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!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Only at Walmart

I need to add a section to this blog that is just "stupid people who drive vans". However, I also drive a van so I hesitate, but only slightly.

Yesterday's smoking mom in a van would be entry #1 and today would be pot smoking old man in a van.

Seriously. I left my windows open a crack just to keep some fresh air a-flowing while I purchased some supplies for work. When I came back this creepy old chester-the-molester dude was sitting in his van smoking pot. Yes, POT.

Now I am NO expert but I know it didn't smell like cigarettes and it s ure didn't look like a cigarette. MOM & DAD AVOID THIS NEXT SENTENCE (I am only saying this to protect myself from my parents who would likely pass out if they knew I knew the difference!)

So I get in my van and the damn thing smells like pot in there. He's sitting there with his doors open, toking out waving his hand around like its going to help the smell disappear. All he's doing is pushing it into MY van. I have children's car seats in the back for God's sake. I kept thinking what an idiot, you would think he'd notice the seats, and what if I did have my kids with me?

But then, if you look at the situation intelligently, it is pretty clear that anyone who would drive their van to walmart, light up a marijuana cigarette and smoke it with the doors wide open IN THE PARKING LOT, probably doesn't have the notion to think to worry about children.

Only at Walmart, only in north Idaho. I guess on the upside, it wasn't crack.

Mr. Mark doesn't know

I haven't told Mark about the blog yet.

Not sure why, part of me thinks he won't care, and part of me thinks he'll go postal. He's kind of a private person so putting things on there like the poop in the bed thing would probably mortify him, but then this is therapy for me in a way so maybe he won't mind.

I added a poll for people to vote on whether or not I should tell him. Remember, you can't complain about the results unless you vote & let your voice be heard.

Rock the vote America!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thought for the day

I saw this driving to a meeting today: mini van with a big sticker that said: Back off! Child on board. The driver had her hand resting on the window to the car with a cigarette dangling from her fingers. My thought was: