Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rain drops always lead to rainbows . . .

. . . but you have to go and find them.
We went up to Big Bear this weekend even though it was right after our last trip that we still haven’t recovered from and even though they predicted thunderstorms all weekend and even though we saw lightning all the way up.  We had already paid for the condo and we wanted to get the boat in the water again.
Here’s what we learned about driving 4 ½ hours to put your boat in the water in the middle of thunder and lightning:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I scream, you scream . . .

That’s it, we all just scream.  Apparently when I pulled out family fun tonight (actually, I threw it at the children), it was a surprise ball with the words “Ice Cream Break”, but the children read “I Scream Break”.  We went up for a quick trip to Big Bear this weekend – long story about how this poorly timed vacation came about just on the heels of our last vacation – and ever since our last car trip the kids have been asking me when we were going to have more surprise balls.  So, I decided that at our gas break I’d pull out the ice cream break ball and we’d get ice cream. 
Here’s what I didn’t plan on when I decided to do this:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ministry of Mommies

So Harry Potter has a Ministry of Magic that sets policy for and oversees all things magic.  Ok, maybe this analogy isn’t great because in the latest installment the ministry has gone to the dark side, but, as I was reflecting on my former life in the “working” realm and all the benefits that “never at home” moms miss out on because they are not “working” outside the home, and I decided that I am going to create a Ministry of Mommies.  This Ministry will provide support and benefits to all those “never at home” mommies who work their butts off everyday!
On a very brief side note that I think is an indication as to how much fun I'm having . . . Superego (my 9 year-old) turned to me today as I was belting out the Glee version of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, and said “I have come to the conclusion that you are not going to be a normal mother.”  My reply as I pulled down my sunglasses and looked at her . . . “and?! . . . Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday . . . ”  Oh, I digress . . .
Anyway, back to the Ministry of Mommies.  Here’s what I learned about all the benefits that mommies are somehow not entitled to once they begin working in the home rather than outside the home, and how the Ministry is going to help those mommies.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life . . . on a hamster wheel . . . interrupted

That is now how I describe “never at home” motherhood.  Yeah, that's right, I’ve decided that the title “stay at home” mom is bulls#*! so I’m now going to refer to my station as “never at home” mom as opposed to stay at home mom.
This revelation came as a result of this week’s family fun – summer camp.  Of course, my kids can’t all go to the same camp, they have to go to three different camps in three different locations at three completely different times.
Here’s what I learned about the desperate need to clone myself, the never ending monotonous tasks, and the fact I have only myself to blame for having created mini me’s that are as active as I am:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

As Seen on TV . . . can bite me!

So here’s something I thought would be family fun that was a complete disaster  - BEDAZZLING!
Ego (our middle child – and, by the way, if you don’t know why I call my children Superego, Ego and Id, it’s not because I’m a cruel, mean mommy – well, maybe it is because of that – but it’s also fully explained in my post on July 12 What do Freud and our Trifecta have in common?! – anyway, Ego wears nothing but sweatpants.  Every single day, even if it’s 95 degrees outside, she’s in sweatpants.
So, my bright idea was to Bedazzle her sweatpants so they weren’t just sweatpants, they were “Bedazzled” Sweatpants (can you hear the echo voice?!)
Here’s what I learned about As Seen on TV products that claim to “bedazzle” your clothes, keep your fruit fresh, and allegedly increase your bust size (I figure if I’m going to take on one of those products, might as well take on them all):

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No stone unturned . . .

. . . or as some may call it, Geocaching!

Sometimes family fun comes from an unexpected text from a friend (and thank goodness it did, because I wasn’t sure what we were going to do).
BFF Molly texted that she and her kids were going to Lake Hodges to go “Geocaching”.  Well, the kids (and mommy) needed some entertainment, so we joined them.
For those  of you not familiar with Geocaching, you can check it out at   From what I understand, it’s where you go online to see where there are hidden capsules (for lack of a better word).  These contain a piece of paper for you to record that you found the cache, as well as several “leave behind” prizes that you can take from the cache (and you then turn leave behind your own toy).
Here’s what I learned about wandering in the weeds with my kids and BFF Molly and her kids:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tri and Tri Again

Today, family “fun” was mommy’s Solana Beach Triathlon.  Yes, I am still crazy enough to continue those things and my husband is a superstar and continues to come to the events with the girls to cheer me on.  He did tell me that if I do more than three a year, I'm on my own!  :)  God bless him for giving me that many.
Here’s what I learned about the insanity of getting yourself and your entire family up at 3:15am:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sailor mouths and duct tape

So here’s something I also learned on our trip . .  . my children have followed in their mother’s footsteps and have sailor mouths.  When the 4 year old said “What the Hell?” to her father, I knew we had lost any semblance of control.
So, here’s what I learned about how to control sailor mouths and the many uses of duct tape:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Catch the Wave!

My husband and I weren’t ready to call it quits on our vacation, so today we decided to take our kids to The Wave waterpark.  We had never been and the girls were going to miss that field trip at the Boys & Girls Clubs, so it seemed like the perfect thing to do.  We didn't realize we'd be there with about 4 other field trips and the Lazy River would be a literal sea of hundreds of kids and inner tubes.  But we had a great time!
Here’s what I learned about “Catching the Wave”:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Calgon . . . or vodka

I pick Vodka . . . preferably in a Bloody Mary.
I’m completely exhausted, but proud to say that we survived 5 days in a minivan with our children and only pulled out 2 movies.
Here’s what I learned from 5 days, 5 states, 5 family members and 3 national parks in a space the size of a closet:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm licking my armpit . . .

Sums up the day!  End of post . . .
Id is faking it, but the other two passed out
Ok, I guess I should write something.  This was actually our shortest day of driving.  Last night we got in to Zion National Park at 12:15am and were completely exhausted.  We didn’t even get to enjoy the Lodge we were staying at.  After 5 hours and 4 miles of hiking at Zion it was on to the Grand Canyon. 
So, here’s what I learned about two National Parks in one day:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Who's Eddie McStiff?

He’s a man we picked up hitchhiking in Moab.  Ok, maybe not, but I wanted to make my mother panic.  When we saw Eddie McStiff’s Bar and Grill, the 14 year old kid in us came out and we just couldn’t resist taking our children there for lunch.  We also started laughing like Beavis and Butthead when we said “McStiff”.  The food was actually pretty good, so I’d recommend it – particularly the chicken gyros.  They even understood what a gluten allergy was.
On to my lessons.  I warn you that I’m finishing this post after a glass of wine (that shows you how the day has gone).  I would have had more, but I’m “in training” for the Tri and also it was $7 a glass.
Here’s what I learned about bizarre national holidays (hopefully you did not miss National Ice Cream Day), storms in the desert and car tornadoes:

How to turn your houseboat into the USS Underpants

Today’s post isn’t about today’s family fun adventures.  We had fun, but it’s 1:45am, I’ve been in the car since 10am entertaining my three children, and I’m too tired to be clever, so here’s some prior summer family fun that you might enjoy.

I thought of this as we passed Lake Powell today . . . Last summer we went to Lake Shasta with my mom’s family.  We had 3 generations, 2 houseboats and 1 great time!  Of course, my family did have to take it up a notch . . .

Rather than just have a houseboat, we figured we’d christen our boat with a clever name.  So, we called our boat the USS Underpants.  We even had t-shirts made with Captain Underpants on the back and everyone had a ship’s role.  My personal favorite was Id’s – she was the Powder Monkey!  Oh yes, that apparently is a ship’s term.  I'll upload a photo once I'm home.

Here’s what we learned about our adventures as the USS Underpants:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Camp, a wedding and rotten eggs

Today family fun entailed picking up from summer camp, dropping in on a law school friend’s wedding and ending the day with natural hot springs. 
What I learned today is that a whole lot of planning and some careful execution really does pay off to make for a fun filled, but LOOOOOOOOOOONG day.
So, what did I learn from summer camp, a wedding and rotten eggs all in the same day?!

Rocky Mountain air, bongs and Redboxes for bikes

We’re in Colorado, and yes, I said bongs, as in for pot or crack or any number of other illicit drugs.  You’ll have to read below to find out how that entered our day.
Today’s family “fun” was looking at potential vacation homes in the mountains of Colorado.  So, Id’s last day of only childhood was spent house hunting.   This was part of our plan to get her to beg for her sisters to come home so she could have fun again!
Today I learned that you know you're in Colorado when:      

Thursday, July 14, 2011

1 Id, 2 parents, 3 states, 4 hours of sleep, . . .

5 tantrums
6am wake up call,
7am breakfast – that was a heartattack on a plate
8am Starbucks run
9 hours of driving still to look forward to . . .
Wait, 10 hours – we lost an hour when we crossed into AZ and UT – Damnit!
Today we headed out for one of our longest straight days of driving.  It’s kind of like a day at sea – gorgeous scenery, confined to a small space, and by the end of it you’re ready for a land junket – BUT, without the sea, of course.  J  I think I’m delirious . . .
Here’s what I learned about day one of our trip . . .

Out of sight, out of mind . . .

Here’s some family fun at mommy’s expense, and definitely not something my stay @ home mommy friends told me about.  I even considered not posting this one because I admit it, it’s a bit immature.  But, may as well have some fun and admit when we too are children.

We finally heard from the girls at summer camp.  Actually, scratch that, the Id and Daddy heard from the girls.  Any mom who has ever prepared for their children to go to summer camp knows about the days spent packing, making sure they had addressed envelopes to send notes home, providing them with plenty of stationary and stickers and of course a box full of goodies to enjoy; so you also know how excited I was to receive the letters (with my handwriting on the envelope) and how much this stung.

Here’s what I learned about getting letters from camp:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cruise Director Julie at your service . . .

Yup, I pulled out a Love Boat reference to share about planning our week of family fun.  For the last two weeks I have been planning our family trip to Colorado, the Grand Canyon, Arches and Zion.  Seriously, there’s a reason that people get paid to be travel agents.  Of course, in true Heather style I decided that I’m going to do what I can to minimize the DVD time in the car.  So, I had to come up with all the games and surprises for the girls. 

Over the next several days you can take our journey with us and laugh (hopefully with us and not at us) along the way!

Here’s what I learned about being the family travel agent:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What do Freud and our trifecta have in common?!

Well I'll tell you . . . Though this is not what some may consider family fun, it is parent fun, and therefore qualifies as “family” fun.  (See Natalie, I told you’d I stretch this thing out – and, by the way, my husband is also suspicious as to whether I can keep this up). 

Yesterday I got to thinking about how I refer to the kids in the blog (i.e., by their names or some other identifier) and my husband reminded me of the nicknames we have for the girls that sprung out of an observation we made when the baby was about 2 1/2.  Our children perfectly fit Freud’s descriptions of the id, ego and superego.  They’re going to hate us when they grow up for naming them this, but for now they laugh hysterically every time we tell it to them. 

So, in the blog, the children will be referred to as:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Masochistic bike seats, multi-grain car washes and exploding microwaves

Today you will notice a few changes to the blog, including a name change.  Let me know your thoughts.

Family fun today was all about multi-tasking.  I know, I know, we all know how I feel about that.  But, sometimes, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!

Here’s what I learned about forgetting to tell your nanny about a broken microwave, taking a bike ride to finish errands, and engaging a five year old in washing the car.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rollin' with the homies . . .

Ok, admit it, how many of you can remember where that line came from!  Or, maybe I'm the only one lame enough to quote Clueless 15 years later.  Hey, if some of you can go to New Kids on the Block concert, I can bring back a timeless movie!  HAAAA!

Today's Family Fun was a bike ride down Silverstrand Beach in Coronado.  For anyone who has not done this ride, it's a must.  It's flat, fast, and absolutely gorgeous.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life's a Beach . . .

Today, family fun was a full day of boating, relaxing and good old fashioned summer fun.  My husband, the Id and I enjoyed all that San Diego has to offer with some friends.  We took the boat down to Coronado, ate at the Pizzeria and then had several hours of floating, water skiing, boating fun.  It couldn't have been a better day.  But, we did still learn a few things:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Staying at home actually is a luxury . . .

Here’s another thing my stay at home mom friends never told me . . .you’re NEVER home. So, when you are, it’s so wonderful because you can actually accomplish many things (that is, of course, if your children are not also at home).
Family Fun for tonight – ok, not so fun for the Id, but fun for mommy to watch – summer camp cards to send to the Superego and Ego. By the way, I was amazed at how few resources there were for good suggestions to include in summer camp cards. So, I just went old school – made some stickers with clip art, had the Id put on foam stickers, and write a note to tell her sisters she loved them (we had one other line she was supposed to write in the card, but you’ll see below why it didn’t get included).
Here’s what I learned about staying at home and tonight’s family fun:
1) Staying home allows you to get pretty deep in the “honey do” list that you created for yourself (because of course, let's be honest, your husband’s NOT going to create one for you). I actually got so far down the list that I sewed on Brownie patches for the Ego’s vest. Oh yes friends, I said that word SEW! I did learn, however, that you can only accomplish so much IF you stay off e-mail. E-mail is like that pink light in the Abyss that you just can’t help yourself but be sucked into. And, at the end of it, you have nothing to show for it but a big purple inexplicable world at the bottom of the ocean that has now risen to the top and allows you to walk on water . . . oh, wait, I digress - it was such a good movie until then.
2) Do not ask your five year old who has a tendency for “broken arms” to make cards for TWO of her sisters. After the first part of the first card, the Id’s ADD kicked in and she decided her arms were broken and she was tired and she needed the air conditioning on because she was tired and she didn’t like the color of the pen and she didn’t like where I placed the sticker and, and, and. Girlfriend has a gift for excuses. Any ideas about how to kick that habit, please let me know. I need to send her to excuse detox.
3) There was no way I was letting that child off the hook for making both cards. I can just hear the whining when the Ego found out Id didn’t make a card for her too – that one would scar for life. So, I did what any good mother would do . . . I bribed the Id. It's amazing what a child will do for popcorn and 15 minutes of TV. No one said I was going to win mother of the year, but I did get that d*#! card made. (Not sure why I didn’t just use the actual word – it just looked funnier with the symbols)! :)
Oh, and one more note for today – I am still training for the triathlon that’s happening on July 24th and here’s what I learned about that:
DO NOT run at 5:30pm when the high for the day has been 90+ degrees. It will be incredibly hot, you will not make it the full 3 miles you wanted, and you will have so much chafing on your legs that you will have to apply baby powder for several days to heal. Seriously, it looks like I have a huge diaper rash on my leg. I’m considering buying some Desitin to put on this thing. Any of you friends out there with babies who have some extra, let me know so I can save myself $10 on that!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

High heels were invented by a man!

Here’s something my stay at home mom friends never told me. When you actually wear “professional” clothes after months of t-shirts and sweatpants, it will be noticed and you will be asked if you’ve just had some kind of makeover, or you found a job.
I put on a dress because I did have one client meeting, and I’ve never had so many people tell me I looked so nice in one day. Even the waitress at the restaurant I had lunch at complimented me. Seriously, I must look baaaaaaaaaad most other days!
Even though I got home late and was soooo tired, I was able to implement family fun today with the Id. I pushed myself to implement because I hadn't seen the Id all day, and more importantly because I made a bet with my friend Natalie that I couldn't do 365 days of Family Fun. My desire to win a Margarita made me do it. :) So here’s what I learned about sitting in both the stay at home mom and the professional mom world in the same day:
1) High heels were invented by a man who would never have to wear them. I had no idea that wearing flip flops everyday would affect my feet so much that I would not be able to wear high heels any longer. Seriously, my feet were killing me after 5 minutes.
2) I should have put my legal education to use during family fun time – never ask a question you do not want the answer to . . . I asked the Id what game she wanted to play, and she chose . . . Twister. That game is intended for people who don’t have to reach more than 5 inches to bend over and reach their toes. Not former gymnasts who can no longer do the splits (well, unless there’s another reason to do so, but we won’t go there today, I think my mom's reading this).
3) If you change your attitude, you can actually kill two birds with one stone during your Twister time – use it as an opportunity to practice your yoga moves – lots of downward dogs if only you can get Left foot on Red, Right Foot on Yellow, Left Hand on Blue and Right Hand on Green. The only problem for me . . . I think the Id was cheating because I asked "how do you know what it lands on, you can't read?" Her response "this one has an 'L'" and she pointed to Left Foot. That girl twisted me in knots. But . . . then it was my turn!!
Enjoy your kids and if you have any ideas that you think I should try, or something fun that you and your kids did, PLEASE, let me know. I’m always up for trying new things.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Family Fun is hijacked!

Today I underachieved on family fun. I spent most of the day planning our upcoming vacation and just ran out of time. So I decided that after dinner tonight we would have family game night and our “only child” the Id could pick whatever game she wanted to play. Well, here’s what I learned about family game night:
1) Do not allow your five year old to turn on the television right before dinner. She will find every excuse to keep the TV on when it’s time to come to dinner and her tantrums will push you so far that you have to make good on the “you’re going to your bed without dinner” threats.
2) Even the ability to spend alone time with mommy and daddy and stay up late to play a game does not outweigh the joy of throwing a tantrum and hoping that kicking and hitting mommy and daddy will make them change their mind about punishments.
3) Sometimes family fun just wasn’t meant to be.
Fitting Priceless Quote: This one was made several months ago by the Id, but I think it’s very fitting for today. “My smiles are going away. We can go to Disneyland and find my smiles.” Here's a photo from several months ago that I think depicts not only the Id's mood, but mommy's as well.
Mommy’s just going to go to the liquor cabinet to find her friend Marga Rita! :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July on Steroids

Ok, I admit . . . I am an overachiever who has a problem with just sitting still. Here was our schedule yesterday:
10am Coronado 4th of July parade
11:45am leave Coronado parade because my husband had been sitting at airport for an hour, and needed to be picked up
12:30pm get off Coronado island and pick up husband at airport – no, it’s not supposed to take 45 minutes to get off the island.
1:30pm go to 4th of July carnival back in 4S Ranch
4:30pm-5:30pm nap time
5:30-7:00pm take the Id to friends house I’d been promising we could go to all day
8:00pm leave for fireworks display
10:30pm finally home, blogging and hoping to hear about my husband’s trip and how our other two kids are doing at summer camp.
Seriously, what’s the matter with me?! Here’s what I learned about 4th of July on steroids:
1) So why did I travel 40 minutes to go to a parade on Coronado, you ask?! Because Family Magazine said it’s the best and my parents have a condo right on Orange street with a view of the parade. Here’s the thing . . . they had some really great floats, but the parade is on an island. Therefore, every 5 entries they stopped traffic at both ends of the block I was on so that the cars could get onto the island and off the island because unless you go through Imperial Beach, there’s only one way on and one way off. We left after an hour and 45 minutes and it was still going strong.
2) Expecting that your child can go from 8:30am to 10:30pm with a shortened nap and not have about 12 meltdowns along the way, you’re sniffing the same glue your child was the night before.
3) Nothing beats sitting on a football field underneath the fireworks and truly appreciating the amazing country we live in. It is hard, however, to enjoy that nostalgic moment when your five year old is more entertained by the $1 glow sticks you gave her than the $1,000 per minute fireworks. Seriously, next year it’s just some sparklers and glow sticks! Ok, let’s be honest, we know I’m lying, but I can make empty threats. I’m a mom!
Until tomorrow . . . haven’t figured out family fun, but I best get on it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Everyone loves a parade . . .

. . . unless you are 5 years old and the parade has lasted more than 15 minutes.
So I thought I would go on a research mission to see the 4th of July parade in Oceanside. I did this because I am the Chair of the 2011 Poway Parade. Our theme is Honoring Those Who Serve and therefore I thought going to see a 4th of July parade would give me some great ideas.
The Id and I packed up the life-sized banana and went to Oceanside. The parade had some fun ideas and floats and I was glad I went. The Id, on the other hand . . . well, here’s what I learned:
1) Take a porta-potty and snacks. Duh, you would think I hadn’t been doing this mom thing for 9 years. What mother leaves the house without snacks?! That cost me $9 at the corner gas station. And as for the porta potty – the Id can hold it like a camel if she wants to, but the moment she’s bored it’s an emergency. In an hour and ½ we visited the bathroom 3 times. And, it was a pay bathroom – 25 cents each time. I’m takin’ that 75 cents out of her allowance.
2) Don’t run down the street after a float trying to take a picture of it. You will look like an ass. Because of the aforementioned potty breaks, I missed the one float that I wanted to see!
3) A life-sized stuffed banana makes a great pillow for a five year old who has had her fill of the parade. I know parents were judging me when my child sprawled herself out in the middle of the sidewalk, but that’s nothing new for me. We looked much more ridiculous walking down the street with that thing!
Priceless Quote: “I’m gonna fart mommy”. the Id apparently found her sister’s whoopee cushion and entertained herself (and me) for a good 10 minutes with that thing. Our fun ended when mommy popped the cushion. the Id insisted that I sit on it and every time I did it wouldn't "fart". So, I jumped higher and apparently it just couldn't take all the pressure. The way that thing popped, it looked like something straight out of a cartoon with all the jagged edges. That’s a way to make you feel fat! Oooops, I think the cushions were only intended for people under 30 pounds. The Id actually cried and hugged the cushion when I popped it. Who knew?!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fireworks should be left to the professionals

Today “family fun” was firework cookies from Martha Stewart Living. By the way, “family fun” just isn’t the same when I only have 2/5 of my family. I love my time with the Id, but I miss my babies and my husband.
So, to distract me (and "cling on" Id) I had the grand idea that I was going to try making firework cookies out of the Martha Stewart Living magazine. Today I can't post pictures because I can't figure out how to download them from BFF Molly's camera, but I will post them in a few days.
Here’s what I learned:
1) A massage at the RB Inn before you plan your family fun for the evening is a definite must (I finally cashed in on my Christmas Gift – a gift certificate to the RB Inn spa, and oh my goodness was it worth it).
2) No matter how much you think cutting corners won’t matter (i.e. purchasing bottled icing and making gluten free cookies instead of following Martha’s recipes exactly), it will only make your cookies look like a bad science experiment. Unfortunately I can't show you how beautiful they are supposed to look, but if you're in the grocery store and see the Martha Stewart Living magazine, they're on the cover.
3) It really doesn’t matter what those cookies look like, when you’ve put on 3 layers of icing, and eat them with your baby, they taste fantastic.
Priceless Quote: “Shake it banana”. The Id talking to the life-sized stuffed banana to encourage him/her to shake the sprinkles to put them on the cookies. I think the Id has been sniffing glue, but I can’t yet prove it – this gets me one step closer.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Yup, that's a banana in the parking lot . . .

Today’s adventures aren’t as robust as some other days. I started my day with a swim and bike ride in Solana Beach, and by the time that was done it was time for lunch and coffee dates with friends. My life as a trophy wife is tough . . . well, ok, because of the ocean swim my nose was running all day long. I had no idea that happens, by the way.
So, after my day of leisure, I picked up the Id early and we had a little mommy and Id time. Here’s what I learned:
1) Do not watch The Voice with your child if you actually want to see what happens on the show. Girlfriend has the attention span of a gnat, and unless those singers are cartoons, it ain’t holding her attention.
2) If you expect that holding the hand of a life-sized banana in a parking lot and then taking said banana into a Jamba Juice and then a Wendy’s and sitting the banana at your table as if he were a real person, is not going to result in some interesting looks and comments, you clearly are as delusional as the 5 year-old who put you up to it.
3) Looking in your rearview mirror at a little blond girl with her sunglasses on and holding her life-sized stuffed animal so he doesn’t fly out of the car, is a priceless mommy moment.
4) It’s ok to let your child fall asleep on the couch next to you and leave her there all night in her clothes without having showered her, because if you move her, you will awaken the Saran Wrap beast!
Tomorrow – firework cookies!