Monday, March 26, 2012

We've Moved

Hi friends!  Thank you for being such loyal followers.  I am launching my new blog today and would be honored if you would join me over there and subscribe to my email feed.  See you on the flip side!

Click here to jump over to my new page.

love and peace,


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our new favorite word

The other night I was cooking dinner for the boys.  I have still yet to convince them to eat what we eat, well, except for steak.  Those boys love their steak.  Other than steak, their meals consist of various nutritionally sound items such as fish sticks, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, and Chef Boyardee's ABC's and sports shapes (at least they are whole grain).  Thankfully, they do love their veggies and fruits so I can't say their diet is complete shit, just partial shit.

At my mom's house, where they have dinner several nights a week the menu is the same.  However, my dad generally gets home after they have eaten dinner.  He sits down to his full plate of baked fish, rice and veggies at the kitchen table.  As soon as he sits down, and I mean as soon as his ass hits the chair, the turkeys are on him like glue, sampling his dinner, and by sampling, I mean eating about half of it.  After weeks of this, my mom decided to cook them their own piece of fish and rice.

Here's the kicker, they won't eat it.  Unless it is on my dad's plate.  The other day after eating their fish and rice off Dandad's plate, Hayden sat back, rubbed his belly and says,

"That's scrumptious.  Mmmmm..mmmmm."

I almost fell out of my flippin' chair.  Scrumptious?  Where the hell did he come up with this word?  I certainly don't say scrumptious.  I've never heard anyone in his immediate circle using that word regularly.  I seriously doubt any of his preschool classmates walk around saying scrumptious.  I can barely spell it.  I am actually staring at the word right now convinced I've spelled it incorrectly, but apparently spellcheck thinks I got it right.

So later that night, hubs is playing his PS3, don't get me started on that, and I relayed the scrumptious story to him.  Without looking away from the T.V. he mumbles,


Huh?  Moose?  What on earth does that mean?  My attempts at getting any answers about anything from my husband while he is engrossed in Modern Warfare 3 are generally futile.  So I patiently waited, well, let's be honest, I do not have a patient bone in my body.  More than likely I stood in front of the T.V., blocking his view, until he was forced to answer my questions.

Me:  "What do you mean, moose?"

Him:  "Moose A. Moose, you know the moose on Nick Jr.  He uses the word scrumptious."

Me, shaking my head in disbelief:  "You have got to be kidding to me?  He got it from the effing moose?  Good grief."

So hear I am thinking I've got myself a brilliant kid and it turns out he learned his one and only big word from the T.V.  I guess that shit really does work.

Who knew?

Love and peace,


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I miss what I never I had

The 'rents moved to the Valley of the Sun, a.k.a. Phoenix, six years ago.  I remember the first time David and I visited.  It was long before the turkeys were in the picture and our days here were spent truly relaxing.  We did nothing except eat, sleep, and drink.  It was a beautiful thing.  Anyhow, as soon as I walked into my parents new house, I was surprised that I felt as at home as I did.

I had never lived there.  I had never even seen it.  They had a ton of new furniture that should have felt foreign.  But, nonetheless, it felt like home. Weird, huh?  Not so weird now that we actually live here.  But still, weird.  We were always supposed to end up here.  I know this and I have absolutely no regrets.  God had a hand in this one for sure.

But that doesn't mean I don't miss those I've left behind.  I wish I could find the words to express how much I miss my A and T (initials used to protect their identities, in case I get a little carried away in my trip down memory lane).  These two chicks are my BFF's.  It feels weird to be an almost 34 year old woman and saying BFF, but whatever.  Did you notice how their initials could be T and A?  Geez, Andrea, get it together.

These two women are a part of me.  A part of me that distance and a couple of time zones cannot ever remove.

A has known me the longest.  She and I go way back to high school.  She was one of the first girls I met when I transferred in during my sophomore year.  We clicked immediately and became inseparable.  Oh, the memories.  Crazy memories.  Fun memories.  Sad memories.  I seriously wish I could share some specifics, but, my girl and my husband would likely not appreciate the public ruminations.  So I shall let my glorious memories live on in my mind.  Although, I think I can share the recent text messaging exchange we had on St. Patrick's Day.

Me:  "Pop Quiz:  What were we doing 10 years ago on this day?"

Now, here is a little girl, A, always teases me about my memory.  Apparently, I remember lots of shit that other people don't.  I am always the go-to person that someone will text or email saying, "So and so just friended me on facebook, but I have no idea who this person is.  And you're friends with her too.  So who the eff is this chick?"  To which I generally reply, "Oh, you remember, she sat in front of us in 1st period pre-calculus our junior year.  She was dating Brad for a year or so.  Her locker was on the 2nd floor by the photography lab."  Yes, I'm serious.  I remember the most mundane and useless details.  I am a hub of information.

I digress, back to the text.  She responded promptly and with the correct answer.  I was so proud.  I will not divulge what that answer was, but suffice it to say that I was basking in the glow of Key West memories for the remainder of the day.    

She is a part of my heart.  She's forgiven me for being a crappy friend more times than I can count and her heart is pure and beautiful.  We now talk once a week, sometimes more.  We talk about awesome stuff, about our faith, our children, our lives.  Our conversations are a treasure.

T is my girl from Iowa.  I've known her for almost six years.  It was her first day bartending at our neighborhood watering hole when David and I walked in to share the news that we had just found our first house.  She and I hit it off immediately.  She was a newcomer to Iowa.  She had just moved from Minnesota to be with her boyfriend, now husband.  We exchanged phone numbers and that was that.  She is just one of those chicks you can talk to about anything.  She is so loving and giving.  Her heart is pure and beautiful as well.  She got to experience my adult life firsthand.  She was there for the proposal, the wedding, the pregnancy, the preemie births and the move.

The move.  Ugh.  One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was to tell my pregnant girl (16 weeks at the time) that we sold our house and would be moving across the country in a month and a half.  I wanted to be there for her during her pregnancy as she was for mine.  I wanted to be there to hug and love on her newborn daughter.  I wanted to be there to babysit so she and her hubby could go to dinner.  I was never able to repay her for all the love she gave to me.  Stupid house had to sell too damn fast.

My girl T and I talk several times a week.  I just spent 3 days with her in Vegas.  It was spectacular.  I love her and am grateful to God that she loves me.

Some nights I get a little sappy.  Generally, it happens after a glass or two of wine and these damn zones make it nearly impossible for me to talk to either of the girls by the time the wine kicks in, and then I get extra sappy.  Sometimes I cry and get caught up in the "what might have beens."  I get sad that I didn't get to see any of their children until they were at least 6 months old.  It sucks.

Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if we lived closer.  What it would be like to watch our children grow up together.  What it would be like to have barbecues and picnics.  What it would be like to watch the friendship between our spouses grow.  What it would be like to be having a bad day and just pop in for a hug and a shoulder.

And that, my friends, is why I miss what I never had.

Love and peace,


Friday, March 16, 2012

Turkeys and Golf

Back in my bliss filled pre-kid days, I would occasionally let my mind consider the futures of my yet to be born children.  I am one tall chickadee (5'11") and my side of the family is also tall and seeing as though I grew up worshipping Indiana basketball, I had high hopes any future children might grow up to love and be good at basketball.  

I also wouldn't be against baseball.  I don't think there is anything much cuter than a bunch of 4-5 years trying to navigate the bases in t-ball.  I actually like baseball.  I grew up in Cincinnati and therefore, had no choice but to cheer for and love the Cincinnati Reds.  Hell, I even got to go to a World Series game in 1990 when I was 12 years old.  Definitely up there in the awesome childhood memories department.  Thanks parents.  One of my claims to fame is my ability to still name the starting lineup of the 1990 World Series Champions, Cincinnati Reds.  Back when I was still in the dating pool in Ohio, I charmed many a young man with that one, as you might imagine.

Football also wouldn't be too terrible of a game for the turkeys to participate in, although the protector in me cringes at the thought of my children being pummeled for the sake of some pigskin.  My mom did not let my brother play football until he reached middle school.  We had plenty of pee-wee leagues around, but she stuck to her guns.  I think I will too.  No football until middle school.

So there, turkeys, there are three sports that your mom (me) would be happy to have you participate in.  Three sports, she wouldn't mind watching and cheering for.  Three sports which she actually finds interesting.  

Of course, what sports are they showing a propensity for?

Soccer and golf.

Please don't mind me as I show my enthusiasm.  W.T.F.?!  Soccer, really?  And Golf?  Ugh, I would rather pull my eyelashes out than watch either of those sports.  Soccer is slightly better than Golf, but, shockingly enough, the children appear to love Golf more than Soccer.  

I blame my parents for the Golf love.

See, they live on the 10th hole of a golf course.  The turkeys love to hang at the kitchen table and watch golfers through the giant picture window.  As soon as a cart arrives at the hole, they are excited as all get out.  I get a running commentary of the progress of the golfers, who are identified by the color of their shirts.  

"Aw man, mommy, yellow guy missed.  Hahahahaha."  

I'm not kidding, they totally laugh whenever the golfer misses the putt.  It is rather amusing.  But then, when the golfer actually makes the shot, which they hardly ever do because they either really suck at golf or are on beer number 10 by the time they reach the 10th hole, the golfer is promptly rewarded with a standing ovation and round of cheers and claps from my turkeys.  

What makes this whole scenario even funnier?  Sometimes we are all outside, within 20 feet of the hole and the commentary continues, complete with the "Awww, he missed" and "Wow, he made it, he made it," while the boys are standing with their faces pressed against the fence.  They are definitely not quiet about their commentary.  What can I say, we are practicing our inside voices.  They just don't understand why they have to use their inside voices, when they are outside.  Difficult concept to grasp, difficult indeed.  Maybe, just maybe golf isn't for them after all.

A mom can dream.  

Love and peace,


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Here's the skinny

Kids and dogs.  Dogs and kids.  Many of you would argue that the two go hand in hand.  I would respectfully disagree.

I never grew up with pets.  Okay, I take that back, we did have a pet hamster, whom we affectionately called "Rat."  He was with us for quite sometime.  My dad was especially fond of Rat.  I have memories of my padre hanging out in the recliner with Rat just chilling on his chest watching basketball together.  It made for a sweet picture.  Truth be told, I think that my father actually loved that hamster more than my brother or I did.  Don't tell him I said that.  Oh, wait, he reads my blog?  Dammit!  Sorry dad-do, didn't mean to let your big secret out of the bag...

But I digress, except for Rat the hamster, who managed to escape his cage while we were on vacation one summer only to perish under the couch, we had no other pets while I was growing up in the parent's house.  We were not "pet people."  When I left for college and subsequently law school, I never lived with anyone who had pets.  It was never in the cards for me, I suppose.

Cats make me miserable.  Like puffy-eyed, itchy throat, hives, asthma-y miserable, so I tend to stay as far away from them as possible.  If I do stay in a place that is also a home to cats, I live on allergy medicine, which is what happened when we stayed with my in laws for two weeks last summer.  I take far more than the recommended daily dose, just to stay somewhat comfortable.  My regimen includes a claritin in the morning, a zyrtec and two benadryl in the evening.  In case you wondering, both claritin and zyrtec are supposed to be 24 hour drugs.  Not for me, I just walk around in an over-the-counter drug induced haze and hope somebody remembers to feed the kids.  My kids, on the other hand love cats and have not  inherited my allergies to the dreadful creatures.

As I mentioned, we visited my in laws for two weeks last summer (Summer 2011) and one week the summer before (Summer 2010).  Summer 2010 was the first visit that the turkeys were mobile.  I got to follow them around everywhere we went, repeating the words, "No, do not touch that.  Stop.  No.  Stop.  No.  Stop.  No."  It was fun.  They spotted her cat the first night and the cat was never the same.

They became slightly obsessed with the feline and the feeling was definitely not mutual.  Whenever the boys would get within 10 feet of the cat, which they insisted upon doing every 5 seconds, it would hiss.  And this was not a soft, sweet hiss.  Oh, no.  This was a loud, "Get the EFF away from me" hiss.  That cat was happy to see us go.  Consequently for nearly a year after our visit in 2010, whenever anyone would ask the turkeys what a cat said, the response was not the typical "Meow."  Instead, it was the cutest, loudest "hisssssssssss" you've ever heard.

Dogs do not have the same effect on me, as far as allergies are concerned, as cats.  I actually do not mind dogs too terribly much.  I have often toyed with the idea of getting a dog.  After all, the turkeys love them.  Not surprising.  They get so flippin' excited every time we encounter a dog, that I seriously consider getting them their own pet.  However, as soon as we are out of the dog's presence, I quickly get my wits back and realize that getting a dog would be a form of self-inflicted torture.  And I certainly do not need that.  I have twin toddler boys, thankyouverymuch.

Case in point:  Who would feed the dog?  Me. Who would take the dogs for walks?  Me.  Who would clean up the dog's poop?  Me.  Who would clean up the dog's hair?  Me.  Who would bathe the dog?  Me.

Scratch that idea and fast.  I can barely do all of those things with my kids.  I definitely do not need the added pressure of an animal.

Besides, my kids have Sookie and Quagmire.  These are the puppies they see on their wagon rides with Dandad at night.  They love Sookie and Quagmire so much that they have named their toy dogs at home Sookie and Quagmire.  You know, the toy dogs that you can pull around on a string and they squeak.  I am required to pet, feed and play with these toy dogs on a daily basis.

That, my friends, I can handle.  And that's about it.

Love and peace


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I think I've got it

When I started this blog, I was amazed at how easily the words flowed through my fingers.  I had a lot to write about apparently.  I wrote this post just the other day while doing some serious soul searching.  And just yesterday I had an epiphany of sorts.

I love sharing stories about my turkeys and our life.  But there is so much more in this world I want to share with you.  I want to use this blog for good.  That's a pretty vague statement, I realize.  But when the words "Miracle Monday" popped into my head yesterday, I started thinking.

Whenever, I hear the word miracle, an image of my boys when they were first born immediately materializes in my toddler hazed brain.  I started thinking about all of the women I have known who have given birth prematurely and the stories behind those births. I also started thinking about all the families I have known who have children that have overcome medical conditions.  I want to give those children and their families a voice.

Their stories are of hope.  Their stories are of perserverance.  Their stories are of faith.  Their stories are of triumph over tragedy.

I want other parents in similar situations to find my blog and read these stories of real people and real children overcoming the most extreme obstacles.  Real stories of real people and how their faith, hope and love helped them to overcome the most daunting of times.

I am so happy to announce that "Miracle Baby Monday" is coming to my blog.  Every Monday, beginning April 9, I will feature one family and their story.  I will provide a forum for their voice to be heard.

There are three lovely ladies who have volunteered to share their stories.  Two of these ladies gave birth to micropreemies, their babies were born weighing right around a pound.  The other beautiful woman delivered two preemies less than 15 months apart.  I am so grateful that these women have decided to help me get my idea off the ground.

While these are stories regarding premature babies, I want to stress that I would like to share stories of other miracle children as well.  If you would like to share your story or know someone who would be interested, please email me at

In the next several weeks, I will be switching my blog over to wordpress and will have my own domain. This is a little frightening for me, but after doing some research and speaking with a wonderful technologically savvy friend who has offered her assistance, I've decided the move is necessary.

I will continue posting until my launch date and I have plenty of new stories to amuse you with, including one about the turkeys and golf.  That's a fun one.

Love and peace,


Monday, March 12, 2012

One proud madre here

My boys are all BOY.  Both of them.  There is absolutely no doubt about that one.  Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of listening to them make fake "tooting" noises and giggle hysterically whilst they were supposed to be falling asleep in their bedroom.  Yes, we say toot in my house.   I despise the word, "fart."  And I am definitely not a fan of the word, "poot."  So toot it was.  I'm sure all of those words just created some weird kind of haiku, but whatever.

"Mommeeee!  Hayden's tooting!"  Cackle, cackle.  Giggle, giggle.

"Mommeeee!  Logan's tooting!"  Cackle, cackle.  Giggle, giggle.

This went on for well over 20 minutes, while I sat here, at my laptop, shaking my head, wondering if girls did the same shit.  Finally, the energy they expelled while making their fake toot noises exhausted them so much that they fell asleep.  Pretty much mid toot.

The thing is, I have no idea where they come up with the idea to do this.  I certainly do not blow raspberries on my arm and then screech, "Toot!"  Neither does my husb--- well, I guess one never knows what the husband does when the madre is not around.  However, the children have apparently mastered this long lost art and enjoy making a symphony of sorts during naptime.

Yep, one proud madre here.

I have another proud madre moment I 'd like to chat about.  Here's a quote from one of my favorite movies.  Ever.

"You know about cars.  Where did that come from?"

"Road and track.  The boys back home I grew up with, they were really into American heavy metal:  Mustangs, Corvettes.  They bought 'em cheap and fixed 'em up.  I paid attention.  So how is it you know so little about cars?"

American heavy metal. Bonus points to whomever can name that movie.  I always think about that quote whenever my turkeys talk about their cars.  I would also include Camaros in with that little grouping.  My children are obsessed with cars, as are most toddler boys.  But how many boys can correctly identify 8 different types of cars.  Uh, hum.  I tell you as a woman, this is impressive stuff.  My 3 1/2 year old little turkeys can identify Mustangs, Corvettes, Camaros, Chargers, Challengers, Chrysler 300s, Jeeps and Grand Prix's.  They know both styles of Mustangs, the old early 90's body style and current body style.  They also recognize numerous body styles of the Corvette and Camaro.  My husband and father think this is some spectacular stuff.  Me, I'm worried more about the pronunciation.

Consequently, when we head out of the house, not only are they instructing me how to drive and where to go, I also get a running commentary on every single one of the above mentioned cars we see on the road, generally in a uber surprised screech-y type of voice.  I get the color of vehicle, the color of the tires, and whether or not it is going too fast or too slow.  Often I am ordered to "catch up to that car Mommy." But if I go too fast, then I am promptly reminded of our recent accident.  "No car crash mommy.  No break car please."

We have two Mustangs that are generally parked right inside one of the entrances to our development, a white one and a gray one.  I am now required to exit my development only one way, no matter if it is in the complete opposite direction that I need to go.  And, if one or both of the cars has the nerve to not be present in its normal parking spot?

Oh, hell.

It has gotten better, though.  Now, if they aren't there, I just tell the boys that the cars had to go to work, just like daddy.  They seem to buy that one.  Sometimes.  Whew, dodged a bullet right there.

We are still working on other cars.  For example, when they see any 4 door BMW 3 or 5 series, they call it "Mommy's old car" which is, of course in reference to the 2005 Hyundai Sonata I drove while my van was in the body shop.  I find it hilarious that they equate Hyundais with BMWs.  My husband?  Not so much.  They other good one is the Porsche.  We saw a little mini convertible today and the boys freaked out screaming, "Mommy, mommy!  Look, a Porsche!"  So like a good mother, I glanced over and what did I see?  An old school Mazda Miata circa 1995.

 Clearly, we have a little work to do.  But overall?  I am one proud madre.

Love and peace,


Friday, March 9, 2012

Public Restrooms and Why I Carry an Endless Supply of Hand Sanitizer

From the archives:

Have you ever potty trained 3 year old twin boys?  No?  Well, then this post is for you.  And for any friends out there who have higher order multiples (triplets +) then I give you mad props because it was certainly, ahem, challenging just with two.  The thought of more than two gives me a shudder that travels straight to my bones.

Okay, I may be exaggerating just a little, again.  While it did have its challenges, it was actually far easier than I anticipated which is why I didn’t even try until they were way past 3.  I could say that I just “wanted to wait until they were ready.”  But, really, I was just kinda lazy and terrified of failing.  And I didn’t want to clean up pee and poop.  That’s it, my confession.

So now they are potty trained.  Now what?  Now we have an unhealthy obsession with all public restrooms.  Which is probably my fault.

The first couple of times I ventured out with no diapers, I was a hot mess.  Terrified of having an accident, terrified of my kid standing there with a little puddle.

Especially since there are TWO of them.

What happens if there are two little puddles?  I couldn’t bear the thought.  So every single time we went anywhere for the first week or so, I would force them to the bathroom of each establishment we entered.  Sit them on the pot and wait.  Most of the time they would go and I would be completely validated and do a little dance.  No, really, I would do a little dance.  After all, have to keep the positive reinforcement going, right?

So I bet you were wondering what the other kid would do while his brother was sitting on the pot?  Why investigate every single bathroom stall and flush each and every toilet, of course.   And pick up trash off the floor and throw it away.

All you germaphobes out there are probably cringing and rightly so.  I’m not even that big of a germaphobe and I even cringe and want to throw up a little bit.

So after we would potty and SCRUB hands, I would pick up my purse and head towards the door and turn back around to make sure the turkeys were following me.

Nope.  In the 2 seconds it took to pick up my bag, they were right back at it.  Touching everything and flushing toilets.

I am expecting a water bill from Target to arrive any day now.

Then, today, while scrubbing Hayden’s hands, I look back and Logan is belly down on the floor looking under a stall door, which just happened to be occupied.  That was a fun apology.  "Um, sorry, my 3 year old is a peeping tom."  Thankfully, the woman appeared to understand.  At least she didn’t run out of the bathroom screaming, that’s a plus.

So hand sanitizer is my best friend.  I KNOW it doesn’t kill all germs but it does enable me to do one good scrub after our adventures in the public restrooms and then just pray that the precious clear gel kills the rest of the germs that come from handling toilets.

Public restrooms are my enemy and my turkey’s favorite play place.  Lovely, isn’t it?

Love and peace


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am turning into that ridiculous person who ogles twins

From the archives:

I had a revelation the other day at the gym as a gigantic Graco duoglider double stroller came out of the elevator and I gravitated towards it and the exhausted mother with an uncontrollable urge to see the little bundles of joy tucked safely in their carseats.  How quickly I forgot how much I disliked being accosted by random people when trying to maneuver that monstrosity of a stroller in public.

"Oh, are they twins?"

That was always my favorite question and I always wish I had the balls to say my prepared snarky response:  No, lady, I just happened to be babysitting my sisters kid and just happened to have a double stroller and matching car seat handy.

"Yes," clearly not in the mood to talk.  She was likely trying to gear herself up to load all babies, including all of their shit, in the car.  But, no matter to me.  I wanted to talk twins!  So off I went...

"Oh, aren't they cute.  I have twin boys.  They are 3 1/2.  I remember when mine were that little.  Enjoy them now because they grow sooooooo fast.  And when they get mobile, watch out!  I wish I could go back to the time when mine couldn't move and destroy."

I barely registered the look of horror on the mother's face as I continued on my merry way,

"How old are they?"

"3 months."  She's still thinking to herself, it gets worse when they are mobile?  Good God, I thought it got easier.

"Awwwwww.  Makes me wish for another little one, or two.  Just kidding.  My two are plenty."

She starts moving away from me, but me, do I take the hint?  Nope.

"Are they sleeping well?"

"No." But she's thinking, of course, they aren't sleeping well at night.  They are babies, you idiot.  I barely get any sleep and barely managed to haul my ass to the gym, yet here you are, talking to me, when I just want to get the eff home, feed them, put them to bed, so I can shower.  And YOU should know better.

"Mine still don't sleep well.  Just wait until they are out of their cribs, and you hear the pitter patter of little feet across the floor at 2 am.  And you thought middle of the night feedings were bad, pfttt."  I smiled.

"Oh, and just you wait until they won't stay in the stroller anymore.  That's fun."

I am pretty sure she is staring at me with her mouth open now.

"Well, I'll let you be on your way now.  Good luck with those babies."

I walked away with mind full of images of babies and cuteness and loving memories of my non-mobile twin boys.

I'm pretty sure she walked away completely and utterly terrified of the years and months to come.

My work here is done.

Love and peace


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Adventures of a Bed-Hopping Mommy

Bet I got your attention with this one, huh?  Yep, I am a bed-hopping machine.  Often several times a night, a couple of nights a week.  Sometimes, up to three beds a night with three different members of the male species.  Damn, I do get around.

Let me tell you about my bedmates.  We'll start with the positives.  Two of them have the prettiest blue eyes I have ever seen.  Two of them, think that I rock and can do no wrong.  Two of them give me the best hugs and kisses, ever.  Pretty good bedmates, huh?

All three of them have the seemingly masterful ability to drive me a teeny tiny bit crazy.  

Two of them like to sneak into my room at night and climb into my bed.   And, because it is easier than moving either one or both of them, I will occasionally leave him/them there next to the other snoring bedmate, shuffle down the hallway and hop into one of their beds.  Often, an hour or two later, one of them will come looking for me, and will try to join me in whichever bed I have burrowed myself into.  Then, what do I do?  Why, I hop into the other kid's bed, of course.

You've never played this game?  What?  It is super fun.  I'm sure you must be seething with jealousy.

Let me tell you a little more just to get you good and jealous, if you aren't already.  Two of them do not understand the principle of snuggling.  Instead of embracing the snuggling principle, they seem to embrace more of a thrashing approach, necessitating the bed hopping.  Two of them are obsessed with Angry Birds and at least one of them was up at 5:30 this morning, standing next to his own bed, which was where I ended up after my last bed hop, holding my phone, with the freaking game already turned on.  Note to self:  Put the phone somewhere unreachable and maybe, stage an intervention.

The third one? Well, did I mention that he snores? Loudly. Which, by the way, he did not do prior to our marriage nor until about a year ago.  Otherwise, I might not have married him.  Kidding.  Maybe.

So last night, I was a bed hopping maniac.  I'm a little tired today.  So tired in fact, that I put day old coffee into the microwave, loaded it with cream and sweet and low and chugged, because I needed it, like, yesterday.

Thankfully, the turkeys have school today.  I got up with them at 5:30, but the husband is taking them, because gaging by the snoring alone, he actually slept.   And because my ass is going back to sleep.

It's okay.  You might not be jealous of the bed-hopping, but you are jealous that I am going back to sleep.  Admit it.

Love and peace (from my bed),


Monday, March 5, 2012

What's the point?

What's the point, Andrea?  Why did you start writing?  You know, I've asked myself this question hundreds of times in the past several months.  I've always been decent at writing.  I could always tell a good story.  I just never tried to write anything that wasn't required by a class or that was going to be read by anyone other than myself.  I do not have a definitive answer to the question, just a few maybes.

Maybe, it's because I suck at taking pictures, uploading them and sharing them and this is an easier way to archive our lives.  The turkeys do some funny shit that I don't ever want to forget and let's face it I probably will, because contrary to my numerous assertions, I do not remember everything.

Maybe, since we made the big move out west almost 3 years ago (!) and I left behind some of the greatest girlfriends the world has ever known, writing has become my way of self-expression since my girls are a million miles away and time zones suck.

Maybe, I desperately hope that my words will touch you, whether it be through a funny story or a thought provoking post.

Maybe, when you are having a bad day, it makes me feel good to know that the antics of my turkeys (or hell, even me) might just put a little grin on your face.

Maybe I have big dreams on what I can do with this blog and my life.  I am a giver and if I can get enough people to read this sucker, then I have some big plans to help some pretty amazing people.  Hint:  Sharing is caring, friends.

Maybe it's because I've discovered after many years, that words are the mirror of the soul and I want to share my soul.

Maybe it's because I have been through a lot in my short little life and I hope my experiences might be able to help you in whatever particular situation you may be facing.

Maybe, it's because I feel like God wants me to.

Maybe, because writing is taking me out of my comfort zone and enabling me to realize the mistakes of my past do not define who I am today.  Facing the mistakes I've made in the past are actually giving me a incredible sense of empowerment that I never imagined to be possible.

And maybe, just maybe, because I simply like to write.

Love and peace,


Friday, March 2, 2012

It is always an adventure. Always.

No, the turkeys and I did not drive up north today.  We settled for little drives around town and had a lovely time reminding the van why she missed us so much.  I am happy to be back to normal and enjoy not dreading every little errand I have to run.

Today I had conferences for the turkeys.  Conferences?  Really?  They go to school two mornings a week. Conferences?  Really? Yes, really, and actually, since they just started school in January, I probably shouldn't bitch about going.  I should want to know how they are doing and what areas they need work on.  But it cut right into my doing absolutely nothing time and I was a little salty especially since some overachieving mom stole the 9:00 spot right out from under me and I had to come back an hour and fifteen minutes later.  Did I mention it cut into my doing absolutely nothing time?  Whatever, it lasted a whopping 10 minutes.  Total.  For both kids.  And, it was nice to hear that the turkeys are doing well.  Especially considering that 6 short months ago I was freaking the eff out about their speech development.  Silly mommy, now they won't stop talking.

They had a variety of tasks listed in each developmental category and there were three levels.  U = Usually, G = Good progress, W = Needs work.  I am happy to say my turkeys both got all U's, a couple G and only one W.  The W was in using scissors, so I am okay with that one.  Not too shabby of a first "report card."

When I picked them up from school, one of their classmates, Zoey and her mommy, Elise were leaving at the same time.  Elise and I chatted and she mentioned she was going to Costco for lunch.  Costco is one of my all time favorite places to take the turkeys for lunch because you can do it on the super cheap.  I invited us along and we ventured on over to the Costco and of course, as soon as we hit the doors, the turkeys take off.  Now, I am not too worried, because they know exactly where the food counter is and sure enough after playing an excrutiatingly fun game of dodge the snowbirds and their shopping carts, there they were sitting on the floor, definitely in mortal danger of being stepped on, with their friend Zoey, waiting patiently for the mommies.

Zoey's mom then spots another mom from the preschool with a cartload of goodies and a couple of rugrats, in the food line.  Before I knew it, we had 3 moms (two of which are pregnant, by the way, and NO I am not one of them) trying to wrangle in a herd of 5 kids all of which are 3 and under.  Yes, we were definitely outnumbered.  Hayden and Logan ate their pizza in like 30 seconds flat.  Apparently, they were hungry.  I got to listen to the two lovely expectant mommies talk about pregnancy, all the while praising God for giving me two in one shot so I wouldn't have to go through that mess again.  Of course, the other mom, Kristin, is on her FOURTH kid and she doesn't look a day over 30.  I almost started hyperventilating when I heard the word four.

I got the turkeys and Zoey some ice cream and they devoured that as well.  Suddenly, Logan looks at me and says, "I have to pee mommy," and takes off towards the bathroom, engaging in yet another game of dodge the shopping carts.  I take off after him with Hayden and Zoey in tow.  Seriously, I have got to teach my kids not to do this, but short of strapping a leash onto them, I am at a loss of what to do.  After an exhausting lunch, which lasted all of 20 minutes, I loaded the turkeys up in the van gave Zoey and Elise a hug, and headed the eff home, where, after I put the boys down for their nap, I seriously entertained the idea of opening a bottle of red.  At 2:00.  In the afternoon.  I didn't, but I couldn't stop the words, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere" from running through my head.

Love and peace,


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Minivan Driving Mama is baaaaaacccckkkkkk

I've come to a pretty major life decision.  I am leaving my husband....for my minivan.  I'm sorry, honey, but after 2 weeks and 1 day of driving a wonderfully inconvenient loaner vehicle, the Hyundai Sonata, my beautiful minivan is back where she belongs, in my garage, and I've decided I can never be without her again. *** Sighs and gazes lovingly at vehicle.  I might just sleep in her tonight, my joy is so complete.  The turkeys and I might take a road trip up north tomorrow, just to spend a little alone time with her.  I'm sure she missed us too, she just doesn't know it yet.

What the eff am I doing, talking about my car like a person?  Who the hell have you turned into Andrea? I'll tell you.  I've turned into the mom who loves her effing minivan with all of her heart and soul, that's who.  I've turned into the mom that bonked her kids' heads every time she put them into that damn Sonata.  I've turned into the mom who is incredibly grateful to be able to push a button on the keychain and have the doors slide open, enabling the turkeys to climb right on in, without assistance. In the Sonata, their car seats sat about 8 inches off the seat and unless I moved the driver seat and the passenger seat all the way up, each and every time we got into the vehicle, the turkeys could not climb into their seats.  And every single damn time, no matter how careful I was, I somehow managed to bonk a head.  My kids probably will have permanent lumps.

A few times I did try moving the seats forward but while I was strapping one kid in, the other kid thought it was open season to push buttons, find and swallow pennies (not really, caught that one in the knick of time), climb into the front seat, insert the key into the ignition and all but try to drive the damn car while I was wrestling in the back seat with his brother.  I would end up hot, sweaty and insanely frustrated all the while trying to be that mom.  You know, the mom that keeps her cool in all situations with a smile in place.  That was definitely not me.  So, instead, I just struggled to bend my long ass torso in unbendable ways to put my children in their seats.  But despite my best efforts, I managed to completely fail in the head bonking department almost every time.

Did I also mention how grateful I will be for the door locks to be out of foot's reach?  Yes, the turkeys had loads of fun, locking the doors on me as I was attempting to open their doors.  They giggled and giggled, all at mommy's expense.  I had to utilize some deep breathing techniques after about the 500th time.  Good thing they are so flipping cute.  That's all I have to say about that.

Did I also mention how they happened to lock the keys in the car too, necessitating a trip to the body shop to get the extra set?  Oh, and the day that they, without my knowledge, turned the overhead light on.  It remained on for probably 8 hours or so.  Thankfully, the car started, but it was over the protest of the battery.

Alas, the Sonata, is no more.  It has been turned back over to the body shop so another unlucky person with no rental coverage can use it, in all it's stinky and shaky glory.

And my Sienna, is back home.  I was so nervous driving her again, that I drove like a 89 year old woman this afternoon.  I kept a safe distance at all times, maintained the correct number of car lengths between myself and the car in front of me.  Probably used my turn signals way more than was necessary.  I did not even come close to going through a yellow light.  I was silently cursing all those that had the nerve to pass me on the freeway, certain one of those idiot drivers was going to sideswipe me.  I breathed a deep sigh of relief when we pulled into the garage.

My minivan and I will live a long life together, I have no doubt.  She has many days of ahead of her, driving this soccer mom wannabee and her tots around town.  I made a promise to her today, to never take the slidey doors, DVD system, and roomy interior for granted.  Now, I am going to have a nice glass of red and relax.

In my van.

Love and peace,


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From Toy Story to the 90's...

So I have never actually seen the movie Toy Story 2.  However, I can quote all the lines, probably word for word, from start to finish.  How the hell does that happen?

See, this is one of the turkey's "must watch now" movies which is in the car at all times.  Before we purchased the Toyota Sienna minivan, aka, mommy mobile, we had the dual dvd players that you wrapped around the head rest for the boys' viewing enjoyment.  Only problem with that were the cords that hung within kicking distance of the turkey's feet.  Those lovely $150 pieces of shit maybe lasted a month.  

Now we have the beautiful, installed-in-the-ceiling, DVD system.  And it even comes with wireless headphones.  Only problem?  Turkeys don't like headphones, so I am stuck listening to Toy Story 2 until I'm ready to pull my hair out.  I am desperately looking forward to the day when they are ready for the wacky world of headphones and I can quietly jam out to my Adult Contemporary-slash-90's music.  

Ahhh, now that, my friends, is bliss.  Nothing puts me in a better mood than reliving my angst filled high school days by screeching out the lyrics to Alanis' Morrisette's "You Oughta Know" and remembering with a smile how naughty I felt when I sang the words, "Are you thinking of me when you f#$k her?"  Them's were some dangerous words for a teenager around my house.  

"I Will Always Love You" by the unforgettable Whitney was my break up song of choice pretty much until I graduated.  I would sit there on my bed and watch The Bodyguard and cry and cry and rail against whichever young man broke my tender heart.  There were a few back then, I fell "in love" easily.  The other one, of course, was "My Heart Will Go On."  The epic ballad that was Titanic.  I was in college at the time, but only 19 so this definitely goes in the young and dumb category.  How could you not apply that song to every aspect of life, I mean, really?  

Then there were the jamming songs, one of which I already mentioned.  The others in high school included a little Hootie, Salt n Pepa (What exactly is "Shoop"ing anyways?), Tag Team (Whoomp! There it is), and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, whom I would allow to show me some good vibrations any day especially with those abs.  Marky Mark, that is, not the funky bunch.  I definitely think he is one of my Top Five (sorry husband, but I must be honest).  

I have fond memories of playing and rewinding tapes millions of times trying to memorize all the words to several of these songs.  Hootie, not so much, but the others - definitely.  It would have been nice to have Google or YouTube back then to learn lyrics, it would have saved my parents some of their sanity. A click of a mouse and they would not have been subjected to the same verse of the same song 150 times in a row.  

Then there were the "party hits."  You know, the songs that made it on the "Now That's What I call Music:  VOL 45" CD's.  Classics, such as the Macarena, which is still a hit on the wedding circuit, Rump Shaker and C'mon N Ride it (The Train).  Am I the only one that thinks nasty thoughts when that song comes on during the 90's lunch hour?

I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention some of the best Hip Hop songs-slash-artists of the decade.  I loved me some Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dog.  I think I was 14 when I bought "The Chronic."  I'm pretty sure I had absolutely no idea what that was until I hit 16, but damn, I could rap every word to those songs.  

A few others need a shout out including Boyz to Men, Bel Biv Devoe, Color Me Badd, Tupac and Coolio.  I will likely get some shit from the husband over including "the greatest rapper of all time" in with the likes of the singers of "I Wanna Sex You Up" and "Motown Philly."  He'll live.  

I think I'll dig out those headphones and try them out on the turkeys when I get my van back.

Love and peace,


Monday, February 27, 2012

I drive myself crazy

So, occasionally, I might find myself saying and doing things that drive my husband a little insane.  I know, shocking.  And, occasionally, he does and says things that drive me flat out bat shit crazy.  Nothing brings out the worst in the two of us, than driving in traffic and trying to park in crowds.  Nothing.  If people saw the way we interacted in the car, they would think we were on our way to divorce court and the family outing was a last ditch effort.  It's that bad.

Of course, now it isn't as bad as it used to be, seeing as the turkeys are in the car with us and we don't screech things like "You f@#king suck at driving!" or "Turn here, turn here, OMG, you do not listen to a word I f*%king say" or "You are never f$#king driving again." Now, the f words are deleted and replaced with effing or flipping and freaking and the tone of our voices is almost conversational.  Yep, we clean it up nice for the kids.  I'll give you one guess on who the person is doing all the swearing?

Early in our marriage and prior to the marriage, my husband would often ignore me when I would go on my little tirades in the car.  However, now that we are on our 8th year together and 5th year of marriage, he is getting a little more ballsy.  He will generally snark right back at me which only gets the bitch-o-meter up there to volcanic proportions.  Now his favorite comeback is:

"You're the one whose had all the accidents."

That's a good one.  Because then I feel the need to defend myself and generally bring up some obscure idiot move he made, like 5 years ago, that has absolutely nothing to do with driving in a moving vehicle.

I seriously don't know how the man loves me so much between my ridiculous back seat driving and my ungrateful postings about the cleaning of the house while I am on vacation.  Geez.  Sometimes I drive myself crazy.

But, in the end, it would be so much easier if he just realizes I am always right.  Always.

Love and peace,


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Big F Word

Do you remember a time before you had children?  When you could sleep through anything?  When a freight train could come barreling through your house and you would simply sigh and turn over?  Isn't it crazy how giving birth can change all that in an instant?

Isn't it absolutely insane how, now, I can literally feel the air in the house shift when my children wake up at night and my eyes open immediately anticipating the pitter patter of little feet or the whimpery cry for me?  I am not even kidding.  Many nights, since my children are anti-sleep, I will be in a dead sleep and I will jolt awake for no reason, only to be joined by one or both of my turkeys within minutes.

I wonder if I actually hear them, or if I am just that attuned to them that I just know.  You have nine months to prepare and dream (or 7 months in my case) about your baby(ies).  Then they arrive and you must anticipate their every need.  You must discern what every cry really means.  Eek.  Scary stuff to think about while pregnant.  After they were born, not so much.  At least not for me.  I was just terrified that every sniffle was the dreaded RSV which is crazy dangerous to premature newborns.  I was just terrified that they would die.

After they were born and I spent 71 nights apart from them, it would often amaze me how I could close my eyes and perfectly visualize every detail of each of their faces.  Each and every detail.  I would try to do it with other members of my family and each time I could see their images but they would always seem a little blurry.  But my boys, crystal clear every single damn time.  Each detail was and still is implanted into my brain because I am terrified my boys are going to be taken from me too soon.  Are other moms like that?  Probably not, I'm just a morbid freak of nature.

I never really worried about the little stuff with my babies.  I often dealt with and still deal with the big stuff.  The big Fear.

I found a blog about a month ago and against my better judgment read it.  And it didn’t take me long to completely lose it.  The fear and pain came back, fast.  The absolute gut wrenching fear that every mother has about losing her child.  Even though my boys are snuggled safely in their beds, the fear consumed me that night as it often does.  I literally dropped onto my knees and prayed and prayed and prayed that my boys would live to be 110 years old.  I prayed, rather selfishly, that I would never have to experience the loss of one of my boys.  I prayed that I would never feel like Jack's mom, Tripp's mom, or Grace's mom.  Isn't that horrible?  These women have recently gone through the worst of the worst, and I am hoping I never have to feel it.  I guess in some twisted, weird way I think if I keep it at the front or even back of my mind, then it won't happen.  Pretty effed up, huh?  So sometimes I read blogs that make me cry and pray and beg and try to bargain with God.  Now that I have my faith in tact, the fear is much more manageable, but it is still ever present.  

I know, it sounds morbid and it is.  But it is something that ALL mothers feel and fear at some point.  I experienced it early.  My boys were on respirators helping them to breathe during the first moments of their lives.  I was insanely lucky, I only had that incredible breath stealing moment of pure unadulterated fear once during their NICU stay. 

I won’t ever forget it.   Nobody knew about this except for David and my mom and dad.  I didn’t post it to our caring bridge site because I didn’t want to see it in writing.  I didn’t tell anyone else because that would make it true.  If I ignored it, then it would go away.  I cried myself to sleep many nights in a row. 

I had been out meeting with some hospital people about insurance stuff.  The boys were about 4 weeks old, maybe 3 ½ pounds.  I came back to their room and the doctor was there with David.  I entered, he said please sit down.  My heart literally dropped to my feet.  That’s never good.

He told us that Hayden had tested positive for the bacteria that causes MRSA which is a antibiotic resistant strain of staph infection.  He said the boys would be separated and Hayden isolated until they determined if he was either infected with it or not.  The first words out of my mouth were, “Are you sure?”  I asked him if there were anyway this test could be a false positive.  He said that in his experience he had never seen a false positive in this test.  I asked other questions about MRSA.  I don’t really remember what he said anyway.  I just remember feeling shocked and terrified. 

I was even more terrified when I went home and googled “MRSA.”  That was definitely not one of my better moments.   The internet was my worst enemy during those days.  That night was the first of only five nights during their precarious first months of life that I let myself even consider the possibility that one or both of them might not make it.  I memorized their tiny faces just in case.  I spent every second I could at the hospital with them.  I cried and prayed and cried and prayed.

It must have worked.  God listened and blessed us beyond belief.  I walked into the NICU about 5 days after the boys had been isolated.  I walked to Hayden’s room and notice that the table with the gowns, masks and gloves which isolation required was gone.  I looked at the nurses and they gave me the biggest grins ever.  “We wanted to surprise you.”  I peered into the room and BOTH of my boys were in there.  The doctor came by shortly thereafter. 

He said that he thought about my question regarding the false positive for quite some time and decided to order two more tests on the same sample.  Both came back negative.  He said he had never seen anything like it before. 

I know it was a miracle from God.  I wonder often why my boys were chosen to live and other children have to die.  It is almost impossible for me to comprehend.  Everyday that those little arms wrap around my neck and those little voices say, "I love you" is a miracle from God and I wonder what I did to deserve it.  

So those few terrifying days were over.  I was lucky.  There were many other parents in the NICU who were not so lucky.  I know they dealt with the gut wrenching fear every moment of every day.  I could barely make for 5 days. 

The blog I found that night was found completely by accident and I cried for this mom and prayed for this mom with my whole soul.  She lost her young son to an overflowing creek following a storm.  She was raw in her writing.  So raw, I felt her pain all the way to my bones.   And I prayed that I would never have to feel what she is feeling.  Ever.  She actually wrote the words, "I am your worst nightmare."

And the horrible part is, she is absolutely right.  

Love and peace,


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

God's Grace

As I continue moving forward in my journey of faith, God and the power of prayer has truly amazed me on a daily basis. After my experiences the past month, I have no doubt that God does answer prayers. This seriously struck me Sunday evening at work and moved me to tears.  I have a prayer list that basically stays the same every day and I would like to share some of them with you.

I pray for the health and safety of my boys, David, my mom and dad and all of our family and friends.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to fill those that I love to lead them on the right path towards God and His amazing gifts.  I pray for patience in dealing with my children and husband.  My prayers have a tendency to be more about thanksgiving but lately I've started specifically asking for things.

Several weeks ago, I decided to take boys to mass for the first time by myself.  Our neighbors have a 7 year old, named Amber, who loves the boys and Amber's parents, graciously saved us seats so we could sit with her.  The evening before and that morning I prayed specifically for God to fill my children with a peaceful and quiet spirit.  I prayed those same words over and over again all morning prior to mass and on our way.  Guess what?  The boys were angels.  They went with Amber to children's liturgy and when they returned, sat quietly in the pews while eating their snacks.  It was a very pleasant experience. There really is no other explanation for the stillness exhibited my perpetually moving, loud three year old little boys. God, did indeed answer my prayers that morning.

I also pray before work.  I pray specifically that God help me to curb my tendency to be gossip-y and sometimes, mean spirited.  I pray that God helps me to achieve my financial goals for the evening.  Sunday, in the middle of my shift, He spoke to me loud and clear.

A group of six people sat down.  They were a hodge podge group and when I greeted them, I had a feeling of dread.  I judged them immediately and thought: no way is this group of people going to tip 20%, no way.  When I started taking orders, the first person asked an interesting question about the lasagna.  I had some not-too-nice thoughts and moved through the rest of the group.  As I continued speaking to these people while taking their dinner orders, I realized that they were all special needs folks.  They were also clearly out for a special occasion.  After walking away from the table, I made the conscious decision to not share the story about the somewhat silly question that had been asked of me regarding the lasagna with my co-workers.  I put all negative thoughts out of my head and made sure this group had amazing service.  I had a great time talking with them and they were all so polite and truly had hearts of gold.  I presented their check and thanked them for dining with us.

After they had left, I checked the credit card receipt and immediately, tears sprung to my eyes.  The lady left a $40 tip on a $130 bill.  20% would have been $26.  I knew right then, that God had answered my prayers and taught me a very valuable lesson in my quest to live a more Christ like life.  I gave Him thanks immediately and now feel compelled to share this story with you.

God isn't just there for the big things in your life.  He is there for all the small things too.  Whatever your needs may be, ask.  You will likely be surprised.

Love and peace,


Monday, February 20, 2012

I blame it on the sweettarts

After my recent car accident, I have some little nuggets of wisdom I would like to impart to you, my dear friends along with some general musings and probably a rant or two.  The turkeys and I were in a car accident on Valentine's Day, thanks to some sweet tarts.  We are all fine.  The boys have been talking about it non-stop and it seems every five minutes, they feel the need to remind me that I endangered their lives, "Mommy car crashed.  Mommy's car went bump.  Mommy's car broked."  Thank you, sweet children, as if I already didn't feel enough guilt.  Anyways...

My first piece of wisdom, PAY ATTENTION to the effing road!  Do not allow the sweet tarts (thank you lovely overachieving mom at preschool for that little gift) that your son just spilled ALL over the back of your minivan distract you from your responsibilities as both a mom and a driver.  That little mess now pales in comparison to the mess that is the front end of my car.  And for crying out loud, if you are at a red light and get distracted for a few seconds cleaning up sweet tarts, be sure and look straight ahead before putting the pedal to the metal.  Do not just GO!

If you are in a car accident, do not punch the old man whose car you just hit and first words to you, as you are pulling your children out of your mangled car, were:  "Were you on your phone?"  I did not punch the old man in the throat primarily because I had a couple of shaky toddlers with me and they were my focus.  But after the fact, boy did I want to.  There were a few other words I wanted do say.  Like "If you thought I was stalled, why the eff didn't you honk just to, oh, I don't know, make sure I was stalled."  Or, "why the hell couldn't you just have a little patience."  Or, "Well, you are from Michigan, what did I expect."  Not that I am trying to put the blame completely on him, trust me, I know I was distracted, but damn, this could have all been avoided if he would have just honked the effing horn.

If you are in car accident, or any kind of accident, accept the kindness of strangers graciously.  I got Logan out first and carried him to the corner.  There were a group of landscapers that came running to the immediate area as soon as they heard the crash.  So when I got out of the street, I was trying to figure out what to do with my crying toddler so I could get my other crying toddler out of the car.  This nice mexican landscaper held out his arms and said, "I've got him."  I didn't think twice.  I put Logan in his arms and went back for Hayden.  These same guys allowed me to use their phones to call my mom and David.  I truly believe they were a part of my angel crew that day.  I am so grateful for their assistance.

My next little nugget of wisdom:  make sure you have rental coverage under your car insurance policy.  If I would have had that, then it is doubtful I would be driving around in a 2005 Hyundai Sonata, that is stinky and rattle-y.  I sound ungrateful, but I am really not.  The car I am driving came free of charge from the body shop.  You can't fault free.  However, if I hadn't been so cheap and refused the rental coverage, then it is much more likely that I could have finagled a minivan rental out of them that wasn't stinky or rattle-y.  I tell you what, it is hard getting toddlers in and out of a sedan.  I give major props to you moms that do have these types of vehicles.  My back and neck are definitely feeling the effects or maybe the soreness is from the accident.  That's probably more likely.  The plus side to driving the sonata:  the gas mileage rocks!

While I certainly wish the accident had never occurred, it really hasn't been that bad of an experience overall.  It could have been a much bigger pain in the ass.  State Farm has been great.  Kales Collision Center was clean and had amazing customer service.  They are even throwing in the parking lot dent in my passenger side door.  Now that is awesome.  The only thing that sucks is I will be without my van for one month.  But, at least, I will appreciate it more when it comes home.

And just in case you wondering, I have most definitely learned my lesson.

Love and peace,


Thursday, February 16, 2012

11 things I just never thought I would do as a parent

Edited to include one very important thing that my husband reminded me of after reading the post this morning.  This was republished with his permission and blessing to include the ever popular (at least I hope I am not the only one) number 11.

I've been on a list kick the past several days.  What can I say, lists rock.  So here you go:  The ten things I never thought I would do as a parent.

1.  Help my son pee, standing up.  At the park.  On a tree.  But when a 3 year old has to go, he has to go.  Note to self:  only select parks with restrooms.  Lesson learned.

2.  Let the kids run in the grocery store.  Because sometimes it is just easier than screaming at them.

3.  After discovering that my kid's overnight diaper failed, change his clothes, put a couple of towels down on the bed that's been peed on, and put my kid back to sleep because I was just too tired to even entertain the idea of changing sheets at 3 am.

4.  Shower with my kids.  So I had a couple of girlfriends who were parents before I was and I am not gonna lie....I thought it was weird when they showered with their kid.  But, now, I see how it accomplishes two very important goals.  One, it gets your kid clean and two, it keeps your kid out of trouble.  Now, I don't do this every day.  Hell, I haven't even done it this winter, cause it is a little too chilly in my opinion but you better believe it happens in the summer.

5.  Get a DVD player in the car.  I thought, noooooo way, I made it through childhood perfectly fine with no form of entertainment except some books and a deck of cards.  I would be lost and quite likely insane if we did not have the TV in the van.  Now that I am in possession of a lovely 2005 Hyundai Sonata while waiting for my Toyota Sienna to be repaired, I definitely see the wisdom of having a DVD system.

6.  Go out of the house without a lick of makeup on.  I don't wear very much makeup anymore any way.  On a good day, I put mascara on.  But EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life I have put on powder to even out my skin and get rid of the shine on my nose.  Because I hate it when my nose is shiny.  Several times, in the past month or so, I have actually forgotten to put powder on.  I usually don't realize it until I am back home and happen to look in the mirror and nearly jump in shock at the uneven, shiny mess that is my face.  Generally it happens because I was distracted by one of the turkeys right before that point in my routine and forgot what I was supposed to be doing and before I knew it, poof, out the door.

7.  Go 6 months without getting my hair done.  My sister in law is probably cringing right now.  See, Lauren, this is just another reason you and Jeff need to move here.  So I have someone I love, who also happens to be a hair stylist, look at me, and say, "Girl, go get your hair done."  Why do I go six months?  A couple of reasons, really.  The first is that I just don't feel like it.  Boys, contrary to popular belief, it is NOT fun to go to a salon and sit in an uncomfortable chair for a couple of hours, have your hair yanked to hell and back, get hot and sweaty and then get the bill and gasp because you haven't spent $150 on yourself in, well, probably 6 months and you are thinking, wow, I could have bought so much stuff for that same $150.  Yeah, not fun.  But prior to becoming a parent, I never would have waited SIX whole months to get my roots done.  Every 8-12 weeks on the dot.  Sigh.  By the way, I am on month number 4.

8.  Give my kid an electronic device i.e. phone, tablet, etc. to keep him/them quiet so I can get shit done. I hate to admit it, but prior to becoming a parent (actually even after I became a parent but BEFORE my kids were 3) I was a judgmental bitch.  I thought to myself, I will never give my toddler THAT, just to keep him entertained.   No way, I will play with my kid/s all the time.  Housework be damned.  Yeah, that didn't happen.

9.  Buy used clothes/toys/books etc.  Apparently, I was not a nice person before I became a mom because I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS thought that I would buy another kids hand-me-downs for my precious little pumpkins.  I learned fast, though,  that kids go through clothes faster than a plane can take off, at least my kids.  Holes in jeans, stains on shirts, sometimes within hours of purchase.  Not worth it.  I've found some nice stuff on craigslist for cheap cheap.  Same with the toys.  I refused to buy them new stuff (well, the bigger new stuff, not little new stuff) because they will either a) destroy it quickly or b) not be interested in it.  Not worth it.

10.  Not sing to my kids.  During those glorious pregnancy days, you know after the morning sickness subsided and in between the bouts hormone-glazed bitchiness, I had visions of singing my children to sleep while rocking away in my new glider.  Of course, I had no idea the amount of work twin boys would require and when it was time for bedtime or naptime, I just popped them in their cribs and prayed Dr. Ferber was right and crying it out really does not work.  Thank God, it did.  The not-singing did have some adverse effects as until about a month ago, every time I would open my mouth to sing either in the car or during The Fresh Beat Band, I was quickly shown my children's displeasure with my singing voice.  I was rewarded with a "Quiet mommy!"  I think that might have been their first words, but I could be wrong.

11.  Bartering "wifely duties" for extra sleep time.  As mentioned above, this is an add on and I can't believe I left it out on the original post.  Now don't get me wrong, my husband and I have a "healthy" relationship, but there are times when I am just not in the mood. I KNOW there are other moms out there who can relate.  But I'll tell you what, all he has to do is say, "You can sleep in for my next two days off" and I get in the mood real quick.  Similar bribery tools include, "I will take the boys to the park and you can take a nap" or "I'll take the boys to school AND pick them up."  Amazing how effective these words can be to get him what he wants.  

Well, there you go.  Hope you enjoyed!

Love and peace,


Monday, February 13, 2012

11 Somewhat Surprising Items Toddlers Break/Destroy/Misplace

While my children have certainly slowed down their path of destruction as they have gotten older, there is still no shortage of things they have managed to destroy in their short little lives.  I've read numerous parenting magazines and countless blogs, which are actually far more informative than those magazines but none prepared me for the random shit that toddlers can find and destroy.  At least my toddlers.

1.  Dual dvd players for cars.  You know, the ones that attach to the headrest? These handy little suckers might seem like a dream for your next road trip.  However, keep in mind if your children are anything like mine, they might only last for 2 hours, if you are lucky. The cords and screens on these devices were just within in kicking distance of kicky little feet and this was in a Cadillac Escalade.  In a mid size sedan, they are probably within an arm's length.  Yikes, is all I have to say.

2.  Toilets.  Especially when your toddler throws the toilet paper holder in it and flushes.

3.  Printers.  Yep, the turkeys got ahold of this too. I had no idea what the hell was jamming my paper until I pulled an Office Space on that m#*ther f@*ker.  And whaddaya know, six, yes I said SIX rubber bands been shoved all up in there.  Our new printer is wireless and sits about 6 feet off of the floor.  I ain't stupid...

4.  Vertical Blinds.  You know the ones.  We have them all over our (thankfully rented) house and the turkeys have done a number on them. Not only have they broken the blinds themselves but also several of the little fasteners at the top of the blinds making them impossible to replace. Consequently, my front window looks like something straight outta compton.

5.  Remote controls.  Well, not the entire remote control.  Just the back that conveniently keeps the batteries in place and out of harms way. Okay, so not broken, just missing.  If I got enough nerve to peer into the deep dark recesses that are my couch cushions, I would probably find the backs of all five, yes 5 remote controls.  Why we have 5 effing remote controls is a whole 'nother topic...

6.  Decorative bed pillows.  I know, another weird one.  Yet when I purchased my pretty blue paisley bedroom set complete with 3 decorative pillows six months ago, I had no idea what an effing mess they could make.  These particular pillows came with numerous tassels.  Well, when a certain 3 year old child who shall remain nameless, played with the tassels similarly to the way a cat would, then you would be surprised at how quickly they unravel and how quickly the little strings can be disbursed all throughout a house.  I've since thrown those ridiculous pillows away and you know what?  I am still finding pale blue strings in the most random places.

7.  Glass top end tables.  Okay, this one is probably not such a surprise, but it was to me. Silly mommy. This happened well over a year ago, when we were in our car crashing/banging days.  But they did it, to BOTH tables.

8.  DVD's.  My little turkeys are obsessed with putting in and taking out DVD's so it isn't too surprising that we have had several bite the dust due to excessive scratching.  Last night's discovery of the ruination of "The Princess and the Frog" was a bit hard to take though.  That was definitely one of mommy's favorites.

9.  Patio Chair Cushions.  So a few months ago, I was out back inventory-ing our toys and I kept finding pieces of green-colored cotton-like stuff.  What the hell is this?  Some weird blooming Arizona plant, similar to the dandelions of the midwest?  I had no idea, until I began straightening our patio cushions and discovered what undoubtedly began as a small tear but had metamorphosed into a gaping hole thanks to a couple of twin boys.  I noticed my cushion was looking a little deflated and sure enough after checking out the gaping hole, I discovered where the green colored cotton like stuff had originated from. If they were older, I am certain they would be blaming a coyote or something.

10.  Hair picks/combs.  My children also have an unhealthy obsession with these little gems that get the tangles out of my long hair.  They like to take the teeth (I don't even know if that is the right term but whatever) and bend them every which way, generally until they break and then it is off to the Tar-jay to purchase another set.

11.  Contact lenses.  Similar to all things which can be found on my bathroom vanity, the contact lens case is also not immune to the ever-searching grubby precious fingers of my toddler boys.  Several times, I have ventured out of the beautiful, peaceful alone time that is my showertime only to discover the shriveled little remains of my contacts in the sink. Turns out the boys just LOVE to unscrew the caps of the lens case and dump the contents into the sink.

Sigh.  My children are the light of my life and I wouldn't trade them for anything, not even non-destructive toddlers.  I'm sure you parents out there have other random things that your kids destroyed.  Please feel free to add on to my lovely list.

Love and peace,


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why God, Why?

My children are staging a full fledged revolt and are attempting to overthrow their government (aka me).  I knew this day was coming, I was just hoping it would wait until they started school full time, in like 6 months. Although I have a few tricks up my sleeve, I think, I think they might be starting to catch on.

It started about a few weeks ago.  We got home from school, had lunch and then we headed to the bedroom for that blissful time us mommies know as naptime.  Normally, they will have a cup of milk and then jabber for a bit and fall asleep by 1-1:15.  They did not fall asleep for an hour and a half.  Next day, same thing.

Oh, hell, no.  My children are not finished with naps.  I will fight this and win, dammit!  The second day, after they finally fell asleep, I thought a bit about our predicament.  What can I do to get them tired enough to sleep?  AHA!  The park.  Soccer Balls.  The idea was slowly forming in my head.

Wait for it....wait for it...

I will take them to the park and kick soccer balls as far away from them as possible and then watch them chase the soccer balls until they are so tired they can barely stand up.

By golly, that's it!  That is how I will rise against the revolt!  Ha!  Three year olds are no match for me!

And you know what, it works.  We are home by 2pm and they go to bed most days without a fight and fall asleep within minutes.  Another plus side to my brilliant idea?

I am already working on a fabulous tan.  I heart Arizona.

Love and peace,


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Final Vegas Recap: Mommy and Bumblebee

One of the things I loved about this trip was being able to actually talk to my turkeys on the phone.  Last year, when I went to Des Moines, they really weren't speaking well so I didn't even try to get them on the phone. Last year, they were also much more attached to me, so the separation was a little more of an issue as well.

This year, as many of you know from my facebook updates, as I left my little turkeys said, "Bye Mom!  Have fun in Vegas!"  It broke my heart just a teeny bit for them to send me off with nary a whimper.  But at the same time, I was very pleased because the last thing I wanted to worry about was them missing me too much.

They had a great time with daddy.  Had McDonald's twice (that he is admitting to), probably watched non-mommy approved shows on television, and maybe bathed once.  It was great "man" time for all of them.  I wish they had been feeling better so they could have gone to the park a couple of times.

I missed them a ton in the 3 days I was gone, especially when I heard their little voices on the phone.  David put us on speaker every time I called and it was so sweet to hear the happiness in their voices when they heard mine and to hear the ever present screeching, "Mommeeeeeeee."

One evening as we were venturing out I came a man dressed in none other than a Bumblebee costume a la Transformers.  I freaked out. Seriously, I think I was even jumping up and down while squealing. Bumblebee, likely, was a little scared of me and rightly so.  My kids LOVE Bumblebee.

"OMG Tracey!  Look at that!  It's Bumblebee!  The boys would freak the eff out.  I have got to get a picture with him.  OMG!  They are going to LOVE this.  A picture of mommy and bumblebee.  Here."  And I thrust my phone into her hands, scrounged around for a five spot to give to poor Bumblebee.  I stood next to him beaming while our picture was snapped and immediately texted it to David.  Seeing as though it was 1 am Arizona time I wasn't expecting to hear from him that night.

The next morning I grab my phone and gleefully noticed the text message indicator.  I opened the message and this is what it said,

"So they said Bumblebee was too small and where is prime."


Ungrateful little turkeys.  When I saw Prime the next night, you better believe I did not waste another $5 on a picture with him.

Love and peace,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vegas Recap: "I won $5000!"

Yes, I was only in Vegas for 2 days and 3 nights, but man do I have a lot to write about.  On our first full day there after roughly 3 hours of sleep from our outings the night before, us ladies ventured out.  We had a lovely dinner at PF Changs to which my husband says, "Of all the places to eat in Vegas and you pick Changs?  Ugh."

In our defense though, we were looking to eat on the cheap and Changs has an excellent happy hour and since he hasn't worked there in nearly 4 months, I was seriously craving some Changs food.  After our dinner, which was much better than our sandwiches the night before where we had to wait in line behind an entire family who did not speak a lick of english and watch while the counter girl translated the entire menu about 55 times to each individual, we decided to check out Minus 5.

What's Minus 5 you ask?

It is a bar made entirely of ice found at the Mandalay Bay.  There is also one located at Monte Carlo.  Ice chandeliers, ice polar bear sculptures, ice seating, ice glasses, ice bar top.  And the room is kept at a balmy 23 degrees F or -5 C.  For an Arizona gal who had been waltzing around the 50 degree temps in Vegas desperately wishing for gloves, it was a tad chilly.  Thankfully, the $20 entrance fee included a parka, gloves and boots. I totally should have tried to gank those gloves.  Anyhow.  One of my girlfriends paid a little bit more and received 2 cocktails with her entrance.  There was also a photographer there as you were required to leave all cameras, cell phone and other recording devices in a locker. These Vegas people are evil geniuses for sure.  One photo of our experience at Minus 5 cost $20.

So when we walked into the cooler, I mean bar, we were the only people there so the bartender was more than happy to chat with us. Apparently, we were pretty nice because for the price of 2 beers we scored 2 rounds of shots.  Good grief, I felt like I was back in BG or Dayton.  Or post grad with Alli in C-bus.  Or Des Moines.  Whatever, I had not done shots in probably 4-5 years.  Okay, except for the grape bomb we had after Trace won $150 playing shots.  That, by the way, was the worst shot I have ever tasted.  The bartender did NOT chill it.  It was like drinking gasoline, seriously.  And they were $36.  Anyhow, maybe, I did have a couple of shots when I was back in Des Moines last February.  So it's likely that I am exaggerating, but only a little.  Let's amend the statement to this:  I haven't had 2 shots in a row in about 4-5 years, definitely pre-kids.

Shockingly enough, I was still very functional and after leaving the ice bar we journeyed down to the main casino and proceeded to play slots. Again.  This time I managed to win about $20.  These slots are a bitch, man. I seriously do not know how my almost 80 year old grandmother can play slots for like 12 hours.  Never underestimate an old lady's desire to make it to the bonus round.

We left and quickly determined that we could not make the walk all the way back to Planet Hollywood so we hopped in a cab and for $7 were back "home" faster than you can say "Hit me."  Erin was a little tired so she said in the room to sleep and Trace and I ventured back out.  It took all of 30 seconds to decide that we wanted to go to O'Sheas.  This little casino is quite the gem.  They always have $5 blackjack tables, which is my game of choice and plenty of slot machines for my Tracey.  I settled into my spot and went on to win about $50.  All of which I managed to lose again within the hour.

Around 3 am I started to get hungry so I headed over to Subway, which is conveniently located inside the casino and proceeded to wait about 20 minutes for the guy to return and make my sub.  I have no idea what he was doing, but I made sure he washed his hands prior to making my delicious sandwich.  While waiting, I got a phone call from Tracey who was, mind you, a mere 50 feet away just out of my eyesight.

"What's wrong?"

"I just won $5000."

"YOU DID WHAT?  Are you effing kidding me?  Hold on I'll be right there."

I raced over to the machine and Tracey is sitting there in shock.  I look at the screen and sure enough it says 5000....CREDITS.  Folks, she was playing a penny slot machine.  I looked at her and said,

"Tracey, you won $50, not $5000."

"Oh my God."

"But hey, at least it's fifty bucks, right."

In her defense, the machine did start going crazy and people were gathered around looking.  $50 isn't too shabby on a penny slot machine.  After all the excitement, I went back to Subway and continued to wait for the guy to show up and make my flipping sub.  Which tasted amazing by the way.

When I finally got it.

Love and Peace,