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.

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