Thursday, December 27, 2012

We Had Ourselves a Merry Little Christmas

Friends, do you find yourselves obsessively watching every Christmas movie known to mankind during the holiday season? Especially the ones on the Hallmark Channel. Yes, yes you do. (Play along with me here so I don't seem like a complete sap...)

The movies are always the same: happy, then a twist, then happy, then chaos, then the happiest ending you could ever imagine. Next thing you know, you're sitting on your sofa - tears in your eyes - thinking "Ugh! Best story ever told! Now THAT'S what Christmas is about!"

Well, this year, we didn't have any twists or chaos. We had calm, and let me tell you, it was absolute bliss!

I can hear Miles yelling "Hep! Maaaammeeee!" from the other room so you're all going to get the synopsis of our holiday. It doesn't mean that I love you any less, it just means that Marlee's probably doing something she's not supposed to be doing. (Mia went for Christmas at her dad's house today. What a bummer, my good kid is the one who goes away every other weekend...)

  • Our daddy, for the first time ever, was off on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. And with that, the happy level shot through the roof while the stress level was down to around a two. 
  • We went to Christmas Eve supper at Great Granny & Great PaPa's house for a feast of ham and hog balls. Balls like testicles, not like balls similar to cake balls. It's a tradition and yes, I eat them. There were cake balls also, and I ate the shit out of those babies too! Country Christmas, y'all! Best part of the night? Going through all of the old photo albums: according to Mia, I look exactly the same as I did my sophomore year of high school. She's my favorite child right now!
  • We made cookies for Santa before bed. Chocolate chip, a mix from the Dollar General! Hey there, convenience! We also tried our hand at Elf Donuts this year... um...Pinterest fail. We sucked.
  • Christmas magic! Christmas magic! Christmas magic! All of the kids were asleep by 9PM and slept soundly until 7AM when I awoke to the sounds of Mia coaching Miles to yell "Wake up! Santa came!"
  • In short, we all got a lot of great gifts. "Mom! Santa brought us all of the hottest toys on the market!" That's a direct quote, guys. "This is the best Christmas ever!" Another direct quote, and one that I gladly welcome every single year.
  • Chris's folks made the long drive from Columbia to GC to spend a few hours with us. Like a total flake, Mommy forgot to lay out our roast for lunch. Frozen rock-solid. Christmas day lunch? McDonald's. God bless 'Merica! Also, bless my in-laws. We've had our ups and downs over the years, but they never ever fail to put love and family first and everything else behind us. 
  • The gift I never expected to receive? A necklace with a bejeweled Dachshund charm. I'm officially THAT lady now. Feel free to compliment me on the diamond wiener around my neck next time you see me!
  • Christmas supper at Jimmy & Laura's? Mexican food. Feliz Navidad! My contributions were Spanish rice (from a box) and black beans (from cans). I love when I'm asked to bring things that require zero prep and zero effort! 
Now if you'll all excuse me, I have a 4 year old to tame and a million toys to put away!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tits The Season

That's not a typo, friends. That's how my husband has responded to almost every statement I've made this week in regards to Christmas.

And then does one of the following:
a) honks my boobs
b) honks his own boobs
c) attempts to honky my boobs, and then I attempt to knee him in the baby-maker

TMI? Maybe, but we're all friends here and friends tell you things that make you uncomfortable sometimes. 

A few holiday highlights from my week...

*A Christmas Story was on the other day. The kids had no interest in watching it with me because it was "too weird" and "not even a cartoon". Guess who then got to learn all of the words to  'Santa Has His Eyes On Me' as sung by  Spongebob Squarepants? Me. SONOFABITCH!

*I've still got a few Christmas cards to mail out, but I lost my sheet of Santa and his reindeer stamps. I'd go to the post office and buy more, but I also had the pleasure of standing in line at the post office this week to pick up a package. I'm now avoiding that place like the plague! Have you ever been to the post office the week before Christmas? Have mercy! The 10 people in front of me seemed to move at a snail's pace as I tried REALLY hard to block out the voice of the lady 3 people behind me; "Ya ever drink this Minute Maid grape juice? Man it's good! It's really busy today! Ho ho ho! I should've brushed my hair ...! Hey, ma'am, would you mind holding my grape juice while I fill out these forms?"

*As of Wednesday, I'm 99% finished with my Christmas shopping! Hooray! As of right this moment, I'm 0% finished with my Christmas wrapping, but isn't that what December 24 is for?

*We *might* have given the Bossman his 'enjoy the holiday break' gift basket the other day. It *definitely* wasn't a Christmas gift because that's against the rules. Also it *definitely* wasn't filled with beef jerky and beer. 

*I had the morning off yesterday so that I could attend Mia's Christmas party at school, and because Jack Frost is a real butthole, the district called a snow day instead. After I'd already had Mia get in the shower. She was super bummed at first, but definitely perked up when I told her that she didn't have to go back to school until January!

* Today was the Christmas party at work. It is, hands down, my favorite day of the year at work. I smile, I laugh, I get a little bit choked up every single year. Why? Because I have the best job in the world, and I work with the best people in the world. The festivities included: pancake breakfast, carnival games and a visit from Santa, Christmas entertainment (this was my first year organizing the entertainment, and I wish I could post videos of our people performing - they were awesome and made me so proud!), gifts and more gifts, and then the staff luncheon where I won twenty bucks! Of course, my initial reaction to having $20 was "Do you know how many Kit Kat bars I could buy with twenty bucks?!" 

*Grandma Debbie came down for a few days and took the girls out today for some shopping and ice cream. Separately! First, she and Mar went to pick out new shoes and then went for lunch and dessert. Then she turned around and picked up Mia for an identical outing. She's a brave woman, that Grandma Debbie! I don't know that there's enough ice cream in all of Missouri to make me take each girl out shoe shopping - separately - in the same day! Also, they apparently did a little more shopping because Mia said "Mommy, I'm not EVEN going to tell you what the necklace we bought you looks like!" Oh, my first born, she's terrible at keeping secrets!

* Tonight we found a house in between GC and Harrisonville that has their Christmas display set to music from a radio station! For locals: Tieman Rd, turn your station to 102.7, sit and enjoy.  Also, maybe turn on your hazard lights because the house sits at the top of a hill past all of the S curves!

Now I'm enjoying the beginning of our long holiday break. I don't know if it's vacation euphoria or what, but I am loving life at the moment. All children - plus Helga the wonder puppy - are curled up in Mommy & Daddy's bed sleeping soundly.

Cue wine and Pinterest! Fa la la la la, la la la la....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The One Where Miles (Almost) Drove The Yukon

Let's talk about the trip to Price Chopper today, shall we?

You know I love the PC. It's my happy place. It's my sanctuary. It is, in all essence, awesome.

Except not so much today maybe...

Today, the PC was so crowded. It happens sometimes but Granny and I go anyway because that's just what women do when there's a good sale! Ground beef was on sale (as in really on sale not still expensive on sale) and I had this genius idea that if I went today I might not have to go again until after Christmas. 

Well, everyone in Cass County must've wanted super-on-sale ground beef today because as I said, the place was packed! Do you know how Marlee and Miles act in the grocery store? Here's a hint: I gave Marlee a smack on the booty in the check-out line when I finally reached my boiling point. For the record, I don't typically condone spanking your children in public, because I feel that everyone punishes differently and it's a personal thing, but I smacked her and told her that I would ... maybe whip her little ass if she didn't knock it off. Maybe I said that, but unless your name is Jen, Marlee, Granny, or 'boy cashier' you'll never really know for sure...

Finally, we make it out to the car. Being the loving, caring, nurturing mama that I am, I unlocked the door and started the car so that it would be warm for the kiddos. As Granny loaded her bags into the back of the Mom-mobile, I then loaded Terror 1 and Terror 2 into their car seats and buckled them in, shut their doors and went to help Granny out. 

About...  zero minutes later, Granny notices Marlee in the driver's seat pushing buttons on the steering wheel. 

"BWWWWAAAH!!!!!!!!!! Marlee! Oh my God, Jen the door's locked!!!! She's locked us out!"

Of course she's saying this at the exact same time I'm shrieking "GOD DAMN IT MARLEE! You're REALLY getting a spanking now!!!"

And just then, Marlee turns and climbs in to the back seat, only to reveal that Miles is now in the driver's seat with his pale little hand on the lever to pull it into drive. 

Again, simultaneously:

GRANNY: Oh my God! Oh Jesus! Help us!

ME: Son of a bitch! Mother fucker!

This, friends, is when yours truly attempted to hurdle from the trunk of the Yukon to the front seat. I've mentioned that I was never a track star, right? Well, that happened. And no, I didn't smash the bread or break any eggs. Granny says she thinks there's a knee print on her package of bacon though! I'm positive it was the least graceful hurdling attempt ever made from rear to front in a Denali. I'd be willing to bet money on it.

Crisis averted, we settle everyone in for the trip home and just when we think we're calm enough to drive - BAM! A couple of crackheads are behind my car, chasing down an old man who's sideswiped three other parked cars! Did we stick around to watch? You betcha, we did!

Just another day in the life, you guys. Totally typical!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Short Goodbye

Our friend and neighbor, Jack, was lost this week in a car accident. He was a wonderful man and to say that we will all miss him would be a gross understatement.

I could write and write about how much he meant to our family, how good he was to my children, and how badly my heart breaks for his family and friends. I won't though - because if I do, he'll tease me endlessly when we meet again someday in the afterlife.

Instead, I'll leave it to this simple quote from the musical, Annie:

"How lucky I am, to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?"

Very lucky indeed. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Shout Outs!

Hi my name is Jennifer - longtime listener here! Love you, love your show!

That's what I always think of when someone uses the phrase 'shout out'. Me personally? I would never call in to a radio show for fear that I'd say something completely inappropriate and they'd have to hit the dump button 15 seconds in...

But how entertaining would that be for anyone who recognized my voice!

Quick shout out to my insanely awesomely talented friend Kristen over at Four Hens And A Rooster for inviting me to guest blog today during her 12 Guests of Christmas series! You might remember her from our Leap Day blog swap in February and if you don't, I've thoughtfully provided the link to her story RIGHT HERE YOU GUYS! I'm seriously on my game today, right?!

Second shout out of the night goes to another awesomely talented friend of mine (and maybe she's married to my brother, too) Laura, designer behind the newly minted Sleek Glitz storefront over at Etsy! If you don't like her jewelry, well then, you must not like jewelry at all. There is honestly something for everyone!

Pearl cascade earrings $7.50

Matching pearl bracelets $7.50
I love these pearls! If they were sitting in my jewelry box, I would dub them my hot cocoa pearls: velvety smooth chocolate with big fat vanilla marshmallows on top, served in an over-sized gray mug. Mmmm... Buy the bracelets here! And because you knoooow you waaaannnna, buy the earrings here!

Amber bronzed heart set $30.00
This? Eh...just an entire matching set for a measly $30.00... Yes, $30.00! Necklace, bracelet, and the earrings. Wear them all at one time, or mix and match. Me personally, I love sets because you get more bang for your buck. I don't want to wear each piece 7 days in a row, but 3 pieces make combos I don't feel like adding because it'll give me a migraine equals a ton of possibilities over a single week! Buy it here!

Pearls and bow necklace $20.00
This sweet little pearls and bow necklace is absolutely adorable! Wear it alone, or layer it with another long chain (hey, how about this one... because that's exactly what I would do) and before you know it, your plain white t-shirt is just a little bit more feminine. Next thing, you're putting on some lip gloss and fixing your hair instead of putting it in a ponytail and then the Mr. comes home and offers to rub your back. And then what do you tell him? "I'll let you rub my back if you buy me something from Sleek Glitz..." And then, everyone goes to bed happy. But first, buy this here! 

So really the point here is, buy some jewelry. If you didn't get that point by now, I'm horrible at free advertising... 

Also, check out Sleek Glitz on Facebook for current promos (today is Monday Madness 25% off sale FYI)!

And now, if you'll excuse me, Marlee's trying to open my wine with a pair of scissors. Somebody really needs to teach that kid to use a corkscrew. 

(P.S. our annual visit with Santa is going down tomorrow night. Some of you might remember how last year went...)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

She's Already Smarter Than I Am

Mia is smart, maybe even gifted. I don't know, I don't want to be that parent - the one who proclaims her smart kid as gifted and in turn jinxes the child into mainstream classes all the way through school. That's nothing to brag about, right?

Sidenote: I can't listen to anyone refer to their child as gifted. It makes me think of this every single time. And double sidenote: I was never offered a spot in AP classes in school. Something about not fully applying myself...

Sister got her very first Book It voucher on Monday. It should've been her second voucher, but someone lost her October form after it filled up, so there was no free personal pan pizza to be had. Yes, that someone was me, and yes, Mia was super pissed at me because of it!

Anywho... Sis comes home with her form on Monday and this is a big deal when you're seven - the business of getting free pizza. As luck would have it, I'd had a pretty amazing day too, so it was only appropriate that we went out to celebrate. Plus, I've never been one to turn down pizza of any kind (even in Hot Pocket form).

High on the promise of a bright future and Canadian bacon, Mia waltzed in to Pizza Hut like she owned the place. She struts over to the register and presents her voucher, "I read all of my books for November, so I  got this Book It form and now I get free pizza!"

My oldest did get her free pizza, plus the cheese sticks and root beer that were obviously needed to complete the meal.

A little snippet of conversation from our meal: 

MIA: We're learning about fractions in class!

GRANNY: You are? Mommy did you know that?

ME: No. Isn't that kind of young to do fractions? Second grade?

MIA: Uh, no. I'm seven, Mommy!

ME: Well, I'm almost 30 and I still can't do fractions. Are you learning percentages yet? I'm really bad at those!

MIA: No. Maybe someday though. Hey! Guess what! I read a book about fractions for fun the other day!

GRANNY: Ooooh fun! (to Mia) What are you going to do when she's in high school and needs help? (to me)

ME: Pray that times haven't changed and the stoners are still really good at math and willing to let her copy their homework.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Conspirator

We have this bedtime routine where I tuck the girls in, give them kisses, and tell them what's on the schedule for the following day. For example, we might talk about having cinnamon rolls for breakfast or the forecast calling for warm weather and which dresses will be worn.

To conclude our bedtime talk, Marlee always asks "Who's coming ova tomowwow?" which of course means,"Who is going to babysit us tomorrow?"

Tonight, she laid out a little scheme to ease the confusion of rotating babysitters.

MAR: Who's coming ova tomorrow?

ME: Daddy, then Granny.

MAR: But! Nooooo! 

ME: Daddy's only going to be home for a little bit. Then when he goes to work, Granny will come over.

MAR: But when wiw yew be heyuh?

ME: After I get home from work.

MAR: Can't yew juss do evwyfing wong?

ME: What? Do everything wrong, how?

MAR: Do evwyfing wong and juss get fiyahd!  I juss wanna stay wiff yew!

ME: Um... well... I don't think that's going to work...

Here's to hoping that my 4 year old didn't just jinx the crap out of me! Have a great week, friends!


P.S. We got an early Christmas present this weekend. Her name is Helga and we're all pretty much in love with her. 

She's probably the most adorable Dachshund/Reindeer hybrid I've ever seen!

Friday, November 30, 2012

10 and 2 With Clammy Hands, Y'all

How many ibuprofen does it take to get through a second grade field trip? I couldn't tell you because I stopped counting after six! Har har har...just kidding, but also entirely serious. I did take some ibuprofen because I have a tooth that hurts, but not because the kids were terrible. They were actually really great today!

Really though, field trip day always makes me nervous. Super nervous! 

And why? Because it requires ME to DRIVE in DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY!

You guys might find this hard to believe, but I'm not the world traveler that you'd expect me to be. I know - shocking! I've lived in Garden City (population: 1600) almost my whole life. Do you realize that we don't have a single stop light here? Let alone multiple stop lights and one-way streets and areas that jump from Mercedes to machine gun in less than a block.

Anyway, once I'm north of the Grandview Triangle, my palms get sweaty and I cuss the woman's voice on the Tom Tom in equal parts frustration and panic.

"Stay left. Stay left."

"I got it, bitch! I've been staying left since Belton!"

Now add in the backing vocals of my sister-in-law, Laura, giggling her face off before joining in my verbal assault against Lady Tom - "We're left, damn it! We ARE left!"

(And just so we're clear, yes, it's a well-known Rule of Redneckery that you must cuss all electronic devices no matter how helpful they may be. It's not your fault that you don't understand how to use the stupid thing. It's just the gadget being a piece of crap, plain and simple.)

Obviously, we could've turned the voice down on the navigator, but then we would've had to look at the map. We're women, people, not 15th century explorers. We don't read maps! 

I'm happy to report that we made it to the field trip, had an awesome time, and then drove all the way home without getting lost! Bonus: our parking was free too - not because we got our stub validated like responsible adults, but because the lady at the gate didn't want to mess with us when we explained that we'd lost the stub within 5 minutes of parking. Without ever leaving the car. Because that's what happens when small town girls park in a big city garage.

"Do you ever feel like we're not really the adults in this equation?"

"Um...yes. All the time."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gettin' Gorgeous

Maybe you're not a makeup person, but I am. I really love makeup, and I've been blessed with two daughters who adore it as much as I do. 

Yesterday, I went on this cleaning frenzy (or that might've been Friday...I don't know, really because 4 day weekends just make the days of bliss run together) and walked in to the back room to find the girls watching videos on YouTube. 

"You're not going to believe this, Mommy! This little girl - I don't even know her name - she makes videos teaching you how to do the makeup for ALL of the Monster High dolls!!!!!"

And you know what? I couldn't believe it! This girl looks to be maybe Mia's age and she's doing full on makeup tutorials. Dang it! Why didn't I think of that? My girls could've been internet sensations!

If you aren't familiar with Monster High dolls, well, you must have sons. All I can say is that they are similar to Barbies, but uh...dead or undead? And more expensive. The girls are absolutely bananas about them right now. I heard that Santa is super pumped about that...

This evening, we decided to try our hand at KittiesMama's technique. 

Look at 'em! All fresh faced, pulling off the 'We're well behaved' act!

Mia decided that she wanted the Venus McFlytrap makeover. "Mommy, don't forget! Three fangs on top and four fangs on the bottom, ok?!"

We gave her large fangs. Mama's got shaky hands.
And uh...NAILED IT!

Ding Dong went with the look of Skelita Calaveras, who from what I got out of this video isn't even a real doll but was custom made for this little girl? I don't know. My kid looked awesome though!

Kat Von D, your liquid Tattoo Liner continues to rock my socks off!
Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

Oh, and in case you need a helping of handsome, here's a nice one of Miles in his 'cay-cuh'. 

Have a great week, friends! Palis - out!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Little Gentleman

Somewhere in internetland, there's an Ecard floating featuring a one-liner about moms never trusting a silent house because it ultimately means their children are doing something they're not supposed to be doing.

With this being said, I'll let you in on Miles's new favorite spot in the house: the bathroom.

If the house is too quiet, the odds are pretty good that he's in the bathroom and he's destroying something:

  • Squirting toothpaste all over the lid of the toilet seat, I can deal with that because it cleans easily.
  • Using the bathroom scale as a springboard, I can deal with that because it cost $5.00.
  • Unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper, I can deal with that because we can roll it back up.
  • Coloring on the mirror with chapstick, I can deal with that because the room then smells like cherries.
  • Filling the sink with water and all of the handsoap, I can deal with that because at least his hands are clean.
You know what I have a really hard time dealing with though? The kid drinking out of the toilet!

I don't care that he used one of his sisters' porcelain teacups. I don't care that he had his tiny little pinky out. I don't care that he had the sweetest little satisfied smile on his face when I shrieked "Miles Christopher! That! Is! Disgusting!"

And once again, and Ecard slaps me in the face with the cold hard evidence that children are adorable little demons...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday (In Parentheses)

Sunday has been a pretty good day (good enough that I finally changed out of my sweats and slippers and into jeans... and slippers).

My children had cupcakes for breakfast (store bought, of course).

I told myself I'd do the laundry and dishes first thing (oh self, you're such a kidder).

Instead, I made the beds and watched half of a Hallmark movie (on the lower bunk in the girls' room while they watched A.N.T. Farm in my room).

Mia spent the afternoon with her dad (which led to a Marlee meltdown featuring hatred towards everything from Walmart to ponytails to itchy socks).

Walmart was its usual helpful, welcoming, money-sucking self (where the fuck do they keep the cotton balls in that place because they're NOT right next to the Q-tips).

No, we didn't buy any strawberries or salad mix (hey there diabetes, we loaded up on Dum Dum suckers and potato chips).

A quick stop at Sonic for half-priced Happy Hour drinks (yes, Mar, I am almost too big to squeeze between the car door and the menu when you open your door after I've asked you 62 times not to).

A sweet little fella decided it was nap time on the drive home (and spilled half of his cherry limeade all over the seat).

Our neighbor Jack stopped us as we pulled into the drive and asked to buy one of the 3 pumpkins in front of the house ("I'm sure you'll be back at Walmart at least once before Halloween!" Jack, I'll be back at least 3 times...).

Sis came home ready to collect her prize from the store (Novi Star dolls: I broke the head off of Marlee's while taking it out of the box, and then pulled the hair off of Mia's when we opened it).

My guilty conscience roped me in to washing a load of towels and slacks (a cute 4 year old couldn't be convinced that doing laundry is what grown-ups do when they want to have fun).

We had chili for supper (because it's Sunday, it's fall, and I make darn good chili, folks).

With more cupcakes for dessert (for the children, guys, only the children eat cupcakes twice a day).

Have a good week, friends (seriously)!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sweating To The Oldies

I have vivid memories from my childhood where I'm sitting in the dining room floor playing Barbies while my mom and Richard Simmons did "25 minutes of low impact aerobics!!!!" 

Image: Fameflynet Pictures via Buzzfeed
Half consumed with deciding how to set up Barbie's RV, and half amazed by Richard's super short shorts, I'd watch my mom and giggle at her sweet workout moves. "And Windy has wings to fly...above the clouds..." - complete with faux wing flapping.

Guys, my mom now owns the DVD! 

MOM: Hey do you want to work out with me on the days I babysit?

ME: Sure, what are you doing?

MOM: I got a new 'Sweatin To The Oldies' DVD!!!

ME: Oh. My. God. What songs are on it?

MOM: Fever... My Boyfriend's Back... RESPECT...

ME: Wait... is it the same one you had when I was a kid?

MOM: Yes!

ME: Hell yes I'll work out with you!

She brought her DVD over tonight. We worked out and the kids attempted to join in (by attempted, I mean ran in circles and rolled across the couch).

Low impact aerobics? I'm really out of shape. Thank you, self, for remembering to close the curtains before embarrassment commenced! 

I guess it's true, at some point every adult does something that they made fun of their parents for doing - and enjoys every minute of it.

We'll be working out again tomorrow night and yes, my shorts are longer than Richard's. His legs are way nicer than mine though, and if we're being honest here, I'd wear hot pants too if I had legs like his.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Election 2012: Q & A With the Girls

Hey there strangers!

Long story short, I've been lazy lately and haven't written anything. I'd love to say that it's be cause I've been super productive, but I haven't. Just lazy - plain and simple!

Mia asked me the other day if I was still writing the ole blog and requested that maybe I could just write about something fun that I do with the kids someday. Well, this was pretty fun!

Who is the President?
MIA Barack Obama
MAR Bama! Mrs. Davis has a Bama sign!

Who is the vice President?
MIA I don't really know. Joe Bite!
MAR Biting...

Where does the President live and what does his house look like?
MIA It would be a really cool house... um... in America. The ... white? house? Besides, white is a color in the American flag.
MAR If I was pwesident my house would be behind your house and it would be rainbow cuhyared!

What's the First Lady's name?
MIA It was rather... Melissa or Michelle.
MAR (I told her the First Lady is like the princess of the USA) There's lots of princesses! Um Bowie. I think we should name huw Bowie.

Who is Mommy voting for?
MIA Maybe Granny?
MAR I don't know...Wrong Paul? Who is Wrong Paul? (Thanks for that one Granny! For the record, I'm not voting for Ron Paul!)

What day do you vote?
MIA Maybe when you're 22. This year.
MAR Wednesday. This day when we go to the pahk.

How do you vote for the President?
MIA Maybe you have to sign a paper. Get a ticket and hold it up high and it says who you want for President.
MAR Um... Bowie, vote for huw.

What does the President do all day at work?
MIA Work! Um maybe papers that are really important.
MAR Well I sometimes dance and what do you fink he does? Dance? Do his jobs!

What does the President to do to have fun?
MIA Um maybe if he has a day off, he could go to the beach!He could surf!
MAR Cuhwuring is fun! He maybe cuhwuhs fwowers for his wife. Fwowers are pretty!

What is the President going to be for Halloween?
MAR I fhink he should be a werewoof. Or he could be a horse!
MIA Marlee no! It's my turn! I think, maybe ... he should be... a superhero - OR A MAD SCIENTIST!

That's all for tonight! This kitchen isn't going to clean itself and the kids are being good so I can't make them do it as punishment!

(And, shout out to Miss Presley! Hope these made you giggle, pretty girl!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

...And Then He Wiped His Butt On My Dress

We are not a family who rushes in to potty training. With each of the kids, we've bought them a potty seat and a package of big kid undies around their second birthday and then just waited until they showed the signs of being ready to lose the diapers.

With Miles, it's been no different than it was with the girls. The green and white chair sits in the bathroom collecting dust and his Spongebob underwear are pulled out on occasion to be worn over the diaper.

It's fine though - every once in a while he decides that he wants to pee in the potty. Something about the ecstatic praise I'm sure!

Imagine my excitement earlier when he came into the bathroom announcing "Poo! Poo, Mama!" and then proceeded to get out the potty chair and remove every stitch of clothing from the waist down. He then sat down, a hand on each knee and did his business! Yesssss! "What a big boy, Miles! Good boy! Yea!"

Big Boy was pretty darn proud of himself too... until he turned around and got a look at his own poop. "Yuck! Eeeew! Yuck!" Complete with grossed out faces that adorable toddlers make, and then angry faces at my laughter.

I cleaned him up and asked him to go grab a clean diaper. Could it be this easy with a boy? Should I be so lucky? Oh, no. Absolutely not.

Instead of a diaper, he carries back a dress from the overflowing basket of clean clothes in my room. Still proud and looking slightly ornery, he proceeds to put the dress in his mouth, chewing on the beaded neckline. "No! NO! Miles don't chew on my dress! Stop! Noooooo!!!!!"

And stop, he did. He stopped chewing on the dress, turned around with that cute little bare baby butt pointed right at me, and began to rub my cute dress right up his crack. 

Just one more reason why we will never have nice things.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

Few things in life rival the feeling of contentment a mama gets when she wakes up to a clean house and obedient children. That double whammy is so rare in our house, I felt the need to shout it from the mountaintops today. "Can I have your attention please! There are no dishes to be done here and my kids aren't plotting each other's demise! We're living the dream today at the Palis house!"

Eating Mama's breakfast with two spoons. Who needs
Lucky Charms when you can have oatmeal like an old man?
Mornings like this make me realize just how much I have to be thankful about. My life is chaotic and imperfect, but in the most rewarding ways. 

Have a great weekend, friends!

(Oh, and I realize the slight irony in titling this post Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting and then writing about a harmonious morning. To be honest, I knew there was a pretty successful album titled 'Early Morning something something', and that sounded pretty good. Well, then once I got to Googling it, I remembered it was Kid Rock's Early Morning STONED PIMP and I didn't feel like that was quite the vibe I was going for. We'll stick with Sir Elton. Surely someone around here will get punched or kicked before bedtime.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vacation By Numbers

You know how you inherit certain skills from your parents? Mom's calculation proficiency went straight to Jimmy, while I lucked out. I landed the creative gene (a little gift from the Old Man) and enjoy a good project. 

Despite being a number flunky, I enjoy a good list of statistics just as much as the next busybody. For that reason, I'm going to break my little vacation down for you all into simple numbers. 

5 (boxes) hauled to the trash from the garage yesterday.

911 (call) made Monday when I thought someone was robbing the new neighbor's house... it was the new neighbor, oops...

2 (A.M.) was when Chris started shampooing the carpet last night.

18 (pairs) fit on the shoe rack I installed on Sunday. It seems I need more shoe racks.

7 (indecent exposures) involving Miles looking for a phone in my bra. Thanks, Granny, for that gem...

2 (handfuls) of sand were brought inside the girls' bedroom last night by Marlee.

4 (sets of bowels) regretted eating Burger King for lunch yesterday. 

9 (months) my camera charger was missing. I found it and I'm so happy I could do (er, try) a cartweel!

5 (quarters), 1 (dime), 7 (nickels), 2 (pennies) found when we moved the couch to vacuum. And a cashew.

1 (time) Chris decided to body slam me on the trampoline and put his balls on my face. Not. Funny. At. All.

12 (hours) passed before the kids tore a hole in the sheets on their new hand-me-down bunk beds.

8 (bags) of clothes in the back of the MomMobile ready to be donated to someone else.

125 (percent) enlargement was used when tracing each kiddo's photo silhouette from the computer to paper.

4 (months) after the trampoline was assembled, we got around to putting the safety enclosure together.

3 (conversations) took place regarding me wanting a police scanner for my birthday. 

159.99 (dollars) is how much a pull down staircase ala Christmas Vacation would cost for our attic.

1 (false) UFO sighting made by Mia. "Mom I see a UFO! See it blinking?" - her. "Sis that's an airplane... Don't freak me out like that!" - me.

13 (loads) of laundry waiting for me to wash them... *whistles guiltily*

Every minute of the last few days has been absolutely worth it. Good for the family, good for the house, and way good for my soul. I do believe I'll be doing this again someday.

(P.S. - Apparently, I cuss a lot less when I'm on vacation too. Who'da thunk it?!)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

S Is For Slow Cooker

Friends, I have a big announcement to make: I'm on vacation!

Those 3 little words mean everything to me, and nothing to you probably, but they needed to be said. I  have absolutely no plans for the next 5 days aside from wearing clothes that don't match and indulging in fashion magazines and reruns of "The Hills" on Netflix. Oh bliss, I heart thee!

In other news...

It's been raining here for the last 24 hours. I love a good rainy fall day, but doesn't every Midwesterner? Hey there September, I've been waiting (impatiently) for your arrival!

When it's rainy, only comfort food will do. Comfort food that you toss into the slow cooker first thing in the morning so that you're freed up to be lazy for the rest of the day. I decided that today was a chicken and rice kind of day (I buy rice like I'm stocking up for the Zombie Apocalypse. Maybe I am. Don't judge me!). 

I don't think I've ever done a recipe on the ole blog, so I figured what the hey. 

  1. I use generic brands out the wazoo. For the most part, if you know how to add spices to the cheap stuff, there's absolutely zero difference. Go on and save that money!
  2. Food photos are taken with my phone. There's no flash on it - and I'm a terrible photographer. If you're hoping for beautiful culinary no.
  3. I don't measure anything like you're supposed to. I've cooked enough at this point that I know when I'm going to want more pepper or garlic, and when I'm going to omit the salt. Do what feels right when you make it. I know that not measuring drives some people crazy, so please accept this disclaimer as my apology!
  4. As soon as I finished putting everything into the pot, Chris text and asked if I wanted to go on a date tonight. I politely turned him down stating I'd just prepared this meal in the slow cooker. You guys, I basically traded a date so that you could get this recipe. 
Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice

2.5 lbs chicken (I used leg quarters, bone-in, with the skin on)

2 cups uncooked white long grain rice

1 cup water

1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup

1 10.5 oz can chicken gravy

1 cup French fried onions

Alexander's Bread Dip Seasonings 'Sicilian Blend' (dried roasted garlic, salt, onion, bell pepper, tomato), to taste (Or whatever blend of seasonings you want to use)

A palm full of ground black pepper

I didn't wipe the counter before I took a pic. Keepin' it real, ya'll!

 This recipe is so easy...You're welcome in advance! 

Start off by dumping the rice and the French fried onions into the slow cooker, giving it a little stir so that the onions will help flavor the rice. Then add in your water.

Next place your chicken directly on top of the rice and onions. My chicken was frozen rock-solid and didn't want to fit into the pot. Naturally, I got out a giant knife and hacked the crap out of it like I was dismembering a cadaver... Anyway... 

Once your chicken all fits in the slow cooker, pour the can of cream of chicken (it's up to you whether you dilute the CoC, I don't) and the can of gravy over the top of it.

After you've coated the chicken nicely, you'll add in the spices. I don't measure this at all. I coat it all over and I coat it thickly as if it were Shake 'n Bake. More spice = more flavor!

When you're satisfied with your amount of spice, add in a hand full of pepper and distribute all around the slow cooker. In my opinion, chicken and rice should be peppery. That's how my mama made it, that's how it has to be!

After you've added your pepper, plop the lid on that baby and find something unproductive to occupy your time while it cooks. For frozen chicken like mine, cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours. If you're responsible enough to have your chicken thawed beforehand, cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Served with sweet potatoes and garlic-cheese biscuits. My photos are horrible.
Bon Appetit! Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Zhush

I found this shirt at Goodwill a few weeks ago and finally got around to wearing it today.

Maybe I wore it because I needed some satin and  rhinestones on this fine Thursday. Maybe I wore it because it camouflaged the muffin top created by my slightly too-snug pants. Either way, the zhush factor was there and I was digging it.

I dug it right up until I got to work and Jimmy said, "Really Jewing it up today with that shirt, aren't ya?"

My little brother: pointing out my inappropriate choices since 1985.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The School Bus Is Like Fight Club I Guess

I came home from work tonight to hear that a little girl had torn Mia's new shirt on the school bus.

As you might have guessed, I was instantly pissed! 1.) Today was the first time (and now, the only time) she'd worn the dang thing. 2.) She looked really cute in it! 

"Mia that shirt is brand new. What happened? What was this girl doing that tore your shirt?" 

"Well she was biting my shirt and wouldn't let go of it...So... I pulled it really hard and her teeth tore it."

"She was biting your shirt?! Why was this girl biting your shirt?!"

"...And now it has a hole in it. And some blood. This is blood because she was bleeding after."

"WHAAAAT?! She was bleeding?! Did she have a loose tooth?"

"Um, I don't think so."

"Was she alright?"

"Yeah. I think so..."

"Mia, do you even know what the little girl's name is?"

"No. She's younger than me. I know that."

Sweet little 8lb baby Jesus... To the mother of that little girl: I am so sorry. I swear, my second grader is not a bully. She is very sweet 90% of the time and would never intentionally hurt a younger child (unless it's Marlee, who in most situations, definitely has it coming). 

Guys, please keep your fingers crossed that my kid doesn't get kicked off the bus. And also that the other girl's mama doesn't want to come kick my ass after school tomorrow.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Let's Not Try That

Tonight I discovered a colony of winged ants or termites or some type of other nasty crawly thing with wings had infested a part of our yard. Naturally, my gut instinct told me to act like a girl and tell Chris to kill the bugs...

ME: (after running up onto the porch because you're safe from flying bugs if you're on higher ground) I don't know what they are, but they have wings and they're all over the driveway even. Kill 'em!

CHRIS: Do we have any spray to kill them with?

ME: Yeah, it's inside! Hurry! Eew!!!!

A minute later, the hubs comes outside with an aerosol can of hairspray in one hand and a candle lighter in the other hand.

ME: One, I use that hairspray. Two, you're going to blow yourself up.

CHRIS: What do you want me to use then?!

ME: Get the bug spray!

Disappears into the house again, only to reemerge with bug spray - in yet another aerosol can - and, again, the candle lighter.

ME: Are you kidding me?! Put. The. Damn. Lighter. Up. Get the bug spray out of the garage.

CHRIS: (like I've kicked him in the nuts) Ugh...FINE!

Finally comes out with the pump and spray bug killer and begins to flood the nest/hive/disgusting bug house.

CHRIS: You never let me have any fun.

ME: Oh, I know, I'm really good at ruining things, aren't I?

CHRIS: Yeah, like my life!

ME: I love you too, honey...

Isn't that what marriage is about though - one person being the responsible one, and the other being an overgrown child? I know that's not just going on at my house!

Friday, August 24, 2012

He's A Little Bit Country ...

... and a little bit geeky like his daddy. The robot shirt and Spiderman hat really look sweet with the new cowboy boots, don't you think?!

Happy Friday, folks!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nailing It (Horrible Pun Intended)

Today is the last day of summer break and by this time tomorrow, Mia will be a second grader.

Meet the teacher night was last night, and Mrs. S. seems like a really great fit for my big girl. I feel like we're pretty much ready for this year - name written on the new backpack, lunch box, 2 boxes of crayons, 2 boxes of markers, 56 pencils, 17 notebooks. Picked up a med form from the nurse for our inhaler. Met the new music teacher. Signed Mommy up to be a room parent (again) and a PTO member (Lord help me...). 

We've got the perfect outfit picked out, hair do chosen, glittery fairy dust on stand-by. 

But as much as we felt like we were prepared, we'd forgotten one very important thing...

MIA: Mom what's it called when you paint those silver lines?

ME: French tips. Please stop wiggling...

MIA: French like France?

ME: Yep. Miles don't do that...Miles STOP! 

MIA: He's putting Doritos in my shorts! 

ME: Miles Christopher! STOP IT NOW! Sis, what do you think of these nails?

MIA: They're pretty. Can we go to Paris one day? I really want to go to Paris...and maybe we can get French tips painted on our fingernails there - I mean, we will be in France, Mom.

ME: Someday, baby. We'll go someday.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

For Pete's Sake...

MARLEE: Mommy, do I yook yike Sheorshe Washington?

(without turning around)

ME: No, George Washington had white hair.

MARLEE: Do I yook yike Abewaham Yinkin?

(still facing the other direction)

ME: No, Abe Lincoln had a black beard.

MARLEE: Who do I yook yike den?

(turn to look at her finally)

ME: A topless Mother Teresa. We're all in trouble...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Snippet: I Guess Miralax Does Work


ME: What?!

Marlee: Mia did it! She pooped! She pooped ALL OVER! It's ova flowing!

ME: Guess that medicine worked, huh, Sis?

MIA: I'm sorry. I couldn't stop... it's the runs, Mom. I've got the runs and the runs broke the toilet.

MARLEE: It's so dis-gus-ting! Eew! Yuck!

ME: No words, just uncontrollable giggles.


If my daughters were older, they'd hate me for retelling this little poop nugget. Thankfully, they're 7 and 4 (Marlee's birthday was yesterday. Here's to another 10 wrinkles on Mommy's face.) so they're still young enough to appreciate when I laugh instead of flipping out.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Might Be Dying

Seriously guys, I've got the shingles. 

The bad news is, apparently there's a 72 hour window of opportunity to get to the doc when symptoms start 
showing. My symptoms started last Wednesday. The good news is, nothing.

The doctor tried to patch me up with Band Aids this morning. Not my regular doctor though, so naturally I pretended it was no biggie when she put Band Aids all over my neck and chest. "Oh, by the way I'm super allergic to Band Aids!" - exactly what I should have said. I didn't say it though. And why would I? The big raw squares frame my shingles nicely. (Actually I didn't say anything because she was super nice. Plain and simple. I didn't want to come off as ungrateful.) 

Me with Band Aids:

Me with the nursing skills of my devoted husband:
"Babe, be nice because I can always pull this tighter..." - 5 years of wedded bliss
Did you know that people over the age of 60 are most likely to get shingles? I'm 28. 

Also, I jinxed the shit out of myself by blabbing how I felt fine before I went to the doctor, just a little itchy. Hey! Guess who has a sore throat, itchy eyes, and the start of shingle patches on her face now? FML...

Someone lend me a turtleneck. - XOXO Jen

Monday, August 6, 2012

Shake What'cha Mama Gave Ya

This exists. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out.

A few things to remember while watching the video below:
  1. I am NOT a horribly inappropriate mother. Not all of the time anyway.
  2. This is exactly how Chris dances.
  3. He's just a bachelor - lookin' for a partner.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Kid Embarrassed Me...Again...

Those of you who read the ole blog on a regular basis are familiar with some of the neighbors by now. We have the elderly cat lady across the street, Mrs. D. There's Jack, the bachelor next door who has my children convinced that he grows Hostess cupcakes for them in his garden. The Browns a few houses down with two boys who are most likely the male counterparts to my angelic girls.

Tonight, I'd like to introduce you to the people who live in the house behind ours, Bonnie & David, and give you all an opportunity to share in the most recent instance where my children have completely mortified me.


This summer, we've spent quite a bit of time outside. Sometimes we spend all day swimming and jumping on the trampoline. Other days, we stay inside all day and come out to play after supper (aka 'Operation: wear these kids down for bed'). Despite the differences in our routine, one thing remains the same - my kids are loud and the neighbors never seem to mind the high pitched squeals or shrieks of "She hit me!" I love that about our neighbors!

Another thing that never fails? David always makes a point of poking his head over the fence and hollering "Hey! You kids are making an awful lot of noise out there!" He, like many a grown man, enjoys teasing the kids and the kids enjoy sassing him right back.

A few weeks ago, we spent all day playing out back and our Mister Neighbor was working on something in his back yard behind the privacy fence. Occasionally he would holler at the kids to keep it down, or spray them with his garden hose. Marlee, my diva, would yell with half disgust/half delight "That's not even funny, Old Man!" much to David's delight. Old men always love it when they can get a child riled up!

A bit later, he took off across the yard to go pick up his youngest granddaughter from her parents at the city swimming pool. Baby girl needed a break from the hot sun, and her grandparents were all too eager to have her to themselves for a while. 

He'd left empty-handed and returned pushing a sweet baby in a double stroller. This had my Boo utterly perplexed...

"Hey! Old Man! Where did you get that baby?!"
"Where did you get that baby, Old Man?! Did you steal it?"
"I can't believe you stole a baby! OLD! MAAAAAN!"

After he and the baby were in the house, Mar began to question Granny and I about the baby. Of course we fed her a huge line of bullshit confirming that yes, it was a stolen baby. She was so mad (and so funny) and being huge jerks, we just kept going.

For the next couple of days, each time she'd talk about that Old Man stealing that little baby, we'd egg her on. "Get yourself back into bed or I'll tell the old man to come and steal you!" we'd say. "Is that old man nice?" she'd question us, partly afraid, partly suspicious of our words. "He's nice, he's just a baby-stealer so he's kind of creepy..." was my answer at one point.

Wrong answer, obviously. The next time we went out to play:

"Hey! You kids are makin' a lot of noise back there!" came a voice from behind the tall privacy fence.
"Old Man! You leave us alone! My mommy says you're creepy!" came my middle child.

Needless to say, we haven't heard from David in a few days.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Glass Half Full

Some nights, the day has just been so horrible that you feel you've earned the rights to a tall drink just as much as you've earned your wages. If you're like me, you clock out, come home, take off your bra and pour that drink. Really sticking it to 'the man', right? 

Today wasn't one of those days.

I did have a glass of wine tonight, but not as the result of a piss-poor day. My wine was poured to ease the pain of my 80 year old bones and used to wash down a few arthritis pills. As luck would have it, there was exactly enough left in the bottle to have half of a glass. I love when that happens.

That half full glass? Now totally empty. Such a lush... G'night!

(P.S. My crazy friends recently dubbed this song as 'our jam'. Bet you'll never guess which of the three is supposedly me...)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

(New) Office Space

Samir: No, not again. I... why does it say paper jam when there is no paper jam? I swear to God, one of these days, I just kick this piece of shit out the window.
Michael Bolton
: You and me both, man. That thing is lucky I'm not armed. 

-Office Space

My department at work has spent the last few days moving back into the main building. It's been hot and dirty and well...kind of a clusterfuck because there is so much going on. Almost everyone in the company who has an office is being moved to a different office in the complex.  Worth it though? Oh yes, folks, totally worth it!

I am so (See that? Underlined for emphasis!) excited to come back after a year away from my old friends and to be bringing the new friends I made along the way. The fact that we get our own offices ain't too shabby either!

Maybe my office is right next to Bossman's, but he's kind of awesome. Don't tell him I said that though or I'll get the "Jennifer, don't tell people you enjoy working for me. It'll ruin my reputation." speech. Plus...I get not one but two windows - sit down, here's where it gets super exciting - because I get an office AND my own little file room! *insert two thumbs up here*

Someone doesn't get to be the worst receptionist in the world anymore either. You're all very welcome for that.

The kids made some beautiful artwork for Mommy's new space.

Counter clockwise: by Miles, by Mia, by Marlee, by random Walmart artist
OMG! Totes adorbs!

The office is still a work in progress, but it's coming together nicely. While I don't have a college diploma to frame and hang on the wall, I'm contemplating hanging this baby up tomorrow. I didn't really earn it, unless you count purchasing a magazine subscription as earning, but it sounds very prestigeous and that's really all that matters.

See that? National Associate Member. I'm kind of a big deal!
Shenanigans may or may not be taking place during working hours too...

Oh please, like you wouldn't put it on if you were lucky enough to find a Freddy Krueger claw!
It's summertime in Missouri, of course that's a pigtail in his hair. My hair's still not long enough, and well, I'm OK with at least one of us being able to get those sweaty bangs out of their eyes.

And for the love of cheese, will you all help me convince my hubs that not only is this guy completely appropriate, but it's damn-near a necessity for my new big girl office? Please!  

Feel free to sweet talk him in the comments section!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Asian Persuasion

I got home from work the other night to the news that Mia's teaching herself to write her numbers in Chinese. Yes, you're remembering correctly, she's the one who flunks handwriting in English each semester.

Looks legit to me...
 "Mommy, one day we won't have to write anything - we'll just type it on computers..." You don't question a gifted child. Not unless you enjoy feeling like a complete moron, anyway.

And if any of you faithful HHDD readers actually do read Chinese writing, could you please tell me what the hell this candy's flavor is...

And, they make her breath smell like perfume! Delicious!
 My guess is opium flavored because it smells like a pear/dirty hippie hybrid. Marlee loves them!

That's all I've got today. It's Friday, and my last fortune cookie leaves me wondering what the fuck I'm about to lose over the weekend?

I'll bet I find it in the hamper, whatever it is. Or a toy box, maybe.
It's a toss up between my phone and my sanity. 50/50 chance at either.

Have a rockin' weekend!