Friday, September 30, 2011

Art is in the eye of . . .

. . . whoever’s gonna buy it.  Oh, I mean, all art is beautiful and amazing . . .
This week I got my first introduction to teaching . . . art, that is.  I am the Art Corps teacher in 2 of the three girls’ classes, and a helper in the other class.  Today I taught 2nd grade line drawings where they drew monsters and helped with 4th grade line drawings where they created solar systems.  Now, for someone who is a strictly paint by number person, I had absolutely no business teaching art, and here’s my pregnant, potato head line monster to prove it.

But, here’s what I learned about teaching art to children:
1)      When you tell a class of 2nd grade children they will be drawing monsters, there MAY be a huge shout of glee and excitement from the boys in the room while the girls can’t decide whether they’re excited or horrified at the thought of drawing monsters.

2)      When you teach children about lines, make sure you clearly articulate that scribbling in order to fill up the white space is not quite what you mean.  The Ego (middle child) got tired and bored by the end of her drawing and she decided that in order to fill in the rest of the page, scribbling would work.  Now, as her mother, I was inclined to scold the laziness, but as the art teacher, I had to tell her that it looked fantastic!  Now my tongue is bleeding from biting it all morning. 

3)      When the 4th grade children are asked to draw solar systems, and one of the items needs to be large and the focal point of the drawing, all the other children will draw planets, suns, or rocket ships.  Not your ubercreative 4th grader . . . oh no, your 4th grader will decide that the focal point of her solar system is an alien with a comet coming right toward it’s head.  I gotta give that girl credit . . . you never know what you’re gonna get!
I do have to say that Art Corps is an amazing program that is easy for parents to teach and in these times of significant budget cuts, this is a way to ensure that our kids are still getting art in the schools.  If you live in San Diego and it's not in your school and you want to learn more, visit
And on a P.S., I had to include the picture below from my birthday on Tuesday.  The girls and their daddy made me a cherry coconut pie and allowed me to have Scooby Doo as my birthday candle.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The tooth fairy's on a spy mission . . .

Slow news day at the Dugdale household, so I'll share some family fun at my children's expense.  Yep, that's goin' on the mother of the year application too. 
So, while we’re sharing secrets that the children won’t be able to find out until they can read and figure out how to find the blog, I’ll share with you a multigenerational secret.  “The Tooth Fairy’s on a spy mission” was what my mom told my brother when she would forget to put something under his pillow.  Well, this little trick has come in very handy for me of late.  And, by the way speaking of things people don’t tell me . . . Nana didn’t tell me this trick until recently and it would have been helpful with our oldest child. 
Ego (the middle child) is losing teeth left and right and I can’t keep up with my duties.
So here’s what I learned about telling tales about the tooth fairy:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Polar Plunges & the ABC's

Well apparently my trials with nasty little bugs struck a cord with (or in some cases scared the crap out of) many of you.  I’ve never had so many comments on the blog (which, by the way, I love all the comments, so keep ‘em coming).  I’d love to say don’t worry about it, but that would be a lie.  Lice sucks and there’s no sugar coating that.  So, I definitely recommend preventative measures.
For the Trifecta, life has to go on . . . just not as quickly as we’d like because we’re combing out our hair for an hour each night.  But I’ll tell ya, this has given me the chance to familiarize myself with all the moles my girls have on their heads.  A trip to the dermatologist may be next.  J
Yesterday we had one of those days that every stay at home mommy dreads – Professional Development Day – can you hear the Sunday Night Football, Al Roker echo?!  Despite the time suck of lice treatment, I managed to pull some family fun out of my “you know where” (my husband has told me I need to start watching my language – what the hell’s up with that?!).  J  I’m sorry honey, I couldn’t resist.
Here’s what I learned when you talk your kids into putting their hands in freezing water and you go on a search for letters in nature:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dirty little secret . . .

. . . and the Dugdales are cleaner than they’ve ever been!  I didn’t blog yesterday because I just lost 24 hours of my life I will never get back.
Here is something that stay at home mommies (or any mommies for that matter) never talk about . . . head lice.  Oh yes my friends, I said that four letter word.  And I’m tellin’ ya, that word deserves a special place in the 4 letter dictionary, right after the word f*#!ing.  On Friday afternoon I got the call every parent dreads that the baby had been spotted with head lice.  So, I immediately picked everyone up and checked them out.  Sure enough, all three had it.  Here’s the kicker .  . .

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mommy's turned the world upside down . . .

. . . and the children gladly joined in!  Family Fun tonight was upside down dinner.  These things always seem so easy, and then you begin implementation.
Here’s what I learned about turning your dinner (and your entire family) upside down:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wanna skype?!

Is it just me, or does that sound like a booty call?  Ok, when my dad sent me an e-mail that said that, not so much . . . but my husband, hmmm, that could be interesting.  Of course, right now my husband, my mom, my pastor uncle and my mother-in-law’s eyes are all bleeding.  I think my husband will probably revoke my blogging privileges after this (actually, he’ll probably disable it and I’m so technology challenged he knows I can’t fix it).
This past week I discovered Skype.  I know, welcome to the 21st Century.  Just as with an iPhone and iPad, and everything else technological, I wait and wait until people get annoyed with me before I use it.   I gotta say, this was one that I should not have waited for.
Here’s what I learned when “family fun” ok, mommy fun, is using Skype:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You are soooo last season . . .

Ahh, music to any mother’s ears.  The Superego (my 4th grader) informed me today that we needed to go to Tom’s for shoes and Abercrombie for clothes, because all the kids have those.  At what point should I tell my 4th grader that not only am I last season, I’m still wearing items from 1996 (a fact that my sister loves to point out, and that I am strangely comfortable with).  Or, I could tell my child that Abercrombie was cool when I was in high school.  Will that keep her from asking for expensive items?  Between that and her request for a “gmail account”, I’m realizing just how fleeting these “little kid” moments are.
And speaking of . . . she received her first call from a boy today and I thought I was going to throw up.  Now, this boy was calling her for homework help and I really like his mom, and he’s a great kid; but the thought of a boy calling my child actually made me get butterflies.  How in the world am I going to deal with these girls dating?!
In order to reassure myself that I still have some control, here’s what I learned when family fun involved emptying the dishwasher, making lunches and making dinner:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Beat the parents . . .

No, not physically beating them, just emotionally . . . oh, no, wait, not that either . . .  Tonight’s family fun was a game called “Beat the Parents”.  It’s a game where the kids ask parents questions about their generation (i.e. who was sponge bob’s grouchy neighbor) and the parents ask kids questions they would know (i.e. how many pedals are in a manual transmission car).  The girls were so excited to play a game where they had the potential of stumping mommy and daddy.
Here’s what we learned about a game set up for parents to lose:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hoodwinked by apple pops!

Saturday night mommy went back to old school family fun.  You know, where mommy reads something really cute in the Disney Family Fun magazine and decides she’s going to try it.  I know, it’s been so long since you’ve seen that so you don’t recognize it.  Well my friends, it’s back and we’re gonna do our best to implement a few Disney Family Fun activities over the next several days.
Saturday night I had the ideal situation – the baby was going to be with daddy at a car show, oldest child weaseled her way into a sleepover, and all I had to do to get a night to myself was pawn #2 off on someone.  Or, I would have even settled for someone coming over to our house.  That would have meant that I wasn’t the entertainment for the night.   And wouldn’t you know it, this was the one night when EVERY ONE of #2’s friends were busy.  Even the old standby, BFF Molly, didn’t come through.  Some B.S. about 2 soccer games and a swim party.  I guess I’m the only terrible mother who will take any shot she can at sending her kids to someone else’s house for the night.  I don’t care if they’re cranky at someone else’s house, they’re not at mine!  J  BFF Molly’s definitely going to beat me for Mother of the Year, isn’t she?!
Even though she kept holding out hope that one of her friends would reply with a “yes”  the Ego (#2) and I made the most of it and here’s what we learned about a girls night when daddy and the sisters are away:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brownies, brownies, everywhere . . .

So I braved my first brownie overnight, and let me just say that thank God they have us go through a “progression” where they don’t just throw us into the wilderness to fend for ourselves.  I also had these moments where I could see why Kate Gosselin is so bitchy.  I only had six kids and two adults, I did have a few moments there where I thought I might lose my mind, and have a Kate-like breakdown; not because of the other people’s children, but because of my own child!  Overall, the girls did absolutely fantastic, and those kids that were not my own could not have been better behaved.  But, as you will see below, the Superego (the oldest) was a challenge.  Maybe after you read this you can tell me if it's inappropriate for me to be camping mom and leave my own kid at home?!
Here’s what I learned when you raise your hand and agree to be the camping mom for a 4th grade troop:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

$2 hooker clothes, sweatpants and tights to a car show!

It was picture day today.  You know, that day when you make choices as a child and they are forever emblazoned in your memory and your mother, just to torture you, will display that picture for all to see.  Mine is still in my parents’ house, right in their front hall. It’s me with an 80’s feathered bang look, a side pony tail and a bow that a Texas cheerleader would be jealous of!  Oh, and just to be extra cruel to myself, I’m also wearing horizontal stripes.  Now my sister will tell you that my style hasn’t changed much.  But, then again, she’s been up all night for the last several weeks with her 6 month old baby, so who’s laughing now?!  It may have been cruel of me not to correct my children’s fashion choices, but selfishly, I look forward to all these photos I will continue to display for many years.  And this year’s photos will be doozies (well, ok, we did miss one bullet).
Here’s what I learned about allowing your children to select their clothes on picture day:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When it's dark outside . . .

. . . find out how prepared you are.  Although Blackout 2011 happened several days ago, I didn’t have a chance to write about the Trifecta’s experiences, AND, family fun just ain’t happenin’ in the middle of the week – I had no idea how much homework 3 children can accumulate! 
As anyone in Southern California knows (except apparently my sister who lives in Los Angeles in a mayonnaise jar), last Thursday Orange County, San Diego and parts of Arizona and Mexico experienced the worst blackout in the region’s history.
Here’s  how I learned that when you lose power in your house you – 1) better hope you have MacGyver for a husband, 2) use it as an opportunity to speed the children’s chores and 3) hope your 7 year old hasn’t slammed her finger in the car door the day before:

Monday, September 12, 2011

A thong (and not the flip flop kind), a sea wall and workin’ at the car wash

Family Fun has returned!  Today we took a bike ride in Mission Beach.  It’s been a while since we rode bikes with the girls, and here’s what we learned about hanging out where 20 year olds are, not watching where you’re going and giving your children time to prep for a car wash:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Neither rain, nor heat, nor complete darkness will stop the parade!

Hello everyone - I'm back after a much too long hiatus.
After an incredibly interesting week with rain for 2 days, 100+ degree weather for two days and the largest blackout in San Diego County history, the 2011 Poway Patriotic Parade had 10,000 spectators, 2,000 participants, 115 entries and an exhausted team of 160+ volunteers.  I was so grateful to have been a part of it, and the most heartwarming part of the day was when I got to meet and say “thank you” to a Congressional Medal of Honor winner as well as to the parents of two veterans recently killed in Afghanistan.  Beautiful day.
How my family has fared through all this, not so beautiful.  Here’s what I learned happens when you –  have the largest blackout in San Diego County history two days before your parade, leave your husband unattended with cake mix, and have seen nothing but a computer screen for two weeks:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Daddy's in charge?!

So mommy has no business doing the blog tonight because of pressing parade business, but there have been some funny things that just couldn’t be ignored any longer. 
My friends and I call my husband “the husband from heaven”.  He cooks, is always home for dinner, takes care of the girls when he needs to; and speaking of girls, this poor man puts up with FOUR of us, oh, and he can change the brakes on your car.  He's fantastic, but . . .
This past week Daddy has been in charge of the Trifecta and here’s what I learned happens when mommy’s not looking:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A beer bong, an island and the drunk tank . . .

So we’re having sporadic family fun these days, but when we have it, we do it up right!  Today we were again out on San Diego Bay enjoying the incredible vacation town we live in.  We went with friends and by the end of the day 2/3 of the Trifecta had at least tried water skiing, 1/3 had flipped over on an innertube being towed behind the boat and 1/3 went into the water with all her clothes on (this, of course, occurred under her father’s watch – I knew I should have put her bathing suit on BEFORE she left the house).
Here’s what I learned when you beach your boat beside twentysomethings on a holiday weekend; you don’t really listen to the park ranger when he tells you that high tide will affect your beach site; and you allow your husband to check out a prospective vehicle purchase at 9:30 at night on a holiday weekend near Mission Beach:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

You know you're at back to school night when . . .

. . . your child’s 4th grade teacher returns a necklace to you and says “I had to take this from your child because I warned her and warned her, but she was just so wiggly and kept playing with it.”  Clearly this teacher has not yet spoken with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade teachers.  Otherwise she would have had adequate warning about Superego’s “wigglyness”.  It’s gonna be a loooooong year.  At back to school night it really hit home just how close together in age our kids are – K, 2nd and 4th grades.  Whose idea was that?!  Is it too late to change that?!  I think my head is spinning with all the things I have to remember .  .  . and the fun has only just begun.
So, here’s how you know you’re at back to school night: