Thursday, June 30, 2011

To the Moon Alice!

So here’s something my stay at home mom friends didn’t tell me . . . the more you are with your children, the more they will want to be with you. AND, the “baby” in the family is the worst offender. Well that’s true in our family. The Id is clingy like Saran Wrap, and we’re not talking the cheap generic kind that impersonates Saran Wrap. No, we’re talking the name brand sh*t that you cannot pry off your dishes. The kind my mom buys because my dad doesn’t notice that it’s name brand, whereas if it doesn’t say Kirkland, my husband wants me to take it back (I say wants because he’d never “make” me take it back, he’d just make annoyed comments about the Saran Wrap every time he sees it – that’s not the hill for me to die on, so we have Kirkland brand in our house).
Back to “Cling on” (aka the Id) . . . we were again in the hobby store (yup, been hangin’ out there a lot – how else can I make all these craft projects?!) and the Id was literally hanging on my leg. So, I said to her “To the Moon, Alice!” Even though my husband and I were not alive during the Honeymooners run, it’s a show that lives in infamy and every time our kids are makin’ us crazy, we pull out that line to let them know in our sarcastic and funny way that they’re makin’ us nuts. Maybe threatening to send your kids to the moon is not the best parenting tactic, but it’s at least entertaining and why else did we have kids?!
So I say this to the Id in the store and a woman who clearly was alive during the Honeymooners says to her “now you don’t want to go there, dear”! EEEEEEK, I’m just gettin’ in trouble with this kid all over the place!
Which leads to today’s lessons. I left my husband and two older girls at the airport to go to Colorado and the Id couldn’t be happier – for the next 4 days she has mommy all to herself and she has all kinds of plans for me, her and the two life-sized stuffed animals we won at the Fair. She feels that she needs to fabricate some friends, so over the next few days we’ll share our life-sized stuffed animal adventures. But, in the meantime, mommy decided she needed to recharge her batteries to get herself ready for the days ahead. So, I went on a girls night out to see my friend Laura Roppe’s band – Cool Band Luke at Humphrey’s backstage.
Here’s what I learned:
1) Wednesday nights, while not always as happening as weekends, are pretty happening down there on Shelter Island!
2) Do not do a girls night out without the “girls” part. It’s not the same until BFF Molly gets there.
3) Its so nice to know that when you come home to the house that your nanny cleaned, at least 2/3 of it will stay that way because 3/5 of your family is gone for the next 4 days.
Family Fun for today – Candy Rockets. Today I made candy rockets from Martha Stewart. In 40 minutes I made 6 of the candy rockets you see here. They are clip art on card stock, taped together and then filled with Jolly Ranchers. These were so easy and the kids enjoyed them (although I was informed by the Ego that she hates Jolly Ranchers and why couldn’t I pick a different candy when I know that). Here’s a lesson – always consult with your children before surprising them with sugar because they may “hate” it, even though it was their favorite yesterday.
Tomorrow, it's life-sized adventures chosen by the Id and the banana.

Come get me quick, you won't like what they're doing to me . . .

This phrase was made infamous by my cousin Sam from a letter he sent home to his parents after he arrived for his first experience at sleep away summer camp. Of course, in some families, the parents would have sympathy for a child who went to such great lengths to describe his displeasure. Not in my family . . . no, in our family moments like these are seized and forevermore brought up to embarrass you at family reunions. No wonder people hate those things. Poor Sam has just graduated college and this moment in time is still haunting him.

I’m certain that the Id is actually the child who would send me such a note, but just in case, I had a solution for when I sent the Superego and the Ego off to camp this week . . . I went to the Disney Family Fun website and printed out their pre-printed letters with stickers. The worst they have in those letters is that the food “isn’t that tasty”! I’ll let you know if this keeps the "come get me quick" requests at bay.

In the meantime, here are my lessons learned from packing my children for summer camp:

1) DO NOT begin packing at 1pm on a Saturday when you will be having company coming over for dinner at 6pm. At 5:55 it still looked like a bomb had gone off in our living room.

2) Just buy new socks and underwear. Do I really need to label every single sock and piece of underwear for a two week stay?! First of all, I probably don’t want the underwear back anyway, and second, the socks will be so filthy it will be worth $6.49 to buy new pairs when they get home. After about pair 3 I decided to give up that little endeavor.

3) You probably don’t need to label the foot odor spray you slip into one of your children’s footlockers. If she loses it you really don’t want that to be traced back to her . . . the entire cabin will know who it belongs to anyway!

Resource: I bought the labels for my kids’ camp stuff at The labels are really cute and appear durable. I’ll let you know in 2 weeks. One drawback, they were really expensive, but apparently $40 is the going rate for name labels – it came with about 300 (which you would think would have been enough), but that wasn’t quite enough to cover everything. Oh, and don’t tell my husband that I spent $80 on name labels. After this week I think he’s going to start putting me on an allowance!

And, the bomb pops – once again, Disney Family Fun is the bomb!!! As I was trying to find fun things to send to my kids at camp, the homemade bomb pops caught my eye. So, in my need for some “family fun” today, I decided to make those bomb pops. Holy cow are those things good!!!! But, lesson learned, do not require that your children finish their entire dinner (that was antipasto salad) in order to get one. Only one of three was eligible and now I have 11 bomb pops and 2 of the kids are leaving tomorrow for summer camp. Ooooops, who’s going to eat them now?!

Tomorrow’s family fun . . . Girls Night Out!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Manicures, pedicures and hormones, oh my!

So it dawned on me today as I was driving with the top down on my car with my three blonde little cuties . . . that I gave birth to three girls. Think about this for a second . . . three girls (again, that Al Roker echo thing happens). This means that for the rest of my life I will be entertaining three girls (when I put it in italics, it’s my way of doing the echo thing through type). There will be no boy scout overnights, no guys nights out, no football games (well, ok, there might still be football games), no golf outings (ok, my husband doesn’t golf, but they’d find something to do all day) do I need to go on?!

Holy crap, I think I’m exhausted now?! . . . we’ve only just begun.

And that leads me to today’s lessons learned. For today’s “Family Fun” I went old school and just e-mailed a girlfriend about a playdate. She suggested that we take the girls for haircuts and manis and pedis. This was perfect because the girls hadn’t had a haircut in probably 9 months and they’re leaving in 2 days for summer camp. What better time to get your nails done?! :)

Well, here are my lessons learned. Today I have four because they were all too good to pass up.

Lessons from the beauty salon and beyond:

1. Before planning a “fun” outing with your girls, be sure to check the hormone levels and social calendar of your 9 year old. She will make you absolutely miserable all the way there because she would rather be back at the Boys & Girls Club playing with her friends.

2. Children are like dogs who can smell fear . . . they can smell when you’re in a hurry, and that’s their cue to throw a tantrum, go slower than molasses, or decide that their legs are now broken and they cannot walk. They don’t care what’s at the other end of the rush, they’re not moving.

3. a. (This lesson has two parts) Do not believe your five year old when she tells you that if you take her with you rather than leaving her at the Boys & Girls Club she will be good when you are running errands.

3. b. Five year olds still need a nap, and when you find yourself trying to “out shout” your five year old, remember that it is your fault she did not get a nap today. Hair and nails were more important.

4. If you answer the phone when you are in the post office with the aforementioned five year old and the person on the other end asks “is this a good time”, always answer “no”. Responding in the affirmative and then trying to carry on a conversation while also mailing your children’s summer camp care packages and trying to keep the five year old from trying to break into someone’s P.O. Box with your car keys is just not a good strategy for winning mother of the year! AND, you still have to call your friend back because you didn’t really hear anything she was saying.

Priceless Quote from aforementioned five year old – Mommy and the Id are in the hobby store trying to buy items for Id’s sister’s camp care packages and The Id is making mommy so crazy that mommy says “You’re about to make me lose it sister.” And the Id’s response is “Lose it or Lose it Sister”. She was trying to say “Move it or lose it, sister” (ala Ace Ventura), but she was close. At that point, all I could do was laugh hysterically while the woman next to me contemplated calling CPS.

Today’s Resources: along the way I’ll provide feedback about the places we’ve been and things we’ve done. Today, I was not at all impressed with where we went. We had reservations for four girls to get their hair cut at Bambino’s hair salon off Carmel Country Rd. and they took three of the four girls quickly, but the fourth had to wait for 15 minutes. Also, when I asked them if they had a particular hair product, they informed me they were too busy to go check in the back. I was also underimpressed with how little they did with the girls’ hair once they finished. Chloe’s Carousel in Carmel Mountain does a much better job.

Had a similar experience at Nails 2000 right near Bambino’s. They did not have enough people to accommodate our reservation for four and the Id sat with her feet in the tub of hot water for ½ hour. I’m surprised there was anything left to paint by the time they got to her. The girls were none the wiser, but I was not happy.

Tomorrow we’ll tackle one of my family quotes that lives in infamy . . . “Come get me quick, you won’t like what they’re doing to me . . .” Also, homemade bomb pops.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fried Kool-aid and life-size bananas, what more can you ask for?!

Today we went to the Del Mar Fair. I’ll just cut right to the chase on this one.

Lessons learned from the Fair:

1) If you have three children and you decide it’s a good idea to play midway games so they can try to win prizes, make sure:
a. You actually have room in your car for multiple life-sized stuffed animals. Seriously, two adults, three children and a life-sized banana AND a life-sized teddy bear in a pick up truck . . . we thought that was a good idea?! and

b. Daddy won’t get kicked off the game after winning only two prizes. Between the three of them the children couldn’t carry these things, but you would have thought we took away her birthday with the reaction from our 9 year-old when she found out we couldn’t try to win a third prize.

2) Rushing to pack a lunch to go to the fair to “try to save money” is a waste of energy; the lure of bright lights and “Hash dogs” is too much for your husband to resist. What is a hash dog, you ask?! It’s a hot dog wrapped in hash browns and then deep fried. Lets just say that I made sure we had paid our life insurance premium before allowing my husband to indulge in that heart attack on a stick. Oh, and of course he didn’t stop there; he had to top it off with fried Kool-aid for dessert. What is it about the allure of fried foods that have no business being fried?!

3) Deep fried Kool-aid really is not worth the calories to you, but your kids will be in heaven – or maybe it just felt like that because they were on a fat and sugar high.

Until tomorrow . . . when it’s haircuts, manicures and pedicures, oh my!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Minute to clean it" really can work!

So now I've decided to take a different approach. I was in the Dr.'s office with my five year old with an ear infection . . . our 2nd visit to the Dr. for a child with an ear infection that week . . . and it occurred to me - Julie had Julia, Robyn had Oprah, why can't I have Mickey Mouse as my inspiration?! My friends would find that so fitting!

The Dr.'s office had a copy of the Disney Family Fun magazine and it was at that point that I decided to try 365 days of Family Fun. So, my format will be top 3 lessons learned from my attempts to have family fun. My sources won't just be the Disney Family Fun magazine, and the "fun" won't always be fun (like today where I'm going to talk about cleaning up the house), but I'm sure they will be entertaining.

My first attempt at family fun was a recommendation from the magazine about how to make clean up fun. A woman suggested setting the timer for 1 minute and seeing how much your children can clean up in 1 minute. She also suggested prizes for who cleaned the fastest and most in each room.

Here's what I learned from "Minute to Clean it":

1) Be sure not to have the game start with all the children at the bottom of the stairs needing to run up those stairs to get to the next job - lots of elbows in the face and skinned knees on that one.

2) Just like E.T., children are mesmerized by bright colored candy. With skittles as the incentive, the children cleaned the entire house in 20 minutes (ok, so I fudged on the 1 minute thing, but they were doing so well I didn't want to disincentivize them by telling them the timer went off).

3) Be sure to have a lie detector test when leaving it to the children to tell you who did the most work. I'm still convinced the two older girls were covering for their baby sister who at the end of clean up time was conveniently lounging in a rocking chair.

Until tomorrow . . . when we tackle the Del Mar Fair!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Camp Heather Monologues

To round out my first week of blogs we'll go back to the posts that inspired me to start writing in the blog . . . Camp Heather Monologues. After this I'll go to weekly blogs rather than daily. This has been fun, but lord have mercy, a time suck!!!

Following are my 15 lessons learned from having my children home all week and trying to entertain them. Lets just say that I am more grateful than ever for the Boys & Girls Clubs 1pm drop in hours! And, next week two of the three munchkins are going to sleep away camp for two weeks. Seriously, how do all you mommies out there do this for 12 weeks?! I'm completely exhausted and it's week 2. God Bless you all.

Camp Heather Lessons from Day 1
1) Craft projects are only good for 48 minutes of entertainment (especially for a 4 year old who decides halfway through making Daddy's Father's Day present that her arms are broken and she does not know how to write her letters anymore), so you better have something else up your sleeve;

2) When allowing the children to have a water balloon fight, be sure you shut the door into the kitchen BEFORE you say "Go"!

3) During the school year somehow the children manage to last 6 hours on only a PB & J sandwich, piece of fruit and a granola bar; yet when there is 24/7 access to the pantry they all of a sudden eat like they are the starting line-up for the Chargers (or Broncos if you live in this house).

Lessons Learned - Day 2

1) Do not be fooled by the cute faces of little people. When you have your back turned to lecture (in a kind, firm and sometimes not loud voice) one of the three munchkins living in your house, be assured that the other two have made an even bigger mess than the first one did.

2) Do not make appointments for the orthodontist too close to the time you are at a water park. Removing the children before they are ready will take three times as long as necessary.

3) I should have been an orthodontist . . . And I am going to sue all the writers of Baby Books. In none of those books did it tell me that helping my child find her fingers so she could self soothe and put herself to sleep easily would result in $6,000+ in orthodintic work. I'm not sure all that sleep I got was worth it. Maybe I'm just delirious!

Monologues Day 3 - Lessons from the Beach

1) It doesn't matter if it's cloudy and all the moms look like they are ready for the ski slopes; the kids will endure teeth chattering cold to have fun with their friends at the beach!

2) There are many crevices in little girls bodies where sand can sneak into and irritate, particularly when they are pencil thin and their butts don't fill out their bathing suits that are two sizes too small already.

3) When in the car driving home from the beach, do not let your 7 year old (who takes extraordinary joy in shocking her sisters) have a Capri Sun in the car where she can pretend to "pee" on the floor. (I think smoke may have been coming out of my ears and I almost pulled the old "don't make me pull this car over" on that girl).

Day 4 - Lessons from the Jam Kitchen

Preface to today - I actually thought it would be a good idea to make Cherry Jam with the girls and three of their playdates. I turned out to be absolutely right!!! Whew, something that went right. The girls have a great memory, and Mommy has a year's worth of Cherry Jam!

1) When you say "you need to smoosh the cherries more", your 7 year old heard "you need to raise the smashing tool above your head and SLAM it down into the cherries". Mommy's foresight to put everyone, including herself, in aprons really paid off on this one.

2) When listening to Glee Cast Radio on Pandora, make sure you double check the play list. Imagine my relief that the children were outside when the Explicit version of Cee Lo's Forget You song came on. Even my sailor mouth was taken aback. Oh, and also, be sure to "thumbs down" songs you don't want to hear again. After three hours the songs actually start to replay. Again, the children were outside.

3) If you have naked boy barbies, it means that when you grow up your boyfriends will be naked. This was four year old Id's argument trying to convince me to manufacture boy barbie clothes out of my @*! when we were unable to find any in the hundreds of clothes we have. I think Ken is now wearing a wedding dress. I think we will also save for next summer the lesson that when you are older you will actually WANT your boyfriends to be naked. Oh, wait, did I somehow mess up the lesson I want her to learn?!

Day 5 - Bad day Monologue

Preface - the children lost their privilege to go to the Wild Animal Park.

1) When you take away a privilege, and that privilege is the only activity you have planned for that day, you better have a good back up plan because you still have to entertain the children.

2) Mommies also need time outs. I'm not saying locking yourself inside the house and your children in the backyard is the best strategy, but it is better than some of the alternatives. I did allow the children to come in to go to the bathroom, but I seriously contemplated telling them to just cop a squat in the bushes - the dog does it all the time; why can't the kids who often behave like animals?!

3) Always be nice to your mommy. If you're lucky, there will come a time when you have three children of your own and your mom (ok, and your dad too) buys a house near the beach and then she offers to take your children for an overnight so that you and your husband can have some "alone time".

Ok, until next week - Peace Out!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Multi-tasking = bulls#*!

Before I start today's blog - I apologize that I haven't been able to comment on anyone's comments. For some reason my computer won't let me do it and I'm too computer challenged to figure it out. But, I want you to know I read all the comments, and love getting them. I will figure out how to respond soon.

On to Today's lesson - anyone who says they are "great at multi-tasking" has a bubble over their head that also says "I have ADD, get distracted easily, and am really good at a lot of things, but not excellent at anything!"

When I was working I had this multi-tasking thing nailed. I was so good that one evening after I had had my third child I was driving home from work and talking on the phone while I was also pumping breastmilk. My mother who was on the other end of the phone was horrified (in thinking back on it, I am too).

Now, after six months at home with my kids, I now cannot keep anything straight! I have to actually write myself notes and put myself on a schedule for what I am going to be doing at one time. All this kid time has turned my multi-tasking brain to mush.

For your entertainment, an example of how multi-tasking can actually turn you into a bloody mess. This happened while I was training for my second triathlon. It was 3 days after my first triathlon and I was feeling so cool.

I was biking Lake Miramar with my friend and it was about 6am. It was a clear day, so from the dam at Lake Miramar you could see all the way to the ocean. As I was riding my bike I had turned my head to enjoy the view and veered off the path. In trying to get back onto the path, I flipped over my bike and this was the result . . .

And then, the next day, I decided that my injuries had made me a hard core athlete, so I would go running (I made sure I didn't use any apparatus where I could hurt myself) and this was the result. I had a severe allergic reaction and my eyes swelled shut. All the open wounds and moderate hayfever were not a good combination!!! Needless to say, I did not get in the water for several days for fear that I might actually get eaten by a shark!

The moral of this story . . . As I began my journey into stay at home motherhood, a wise woman said to me "You can have it all, just not all at once." My physical scars prove this point.

Have a great uni-tasking night (as I sit here writing while saying goodnight to my 7 year old and waiting for the hot water for my tea to finish boiling). Do as I say, not as I do! :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where do babies come from . . .

"Costco" - Superego, age 8 and Ego, age 7.

This was the response given in front of a room full of Rotarians. The story as to how that question got asked will have to wait for another day, but lets just say that my children did not skip a beat with their answer. And when asked the follow-up question "How do you know that?" The response - "My Mommy and Daddy and the Costco lady told me".

I encourage all of you to use this tactic with your 16 year old children. If you say it enough times, it must be true.

To explain myself . . . when the children are annoying me and my husband, we tell them that they can be returned to Costco. We get everything else from Costco, and that is where we carefully selected them as well. But, if they are naughty, we can take them back and exchange them. Costco does have a very generous exchange policy.

To further back up our story . . . the day before the infamous quote heard around Rotary, I had taken the Ego and her sister the Id to Costco. The Ego was sitting in the cart with a pile of groceries surrounding her. When we left the warehouse the woman checked our receipt and said "is she on the receipt as well?" And I, of course, said to the Ego "see, they do sell children at Costco". And, as timing would have it, the lady at Costco had no idea she was now part of our web of lies.

I will again thank my mother for this wonderful parenting tactic. When I was growing up we didn't have Costco, so it was an orphanage truck that was going to come and pick me up. My sister gave my mother a similar public humiliation when she wrote about the orphanage truck for a French assignment in high school.

The lesson today, torturing your children with these "white lies" will come back to bite you and in very public ways. The more important lesson, these "lies" can lead to some of the funniest moments of your life that you will relive over and over again!

As always, enjoy your kids and the humor that they bring to your life! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Got Sugar? You must be with Nana

Today I was supposed to post about holiday fun with your kids, but I needed to interrupt the regularly scheduled program because my smart mouthed creativity wasn't flowing as usual and I can't put pictures on the post from Nana and Sir's computer and that one really needs some photos.

So, tonight you're going to get a post about adventures with Nana.

This is a woman who when I was growing up the closest we got to sugar cereal was Honey Nut Cheerios. Ok, I will give her that on vacations she would buy those small boxes of sugar cereal. But, I NEVER had sugar cereal in my house. In fact, I'm so bitter about it still that I have passed down that torture to my children. Every once in a while my husband sneaks in some Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but once that's gone, it's back to the HNC (that's my slang for Honey Nut Cheerios).

This morning we're at Nana's house (where the children have been since Friday) and my father starts reading the list of cereals for breakfast this morning. It sounded like something straight out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My children would have gotten more nutrition out of a bowl of ice cream.

Oh, and while we're on ice cream . . . last night, my mother confessed to me that that morning she did in fact give my 4 year old ice cream for breakfast. Why did she give my 4 year old ice cream for breakfast, you ask?! My mother's response, "Because she told me that I owed it to her". Apparently my mother had made a deal with the devil (a.k.a. 4 year old Id) the night before. In her haste of trying to get Reese to stop throwing a temper tantrum and go to bed, my mother answered "yes" when the Id said "if I go to bed now, can I have my ice cream for breakfast?" My mother assumed that the Id would have forgotten about their little deal when she woke up the next morning. The Id could sell ice to an Eskimo and she would remember it for eternity! The detox that little body will go through tomorrow is going to be ugly!

And now, we fast forward to Nana's sugar violations today - After the smorgasbord of sugar cereal, we proceeded to go to breakfast where the adults could get something other than sugar cereal and the girls ate barely anything. After "breakfast" Nana took each of the children to the Candy store (at 10am) "because it was on the way back to the car and she owed it to them - they still had money to spend". I have no words to describe what I thought at this moment!

So here's the priceless quote of the day - "I have a Push Pop and I'm not afraid to use it" - The Ego, age 7. Said while she was threatening her sister who was trying to take away her candy. This was probably brought on by some sugar induced rage, no doubt.

Moral of the story - no matter how much you try to instill healthy choices in your children, they can be undone in a matter of hours by The Nana! And, my one great wish for my children is that they are as fertile as I am so that I can have the same fun with their kids!!!

Always have a party on your dining room table

Next lesson learned - You can have holiday fun with your kids, or sometimes at their expense!

I have a friend who is an interior decorator and always has an immaculately decorated dining room table, even if no one is planning on eating at that table.

So, I had the bright idea that I should too. The only problem . . . when I tried to decorate my table, it looked like an experiment at Party City had gone terribly wrong. I'm quite sure my decorator friend doesn't shop at Party City to make her decorating choices, but I went to law school and had a career in non-profit fundraising . . . I don't know any better.

In my blissful decorating ignorance I have embraced my inner Truvy Jones (you know, Dolly Parton's character in Steel Magnolias), and beginning with Easter, for as long as my husband will put up with it, I'm decorating my dining room table to look as though there is a party coming any minute. Even my kids keep asking, mommy, are we eating there today?! Currently it looks like a beach party will arrive momentarily - all we need are some BBQ ribs and Margaritas. Enjoy the photo of my own private Margaritaville. Oh, and those black dots are ants on the picnic table! I got a little carried away at Oriental Trading.

Part II of this party atmosphere - Lawn Ornaments! Right now there is a Flamingo. There used to be two flamingos, but one of them has mysteriously disappeared.

By the way, any of you who know my husband, please do not tell him about my need for a "crazy creativity" budget. We'll wait to see if he notices that the Michaels and Oriental Trading charges are mysteriously increasing even though the children's birthdays are months away.

Following are "recipes" for holiday fun with your kids (or at their expense, as you'll see with St. Patrick's Day and April Fools). I've also added websites and resources that have made my creative insanity possible (no, none of them have paid me or asked me to mention them here - and after seeing the title of my blog, they may asked to be removed). :) I'm always open to new sites and suggestions, so please post what you've learned as well.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Recipe
1) Take 5 kids under the age of 8
2) Bake sugar cookies and give them Black and White icing to decorate with (sometimes the cookies, sometimes each other)
3) Give them an art project where they create designs with both black and white paper (and wait for the art project to be complete within 14 seconds)
4) Read Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport (and allow for the reading to take 4 times as long because throughout the book each child wants to tell you what they learned at school about Martin Luther King Jr.)
5) Sprinkle in a hula hoop contest and 60's music (and prepare to be sore for 3 days when your abs have more of a workout than they've seen in years).

Sit back and enjoy the memory you've just created. If all this activity only takes you two hours total, it's ok. You now have a free pass to allow the children to watch TV while you and your best friend enjoy some margaritas. I'm sure the the History channel will have something good on.

Resources for MLK Jr. Day
Martin's Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport

Hollywood Theme Birthday Party recipe

1) Take five 7 year-old girls
2) Pimp out your minivan with blue rope lights, sparkling cider and your husband as the chauffeur
3) Arrange for a papparazzi swarm when the girls exit the vehicle (make sure the papparazzi have earplugs)
4) Cut from cardboard an actual replica of the Hollywood sign (see photo) and place it in your lawn (remember, lawn ornaments)
5) Make a TV commercial for girl scout cookies
6) Give the girls "credit cards" and provide a boutique where they can "purchase" items
7) Save the concession stand for last, but be sure that it is well stocked with lots of sugar!
8) Select a movie they will all fall asleep to and cross your fingers they actually do.

Hollywood birthday party resources - search "birthday party themes"

We did not get to take full advantage of Valentine's Day and President's Day because we were on a fantastic vacation with friends. Catch me in 2012 for those holidays. BUT, we made up for it on

St. Patrick's Day Recipe
1) Use lots of green food coloring
2) Add it to your toilet bowl
3) Send the children to school with the breakfast of champions - rainbow colored pancakes made by the leprechauns
4) Add some more food coloring to the milk in the fridge (pesky leprechauns
5) Laugh to yourself at the end of the day while the children try to figure out how the leprechauns pee'd in the toilet at home AND at school!

St. Patrick's Day resources

And saved the best for last . . .

April Fools Day Recipe
1) Take one mommy with waaaaaaaay too much time on her hands;
2) Add three children who mommy just can't resist torturing;
3) Wait for the children to be asleep and then put food color dots on their arms and faces (pink and purple work best and they do not remove easily);
4) Convince the children that the dots are chicken pox!
5) Have the children make their lunches (the usual routine);
6) While they are asleep, switch out their regular sandwiches for your "secret grilled cheese" - toasted pound cake with orange frosting in the middle;

7) For dinner, tell the children they will be having peas and cupcakes. The "peas" are hard candy chocolate beads, and the "cupcakes" are meatloaf and food colored mashed potatoes.

Resources for April Fool's Day Fun

Seriously, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on my hands.
Speaking of, this post has gone on way too long. In tomorrow's issue . . . children really do say the darndest things - in public, at meetings, in front of your professional colleagues . . .

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mommies wear track suits, but not the Sue Sylvester kind

Here's something it took me three weeks to learn . . . You actually need a Stay at Home Mommy wardrobe. Imagine my husband's surprise when I informed him that I needed a special wardrobe for my new career!

During the school year, at 7:46am, like something out of Stepford, hundreds of kids and their parents descend upon the Elementary School. By 8:03, as quickly as they arrived, they have disappeared again. It wasn't until week three that I caught on that the mommies were dressed differently in the afternoon than they were in the morning; then I finally figured out where they were going in the morning - THE GYM!.

At this same time it dawned on me that I actually have 6 hours during the day when my children are in school and I can do "whatever I want". Ok, that's dictated by how many things I have to do for my kids that day, but I am able to squeeze a few things in. One thing that has become a must have is a workout - hence the new wardrobe. The workout is the most important mommy time - she stays looking hot and she can relieve the stress of getting the kids out the door (and all the pent up stress from the activities the day before); oh, and she doesn't feel guilt for drinking all those margaritas with friends.

As a little side note - my fitness ADD doesn't allow me to just workout. Oh no, I decided to become a triathlete. Despite the fact that I had not seen my bike in 15 years, nor swum in the ocean EVER, nor run more than 50 yards, and that was only to catch my children, I thought triathlons were the way to go. No, I don't know what's wrong with me, but there will be some entertainment on this topic in future posts.

Ok back to the "skinny" on the Stay at Home Mommy wardrobe:

1) Be sure to purchase at least 5 different matching "track suits" (ok, I'm using that term loosely, but it refers to all the matching hats, shirts and shorts that are straight out of the Real Housewives). You must have 5 so as not to repeat them during the week; and

2) Your 7:46 wardrobe wear must not look anything like your 2:30pm wardrobe - the former should include your ipod, a water bottle and ponytail while the latter should include make-up, jewelry and preferably high heeled sandals;

There are some mommies (myself included) who are literally unrecognizable from the morning to the afternoon. I'm not sure what we're all dressing up for in the afternoon because at 2:30 the hardest work begins - subjecting yourself to torture at the hands of your children and their homework!! We're probably better off being wrapped in bubble wrap and accessorizing with some earplugs.

Tomorrow I'll talk about how to always have a party on your dining room table - without serving anyone food!

Priceless Quote - "We're going to Hometown Buffet? What will you give me? Juice?! I can give myself juice . . . I'd like wine" - The Id, age 4 (clearly this child has hung out too much with her grandma and grandpa - or Nana and Sir as she calls them).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Top 5 Stay @ home mom secrets

So we'll begin with the five things that I learned my first month as a stay at home mom:

1) "Stay at home" mom is actually code for "at the gym, grocery store, dance studio, soccer field, insert child's activity location here, child's classroom, and any of the other 15 places I'm needed other than home".

2) The time you actually sit down when you're "at home" is less than 45 minutes, and all of those minutes are spent in the car on your way to the activities you decided would make your kids "well rounded". No wonder my nannies were so exhausted.

3) Those closets you thought you'd clean out are still as cluttered as ever, and might be more so because you are home now so you can stuff a bunch more crap in them.

4) The exhaustion you feel is because you have just been verbally poked for hours straight by miniature versions of yourself.

5) If you want to get someone to talk, I've found a very effective form of torture - put them in a minivan at 4pm with three children who have not had a snack or a nap.

Priceless quote of the week of January 3rd - "Mom, did you find a job yet? I hope not." - The Ego, age 7

Finally brave enough to post

So I created this blog six months ago when I first began my journey as a quasi stay at home mom. For various reasons I was afraid to post - beginning with the curse word I chose in the title. But, after six months of some of the funniest, precious and infuriating moments of my life, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

Over the next week I am going to smash all the knowledge I've learned over the last six months into 7 blog posts. I'll try to keep them brief so as not to bore everyone, and hopefully they'll be entertaining. Then, after that I'll try to post once a week with my "lessons learned" and priceless quotes that are too good not to share.

When I found out my job was eliminated in October 2010, I cried. Partly because a job that I absolutely loved was no longer available to me, but mostly because I was terrified of being a stay at home mom (when I say that phrase I hear that ominous echo voice that they put on the Today Show when Al Roker says "Sunday, Sunday, Sunday" when it's football season).

My husband's first comment to me was "It's ok honey, if you eat one of the children, we can always make more". And we make some pretty cute ones. I have three beautiful blonde girls who are the most rambunctious, mouthy, loving kids you could meet. I don't know where they get the mouthy & rambunctious part!

Although I was terrified, when I woke up on January 1, I decided I was going to enjoy every minute of my stay at home motherhood, and also follow the advice from a calendar that my mom had given me for Christmas. It's entitled "Life is All About How You Handle Plan B". I'm tellin' ya, I've taken full advantage of this Plan B thing (and no, I have not enjoyed every minute, but I have managed to find the humor in most of those minutes).

So, it's time to share how to B:
A Triathlete
A Stay at home mommy
A Philanthropic Strategist
An Entrepreneur
A Volunteer

I've never been so exhausted, busy or happy in my entire life! Tomorrow we'll begin the adventures of the best April Fool's jokes to play on your kids, how to turn Martin Luther King Jr. Day into a really fun holiday, why I am revoking Mother's Day and the adventures of Camp Heather.

Until tomorrow's post, enjoy your kids as much as you can - as for me, today's a day when I'll need a little help from my friend Marga Rita! :)