Monday, December 22, 2008

I am not losing my mind

I have received several calls & emails regarding my letter to the editor that appeared in the Bonner County Daily Bee on Sunday and no, I haven't lost my mind. My meds just seem to be working overtime.

To catch you up (if you don't live in snowy Sandpoint), last week in the midst of blizzard #2 we arrived home to find that one of our neighbors had gone down the street and not only plowed out everyone's driveway where the county plow left a burm taller than your average 8 year old child, but also plowed the ENTIRE driveway for us.

I was so moved by this gesture of kindness that I sent a letter to the editor about how wonderful it is to live in a community where people help others without expecting anything in return, and without even telling you who they are.

Not all all like Boise where we used to live. I remember the month prior to Kaylee's birth Mark tore his achilles tendon in half playing basketball (more on that in another blog) and as luck would have it we actually had snow that winter. A LOT.

Thankfully Mark purchased some Sorel boots for my giant prego-feet so I was able to wear them outside to shovel our driveway in all my 9-month-miserably-pregnant-swollen-feet-wish-I-had-a-trampoline-so-I-can-jump-this-big-damn-baby-out-but-instead-I'll-eat- spicy-thai-food-and drink-margaritas-glory.

I distinctly remember some of my neighbors watching the spectacle of me trying to maneuver 10 1/2 pounds worth of baby in my belly around a shovel to move snow out of the way so I could drive my husband to the hospital for surgery. They literally stood and watched.

They never came over and offered to help, no sirree, I really think they were placing bets on when I would either A) fall on my ass or B) go into labor.

So truly, life in a small town has its advantages. They may be few, but they are wonderful.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm moving

For those of you not living in the pacific northwest, or north Idaho for that matter, you really have no clue about what a hell hole winter can be. Not only is it hovering about 15 degrees, but we are in the midst of a two-day winter blizzard complete with outrageous amounts of snow falling, high winds and drifting snow.

And can you guess where I am? At work. This is absolutely ridiculous. Whoever invented 4-wheel drive should be drawn & quartered. Now what excuse do I use for not coming to work? And I just checked the visual weather report (looking outside my window) and it is actually snowing sideways. Fan-frickin-tastic.

This is our 4th winter here in lovely Sandpoint and each winter has gotten progressively worse than the previous one. Farmer's Almanac: bite me. You were wrong. AGAIN.

So it is with a not-so-heavy heart that I am announcing today that I am moving. However, I need some help in determining where to go. Keep in mind that the whole family is leaving, Mark included (though he doesn't know it yet). Please vote in my latest poll as to where you think we should move.

Keep in mind that only 11 states yesterday did NOT have a winter storm warning issued, so it severely limits our options. Again I say to you Al Gore: where in the hell do you think global warming is????

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shock of the day

You know how as we age we tend to let our guard down a little bit and say things that we shouldn't or say things as soon as they come to mind? I remember this happening with my Grandma when I was younger.

She'd say something pretty rude and to the point about something or someone and then make no apologies by explaining "I've lived 80 years so I can say whatever I want". Usually she only said that when I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Granted I haven't ever really had that "filter", you know the one that says "please don't let this thought escape your lips or you'll need Vaseline to remove your foot or someone's fist"? My sweet loving mother always has. Until recently.

So my thought is that her filter has disintegrated a little bit more quickly than Grandma's and I just never had one. I nearly peed my pants this afternoon after receiving the following email from my mother (which I would NEVER have thought to send her myself even 3 years ago):


Financial Crash ...
Back in 1929 it was said that some Wall Street Stockbrokers and Bankers JUMPED from their office windows and committed suicide when confronted with the news of their firms and clients financial ruin . . . Many people were said to almost feel a little sorry for them . . . . . .
In 2008 the attitude has changed somewhat:


Friday, December 12, 2008

Comments from the kids....

As a working Mom, my house is always a complete disaster. Why? Because what little time I have during the week with the kids is spent most often playing with them and not cleaning. But I don't mind the mess because then I get to experience "kid-talk":



Brady commenting (while disturbingly playing Barbie's with his sister) "Oh YEAH" when picking up a naked Barbie.



Kaylee yelling "I am NOT putting up with this today" to her brother as they were arguing about God-knows-what. (wonder where she learned to talk like that?)



Brady saying "teeter totter, teeter totter" (repeat several times) while pulling his self-described "pee-pee" up and down after his bath.


Kaylee explaining that Brady has a "mushroom" while tubbing together (which was THE last time we let them do that!).

Brady demanding "Mom! STOP talking to Dad" (which he didn't get away with) all because he couldn't wait 2 seconds for a damn bagel. Hungry little stinker.

Isn't it fun when they start talking in full sentences? Until they start arguing with you, then it isn't so much...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm sorry Mom!

I have to blog about this because I couldn't believe my eyes. My Mom just returned from a weeklong trip to Hawaii, and here's what she had to say:

Howdy - we got back yesterday afternoon. We had a good time. The hotel room was less than I'd hoped for, but the weather was just perfect. We went out to the Polynesian Cultural Center - way too expensive for what is there. It's supposed to be replicas of villages from all of the various cultures but they were not well managed. The luau was OK and the evening show was outstanding so it wasn't a total loss. But, yeesh, a long day - 10 am to 10 pm. We went out to do some snorkeling one day, saw a couple of shows, went to the aquarium, blah blah blah. Anyhoo, we're home. I love you guys!
-ma

Oh please! Quitcherbellyachin Mom! You've been to Hawaii more times than I have fingers! I haven't been since I was 6! Here I am stuck in the frozen freakin' tundra and all you can say is that it wasn't a "total loss"? I'll give you a total loss young lady! You just come on up to North Idaho and I'll show ya around.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things to do with kids in the winter

We are in that lovely shoulder season of North Idaho Winter that I refer to as a very cold hell where there's no snow, its really frigid, you can't play outside without snot freezing in your nostrils and it is dark at 4pm.

Luckily one of my friends has a husband who works at the Sagle Fire Station as a firefighter and I kind of invited myself to go with her to visit him. Thankfully she agreed to let me bring my hooligans.


Oh what fun it is to take the kids to the fire station. They let them sit in the new fire truck and see the lights, hear the horn & siren, and they put their head phones on them.


As you can see from the photo Brady was so excited he almost passed out. He honestly didn't say hardly anything, he was mesmerized! (think I need to gets me some high techie headphones to keep both kids quiet!)


Then the firefighters did a fun skit about the fire danger of Christmas trees. They talked all about fire safety, gave Mark and I tips, and really talked to the kids.


Brady was a tad bit more interested in their toy helicopter, but Kaylee soaked up EVERY WORD THEY SAID and was on fire patrol all weekend, lecturing us on leaving the lights on the tree, turning lights off in every room, and telling us that the firemen would be so proud of her.


They also gave the kids their own badges, fireman hats and all kinds of goodies. Brady is now a junior fireman: before he had his own "woo woo" boots and fireman coat, he just needed the hat:





While we were there we learned that they have this FUN tradition. Anytime anyone gets in the paper, on the news, any kind of publicity (even if its just their backside) they have to buy the whole station ice cream. I asked if putting a photo on my blog would count and they said yes.


So, here's the photo: (that's going to be a LOT of ice cream)




Monday, December 1, 2008

Holidays in Sandpoint

I make no bones about it: I am a city girl. Living in a small town in a remote mountain community is a lot for me to deal with, but it is a cross I must bear. Yes, I know we have a mountain, a lake and endless outdoor activities, but these are things best reserved for people without two small children.

After a fairly disastrous first Thanksgiving at my house in 2005 when we first moved here, I swore I would never spend another one here. Well, that lasted all of two years. This year was so much different though. We had a really nice wonderful holiday with Mark's family.

It was MUCH better than the Christmas of 2006 where my Mom and step father, and also Dad and girlfriend were all in one room with my brother and I, our two kids and my poor husband who hadn't seen anything that awkward since after-PE showers in Junior High.

But THEN my brother's soon to be EX-in laws showed up WITH their daughter, also my brother's soon to be ex-wife. Thankfully, we had a LOT of alcohol. About a bottle per person, all of which was consumed.

So this year was pretty tame in comparison to then my family shows up. Oh the joys of an "extended" family! I really can't make fun of anything about Thanksgiving, unless you count the creepyness of complete normalcy.

Friday evening was spent in Sandpoint's town square where we witnessed the town's Tree Lighting ceremony. Only in Sandpoint would our community be referred to as "Santa-Point, Ida-ho-ho -ho" and have Santa ride in on a fire truck of all things. Not to mention the Charlie Brown looking Christmas Tree in all its glory.

But not all was bad, there were free chocolate chip cookies which the kids ate half of and wore the other half. All in all, a relaxing and fun holiday, but a little too normal for me!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Things I Learned at the Gym Today

Today I learned a few new things:

1. Don't make chili the night before you go to the gym.
2. Sit ups make you fart.
3. Especially if you had chili the night before.
4. Never ever ever work out with your husband the day after you make chili.
5. Husbands will happily point out that you farted while doing sit ups.
6. Your personal trainer will not.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How to get kids to eat almost anything

With two little kids I have learned a thing or two about how to get them to eat things that they should but won't, simply because they know its good for them. Here's my fail-safe list:

1. Cheese - kids will eat almost anything when it is covered in cheese, including broccoli, green beans and brussel sprouts
2. Peanut butter - kids will eat things like apples and even celery when you put peanut butter on it. Add raisins and you can almost convince them its dessert!
3. Make faces with their food - arrange their food on their plate like a smiley face and they love it!
4. Let them "help you" make dinner. We let them set the table or pull the broccoli apart so we can steam it, little things like that and then they LIKE to eat what they helped to make.
5. Finger food - the kids favorite dinner is string cheese, grapes, bananas and whole wheat crackers, and only because it does not require the use of silverware to eat.
6. Breakfast for dinner - nothing says fun like whole wheat pancakes, bacon, eggs and fruit for DINNER!!
7. Quesadillas - they love these and mostly because there's cheese in them, but they sound exotic and exciting, not like "chicken" so they are more likely to eat them. I might try calling other foods fun and different names to see if that works.

While this is by no means a perfect list or a complete list, these tips do work for most children, and not surprisingly husbands too (except for the setting the table part).

I will say that one of the challenges of meals with little ones is their propensity to get up and leave the table. Can ADD be diagnosed at an early age? They are like little heat seeking missiles, drawn to their destination: a toy wedged beneath the couch cushion covered by a heaping pile of unfolded laundry. How DO they do it??

Getting them back to the table is very difficult once they leave. It usually involves threats of bodily harm, begging and eventually bribery. But what parent isn't above bribing their children with marshmallows?

Ah, the joys of mealtime....

Monday, November 17, 2008

Calgon Moment

Do you remember those commercials when we were kids? Stay at home moms with screaming children, broken dishwashers and husbands who weren't home to help would pause for a moment and think, "Calgon, take me away" and she would instantly be transported into a giant bathtub with candles, massive amounts of bubbles and very soft lighting. We never had a nice tub like that in my house so I always wondered where the hell mom went when she uttered those words.

I have had a few "Calgon" moments since becoming a mom. Once when Mark was working on a Saturday and I was home with both kids alone, Brady was about three months old and Kaylee nearly 2 1/2. Both were sleeping at the same time (amazing I know) but that also meant that they woke up at the same time. Crying. Screaming. Wiggling. And what do you do when the 2 1/2 year old has pooped her pants and the baby is hungry and crying and your boobs feel like they might explode? Well I tried the Calgon thing and it didn't work. So I changed Kaylee QUICKLY and then stuck the little dude on my breast. Problem solved.

Another time Mark had hurt his back golfing (yes, another attempt at recapturing his youth) and I had to take care of him while he laid on the floor, plus both kids. I swear all three of them were whining at the same time, each wanting food and none of them wanting the same thing. So of course I took care of the littlest one first and then went up from there.

Tonight was another Calgon moment. And I really don't know whats wrong with my children sometimes. I had one of those Mom of the Year evenings, I am sorry to report. We picked the kids up from daycare and brought them home. All was well until the garage opened and we pulled into the garage then all hell broke loose.

Brady wanted his shoes on (I took them off because he was kicking the daylights out of my seat in the van), Kaylee started crying because she thought she was being left alone. Kaylee went willingly into the house, Brady had a total cow because I didn't put his shoes on, and all I was going to have to do was take the damn things right back off.

He was crying and sobbing and then Kaylee went apeshit because we left her art at school. Both children, crying and laying in the middle of the floor, Mark standing there watching saying, "This is just great. Great."

I felt really bad because my laughing seemed to make the kids cry even harder, but I simply couldn't help myself. Calgon, where the hell are you?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dr. Mom

Well it is that time of the year when the children, the little germ magnets they are, start bringing home the flu in bi-monthly intervals and never at the same time. As many of you know, cough and cold medicine has been banned for use with children under the age of 6 (or maybe its been moved up to 12 years now, I can't keep up).

So I have been trying to find different methods of keeping the kids from turning a harmless little cold into an ear and/or sinus infection. Not an easy prospect with little options on the shelf and the fact that all children under the age of 18 are not even remotely hygenic.

But I found a couple of things that work, and are so bizzare that I have to share them. Most of us are accustomed to slathering Vicks Vapo Rub on our chests to ease our sinuses, but did you know that if yuo rub it on your feet (or that of your highly ticklish child) and cover them with socks, it curbs your cough? I swore it was an old wives tale, and being an old wife myself I thought the theory was at least worth a shot. Especially considering Brady's cough kept the whole family awake!

I also read about reflexology for babies (now before you go think I am one of "those" people, STOP) and how you can rub their feet on the bottom and then their toes and that it eases their sinuses. I figured it couldn't hurt to do a little of both and see what happens. No joke, it worked.

There's also this stuff called "Simply Saline" that is basically saline pressurized so when you squirt it in your nose it gets where it needs to go. Guess I should have warned you not to read this while eating. My apologies. Both kids actually allow me to do this, Brady is more willing, Kaylee requires me to hold her down, but when you're pretty much immobile there's not much you can do.

So the next time you, your children or the whole damn family have a cold and you can't find anyting on the shelf, try rubbing your feet and chest with Vicks, putting on a thick pair of socks, squrint saline up your nostrils to get those boogies out, then curl up with some tea and breathe easier. You're gonna thank me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Personal Trainer - takes 2 & 3

Friday I went back to the gym to work out again. By Friday morning I was still pretty sore, but at least I could sit down on the toilet, put my socks on and reach to the back seat to "whack a kid" who was being noisy in the car.

I felt like I could handle it, take my beating and be on with my day. I was soooooooo wrong. Did you know that you can actually work out so hard (lifting weights, not running) that you throw up? I did not know that, and had I known I am pretty sure I wouldn't have let The Devil punish me so much.

I can say that I didn't actually vomit (which would have been more embarassing than me just carrying the garbage can around "just in case") but man oh man did I come close several times.

I am pretty ashamed of myself for getting into this kind of shape. Honestly it is just amazing to me to look at my body now compared to ten years ago. Why oh why didn't I wear bikinis more???

The good news is that I tried hard no to slack off and I actually had the beginnings of that "runners high" that people talk about, where you actually feel GOOD after working out, not wishing you were on a stretcher.

I did some little things over the weekend, lunges, stretching, etc and was ready to go yesterday. I ate right, I even washed my workout gear, I was mentally prepared to really push myself. And then our trainer "forgot" and never showed up.

So I felt a little guilty for staying and working out instead of heading back to the office, but I did go through with a workout and pushed myself as much as I could without barfing. However, I guess I didn't do a good enough job. If the measure of how hard I worked is whether or not I can sit on the toilet, then I did a pretty crappy job by myself.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hey Big Al

Why don't you come up to north Idaho? Ain't no global warming here, Mr. Gore.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I am totally moving to Mexico

What the hell?? It isn't even Thanksgiving yet but already its frickin' snowing here. My gosh! I last saw snowflakes in mid-June for God's sake. I need a break man!

I am really considering doubling up on my anti-depression meds, I already feel like throwing myself in front of a train. Seriously, I was nearly in tears when I caught the first glimpse of the snow this afternoon. Granted it isn't sticking to the ground yet or anything, but it looks like it is starting to slush up a bit.

Which, by the way, totally sucks because I am wearing a damn dress and high heels for cripe's sake. Mother Nature must be laughing her ass off right now. Although I am a little surprised to see the snow, and so early because I can count at least three people who didn't own snowthrowing equipment last year that have since made that purchase. I kind of suspected based on murphy's law that would guarantee us a mild winter. Apparently I was VERY wrong.

And to all you skier/snowboarder/winter loving freaks out there get a job and work 5 days a week for crying out loud. Quit jumping up and down and being all excited. If you have to shovel the god damn walkway every day just to get into your office and watch 80,000 people drive up to the mountain while you slave away in your office 5 days a week you'd be singing a different tune my friends.

Oh God, now it IS starting to accumulate on the picnic table outside my window. Anyone know of any cool jobs in Mexico? Hell I'd even move to Arizona or Arkansas at this point. Anything beats another 7 months of cold, white hell.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why do I punish myself?

In a moment of weakness recently I suggested to Mark that perhaps we should share a personal trainer at the Coldwater Creek employee fitness center, so that we could both get in shape for ski season.

We decided that it was a brilliant idea to take the kids skiing this winter, thinking that would make the long cold hell that is winter in north Idaho a bit more bearable. So off we went to the gym yesterday for the first time together since before we were married with children.

May I say that today I feel as though I am lugging aroung tree trunks instead of legs? My flabby arms are so sore that I can barely lift a coffee cup to my lips? My abs are so painful that laughing hurts so badly it makes me pee a little?

And today I was running late for a meeting and attempted to, well, actually run to my car. I thought my feet were glued to the pavement, or at the very least stuck on the ground with some heavy-duty bubble gum on the soles of my shoes.

There is something else on my mind today too: I don't like personal trainers. They're mean. They make you work really hard and they don't listen to you when you tell them something is too heavy.

I am sure they've "heard it all before" but when a grown woman with a full time job and two small children steps into the gym for the first time in over 5 years, she's not shitting you when she says that 16 sit ups on an incline are a little bit impossible.

She's not "pulling your leg" when she tells you that 16 reps at the bench press with 35 pounds is more than she can handle. I have given birth to two children, I know my tolerance for pain. And I was WAY over that mark yesterday.

So now I can barely move, muscles I didn't even know were still functional are screaming, and I am stuck at my desk which will only further enhance my muscle cramping situation. I will be back at it again on Friday, working out with that personal trainer, also known as The Devil (and by the way, I said "jeez" when he described an exercise and he yelled at me for taking the Lord's name in vain), and hoping to God that I can at least chase the kids down this weekend.

And you know what? The personal trainer is damn lucky I didn't say what I wanted to say which involved the f-word. Repeatedly.

ADDENDUM: Okay, I just went to the bathroom and I could barely sit down, and thus barely get back up. Hear this personal trainer devil dude: I reserve the right to take the Lord's name in vain and say whatever the hell else I want to say if you punish my body so badly that the next day I am barely even able to take a shit. Nuff said.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote For Pedro

When you are about to cast your vote tomorrow in what is being hailed as the most important election in modern history, I want you to remember one thing:

Vote for Pedro

I am getting VERY tired of the name calling, accusations, slanderous remarks and sleazy tactics (but nevermind that I TiVo "All My Children"), I am so ready to just write in Pedro for President. Can I do that?

Friday, October 31, 2008

The electoral compass

Is anyone else out there as confused as I am about who the hell to vote for? My own daughter is fairly certain that Barack Obama is our next President (we never even talk about this at home so she must be getting this at school!) but I myself am not as certain.

I think if we could toss both candidates into a colander and rinse them out REALLY well, the best parts of them would drain out, then we'd be all set. I really do like things about both of them, I can't lie! So I went in search of some answers out there on the world wide web and stumbled onto this really amazing website that I have to share: http://www.electoralcompass.com/

If you have 5-10 minutes of time to go through and answer all the questions, you might find out that you are voting for the right person (or the wrong one too, I was a bit surprised at what I found out about the policies of each candidate).

Kaylee said she'll let me know on Tuesday when to vote, and I am sure she will tell me HOW to vote. Funny girl. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what happens on Tuesday. Regardless of whether or not people are McCain or Obama supporters, an informed vote is the most important vote to cast.

If only I could be as sure as Kaylee....must be nice to be 4.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ravenous little beasts

Every day when I pick my kids up from daycare they behave as if they haven't been given a morsel of food in two weeks. Kaylee handles it a little better than her brother initially. She at least just says she's hungry, climbs in her seat and tells me what to fix her for dinner.

Brady on the other hand crawls into the car and then crawls around on his hands and knees looking for anything he can find: stale crusty dried up french fries, stale soft fruit loops or kix cereal, or if he's really lucky and hits the jackpot, sometimes he might find an old peanut M&M on the floor. Ew. And I can't get him to stop!

I tried to limit it to just the leftover stuff he can find in his car seat, but that kid could find a needle (or more likely a peanut) in a giant haystack if he was hungry enough. Once he's had his fill of whatever he can find on the floor & in his seat he hops right in and we buckle up and go home.

Once we get home however, the tables turn a bit. Brady just goes & finds his "cars" and plays until dinner is ready. Kaylee behaves as if I have deprived her of basic human needs. She just absolutely carries on and on.

Last night I finally said "Kaylee you have nothing to cry about. Dinner is sitting on the table, so go sit down and eat please." What do you think Kaylee does? She says to me, "I'm NOT crying. I'm whining." So glad we've ironed out the difference between the two.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things no one thought to tell me....

It seemed like a good idea at the time: having the kids "race" each other to see who can get their clothes on first. That way we have fun, we get dressed fast and get to school/work on time. No on thought to tell me that once you open that pandoras box with the kids they will then compete in EVERYTHING!!

1) I woked up first (says Brady). No I woked up first (says Kaylee) Repeat three times then add in some kicking, hitting and biting to shake it all up.

2) I got in the car first. No I did. Repeat. Throw in some choking and scratching.

3) I won. No I did. No I did. No I did. No I did. No I did. Add more biting, scratching and some shoving, all right next to the toilet because they both decided they A) wanted to pee and B) get there first. Yuck. And one of them is still in diapers.

Word to the rest of the world: bribe your children with sugary snacks to get them dressed, that way you get them dressed faster, you aren't late, and then daycare/preschool gets to peel them off the ceiling.

See, EVERYBODY wins!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Conversations with my family

Exerpts from actual conversations with members of my family, some details are summarized:

One sided conversation with 4 - going - on - 14 year - old Kaylee last week:

Kaylee:
"Mom? Carter was like in trouble at school today. He like hit me with a ball in the head. Then he like totally got hit and had to sit in time out. His head was really red and I was so like how did that happen?"

Me:
Jawdropped, no sound coming out. Wonder where she learned to talk like that? Oh duh, she's like my daughter. I am so sure!!

Conversation with my husband Friday morning:

Mark:
"Does this shirt look okay with these pants?"

Me:
"Yes, looks fine."

Mark:
"Are you sure the pants aren't too blue to go with the black?"

Me:
"Yes you look fine."

Mark:
"Um, do these pants make my hips look big?"

Me:
Speechless. I think I married a girl.....

Conversation with my 2-year old son in the car yesterday:

Me:
"Brady, do you want a hamburger or cheeseburger?"

Brady:
"Hamburger!"

Me:
"Pickles or no pickles?"

Brady:
"No pickles!"

a few minutes later after I hand him the burger...

Brady:
"I don't want this one."

Me:
"Why?"

Brady:
"I want cheese and pickles."

Me:
"You said you didn't want pickles & cheese."

Brady (repeated at least 15 times):
"I don't WANT this one. I want different one."

So I asked him if he wanted my yogurt, and he said yes. Here's the next part:

Brady:
"I don't want this."

Me:
"Okay, give it to Mommy."

Brady:
"I want this."
(repeat this conversation about 5 times)

Brady:
(after eating three bites) "I don't want this yogurt. I want french fries."

Little stinker.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The bucket list

Did anyone else watch that movie "The Bucket List"? Well if you didn't I wouldn't recommend it. With Morgan Freeman and Jack Nickolas and the previews that made it appear to be an uplifting buddy comedy, you would be sorely disappointed. It was depressing! And I have previously established, folks I know depression.

However, the idea of the movie is a good one: what would you do if you knew you were going to kick the bucket soon? The take-away was that now is the time to live it up, not to wait until the old grim reaper is knocking on your door.

Mark and I have always had a "things we want to do someday before we die" list, but I like the old bucket list reference, a little shorter and more to the point, completely the opposite of most of my posts.

Some of the items already accomplished from the list include: trip to New York City (Amy's list), trip to see Notre Dame play football at home (guess who's list that was on!) and a trip to watch an NFL game (both of our lists), crossed off as recently as last Sunday.

Mark and I drove to Seattle, stopping briefly in Colville to roll the kids out the van door into Mark's brother's unsuspecting household before speeding down I-90 to Seattle. It was a little disconcerting when we left as the kids barely even acknowledged that we were leaving them alone with someone else, but by the time we picked them up both they and Mark's family were thrilled to see us!

We got tickets in the nose-bleed section, or as I like to call it the massive cardio and glutes workout section, one row from the top of the stadium in the southwest end of Quest Field. But what a fun event. It was the Seaslugs VS the Green Bay Packers and a stadium full of crazy fans. There were fireworks, scantily dressed cheerleaders (Mark was thankful for the binoculars) and lots and lots of beer.

It was, in a way, like being at home. The later in the game, the more the fans drank, and the increased friction between Seahawk & Green Bay fans, who were previously peacefully co-existing during the first half of the game. The only thing missing were mullets. Otherwise, it was a stadium full of drunk, angry and overly optimistic Hawk fans, and I would imagine similar to attending an Idaho Vandal game this season.

All in all, the experience was great. We did miss the kids, but being present to watch Green Bay squish the Seachickens (who I have had a difficult time loving since Steve Largent left) was quite an adventure and a fun item to check off the bucket list.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Panic Attacks and other fun things....

Well I really don't want to take a serious turn on my blog, but as you know I am all about humor so I'll try to keep this as light as possible! On occasion I have mentioned that I do, in fact, take medication. Very tongue in cheek-ish, but I need to be up front and honest: I take Lexapro.

Someone recently asked me, what the hell is Lexapro? For those of you well-balanced, strees free freaks of nature, it is a once-daily medication that keeps me from driving my car off the long bridge into the deepest part of the lake and from going to the emergency room fearing I am having a heart attack. In other words, it is anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication.

And yes, I went to the emergency room once thinking I was having a heart attack. At age 34. In pretty good health. Duh. I felt like someone was standing on my chest, I couldn't breathe hardly and when I got in there my blood pressure was so high it was amazing. Nothing like a good narcotic to bring you down however. I think they gave me Xanax?

So of course they said I needed therapy, medication and for god's sake an outlet for my stress. So I left my corporate job at Coldwater Creek to run a local nonprofit. How long do you think that lasted until I started getting anxiety attacks again? Needless to say, I didn't get therapy or meds until late last winter when we still had 5 feet of snow and I thought about either driving myself into oncoming traffic or disappearing to Mexico. Sadly, the bridge scenario was more appealing.

I still have yet to find an outlet for my stress however. As a working mom with a demanding job and a spouse with an equally demanding job, about all I have time to do or the means to do during the week is play with kids, do housework, watch TV and pass out in bed as soon as possible. Does this sounds familiar to anyone?

So here I am confessing to using medication to balance my brain out, but in all honesty I wouldn't go back and do anything different. Most people close to me who weren't necessarily excited about meds are now saying "Keep that woman medicated!".

I am more of the me I used to be, and I liked me once a long time ago, and well slowly I am starting to be friends with myself again so that's a good thing. All joking aside, if you or anyone you know needs help, get it, get therapy and feel better.

Besides, if it weren't for Lexapro I wouldn't be able to torture people with my rambling thoughts, and it keeps me from being one of those alcoholic moms on the Oprah show.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The boat appears to be the big winner!

It appears that the boat wins over the boobs in the polls. Which is totally cool with me. I kind of wish I would have extended the voting because I think there's a good chance the boobs may have made a last minute climb to the top (kinda like the McCain/Palin ticket).

As I have been watching the news and the financial crisis, I really do agree that the boat might be a wiser use of funds at this time, mostly because we could always sell the boat if we need money for the bread lines, but boobs, well can't really sell those suckers for money. Or can you???

Hmmmm.....well I am a mother after all. So if I barely let my husband see them, I can only imagine my willingess to let anyone else see them either. Now that we are entering the fall season my desire for a boat to use or boobs to flaunt is fading a bit, but I do appreciate your willingness to cast your vote.

Come spring time, we will be buying a boat. It might be a big surprise for Mark, after all it is easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Santa pooped in our fireplace

Last night we were looking at our gas-fueled fireplace to find out if we can convert it from propane to natural gas, as Sagle, ID has officially joined the 21st century and in SOME areas now offers the convenience and affordability of natural gas. I'll miss that white trash propane tank, no more christmas lights on it this year...bummer.

As we were examining the connection underneath, Kaylee had an opportunity to get an up-close look at the inside where the logs are. Because it has a glass front, fake logs and is meant more for visual appeal than actual heat there are these little lumps in it that, I think, are meant to resemble ashes or smaller pieces of the wood as they burn off. Apparently to a four year old, they look like something completely different.

I was folding laundry a short distance away and heard this sweet little Kaylee voice say, "Mom! I think Santa pooped in our fireplace!" I nearly peed my pants laughing.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Girls night out...

I threw caution to the wind and had a girls night out on Friday night. I promised the gals that I wouldn't blog about them, so I won't, and truly they were so much fun I really can't make fun of 'em anyway. However, I went to my first ever Sandpoint, ID bar Friday night.

Those of you who knew me before marriage and children will find that surprising. But once you "settle down" you find that you hit the bars a little less often. What a fun time, though I paid for it dearly on Saturday. My friend and I each had a bottle + one glass of wine while we were out. Granted it was over an 8-hour period (started at 6, ended at 2) but the old metabolism isn't quite runnin' like it used to.

We had dinner, went to a concert and then hung out at the Coldwater Creek Wine Bar, before heading down the street to A&Ps. Well, it was a pretty rough crowd for my comfort zone so really I just peeked in, maybe stuck a toe in the door. Then we stumbled across the street to Synergy, which allegedly is the "place to be" for dancing. So I guess only 12 people like dancing to techno-music in Sandpoint. We weren't high on illicit drugs so decided that maybe that wasn't the place for us.

Next we hit the 219. There were four of us, and only 2 of us actually got carded. I wasn't one of them. However, I was wearing this boiled-wool grandma sweater, that turned out to be the best desperate man-repellent ever. As soon as we got into the bar we quickly made our way to the back where the pool table was a safe haven among a room full of lonlely loggers and tarted-up underage female drinkers looking to score. The grandma sweater once again did its job.

We then decided to attempt to get into Eichardt's, but they were closing because no one was there, despite our attempts to remind them that we were, in fact, there. We made the rounds attempting a few more places, but really the grandma sweater was starting to make me feel a little uncomfortable. After all, back in the "day" I wouldn't have been caught dead looking like a 50-year old in a bar. My confidence was shaken, particularly after a drunk 19 year old referred to me as a librarian. The nerd goggle glasses with rhinestones probably didn't help.

Eventually we all parted ways, but not before four very drunk women hugged each other and said how much fun we had and how GREAT everyone is and how we have to do this again. And soon. After Saturday I don't think I can look at a bottle of wine for about three months without my stomach turning. Burp.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Things I learned at an amusement park

We took the kids to Silverwood Theme Park, a short 25 minute drive from our house for probably the last time this season. We spent 7 hours there and aside from having a lot of fun as a family, I learned some important lessons about life. Hard to imagine life lessons while screaming your ass off on the aptly named "The Scrambler" but bear with me.

Lesson #1: Children and adults experience fear at completely different times during the same event. For example, while in line for a giant rollercoaster an adult is thinking: "I hope my life insurance policy is current because I might die. Will my spouse remarry soon after my death on this roller coaster? Is this ride worth the possibility of death? Did I put on clean underwear today? What if I die or poop my pants? What if I say the F-word on this ride in front of other people's children?" You know, the kinds of things likely to send anyone into a panic attack.

Children, in the same line for the same roller coaster think, "Cool! I am going to go on this big roller coaster."

Adults, once on the ride think, "Cool! This roller coaster is awesome, I am so glad I didn't chicken out." Children, next to the aforementioned adult, are thinking,"What was I thinking getting on this roller coaster? I might die, and then no more cartoons! I won't get to see the final episode of Hannah Montana! My brother will steal all my toys! Wait a minute, did I just pee a little?"

Lesson #2: People think you are weird for taking your four year old on the northwest's scariest roller coaster. Yes, another "mom of the year" moment for me, but I did take my four year old on a giant roller coaster, and I did get the stink eye from other people. But here's what I actually learned: it isn't fair to put our fears onto our children, especially when it is something we are willing to do ourselves.

For the past three years that we have been going to Silverwood Kaylee has watched me ride these big roller coasters. Yes, I am a BIG KID when it comes to theme parks. So I was a little hesitant to let Kaylee try, even though she was big enough to ride with me last summer and all of this summer. She asked me and I decided, what the heck? (must have been the medication talking)

So we got in line, took a ride, and all she said at the end was: "That terrified me! Let's do it again!" I was SO PROUD!

Lesson #3: No matter what, people you know really well can still surprise you. My Dad is 68 years old. I've known him for nearly 36 of those years. He has been coming with us to Silverwood at least once or twice a summer since we've lived here. He's never actually ridden any of the rides, and certainly not with the kids. I figured he just liked watching. Wrong-ola.

Now that the kids are older, he was ALL OVER going on rides with them. He took them on the log ride (looks like a big terd with a couple of seats carved out), the tilt-a-whirl (guaranteed to make most people hurl), the aforementioned scrambler, and even one of the big roller coasters. Is it weird for a child to be proud of a parent?

Lesson #4: Even if something is more difficult than you thought, a lot of the time you end up thinking you had a good time anyway. In our infinite wisdom we decided that maybe we should do those "Olde Tyme Muggs" photos, you know the ones where you dress up in western stuff and pay $50 for a 5X7 sepia tinted print?

Three of the four of us really enjoyed the experience. One of us, the youngest of the bunch, was a complete pain in the patootie the entire time. Wouldn't smile, wouldn't look at the camera, kept pulling his stuff off. It was a nightmare. The end result: a pretty darn funny picture of Mark, Kaylee and I smiling and Brady scowling at the camera.

As we were preparing to leave, Brady says, "that was fun!" Are ya kiddin' me??

Lesson #5: Better to enjoy quality fun time with the kids now because someday they won't give you the time of day. Mark took Brady for a nap mid-day, though I wasn't sure who needed one more! Kaylee and I had some quality mom/daughter time.

We went on as many rides as we could and I soaked up all that time with her, in between trying to keep the elephant ear from coming back up while on the tilt-a-whirl... We were sitting on the tilt-a-whirl waiting for the ride to start and Kaylee said, "I am glad I'm here with you." Just warmed my heart!

I got to thinking that I was really glad we had time to just hang out, no rules, no restrictions, just for fun because I know, as a former middle school teacher, that in about 10 years she won't even give me the time of day!

All in all, I learned a lot of stuff, probably more than what is written here, but I'll save it for another time.

Click here to see photos and descriptions of Timber Terror and Tremors, the Big Rides at the Park: http://www.silverwoodthemepark.com/coaster-alley.php

Then, you can start that nomination form for mother of the year for me....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This will surely get me fired....

The poll on "what do you want me to blog about" isn't closed yet, but I see that three of you are curious about my job. I am the executive director for a local nonprofit. Lucky me. Actually 95% of the time I absolutely LOVE my job. Then the other 5%.....

I have mentioned, in the past, that there are some crazy ass people that live in North Idaho. One of them in particular is (actually was until this morning) a volunteer at my organization. This individual will remain unamed, however I cannot resist the opportunity to share with you what happened.

As a quick disclaimer, 99.9% of my volunteers are amazing, wonderful, generous and kind. They do so much for this organization on their own time and essentially keep us afloat. Nonprofits would never survive without volunteers, that's a fact. Unfortunately sometimes there are volunteers that you have to fire. Which is what I did today.

I have this "person" who for quite some time hasn't liked many things I have done, mostly because they are used to "how things used to be". I absolutely cannot stand the "that's not how we did it in the past" mentality because that, my friends, prevents forward progress. But I digress....

In their infinite wisdom this person has been working "behind the scenes" sending damaging emails to a select group of our other volunteers (anyone else feel like they are in junior high besides me??), attacking me as a person, questioning my integrity, and insinuating that I am not doing my job.

But the absolutely BEST part of this whole situation is that this volunteer left a GIANT PILE of emails that they printed documenting the aforementioned attacks. SMART. I found this little pile of gold upstairs when preparing for another meeting. Quite funny because they have been sitting there for a week and a half.

Call me crazy, but if you knew you left a damaging pile of documentable insults and highly inappropriate activities, wouldn't you AT LEAST try to retrieve it? DUH!

Okay, that will potentially get me fired, but this part SURELY will:

An excerpt from one of the printed emails I found:

"Of course Amy won't be there because of the fall out. She is good at using a sick kid and her husband's job as excuses. His month end closing seems to fall at all times of the month depending on when Amy needs an excuse. See you at 4."

Okay, first of all the email print out is dated Sept. 4. For those of you in finance (and you know who you are!) month end is ALWAYS at the beginning of the month following close.

Secondly, we are all aware of the situation with Mr. Sinky Pants so clearly I didn't "use" a sick kid as an "excuse". I actually attended this meeting mentioned above, where she brought all her photocopied emails, notes and conspiracy theories, no doubt with a plan to expose me as a fraud!

Then she left them behind! Is she a politician???? Boy she should be!

One final disclaimer, I would never normally write about a volunteer in a negative way. Volunteers are literally the heart and soul of our community, and my organization. They contribute their time, talents and expertise in ways you cannot imagine.

However, as has been established in the past, blogging is cheap therapy for me so I had to do this. I had to share what I am coming to think of as one of the worst experiences of my career to date (having to fire a volunteer with witnesses present isn't the top of my list of favorite things to do) but at the same time serves to reinforce the notion that without a sense of humor, in this life, we would all be lost.

Keep reading, keep sharing, and most of all, keep laughing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The new booby debate rages on

Mark and I met for lunch today at Subway (did you know you can get a tasty 6 inch sandwich under 300 calories for $5??) and took in some "scenery" while we were there. Actually, Mark enjoyed the view while I pondered the benefits of a boob job.

This is one of my favorite topics to discuss with him because when it comes to women's breasts, there is no logic for a man. We go back and forth on what is a better investment, boobs or a boat? Tough call for me as a small breasted woman living 10 minutes from a lake.

So, I figure for the cost of a decent boob job (roughly $4800 thanks to one of my friends who had the consultation and got the job done) you can also buy a decent used boat.

I think that is interesting. Not that I would mind having a nice rack, since what little I had when I got married droops well below my armpits (the end result of two children) and my belly sticks out further than they do prompting questions from my children like "is there a baby in there"?

Just for fun, let's compare, apples to apples:

Boat: floats on water
Boobs: floats in water
winner: boat

Boat: for a nice used boat, price tag of about $5000
Boobs: for a brand new set, price tag of $4800
winner: boobs

Boat: fun for for the whole family
Boobs: fun only for me, and, on rare occasions, Mark
winner: boat

Boat: replacement cost in 10 - 20 years: could be nothing if you take care of your boat
Boobs: replacement cost: another $4800 or more (with inflation) no matter HOW well you take care of 'em
winner: boat

Boat: everyone can see it and admire it all summer long
Boobs: everyone can see MOST of them and admire them all summer long
winner: toss up

Boat: we will have WAY more friends with a boat
Boobs: only I will have way more friends and Mark may not like them!
winner: depends on who you ask! but in all fairness, the boat wins this argument

Clearly, the boat is the best investment for the expense. Way more bang for our buck and truly fun for the whole family. New boobs might actually end up creating another family member (just ask the aforementioned friend who did get the boob job!!) and would really prevent us from getting out there and enjoying the lake.

I have another poll to see what you, my wonderful readers who keep sending this to everyone they know (hint hint) think about the boat vs boob debate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Writer's block?

I woke up today with a pretty bad case of writer's block. Usually I have all sorts of things to discuss on my blog (as you are probably aware) and today for some reason, I just couldn't think. Well, that isn't entirely true.

I could blog about all sorts of stuff, but when your family/friends/co-workers all read your blog it puts some severe limitations on what you can discuss. One of my favorite friends reads the blog after we hang out hoping that I don't blog about something they did! Not that I think it would ruin our friendship or anything but I haven't quite gotten to the no-holds-barred approach in my blogging.

For example, I have YEARS and YEARS worth of material from my parents (sorry Mom & Dad, but you know its true!) but at the same time since I at least know my Mom reads it (she's even posted comments, thanks Mom!!) I have to be careful or I'll be cut out of the will entirely. I usually save my family issues for paid therapy sessions anyway since there's that patient/doctor privilege thing.

And when it comes to my brother, well I have lots of stuff to talk about, like how he still gives me wet willies every now and again, how he used to sit on me and fart (still traumatized about it), how he shot me in the pinky toe with a bb gun when we were kids and it swelled up bigger than my BIG toe, or how no matter how old I get I will never EVER be as smart as he is. However, I do think I was at least blessed with common sense, or as I like to call it "street smarts". My brother, not so much.

That's a whole other blog session, but a quick example: When we were kids he built a bomb in our garage on the 4th of July and didn't bother to hide it from the folks. Yep, left it sitting on the workbench in the garage where the adults would see it when they headed out for the fireworks. Now, I may not be smart enough to build a bomb out of fertilizer, gun powder, a baby food jar and who knows what else, but I sure know better than to leave it in plain sight. Duh!

Funny thing is, I don't seem to have any trouble making fun of my husband or children. Of course the kids can't read, so that's a no brainer. And at least Mark has a good sense of humor so he doesn't get too excited about most things, but he is very sensitive to any further references to boners.

Hopefully this writer's block thing will be cured soon, or at least I'll get over the worry about being fired and start talking about all the crazy stuff that happens in my job (hint: Mark, you better get a raise pretty soon or we're gonna be in trouble!).

In the meantime, I have added another poll to my blog. Since the noodle thing didn't pan out (I think Google AdSense is conspiring against me) I'll figure something else out. Check it out, and enjoy the day folks!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I got my ass kicked by a vacuum cleaner

If you are eating or about to eat, don't read on. Otherwise, enter at your own risk.

Unfortunately for us our cleaning lady didn't come yesterday as scheduled. I was home with Brady a.k.a. Sir Poops A Lot because daycare sent him home (again) with the hershey squirts. I can spell diarrhea now (thanks google) and am now fully aware that yellow diarrhea can mean Giardia. And when the first question every nurse & doctor asks is "have you been camping lately?" its a sure bet they think the same thing.

Anyhoozer, the poor little dude has something going on, so bad that we had to catch him in the act of filling his drawers so that we could stuff the liquid poo into a little cup for analysis. I thought Mark was going to barf, which would not have been fun. We managed to get a "sample" as they call it and rushed to the lab at the local hospital. Granted it was 4pm, but come on lady, have a sense of humor instead of just staring when I say "Thank God you're here, you don't know what I had to go through to get that!". Well, maybe she doesn't speak English.

But I digress. I didn't want to have our cleaning lady experience the children on Friday so we canceled her visit. She comes every 2 weeks and before you peg me as one of "those" people who doesn't "do" cleaning, please know that I am just lazy. And I want to use my weekends to enjoy yelling at my children rather than cleaning. In any event, because of Mr. Stinky Pants and whatever plague he might be spreading, I thought it best to go ahead and clean the house myself.

There was a running joke at Kaylee's daycare for months because everytime she saw the vacuum she would get really scared. They always teased me that it was because she had never seen me use one. I didn't quite have the heart to tell them they were right. Would've ruined all their fun!

So I actually (I know Mom, hard to believe) cleaned my own house today. Toilets, sinks, mopping floors, scrubbing tubs, etc etc. Well, okay I didn't dust but we live on a dirt road so it wouldn't have done any good anyway!

But the hardest part of the whole event was the dang vacuum cleaner. Ladies & gentlemen, that thing was a work out! I was sweating when I got done, I could tell I gave my abs and obliques a good workout (heck I didn't even know I still had those things!) and even my arms were tired. I was starting to breathe heavy too, which really isn't a good sign.

Needless to say, had I known years ago that cleaning, and in particular vacuuming, could take the place of a 30 minute cardio workout I would have started doing the work more often! Oh, who am I kidding? I already told you how lazy I am! Can't wait for the cleaning lady to come back, I don't have the strength to keep this up!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Anyone ever watch America's Got Talent?

Clearly we need a hobby. We watched America's Got Talent last night after we put the kids to bed. Which isn't THAT bad, except we TiVo'd it while watching a special on the World Trade Center (yes, 7 years later we are still totally fascinated with the same story that hasn't changed).

Once we were thoroughly depressed all over again, we started watching AGT, thinking that would make us feel better. Amazingly, it did! Thankfully I am not an african-american tranvestite from Jamaica singing disco tunes in an opera voice to win a million bucks. Nope, I am a lazy 35 year old working mom watching others humiliate themselves on national television instead of doing something healthy, like maybe Pilates. You do the math.

Best part of the whole show? Watching Jerry Springer freak out on the promos for the upcoming acts right before the commercial break. He looks like the microphone is made of molten hot lava or something. He can barely hang onto the thing. I can't wait until he actually drops it!

I am sure that this is just a temporary phase as Dancing with the Stars begins its new season in a few weeks. Mark LOVES that show, not because of the dancing (though he was disturbingly impressed and enamored with rhythmic gymnastics during the Olympics) but OF COURSE because of all the boobs in little costumes he can stare at, pause, rewind, etc because of TiVo. Ah, the joys of "reality" tv programming.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Camping in North Idaho

What a weekend it was. We went camping AGAIN, this time up by Priest Lake near the golf course. We also spent three nights, instead of our usual two. Boy was that a mistake.

But I have to tell a quick story about the grocery store in Priest Lake. We were about a half mile walk from the nearest store, so in our infinite wisdom we thought we would walk with the kids down there & get some ice cream.

On the way you have to cross the highway, which one would think poses the greatest risk to life & limb. One would be wrong. Actually, the biggest hazard was avoiding the children & adults riding 4-wheelers and motorbikes on the pathway. So while we weren't leaving our "carbon footprint" the rest of the town apparently thought that riding small motorized vehicles around for no apparent reason wasn't really impacting our environment all that much, as evidenced by the laps they took over and over and over and around and around and around.........

But I digress. The most obvious sign of how smart some folks are in the northern regions of Idaho was the giant sign taped to the front door of the market:

"We DO NOT accept photocopy IDs. We are sorry for the inconvenience."
They are sorry? Who the hell makes a photo copy of their ID and then brings it to the store? Furthermore, if you can make a copy, doesn't that mean you are in possession of it? The most stunning revelation I had was that someone actually thought a photocopy driver's license would be passable, second only to the fact that it was clear that MANY people tried this tactic. If it was just one person, you'd think that you wouldn't need to post a sign, but if SEVERAL people tried, then I guess you'd throw one up there.
Sadly, however, my feeling is if you are dumb enough to try using a photocopy ID you probably can't read the sign anyway. But hopefully it helps defray attempts at that location. I cant imagine the inconvenience of walking into the store, picking up your 12 pack of Lucky Lager, chewing tobacco and Slim Jims, dragging it to the counter, only to THEN be told that your "picture ID" wasn't gonna fly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Can I sell my kids on eBay?

This week has been a bit rough in the chaos department, getting the kids ready for school in the morning. It has gotten progressively worse. I think they have this little stress-o-meter in their bodies and they can sense when we are late and they kind of ramp up their refusal to comply with perfectly normal and regular requests.

As most working parents can attest to, you have a "routine". Wake the kids up, get them dressed, toss some breakfast in them (or marshmallows if you are really desperate, you know, so they don't go to school on an empty stomach), brush teeth/hair, eat vitamins, you get the idea. Same order, same stuff, every STINKIN' day.

But on those days where we are running late, they seem to know it and depending on how late we are will depend on how horrible they act. Yesterday was, by far, the worst. Both kids were literally screaming at us while we were trying to get them ready. Honestly, if you had been at our front door listening you would have thought we were dismembering them or something.

And the other thing I have come to realize is that they are like wild animals and they can tell when you are weak, and take full advantage. So I was a man down this morning, with Mark leaving early to get to work, and boy oh boy, the minute those little hooligans heard the click of the garage door all hell broke loose.

I am glad I made it to work safely today. Can't wait to pick them up tonight and see what they have in store for me!

A great day for Vandals

Wow, what a news bite! Sen. John McCain announced his VP pick: Sarah Palin, the 44 year old mother of 5 who is Governor of Alaska. She is a 1987 graduate of the University of Idaho! Go VANDALS!

I was pretty excited to hear this, because she's from our state, and obviously well-educated, as I am certain the drinking age back then was 19! Hopefully she has a decent scrapbook from college so she can remember what she did (that's how I keep track of my five years, but moving on).

I think I'll share my blog with her though, as she just gave birth to her fifth child, a son, last April, WHILE being Governor of Alaska. So as super-moms go, she's got the market cornered. I am sure she can relate to the joys and pains of being a working mom, though I wouldn't want to be a governor. Heck then you would actually have to make tough decisions. Yikes!

I enjoy the fact that my toughest decision is whether to spank my kids or stick 'em in time out when they are naughty. I usually just weigh the severity and time limitations of their actions and spank 'em anyway. Yes, I am one of THOSE people. Call CPS!!

However I did turn up one distrubing note on her bio via the AP, and it is cause for concern in my mind. She was born in Sandpoint. But, then again that might make for some interesting things in the next four years if they get elected.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And the winner is...

Noodle! So here goes my blog with the word noodle:

Ten ways to use noodle in a sentence:

Use your noodle!

Why don't you noodle that around for awhile?

I am going to whip you with a wet noodle.

You should have seen his little noodle!!

Have you been to noodle.com? (honestly, I typed it in my browser and there IS a noodle.com)

Oops! I dropped a noodle in the sink.

The kids love swimming with a water noodle.

It was more limp than a wet noodle!

To test the done-ness of a noodle, throw it on the wall to see if it sticks. (courtesy of Mark)

My favorite noodle is fusili.

There! I have done it. Who knew noodle could be a noun, adjective, and verb?

I used NOODLE fifteen times. Take THAT Google AdSense!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ah....summer in Sandpoint

What a weekend it was. It started off pretty fun, except for the fact that we scared the pants off our kids by taking them to see Wall-E, the latest Pixar movie. Mark and I enjoyed it, but the kids watched it through their fingertips for the most part. It was a fun family night anyway, Brady and I ate two bags of popcorn together, the kids sat on our laps, and Kaylee farted on me through most of the movie. Oh the joys of togetherness.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, word of caution: it has a social message and is not all that kid friendly. So I was enveloped in two forms of guilt: one for scaring my children and one for living in a world of complete and total gluttony. But I'm over it now. I watched the Olympics on Saturday afternoon and I don't feel so bad. Table tennis is an official sport of the Olympics. So if anyone should be ashamed of themselves, its the Olympic Committee.

I mean COME ON! How is it possible to medal in a sport that is easily played with large cups of beer on the corners? If you can drink WHILE PLAYING, it is NOT a sport. I did hear that badminton is also an olympic sport and while you can drink while playing, I do think it has a little more street cred as a difficult game to play while intoxicated. It is much more competitive than two people slapping a tiny ball across a net on a VERY small table.

And did anyone else watch the coverage of the gold medal match? It was two women from China (thankfully the USA had the decency to either lose early on or better yet not enter anyone into the sport) and the even stopped and showed things back to us in SLOW MOTION. As if it wasn't stupid enough watching these women sweat over a game best played in a college rec room, but then they replayed everything as slowly as possible so we wouldn't miss just how ridiculous this "sport" is. But the good thing was it was easy to see even these women, while Chinese, did struggle at times to keep a straight face.

So back to my original "Summer in Sandpoint" title. The reason I was able to watch the Olympics Saturday is because it was freakin' cold here this weekend. Fall has arrived folks. Guess I am going to have to double up on the happy pills to get through the next eight or nine months of crappy weather. Yee-haw!

And speaking of yee-haw, it warmed up enough Saturday afternoon to head to the "Bonner County Fair". The word fair conjured up images of flashy rides, elephant ears, creepy carnies and trailer homes on display in the exhibit area. Well, in Bonner County, our flashy rides are giant inflatable bouncy toys that kids pay $2 for five minutes of jumping and screaming. We do have the elephant ears, thank goodness. And the trailer homes are in the neighborhood across the street, but they aren't new and certainly shouldn't be on display.

And we do have carnies here, but they are our residents lining up in full force to watch the demolition derby, the most disgusting game that reinforces the fact that we are a culture of excess. Why on earth would a normal person want to watch a bunch of junker cars smash into each other for hours on end while consuming a minimum of 5 gallons of gas per lap around the track? I dunno, but I'll have to ask Mark since he was all fired up to line up with the rest of north Idaho's finest citizens and watch the derby.

However the other obstacle to watching the derby with small children (besides the obvious support for wasting a natural resource) was the noise pollution. So very loud and our children have a difficult enough time hearing us as it is. Last thing we need to do is damage their ear drums any further. See a previous post for a full discussion on listening issues with children. I think I solved the mystery.

In any event, life in north Idaho is, if anything, an adventure. I wonder if I lived anywhere else whether or not I would have so many things to make fun of?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The FUN part of Google AdSense

As many of you know, I have allowed Google to place banner ads on my blog in the hopes that someone will click on them and make me some money. I check the ads from time to time to see what gets added to my site.

What I have discovered about the program is that it/they scan your blog for what I am going to refer to as "keywords" and then post ads based on those words. So imagine my surprise when I saw a link to a site for "Sexy Senior Singles". What the hell?!?!

I scratched my head for a few minutes thinking about what I possibly could have posted that would trigger a site for horny old people. Well, my last blog referred to "poker widows". Huh. So it didn't pick up cards, poker, etc and post links to online poker. Oh no, it grabbed the single and only mention of "widows" and added an ad for those hot & sexy senior singles lookin' for love. And a one night stand. But where were the ads for Viagra?

So I got to thinkin' that would it be FUN to see what kind of ads will get placed based on certain key words? At the right of this blog is my latest and greatest poll. You can vote for YOUR favorite key word and I'll use it as many times as possible in a blog to see what kinds of banner ads show up.

You'll notice that for the time being the ads are strictly for weight loss because in ONE blog I mentioned that I had gained a few pounds. I wonder, where are the ads for things like outdoor playsets, golf, prescription medications, ATVs, vacation deals or camping supplies. If I can get sexy senior singles with one mention of widow imagine what I could get with multiple mentions of things like, oh I dunno, "tits"?

And on that note, why no links to websites for plastic surgeons specializing in boob jobs?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a banner weekend it was!

What a weekend! Friday night kicked off with grown up night out. We left our kids at a friends house who also left their kids there, we hired a sitter (I cannot remember the last time I did something like this) and went to dinner and to a concert.

I have to say that dinner was a little weird at first. Not because of the company, but because I am not used to being able to enjoy a meal. There was no one climbing under the table, no one throwing things, no one crying, no one spilling milk (although Mark was on beer #2 so anything was possible). It was a very pleasant and enjoyable evening.

THEN we went to the concert, and it was Ziggy Marley (son of Bob). So you can imagine what 85% of the concert attendees were like. Basically we sat and people watched all night long. We did decide that we are going straight to hell because at a Ziggy Marley concert there were just too many people to make fun of.

For example, there was the guy the next row up, clearly on a first date (we believe he got ditched towards the end of the night anyway) who probably put on the one and only tie dye shirt he owned and instead of gently swaying to the music like most people, he kept thrusting his hips like he was having sex with the air surrounding him, and it looked like his first time if you know what I mean.

Then there were all those people who live in the hills of north Idaho who no doubt sold some of their pot plants for money for concert tickets and drove down in their convertible school bus homes to attend the event. And they also brought all 8 of their children ranging in age from newborn to 10. But they needed someone to help walk them back to the bus at the end of the night I guess.

Saturday night was poker night for the guys at our house and I did crash the party. I let them have their fun until I came home from a play date with most of the other poker widows, put the kids to bed and sat down on the only available chair.

BUT first I have to tell you that on the way home I got pulled over for not having a headlight on one side of the van. I mean COME ON, don't they have some domestic dispute to break up or a meth lab to bust in this town? Do they have to pull over a mom in a van with two kids because her headlight is out? Either way I didn't get a ticket, but how embarrassing!

Then we almost ran over a cat on the highway south of the long bridge. I nearly kissed the ground when I got home. So needless to say I put down three beers and played some poker with the guys.

And wouldn't you know it, I beat three of the four men playing (including my husband). It was SO LATE by the time I went head to head with the final guy that I just went "all in" to end the darn game and lost. I so didn't care, it was hilarious beating these guys and having no clue what I was doing or how to play. That really has to piss a really good player off when some dumbass pulls up a chair, drinks their beer and then beats them at their game. It was GREAT!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Outdoor playset part 2

Remember recently I whined about the fact that my kids would rather play in the dirt than on the playset their father worked so hard to put together? I have photographic proof:



I sure do love 'em but they are a handful. As you can see Kaylee preferred the dirt pile and Brady enjoyed the mud puddle. I really do think diapers hold AT LEAST 30 lbs of liquid in them. You should have seen that thing when I took it off. Honestly, if we ever have a water issue in the crawl space I'll toss a bag of Huggies down there and take care of it in about 10 minutes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I feel so VIP-ish!


Yesterday for "work" I spent most of the day at the new Idaho Club north of Sandpoint watching Jack Nicklaus golf 8 of the new 18 holes on his newest "signature" golf course. WOW! It was an invitation only event and what a day it was! Here's a photo of him finishing his shot on the 3rd tee.
I have to say that the invitation would have been appreciated much more by my husband, as for years I would only refer to golf as "that overrated leisure activity" and not a sport.
But then I learned that golf can be played while drinking and that there's even a cart that drives around to serve you cocktails. So I decided that maybe it was worth learning to play.
After all, what better way to spend a day than out in nature on perfectly manicured grass, drinking a beverage or two and spending time with people you want to beat in a game you will never master while dragging a 35 lb bag full of clubs? I mean really!
I will say that watching Jack (I can call him by his first name now since we spent so much time together) was pretty incredible. Although he is quite full of himself (rightfully so) he really is an amazing golfer (duh) but makes it look so easy.
And then two nights ago I had the privilege of attending another VIP event for the Festival at Sandpoint. It was the patron and sponsor appreciation dinner and it was just a who's who of Sandpoint. What a pleasure it was to be there. I didn't quite fit in but after three glasses of wine I really didn't care.
THEN I get to see Ziggy Marley tomorrow night in concert. I wouldn't have ANY of these opportunities if it weren't for my job. So although I have been put on medication, tripled the amount of gray hairs on my head and developed a habit of self-medication with booze, I get to do some pretty cool things! Such a lucky girl am I.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yes I know I am getting fat

So here's the deal. I am 6 feet tall and was about 140 lbs a few months ago. I went on medication, stopped obsessing about food, starting eating normal stuff and gained a few pounds. I am NOT PREGNANT.

I have had WAAAAY too many people recently make comments (or in some cases flat out ask me) about the fact that I appear to be pregnant. If I were, A) I would end up single parenting THREE children and B) there would be a lawsuit filed against a physician.

So am I preggers? Nope, just bloated. The problem is that two children later what little breast tissue I have left sags so poorly that unfortunately even the slightest little bit of bloating makes my pathetic little belly stick out further than my sad little barely-B-cup boobies.

And when I say I gained a few pounds, I literally mean like 5 pounds. Can someone problem solve for me why in the hell it goes straight to my gut? I mean really, can't my boobs pick up a pound or two? A pound per boob would be GREAT! Why is it always in my belly?

And as soon as I locate 15 minutes in my day for some light exercise you KNOW the first place I will lose will be: THE BOOBS!

So the next time you see me (or someone else you know who used to be skinny) and you have the slightest inclination to ask them if they have procreated, please refrain! Especially if you ask me, I am likely to go postal on ya!

One more thought before I sign off for the day. I had my first mammogram last year and I do have to make an appeal: please, if anyone out there can figure out how to harness all the breast tissue I had squished into that machine into one cup, I would pay a nearly unlimited price for that bra. I was unaware until then how much breast tissue is underutilized in my current bra configuration.

So really, maybe losing weight isn't the answer, but getting a good bra is!

Friday, August 8, 2008

When do ear drums mature?

Just a question, when do the ear parts of children mature to the point where they actually HEAR you? My mom seems to think not until they turn 32 or 33 years old. I am inclined to think that mine matured WELL before then, but her opinion is her opinion.

Have you ever noticed that children hear things like "who wants ice cream?" or "who wants to go to the park?" or "who wants a puppy?" but if you use the same volume, tone and inflection to say things like "time to brush your teeth" or "time to go to school" they act like they don't even know you are in the room?


It's like they have their own computerized word recognition system that bounces words back out of their ears like "bedtime" or "no" or "stop kicking your brother". They are pretty sophisticated systems, really.

I also notice that they are programmable, so when I go out of town for some reason and Mark has to single-parent, if I promise the kids I'll bring them back a present if they are good & listen, they turn down the filtration system and most messages are received.

I really wish the National Association of Pediatric Physicians (if there is such a thing) would commission a study on this phenomenon. It is quite puzzling to me, as there also seems to be an unrecognizable and highly complicated pattern which really makes communicating important messages like "get your shoes on this minute" very difficult to convey.

Another really strange thing is that they do tend to hear words they shouldn't while still managing to filter out those that they should. For example, "you need to eat your frickin' breakfast right now before you have to stand in the corner" but what they hear is "frickin' breakfast" and oddly enough they repeat it. Over and over. While running laps through the kitchen.

I am just amazed at this complicated and highly sophisticated listening/hearing program they have. Somewhere along the line we do lose it, though if you ask Mark, mine is still alive and well.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Did I misplace my happy pills?

In reading my most recent post it appears that I may have forgotten to take my meds. It is less of a humorous account and more of a bitch session. Oops!

And IF my neighbors read this blog (I think they might, the last 2 nights have been 4-wheeler free) I do apologize if I hurt your feelings. That doesn't mean I want to you ride your machines around, just that I didn't mean to be so cranky about it. Maybe hillbilly hell was a little extreme to title that post....

Moving on....

My dear husband woke up with a hangover today. The man can't hold his whiskey & 7-up apparently. He has been having a drinky-poo each night this week (it is month end so he is having to do that ghastly accounting stuff) to let go of the day.

Last night he made himself one, and then while I was refilling my bailey's on ice, I made him drink #2. Which was honestly mostly whiskey, but he swore he couldn't taste it. Guess I make a mean drink.

In any case, I got out of bed at 6:15 and jumped in the shower. By 6:45 I was dressed, made up and starting to brush my teeth. Lazy bones was STILL in bed nursing a hangover and asking for a beer-driver (a friend's surefire hangover cure-all cocktail of beer & orange juice).

THEN he tells me he needs me to iron his clothes and take the garbage to the top of the driveway. Why on earth, in all the years we have been together, would I choose today to start ironing his clothes (nevermind taking out the garbage-AS IF!)?

He slept in, whined about a hangover, and forgot about the garbage. What could possibly motivate me to help? Well, the promise of a boat could go a long way, actually.

But then again I would ALSO be responsible for getting the two children ready to go, and as you are aware this blog is partially about CHAOS. Need I say more?

I do love the man, and can't imagine why he married me (I feel like such a lucky girl). After all, I don't cook, I don't clean, I don't iron his clothes or make his lunch, and worst of all I have no boobs. Why, indeed?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hillbilly Hell

Now I am not opposed to people owning "4-wheeler" recreational vehicles, nor am I opposed to them storing them at their home or ridng them on occasion to visit a neighbor. What I AM opposed to are my frickin' neighbors who have, for the last two nights (maybe more, we were gone until Sunday) been doing laps around our RES-I-DEN-TIAL neighborhood.

Just when I think I am going to get a break in the noise, (they ran a "course" on the PAVED road behind my house, down and around the corner still on a paved road, and through their own property which created a giant POOF of dust with each turn) they were only trading vehicles.

Is it just me, or is the purpose of a 4-wheeler to drive it in a place that is NOT easily accessible by traditional transportation such as a road bike or a car? Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the noise pollution and negligent consumption of a natural resource grounds for a ticket? Attention Bonner County: here's an opportunity to raise money to finally pave that horrific dirt road that runs to the front of my house.

Needless to say, this isn't going to help me sell my house by complaining about my hillbilly neighbors who have no other entertainment apparently than driving their noisy toys behind my house. I just can't fathom driving a 4-wheeler in a subdivision. Call me crazy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The "logical" places we find things

The better part of last night was spent packing and organizing for a weekend camping trip. Of course that was AFTER swimming lessons at five, a community youth event at 5:30, four suckers, a bag of cotton candy, an hour in an inflatable jumping house and a 10 minute ride home with screaming children who didn't want to leave the event.

Once we wrestled (croc-hunter style) the kids into and out of the tub, then into their PJs, and literally tossed them in bed, it was time to pack (after Bailey's on ice).

So rewind to last Sunday. We came home from our "family vacation" in time to have to shove everything laying around into as many vacant spaces with lids, covers, etc so that we could show our house which is for sale on Monday night.

As you can imagine we had to hurry and didn't really pay attention to where we put a lot of things. Well some of us anyway. Fast forward to last night.

After about a half our of searching for my daughter's hiking boots I started to turn a litle red (and quite angry) thinking that they were left in Mark's brother's suburban on Sunday along with his wallet and sunglasses (and yes, somehow that was my fault).

Once I channeled my inner sailor and really started cussing it up Mark asked what I was looking for. I told him about the boots and told him I'd looked in the garage, her room, the cars, the little bins in the mud room where we keep all our shoes, under beds, etc. He suggested I check in the laundry basket in our room.

Huh.

Well, what do you know, there they were, underneath a box of gun ammo, running shoe inserts, three pairs of MY shoes, and some shaving cream. Who knew the most logical freakin' place for all that crap was, of all things, a LAUNDRY basket. Can't wait to see what else I find in the other one.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Things I Learned on Vacation

1. Family is like a very nice, expensive bottle of wine. Best enjoyed in small amounts and over a long period of time. Cramming the whole bottle into one weekend may leave a person with a serious hangover.

2. No matter how many lists you make, you WILL forget something critical to the trip. We forgot a nite light. Need I say more.

3. Always have separate beds for your kids, even if you think it will be fun for "just a couple of nights" to share a bed with them. Separate rooms are even better if you can swing it. With sound proofing so the lodging staff doesn't hear them screaming for you when you stuff them in bed.

4. Even the smallest child will take over the entire bed by sleeping sideways and rabbit kicking you in their sleep. ALL NIGHT.

5. There is not enough coffee to wake you up in the morning when traveling with children & a large group of family that has drastically different tastes in activities and varying senses of urgency when it is time to move onto the next activity.

6. Children who are related are genetically programmed to fight. It doesn't matter how long it has been since they last saw one another. They WILL fight and you are lucky if there is no bloodshed.

7. Lining up 11 children ranging in age from 1-14 for a picture is easier than you think, taking a decent photo of them, not so much. I think I will win the miss American pageant before we get 11 children to smile AT THE SAME TIME.

8. Lining up the adults of children referenced in item #7 for a photo, EVEN HARDER.

9. I swear the entire state of Montana has a ban on cell phone towers. Talk about a DEAD ZONE. If you need to make a call, bring a calling card and find a payphone or learn how to make smoke signals.

10. Regardless of the kind of fish a child catches they WILL want to eat it (even a botton feeder) and you are THE DEVIL if you make them throw it back.

As I am still processing the entire experience I may add more onto this list. But I can say that I am glad to be home and at work again, so I can have a break.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Goin' on vacation

As most of you know, I live in beautiful Sandpoint, ID. If you have never been here, you should be ashamed of yourself. Well, I am supposed to say that since I run the Chamber of Commerce & the Visitor Center, but I really am not being THAT biased. This is a beautiful place.

Even so, we decided that we need to take a family vacation somewhere cool. Where are you going? you may ask me. We are going to the wilderness to see breathtaking mountain scenery, play on one of the many lakes & rivers, and are staying in a quaint little waterfront town with a thriving artist community.

Nope, we're not staying here and having a "staycation" (like we should) we are driving 6 hours with 2 small children in a mini van (thankfully outfitted with a DVD player) to Glacier National Park.

But it won't be a bad vacation mind you. I know it will be fun. There will be a swimming pool (that Brady will refuse to go near, but I'll save that story for another blog), plenty of insects to fight off, and 17 relatives to enjoy. PLUS we'll be crammed into a very small space with another family.

But we'll survive as I always have my friend Jack Daniels to keep me company. In any case, I may or may not have internet access where we are going so if I don't post for a few days, I'll be back and in full force with hundreds, no scratch that, THOUSANDS of stories to tell.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blog talk

So I was posting the rant about the laws of children when Mark wandered into the bedroom. I was furiously typing (it was late and I just wanted to go to bed) and he kept asking things like, "you aren't posting anything about me being a lazy husband are you?" No. "You aren't typing something embarassing about me are you?" No. "You aren't writing more stuff about boners are you?" No.

Then I thought Holy Cow Batman! He actually READ the thing. Not just the front page, but the whole thing (I waited to tell him about the blog until the whole boner while he's sick post had filtered to the archives) and he STILL found it. And he wasn't too mad.

Then he started asking me qustions about it (give that man a Klondike bar!) and he was genuinely interested. THEN I showed him the map and how I can see where people are reading the blog from and pointed out it wasn't just friends and family in Idaho. "That's pretty cool" he said.

THEN I showed him that there are little advertising links at the bottom (yes I am a sell out) and if people actually start reading the blog, sending it out, clicking on the ads, that I may even get paid to ramble on and on about nothing important. For those of you who know my husband, God love him, that was all I EVER needed to tell him: that I could make an extra buck.

Secretly I hope that people will read this blog and I'll become a semi-famous blogger (not semi-infamous which I am already and not in a good way) and I'll start making enough money to stay home with the kids and have some REALLY amusing stuff to share. But that is my fantasy world, and the reality is that I have two adorable children who are counting on me to be a good Mommy. So I guess I'd better sign off and get some stuff done in the hopes that in a few hours or days, I'll have something else worth of blogging about.

Thanks for reading and sharing this with people you care about (or those that you don't and just want to annoy).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Childrens Law

This is similar to Murphys law, as in what can go wrong will go wrong, or something like that. Only not totally the same, but you know what I am getting at. I have discovered many over the years, but the most impactful to date have been over this weekend.

For example:

Law #1: No child sleeps in on weekends. Monday through Friday it takes a stick of dynamite to get either child out of bed and ready to leave for daycare. Saturday and Sunday, the ONLY TWO DAYS I CAN SLEEP IN, they both wake up at 6:30am. Happens every weekend.

Law #2: Children instinctively misbehave in restaurants. I am starting to think that taking children out to eat is a little like pregnancy and childbirth. The whole time you are thinking to yourself, "Why the hell did I get myself into this situation AGAIN" and then you kind of forget the misery and next thing you know you are either A) delivering a baby or in my case B) peeling your 2 year old off the sticky, nasty floor of your favorite dining establishment while throwing your credit card at the waitress so you can get out of there before they have to "help" you out the front door.

Law #3: Children do not want what they already have. Case in point: All grandparents chipped in for a GIANT outdoor playset. Over the past few weeks Mark has been putting it together. They have been step-by-step playing on things as they are complete. Slide & ladder first (lasted all of 5 minutes before moving on to the unattached rock climbing wall). Then they wanted to play on the wall until it was complete, then literally sat on the swings while we were trying to put them together. When those were done and there wasn't anything else handy to touch/sit on/grab/throw/play with, they went to the deck to play with all screws, nuts, bolts, washers, spare wood pieces and tools that they could find. Once we actually get the playset done, I really have no idea what they are going to want to do.

Well it's late (okay it is only 9pm, I am a wimp) so I think I'll stop there. I am certain that when we take our family vacation later this week I will have a few more laws to post as I will have the opportunity to view the behavior of 11 children ranging in age from 1 - 14, and I guess if you count parents anywhere from 34 - 65 as well. I may be drinking heavily on this vacation. It's not my family we are going with.....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Top 10 things you really should have in your purse

I'll count them down in order of importance:

10. Kleenex (for runny noses, whether or not they are your kids)
9. Anti-bacterial gel (for everyone's hands after shopping you-know-where) (not THERE you dirty birdie, the GROCERY STORE WITH THE BIG SMILEY FACE)
8. Chocolate (either for you to enjoy when you are along or to bribe your children while in a public place)
7. Flask (to get through shopping you-know-where)
6. Crackers (so when you wait AN HOUR for your meal you can keep the kids mouths busy for a nanosecond)
5. Pen & paper (so when you think of something REALLY important that you can't forget, you can write it down while trying to keep your child from climbing a wall so you can remember it later on when you really NEED to remember it so you don't get totally frustrated because you can't remember that one really important thing you thought of while wrestling a toddler at you-know-where)
4. Really, you need a flask.
3. Credit card in YOUR NAME ONLY (for retail therapy so you won't have to explain it on the Cabela's bill next month)
2. Sunglasses (so no one will recognize you while your children are screaming at you-know-where and peope think you are one of "those" parents)
1. Seriously, a flask, or those little bottles of liquor you can try & steal at those fancy hotels

Guess we need a pretty big purse, eh?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The votes are in!

I told Mark about the blog. Here was his response:

"You are weird."

Soooooo.........I guess he's not mad?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Camping Survival Tips

Well, we survived our first camping trip with our kids this weekend. Having been through 2 nights and 3 days of camping with a toddler, preschooler and husband, I thought I would pass along some dos and don'ts:

1. DO bring sedatives (not for you, for your children. otherwise, you may not get them to sleep during their nap time or bed time)
2. DON'T forget duct tape (to tape the curtains to the camper so that the kids can't peek out at you while they should be sleeping)
3. DO bring garlic or onion paste (for bug repellent, the regular stuff doesn't work and now daycare thinks my kids have the chicken pox)
4. DON'T forget to find out what the other families are bringing food-wise (so your children won't beg them for watermelon, oreos and chocolate graham crackers to make s'mores)
5. DO bring something that you can at least hose the children down with (Brady looked like pig-pen all weekend with a cloud of dust following him wherever he went)
6. DON'T be alarmed by the color of the tub water when you finally come home & bathe the kids (we call our kids Shrek & Fiona now because the water resembled something you would find in a swamp)
7. DO take a camera so that you can capture all the fun moments as camping with kids is one of the most fun weekends I have had in a long time!