Thursday, December 23, 2010

Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas...




Twas the night before the night before Christmas and all through the houses mother were shopping online for the perfect gift blouse… Well maybe not a blouse, but it did rhyme!

I have to say it this year, “Bah Humbug”. I am starting to wonder if maybe Mr. Scrooge had it right. Now ordinarily I LOVE LOVE Christmas. I get so excited when the day after Thanksgiving I can walk into any store and hear “those sleigh bells ringing”. I print out my Christmas List early so everything is done and prep the kids on how to smile in pictures and what to say when the in-laws start to hand out the red reindeer sweaters. Every house we pass that has a Christmas Lights a blazing, my kids and I ooh and ahh!

Then it hit, a couple of weeks ago, it was all fun and games as I woke up early to head out for the last minute Black Friday sales. Then the calendar started to fill up with seasons greetings, Christmas parties, Christmas sings, dance recitals, husband work party and the snow started falling (literally, we are in Utah). And seriously how can any parent stay sane at this point with a 2 hour dance Christmas Grinch dance performance?

It isn’t that my standards are set super high for this holiday (though my husband just texted me and asked if I was going to cry because he only got me one present). I know I will never have the perfect Martha Stewart tree and the stockings all hung on the mantle with care. But the pressure is ON, like donkey kong, to make this the “happiest place on earth” in my house on the 25th. You see my kids know Disneyland, oh they know it well, and that is some high expectations. I blame the television and all the ads that blast daily in our house for setting the limit as unreachable. My four year old asks for a different toy everyday and most of the time I have no idea what she is talking about (what the heck are Zoobles??).

Year after year, I have to remind myself that it really isn’t all the stuff and the parties and my high strive for excellence that counts. Ben still talks about how every year we go and see the lights at Thanksgiving Point and going to my parents house for the annual Christmas Eve gift exchange. Audrey loves it that we open pj’s the night before. And Emma, well, she has no idea what is going on, but mark my words she will remember something non materialistic!

Now to all those last minute shoppers, I had forgotten that doing isn’t as important as savoring the memories. So it is December 23rd… I might still have time to save the holiday (heck, scrooge did!). Time for me to do less, rein in on the reindeer's, reduce my stress and with that my kids and husband will actually be able to see a more relaxed and calm Mom. Maybe the media does have it right, that would be “the most happiest place on earth” for my family.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Annual Family Newsletter of 2010




My wonderful Christmas Miracles. Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends and Families

Merry Christmas! We pretty much had the perfect 2010 and I so can’t wait to share everything that added to this perfection over the past year! Super excited about 2011!

First, Emma started preschool and I must confess that her preschool teacher has expressed how academically advanced she is. It seems she is an overachiever who constantly listens so well to whatever her teacher has to say (especially when the teacher shouts up to her father “get down here now and handle this!). I must confess though, she might be a bit biased. She rocks in subjects like Counts to Ten, Holds Scissors Correctly, and Gallops. I'm telling you, this girl is going places! Tyler and I must be the most BRILLANT parents cause how else would you explain that?!

Emma dabbled a bit in cheer, but after two classes decided her passion is in dance, the kind that lasts about 45 minutes instead of 2 hours, twice a week. During her dance performance, I was inspired how she moved in that manner and maintained such pristine composure. Some might think she had a little stage fright, but I know it was just her passion for the arts and her unique style of presentation. On that note, she is dedicated to making new friends and talking to anybody that is close. Just a few months ago she was talking to the Vietnamese family who lives across the street. They asked if she wanted some supreme pizza and she told them “No, I only eat normal food, cheese pizza”. Luckily they don’t speak English, but that still doesn’t stop her from sharing her views and opinions on everything making her quite eloquent in her speech. Recently, she had two adorable twins growing in her tummy… Zac and Kate and Good Luck Charlie. They are very hungry all the time and usually demand some sort of sweets. And I might add that they are NOT happy if they don’t get what they want. We all try to accommodate to these adorable twins!

Next, Audrey begun the 1st grade. I hate to admit that her teacher (who is not as biased as Emma’s) said she was her favorite. But who can resist Audrey’s calm demeanor which MUST have come from the Bluth side genes. Cause if you have heard it once, you have heard it twice, that Bluth line is calm and stable. Thanks Mom for sending that perfection gene down the line! Audrey also has learned the art of utilizing her resources. A couple of months ago she asked for a makeup kit and I had to decline due to the makeup disaster of 2009. She then brought me the phone and calmly explains that she is going to call Aunt Beth, “she is a sucker for me.” This ideology must have come from Tyler’s side of the family.

Overall, Audrey likes to spend her days doing back hand springs. If she is not reading a book, you will find Audrey drawing… on the walls, the car, her sister. The greatest joy of this is that to Audrey the world really is her canvas… too bad her dad is having a hard time understanding her creative expression. Her art teacher has commented that she just sits and stares at Audrey when she is coloring. I wish I could do that because it would help with a lot of the cleanup I do (thank heavens for Magic Erasers!) I guess you can say Audrey is able to keep her art in meaningful and manageable places. How can we deny her that? I have always wondered if she was switched at birth because God could not have purposely given me such a good kid.

Ben has hit the third grade with avenges and is a bit of jokester, well at least he thinks he is. He is mostly stuck in the house with 3 other girls who don’t seem to understand or appreciate the sense of humor of a 8 year old boy. Call it crazy, but sometimes we don’t appreciate being shot by a fake gun when we turn the corner or being hit in the head by a flying football. But, he is perfect and allows us to simple remember the difference between the genders. And for that reason, we let him slide with the Legos on the floor and the toilet seat up. Mark Twain once wrote, "There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure” and lucky for me, most of his “boys will be boys” attitude means the house is staying very clean. Thanks Ben, the toilets are SPOTLESS! Ben also got baptized and is now putting his new outlook on life to use. He is understanding choice and accountability more now and really is learning life lessons on how to choose the right. Lucky for us, we get to put those principles in action quite a bit!

Along with his great attitude, Ben handled his 2nd year of Football. I would like to add that I definitely can take account for his stealth ninja moves on the field. Overall, the saying is true. Boys do love their Mommies and life is never dull with this one in our house! He has recently decided it was time for him to start making money (SO the Roberts side) and has invested his time in planning and preparing a Lego Club over the holidays. This goes along with him trying to sell water balloons over the summer. Hey, he made $10 bucks doing that.Not only that, but he lost a tooth! The first in our house at age 8... way to make the big bucks Ben!

Speaking of Stealth Ninja moves, Tyler is doing great. Basically his life is like one big game of cops and robbers. If he isn’t at work, he is hanging out with me or the kids and we are usually in bed by 9 (I guess we partied to hard when we were first married and now are just pooped). He likes to think he is in charge of things and I let him think that way. Someday he might realize this, but I doubt it. I think the longer we are married the more we act alike. I said that is good news for him, but he says it is good news for me.We took a family trip to California which was wonderful, as always. No matter what they say spending 10 hours straight in a car with your spouse is such great quality time and one the list of priceless experiences.

Did I mentioned we moved? Then moved again?

As for me, I am great. Though I do sometimes feel like I am stuck in the night before Christmas poem that goes like this, “Twas the Night before Christmas and all through the house, not a person was listening, not even the spouse”. In my quest for being the ultimate entrepreneur I have decided to invest in the following ideas: an invisible fence around the bathroom, GPS for my phone, a Mischief Sniffer that will enable me to know when their kids begin to cause trouble, and a mommy reminder to not forget early outs at school. Overall, I am thankful for two things my family and Tivo for without both I might just have more sense of reality.

Well hopefully 2011 will be just as perfect as 2010. May your days be filled with the ability to watch cartoons on Saturday morning and dance around the house to the Spice Girls.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa – Here is my Christmas List

I hope you’ll be able to assist

You see, please bring them all,

My husband just couldn’t seem to find them at the mall.


I would like to have my own king size bed,

That includes a pillow for just my single head.

You see, dear Santa, it may seem,

My kids are unable to have a good dreams.

Without adding trouble I need this to include a full night’s sleep,

You must understand I know what I am asking for is pretty steep.


Also, I need to have a long, hot shower,

One that is not included in my families “rush hour”.

My showers, dear Santa, will have to envision

Includes residue from the table and my parent supervision.

With hands flaring around and kids kicking and screaming,

My shower time consists of much parental scheming.


Now I am not asking for magical unicorns, a wand or a clown,

The next thing I need is the disappearance of these unwanted pounds.

In that small request I have to inquire,

If no working out or food deprivation can be required?

It is quite simple, for Christmas I want those pounds to simply melt away,

Heck, I am sure you can easily fit that simple enough in your sleigh.


Strange enough, I remember putting this on my list last year,

I guess there was mis-communication and I wasn’t very straightforward or clear.

I would simply like to go to the bathroom alone,

Somehow we need to make this a kid free zone.

For it seems that as I walk towards the bathroom door,

A loud alarm is sounded and POOF the kids start to roar.


Now, if this last gift request does seem a bit difficult or unfair,

I can settle each morning to brush my teeth and comb my hair.


Of course, the weight of all these things might cause your sleigh bells not to ring.

If that's the case, dear Santa, I do not want you to crash,

so please feel free to just bring me some cash.


And here is what he responded...


I thought you haven’t been naughty, but nice.

But I called your husband and he checked his list even twice.

So all the way from the cold North Pole

All I could get you is this bag of coal.

- Santa

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vote for My Blog

Okay all you Mommy's. I really need your help. All the mommy bloggers out there seem to think in order to be a great mom you have to add some bad words and crude comments. Help me get my ranking up and all you have to do is simply click on the link below. Nothing to fill out, nothing more to do! And then feel free to use the back button and come join me as a mother of imperfections in a perfect world.



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Monday, August 23, 2010

Why I should of NEVER let my Diaper Bag Go!


My kids are 4, 6 and 8. Well out of diapers, thank you very much. (See? IT IS TRUE. No one goes to high school in diapers!) But that did not keep me from grabbing a cool diaper bag out of a pile of clothes during a yard sale, and squealing with delight.

I mean, it still had the tags on it, for heaven’s sake.

To be honest, at first I didn’t realize that it was a diaper bag – but then, I started to notice some things. Like, the thermal bottle pockets on the sides. And some accessories that were attached to the bag with one of those plastic tag-thingies. And instead of recoiling and dropping that bag like a hot potato, I inspected it further. And that is when I realized: diaper bags (much like maternity clothes) have gotten better with time (I remember when I brought Ben home from the hospital and actually used the ones they gave me for the first 4 months... YIKES! Remember the pastel animals and the alphabet letters). This one is a basic red with a faux leather black trim. It is not made of plastic (though it does have rubber on the bottom which is fine with me – the bottoms of my bags always get filthy and beat up) and is not pastel or covered with teddy bears or the name of a formula company. It’s simply a nice lightweight water-resistant swag bag that is TOTALLY AWESOME. Just like I can no longer live without baby wipes (seriously, what did I DO before baby wipes??) I have decided that I also need to keep a diaper bag at the ready.

So next month, when I get in the car to drive to California with the kids, I am rocking the diaper bag. I am forgoing my fancy-pants designer luggage for a red diaper bag I found at a yard sale. Don’t believe me? Here are some things that I love about diaper bags, that could possibly ensure that I have one in my closet until the end of time:

1. Those thermal bottle pockets.

Listen. They keep cold water bottles cold during an afternoon out. They keep my lipbalm from melting. They are awesome.

2. The changing pad.

Okay, I admit….a harder thing to repurpose. BUT if you have ever had to sit on a rocky park bench or on a damp football field, you will know the benefit of having a padded plastic barrier between your butt and the ground.

3. The fancy zipper access.

My brand new diaper bag – I MEAN SWAG BAG – has a zipper going all the way down the back between the two shoulder straps. So I can take this bad boy off, and unzip it right down the middle to locate whatever has fallen to the bottom – my phone or sunglasses or the lip balm I forgot to put in the thermal pocket.

4. Serious pocket action.

Inside, outside, waterproof, breathable mesh, see through……..the list of pockets goes on and on….like the list of stuff I need to put in them. I love me some pockets. Diaper bags have them in spades. Pockets for my laptop, pens, hi-lighters, cellphone, charger, cans of diet coke, Disneyland tickets, and all of the other necessities that I drag along with me on my adventures.

5. The “wet items” bag.

Just because we are all potty trained, does not mean we don’t have accidents. Ahem.

I could go on and on. But I won’t, because I have to go play with my new diaper bag I MEAN SWAG BAG.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Booty Trap: My Bathroom is Under Surveillance

My toilet seat is booty trapped.

My toilet is booty trappedThere have been clues all along, but I just put two and two together. Every time I sit down on the toilet my kids are alerted and suddenly I am bombarded with children banging on the door, barging in and shouting "Mommy, I need you." "Mom, where are you?" and "MOOOOOOOOM! Do you know what Ben did?"

Seriously. It’s an ambush.

They could have been playing in their rooms, quiet and content for hours. They could be out in the playroom deeply enmeshed in a game of Super Mario Kart. Heck, they could be down the block at a neighbor's house! But the second my butt hits that toilet seat they come running.

I'm not sure if the alarm is depressed by sitting, or if there is a motion sensor, so I decided to check this out. I examined my toilet. I lifted the seat, I waved my hand over the bowl, I even looked under rim. Nothing. I pressed my kids for answers. "What have you done to my toilet?" I asked. They stared at me with blank faces. Emma giggled. I'm on to them.

I'm not sure if they don wireless receivers that buzz them the moment my behind hits the seat or if there is some high-pitched sound - one that can only be heard by dogs and children under 9 - that is emitted the second my buns are exposed above the bowl.

Either way, it is an effective system that alerts them to my whereabouts - letting them know I am not busy on the computer, not cooking dinner, and hence completely available to them for conversation. A captive audience so to speak. I would love to find the device and deactivate the alarm. To make it so that when I enter the bathroom it is the bastion of peace and solitude it used to be - before they installed the system.

If I could only find the little bugger!

Last night we went to a friend's house for dinner. Afterwards, nature called, the kids were all engaged in games, movies or playing with the dogs outside.

As I sat down I thought "Ahhhh...peace and quiet." Sure enough "Thump, thump, thump, thump..." I hear my son coming up the stairs and he's calling for me. "Mom???? When's dessert?"

I couldn't believe it.

Clearly their toilet's booty trapped too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Overall Misconceptions of Moms and Back-to-School

Oh, yes it is... that time of year!! Happy School Starting Month!

Misconception Number 1: Moms miss their kids when they go back to school

Seriously. I’ve had enough of you by now. Every morning with the “what are we going to do today, Mom?” is finally over. I’ve had looked at your faces twenty-four seven for the last 77 days. It’s time to go learn something other than how to drive your mother to drinking (Diet Coke, of course). No more asking me about the pool, when is the next snack or if you have a late night with Elle and watch a movie. It’s over….You’re going back to School and I get to have a life again. There is a Christmas morning for parents and it’s called “back to school”.

Misconception Number 2: Moms like to go school shopping.

Are you freaking kidding me? Why do I pay taxes?...so I can rack up a 200 dollar bill at Staples for crap that we have laying around my house in junk drawers but never seem to use?? Why does it have to be new pencils? What’s wrong with the chewed up, broken Princess Aurora pencils sitting in the bottom of the toy box for the last 6 months? And how many subject books can you possibly need? What happened to reading, writing and arithmetic. If they added a couple of things for parents to that list I wouldn’t mind so much….why not pencils, erasers, Thunder Down Under Tickets and Diet Coke …..or some Nyquil.

Misconception Number 3: Moms like back to school night

Why must we do this every year? I got it already. You’re the teacher…I’m the parent…. Congrats on Taking my kids off my hands for mostly the entire week! My kid is either going to be smart or dumb. If he gets a certain number or colored dot on his discipline chart, he can’t get a prize from the prize box. Pretty simple stuff. Listen, I’m pretty old school. If he doesn’t listen to you…you can throw something at him, beatings are ok. I don’t care. But I got a lot of work to do at home and I’m paying a babysitter right now to watch my kids so by the time I do get home they will NOT be in bed and WILL wake up cranky in the morning. Plus, I’m pretty sure you are going to assign some project on wigwams made by some Indian tribe I’ve never heard of, so I need to get home and start my research. So, I got it. We’re all here for the betterment of the kids. Blah Blah Blah. Can I leave now?

Misconception Number 4: Moms like school paperwork.

How many trees are you planning on killing to tell me the same stuff I had to pay a babysitter to listen to the other night? You know our name, where we live and our emergency phone numbers. He doesn’t have a nickname….call her “Steve” for all I care. We don’t have any “special circumstances” that you need to know about. They live in a home with two parents who may or may not like each other at any given time and they will fight, mostly when the husband is at work and the wife is having a freak out over football practice. If that qualifies as a reason they can’t get the homework done on time then they won’t be able to function as an adult and have a real job so you may want to “educate” them on that life lesson. I like to call this multi-tasking

Misconception Number 5: Moms like covering books in that annoying sticky paper.

What exactly will you be doing with these books that I have to cover them in a plastic laminate? Do you often teach in the rain or will my children be sliding with them in the snow? Or will the children bedrinking soda and eating soup during class? Do you know how long that takes? Has any parent in the history of education been able to do it without any air bubbles in it? From now on I’m covering it the old way…brown paper bags, so environmentally friendly. That way I can cover the books and pack their lunches at that same time. Who says moms can’t multitask?
PS. Please tell my son if he can’t find his lunch to look in his science book.

Misconception Number 6: Moms like helping you with your homework

What? I am scared out of my mind. I’m pretty sure that I forgot everything I learned in second grade by the time I was in third grade. I have no idea what you are talking about most days. I don’t really know my 12 times tables, I read the cliff notes to all the summer reading and I don’t know how to conjugate anything but I do know that song “conjunction junction what’s your function” if that helps at all. And please don’t even say the words “new math” to me. What the heck was wrong the old one?

Misconception Number 7: Moms can’t wait to pack your lunch every day until we die.

I hate doing laundry. Making dinner every night is the bain of my existence, so making your lunch every day for an entire year, in terms of “mom fun”, lies somewhere between brushing plaque off the dogs teeth and scheduling my annual pap smear. Listen, as a child I hated what my mom packed me for lunch. But, like every kid before me, and every generation to come you will find a kid to trade with…I’m sure someone likes sardines or learn to LOVE the cafeteria. Whatever... you are out of my area of control during that time... do what you must and may the force be with you.

Misconception Number 8: Moms love after school activities.

I don’t know who made up this idea of organized clubs and sports but they should be the ones in charge of carting your butts around town at all different time schedules. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against all after school programs. I just wish they would offer it during hours that would work best for me so that dinner wasn’t at 10:30 at night followed by 4 hours of homework. Why not do it on the weekends and call it “after-hours activities” so mommy and daddy could actually go out one night and pretend that we have a life of our own. Don’t worry about us though I’m sure that me and “what’s his name” will be married a very long time… heck, we have lasted 10 years already.

Misconception Number 9: Unmitigated fundraising that begins as soon as school starts

How much wrapping paper, chocolates, kitschy crafts can I buy to win that BIG PRIZE? Doesn’t it seem like all of a sudden NOBODY is home in the neighborhood during this time?

Misconception Number 10: Moms cry on your first day of school
We do cry but they are tears of joy and an overwhelming feel of happiness for this “Miracle” of a day. I have done my job and worked hard for 3 months. I have successfully kept my human children alive for at least 4 to 8 years without doing any major damage. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world!! Sure, doctors save lives and CEO’s run million dollar businesses but…you teach a kid not to poop their pants and then you can say you’ve made the world a better place.

And now I am off to do what all mom's do when the kids go back to school...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Best Quote Ever!

Whatever Lindsay Lohan... I'd give my right arm for solitary confinement right now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why Mom's Take their kids Swimming....


This is my view from my seat at the gym pool we go to at least three times a week. If you could see a panorama view, you would notice no kids around and my big fat diet coke sitting next to me. Three hours of heavenly bliss we can spend here while I soak up the cancer rays and chat with my best girlfriends. This is what summer is all about.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yes, I said it...

I was at the pool with Jenna a couple of days ago and Gabe was saying he wanted to put his feet in the water while they waited for the “water break” to end. Jenna told him that he wasn’t suppose to do that because it was against the rules. He then explained that other kids were doing it so why couldn’t he. I then said, “So if the other kids were jumping off the Empire State Building, would you want me to let you do it too?”… Classic mom move. Jenna and I laughed.

It got me thinking about things my mom said, that I thought were TOTALLY LAME, but for some reason she always pulled off with a very serious face and I always felt like “gosh dang it” she is right my “socks are not going to pick themselves up” and I guess I “should play outside, it is a beautiful day”. Her “catch phrases” never made complete sense (like “Shut the door! I'm not heating (air conditioning) the entire neighborhood!” or “Close the door! You don't live in a barn”. Duh, she knows we are not in a barn and who has barns in Southern California??? Where was she going with that one?), but she always found a way to throw them into some sort of example when I didn’t seem to make the right choice.

At that moment, at the pool, I got it. She wasn’t telling me those things because it was suppose to be common knowledge or really make sense, she was telling me those things so that when I became 34, with 3 kids, and I am at the pool with my friends I could tell them to my kids and then get a good laugh with my girlfriends behind their backs. Genius.

So here are a list of classics every mom should be using on a daily basis, first to confuse the children and get them logically thinking and then to call your best friend and laugh…

All I do is follow you around, picking up after you like some maid. (Seriously?? Who has a real maid and I always thought, as a kid, that I was the maid)

Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident. (Isn’t that her responsibility to make sure I have clean underwear?? Why put that responsibility on me??)

Don't ask me WHY. The answer is NO. (This is my all time FAVORITE to use on my kids. Mostly because I don’t know why, but the answer is just no).

Don't sit too close to the television, it'll ruin your eyes. (Has anybody goggled this to find out if this is really true? I think it is just a way to get the kids attention).

Go to your room and think about what you did! (By the time I walked up to my room, I would have already forgotten what I did, then I would have to spend the next hour trying to figure out what she thought I did.)

I would have never talked to MY mother like that! (HA… yeah right)

If you don't stop crying, I am going to give you something to cry about!

If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play outside.

It's no use crying over spilt milk. (Really, bringing milk into this??)

Now, say you're sorry...and MEAN it! (How can you say sorry and mean it when you don’t??)

Put that down! You don't know where it's been! (So true and as a mother, you don’t know where it has been)

What did I say the FIRST time? (Classic, I can’t remember exactly what I said, but maybe you will)

What part of NO don't you understand?

When I was your age, I had to walk ten miles through the snow, uphill, by myself, to go to school. (Yeah, I never got this one considering my parents grew up in Sunny Santa Monica).

You had better wipe that smile off your face before I do it for you.

You can't find it? Well, if you'd put things where they belonged, you wouldn't have this problem.

Your father is going to hear about this when HE gets home!

With that, please, use at least once of these, once a day and report back to my blog.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Setting My Mothering Priorities Straight... Dang, I am good.

Disclaimer: It's my version of things, and in my version, I cannot be bound by the requirement of complete accuracy.

Seriously?? I have to confess… Shh, don’t tell anybody, but for some gosh for shaken reason I am pretty shocked at my mothering skills and how dang good they are prioritized on a daily basis. To tell you the truth, I actually suck at a lot of things, but for the most part, I have to say I do have my priorities straight about being a mother.

For example, today at the pool I chased Emma down with a can of sunscreen kicking and screaming, grabbed her in a monkey hold and sprayed her from head to toe... only slightly hitting the lady out tanning at the edge of the pool. Lack of cancer priority at it's best. CHECK.

You see, in my world, it's all about having your daily priorities in order if you want to chalk up points with the mothering skills, and getting my whites whiter than white is never, ever going to be a top priority. Helping my girls paste glitter to their artwork, even if it is on the wall, that's a top priority. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom to get a bit of peace and quiet, everyone needs to escape now and then, but this is acceptable, for a mother who has her priorities in line. But then, do I really have my priorities in tact as a woman, wife and mother??

With that, I thought I would see what the professionals think of mothers and their priorities. I decided to look up some simple steps to providing sanity and prioritize myself as a mother… Here you go, the first one is great. Dr. Phil suggests that all mothers “Take a step outside”. He then says “What a simple thing to do! Find a time when they are all in a safe place, behind baby gates or otherwise entertained for a minute or two, tell them you are right outside and will be back in a minute, go out, and close the door”

Hello, Dr. Phil… Debbie Cluff here. I have to pee with the door open because if I don’t they bang on it (not very peaceful). Also, as long as we’re on the topic of minute or two, can we talk a little about silence? As it turns out, SILENCE is my sworn enemy, especially if I am leaving the kids in the house for 2-3 minutes ALONE. You see, every time it is silent in this house, they are up to no good. For 8 years, all I wanted was ten straight minutes of peace and quiet. These days, as soon as ten straight SECONDS of peace and quiet lapse, it means that the kitchen cabinets are being emptied or the dog’s tail is being tugged or the fireplace grate is being licked. You really think I can walk outside while the kids are in a safe spot for a minute or two?? Get real. Instead I suggest change in meds followed by a frantic change back due to unacceptable personality changes. Simple. The doctors visits alone will give you some time to drive back and forth, the waiting room, etc.

Next, he suggests, “Take a bath. For those who haven’t been there, this may seem silly, but I guarantee that with many children in the house, bath time is sacred and often skipped in favor of sleep”. Dr. Phil, have you tried to take a bath with a 4 and 6 year old?? Should I mention the great leg shave/bleed of 2010? And another thing, skipped instead of sleep… SO I should be bathing and sleeping all in one day? Interesting concept, but how do you juggle that with sex with the husband?? All three? Seems a bit much.

Since these tips are SO wonderful, we should do the next step in prioritizing ourselves as mothers, “Do your hair and nails”. What a wonderful concept. Let’s get out the hair clips and the nail polish remover, then the actual nail polish. Wow, that will attract 2 little girls like white on rice. I think my girls have a six sense for when it is time for “nails”.

After reading the great list of setting my priorities straight from the professionals, I am thinking I totally am a rocking mom.

With that, I will leave you with one of my top priorities with my kids, college funding....

Emma comes running up to me. "Mama, you take my dress off?"

"Why do you want your clothes off?" I asked.

"Cause I want to dance!" she answered. Like, duh, Mom.

"So, you have to be naked to dance?" I obviously asked.

"Yes, Mama! It's more fun!" she replied.

I just looked at Tyler and started cracking up. "The upside to her wanting to be a naked dancer, though, is that we can spend her college fund on an European vacation...."

He was not amused. "You're not funny, Debbie. Emma, keep your clothes on!"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day.

Fathers are wonderful people
Too little understood,
And we do not sing their praises
As often as we should...

For, somehow, Father seems to be
The man who pays the bills,
While Mother bandage up little hurts
And nurses all our ills...

And Father struggles daily
To live up to "HIS IMAGE"
As protector and provider
And "hero or the scrimmage"...

And perhaps that is the reason
We sometimes get the notion,
That Fathers are not subject
To the thing we call emotion,

But if you look inside Dad's heart,
Where no one else can see
You'll find he's sentimental
And as "soft" as he can be...

But he's so busy every day
In the grueling race of life,
He leaves the sentimental stuff
To his wife...

But Fathers are just WONDERFUL
In a million different ways,
And they merit loving compliments
And accolade of praise,

For the only reason Dad aspires
To fortune and success
Is to make the family proud of him
And to bring them happiness...

For all my many readers I have to say for sure that I love my husband. I drive him crazy, nuts, whatever, but all in all he picked me and sticks with me. Here are the top 10 things I do to drive my husband crazy, and PROMISE not to do on father's day...

1. Ask dumb sports questions.... Asked a question that seems so logical in my mind, and is most definitely an insult to his favorite game. Then I get the eyes rolled back in his head and the look in his eye that says “are you kidding?” are common signs that I’ve crossed the sports-lingo line.

2. Have a Diet Coke obsession. I’ll admit I like a nice 48 ounce of Diet Coke or two a day. I’ll even admit that I’m fairly partial to the flavorings and which drink I will take that day – I’m am a plain vanilla girl, don’t ask me to drink plain jane Diet Coke either, I think because I am more of a Diet Pepsi girl. Evidently he thinks this is odd. I still can't figure out why

3. Do you hear that noise remark? In my defense, hubby does have a hearing problem (or so I like to think ;), but come on – everything from clunking car noises to humming appliances can drive me crazy and I drive him crazy making him find the source and eliminating it. My favorite is when I freak him out that he has to jump out of bed.

4. Start a sentence with “I was thinking…” - These words alone make him nuts – probably because it’s usually followed by something that involves work on his part – and directing on mine. But I have to admit that most of the time that is the end of the sentence because my ADD kicks in and then I forget what I am going to say.

5. Take furniture measurements and then send him to pick up said furniture – assuring him that IT WILL fit in said vehicle. Do I need to tell you that I am inept at taking measurements? – Good thing hubby figured out a long time ago that me and tape measures don’t mix! It might seem that anything handy and me will not fit. It is even funnier when it is raining and he is trying to smooch something in the car. In my defense, I really forget that we don't have a 15 passenger van. That should be blamed on my parents.

6. If I have a can of spray paint, I have to use it. My mom told me once to just not buy it and I actually think my sister mentioned that exact same thing today. I guess I didn't listen and that is why my door is half green and half brown. I had a half a can of spray paint and thought, hmm... what would this door look like brown. It looks good. BUT now what do I do?? Do I even need to go into the Painting Disaster of 2010??

7. Make plans and never put them on the calendar and then forget. Okay organization is not my strongest point – thank heavens I married a very organized marvel of a man who seems to remember everything (even things that happened 10 years ago in our marriage, but can forget the simplest of things when going to the grocery store). But I would like to apologize not only to my husband, but the entire world for forgetting about something. I am just so happy every evening when I get into bed and realize that I actually remembered all my kids when leaving the grocery store.

8. Drive, drive, driving Miss Daisy/ Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer. My husband has a tendency to be the main driver in the family, but on those rare occasions that I get behind the wheel. I swear he holds on for deal life. Usually words like "where is the fire" and "are you trying to kill us" are common. Now, if I am not speeding (which I have to say if I was on the I-5 in downtown L.A.... he would not be complaining) I am in the slow lane going super super slow. SO, at least I am consistent... you get the fast or the slow. AND sometimes these dang utah drivers just make me so mad I have to show them where I learned to drive.

9. Develop pack-rat ways. Getting back to my organizational inabilities – I realize I live in what I have deemed “organized chaos.” I can generally put my finger on something important within a few hours or possible a day if I need to. And I do see his point that my piles of stuff drive him nuts, but seriously, if he would just ask I could find it. It makes sense to me and I am home the most. And sometimes papers just need to be piled on the desk, for no reason.

10. Park poorly in the garage. He complains that I use the entire garage for just one SUV and then he has to "squeeze" his into the other side like he's driving an obstacle course. Yet, most of the time he just parks in the driveway because he can't fit in. Anyhow, the garage is so not in my zone, so if it is not clean, it is not my fault. Step it up, baby.

So, Happy Father's Day, Tyler... and thanks for putting up with me ;)