Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Up to our eyeballs in Alligators

We decided to take full advantage of all that southern Florida has to offer, so yesterday’s family fun was a trip to the Everglades for an airboat tour and some gator hunting.  Then, it was out to the beach for a bike ride and some Mexican food.
Here’s what we learned about floating above the gators, east coast beach living and why we should stick to Conch fritters and lobster bisque in Florida:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Two words . . . De-Tox!

Oh, I guess that’s only one word. . .  We have not yet finished our two week vacation, but I’m quite certain I’ve become an alcoholic.  I started my vacation with Sex on the Beach, and just yesterday had a Brazilian Hottie in Ft. Lauderdale.  And they were goooooooood.  Oh, wait, my mother-in-law reads this . . . My husband said he thinks I've had more mixed drinks in the last two weeks than he's ever seen me have.  He's right.  I just like saying the names of them!  :-)  I’ve also gained 10 pounds from eating two desserts a day and all the food I lay my eyes on.  It’s gonna take some serious triathlon training to get me back in shape.
We’ve almost survived 16 suitcases, 14 days, 5 Dugdales, and 1 mommy who’s sitting by a pool in Ft. Lauderdale wondering when the drink cart will pass by.  We’re at a Best Western, so I’m not sure they have those, but the liquor store next door might just do the trick.
We’ve had a tremendous trip that began in the happiest place on earth and then took us swimming with Stingrays in Cozumel, ziplining the rainforest in Costa Rica and traveling by boat through the Panama Canal.  We also had 2-3 hours a day when we had free babysitting on the Cruise ship, so we really can’t complain . . . but, this is my blog, and if I’m being perfectly honest (which I, of course, always am) . . .  24/7 with three children in an area the size of a walk in closet is a recipe for putting yourself into a looney bin. 

Yes, the Superego has the Ego in a headlock!
Currently the children are all on beach chairs that are 15 feet apart because the moment they get within a foot of each other it becomes the WWWF – Ft. Lauderdale.  I think there was actual smoke coming out of my ears when they decided to pick the flowers on nearby plants and throw them into the pool.  If there weren’t other people in the pool area, I may have actually thrown the children in with those flowers.
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting back to the insanity that is my normal life; but in the meantime, and for your enjoyment, here are a few things I learned about Family Fun – Holiday Torture, I mean Travel, style:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holy Humidity . . .

. . . It was 1am and we had just landed in the home swamps and alligators, oh, and the second Happiest Place on Earth.  (Can't ever replace the original!)  I thought we had stepped into a sauna!  The girls’ photo yesterday was at the Orlando airport at 1am.  We had 15 suitcases, 5 Dugdales, 3 nights and 2 days to conquer Disneyworld!
On day one we didn’t get to bed until 2:30am and had to be up at 6:30am so that we could be ready to go into the Magic Kingdom park at 8am.  Really, we thought it was a good idea to fly in at midnight and follow it with a full day in Disney’s Magic Kingdom?!  We’re delusional.
Here’s what we learned about our two days in Disney World:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Traveling psychoanalytic theories . . .

I know, you all are wondering how I know how to spell "psychoanalytic", aren't you?!  Wikipedia!!!!
First, I'll apologize that I've been so sporadic at posting.  Between last week's "working mommy" rock that I was under and now spotty internet service, it's been a challenge.
Several months ago I posted about the nicknames for our kids – Superego, Ego and Id, so if you missed that post and are wondering why I use those names, check out their origin.  The kids have actually come to love their nicknames and this week we took it up a notch.  For our vacation I decided it would be fun to have various posts with the girls in the different destinations.  So I came up with the idea to make t-shirts they could wear on the first leg of our trip.  Not only were the shirts not going to survive more than one day of trifecta messes, but putting them in these shirts could minimize the likelihood they would get lost in the airport – we’d be able to tell the lady on the overhead announcement exactly what they were wearing and those looking for them would know when they had found the children. 
Here’s what we learned about day 1 of our family fun vacation with traveling psychoanalytic theories:
1)      Always test the material on which you are trying to iron letters.  I spent a good hour trying to get the Id’s letters on her t-shirt to stick and finally I lost my patience, removed the protective backing and decided I’d try to get them to stick by just using a cotton cloth, rather than the protective backing.  Well, rather than get them to stick on the Id’s t-shirt, I actually ironed “I am ID” on one of our cotton napkins.  SH*T!  Still haven’t figured out how they could stick to the napkin and not the t-shirt.  I tried to iron those letters every which way.  Well, now we have a story to tell the lucky guest that gets that napkin.  Of course, after this debacle that left me with no more iron on letters, I couldn’t leave the Id without a shirt; so I had to improvise and I made hers with glow in the dark puffy paint!  Thankfully she was none the wiser and loved it!

You can see how I tried to peel them off and re-use them.
I'm an idiot!

Whew, saved my own @$& on this one.

2)      If you nickname your children, you may not want to send them to school in their Superego, Ego and Id t-shirts.  Though I have not yet gotten the “Dear Mrs. Dugdale” note about this one, HFH (Husband From Heaven) is concerned about the message we may have sent to their teachers and friends who may not read the blog and fully appreciate our shenanigans.  Well, after learning of the pain in the @$& homework punishment WE received for having taken them out of school for 5 days, I think we’re even!  I actually had to put the girls' carry-on items into different bags because we had to take so much crap - especially for fourth grade.  D@mnit!

Not sure what's going on with Id's smile, but I think it's fitting!

 3)      Always carry an extra set of clothes for the children (and maybe yourself too) in your carry-on bag.  With five people there’s bound to be an accident with the drinks on the plane.  The real b*tch of today’s accident – it was MOMMY’S fault.  Daddy didn’t actually know this happened until much later, but I dumped an entire cup of extremely cold soda water on the Ego’s pants and anyone who knows the Ego also knows the trauma that this caused!  The accident was 2 hours into the 4 hour flight and we had a LOOOOOOONG way to go!  The only thing I could think of was to wrap the bottom half of her naked body (this was of course in the bathroom that was clearly not meant for more than one person) in the only warm jacket I had.  I wrapped her in it and then just prayed she didn’t pee in it for the next two hours.  SH*T!
Quote for the day “Oh my gosh, it moved”.  The Id’s observation of the wings of the plane as it was descending.  The look of joy was priceless.  Of course, this was right before she closed the windows and got into a knock down drag out fight with her sister about keeping the window open! 
I’m going to need a vacation from my vacation, aren’t I?

Day 1 of Where's the Trifecta
 If you know where they are, post a comment and
tomorrow I'll let you know if you're right!
Gives new meaning to the phrase "Hell's Angels"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Radio Silence . . .

So this week I violated the most sacred of social media and blogosphere rules . . . not having fresh content!  (Can you hear the Al Roker echo?!) Well f*#@ those rules.  Between PMS, a “Dear Mrs. Dugdale” note about boogers, packing for 5 people to go on vacation for 14 days, and working 60 hours this week, mommy is cranky, tired, and not feeling very funny! 
Remember when you were a kid and your mom would say “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”  (for the full effect of how this should sound to you when you’re reading it, you need to go back and watch the Fresh Prince’s Parent’s Just Don’t Understand video – oh yes my friends, I sooooo went there) – and before I leave this topic - there was actually one year, 1997, when my mother decided it would be a great idea on the 23rd of December for our family to go to a public restaurant and air all of our grievances at dinner so that the following day we could be completely past all the hard feelings and have a fantastic Christmas.  This great idea actually resulted in a phrase that will live in infamy in our family . . . two fights and a cry.  We all can’t quite agree on who was crying and who was fighting at what point in the evening, but we do know that it involved my sister and I going at each other while my mother tried to appease both of us and my father, brother and at the time fiancé (now husband from heaven) all sat at the table just praying for a Christmas Miracle that it would end soon. 
Needless to say, after that we went back to the “don’t say anything at all” rule.  Along those lines, here’s my rule for my blog . . . if you don’t have anything funny to say, don’t say anything at all. 
I’m still not quite firing on all cylinders, but here’s what happens when mommy’s creativity and sense of humor go on vacation before she does:
1)      Your mother will actually call you to find out if you’ve left on your vacation a week early because she hasn’t heard from you through the blog.

2)      Your second grader’s teacher will send you a note informing you that she has had to remind your child repeatedly to stop picking her nose in class and to use a tissue, and could you please assist with this message at home.  Apparently the teacher believes that nose picking is something that we condone and encourage in our home and we’ve sent our child to her classroom with this issue just to torture her.  SHE’S SEVEN YEARS OLD FOR F*#& SAKE!  If you wanted to work with people who didn’t pick their nose all day, maybe elementary school wasn’t the best choice.  Whew, see, that sense of humor thing just slipped away again.  That was pure PMS rage!

3)      You will plan to take the Id’s (the baby) five year-old photo that you’ve put off for three months, only to have her completely injure herself the day before.  First she “got a rug burn” on her nose at gymnastics, and then her sister accidentally wacked her in the eyeball during a Wii baseball game (apparently the Ego thought her sister was a baseball).  The Id’s gonna be 8 years old before we get those d@mn pictures taken.

While we are on our cross country adventure, I promise to post periodically with our exploits, including my new game that is akin to Where’s Waldo – except in the Dugdalified version you have to find the Superego, Ego and Id while they are on their adventures.  I’ll also sprinkle in those things I’m grateful for that you COULD find at your Thanksgiving table as well, although they wouldn’t be the same as at my table because more than likely mine will involve a cuss word or two!
Can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving with you Grandma and Grandpa!!!!!  They’re probably going to get on a different Carnival Cruise ship, aren’t they?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Expressions of gratitude you will NOT find at your Thanksgiving table

Ok, I haven’t had family fun for a couple days because I’ve been too busy being a working mommy and getting ready for a vacation, but I thought I would post today about Thankfulness.
Mommy has had a terrible, no good, very bad day – she had a car door slam on her foot, hit the wall with her elbow and had to see dentist to fix a tooth, and that was all before 9:15 am.  It got worse from there culminating just a few minutes ago in a smashed raspberry on the kitchen floor that was left there by the Ego (the middle child). 
So this got me thinking, as we begin the Thanksgiving season, I should talk about things I’m thankful for.  After all, this is the season when mommies everywhere are completely frazzled because they have 30 people coming to their house (several of whom they would probably not want to spend more than 10 minutes with – i.e. crazy aunt Ida), and between homework and holiday photos and shopping, etc. etc. there is no time to get it all done; But we have much to be thankful for and we should remind ourselves of those things from time to time. 
(For the record, my crazy aunt isn’t really named Ida, I have six aunts, so I changed the name just to make them fight over who it really is.) 
In addition to my trifecta, family and friends, following are the things I am thankful for.  Somehow I feel that these won’t make it into the “What I’m thankful for” conversation at the dinner table:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Your own personal crash test dummy!

Before I do my post for today, I’m very excited to share that I’m officially a guest blogger.  Check out my featured article at Fast Diet Plans -  How to be a heathly mommy and keep your sense of humor in tact. 
On to today's post . . . lately several of my friends have shared with me that my posts make them feel bad because they don’t engage with their kids in the crazy shenanigans that I do.  Ok, one of my friends said "it makes me feel like a slouch . . . but, I'm still not going to do all those things anyway.  You're just nuts!" 
Because this is a guilt free mommy zone, rather than feel bad because I’m a better mother than you, wait, I mean . . .  Ok, I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist J . . . rather than have mommy guilt, just think of me as your own personal mommy crash test dummy.  I have this status because I’m the only one dumb enough to try all these things that are in magazines or online posts that look like they will be sooooooo easy, and they end up sucking the living daylights out of you and by the end you and your kids are in tears.  I’m saving you from all of that and you get the benefit of only trying the projects and activities that actually work and are truly meant for busy mommies who have no time but want to fit in something that will be memorable for their kids.  Oh, and are intended for "dummies".  Lets be honest, I do not have time for recipes or projects with 15 ingredients and 25 steps.
Here’s how to take full advantage of a mommy crash test dummy:

Friday, November 4, 2011


Warning: The following contains many cuss words!  Mommy's MAD!
The last several days I’ve been thinking about re-posting my lice blog because it was so helpful to many people, and we’ve been in the clear for a while now.  Well wouldn’t you know that today the 2nd grader comes home and says “Mommy, FOUR kids in my class were sent home from school today with lice.” I became nauseous at that point.  After I picked myself up, I decided to use our electric comb to check the girls hair.  First up was the Ego (the second grader) – she was clear – shwew!  Next we move to the Superego (the oldest child) who yesterday and earlier today I noticed had scratched her head.  Wouldn’t you know it, I found TWO bugs, and that was only the beginning.  Luckily, so far, the Id, Daddy and I are also safe.  I’m crossing my fingers we’ve limited it to one child (who, by the way, is so traumatized she slept on the floor in the hallway – she’s afraid to go anywhere near her bed and there's no way we're letting her near our bed).  All three children slept with mayonnaise in their hair overnight just as a precaution. 
And, wouldn’t you know it, the day before all this happened “husband from heaven” (who every once in a while has an un-heavenly moment) got fed up with the lice infested stuffed animals taking up his garage space.  They had been in there for six weeks and were well beyond the recommended “quarantine time” so he decided it was time for the animals to come back in and he told the children to pull out all the bags and put the stuffed animals away. 
Here’s what happens when mommy goes out for a girls night and daddy’s in charge of “putting away” the stuffed animals.  Oh, and also what happens when you find a lice re-infestation in your house:
1)      Sh*t, d@mn, mother f*$&%#, son of a b!tch will all come out of your mouth in successive order, and it will be so bad that your 9 year-old will say “mommy, you already said that”.  Seriously, at this very moment I cannot think of anything worse than a lice re-infestation.  We’re making a hair shaving appointment immediately.

2)      This is what your living room will look like when the animals have been released, and it will still look like that when you arrive home at 11:00pm.  Sh*t, d@mn, mother f*$&%#, son of a b!tch, I should not have come home!

Do not let the fact that the children look like they are
cleaning fool you.  I think those were the only
things they put away that night.  It's a show for the camera.

3)      After you have combed the children’s hair, you will need to boil the lice combs to kill any eggs or bugs and to sterilize the combs.  When you decide to put the combs into a pot that just happens to be boiling on the stove, you may want to first ask your husband if he had anything for which he was going to use the water he boiled.  Apparently he didn’t read my mind as to the need for a boiling pot of water, he was actually boiling water to be made into iced tea.  Sh*t, d@mn, mother f*$&%#, son of a b!tch, I should have checked.  Oh well, I got there first, and payback's a b!tch for the stuffed animal mess!

Seriously, again, lice sucks.   A few tips to protect yourself and your kids are contained in my previous blog Dirty Little Secret.  The primary differences I can deduce between the child that has lice and the other two; 1) the child with lice washes her hair every day (the other two it’s every other day or every three days) – lice like clean hair; 2) Suave coconut conditioner  - it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized the child with lice had not been using the coconut conditioner when she washed her hair, but the other two have been – lice don’t like coconut (or so the websites say).  We also have all been using only our own brushes.  DO NOT share brushes with anyone in your family!  My last tip - be ubervigilant, and do not assume it can't happen to you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It’s midnight . . .do you know where your child’s hyperactive Daisy Troop leader is?!

She’s on the couch, watching the Housewives of New Jersey Reunion (on Tivo of course), while cutting out 12 d@mn craft projects because she just realized that she is leading a troop of 12 Kindergarten and 1st graders who probably can’t cut out the fingers on the hands of the Girl Scout Promise craft she is trying to have them make.  Oh, and she’s also counting out beads for a bracelet project. 
I finally succumbed to peer pressure (and lets be honest, my own control freak ways) to become the Daisy troop leader for the Id (the baby).  Yes, it’s because I love her more that I decided to be HER leader rather than the other two.  Did I just say that out loud?!  Actually, it’s because after 5 years of watching two other troop leaders, I’m finally confident enough that I can take all their tricks and use them for my own child’s troop.  That, and the fact that I couldn’t get any of my other friends drunk enough to say yes to this task!  This is another little secret that I learned – all the working moms wait for one of us stay at home mom suckers to take on this task.  It’s ok, I can say that, I was the “working mom” for 5 years.  Now it’s my comeuppance.
Here’s what I learned about entertaining and trying to teach Kindergarten and 1st grade girls about how to be a good leader:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Great Pumpkin IS real

Halloween has come to a close and mommy is completely exhausted.  What began with a miniature pumpkin patch concluded with The Great Pumpkin.  The Ego . . . you know, the child who keeps writing “give me 20 bucs” notes to the tooth fairy . . . has now decided that she is Linus and needed to write to the Great Pumpkin.  Right down to the Nuh Nuh she now carries around (this is a name that she learned from BFF Molly’s son - it is how he refers to his blankie)! This kid is going to kill me with all her notes to fictional characters.  It means that I have to keep showing up and I have to take ½ an hour to write my left handed notes.  And, this one I could not screw up – there was no way I was going to be able to convince her that November 3rd was still Halloween and the Great Pumpkin was on a spy mission.
So, last night, to round out our Halloween family fun mommy became the Great Pumpkin and transformed the kitchen for the girls.  Here’s what I learned about the Great Pumpkin and Halloween night family fun: