is now our third mini-flood).  Dani could not believe her luck!   My two girls and my two-year-old son all started jumping up and down and doing a crazy jig-like dance.  Life just doesn't get any better, for them.

Grumpy Mom Goals of the Day:  I'm researching how to fix that window-well, again.  I'm also starting a homework reward system for my daughter, again.

And, I must express gratitude for my miracle:
He has saved us numerous times.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Waffles with a Side of Spider

I knew my girls had been plotting to get me this April Fool's, but I wasn't too worried.  I would just play along, to their great amusement.

I went to pick my daughter up from first grade on Friday.  The second she stepped into the car I hear a loud high-pitched scream.
"Mom there's a spider in your hair!"
"Get it out!  Smack it!"  I yell in my truly panicked voice.
"April Fool's."
Apparently my 7-year-old has surpassed me in cleverness. 

As you would expect, for the next hour, my two girls and even my 2-year old boy thought it was hilarious to tell me there was a spider crawling on me.  I thought it was adorable for the first 15 minutes, then, I was done.

The next morning, my husband made waffles.  My girls were eating at the counter.  Suddenly,  my 5-year-old daughter shrieks, then yells, "Spider!!!  There's a spider on my plate!"  Quite a believable performance, but I am still ready to move on from this joke.  I casually saunter over to her, not even pretending to believe.

How was I to know a REAL spider had decided to join us for breakfast?

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Day:  I'm breaking out the spider spray.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Great Toy Ruckus

I thought my husband was amazing this past weekend!  He cleaned and organized while I was away.   Then!  An alarming revelation came to light Wednesday morning.  He threw out my toys!  And not just the junky ones.  The toys my kids really use.

I know I need to declutter and simplify, but this was more than my stuff-loving self could handle.  When he casually mentioned that some toys may have been thrown out, it was, of course, garbage morning!  I made a mad dash to the garage before my husband could take the bins to the curb.  Frantically searching through all of the nasty refuge, I did manage to rescue a few precious gems:

A Candy Land board, a motorcycle racetrack (one of my son's few "man" toys), some pretend food, a favorite book, a treasured baby toy, and the worst offense, the broken, but easily fixable pogo ball!  Anything that was out of batteries, missing a piece, or just misplaced, he tossed.

Last night we had an animated argument discussion about our differences.  I agreed I would attempt to keep all toys rotated and organized  He agreed to donate any working, but unused toys to good will and, most importantly, to get my approval on all future toy expulsions.

Through this dialogue, another startling revelation was unearthed.  I discovered why I can never find all of the pieces to any puzzle.  All random puzzle pieces my husband has found (for years!) have gone straight in the trash!  That's nice to know after I have spent days of my life saving and sorting puzzles pieces, only to find that one or two pieces are still missing!

Don't worry, I still love my husband.  And, I think he still loves me, despite my slight craziness.  It's good he wants to simplify, but there was a small inconsistency.  You see, while he was throwing away all of my favorite toys over the weekend, THIS magically appeared in my living room.
When I asked him about it, he had no good excuse, only that he thought it would keep crayons and papers off the floor.   It turns out, I love this new toy!  It stores all of the kid's crayons and they have been entertained for hours drawing on the dry-erase board.

I suspect my husband will try to sneak this to good will next week.  I will have to keep an eye out.

Grumpy Mom Goal of the Year:  Simplify, slowly

I just had my husband read this before I posted.  He had zero recollection of our agreement that he needed to check with me before throwing out toys!  (sigh)  Note to self:  All future agreements must be put in writing.

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