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,


Monday, February 6, 2012

Vegas Recap: Come on Down!!!

So one of the highlights of our trip to Las Vegas was viewing “The Price is Right Live,”  hosted by none other than Joey Fatone of N’Sync stardom.  I do have to say he is much more handsome now as a thirty something dad than he ever was as a twenty something boy bander.  He even had a little gray in his beard that made us ladies swoon just a little.  Isn't it funny what becomes more attractive the older you get?

The show was scheduled to go on at 2:30 and the audience was required to be there by 12:30 to register.  This required a whole lotta patience and as many of you know patience is not a virtue I possess.  But I managed to make it through without punching one single person in the face.  Impressive, I know. 

The deal with this show is the producers select who is going down to contestants row.  There is no random drawing.  So when you get to the front of the line, you have about 10-POINT-2 seconds to make an impression.   Finally, we make it to the front and I give the gal my million dollar smile and mention how excited we are to be there blah, blah, blah.  I also manage to say that we were on a husband/kid free vacation and we were having a ball.  I tossed a couple of other semi-witty comments in there as well and off we went.  I didn’t have high hopes especially since Lady Luck had not been my friend thus far.

We had some time to kill so we played some slots, drank some beer, you know the same old shit we had been doing the rest of the time.  Finally, it was time to go into the theater.  We found our table, which was down near the front but off to the side.  We had a super sweet gal join our table named Melissa.  Turns out she graduated from Fairfield High School in 1993 (which is the school I attended until 1994).  I totally forgot to ask her maiden name.   So I don’t know  if I “knew” her or not.  R-A-N-D-O-M!

Right before the show started, an usher came by and offered us a table dead center in front of the stage.  So away we went.  The show began with some guy named Andy from “The Last Comic Standing” doing a little sketch.  I did not recognize him, but some other people did.  He was pretty amusing.  I didn’t laugh out loud but he coerced a couple of chuckles out of me.  And then it was time….

Joey Fatone was introduced and he came into the audience and guess who shook his hand?  Yep, this girl.  OMG!  OMG!  OMG!  Okay, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I was more of a Backstreet Boy fan myself and if it had been that Kevin guy I probably would have fainted dead into his arms.  Anywho, Andy, who was also the announcer, called down the first four contestants.  I should also mention that there are four new people called up for each game.  So it does vary from the show in that way.

And I swear the only thing that kept repeating itself in my mind was the following:

“The Price is Wrong Bitch.” 

I couldn’t help it, it just kept popping up.  And I kept wanting to say it out loud.  I didn’t, but damn, I wanted to. 

So round 3 or 4 comes around and the 1st name is announced, the 2nd name is announced, the 3rd name is announced and then I hear:

“Andrea Boring, Come on Down.  You are the next contestant on The Price is Right.”

OMG!  OMG!  OMG!  I am going to pee my pants.  I am going to pee my pants.  No really, if I get up on stage I am going to pee my pants.  See I had used the ladies room right before the show started but apparently I consumed too much beer to make it the hour and a half length of the program.   And when they called my name, my bladder was SCREAMING.  I just can't hold it as long as I could 5 years and 2 kids ago.

People I am not even kidding, if my “bid had been closest to the actual retail price without going over” I would have totally and utterly embarrassed myself by either a) excusing myself from the game to make a mad dash to the bathroom or b) peed my pants on stage in front of hundreds of people and a pseudo celebrity. 

So they bring out the “item up for bid” which is an Olympus digital camera.  I was thinking $99, and I looked at Trace and she was saying $79 so I went with $79.  The next bid was like $200, the next was $85, then $120.

Actual retail price was $179.  WTF?!  Seriously, this is the camera and it retails for like $100 but whatever, I seriously didn’t care because losing meant I could go PEE and not completely embarrass myself in the process. 


One of the funniest moments of the program occurred in between games.  It was announced before the show started that in between pricing games, instant winners would be chosen.  If your name was called, you were NOT to “come on down.”  You were to remain in your seat and at the end of the program you would receive your prize.  Clearly some folks in the audience did not have their listening ears on during these explicit instructions.  Not once, but TWO times in a row when an instant winner’s name was drawn, she came running down.  It was beyond hilarious especially with Joey Fatone’s commentary on the matter.  

It was a fun experience and I did get a free T-shirt, which I proceeded to leave in the hotel room upon departure.

Love and peace,


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vegas Recap: What happened to my house when I was gone

Well, I am home and all rested up.  While I was away pretending to be a rock star in Las Vegas, my husband cleaned the house, organized the laundry closet, the master closet, the top of the fridge, the playroom, the pantry.  All the places that are a disorganized mess, but at least I know exactly where everything is.

Caveat directed specifically to my husband:  Now, honey, I know you will read this and please, please, please do not think I don't appreciate your efforts.  This post is meant to be funny and other women will totally and completely understand the humor in it.  You will not.  Please don't divorce me or refuse to clean ever again.  I love you and am so grateful for you in more ways than one.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.  As I walked into my house, the first room I noticed was the play room.  Spectacularly organized and picked up!  Loved it.  Then I saw the pantry, again, beautifully organized according to category.  Perfect.  He is grinning wildly when he points out the reorganized cabinets and gleaming stainless steel cannisters.  I am like a zombie on my feet, at this point in time so I just continued thanking him as he gleefully shows me all his hard work.

Then I noticed my pile of papers was missing from next to the charging station and my basket of medicines is not on the the ledge.  The warning bells start whistling ever so slightly.  You all know what I mean.  Oh, good God what has he done with all my stuff!

I walk into the bedroom where he has cleaned off the dresser and moved shit all around.  Where were my pile of papers, that were right next to the printer, I asked as sweetly as humanly possible.  He pointed to behind the printer where he had gathered all of my papers from all over the house and placed them.

Now yes, I do have a filing system, I just only file all the crap once about every 6 weeks.  Okay, so maybe it isn't much of a system, but whatever.  I look at all the mail that comes in and it goes in one of 3 stacks throughout the house.  But I know exactly what is in each of the those 3 stacks.  I know there are has got to be someone out there who does the same.  Anyone?

Anyhow, yesterday morning, I arose with the turkeys at 7.  Mind you, they had slept well past 8am for Daddy that past couple of days.  I was still exhausted and sluggishly moving throughout the house.  The kids wanted some yogurt for breakfast so I get the tubes out of the fridge and of course my fingers don't want to cooperate in the opening of the tube of yogurt so I reach for my scissors in my glass of pens which is usually right next to the sink.  The cup and scissors are not there.

I open a couple of drawers before the annoyance reaches its boiling point.  I stalk into the bedroom where I jolt my husband out of his peaceful slumber and I lovingly say,

"Where the EFF are the scissors and my pens?"  I then launch into a full diatribe.  "You do this every time you clean.  You always move my cup of scissors and pens.  I use that cup every day.  I like where it is.  Do not touch it ever again!  Now where the eff are my scissors in pens."

He looks at me and grumbles, "In the basket, on top of the fridge."


Why on God's green earth he decided that would be a good place to put them, I do not know. After cutting open the boys tubes o' yogurt, I put my damn cup with the scissors and pens right back where it belonged.  Did I stop there?  Oh, no.

I started to do laundry.  I started the water, dragged the dirty clothes into the hallway and looked for the little cup to dispense the detergent into.  What I find is a clearly old, gummy not-meant-for-2x-concentrated-laundry-detergent cup.  So I stalk in there again.

"Where is the cup for the laundry soap?"

"On the shelf."

"You mean this disgusting, not correct thingy."  Huff, sigh, stomp out.

Not one of my prouder mornings.  I was definitely high up there on the bitch-o-meter.

I, of course, much later, profusely apologized but let him know that it is difficult to not know where things are, especially when you are a control freak.  I really wish I had some tape to put over my mouth sometimes.  I'm sure he does too.

Then, as I am getting ready for work that afternoon, I am searching high and low for my tie.  I remember specifically leaving it on my dresser.  No tie.  The other place I often leave it, is on top of my fridge.  No tie.  But I did find my basket of medicines.  Huh.

I am close yet again to reaching the boiling point when I decide to check the laundry basket.  There at the bottom, it lay.

My work shoes were another story.  I had to call him for that one.  I was nice this time.

"Hi honey.  Where are my work shoes?"

"Which shoes are those?"

"My black skechers."  I was gritting my teeth at this point, but held it in.

"Oh, those are in the blue tub in the back of the closet."

"What the He--  never mind, 'kay thanks, bye."

I'll have more about the actual trip to vegas Monday.  I can't wait to tell you about Lady Luck, ice and my experience on "The Price is Right Live."

Love and peace,


Friday, February 3, 2012

Egads! Vegas recap..Part UNO

Hi kids.  Have you had a nice week?  Mine was just ok.  Kidding.

IT WAS FREAKING FABULOUS!  Of course right about now, I feel about 15 years older and my body aches in places I didn't even know could ache. But whatever, it was totally worth it.

You may or may not have heard, but I went to sin city to hang with a couple of girlfriends.  And I am on my way home to one recovering kid and another sick one and a husband that probably is climbing the walls.

But that's all right because sick or not, I miss my turkeys and my hubby and can't wait to snuggle with all of them.

So here I am sitting in the airport killing some time and I thought I would begin my blog post about my trip to Las Vegas, NV.  Cause, you know, I have a little bit of time until my flight leaves.

I pulled a total rookie move. I let the shuttle bus people freak me out with all their, "You know the TSA (or some equally ridiculous group) strongly recommends that you arrive at the airport 2 hours early...blah, blah, blah.  Then the shuttle bus people again tried to scare me by telling me it could take up to an hour to get to the airport...blah, blah, blah.  So against my better judgment, I let myself be bullied by into leaving entirely too early.  

At this precise moment in time I am sitting on the floor next to the only electrical outlet to be found with my computer plugged into the wall and even after going through security, I have 2 1/2 hours to go.  Las Vegas' McCarran Airport does not hold a candle to Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport at least in terms of available electrical outlets and wifi connection speeds.

Seriously Sky Harbor is the Rolls Royce of convenience for the techie geeks who have to get on their laptop even when they only have 2 minutes until their flight boards.  There are these high top long tables with bar stools and numerous electrical outlets.  There were probably 5 separate tables around my gate in Phoenix.  Vegas, not so much.  As mentioned, my ass is sitting on the floor, next to a water fountain.  Yeah, pretty effing insane.

Speaking of insanity.  Remember how I wrote this post prior to departing for the city of sin?  Yeah, well, I reserve the right, as the author to rescind all comments made regarding my quest for sleep.  I blew that out of the water the first night when we were stumbling home from the casino at 7am.

Yes, I said 7am.  Did I mention that I also called my dad to share in my jubilation of staying up for 25 straight hours?  Um, yeah.  Apparently, I also forgot to tell my dad to keep my little telephone call a secret because he definitely told my mom, who in turn told my husband.  If it weren't for that little chain of events then you would not have known I stayed awake well past dawn because nobody would have known.  Because...

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!!

Unless you drunk-dial your dad at 7 o'clock in the morning.  Stay tuned, there is much more to come.

Love and peace,