September 29, 2009

The dog's water bowl

Today is a gorgeous day so the kids and I were outside enjoying the fantastic Kansas City Fall weather. E and Z were playing on the swing set, I was picking some weeds out of my flower bed and the dogs were happily sunning themselves. It was Normal Rockwell kind of stuff.

One dog got up lazily and wandered to an over turned toy that had filled with water during the last rain storm we had. She began to drink. It was dirty water and who knows what kind of bugs, etc. were in there that would not sit well in my dog's stomach.

Dog: "Slurp, slurp, slurp"

Me: "Francis, yuck! Do not drink out of there, it is dirty!"

E: "Yeah Francis, you can't drink out of there, that's not the toilet!"

Norman Rockwell is turning over in his grave somewhere.

September 28, 2009

I'm Stealing It #8

I have not stolen an idea in a long time. Not that there aren't a plethora of amazing ideas out there but because life has been crazy busy and I haven't had time to write about these great things. However, I stumbled across the following and I love the idea and wanted to share. I think it could be so cute for so many things.

Make your own Scratch Off Tickets!

I am going to make these for my daughter's next birthday party. Of course everyone will win something as I don't particularly want a brawl to break out amongst the 5 year old set. But I actually see quite a bit of other uses for this as well.

I am clearly not clever enough to come up with the idea but I am smart enough to steal it from someone else. I don't even know this person, just found her who knows how. Check out her description on how to do it - looks simple enough.

As she said, the trick is mixing metallic paint and liquid soap for the scratch off part. She must be some sort of mad genius scientist to have figured that out because I never would have come up with that!

Scratch off tickets

September 26, 2009

A crystal ball into their future

The house across the street and down one sold recently and soon thereafter a "For Rent" sign went up. Thankfully two young girls moved in. For the first couple of weeks we did not formally meet but I could tell they were nice girls who would be good neighbors.

I finally had the opportunity to speak to one of the girls. She was walking her dog and we were just getting home from running errands. I took my crazy children over there to say hello and introduce myself.

It was really fun talking her because it turns out we have quite a bit in common:

1) She and her roommate went to the same college that I did and were in the same sorority I was - a million years later of course

2) I'm from Oklahoma and went to a small private high school
- the roommate (whom I have not yet met) is from Oklahoma and went to a rival small private high school
- there were several girls from my high school that were in their sorority pledge class
- I know older siblings of several of their friends

3) The father of the roommate I was speaking with is a Ford dealer
- my father is a Ford dealer

4) The roommate just moved back to KC from a major metropolitan city. I moved to a major metropolitan city right after college and then moved back to KC.

I came home and reported back to my husband all about our cute new neighbors and how we have so much in common and how they totally remind me of myself right out of college.

His response?

"Did you tell her to be careful or your life is what hers will be in 10 years?"

He is sleeping on the couch.

September 24, 2009

The steps to my mental breakdown

Our house was flipped before we moved into it. On appearances only it looks cute but it has been proven to us more than once that a lot of things were put together with gum and Elmer's Glue. One of those things was our front steps. The flippers put terracotta colored ceramic tiles on them - not a great plan for outdoor, high-traffic stairs. After about 2 years of weather changes the tiles started breaking and we had to have them re-done. Re-done included pouring, stamping and staining concrete.

We used this one particular company who at this time will remain nameless but trust me I'm very close to naming them. They were recommended by a friend and they did a decent job - when they showed up. They would do one thing and then take like a 3 - 5 week hiatus before they started the next part of the project.

Here we are now.
1 year and 5 months since they gave us an estimate.
1 year and 3 months since they started the project.
11 months since I have seen them.

The problem with that is that the steps are NOT finished yet.

I've tried quite a few things to get this company to come finish my steps but my new tactic is calling them every single day. Of course the phone always goes to voicemail when I call. I only have one guy's cell phone number so he is the lucky one who gets to hear my voice daily. I started out snooty letting him know of my frustration but since I get bored easily I have now changed it up a bit. Each day I have a new personality. Thus far I have used anger, humor, and calmness.

Here are some other tactics I am working on:
Spanish (just for fun)
Psycho Screaming
Lawyer Speak
Speaking each word backwards (I have a weird ability to do this)
Calling every minute for 3 hours

Still working on some others. I'm sadly having a good time with this and I might even be disappointed when (if) they actually finish our steps - what am I going to do with my time?

September 21, 2009

It's official! I'm a mom.

I took my kids to a place called Penguin Park yesterday. I had heard about it a few times and since my husband was gone all day to the Chiefs game, the kids and I had some free time. I figured it was as good a time as any to make the trek to the park.

As you can see, the park is really cute!

Sadly some less than civilized teenagers (I'm speculating on their ages here) felt the need to destroy the park. They spray painted horrible things of the verbal and visual kind all over the entire place. Thank God my children cannot yet read or interpret spray painted gentailia or we would have left immediately. I spoke with a mother who lives in the area and she had been at the park the day before and Penguin Park was graffiti free at that time. So some hooligans (total mom word) had done this destruction as their leisure activity on Saturday evening. Jerks.

One of the geniuses also spray painted their name - full name, first, middle and last - on the side walk. Realistically I can't imagine anyone, including these kids is dumb enough to write their own name on something they defile - it could be the name of someone they hate, etc. But still I figure it is something to go on and so I took a picture of it and I plan to email it to the police. See - there it is right there! I'm SUCH a mom. And even more mom of me I took this disgusting situation as an opportunity to talk with my kids about other people's property and how we need to respect it, etc. I'm really growing up :)

So tell me, when was a moment you realized that you are totally a parent and there is just no going back?

September 17, 2009

Circus Review

We went to the circus last night.

A great time was had by all - eventually. For quite some time my daughter sat there with her fingers in her ears due to a loud explosion (on purpose) that happened early on.

I did eventually get the fingers out of her ears.

Our 2 year old was a bit freaked out by all the activity in the beginning and stuck close to daddy. There are definitely a lot of colors, sounds and a multitude of things going on - but it was those exact things that eventually won him over.

Like all kids, our children get extremely distracted by bright, glowy, shiny, expensive things and my husband and I are totally the parents who buy that kind of junk for them.

Here are a couple of pieces of advice in the Barnum & Bailey souvenir toy department:

1) It might just be my children, but they have an impressive ability to turn any item into a weapon. This $1,324.59 toy was no different. I'd be surprised if the people around us enjoyed the fact that our children continually hit them in the head with these toys. The kids aren't up yet this morning, but I cannot imagine there is any way we will get through this day without one of them hitting and lacerating the other one in the face with these things. Who thought it was a good idea to develop a toy for young children that spins around at blistering speeds with stars attached to strings??? Better yet, who thought it was a good idea to purchase them? I'm looking in their father's direction...

2) If you do decide to mortgage your house to purchase this toy wait until after the circus is over. We lost the kids to this toy for quit a bit of time after purchasing them during intermission and it did not matter how many acrobats were flipping around, hanging from dental floss 300 feet in the air, our children were enthralled by the toys.

All in all it was really fun and our kids fell contentedly exhausted into bed asking when we can go to the Circus again.

September 15, 2009

Check out my latest article in KC Parent magazine!

In February I started writing articles. I had no idea where they would get me but I just thought it was kind of fun. I sent them to no less than 11,543 magazines across the country and I was fortunate that a very small fraction of those magazines actually liked my writing style and asked me to write some articles for them.

See below for the most recent one published:

Need to Nest?

And to check out this link for other articles I have had published:

look here!

Sorry for the annoying self promotion, but I feel incredibly fortunate that these magazines took a chance on me - someone who hadn't written anything since college. Other articles are coming soon!

September 13, 2009

Blight of the neighborhood

This morning my husband was doing some yard work and the kids wanted to be outside with him. I'm sure our neighbor whose house is for sale and who was entertaining potential buyers was so pleased we didn't feel the need to change out of our pajamas before we ventured outdoors.
Oh yeah, and I have decided it is best to keep up on the latest styles in bike helmet wear, this one passed down from our cousins looks as if it is medically required for my son to wear.

September 11, 2009

Dads are awful! Mommies are awesome!

Dads are awful and mommies are awesome. While I do agree with this statement at times, I’m not sure my husband really deserved to hear that in this particular circumstance.

I had another quick jaunt of a trip yesterday for work. In and out of Milwaukee in like 8 hours. The kids went to my mother-in-law’s for most of the day until my husband picked them up after work. As I was told, the story went something like this:

Once they arrived back home my husband realized he didn’t have a house key. Since my husband’s car is still at the dealership getting it’s 9,087 issues resolved, he has no house key. Yes, yes, his house key is on the key chain at the dealership - probably not the best place for them huh? Oddly this has not been a problem for us over the past 11 months or whatever it is that the darn car has been in the shop. I guess I must always be home when he gets home – yeah, well except not last night. I was in Milwaukee and my keys happily went on the trip with me.

So, D went about breaking into our house, leaving the children strapped in their car seats. If you know my children – or children in general – you can imagine how well that went. I heard something about our daughter poking our son with an umbrella, random things within reach being thrown at one another a boatload of tears and extreme range over not having the windows rolled down.

Eventually they got inside – fortunately without the neighbors calling the cops on the man crawling through a window in our house. It was about then that our daughter really got out of control, enough so that she warranted the rest of the evening in her bedroom.

Here is what she had to say about that:

In general:

"Dads are awful! Mommies are awesome!"

And here apparently are the 3 reasons why her father in particular is so awful:

1) He would not roll down the window of the car

2) He made her eat dinner in her bedroom because she was not allowed out of her room

3) He bought her an awful light bulb

My thoughts on that:

1) My guess is she began screaming to have the car window rolled down at the precise moment my husband was straddling the window sill in a delicate balancing act with one leg on the prickly bushes outside and the other carefully twisted around the candles yet avoiding the picture frame on the table just inside the house.

2) The kid is nuts. Personally I would love it if daddy would bring me dinner in bed, she doesn’t know how cool that really is.

3) She is right on this one, her new environmentally friendly light bulb does completely suck but we can’t blame dad for that, let’s blame global warming on that one.

Anyone want to put in their wager now on how much longer my husband is going to let me keep this job???

September 8, 2009

Calling all apple recipes

We went to an apple picking farm yesterday and it was a ton of fun. We dropped off several apples at my in-laws and are left with no less than 6,287 apples. What do I do with them?

Any favorite apple recipes out there? Much appreciated!

September 6, 2009

Circus Ticket Winner!

So the very scientific drawing has occurred - and when I say scientific, I mean my 4 year old daughter drew a name out of a hat - congratulations to Anne Epperson - you are the lucky winner of 4 tickets to the circus! I will contact you and let you know how to get the tickets.

To those of you who still want tickets, here are the details on how to get them discounted, click here.

Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope to see you at the circus!

September 4, 2009


Okay peeps, on Sunday a winner for the Kansas City Barnum & Bailey Circus will be announced. If you haven't checked out this give away - get on it!


September 1, 2009

My guess is right about now my husband is wondering if my salary is worth it

As I've mentioned before, I work from home but from time to time I have to make a business trip out of town. Today I had to jog down to Houston for a quick meeting. I was there and back in just a few hours - love Southwest - and I got the last credit needed for a free flight to boot! All in all, not a bad day for me.

Here is a look into my husband's day:

6:20 AM - Wake up after sleeping on the couch because wife was coughing ALL night long

6:25 AM Throw tired, grumpy the kids in the car, drive mom to airport because my large/loud car is in the shop and we are down to one car right now

7:10 AM Drop mom off as kids are crying and asking mommy to please not go

7:30 AM Make a run through McDonald's drive-thru for breakfast, get kids home

7:35 AM Clean up spilled chocolate milk from white carpet in kids playroom from aforementioned McDonald's trip

7:45 - 9:30 AM Lots of frustrating arguments with daughter that end with "well, that's just awful!" Continually shaking head as son randomly runs into the room and yelling "Haprise Daddy!" and then runs out again

9:35 AM Chase naked children around the house trying to get them dressed

10:20 AM Take children dressed in non-matching outfits to pediatrician

10:27 AM Arrive at the pediatrician office 7 minutes late

10:25 AM Explain to 4 year old that she is going to have a flu shot and some other shot

10:26 AM Lose most of hearing in both ears from the screams

10:30 AM Have mommy call and calm down child a bit - enough to get said shots

10:33 AM Lose rest of hearing and inspect my wounds from the assault received from the 20 minute meltdown after said shots were given

10:34 - 11:00 Ask doctor a bunch of inane questions that wife has written down for each child - running the gamut of bladder infections, wax in the ears and thoughts on swine flu

11:01 Sheepishly sulk out of doctor's office throwing apologetic glances at all mother's waiting with their now nervous children because my child's screams have scared the hell out of everyone in a 2 mile radius

11:30 AM Take children to guitar store

11:33 AM Realize in a panic, I somehow have to get work done today

11: 35 AM Purchase daughter a guitar

12:00 PM Go home, feed lunch, put 2 year old down for a nap and have 4 year old take some time in her room to relax

12:30 PM (NOTE: In my head he mixes a cocktail here, but I can't confirm that)

2:00 PM Go to Home Depot and to get spray paint because daughter wants a pink guitar and not a red one

2:05 - 2:25 Tussle with 4 year old over gloss and semi-gloss spray paint (NOTE: As a man who has built countless guitars in our basement, he oddly has a deep knowledge of what is better for painting a guitar - but I find that her argument for the one with the prettier can is pretty valid)

2:25 PM - 5:30 PM It's kind of a blur, just did stuff to keep the children occupied in and out of the house. At one point take purple guitar cord that 4 year old insisted on buying off of 2 year old's neck explaining that it isn't a necklace and could in fact choke him. Somehow get 2 video shoots set up and write 1/2 of a treatment for a music video that is due tomorrow.

5:30 PM Pick up dinner, feed children food completely devoid of nutritional value, wrangle kids to bed and wait for lovely wife to come home from her stressful day

Forever AM/PM Appreciate how amazing my wife is and in constant awe of how she gets everything done. (NOTE: That might be in my head too)