Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deer in the headlights and Grandpa's pink shorts

Ok, the kids going back to school and my planning the Poway Patriotic Parade have impeded Family Fun for a few days.  Don’t worry though, I’ll get 365 days in, it just may take me 3 years.  J
This was one of those days where I feel like I’m on a treadmill and someone keeps pushing the “faster” button and I can’t seem to get off.  Poor Grandma and Grandpa have seen how the sausage is made on the Dugdale Trifecta craziness.  I think they’re exhausted and desperate to go home.  As a matter of fact, yesterday they went and reserved an RV space at a lake in East San Diego County (about 30 minutes from our house) for their trip in January.  I think they’re telling us something. 
Which brings us to today’s lessons.  Here’s what happens when you find a deer in your headlights and when Grandpa so generously let the Id (the baby) sit on his lap during a game of Life: 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Float"ing in fabric and shoes

So mommy didn’t really have time for family fun today, but nevertheless, some “fun”ny things happened! 
I am in the midst of planning the 2011 Poway Patriotic Parade.  We have less than 2 weeks left before parade day and its crunch time.  Throw in the start of school, training for a triathlon, several other volunteer projects, professional projects, and you have a mommy who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in a week and she’s getting cranky and unrecognizable!  Mommy’s blog has become the nightly cathartic release that enables her to find some humor in her crazy days and also throw out to the universe the things she gotten herself into in the hopes that there are others who have painted themselves into the same corner.
Today’s lessons . . . what I learned when trying to entertain grandma and grandpa by taking them on your errands with you:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Water logged, diamonds and a hand pump . . .

Wait, I think things are getting all jumbled up in my brain!  Or, maybe I just wanted to see if any of you would open the link.  Ha!
Family fun was jam packed today.  We started with an amazing ride on our boat in San Diego Bay.  The weather could not have been more perfect and we had a blast.  Then, it was on to the Diamonds are Forever concert in Coronado. 
So you now know what the water logged and diamonds come from . . . what’s with the hand pump?!
Well, here’s what I learned happens when you think that you are 9 years old and ride on the back of an inner tube that’s pulled behind the boat for 30 minutes, follow it up with a Neil Diamond concert and get home late realizing that your oldest child’s bed was given to Grandma and Grandpa for the week:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hodge Podge Birthdays and carpeticures

Every mommy knows that when you are pregnant with that first little peanut you have delusions about how your child will act, how you will dress them cutsie and how they will be perfect little angels.  After 9 years and three of the craziest, funniest, loveyest (yes, I made that up), kids, I now know that “perfection” means you take it day by day and most of the time you just  go with it; if you can laugh about it and document it to torture your kids later, all the better!  Which brings me to today’s family fun.  Let’s start with a riddle . . . What do you get when you put Tinkerbell, Tangled and Scooby Doo together?  Yep, that’s right . . . Reese’s birthday party!
Here’s what I learned about giving a 4 year old too many choices and not having the energy to put your foot down:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hug a teacher today . . . or better yet, bring them a big bottle of wine to thank them!

Family Fun today . . . the first week of school!!  Oh, wait, maybe that's just fun for mommy.  :)  Although we’ve made it through the first half week of school, mommy still doesn’t have her bearings or the schedule for the Trifecta.  Thank goodness for the Boys & Girls Clubs who saved my butt this week, and thank goodness for the amazing people who will be teaching, disciplining and putting up with the Trifecta for the better part of the week for the next 9 months.  Teachers are amazing people who put up with a whole lot of crap from kids AND their parents and they have my utmost respect and admiration (especially after a summer where my brain is literally mush from all the verbal poking – “mommy, mommy, mommy”.  I think that is actually a four letter word now!)
Here are the lessons learned when you FINALLY have three munchkins in school:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Memories to build on . . . with Legos, that is!

Ok, BFF Molly came through with the photos.  So, here are our lessons learned about 10 hours in a park that is built out of legos, with lego lands and lego people and lego rides and lego inner tubes, anyone wanna lego my Eggo?!  Just wanted to make sure you were still listening . . .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to school shopping . . . only the strong survive

Today was the first day of school . . . wooo hooo, made it through the summer.  So today I thought I’d share the shopping trip from hell (not sure when there isn’t one of these with three children in tow, but just go with me).  The girls needed new shoes and clothes as well as school supplies.  Now, I could have made all this much easier on myself and just written a $50 check per child to the school and been done with this school supply nonsense.  But then, what would the fun in that be?!  They wouldn’t have huge bags full of stuff to carry into school.  It was so much stuff that we actually had to take our wagon to school.  As usual with these kinds of things, I had to learn some sh*t the hard way.
Here’s what I learned when you take 3 children to 3 stores in 3 hours and the results are 1 melted down ice cream bar + 1 melted down 5 year old + 1 box of raspberries that may have melted in the car:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A penny saved . . .

. . . is not a phrase understood in our household.  So here’s something masochistically “fun” that I thought of.  We give our kids an allowance and I’d thought I'd like to start teaching them financial literacy.  Now, this is a concept that it has taken my husband, father, and our financial advisor years of conversations to try and teach me.  What exactly did I think I was going to be able to teach my girls?!  Until recently I thought that if you still had checks it meant that there was still money . . . OK, I’m not THAT blonde, but I really suck at budgeting, etc.  So, this is yet another one of those "do as I say, not as I do moments".  But, that’s why I had kids, so here goes . . .
What I learned about piggy banks and trying to teach three blonde mini me’s about financial literacy:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Letterboxing, date nights and Nana’s curse words

This weekend family fun had many components.  Some of the family fun I am not entirely privy to because my husband and I celebrated our anniversary on a Hilton San Diego Bayfront Staycation while Nana and Sir took care of the kids.  However, we do know that according to our oldest (Superego), Nana used some curse words and Nana felt compelled to confess this to me before Superego got to me first.
But before my husband and I left our children in the hands of “sailor mouth” Nana, I decided to take the children on a letterboxing adventure in Coronado.
Here’s what I learned about bringing Nana on a letterboxing adventure, leaving my children with Nana and how fun it is to watch your mother squirm as she tries to come clean before the children rat her out:

Friday, August 19, 2011

When you can't go to the beach, bring the beach to you!

Today was supposed to be Beach Day.  But, the weather wasn’t cooperating, the mice that were running loose in the house had to be dealt with, oh, and remember the exploding microwave?!  Yes, well, we had to wait during a 4 hour window for the technician to come by and tell us that it was not repairable.  Seriously, the photos of the gaping hole in the ceiling of the microwave didn’t tell them that already?! Here’s a question, why does GE put the model and serial number of the microwave INSIDE of it.  Because of the fires that took place in the microwave, the model and serial numbers had melted . . . DUH.  Why are those on the inside of a machine intended to melt things?!
But, now all the broken appliances and rodents are taken care of (I mean the mice, not the children), and my husband’s coming home tomorrow – what do we need him for anyway?!  On that note, quick shout out to all the single parents out there!  Seriously, there’s a special place in heaven for those people. 
And now, on to what I learned when instead of going to the beach we brought the beach to us, and the most cathartic moment of the day when the children turned the hose on me:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I’m a teacher . . . wait, no, gardener . . . wait, no, puppet master . . . wait, no, police officer

At the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, we were all of those and more!
Family fun consisted of The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum in Escondido and Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Kit Carson Park.   Although we had family fun, mommy needed to finish up a few Poway Patriotic Parade items, so I took into the museum my laptop and parade notebook.
Here’s what I learned about trying to multi-task during family fun, how to make a piece of paper into a swan, and what happens when your children lay a 4 ft. egg:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Camp Runamuck . . . Cupcake Wars! . . . And Mice???

Yep, I said mice.  So, one of my friends called “Camp Mommy” something so fitting the other day . . .  Camp Runamuck.  I loved it and it has stuck.  And, quite honestly, it is a perfect description of today’s insanity.  For Camp Runamuck family fun today I decided to invite two friends and their kids over for Cupcake Wars.  The premise was in 45 minutes to bake and decorate 4 cupcakes that would then be judged by the Boys & Girls Club Staff down the street.
Here’s what I learned about letting BFF Molly use the mixer, your husband leaving on a business trip and stray mice in your house:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mom's gone wild . . . and we've been Gleek'd

So mommy’s been offline for a couple of days because she was hanging out by the Mandalay Bay pool in Las Vegas.  Therefore, today’s entry will have two parts – 1) What happens when mommy’s away (or when she returns home) and 2) how mommy survived day 1 of Camp Mommy Part Deux!
First, what I learned about having the audacity to go away on a girl’s weekend:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Goose, it's time to buzz the tower . . .

I realized today that I actually have a fourth child.  He’s 6’2” and 43 years old and our trifecta calls him “daddy”.
As I mentioned a couple days ago, my husband purchased a remote control helicopter.  What I didn’t know was that I was going to need to up our insurance (homeowners, medical, all of it) as a result of this purchase.
Here’s what happens when you leave your husband unattended in the aisles of Costco when they have new toys:

It takes two . . . maybe five, to Tango

This morning Superego (the oldest) and Ego (the middle) were dancing a Tango (they wouldn’t let me take a picture, or I would have included it).  This gave me the idea that for family fun we would play Just Dance Kids on the Wii.
Here’s what we all learned about gettin’ our groove on:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Brave enough to pursue your 15 minutes . . .

Many of my friends and family have already seen Superego’s 42 second video for the Disney Channel Make Your Mark contest, but I thought it was worth preserving the moment in the blog.  This was a contest that Superego chose to enter on her own, made up the routine and made sure we uploaded it in time for the contest deadline.  I just held the video camera.  The fearlessness and hope of my 9 year-old wanting to win this contest was absolutely priceless and precious.  You can see her video here
Although Superego was only one of 100,000+ kids to submit a video and the likelihood that she’ll be chosen as one of the top 100 to go to the semi-finals is probably remote, you never know what can happen and here’s what I learned about being a stage mom for the day:
1)      I’m not really cut out to be a stage mom.  I didn’t even realize until later that she had dirty pants on in the video.  Although no one can tell, I will know(well, and now you all will too).  J

2)      Videotaping your child, dancing on the driveway, at the end of the day when everyone is getting home from work, may not be the best choice.  We kept having to stop because cars kept coming by and you couldn’t hear the music.  I also had a few friends drive by and I think they’re just afraid to ask what I was doing with a computer, video camera, and my child doing handstands on the sidewalk.

3)      That legal document that I said “yes” to when I uploaded the video and that I didn’t ask my husband to read because I knew he would have tried to change a few provisions, I’m quite certain it required me to sign over my daughter’s entire movie star career and she’ll never be able to do that reality show I had planned for her.  Damn those lawyers!!!! 
Recommendations for today:
Enter an internet contest, especially one for your kids.  You never know what it can turn into.  And, more importantly, the wonderful well wishes that my daughter received after I shared the video link was AWESOME.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Honey, we shrunk dinner.

Today we decided to kill two birds with one stone with family fun.  I was so excited to offer the girls the chance to select what they wanted to cook for dinner and make the whole meal themselves.  Now, as I’m writing it I realize I must have been high thinking that would sound interesting.  However, in my defense, my girls do love to make dinner with us; just not when they know that’s all there is for family fun, apparently.  So, I upped the ante . . . I told them they could make the exact same dinner for their American Girl dolls and “shrink” dinner.
Here’s what I learned when you shrink your dinner and give the baby unsupervised access to jello and chocolate cake mix (oh, and why every mother really should take a salon haircut class):

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Truth or dare . . . do you want s'more?!

Today family fun had two parts – Daddy’s part in the morning where he took the children to Nickel City until about 2:30 so that mommy could get some things finished and mommy’s part in the evening where we planned backyard s’mores.  I do have to commend my husband for being such a good sport about family fun.  Usually I pull these things out of my @$& with an hour’s notice.   Superego (our oldest child) had a friend over and then we had friends join us for dinner at a local Mexican food restaurant (Miguel’s for all of you locals); we figured four adults, five kids, we can do this, right?!
Here’s what I learned about not being able to capitalize on your “alone time”, not listening closely to the conversation going on at the “kids table” and open flames in the backyard:
1)      When your husband takes your children out of the house for several hours, be sure that you can plan it so that during the time he is away with the children you are not at the Vet and the Pet store dealing with your dog who apparently has fleas.  I found out Dexter had fleas and needed to get him treated pretty quickly.  So, of course, while my kids were out of the house so I could take care of some business at home, I wasn’t at home!  Luckily we did get him and the house treated, and it seems to be ok now.

The girls and all their loot - ok, not the American Girl Dolls,
but if you look closely, there's lots of candy, poppers and the alien ball.  :)

2)      Some things never change . . . you should not be surprised that when you have children going into the 4th grade and they are of different genders, somehow, truth or dare will come up; when you hear the phrase “I dare you to kiss someone at this table”, and the odds are 1 boy with 4 girls (one of whom happens to be your 4 year old who already tries to wear make-up and tells you she has 5 boyfriends), you’d better ask for the check quickly and get out of there.  As my husband pointed out, we should be glad that they are still playing that game in front of us, but when they started asking the parents “truth or dare” and the truths were “Have you ever kissed a girl other than mommy”, we knew we were in trouble!  I also knew we may have had a problem when Id (the baby) was licking a palm tree.
3)      When making backyard s’mores, be sure to close the windows to your bedroom because the fire that you just made downstairs to cook the s’mores will end up making your house smell like campfire.  My husband, of course, is in heaven because it reminds him of home in Colorado.  All I can think about is the smell I’m going to have to wash out of my sheets the next day!

Recommendations for today:
      Dark Chocolate with your s’mores and strawberry marshmallows.  My husband wasn’t crazy about the strawberry, but the rest of us agreed . . . you put a little of that melted dark chocolate with it, and it’s really good.
      Miguels for dinner out with friends.  Good food, good drinks and reasonably priced.  It’s an old neighborhood standby.  You may want to ask them to put you and your children in an enclosed room, or outside so that no one notices the noise coming from your table, or the “truths and dares”.
      Having your husband take the kiddos out for some play time at Nickel City.  The kids have never been so excited about all the prizes they won.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

We've been Smurfed!

After yesterday’s post, and BFF Molly informed me it was “a bit cerebral”, I promised I would be back to my old self.  So, here we go . . .
Today Ego and I decided that for her “camp time” we’d go to the park and play Frisbee and catch with a wiffle ball.  Ego also managed to somehow talk me into going to McDonald’s for lunch because they had Smurf toys in the Happy Meals.  I’m not sure whether it was nostalgia for a childhood classic or what, but I actually took my children to McDonald’s for the first time EVER (my husband’s taken them plenty of times, but mommy couldn’t bring herself to do it)
Here’s what I learned about going “old school” with a Frisbee, a Wiffle ball and the Smurfs (oh, and a quick theater performance thrown in):

Friday, August 5, 2011

Yes, it's all your mother's fault

I am certain that when this one hit my mom’s inbox, she cringed and didn’t really want to open it, but pure curiosity got to her and that’s why she’s reading it right now.  But, it’s not what she thinks . . .
Family fun today was mommy hired a nanny to shuttle the kids to and fro and also entertain Ego while mommy took a time out day.  And my time out got me thinking – something I’m certain my mom would have loved me to do during time out when I was a kid.
Recently I read a not so flattering analysis of Gen Xers.  Essentially it accused us of being complacent, lazy, uneducated, non-competitive and entitled.  After an exhausting day of entertaining and educating my children (has anyone ever tried to do Girl Scout homework, by the way?), this really irked me.  And it was somewhat timely because that annoying Girl Scout homework was all about stereotypes and unfair presumptions we make about others.  Have you ever tried, to explain to a 9 year old what a stereotype is?! 
Mike and the Mechanics sang in their song “In the Living Years” – Every generation, blames the one before . . .Many of us blame those who went before us for the circumstances we now find ourselves in, but, as the analysis I just mentioned points out, often we unfairly criticize a generation that we helped shape.  Over the last 8 months I have done a lot of thinking about the impact that stereotypes and presumptions have on our expectations of ourselves as moms and also how those who have preceded us have shaped where we are today.
So here’s what I learned about stereotypes and how each generation is shaped by those that go before them:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Monster Paint Party

Today Ego was home again with me so I needed to find something to entertain her.  I pulled out Disney Family Fun and decided to create a backyard paint party where Ego could throw paint covered rubber balls at paper attached to our playset.  Put away your “what, is she nuts” faces and just embrace the humor in the fact that I thought this was a good idea.   I’m desperate here!   Oh, and don't tell my husband that I allowed her to throw paint covered anything at the playset.  J
Before I share my lessons learned about letting your child paint your backyard, I want to give a shout out to all the mommies who hold it together everyday.  Today was one of those days when I was juggling too many volunteer activities, multiple summer camp drop offs, my children wearing dirty clothes because I hadn’t yet gotten to the laundry and kiddos who just needed attention and TLC.  Lets just say that by the end of the day mommy was on the verge of a self inflicted nervous breakdown.  I only have myself to blame for getting to this point, but it doesn’t make the emotional reaction any less real.  So I’m going to take a warm bath, go to bed early and start again tomorrow!  J
But first, here are my lessons about allowing your child to paint the backyard:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A puzzling experience . . . and WHAT is consticated?

Today I decided to take a recommendation of BFF Molly and Family Fun was making puzzles with the girls.  For the project I bought brand new puzzles that had 150, 300 and 500 pieces and they were various Disney characters.
Here’s what I learned about doing puzzles with small children and what happens when they find a Thesaurus:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Go with the flow . . . and your garden will grow

As I’ve said before, sometimes the best moments of family fun come when we are least expecting it.  Today I had planned some family fun for me and Ego who was going to be home with me because she didn’t have camp.  We were running errands and she says to me “mommy, I’d like to create a garden”.  So, with my new “what the heck (ok, lets be honest, it’s actually H E double hockey sticks), why not” attitude, I said “sure!”  It’s rare that I’ve seen her that excited.
Here’s what I learned about just letting your child’s garden grow (oh, and the return of the exploding microwave):