Monday, January 30, 2012

I can't wait to go to Vegas and sleep


This chick has lost her flipping mind.  You don't go to Vegas to sleep!  You go there to P-A-R-T-Y, like a rock star preferably.  You go there to spend copious amounts of money and drink copious amounts of alcohol.

Not me.

I am going there to hug my best friend that I haven't seen in nearly a year and sleep.  There might, just might be a teeny tiny bit of drinking going on also.  After all, just because we are all in our 30's doesn't mean we don't like to have fun.

But what I am looking forward to most is curling up in a nice comfy bed, with no snoring man next to me, no middle of the night trips back and forth across the hall, and no 7 am wake up calls and just sleeping.  To this sleep deprived mama, that sounds more glorious than anything.  Sigh.  By the way, if either of you girls snore, then you might end up in the hallway. Just kidding.  Kinda.

Of course, this morning my little Hayden decided to pull at the heartstrings to make me regret my blissful fantasies of sleep.  He has been feeling under the weather for a week or so and yesterday he spiked a fever of about 102.  Just high enough to make him uncomfortable and fussy and just high enough for me to hop on Web MD and convince myself that he had contracted some horrific disease.  So last night when he came in my room, I let him curl up with me, you know, just in case he did have some horrific disease and not just a virus.

David woke us both up at 5:30 am when he got up for work.  Hayden was wide awake and just laying there when he said it.  His first spontaneous, "I love you mommy."  Sure, they have both been saying that for quite some time but I always say it first.  This is the first time either one of them just said the words out of nowhere.  Geez, this is like high school.  Anyways, so we laid there and he just played with my face and hair until he fell back asleep.  It was a truly special moment.  And I would be lying if I told you that I felt no guilt about my mini vacay.

Nonetheless, I am sure the turkeys will drive me crazy today and I will leave for the airport with a great big giant, "Peace out" to my family.  Or they will be super sweet today and I will leave with a monstrous feeling of guilt, most of which will dissipate when I see my girl.  And sleep.

Let's not forget about the sleep.  See you on the flip side, friends.

Love and peace


Friday, January 27, 2012

The World According to Hayden and Logan

My dad had a great idea last night.  He's known to have a few from time to time.  Wink, wink.  He suggested I dedicate a blog post to Hayden and Logan-isms.  He had a very valid point in that at this age they are so cute in everything they do and say.  The little words and phrases that come out of their mouths amaze us, astound and make us laugh until we almost pee our pants.  My dad reminded me last night that we won't remember everything and that we should record as much as possible.  So from this point forward, you will be reading the words of my padre.  I love you dad!

From Dandad:

It is a joy to spend time with our grandsons and much of that happiness comes from hearing what they have to say about their world at 3 1/2. Sometimes it is not always evident what they mean and with that in mind, here is a sampling. What they say on the left and what it means on the right:
Andra = Newly found name for Mommy
Mamaw (pronounced mumahhh.....little French boys?) = Grandma
Dandad, or Dadad = Grandad
Daddy = Daddy (imagine that!)
Waggy ride = Wagon ride in their Radio Flyer, and Dandad's favorite form of exercise
"Hayden, Logan, and Dandad" = Hayden's answer when a lady asked, "What are your names?", while we were on a waggy ride.
"Guitar me, Dandad" = Play some music
"Christmas tree me, Mamaw" = Logan asking Mamaw to look at the Christmas tree with him
"Huuuh...." = pensive reflection by Logan
Car-jeep = crossover vehicles like a Honda CRV
"I fine!" = Hayden's answer meaning, "I don't want your help."
Bumblebee = yellow Camaro (think Transformers movie)
Corvette, Camaro, and Mustang = Corvette, Camaro, and Mustang.....the coolest cars in their world
Cool fast car = any car other than the above that looks cool
Mommy new car = any blue Toyota Sienna
Daddy new car = any white Pontiac Grand Prix
Car-truck = any flatbed car hauler
Mater = any old style tow truck with a hook (think Cars movie)
Mack = any semi-truck (think Cars)
Queen = Lightning McQueen (think Cars)
Sally = any Porsche (think Cars...seeing a pattern here?)
Chicken fish = fish sticks 
White Coke = diet Sprite
White chips = tortilla chips
Black chips = barbeque chips (color of Lays bag)
Orange melon = cantalope
Green melon = honeydew
"Check it out, Dandad, check it out!" = Logan wants to show me something
"Come on Dandad, come on Dandad" = when they want me to go with them
Jesus lights = any lighting of the cross or other church illumination (See Nov. blog)
"Prize!" = surprise; what Logan says as he opens the door to visit Mamaw
"Kyiet!" = be quiet; usually in response to grownup singing
"Dandad toot!" = er, um, what Logan observes at times on a Waggy ride. :)
"Hayden!", "Logan!" =  what they say before they run toward each other at times for a big hug. It is darling.
Love to all, 
Mamaw and Dandad

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are you having more?

If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked me that question I would be one rich effing lady.  If you are reading this and you ever posed this question to me, it's okay, I forgive you.  Don't get me wrong... I am the queen of asking annoying questions (i.e. are you nursing?  are they twins? When are you due?  Oh, you're not pregnant?  Ooops, sorry.)  But man, am I sick of this one.

Are you having any more?

Kids, that is.

The answer to that one is a resounding, "HELL NO!"  Unless, of course God decides that I need another one and we are the .00000000000001 percent that get pregnant while on the mirena.  And by all means, if that happens, then bring it on.  Who am I to argue with God?

The biggest reason is my fear of getting sick again, and giving birth prematurely.  Once I hit 28 weeks with the boys, my liver said, "That's it I'm done.  I am revolting.  I don't want you to be pregnant anymore."  And that pesky liver almost just ruptured and then poof, I would have been done for and who knows if the turkeys would have made it.  That my body rejected the pregnancy is terrifying to me.  I don't want to risk another child's life.  I don't want my boys to grow up without a mother.  I don't want my husband to be without a wife.  Those are the serious reasons I don't want any more kiddos.  I wish I could be that super strong Catholic who could put it all in God's hands, I really do, but that fear is a pretty strong motivator.  Now let's move on to the other reasons.

Reason number 2:  I want to sleep again sometime before I reach the age of 40.  My kids suck at sleeping.  Some nights I get lucky and they each only wake up once.  Those nights are like a dream come true.  Most nights, however, one wakes up at 2:30 and I take him back to bed.  Then the other wakes up at 3:30, generally as soon as I've fallen back asleep, and I take him back to bed.  Then the other gets up at 5, well you get the picture.  It is horrible.  The only way to break this is to either lock them in their room or gate them in their room and I can't bring myself to do either.  I just hope that this is a phase they will grow out of soon.

Reason number 3:  We are ALMOST to kindergarten!  Woo hoo!  The idea of starting all over with a brand new baby when we are thisclose to kindergarten is just nuts.

Reason number 4 why I don't want to get pregnant again, is because I would probably end up with twins.  Again.  And because the universe is cruel, they would probably be boys.  I realize the odds of this happening are in actuality very slim.  However, whenever I see those shows on TLC about people freakishly giving birth to multiple sets of twins my heart starts beating a hell of lot faster and I damn near have a panic attack.  I got a text from a girlfriend the other day which is what precipitated the thoughts of this particular post.  She'd had a dream that I was pregnant with twins.  That alone scared the shit of me.  I don't think I will have sex for a least a month.  No reason to tempt fate.  My husband is cursing the girlfriend as we speak.

Reason number 5:  I would be 50 when the kid graduates from high school and that is just too damn old. No offense to those of you moms and dads who had kids after the age of 33 but it is not for me.  You know, unless God intervenes.

Before we went through all the premature stuff with the boys, I thought for sure I wanted lots of children.  Before I actually thought about it, I wanted a little girl.  I wanted a little girl who I could dress up in super cute headbands and dresses and tights.  I wanted a little girl who would grow into to a beautiful young woman and who would after the turbulence of adolescence become my best friend, much like my own mother is to me.  I wanted a little girl whom I could share that extraordinary mother/daughter bond with.

But then I thought about raising a little mini me and that overrode all the previous images out of my head.  Good grief, the mere thought of raising a mini me makes me shiver with fear.  I do not know how my parents made it through ages 13 - 25 without losing their ever-loving minds.

Guess God knew what he was doing after all, when he gave me my turkeys.  And NO, we are not having any more children.

Love and peace


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kitchen? What Kitchen? I see a Jungle Gym!!!

So I have had a little bit of a tough time writing the past couple of days. The blogs that you read yesterday and the day before were actually written last week and just edited recently.  I’ve written this week, I’ve just been writing some pretty personal stuff and I am not sure if I am ready for the world to read my musings.  Plus, some of it is sad, and who wants to read sad stuff.  No worries, nothing sad about our family, just some sad stuff about other families that I feel the urge to share. 

I have some ebbs and flows with my writing, I’ve discovered, which makes perfect sense seeing as though my moods seem to do the same.  Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to be clever and quick everysingleday.  Sorry.

Sure, I’ve got cute turkey stories everyday.  Like, remember when I mentioned on facebook about some of their Christmas Presents?  Nope?  Well, here was my status update:
Andrea Graves-Boring
 is thisclose to having a $280 Step 2 Walkin Grand kitchen bought off craigslist for $40 :) Wish me luck!! Man this will be their best Christmas ever and all for around $100....

Boy, was I excited to give this to them on Christmas Day.  MaMa and Dandad got them all the accessories.  My kids were set with the creme de la cremes of kitchens.  They just learned that "daddy is a chef."  And they were going to "cook like daddy."  Those were probably some of the cutest things to come out of their mouths ever.  They played nicely for several days and I thought, "Sweet!  This is great!  Awesome present!" Well, as I'm sure you have guessed, that did not last long.  Let me give you a visual.

Here is the picture of how children are supposed to play with the kitchen:

Here is a picture of how MY children play with kitchens:

My husband, always a genius on what to say to his wife, recently uttered these brilliant words:

“Did you really expect anything else?”

I guess I need to stop having expectations that my turkeys will do things like other similarly aged boys. Maybe, just maybe this means they will blossom into studious quiet geeky young men, you know like Steve Jobs or something.  Maybe, just maybe they will get all of this wildness out of their systems before kindergarten. 

Or not.

Most certainly, they will turn out like that billionaire who likes to jump out of planes and climb dangerous mountains. 

So anyhow, guess I did feel like writing something light hearted today.  Good, I’ll save the heavy stuff for another time.  

Love and peace,


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I am turning into that ridiculous person who ogles twins

I had a revelation the other day at the gym as a gigantic Graco duoglider double stroller came out of the escalator 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


Monday, January 23, 2012

I hate crafts

So, as I read parenting books and magazines and see facebook pictures of fellow moms of toddlers doing these awesome crafts with their kids, I feel a mild tinge of guilt.  See, I hate crafting with my kids.  I know, I know I am stifling the potential for my 3 year olds to discover their true artistic genius.   One of them could be the next Van Gogh.  Although, I would prefer if they keep their ears.  But, damn, I really hate cleaning up the mess.

About once a year, I tell myself I am going to be a good mom and I trudge on over to Michael's and select some fun crafting tools, like markers, paint, paper and stamps.  The last time I did that was actually well over a year ago and I put the bag containing said supplies in the top of the boys' closet.  I took the bag out about 2 months ago when my lovely babysitter was on her way over.

Yep, I let my boys loose with paint and paper on a poor unsuspecting Meaghan.  She did very well with the crafting project, perhaps because she has 4 younger siblings at home and her mom actually did crafts with her.  So now, almost every time Meaghan comes over, the turkeys' want to paint.  Tee, hee.  I am a brilliant evil genius, aren't I?  Sorry, Meags!

I wish I could find the patience to craft with my kids.  But when we try, I get so frustrated that they don't want to listen and then I may or may not end up talking with a raised voice (some might call this yelling, I do not) and then what was supposed to be a fun project ends up with us all pissed at each other.

14 year olds are much better at this than I am.  Happy crafting!

Love and peace,


Saturday, January 21, 2012

The NEW kids shows

Okay, moms and dads of preschoolers and toddlers, this is for you.  Have you all noticed a difference in the new shows that have been introduced on Nick and Nick Jr. lately?  Specifically, I am referring to Team Umizoomi and Bubble Guppies.

Is anyone else disturbed by the strange new twists these shows appear to be taking?  Bubble Guppies, for instance, takes place entirely underwater.  And the characters are mermaid type creatures.  Yet the backdrop for these shows includes trees, parks and cars.  Last time I checked these things were not typically found in an underwater type atmosphere.  Are we confusing and scarring our children for life by allowing them to watch this show and other equally weird programs?  Oh and I should mention that my kids freaking love this show.  We could be having the mother of all meltdowns and the tune for Bubble Guppies starts up and they are enthralled.  I shouldn't be complaining, it is really rather wonderful.  But, damn, the premise is just plain weird.

No weirder, I supposed than Dora, the 8-ish year old little girl who goes on adventures with her talking monkey friend, Boots with nary a parental figure in sight.  No weirder than Max & Ruby, the creepy little rabbits living in a house again with no parental figures to be seen.  Ruby appears to also be about 8-ish and she apparently is the only caregiver for the non-talking toddler aged Max, who is constantly getting into trouble.  And don't get me started on Peppa Pig.  That british pig family has some serious issues.

Then there is Team Umizoomi.  A group of miniature super heroes rushing through a city in their Zoomi car using "math powers" to save real live children from some sort of child-like catastrophe is an, ahem, interesting concept, to say the least.  But my kids love this show too!  And they count along and answer the questions and laugh so who I am to judge.  It would appear as though they are learning something.  It's just so weird.

Also, along the same vein, do you think it's weird that some kids are Nick Jr. kids while other kids are PBS kids?  PBS kids are those that enjoy Sesame Street, Barney, Dinosaur Train and Caillou.  Nick Jr. kids are those that enjoy Dora, Diego, Wonder Pets, Bubble Guppies, etc.  Is one better than the other?  When the boys were little, we watched Sesame Street and Barney, but it didn't keep their attention.  Imagine my shock when I would flip over to Nick Jr. and the talking chick, turtle and guinea pig from Wonder Pets would captivate them.  So from that point forward, I was on Nick Jr.'s team for sure.  Every once in a while I try Sesame Street on Netflix or Dinosaur Train.  Hell, I've even put on Barney.  Nothing.  I can't even get them to watch it for a second.  It's like they have this pre-ordained destiny to be Nick Jr. kids.

Now isn't that weird?

Love and peace,


Friday, January 20, 2012

Play by play

Our lives are pretty boring around here (pun intended). I actually can't believe how quickly the days do go by. I swear yesterday was just Christmas. Of course, it still looks like Christmas, but whatever. It has to come down this week because we are having mom, dad and mommo over for dinner on Sunday. I can't be entertaining with all this shit still all over my house. Nope, sure can't.

So anyhow, what do you do everyday Andrea, you might be wondering? Or not, but I'm gonna tell you anyway.

Thankfully, the turkeys have been sleeping relatively late in the mornings. One of them usually trots into our room around 7:12. I can usually talk that kid into snuggling with me for about 15 minutes and then we get up to begin our day. I find I am the most productive from about 7:45 - 8:45. After they get up, we put on big boy pants (they are still in diapers for the overnights) and then they have a cup of milk. I make their beds and then mine, if David is at work.  I unload the dishwasher and load it with the 6 dishes David managed to dirty between 10pm and midnight and clean the counters that he managed to make filthy during the same time frame.  Husbands.

By that time turkeys usually need to pee, so we head to the bathroom and they do their deed.  They still get super excited every time they pee in the pot, so it puts a smile on my face first thing in the morning.  Then I get them dressed and I try to talk them into breakfast.  Doesn't always work, but most mornings they have some kind of sugary laced cereal like Apple Jacks or Trix.  Please spare me any comments about how bad it is for my kids.  For the reasons why I don't care, click here.  I toss in a load of laundry and maybe, just maybe fold the load that always seems to be in the dryer.  Some days are better than others on this front.

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we all head to the gym together where I get my ass kicked in my Boot Camp style class and they do crafts and watch Dora.  I don't think that is exactly fair, however, they are probably a little too young for Boot Camp so I will let them off the hook.  This time.  After the gym, we usually head to the grocery store or Target to pick up whatever necessities I need to keep our household in order.  If there is no place I need to go, then we will typically stop at one of the 25 parks near our home to burn off some energy (i.e. get them tired enough to nap).  Then head home for lunch.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, they go to school and I come home with the greatest of intentions of doing housework, but I usually will get sucked into a book or Pinterest or blogging and barely remember to take a shower before I have to pick them up.  Then we head home for lunch.

After lunch, they play for about an hour and I start trying get them to fall asleep by 1:30.  Sometimes they fall asleep quickly, other days they don't fall asleep until 3.  On the days I don't work, I don't really care how late they sleep, but on the days I do work, we have to be out the door by 4.  I drop them at mom's and off I go.

I work 4 evenings a week and on Thursdays I have a MOMs group I attend.  The other two evenings are spent with David or my mom and dad.

Don't be jealous, but on the nights I am home and David is working late, my mommy cooks me dinner.  She is the most wonderful woman in the world.  We are so beyond grateful for everything she does for us.

So that's it.  That's what our days look like.  Nothing too terribly exciting.  If I start my class in the next few weeks, I will have to make some adjustments for some study time, but it shouldn't be too drastic.

Love and peace,


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Have you ever

Have you ever wanted something really really badly?  I mean really?  And I'm not speaking materially here.  I am speaking spiritually and whole life-ish?  I'll tell you what I want and what I have been begging God for weeks to know.

I want to know what my mission in this life is.

I can't help but feel as though I am destined for great things.  I hope that doesn't sound grandoise or egotistical or any other non flattering adjectives.  Great, non-traditional things.  I just don't know what they are yet, and that is frustrating.  So I've been praying and asking God to give me a sign, a knock over the head, a whisper in my ear, something, anything, so that I know what it is I am meant to do in this life.

My children are only going to be under my care 24/7 for another 2 years and then a good chunk of their care will be in the hands of educators.  What am I going to do? What in the world am I going to do with my time?  I do want to be involved in their activities, but I want to do something for me too.  I want to do something I love.  I want to do something I am passionate about.  Oh, and I do want to be paid for it.  I just don't know what that is yet.  I know that God will answer me and I hope that I am strong enough to listen.

I started taking classes in the fall in order to prepare for a degree in sonography.  I thought that's what I wanted, but I haven't been feeling it in my gut for a few weeks now.  And I don't want to spend any more money on something I'm not sure I want to do.  

Been there, done that and have 100K in student loans to show for it.  

I went to law school because I didn't really know what else to do.  I had a degree in Criminal Justice and no desire to go into the workforce.  So I said, hey, what the hell?  I'm pretty smart, I am interested in the law, let's go 100K in debt and go to school to get a degree in something you are really not sure you want to do forever. Brilliant, Andrea, just brilliant.  I have no regrets in my life, law school included.  Because not only did I learn the law and its intricacies while there, but I learned so much more about myself.  The 100K was definitely worth that. 

I don't want to just guess at my next path, I want to know.  I have made enough not too well formed decisions in my life.  I want this one to be carefully and prayerfully though out.  I want to make the best decision for my family, for myself and for the people I am meant to serve.

The time is quickly approaching where I want to do something in addition to being a mom.  That desire is incredibly strong.  I love being "Hayden and Logan's mommy" but I want to be "Andrea" too.  I think that by figuring out my mission in this life, I will be a stronger and better role model and mom for my children.  

I can't really express how strongly I want to use my talents, whatever they may be to help others.  I know I want to help others know God.  I want everyone to know how much God loves them.  I know I want to help others learn to become debt free and stay debt free.  I want to help others others with my empathy and love.  I want to help others while growing myself spiritually.  

That's all.  Is that too much to ask?

Love and peace


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Mall

Yesterday, I picked the turkeys up from school and decided we would venture on down to the mall for a little chick fil a action.  Plus, I think our mall is one of the only malls left that has a pet store.  So turkeys get to see some puppies, too.  They scored big yesterday as not one, but two puppies were playing in the little play area.  The boys got the biggest kick out of watching those animals play with each other.

I kept telling them that the puppies were acting like Hayden and Logan.  What with the wrestling around, nipping, and toy stealing that was going on.  They didn't seem to get it.  Everytime one of the puppies would jump up to lick his hand, Logan would erupt with the funniest cackle I think I have ever heard.  It was so loud, that people outside the pet store were glancing in trying to determine what the hell the sound was.  Amusing.

Then, out of nowhere, my kids took off out of the store and ran directly towards the nearest danger they could find, the escalator.  Seriously, one second we were looking at puppies and next, they both said, "Let's go Mommy" and took off.  Holy hell, I didn't really know I could run that fast, but I caught them before they launched themselves down the moving stairs.  I've never been a fan of punishment in public, so those boys were lucky that didn't get their little tails spanked and spanked hard.  It was time to go after that.

Unfortunately, it seems that once that have that one out of control moment, then it's all over.  There is no reining the monsters in after that.  There is no listening, there is no staying with mommy, there is only running and screaming.  I do the only thing I can do, pray that we all make it out of the mall in one piece.  I have been known from time to time to scoop one under my right arm and one under my left arm and make a run for it.  Of course, now that they are 40 lbs each, it is becoming a tad more difficult.  But I can do it and I did it yesterday.

I can only imagine what I looked like.  At least I wore makeup.  Hopefully, that took a little bit of the madness out of my eyes.

Peace and love


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Costco can be your best friend and your worst enemy.  Just in case you have been living under a rock for the past seven years and don't know what I am talking about, Costco is just like Sam's Club.  And if you don't know what that is, then there is no help for you.  At all.  

We got our first membership to Costco back in Des Moines, IA.  When Costco opened its doors around 2005, people in Des Moines went crazy.  I wasn't sure what all the hub bub was about.  We had a membership to Sam's Club and thought that was perfectly fine.  But we got sucked into the trendiness that is the Costco and got a membership there too.  As far as I'm concerned the Costco pays for it's yearly membership with 1, yes that is one box of trash bags.  Before I had kids, one of those $14.99 boxes would last us an entire year.  Amazing.

Oh, Costco.  I miss the good old days.  The days when I didn't know or recognize the name Dave Ramsey.    The days when I didn't budget and really had no idea how much money we really had or how much we really spent.  The days, when I would go to the Costco with only toilet paper and laundry detergent on my list and walk out $400 poorer with a bunch of shit we didn't need.  Sigh.  

Now I take my kids to Costco for our $8 lunch which includes 2 pieces of cheese pizza, a hot dog, a soda, a cup of ice cream plenty big enough for the boys to split and a chocolate dipped ice cream bar.  As the boys eat their ice cream, I plop them in the double basket shopping cart and we meander through the giant warehouse to look at all the shit I don't need.  I actually don't even have a Costco membership anymore.  I ask my mom to go with us when I need toilet paper, detergent, trash bags, paper towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shaving cream.  Yep, that is all I buy from the Costco now.  

I am not quite ready to trust myself with a Costco membership. Too many old habits could come back to tempt me.  "Yes, Andrea, you definitely need that 64gb flash drive that is on sale for $50," my old brain would scream at me.  While my new brain would say, "64gb is a probably a touch excessive.  You probably only need an 8gb and that is only $10 at Walmart."  But I am definitely not ready for that kind of a test.

See.  Costco can be your worst enemy.

I actually saw this 85 year old couple today almost get into a knock out drag down fight over a toilet.  The cute little old lady was admiring a toilet, yes I said toilet.  Costco has everything.  Her crusty old husband says, 

"Ida, we don't need a toilet." 

 The lady, presumably Ida, replies, "But Carl, it is only $85."

"No, Ida.  We do not need a toilet,"  Carl snarls.

"Humph!"  Ida stalks away.

Let's just say, I would not want to be in the car for that ride back to the house.

Love and peace,


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dear Pinterest

Dear Pinterest:

You and me, we're gonna have some problems.  You see, I am already not the best housekeeper, wife, or mom.  I really do not need you in my life.  Because as soon as I type in the letters my day might as well be over.  I could even try to ignore you but my browser has other ideas.  All I have to do is type in www.p and you pop up.  Even my computer is trying to stop my domestic duties.

It's rather ironic though.  Because I spend the majority of my time on Pinterest looking at home organization ideas and cleaning tips.  Huh.  Here's a tip:  Get the EFF off of the computer Andrea.

This kinda reminds of when the boys were babies and I discovered facebook.  All they did was sleep for hours at a time, so I would be on facebook for hours at a time.  Of course, then my house wasn't as messy because I didn't have two toddlers systematically destroying it AND I had a housekeeper.  So I could justify my internet addiction, then.  Now, not so much.  Whew, if you could only see my floors.

All you brilliant tech junkies need to stop creating things for us stay at home moms to use as procrastination tools.  How are we supposed to teach our children to take over the world when they are sitting on my lap looking at "pretty kitchens, mommy," or "aww cute babies, mommy."  Hell, how I am supposed to get motivated to clean my kitchen when it will never look like this, even when it is sparkly and clean:


So after muddling through and figuring out how Pinterest works, it is all over.  I am addicted and I need help.  Somebody needs to create an online support group and pin it, please!!!  Or maybe someone can invent a robot that cleans my house for me, for free, now there is a brilliant idea!

Not so much love,


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dear 16 year old me

I heard a segment on a morning talk radio show today entitled:  “Dear 16-year-old me.”  It is not a new concept by any means.  All of us wish we could impart the wisdom we have now into our 16 year old selves.  I have no true regrets in life.  I believe I am exactly at the point I need to be and all the decisions, good and bad, have gotten me to this point.  That being said, however, there are still some things I wish I could tell a younger version of myself.  So here is my letter.  Caveat:  this is a letter to myself from about ages 15-21, not just my 16 year old self.

Dear Younger, Less Wrinkled, Skinnier Version of Me:

Do not turn your back on God.  He is the one constant in your life. 

Listen to your parents.  They actually do know what they are talking about.  They are not trying to torture you by not letting you get into a car with boys before the age of 16.  They are trying to keep you alive, not trying to ruin your social life.  I promise.

Sex does not equal love.  At all.  Period.  End of story.

Family is more important than friends. 

That being said, it is not the number of friends you have, but the quality of the friendships you maintain.

Do not take out student loans.  They are the devil.

Do not apply for credit cards.  Save for what you want to buy and then it will feel so much better than making payments on it.  Novel idea, huh?

Tell the people you love each and every day that you do love them.

Listen.  Take a minute and really listen to what people are saying to you and take a minute to respond.

Think about the words you do say and the impact they will have on other people. 

Do not drink firewater.  It may be cinnamon flavored, but it does not taste good and tastes even worse coming back up.  Same goes for Jim Beam.

Do not procrastinate all semester, only to learn all the material for the exam by pulling an all nighter the night before.  Contrary to popular belief, “pulling an all-nighter” is not a badge of honor, more like, I was a slacker.

When you are wrong, say you are sorry and move forward, do not run away or try to avoid the person you hurt. 

Bad boys are just that…BAD with a capital B.A.D.

Remember:  If he cheated on you once, he will cheat on you again.

Your three best qualities are your integrity, your loyalty and your ability to love.  Don’t ever forget that, you idiot version of the younger me. 

Seriously, do not get that “cute little violet” tattooed on your hip to impress your new sorority sisters, because at age 33, that violet ain’t cute anymore.  Sigma Kappa forever!

Love yourself, be true to yourself, and do not compromise your integrity for anyone.

And for crying out loud, do not, I repeat do not ever wear those thigh tights i.e. Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.  They are NOT cool.


An Older and Infinitely Wiser Version of You

I hope you all enjoyed my little letter.  Have a happy thursday!

Love and peace


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10 things I'd rather do than put away Christmas decorations

It is January 11, 2012 and my Christmas decorations are still up.  There is very little I like less than putting away Christmas decorations hence my apprehension and lateness in actually hauling all the crap out and making my house festive enough to satisfy everyone. 

I remember Christmas circa 2001.  I am pretty sure my Christmas decorations in my lovely little apartment in Dayton OH stayed up until April 2002 and I am not even kidding. 

Last year, I think, I think they were down before the month of February.  The year before, definitely right before Valentine’s day.  I could write a book and name it:  “Slacker of the year.”  At least when it comes to Christmas decorations.

So the kids are napping and instead of taking s#%t down and putting my house back to the way it looks the rest of the year, I decided I would compile a list.

10 Things I would rather do than take down Christmas decorations:

1.     Go to the grocery store with the turkeys and we all know how much I love that task.
2.     Scrub my baseboards.  Yes, I would rather drag out a bucket complete with soap and sponge, get down on my old ass hands and knees and scrub my disgusting baseboards than put away Christmas Decorations.
3.     Change the sheets on my boys’ twin beds (it only takes 10 minutes, but you try wrestling with a twin bed that is extra deep and pushed up against the wall and then do it with the other one)
4.     Deep clean my refrigerator.  Even with the bag of peas and carrots emptied in the bottom of the freezer.  I could blame it on the kids but that was my f-up for sure.
5.     Get a bikini wax. 
6.     Fold and put away 25 loads of laundry in a row.
7.     Paint every single room in the house, 3 times over.
8.     Clean up pee from the bathroom floor.
9.     Wake up 30 times at night with alternating twin boys and then get up for the day at six without coffee.
10. Deal with health insurance customer service people who can barely speak English for 6 hours straight.

Well, I think you must get my drift by now.  Hope you all have a happy evening.  I am going to have a great evening by not putting away Christmas decoration and stalking pinterest with a glass of wine.

By the way, does anyone know how the hell pinterest works? 

Love and peace


Friday, January 6, 2012

Without a hitch

Well, our first day of school came and went with barely any drama.  Shocking, really, considering when we went to visit the classroom last month Hayden was shaking and crying so uncontrollably that you would have thought I was taking him to a torture chamber rather than school and I almost nixed the idea of preschool until they turned 13 AND I didn’t even leave that day, we just “observed.”

So imagine my surprise, when we strapped the little Thomas the Train backpacks on their backs (which I got on clearance at Toys R’ Us for $6 thankyouverymuch) and trotted on up to their classroom with nary a tear.  Hayden, whom I was expecting to freak the eff out, sauntered right on in, dropped his backpack and sat down at the table like he had been doing this for years. 

Logan took off out the door screeching.  Go figure.  If it’s not one, it’s the other.  That is going to be my mantra for the rest of my life, I am sure. 

So we left and before we had even finished signing them out, Logan was all settled down.  Huhmmm…whaddya know?

So what did I do with my first morning of freedom you might wonder or maybe not.  But I am going to tell you.

I did absolutely nothing. 

My house is kind of a disaster.  The floors need to be swept, Christmas decorations need to be put away, tubs need to be scrubbed, laundry needs to be folded, the dishwasher needs to be put emptied and reloaded, and the list goes on and on and on.  I did none of it.  I did however, manage to make the beds, but I did that before I left this morning, so that probably doesn’t really count. 

For 3 hours (well 2 ½ really, but who’s counting), I sat outside and read a book and drank a little coffee.  I tried to lay down for a bit, but I probably should not have had the coffee before I tried that little endeavor.  It was glorious.  I figure Tuesday is when I’ll start to be super Suzy Homemaker again.  But today, today I just relished in the silence.  It was a beautiful thing and I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty. 

Love and peace


Thursday, January 5, 2012


Mechanics are some shady mother eff-ers.   Well, isn’t that unpolitically correct for me to say especially given my rant the other day against others who made broad generalizations about all Iowans when the media only shows glimpses of the idiot Iowans.  Ok, ok, let me clarify.  Mechanics at Sun Devil Auto are some shady mother eff-ers.  Better?  Good.

Oh, and I must mention I have been banned from actually saying the f-bomb on my blog.  BUT I can still say other swear words, in limited amounts and I can use “eff” as a substitute.  Which kinda pissed me off when a certain someone I live with asked me not to use it anymore.  But, the more I think about that more I must admit that he is probably right.  After all, I do post this to my facebook page and I do have some friends including relatives who are at an impressionable age.  So, here I am only 20 posts in and I’ve already been censured.  Humphhh…I still love you honey, don’t worry.

Anyhow, back to my original thought.  David’s car, which we purchased in June 2011, started leaking copious amounts of liquid last week.  It wasn’t oil.  It wasn’t transmission fluid.  Well, he discovered what it was when he flipped on the a/c yesterday in downtown Phoenix.  His a/c did not work and his car temperature rose to about the temperature of the sun which is just my non-professional estimation.   So today we took it in the shop for an oil change and a little peek.

Against my gut, we took it to Sun Devil auto.  See a couple of years ago when I had the giant gas guzzling SUV, I took it there for an oil change.  The guy at checkout informed me that my battery was very low and would likely die in the next few days.  He even tried to use my rugrats as leverage to get me to pony up for a new $150 battery.  I said, no, not today and went on my merry way.

Fast forward 8 months, yes I said EIGHT flipping months and my battery was still hauling our butts all over Phoenix.  I decided to bite the bullet and get a new one, because to be honest, we were due especially since the Arizona sun sucks the life out of batteries rather quickly.  But I did not go to Sun Devil Auto.  Nope, I went to the Walmart.

Today, as I was deciding where to take the car, I thought about Sun Devil.  So we decided to give them another chance.  Deciding factor:  it is within walking distance of our house.  I know, I know, excellent reason to take your car to a mechanic. 

So I get the call this afternoon.  The mechanic man/manager/boogeyman informed me that the car is in “excellent condition.”  It is leaking engine coolant, but besides that little $851 problem, it’s great.  Funny, huh?  I would not consider a vehicle that has an $851 problem to be in great condition.  Weird, I know.

So I did some calling around and then picked up a copy of the estimate to take to a couple of other places. 

The next place I went gave me an estimate of $705.  Getting better…  So I called Sun Devil and told them we would be picking up the vehicle in 20 minutes to take it elsewhere to get it repaired.  The guy proceeded to tell me that he would knock $200 off the price making the cost $651!  I about fell over.  I said, “Hold on, let me ask my husband.”  David looks at me incredulously and asks, “Why?”  So I asked the guy why.

He told me that he wanted our business and wanted to secure us for any future business and that if anyone beat his estimate then he always goes lower.  David and I didn’t have an answer to that one.  So I said sure, what the hell…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still think car mechanics can be some shady dudes at times and I probably still won’t go back to Sun Devil auto because he obviously didn’t give me his best price from the beginning and tried to sugarcoat the shit out of our $851 problem.  Excellent condition, my ass.   But I sure will let him charge him $200 less than the original estimate and walk out of there with my head held high. 

Peace and love


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Caucusing!

I am about over people bashing Iowa.  You know once every four years, the Iowa caucuses come around.  It’s no surprise.  Every year, people start hating on Iowans for no reason except that it happens to be a very rural state with some fairly simple-living people as residents. And every year, members of the media manage to find the biggest idiots imaginable to portray Iowa to the rest of the country. 

Are there idiots that live in Iowa?  Fuck yes!  But there idiots that live everywhere.  And Iowans are seriously some of greatest people I’ve ever met.

Is the capital of Iowa, Des Moines, smaller than my suburb of Mesa, AZ?  Yes.  But, it was kinda nice to get from one side of the city to other in 15 minutes or less.

Is there even a mall in Iowa?  Yes, you morons, of course there is.  There’s like 5, at least.

Funny story.  David had been a sous chef at PF Changs in Columbus for about a year.  He was doing his 500th  restaurant opening or something like that, in Minnesota at the time when he sat down with the bosses.  They offered him a promotion as culinary partner/executive chef at a brand new PF Changs slated to open in August 2004.  They told him about the position, responsibilities, etc.  My future husband accepted the promotion before asking what some might consider to be the most important question next to how much am I going to make?

Almost as an afterthought David asks, “Where?”

The big wigs, grinning widely, respond:  “West Des Moines.”

To which David, after thinking for a minute, responds:  “Iowa?”

I had pretty much the same reaction when he relayed the conversation to me during our nightly telephone call.  

“Iowa?  Really, you are moving to Iowa?”

“Yep, wanna go with me?”


It was that simple folks.  Keep in mind, I had only been dating him for about 6 weeks or so at this point.  Although I was a 25-year-old law school graduate and adult for well over 7 years, my parents understandably had some misgivings.  Thankfully, by this point they had realized that arguing with me when I had already made my mind up was futile.  And thankfully, they didn’t go apeshit.  I sure do love them for that.  I should mention that my parents absolutely adore David and I think sometimes they forget that I am their biological offspring, not him.  Kidding…maybe.

So in June 2004, we packed up our worldly possessions and began the trek across the Midwest to the fine state of Iowa. 

While there we met some of the best friends we will ever have.  While we do not talk every day, I know if we were ever in a bind, there are about 20 people we could call in Des Moines, IA that would come running.  We bought our first house there.  We had our children there.  We started our lives together there.

So yeah, it kinda pisses me off when people make generalizations about the people of Iowa.  After all, I used to be one of ‘em and I sure don’t like to think of myself as an “Idiot Out Walking Around.”  If anyone says that to me ever again,  you will probably get a giant “Eff you!”

Happy Caucusing Iowans!

Love and peace