Monday, December 22, 2008

Gingerbread House Wars

Yesterday there was a Gingerbread house war at our house. Boys vs. Girls. Cheeksy and I vs. W and Jack. I say that Cheeks and I won, but W and Jack don't agree. So I'm bringing it to you readers. Tell me which one is better. Don't let me down people.

Here are pictures, front and back of each one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lets talk Santa letters

I am convinced that no child can be more creative than W when it comes to writing a letter to Santa. This year, we only let them write a list of 10 things (explaining that when the economy is bad for us, it's bad for Santa, too). Here are a few things he put on his list:

1. XBox

Okay-we already have an XBox, but W said that Jack doesn't let him play it enough. The XBox is downstairs and the Wii is upstairs in the playroom. So W's resolution to that problem is to have an XBox upstairs and downstairs. Not very cost effective.

2. My own TV

I fully admit that my kids watch too much TV. That said, I draw the line at putting a TV in their room. That's one thing that they don't need.

3. iPhone

Yep, the kid wants an iPhone. Does he even have a cell phone? No. But he's decided that he wants an iPhone. Lovely.

So those were the three most outrageous things on his list. But of all W's Santa lists, my all-time favorite is: "A refrigerator for my own room".

So share your kids Santa letters with us. Inquiring minds, etc.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Finally - Progress!

Remember how I told you about the Homework Hell I've been living in? I think we may have finally made some progress - both with Little Man and The Girl. We had parent teacher conferences this week and we were pleasantly surprised.

Ok, I'm not gonna lie, the truth is we were downright shocked, shocked, to see The Girl's report card and hear what her teacher had to say. Not one bad mark. Not.A.Single.One.

Now, I know this might be kind of hard for some of you to understand but..this is an amazing accomplishment - both on our part and on hers. I haven't had a clean report card from her since KINDERGARTEN. Yes, really. Even then there was always something, like, "Needs to focus more" or "Needs to talk less" or something.

The Girl is a brilliant child. I'm not just saying that because she's mine, either. She really is brilliant. She has always exceeded every standard put before her. But she's also lazy. So while she can do it, she chooses not to most of the time. To get a report card like that....well, I cried. I think her teacher thought I was insane. Not only for crying, but for suggesting she's anything but the perfect student. I tried to explain, but she just looked at me like I was crazy.

Little Man also struggled at the beginning of the year. He's always been my golden child when it comes to school (and only at school!), but this year he took a turn for the worse and started screwing around in class and not turning assignments in. The thing about LM is this: He hates being isolated from the family. The worst punishment in the world for him is to be grounded to his room. When The Girl doesn't do her homework, her punishment is being grounded to her room. So naturally we had to do teh same for LM. I think being stuck in his room, with nothing to do but read, for an entire week cured him of whatever ailed him. Just after I talked to his teacher the last time, he pulled it together and hasn't had a bad mark since.

We weren't pleased with what his report card and school work showed prior to that point, but we agreed to wipe the slate clean and start over in the new trimester. I still have no idea why he decided to stop doing his work and acting out, but I can only hope it was a stage he's now grown out of.

The one bright spot with him? His math teacher. When we went to talk to her and I asked if he was missing any assignments or if she'd had any behavioral problems with him, I got that, "OMG, you're crazy" look from her (never thought I'd say it, but I kind of like getting that look in situations like that...). She said he's never missed an assignment and basically that he's a joy to have in class and she wishes all her students were like him. Just to drive the point home, that's what all his teachers have said since he started school. No joke. So it was refreshing to know he was doing well in at least one subject.

P/T conferences were Tuesday. On Friday we had award ceremonies and both kids got awards.

Little Man got a Reading Award, which is really surprising because the child hates to read. I figured he'd get a math award, but nope.

The Girl? The Girl swept the awards ceremony and brought home three: Reading (which isn't surprising, she's an avid reader...just like me), Math (which is very surprising..she's always hated math) and Spelling. Three awards, people.

I don't think the war has been won yet, but we took this battle.

Score one for the parent team.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A sick Kelsey

makes the rest of the family miserable. My mom would agree that she takes after me. I am a horrible sick person. When I'm sick, I want my mom. That is not a joke, I really do. Kelsey doesn't necessarily want me. She just wants someone to listen to her cry about what hurts.

At the beginning of last week, Jack started getting sick. Will was already over whatever he had. Kelsey briefly got what he had, but it didn't completely take hold. Well, she has what Jack has. Mainly a sore throat. She also has a pretty nasty sounding cough and she's stuffed up. It's your normal cold virus. So we just give her medicine for it and hope for the best.

With Kelsey, that's not good enough. The main problem here is her sore throat. To give her credit, I think it really does hurt. And I feel bad for her. No one likes having a sore throat. She's taken Halls, Tylenol, and anything else I can think of that will relieve her sore throat. It's not good enough. She is constantly asking for medicine. Jack and Kelsey had a little exchange last night after she asked for medicine again for the fourth time in an hour.

Kelsey (walking down stairs w/ the whiniest voice you can imagine): My throat still hurts. I think I need more medicine.

Jack (HUGE sigh): Kelsey, we will give you medicine when it's time for you to get medicine. Stop asking for it.

Really, it's getting out of control. I know that her throat hurts, but it's like she's a six year old cold medicine junkie. So today, I went to the store. This is all the medicine we have for her. Just for her. This was all bought for one six year old child*.

Honestly, if this doesn't make her feel better, I'm going to tell her that it's impossible for her throat to hurt b/c she's had her tonsils out. Therefore it must all be in her head.

I also have to say that Will is the most perfect sick child I've ever seen. He normally gets sick on Friday night sometime, gets better sometime on Sunday, then goes back to school on Monday. God love that kid.

*Said six year old is not getting all this at one time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Way to Work it, Girl...

Yesterday I blogged about my MIL coming to stay with the kids while we went out of town. Before we left I sat the kids down and had "the talk" with them. You know which one I mean, right? The "if you don't behave yourselves this weekend I will kill you" talk. For the most part, I have pretty good kids. I don't usually worry about how they'll behave when I'm not around (when I am around is a whole other story, though). They tend to mind their manners and be respectful to whatever adult is in charge. But they haven't spent a lot of time with MM's mom, and I was afraid they'd test their boundaries with her and cause problems. Since this was the first time I'd left them alone I was worried.

So we had "the talk" and then I went over the rules with them. When it got to the bedtime rule, The Girl interrupted. "Mom, our bedtime is 9:30, not 9:00!" Excuse me child? I'm the one who set your bedtime, I should know what time it is! I said, "TG, your bedtime has been the same for 5 years. It's 9:00." She sputtered, "No it isn't! It's 9:30! You said we had to start getting ready for bed at 9:00, but we didn't actually have to go to bed until 9:30!"

Sometimes I just can't believe her. She actually argued with me. Her mother! The one who set her bedtime to begin with. Who does that?

When my MIL got here, I gave her the kids' homework schedules (more about that later) and told her the kids' bedtimes were 9:00. I made sure to tell her to watch out for The Girl, because she'd try to stay up later if possible. She said she'd be on her guard.

Later that night The Girl and I were talking and she asked, rather slyly, "So Grandma is in charge while you're gone, right?" I know my child, so I was already suspicious. "Yes, TG, she's in charge while I'm gone." She smiled, "So what she says goes, right? Even if she breaks one of your rules." This girl. "Yes, TG, what she says goes. I'm not going to be here and she's in charge of you, so if she tells you to do something or says something is ok even though I wouldn't normally let you do it, you listen to her." Her smile got bigger and she nodded her head. I knew this didn't bode well.

Sure enough, MM gets a call on his cell phone Thursday night. We were in the checkout line at Target when the phone rang. MM rolled his eyes when he saw his mom's number on the screen. He answered and asked if everything was ok. It was The Girl. She asked if I was asleep (why she'd ask if I was asleep at 8:00 p.m. is totally beyond me, but whatever) and MM said, "I hope not, since she's standing right next to me." Now, if you remember, TG has phone issues. I guess she didn't understand what MM said, because he kept repeating it. "I hope she isn't asleep, since she's standing right here." After a few seconds of this MM pulled his phone from his ear and looked at it funny, then put it back and said, "No she's not tanning! Why would she be tanning? You're not the brightest of our children, are you?" Evidently she couldn't understand what he was saying and somehow got "tanning" from "standing".

When he said, "You're not the brightest of our children, are you?" I looked at the cashier and she bust out laughing. She'd kind of been snickering at the conversation all along, but she really lost it when he said that. Then she kind of paused when she saw me looking at her and her eyes got wide, like maybe she was afraid I was going to be mad. I just rolled my eyes and grinned at her. Freaking MM.

Anyway, it turns out The Girl was calling because she'd been trying to explain to Grandma that if she said the kids could stay up until 9:30, they could. Grandma wasn't buying this after the big production I made about their bedtime being 9:00, though. The Girl had to call me so I could tell my MIL that it was true, she was in charge while I was gone and if she said it was ok for the kids to stay up until 9:30 then they could. I couldn't help it, I just laughed. Only my child, people. Only my child.

My MIL got on the phone and I told her, yes, she was in charge and if she wanted the kids to stay up until 9:30 they could. She said, "Well, I don't mind if they stay up late, but since you made such a big deal about it...." In the end I said I didn't care what they did, since I wasn't home to witness it.

All this, over a freaking half hour. Manipulative little brat, my daughter. Still, I have to give her credit for working the angles.

(and no, I'm not going to share with you how MM later told me I had, in fact, told the kids their new bedtime could be 9:30 and then promptly forgot, but thanks for stopping by anyway)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gotta Love Grandma

This past weekend MM and I went to Salt Lake City to see my brother graduate college. The school asked that we not bring our children if we could avoid it, so we asked MM's mom to stay with them. Both Grandma and the kids were excited to spend the weekend together. Grandma because she could spoil the kids and the kids because they knew they'd get spoiled.

Me? I don't get too worked up about it. I was a bit nervous about leaving them when I considered how much sugar they were sure to have (which was confirmed when my MIL showed up with a "funnel cake kit" and told me they were going to have great fun), not to mention what the state of our house would be when we got home, but overall I was just glad MM's mom was willing to stay with the kids.

Of course, that was before my brother-in-law started texting MM and I pictures. Pictures of the kids and dogs running a muck in the house. Pictures of the house, period. I about died when I got this one:

Yes, that is my house, people. Not that you can see it for all the crap every where. Apparently they decided to build forts and have a sleepover in the living room. Lucky for me (or maybe for them?) they cleaned everything up before we got home.

But yesterday I was searching for the tape and couldn't find any. I asked the kids where all the tape was and they laughed and said they used it all to build their fort. Yes, they used tape to hold it together. About 6 rolls of it, if memory serves. *eye roll*


The other day, the kids and I were in the car when Will asked me if we were Christians. I explained to him what a Christian was and then told him that he was Catholic. Then he started asking me about God and Jesus and all the things that would be answered better by Jack. We started talking about how Jesus died for our sins, etc. Then I explained about the Second Coming. Leave it to a kid to come up with this:

"So when Jesus rises from the dead, will he be a zombie?"

I couldn't even answer, I was laughing so hard.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taylor or Miley?

When outraged parents came out several years ago complaining that their impressionable daughters' idol, Britney Spears, wasn't so wholesome anymore, it really wasn't a blip on my radar. My kids were both babies at the time and I remember thinking that the parents should do less complaining to the media and more talking to their kids. Little did I know that about five years later, I would be in that same position.

Kelsey loves both Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Every night, she falls asleep to the music of Taylor Swift. Anytime I see her on any talkshow/award show/news show, I record it for her. She loves Taylor Swift. I love her, too. She is exactly the type of celebrity that I would want Kelsey to look up to. She never looks slutty. She almost always looks her age. The other day, Taylor was on Ellen and Kelsey was glued to the TV. She loved seeing the pictures from when Taylor was a baby and the video of Taylor singing when she was a kid. She literally felt joy just from watching this eighteen year old teenager talk.

Miley Cyrus OTOH? I feel like sending her a letter telling her that in case she forgot, she's only 15. She'll have plenty of time to dress like a 25 year old, please wait until she's at least 20. I know that part of it is just society today and how our kids are introduced to certain things so much sooner than we were, but come on. Miley Cyrus looks like she's 20 years old. Sometimes I forget that she's only 15. With Britney Spears, she was growing up so of course her image was going to change. Considering Miley's age, and what crowd she is most popular with, could she please try to set some sort of good example? Not that I'm going to let Kelsey start wearing makeup and dressing skanky. I count myself lucky that Kelsey just likes Hannah Montana. She doesn't really differentiate between Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus.

Another thing I don't like about Miley is how freakin' expensive it is to go to any of her shows. My sister and I were talking about how she charged $200 per ticket to her birthday party at Disneyland. Srsly? If you're in the position that she is in, you have to make yourself available for your fans, the very people that have made you as popular as you are. I know that I wouldn't drop down $400 for two tickets to Disneyland, even if I lived in Socal. Pul-lease.

Kelsey is only six, so I realize that it's just beginning. Lucky me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They actually can get along

I admit, I am a horrible teacher. I was lucky that Will picked up reading as well as he did b/c I didn't have very much patience. That sounds horrible, doesn't it?

Anyway, teaching Kelsey is much easier b/c I have Will. He lets her read to him and I have to say, he's surprisingly patient. You know those times that you look at your kids and just think of how lucky you are? That's how I felt when I took this picture.

On an unrelated note, Will is sick right now. He has that seal-like barking cough that makes you shudder. Anytime he sneezes, he sounds like he's choking. Even knowing that, my heart still jumps every time he sneezes.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And now for the real reason I had kids..

I just took this picture. At 7:15 a.m. Yesterday I cleaned the carpets. The furnature was still all moved around this morning, so I told Little Man to let me vacuum and then we'd put the dining room back together so he could have breaskfast.

He asked if he could vacuum instead. What am I gonna say to that, no? Ha! So then I thought, well shoot, he loves to vacuum and the rest of the house still needs a run through, so....

He vacuumed the whole house. Isn't he great? And wasn't I just the best mom ever for giving in to him and letting him have his way?

I thought so, too.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone with SprintSpeed

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Last night Kelsey had a soccer game. This is the first year that they actually have positions, goalie included. It's the year that the coaches really try to teach the kids how to play as a team. Pass the ball, don't fight over it with your own team mate. We've always told both our kids that passing the ball to someone who scores a goal is just as good as scoring the goal yourself.

There's this one girl on Kelsey's team (actually there's two) that just won't pass the ball to save her life. It's really annoying. If three girls are on her and another player is wide open in the middle, she still won't pass it. Instead of passing it to Kelsey who was yelling "Pass, pass!", she kicked it out of bounds. Kelsey walked up to her and said "Didn't you hear me saying pass?" and the girl just said "No!". I kind of don't blame the girl for the attitude b/c Kelsey can get snarky when she puts her mind to it.

In the same quarter, Kelsey made two really good passes. Both times, the person she passed it to scored a goal. We were really proud of her. She was proud of herself, too. She walked up to the girl and pointed toward the goal and said "See, that is passing.".

My daughter is not afraid to speak her mind.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's always funny when it doesn't happen to you

My sister sent me a text message on Saturday night and it still makes me laugh when I think about it. Jack and I were watching Life when I get a text message that begins like this:

your nephews and niece almost got us busted. they called 911 and hung up.

She goes on to tell me that when they called back, she didn't answer the phone until the 3rd call. Jack and I were laughing our bums off b/c, like the title says, it's always funny when it doesn't happen to you.

Last night I was telling my mom and dad about it (still laughing) when Will asked me if they got in trouble. Jenni, I don't know if they did, but I told him that they were grounded for a month. LOL

Oh and one more question...when 9-1-1 calls, does it say 9-1-1 on the caller id? Jack and I were discussing that and are really curious to know.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


This conversation took place about 15 minutes after this one. Cheeks Kelsey was talking about one of her friends. Kelsey and Bella act like sisters, which is not always a good thing. Bella is the only girl in her family (other than her mom). She has three brothers that are over the age of sixteen. So she is the princess of the family. That girl gets what she wants. So while her and Kelsey get along really well most of the time, they also butt heads when they don't agree. Bella b/c she is used to getting her way and Kelsey b/c she's a control freak strong willed like her mother. We were talking about what she should do when Bella tells her she can't play with her and [insert other kids names here]. This is the conversation that followed:

Me: If that happens, you need to go tell a teacher (this is at daycare after school).

Jack Jr Will: [aggravated] They don't go to a teacher, they come and complain to me. Kelsey, I am not a teacher. I do not.solve.problems. Do you understand?

I looked in the rearview mirror and saw that Kelsey was looking at me. We both immediately bursted out laughing b/c he sounded like such an old man when he said that. Those who actually know him won't be surprised, but it's always funny when you hear that tone coming out of any eight year old.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Homework Hell

I can't remember if I've talked about this before, but we have major issues with The Girl and homework. As in, she hates to do it and we have to make her. I know this probably doesn't sound unfamiliar to a lot of you, but trust me when I say our problem is a lot worse than most. A lot worse.

Let me give you a basic break down. The short version, if you will.

  • This started in kindergarten. She'd bring her homework home and then offer it to the dog and/or cat.
  • In first grade she told me she didn't have homework (and why would she in 1st grade?) and threw an entire years worth of homework out the bus window - without getting caught.
  • In second grade she hid half her homework in her binder and only completed portions of it.
  • In third grade she brought me all of her homework but would sit at the table until midnight and not complete any of it. She'd just turn stubborn and refuse.
  • In fourth grade she got really creative and told her teacher it was against our religion to do homework. And was convincing enough that he believed her.
  • In fifth grade we found her homework hidden under the couch, under her mattress, in between the counter and the refrigerator. I'd tell her, "TG, go get your homework right now and I'll pretend like I didn't see where you hid it" and she'd offer a long suffering sigh and move the plant away from the wall and there would be this massive pile of homework behind it.

I think you might think I'm joking about this, but I'm not. I've tried everything to get this child to do her homework. I bribed her, I punished her, I grounded her, I spanked her, I yelled at her, I offered her candy and Disneyland and weekend trips to the beach. I sat with her at the table until midnight waiting for her to get it done. I took away choir and gave her the school play and took the t.v. and the computer and her stereo and birthday parties and visits to my mothers house. I've done it all. I really don't think there's anything you could suggest that I haven't done.

Last year we worked on a sliding scale. If she didn't do her homework Monday she was grounded Tuesday. If she didn't do it Tuesday she was grounded Wednesday and her stereo got taken away. If she didn't do it Wednesday she got her stereo taken for the entire weekend (as opposed to just Wednesday) and if she didn't do her work on Thursday she was grounded for the entire weekend. Then we started all over again.

This year we cut out the sliding scale and went hardcore. She didn't bring me a clean progress report on Monday? She was grounded until she did. So if she doesn't do her homework two weeks in a row, or she misses an assignment in class? She's grounded for two weeks. She gets weekly progress reports and she's grounded from everything until she brings us a clean one. What does "grounded from everything" mean? Music, t.v., computer, Wii, toys, going outside to play with the dogs, going to her friends houses, going to my mothers, basically she's grounded to her room. She's allowed to sit at the table to do homework and to eat meals. That's it.

Now, it seemed in the beginning that this was working. The first week she didn't bring me a clean progress report she cried in her room for two days and brought me a clean report the following Monday. But once again, we're back to her hiding her homework and lying about it. She brought me her progress report today (they didn't have school yesterday for a teacher in-service day) and she'd missed an assignment. She tried to tell me it was because they had a sub last week and the sub told her not to turn it in. I said, "Ok, let me just go ahead and call your teacher to double check that's the case then" (sadly, I have her teacher on speed dial) and she said, "Oh, uh. Well. Maybe you shouldn't do that." Jeez, ya think?

I don't know why she persists in thinking I'm stupid, but I've worked closely with all her teachers since kindergarten to make sure we stay on top of this. It's not like I'm new to this, k?

The big problem is that the girl is uber intelligent. I mean UBER intelligent. It's obvious she's intelligent. She talked at 3 months old. No joke, she actually said a 2 syllable word at 3 months old. She's just lazy. But her teachers can SEE she's smart, so they let her homework slide because she does well on tests and has a lot of potential. No matter that we're not doing her any favors by letting her slide on this. I mean, really, how is she going to make it in the real world if she doesn't have a sense of responsibility?

Now through all this, my saving grace has been Little Man. That child loves school and homework like it's nobody's business. Every day he comes home from school, sits down at the table without being asked and does his work. When we do Best/Worst at night, 95% of the time his "worst" is that he doesn't have anymore math homework or if it's a weekend, that he doesn't have school the next day.

I'm telling you, that child is a breath of fresh air in homework hell. Or..well, he was a breath of fresh air in homework hell. For some reason, Little Man has decided to follow in his sister's footsteps and stopped doing his homework as well.

I really don't know why. It started last year with him not turning his homework in. I'd check his homework every night and it would all be completed and ready to turn in. Then I'd get his weekly progress report and he'd be missing assignments. Assignments I know for a fact he did. When I asked him about it he just shrugged. So then I started watching him put the assignments in his backpack, thinking maybe he was leaving them at home. But nope, they still wouldn't get turned in. So then I thought maybe there was a bully on the bus or the playground stealing them. Why else would the child do the work and not turn it in? But nope, I had The Girl keep an extra close watch and talked to the bus driver and recess monitors and no one was bothering him. To this day I still have no idea what happened to those assignments. None at all. They just...disappeared.

So far this year we've had more problems with Little Man than we have with The Girl. Or maybe we haven't had more problems, but I think I'm taking it harder because he's always been so good about it in the past. Tonight he sat at the table until 10:30 working on his homework. Or not working, as the case may be. He actually sat there and either whined or full out cried because he was tired and thirsty and blah blah blah. For all the time he spent procrastinating, he could have done a full week worth of homework.

I'm telling y'all, I'm living in Homework Hell. I just can't take anymore. It was bad enough when it was one, but now that they're both acting crazy and not doing their stuff? I'm going stark raving mad.

MM and I have been talking about telling the kids Santa and the Easter Bunny don't really exist. I'm pretty sure The Girl knows about Santa (she told me last year she thinks maybe Santa isn't really a fat man in the North Pole, but really a "secret santa" type thing, where maybe people like your mom or grandparents give you presents (this is another story entirely..but stick with me for a minute, I have a point). We (MM and I) realize she's getting pretty old for the whole Santa business, but like with the Tooth Fairy, I'm not quite ready to give up their youth yet. OTOH, we don't want her getting made fun of at school for being the only person who still believes in Santa, so it's probably pretty close to being time.

So tonight MM and I lecture the kids - again - about their homework and MM tells them they have to sit at the table until their homework is finished, then he goes to bed (nice of him, isn't it?). He calls me on my cell phone from the bedroom and says, "I'm a really bad parent" and I said, "Ok, roll with it. What's up?"

He said, "I really just want to be an asshole and come tell the kids, you don't want to do your homework? That's fine, because SANTA DOESN'T MOTHER EFFING EXIST AND I'M IN CHARGE OF YOUR PRESENTS!!!!!" And then, "And I KILLED THE EASTER BUNNY, TOO!!!"

That's good parenting right there. If I do say so myself.

Gotta love MM.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I'm always amused by what I hear when we're in the car. Today Jack Jr had his eight year well child visit. He got his flu vaccination and a chicken pox booster. Cheeks also got her flu vaccination and chicken pox booster. This is the conversation that took place on the way home.

Jack Jr: Where did you get your chicken pox shot?

Cheeks: I got it in this arm. [points to right arm]

JJ: I got it in that arm, too. I didn't even cry.

C: I didn't cry either. I screamed.

That was an understatement actually. The flu vaccination was the nose mist. She took taht fine. When she saw the needle? Good God. You would have thought that her finger was cut off slowly. And she was sitting on my lap.

My girl has a set of lungs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


There was no school last Friday, which meant that I was frantically trying to figure out a way not to take a day off work. Thankfully my mom was able to have the kids over. Jack Jr and Cheeks love going to my mom's house for several reasons. One of those reasons are the kids that live across the street. There's a 4 y/o girl, a 7 y/o boy, and a 9 y/o boy. The five of them always have a great time.

On Friday, the mom (Christie) of the three kids was getting her Halloween decorations out. So she gave Cheeks and her 4 y/o the trick-or-treat pumpkins to play with. They went back across the street and went to my dad to "trick-or-treat". My dad always has candy at hand, which is another reason the kids love going there. So after they got their booty from my dad, they went back across the street and trick-or-treated to Christie. By this time, the three boys got in on the action.

My mom's kitchen window looks out onto the street. (She's telling me this story laughing her ass off, btw.) So she looks out her window and what does she see? Five kids going up the street ringing doorbells, trick-or-treating. This was on Friday afternoon at 2pm.

Anything for candy, right?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Use "Contradict" In A Sentence

The Girl was given the above for her spelling homework. Her sentence?

"Never ever contradict my mom, or else she'll smack you."

Wow, thanks a lot, kid.

Friday, October 3, 2008


My mom has The Girl tonight. Earlier today we (my mom and I) had lunch together, then walked around home depot looking at different gardening stuff and lusting over the custom kitchens and appliances (I soooo want new appliances!).

After that we went over to check out the flooring (I know I'm kind of a loser, but I love looking at stuff at Home Depot) and it turns out the hardwood we want for ou house is on clearance for a ridiculously low price.

I really wanted to buy it, but needed to talk to MM first. We're trying to be conservative right now since I'm not working, and even though we'll never find it at that price again, I'm not sure it's a good idea to spend the money on it.

Anyway, I couldn't remember how much the boxes were (I remembered how much they were per sq ft, but not per box) and wanted to do the math to see how many we'd have to purchase, so I called DW to see if she remembered. She was driving so The Girl answered. I said, "Ask GG (that's what the kids call her) if she remembers how much the boxes of wood flooring were."

From there the conversation went something like this:

The Girl: What? Flooding?
Me: No, wood flooring.
TG: Wind flying?
Me: No, TG, wood.flooring. The boxes of it.
TG: Uh, ok.
*in the background* Uh, GG, Mom wants to know if you remember how much the boxes wood flying was today *lots of laughing* Ok, hold on.
TG: Mom, GG said maybe I should ask you again.
Me: *snickering* Wood flooring, TG, wood flooring. You know, like what we walk on, like carpet? Flooring.
TG: Ooohhh. *giggles*

It was like playing telephone in grade school. Remember that game, where you'd whisper a secret in someone's ear and they'd whisper it to the person next to them and so on and so forth until the messages was related to the last person in line and it was all garbled? Yeah, like that. Well, sort of. You get the idea.

Silly girl.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I'm sitting on the computer in the playroom while Jack Jr and Cheeks play the Wii. I called for Jack to ask him a question, which startled Jack Jr into saying:

"Great jumpin' starfish, you scared the salt out of me."

Where do they come up with this stuff?

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Cheeks cares about - in order

We just got home from the store. Cheeks was teasing me about my back and how it's never going to get better. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: (jokingly) Cheeks, you can't talk to people you care about like that.

Cheeks: I care about you, Momma. And Santa Claus and Daddy. Oh and God too.

Yet another great video

This is a video of FN#2 and Cheeks playing Dance Dance Revolution. Cheeks is in fine form, as usual. Srsly, if you can't be happy in the arcarde when you're a kid, where can you be happy?

Dance, Dance Revolution Star!

Doesn't my sister have the best laugh?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Best Bowling Video Ever

On Friday, we drove from Boise to Vancouver, WA to my sister's house. She has two boys, henceforth referred to as Favorite Nephew #1 & Favorite Nephew #2. Sunday was Jack Jr's 8th birthday, so we all went to this bowling/arcade place called Big Al's. We actually call it Big "Owls" b/c that's what it sounds like when FN#2 says it.

Anyway, below is a video of FN#2 bowling. He really is the rising star in our family. Between this video and one we have of him and Cheeks doing Dance Dance Revolution, you'll see that this kid is going nowhere but up. LOL

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Trials and Tribulations of the Tooth Fairy: Take 2

A couple years ago (I just realized it was almost exactly two years ago..crazy!), I blogged about the Trials and Tribulations of being the Tooth Fairy. What that translates to basically is that I suck at being the tooth fairy. I always have and I probably always will. Case in point:

The other night The Girl lost a tooth. She has to be getting close to being done with that, because she's 11. I don't remember when I lost my last tooth, but 11 seems kind of old, don't you think? Anyway, she used floss to pull her loose tooth out and then brought it to me, all kinds of excited. Why? Because the Tooth Fairy was coming, of course.

Now, if you think 11 is old to be losing teeth (as I do) you're going to think 11 is especially old for the Tooth Fairy, right? Well, the truth is, I think she knows the Tooth Fairy isn't real, but chooses to play dumb so she gets money. She's hinted in the past about it and I just haven't confirmed or denied yet.

The thing is, both the kids are getting older and 1) before long they'll be grown and moved out, so I savor this time and 2) if I tell The Girl that means I have to tell Little Man, because she won't be able to keep a lid on it. So, I let her go on believing in the Tooth Fairy for now. Sue me.

But..well, I'm a crappy Tooth Fairy. I don't do it on purpose, but I can't be bothered to remember to put money under their pillow. I'd like to say I did better this time around, but that would be lying. The truth is, just like the last 5 (or 10) times the Tooth Fairy was scheduled to arrive, I screwed up and completely forgot.

Luckily, I remembered when I went to wake her up for school in the morning and I was able to sneak into the kitchen and get a dollar in quarters to slip under her pillow. The problem? I couldn't find her dang tooth. I searched through the bedcovers and under her pillows and even checked behind her bed, but couldn't find it anywhere. Eventually I just gave up and figured it would either turn up at some point or it was gone for good.

When I woke The Girl up the first thing she said was, "Mom, the Tooth Fairy didn't come!" I said, "Really? How do you know?" and she told me she woke up in the night and checked and no money was under her pillow. I told her the Tooth Fairy probably just hadn't made it yet and she should check again. Yes, I'm bad to encourage her, I know.

Crisis averted, right? Well, except for later that evening, she came running from her room with her tooth in hand. Apparently it had fallen on the floor. I convinced her the Tooth Fairy had left it for me because this was likely her last baby tooth and I wanted to keep it (yes, this is a running theme for me). She rolled her eyes but agreed that was fine. She handed me the sandwich baggy it was in and that's when I noticed something odd: It had writing on it.

The top part (as shown above) says, "Here's My Tooth." Way to be helpful, kid.

But it was the bottom half of the bag I found curious. Want to see?

I know it's a little hard to read, so let me help you out. It says, "My Request, $2.00." My request? $2.00? No the child did not just ask the Tooth Fairy for $2.00! Only my child, I swear.

I'm reminded of the first tooth The Girl lost. With that one she asked to write a note to the Tooth Fairy to be placed under her pillow with her tooth. I can't remember how old she was, but I know she couldn't read or write, because she dictated the letter to me (I still have it saved somewhere). I can't remember what it said word for word, but it was along the lines of:

Thank you so much for taking my tooth, but you don't have to leave me any money. Instead you should give it to starving kids in Africa so they aren't starving anymore and I don't have to eat my peas at dinner. Thank you for being so generous (she really used words like that, no joke)! Love, The Girl.

Oh how her tune has changed.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Boys and the Toilet Seat

One rule in our house is that if you have a penis, you put the toilet seat down when you're done. After I was married, it didn't take me long to make this rule b/c I was sick and tired of stumbling to the bathroom in the middle of the night only to sit down and realize that the toilet seat was left up and I was sitting on God knows what. Jack is very good about doing it, which I really appreciate. I don't do it to nag. I do it b/c that's high on my list of things that I don't handle well.

When Jack Jr was potty training, I made sure to instill the value of putting the seat down. His wife will thank me one day. Or so I thought.

The past few mornings when we leave for school/work, I've noticed the toilet seat is up in the downstairs bathroom. Because I didn't know who the culprit is, I couldn't say anything. I didn't know if it was Jack using it before he left for work, or Jack Jr using it when he came downstairs in the morning. Well, this morning I finally found the responsible party: Jack Jr.

This morning when I was walking out the door, I noticed the seat was up yet again. Cheeks was holding the door open for me so I could walk outside. Jack Jr was already out there. So I tell him to go back in and put the seat down. His response? "I have to do everything.". Sure thing, kid.

That's not even the best part. When he came out, he was all huffy and proceeded to ask (in that smart ass snarling voice that parents hate): "Why can't you or Cheeks do it?".

I srsly was dumbfounded for about 2 seconds. Then I dragged him back into the garage and had a "I'm the mom and I'm always effing right" talk w/ him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Only Cheeks

This drama is still in progress. I just happened to be catching up on my Google Reader and decided this was too good to pass up.

Jack Jr and Cheeks were playing Mario Kart on the Wii. Apparently Cheeks got mad when she came in 2nd (I have no idea where she gets that competitiveness) and swung the controller around, which then hit Jack Jr in the nose.

Obviously Jack Jr is crying. I would be crying if that happened to me. Still, he wasn't crying louder than Cheeks who started this scream/cry like it was her that got hit in the nose w/ a Wii controller. She then proceeded to go to her room and slam the door (screaming all the while).

Only Cheeks could cry like that (you know, like a finger was cut off) when she was the one that inflicted the pain on someone else.

When I first started writing this post, I had no intention of taking a picture. It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. I mean, she was already screaming, right? If my amusement makes me a bad parent, I'm a bad parent.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


My ex and I separated at the end of 2002. Well, not "officially", I guess, but geographically. I came to California for an extended stay with my parents because I needed a break. At that point we thought we might still be able to work out our differences. Around January we decided we were going to make a permanent move to CA. We put our house up for sale and I went back home in Feb. to pack up our house and move it out here. At that point I'd already found a job (at the same company I'm with now) and my boss agreed to give me a month off to get my stuff in order. The RB stayed behind until the house sold and he got a transfer through his job.

For all of 2003 and some of 2004, the RB (Rat Bastard, my ex for those of you who don't read my personal blog) and I talked about him moving out here and us staying together. As I'm sure you can imagine, that time was pretty hard on the kids. I really screwed up, because I never sat down and talked to them about making the move to CA permanent. Sometimes as adults we forget how much children really understand, and I was totally guilty of that. Basically, the kids (well, mostly The Girl) were operating under the assumption that we were just on a really long vacation and we'd eventually be going back home.

Then I decided to file for divorce. Trust me, it was a long time coming. The RB, in a last ditch effort to stop me from doing it, finally moved here 2 days after I told him I wanted a divorce. I honestly don't know what he thought he'd accomplish by doing so, because I was done at that point and when I'm done, I'm done. Even though I wouldn't let him stay with me and the kids, I think he still thought he'd be able to change my mind, so he found a job and an apartment and asked if he could take the kids every other weekend.

Then he set out to completely fuck up the kids' heads. Or maybe he just wanted to fuck up mine, but regardless it was the kids that got hurt. He would say things like, "Well, we wouldn't be getting a divorce if it wasn't for your mom. I love her and want to be with her, but she doesn't love me", at which point the kids would come home wanting to know why I didn't love their dad anymore. Or even better, he'd say things like, "Well, I just want us all to be a family, but your mom doesn't want that", which prompted statements from the kids like, 'You hate us! I know it!". Fabulous, right?

As I'm sure you can imagine, by the time the RB was served with divorce papers and decided California wasn't the place for him (thank you Lord) the kids were well and truly fucked up. Especially The Girl. There's a bit more to the story, but it's not something I can really write about - not yet. Maybe someday. I will give you the short version, though: Basically the RB decided he'd be able to win me back my refusing to see The Girl. So every other weekend he'd show up and pick up Little Man, but leave The Girl behind. I can't really tell you more than that, because it's something I still haven't gotten over. I can't even express a portion of the psychological damage he inflicted on her by doing that. For almost 4 months he refused to see her, up until and after he moved away. So she never even got to say goodbye. I'm fucking sick, SICK, just typing that out. I can't tell you what it was like to live it.


The Girl was pretty messed up by the time he left. Emotionally she was wiped out. I took her to counseling, but she refused to talk. She'd just sit there. At home, everything sucked and she hated life. Hated it. She was 5 at the time. I've never in my life seen a more depressed 5 year old. Remember how I said I screwed up by not talking to the kids about our move to CA being permanent? Well, that really came back to haunt me after the RB left. Naturally The Girl felt that CA was the root of all evil and the entire reason for the divorce. And of course the RB totally played into that before he stopped seeing her, saying things like, "Well, if your mom hadn't moved you to California, we'd still be together" and other such bullshit. Argh.

The point is, she was totally depressed, hated me and blamed being in CA for all of it.

It was then that we started doing Best/Worst. I started it because The Girl hated everything and nothing was good or right in her world. She used to say that. No joke. Sadly, she really meant it.

So every night at dinner we'd go around the table and tell the best part about our day, and then the worst part about our day. On the days we didn't have a worst part, we wrote it down on a piece of paper and put it on the fridge. That way, on days when we couldn't think of a best part and the entire world sucked, we could look at the list and say, "But on Saturday the 1st, we didn't have a single bad part to our day, so see, there ARE good things in life".

It took close to a year, but I was finally able to get The Girl out of her funk. Well, for the most part. She still has some insecurities that stem from that time, but MM has been a major influence on her and I've seen an improvement since he came into our lives. I'm very thankful for him and for the strong support of my family.

Best/Worst stuck, though. We still do it every night at the dinner table. Now, it's not only a good way to remind the kids that there's good in every day, but also a great way to keep up with what's going on in their lives. Plus, I think it helps show them that we're interested in what they have to say, and it's ok for them to talk about stuff with us.

We even do Best/Worst when company is over. My BIL especially loves it. Every time he comes over he asks if we still do it and then can't wait for his turn to come around. It's really cute.

We also still keep a list on the fridge for days when we don't have a worst part. It's not as often now that we have to check it to remind ourselves that there's good in life, but the little reminder is nice - even for me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are You Smarter Than A 6th Grader?

Because I'm sure not...

The Circle of Love

Last week, we were out to dinner w/ my mom when Jack Jr informed us that he has a girlfriend. It's amazing to me how much can change in one school year. He really liked this girl last year, but she would really only play w/ him when it was both him and Cheeks. Now she's his girlfriend. I asked him what exactly that means and he said they just play together at recess. Oh and one more thing about him and his girlfriend.

They used to be like this:

Now they're like this:

When we asked him what that was, he informed us that it was the Circle of Love.

Here's what an almost 8 y/o in love looks like:

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

I fully admit to having road rage issues. It's not something I'm proud of, but there you go. I just can't help it. Stupid people really piss me off, and there are so many of them out driving on a regular basis. Now, my grandfather's motto has always been, "How are they going to know they're idiots if you don't tell them?" and I fully subscribe to that. I.e. I yell at traffic all the time. MM says it sounds like I have tourettes when I'm driving.

I always thought I was really careful about it when the kids were in the car, though. I mean, yeah, I might yell at someone mentally, but I was pretty proud of myself for keeping it under control. Evidently I haven't been as good as I thought, though.

A while back we were on our way to my parents house and MM was driving. We were on a four lane highway and we got stuck behind a slow moving vehicle in the passing lane. We'd been driving a few behind the car when when Little Man piped up from the backseat.

LM: MM, can you get over?
MM: No dude, there's a car. Why?
LM: Because we need to get around this idiot!

Uh Oh. Did he just say what I think he said? MM and The Girl both turned and looked at me, but I kept staring out the windshield like I didn't see them.

Oops, my bad.

Since then it's not uncommon to hear, from the backseat of my car, "You idiot! Get out of the way!" or "Gosh, don't you see that green light?" or "What's wrong with you people? Get out of the way!"

Jeez, way to throw me under the bus there, kid.

Friday, September 5, 2008

She Might Be Blonde

I wonder about The Girl sometimes.

The other night I made Italian Sausage & Rigatoni for supper.

Side Note: It was one of those Bertolli frozen dinners, which just FYI, are fabulous. They taste great, aren't too expensive and only take 10 minutes to cook. I prefer to make my own Italian dinners, b/c I am Italian and really don't feel like anyone can do as good as me, but the Bertolli ones are surprisingly good and on nights when I don't want to cook or need something quick, they're perfect. :End Side Note

We're gathered around the table doing Best/Worst (I'll do another post about that later) when The Girl makes a horrible face, swallows like it's killing her and gulps down half her water at once. MM and I look at each other and then back at her. She sets her glass down and picks something off her plate with her fork and holds it out for us to see. Then she says, "Mom these water chestnuts are awful! I think they're rotten or something."

I bit the inside of my lip for a second and then said, "TG, seriously? They probably don't taste like water chestnuts because they're chunks of garlic. Just a thought."

Her eyes get all big and she goes, "Oooh. Well, no wonder. I thought you were maybe trying to poison us."

MM said, "You know, TG, we're having Italian. Generally Italian food doesn't include water chestnuts."

At this point we're both trying not to laugh at her, but not succeeding too well. I mean, there's a big difference between water chestnuts and garlic, no? She just stuck her tongue out and went back to eating.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


About two years ago, Jack Jr got the stomach flu right after he ate a peach. Since then, he refuses to eat, touch, smell, or look at a peach. He doesn't even like when we say the word peach.

I've tried to explain to him that it wasn't the peach that made him throw up, but he's not buying. I've asked him if he wouldn't eat strawberries if it was strawberries instead of peaches that he ate before getting sick. He considered it for a moment, but he still wasn't buying it. To this day, he thinks it's the peach that made him sick.

This kid is so serious that I've taken it upon myself to shake him up a bit. I tell him I'm making peach pie for dessert (I never make pie), I ask him if he wants me to add peaches to the grocery list. Or if he's really grumpy, I'll whisper "peaches" in his ear. Unfortunately Cheeks has taken her cue from me and enjoys saying "peaches" to him, too. Unlike me, she says it just to make him mad. And let me tell you, nothing makes this kid more mad than when his sister says the word "peaches" to him.

One thing I love about being a parent is that I can tell Cheeks that she can't say "peaches" to him, but I can. When she asks me why, I just say because I said so. I think that's the greatest parental saying ever.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I am pathetic.

On Monday night, I talked both kids into doing a workout that I had on DVR. Since they're kids and don't realize that they won't always actually like to exercise, they were thrilled and all for it. So we moved the coffee table out of the way and started Total Body Sculpt with Gilad.

As we get through about 10 minutes of it, I'm telling myself that I'll just turn it off when they're ready, since they won't be able to make it that much longer. Ha. I'm the one that had to quit with them saying "We're not tired!".


So I woke up yesterday and was extremely sore. When they got home from school yesterday afternoon, I asked Jack Jr. if he was sore. He just looked at me like I was crazy and asked "From what?". I explained what he should be sore from and he said "Oh, my legs were a little sore this morning, but not anymore".

Oh to be a kid again. Brat.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lying to your kids makes you a better parent...

Dear Cheeks,

By now you know that I lied to you when we went to the salon on Tuesday. Though you're not as traumatized as you were when we left, I know you still haven't forgotten that I lied right to your face without even stuttering. I'd like to say a few things in my defense about why I lied to you and then tricked you into getting your hair cut.

1) You won't let me brush your hair in the morning.

2) You won't let me put your hair up after the non-existent brushing.

3) You get food in your hair [you know this drives daddy crazy].

Needless to say, those are three very good reasons to get your hair cut. An added bonus is that your new first grade teacher will stop wondering if your mother has enough money to invest in a brush.

Even though you're only six and probably won't understand this, I just want to tell you that you can't get your hair cut like mine b/c your hair was shorter before we even set foot into the salon.

When the hair cut lady and I were whispering in the corner, we were trying to figure out how to get the back of your hair to look like this without you realizing how much was actually being cut off.

So I just wanted to say that I'm sorry I lied to your face deceived you.

Just remember, it wasn't all bad.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Really Just Don't Understand

Last night (well, early this morning) Little Man woke up and started crying at the top of his lungs. "Waaah. Moooom. Waaahhh." I rolled over and looked at the clock, realized it was 3 in the morning, decided if it was that important he'd come find me on his own and rolled over and went back to sleep. Only for the next two hours, he continued crying screaming. Finally, around 5:30, I couldn't take it anymore and went in his room to find out what the problem was. He shudderingly told me his tummy and head were aching. I asked if he needed Tylenol and he nodded. "Yes, please". Oh, super polite now that we've gotten mommy out of bed, aren't we?

I go into the kitchen to get him a Tylenol and some water and he follows me in, looking awfully damn pleased with himself now that I'm stumbling around the house and he isn't all alone in his misery. I give him the Tylenol, ask if he's better and send him back to bed.

Now I know all of you are looking at me like I'm the worst mother in the world. I let my child scream for TWO HOURS before I got up to see what was wrong with him? There's a special place in hell reserved for people like me, right? Except..he's 9. NINE.

I'm sorry, but I don't understand why a freaking nine year old would lie in bed and SCREAM at the top of his lungs for two hours instead of just getting up and coming into my room to tell me he's not well. When I asked him about this he just shrugged his shoulders and smiled. SMILED.

You can't tell me he didn't do it on purpose.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Test Blog

Welcome to Not Dead Yet, where Casee and I come to be thankful that we're still alive (and that our progeny is as well).

Related Posts with Thumbnails