July 30, 2009


So this crazed mad woman cut off all my little guy's hair early this summer. It has been like 2 1/2 months since then and now I have NO idea what to do.

If this hairstyle was to be on his head at all times he would be at the point where he desperately needs a haircut. His hair is peeking (ok, really more than peeking) over his ears and when he woke up from his nap today I swear to you he had a rat tail. Oh my Lord, I so wish I was kidding. The poor kid has gone from pint sized army recruit to 1986 7th grader.

This is the worst. I want his hair to grow back to the shaggy, messy, freaking adorable look he was sporting before but I have no idea how to go about doing that. If I trim it is he going to go back to that unrecognizable chia pet looking kid he was for a few weeks there? I do feel he needs the trim because right now he looks as if he lives on the streets and it is making me look like a bad mom. (Note: If you have spent any time reading my blog you know that that I have an amazing ability to make every situation somehow end up being about me.)

Growing out my daughter's bangs took an entire year and it was excruciating every step along the way. I don't want to do it again. I'm very distressed. Are you allowed to sue hairdressers for mental anguish? Cuz' I think I'm gonna. Who knew I would have so much trouble with a boy's locks? Aren't they the easier sex to groom? Help!

July 28, 2009

Reasons to be nervous when a toddler is alone for more than 3 minutes...

No children were harmed or drunk in the making of these photos - although I definitely drank after cleaning up the messes.

July 27, 2009

Somebody teach this kid something

Our two year old son has really exploded in his talking over the past week. He is so fun to have short little conversations with and he shows great delight in identifying every single thing that we pass. "Look shoe! Hello, tree! Hi Dog! Oooh a car!" and so on.

Yesterday on our drive back from our great 5 day visit with my parents, we met my husband a few hours outside of Kansas City. He is finally taking his hunk o' junk to get fixed at this dealership like 2 hours outside of town where a guy owes him money. Woo Hoo!

Anyway, this pit stop was going to add a significant amount of time to our drive home - but on the bright side daddy would be with us for the last few hours. In order to break the drive up, we stopped at a zoo in a small town in Kansas. The kids didn't notice the difference but this was a tiny zoo with like 12 animals. There were honestly a total of 7 people there and my husband and I couldn't figure out how they can afford to even open the doors each day. We overheard the other family visiting the zoo talking about the Kansas City zoo and how it amazing because it has a giraffe and some elephants. I have to say I do love the KC zoo but until yesterday, I thought those animals were kind of zoo basics - what do I know?

Clearly it wouldn't matter to my 2 year old what kind of zoo we go to because he apparently knows of only two animals in the world. The first animal we saw was a monkey and so the next six animals were "ooohhh see da muky! There's anoder muky!" This was understandable because those next several animals were chimpanzees, gorillas, etc - things that look like monkeys.

I was however quite puzzled when we walked up to the warthog and he said "ah ha! A chicken. bawk! bawk!" and every animal from then on was a chicken - the tiger, the emu, the raccoon (who knew a raccoon was a zoo animal? I just thought they were the pesky things who get in your trash when you live in the country), and the hyena. Ironically we never even saw a chicken.

I wasn't aware of how little this kid knew until he started talking. Better get on teaching him some stuff.

July 23, 2009

Road trip!

The kids and I are going down to visit my parents for a few days. We are super excited about it!

I'm sure my husband is more excited about our trip than anyone as he will have the house to himself. I know he loves us but I think he likes us a lot better after we've been away for awhile. You know, the whole distance makes a heart grow fonder thing.

For him I think it is more of a sleeping in/not breaking up fights over the fuzzy dice we got at a party last week/not stepping on 300 Legos on the way to the bathroom/no one putting sticky hands in his hair/no one making snide comments when his boxers don't make it into the hamper makes the heart grow fonder thing.

Although we have such a great time at my parent's house - the getting there part is kind of a nightmare. Preparations begin about a week ahead of time. $284 worth of items from the $1 aisle at Target usually help quite a bit. Distractions galore are really the only things that get me through the 5 hour drive to their house. I could fly but really it isn't all that much easier to pack and get through an airport with two children - one of who is a complete maniac - on my own. At least in the car they are strapped in and I can't lose them - well probably can't lose them.

As a product of a mother who has written a newspaper column on packing for the past 15 years, you know I am an efficient packer. Just the essentials - a dop kit filled with every sunscreen known to man, several varieties of insect repellent and whatever the stuff is that fixes you up if you do actually get a bug bite, 4 packages of Band-Aids all with differing cartoon characters, Children’s Motrin, adult aspirin, Neosporin, an ear and oral thermometer, cotton balls, nail clippers, alcohol rubs and a suture kit.

Normally my husband is along for these road trips like when we go to the lake. In those circumstances I have things down to a science: We stuff our car with a cooler the size of Texas, 2 dogs, 2 kids, enough clothes for rain, shine and anything in between, 4 bathing suits per child because they can never decide what they will want to wear when we get there, water skis, life jackets and a lot of beer we are on our way. Sitting with my knees up to my ears, as there is no room on the floorboard among the sea of DVDs, new toys for the road and coloring books, we zip along the highway. I perfectly time the snacks for the changing of the 87 videos for the car ride and we only stop about 11 times for potty breaks in the 3-hour drive.

But this one is a solo mission and the drive is 2 hours longer than the beloved lake house. Since it is probably a good idea for everyone in my car and on the road for me to keep both hands on the wheel, the kids are going to have to fend for themselves back there. This is uncharted territory for me here. I'm thinking it might be a bit like Lord of the Flies.

UPDATE: So we made it here in one piece which is very exciting. Eight minutes into being on the highway I called my mother to let her know we had left and were on our way. At that point my kids had already eaten Scooby Doo graham cracker snacks, 1 blue Twizzler each, 1 Rice Krispie treat each, shared a bottle of water and had two separate arguments about the zebra striped towel that happened to be in the backseat with them. At that point I was scared to death, this ride was gonna be hell.

But amazingly I didn't even have to turn the video player on until 2 hours into the drive and the only times we stopped were to get gas (no one got out of the car but me) and to change the video. I'm sort of annoying like that and hate to stop on road trips when I'm on my own. My son is in diapers so he can take care of his business on the highway and I didn't let my daughter drink anything after that first bottle of water. Of course that didn't matter because about 30 minutes before we got to my parents' house she really had to go to the bathroom - but really 30 minutes? Surely she could hold it that long, there was no way I was stopping at that point.

When I called my mother to let her know we were about ten minutes away my daughter made me relay this message to her:

"Tell Happy I can't hug her or Poppa until I go to the bathroom because I don't want to get peepee on them."

Poor kid, I'm really the worst mom ever.

July 21, 2009


I'm busted, I committed to getting my kids to church in a blog post several weeks back after an incident with my daughter and her thoughts on where God resides. But here we are several weeks later and clearly I have not followed through with the church thing because this is the conversation we had this afternoon:

E: Mom, did you know that people's skin comes in all different colors like, black, brown, white, blondish?

ME: I did know that honey. But people have blond hair, however I wouldn't say they have blond skin.

E: Yes they do, look at your arms, with all that hair you would have to say you have blond skin.

Nice, kid. Thanks. Mental note - make an appointment for a full body wax.

E: And God has blue skin and wears a striped hat and has brown curly hair. He also has blue eyes, oh yeah and a curly tail.

Wow, really really we need to get to church before this gets too bad.

July 20, 2009

My kids are weird

My kids are weird

I think they get it from their father.

July 14, 2009

Can't take my father-in-law anywhere

I am writing this post solely for my father-in-law. The man has enjoyed a successful career, has a lovely wife, 2 great children, 2 fabulous spouses for his children (I say that because I'm one of them) and 2 adorable grandchildren (again I say that b/c they are mine) but I think possibly the highlight of his entire life came about 3 weeks ago.

Our daughter (mine and my husband's - not mine and my father-in-law's - that would be weird) just completed a 10-week modeling course. It is a very expensive program where the kids learn all about etiquette, manners, nutrition, and modeling. I was lucky enough to win this course at a school auction for a fraction of the true price.

Although my husband loves to call it her "JonBenet class", it really wasn't anything like that. The modeling teacher let the little girls be little girls and didn't ask them to wear make up, get spray tans, have liposuction, highlight their hair or anything. I really think the class gave our daughter some added confidence and she loved helping me think up her outfits each week.

This course culminated in a fashion show. The theme was garden party and the girls were to dress a bit over the top like you would at a real fashion show. We worked on E's outfit for weeks and practiced her "slating" - where she would stand at the end of the runway and say her name and which modeling agency she was with - over and over again. E was ready to go and was so excited about it.

My friend Lindsey and her son came to see the fashion show and beforehand Lindsey handed me some tissues in case I cried. I laughed at her saying, "please Lindsey, I'm not going to cry. This is a silly fashion show for a 4 year old."

Okay, admittedly I did cry - seriously what is wrong with me? I'm such a sap. But I digress.

Lindsey and I packed snacks galore and toy cars, etc. for our little guys to ensure they kept quiet during the show. We know how those 2 year old boys can be and we didn't want them to disturb everyone around them. And you know what? It worked. The boys were great. They sat there and watched quietly and really enjoyed the show. I was bursting with pride for my little fashion flower and my well behaved 2 year old son. Little did I know that it was my father-in-law whose behavior I needed to concern myself with.

My son, being 2, has no understanding of social etiquette and he clearly had a bit of a tummy issue that day. When you are in diapers, you have the freedom to do whatever you need whenever and wherever you need to do it. Sitting on metal chairs in a quiet room does not help the situation of whatever noises exude from one's body. At one point, the seat on my little guy's chair sounded like a lawnmower starting.

Knowing him all to well, my husband looked at me immediately and said "uh oh, my dad is not going to recover from this".

I looked over at my father-in-law and his shoulders started shaking violently, his head was down and cheeks were bright red. The harder he tried not to laugh, the worse it got. When the lady seated in front of my son started laughing at his tooshie noises I thought we were going to have to call the fashion show off because my father-in-law was inconsolable.

Those tissues that Lindsey brought came in quite handy for the tears streaming down his face. Thankfully the fashion show was recorded because I'm pretty sure my father-in-law did not see a thing that went on after the explosion in my son's pants occurred. He was entirely too busy trying to compose himself - and not all that successfully I must say.

My mother-in-law was unable to make the fashion show but did call me the next day to ask how it went. She didn't get much of a report from her husband - other than the entertainment in Z man's pants. She heard my father-in-law still laughing about it in the shower that next morning Apparently he starts giggling about it at least once a day - even now several weeks later.

Poor Z is never going to live this down. I feel so sorry for the girl that marries my sweet son because there is no way that a wedding toast will slip by without this being mentioned. And yes, yes I do see the irony in that statement as I am putting this story on the internet for the world to read. But let's be honest, there are like 2 people who read this blog on a consistent basis - so I think my little guy will be okay.

My father-in-law requested a posting about the occurrence and so now you have it. I personally think he just wanted to have a re-enactment of it so that he can read about it on a daily basis. But if I have learned one thing, it is that I cannot take that man anywhere until Z man is potty trained.

July 12, 2009

I'm Stealing It #6 & #7

We recently discovered that the door leading out to our garage from the kids playroom is magnetized. Not sure why it took me 4 1/2 years to figure it out - only thing I can guess is that I'm slow.

This works out great for us since the kids' drawing table, crayons, art supplies etc. are right next to that door and they pump out what they declare masterpieces approximately 1,394 times per day. Don't worry we use both sides of the paper, but I'm still probably going to need to buy a forest in the near future to make up for our carbon footprint.

Anyway, we never have enough magnets to hold everything and it is heartbreaking to my daughter when we have to sort through all of her glorious pictures and make decisions on which ones to keep and which ones to put in the recycling bin.

I found these on "not Martha's blog" and I think they are really cute and could be a fun project with the kiddos.

They are called marble magnets and you can buy all of the supplies at Michael's. Like most of the ideas I steal, I have not made these yet (I need to get on these things, what kind of a resource am I if I always give ideas and never execute them???) but I will report back once I do. I'm trying to do one "major" craft per week with the kids. In my head this is major - most people are probably way craftier than me and look at this project as beginner level.

These cute magnets remind me of these rings my friend Lindsey has and I LOVE them - which lead me to my next item I'm Stealing.

Lindsey has these rings that are called Pop Art Painted Rings. They come with 5 in a pack and you can get them at Beauty Brands. You can also find them online.

Lindsey had her son color hers and seriously the rings are so cool. He is only 2 years old but they are completely abstract and actually remind me a lot of my mom's paintings - but on your hand. You can do whatever you want with them as far as design goes. By the packaging, it seems like something a young girl would wear but Lindsey wears hers all the time and I will too once I have some for myself!

She has given them to people as gifts - which is a great idea because they have a very personal touch since her son made them.

Again, I will report back once I have found them (Beauty Brands has been out the past few times I have gone) and show you how cool they are.

July 11, 2009

Time to Make the Donuts

Our 4 1/2 year old daughter is a great kid and she is unbelievably smart. So smart that she has advanced her attitude to that of a 14 year old. Sass complete with hands on the hips and eye rolls. Really, I think she might be a prodigy. My dad loves to say that the devil came and took me about 13 years old and returned me at 18. There are times I think that damn devil accidentally stopped at our house a few years too early.

Last week we started a Reward Chart for our daughter. There are about 6 things she is expected to do on a daily basis (i.e. make her bed, clean up her toys, get ready for bed easily, etc.) and each time she completes a task she gets a sticker to put on her chart. At the end of the week if she has gotten a certain number of stickers she gets a treat of her choosing. We have been doing this for a total of 1 week now and so far it has gone well. I'm loving our new system because it is really a nice threat to get her to do things without the impressively dramatic arguments we sometimes have. Now one mention of her not getting the sticker and she immediately goes and completes the necessary task.

There is even an added benefit I did not expect!

This morning my husband took our daughter for her treat - a trip to the donut shop. And since he eats the equivalent of 3 times his body weight on a daily basis, our son tagged along - thank God he did! From that outing, at the ripe age of 2, our little man found his true calling:

He can eat for free and work, this is ideal.

July 9, 2009

He hangs with rappers, I hang with toddlers

My husband and I started dating in college. We met in a French class and also had the same major - advertising. It was meant to be right from the beginning. Our early careers took a similar path and we began working in the Account Management side of some Chicago advertising agencies (well that is after he skied Vail for about 8 months). Boy how things have changed...

He was never happy in that "organization" role -which if you saw his side of the closet would not surprise you a bit. So he switched sides and moved over to be a creative. He worked as a copywriter and spent his entire day avoiding people like me at the office. I spent my entire day trying to wrangle people like him. In the evenings we would come home and spend hours defending the people who worked in our same roles at each other's companies. Who knows, maybe this opposite thing is why we work well together.

So here we are now, several jobs and several cities later and our roles absolutely could not be more different. It is not uncommon for my husband's Facebook status to say "I just rode to lunch in a Bentley" or "I am currently filming a music video in a deserted funeral home" while mine run the line of "baking cookies with the kids!" or "kids and I are at the zoo and just saw a baby elephant!"

My husband co-owns a production company. He hangs out with music artists. I hang out with 2 and 4 year olds. He loves what he does and I love what I do. For the past two days he has been in Los Angeles meeting with people at Sony. For the past two days I have had play dates and have made homemade play doh.

When he got to LA he called to tell me he had landed safely and I asked how his flight was. Here was his response:

"It was good. I actually ended up sitting next to this rapper I know." - that is so not a sentence that is ever going to come out of my mouth.

July 6, 2009

I've Ruined My Child's Face

When my daughter turned 1 we had a huge birthday party and invited about a million people. It was ridiculously over the top. We had custom invitations, a super expensive cake made, entertainment, etc. Since we had just moved back to Kansas City, she didn't really have any friends yet so we invited like 3 kids and 1,000 adults. I now look back on the guest list and laugh about all the friends we invited who were 1) single guys or 2) married couples with no children. Those people probably thought we were insane - and rightfully so.

Since that time I have normalized how we do birthday parties. In fact, I have gotten so laid back that my son just had his 2nd birthday celebration 33 days after he actually turned 2. Poor kid.

In my defense I had to leave town for work on his actual birthday and we did do cupcakes and candles that morning, but that was it. 2 went by barely noticed. Finally I told my husband we had to have a celebration of some sort because the gifts had to opened. I am a thank you letter fanatic and have been really stressing about waiting so long to send out the thank yous to aunts and uncles, etc. - but I could not send them out since the gifts had not been opened yet. Nice, huh? The reason we finally celebrated my sweet little guy's birthday is because of a need I had. Great parenting.

I decided about a year ago the "thing" I am doing for my kids is making their birthday cakes. It is something I would like them to always remember that their mom did for them. It takes a boatload of time and I am TERRIBLE at this, but I really enjoy it and I do plan to take a few classes so I can get better. Currently my cakes look like a 3 year made them blindfolded, but I figure by the time the kids can really pick them apart, I will be much better. Here are a few of the ones I have made so far:

The one I made for my son's birthday party this past weekend was a race car.

Let me tell you all the food coloring in the world does not make a true red. I know this because I tried. I'm not sure the icing was made up of anything other than food coloring by the time I was done with it. I must say though it sure does a great job of completely staining your child.

Not sure if you people watch True Blood or not - but my son looked very much like a vampire who just had a meal of a human's neck.

Yeah, ignore the bib that says "I'm a little PRINCESS" - it is just one more of those things he will tell his therapist about one day.

The next morning, still stained, he ate some red yogurt and again got more of it on his face than in his belly. A meal two days later that consisted solely of Cheetos (they are a food group, right?) hasn't helped the matter. He now has a red ring of Saturn around his face. No amount of scrubbing has fixed this. If it doesn't correct itself, I'm thinking maybe he can have a career as a clown.

July 3, 2009

Jonas Brothers

We have a fun 4th of July weekend planned filled with lots of family time. This morning I told my husband that he and the kiddos need to make a concerted effort to do something dumb/obnoxious/funny/ridiculous/annoying, etc. over the next few days because they haven't done anything funny for my blog lately.

He told me that I am just not seeing the funny in things. I found that very interesting and possibly true. Life has been a bit crazy around here and maybe I haven't taken the time to notice the funny things in our life. Maybe they aren't always so obvious and sometimes you might have to look for them. So here is my effort:

A commercial for the Jonas Brothers TV show came on and I told my husband I had seen somewhere that one of them had gotten engaged. Several discussions about our opinions of the brothers and the whole mania over them ensued which eventually led us into a discussion about how one of the Jonas Brothers looks like my husband's business partner. Our daughter joined the conversation at this point.

E: "Which one are you talking about?"

ME: "I have no idea which one is which, but we are talking about the one who looks kind of like Frankie."

E: "Oh, that's Nick."

Hubby and I busted out laughing. As far as we know, never in her 4 1/2 years has she heard a Jonas Brothers' song, seen a video or watched their TV show - how in the heck does she know which one is which? I have no idea if she was correct or not because I can't tell them apart and actually don't even know all their names. However, we found it hilarious how confident she was of her answer.

The more I think about it, that is less funny and really more horrifying.

July 1, 2009

I'm Stealing It #5

This is not a new concept or even a hard one. This is more like an "I'm executing something" than I'm Stealing It. It is something I have heard for years but being the unorganized person I am, I have never gotten around to doing it - until today!

After the umpteenth time my little guy dumped the box of 36,000 crayons on the floor this morning I was very close to throwing all of them into the trash. That is until I realized how many broken crayons we have. I figured if I could get rid of all of the broken ones that would significantly decrease the amount of crayons I would have to pick up in an hour when he dumped them again.

I gathered up all of the broken ones and went online in search of the recipe for melting them. Shows you what a great cook I am - I have to get a recipe to melt things.

I put the little guy down for his nap and my daughter and I began peeling the paper off each broken crayon. This took quite a bit of time and was fun for us to have a chance to do nothing but peel and talk. I learned all sorts of things - like were you aware that chocolate comes from trees? And apparently I was never little; I was always her mommy and never anything else. No photographic evidence to the contrary was going to sway her today. And lastly and most importantly, I should start going to bed when she does and that way I will never be tired again in the mornings.

We only peeled about 1/3 of these neglected crayons because there are so many - but that leaves more for a project on another day. When I was researching how to melt them I found all sorts of fun ideas for broken crayons.

Next we sorted the crayons by like colors, sprayed muffin tins, heated the oven to 200 degrees, loaded the crayons in the tins and put them in to cook.

It took about 10 minutes to melt them and as you can see by the "after" photos, the really thick crayons didn't cook as well. My daughter got impatient so I left them as they are. Next time I do this I'll make sure and cut them all down to smaller pieces.

Some of the colors turned out truly beautiful. Each way you turn the new "crayons" you can see swirls of different shades. This was a fun little craft for us and it was about the easiest thing I've ever done.

Now that they are cooled down, my daughter is happily coloring with her crayons and is "oohing" and "aaahhing" about all the cool colors she is able to make. And I just got a "mom, these crayons are stupendous!" - So I think they were a hit.