Monday, December 23, 2013

A Major Prize!!!

Remember when we created this masterpiece?

Guess who won the grand prize! BOOM!

A big thank you to all of the creative readers who took one look at our candy Helga and said to themselves, "Nope! That's perfection in sugar form. I'm not even going to attempt to top it." 

Duff was really impressed guys - direct quote from the email! I've been smiling like a total goob ever since I found out I won. Do you remember what the grand prize is? A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF CANDY! Yessssss!

I have no idea when the candy will come, but I promise that there'll be plenty of pictures of that epic moment when the time comes. And, yes, I will share!

P.S. the diva is not impressed by her newfound fame...

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Vacation

{This post is brought to you by Netflix}

Clark sits in his place of honor atop the mantle

I'm officially on Christmas vacation until January 2, 2014! This, kids, this is what makes it the most wonderful time of the year! Sure - gifts, family, baby Jesus, etc etc etc, but really it's all about the break from work!

Do I have a million things that I still need to finish now that I'm on vacation? Yes. Duh! But... why start immediately? If I get it all done ahead of time, we have to skip that whole family friendly screaming hissy fit where I say things like "If I want it done right, I have to do it myself so can you just keep these 3 occupied!" and "Well guys, I'd love to make you a sandwich, but Mommy's in the middle of a nervous breakdown right now!"

Day one of vacation, all the kids wanted to do was play outside!

As a reminder, we live in Missouri and this is what it looks like in Missouri right now:

Menacing ice daggars on a child-sized picnic table? Deep. 
All 3 kids have just gotten over a gross bout of coughing/feverish/throwing up, so Bad Cop Mom laid down the law and temporarily broke their little hearts. The same hearts that were soothed a short time later when I pulled out the fleece blankets, popped 4 bowls of popcorn, poured fizzy mugs of rootbeer before firing up the AppleTV and our Netflix Kids app.  

My kids absolutely love all of the Buddies movies and since they're on Netflix Kids, we can watch all of them any time we want - Air Buddies, Space Buddies, Spooky Buddies, and of course Santa Buddies. We watched Santa Buddies and The Search For Santa Paws.

A few friends joined us as well...

Yep, I'm the sucker mama who buys any movie that comes with a toy...
After our puppy fix, we tuned in for a sneak preview of the new Netflix original series, Turbo FAST. Turbo FAST picks up where the DreamWorks film left off, following Turbo the snail and the rest of his FAST (Fast Action Stunt Team) friends on their racing adventures.

The girls, here's a shocker, loved Burn - "da pink one, Mommy!". Mommy's more of a Smooth Move fan, herself though.

Turbo FAST will hit the Netflix screen on Decemeber 24 but you can watch the trailer now by clicking here. Just in time for your holiday drive over the river and through the woods. Charge your tablets, laptops, and cell phones parents because nobody wants to hear 3 hours worth of "Are we there yet?" 

And for those of you who are traveling sans children this year (lucky bastards), this is the perfect opportunity to binge watch a series you've been meaning to check out - 
  • House of Cards - Are Chris and I the only ones who are Team Doug? Doug is a BAMF. Yes, I abbreviated because my 8 year old occasionally reads my posts. New season premiers on Valentine's Day, so you have just a few weeks to wrap your mind around everything that happened in Season 1.
  • The Killing - Holder, yo! Every time a season ends, I feel a little empty inside. Thankfully, Netflix is bringing it back for a 4th and final season in 2014. Maybe season 4 will find Holer and Linden as more than popo partners? "Dial 1-900-Linden...." Watch it!
  • Lost - Don't tell me you don't like Lost because we both know that NOBODY can resist Lost. Sure, we all hate Kate but you get Sawyer to make up for her skankery and that's worth it. Trust me. 
  • Scandal - We've recently started watching this each night before we go to bed. It's kind of like a little mini date and it's wonderful. I want to be as lovely as Olivia Pope one day... one day when I'm no longer responsible for dressing 3 small children and I can wear white with confidence...
Or get yourself into the spirit with one of my favorite holiday movies - 
  • White Christmas - The epitome of Christmas perfection. The finale rendition of White Christmas brings tears to my eyes every time I see it. It's beautiful.
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - You can relate. We can all relate.
  • Love Actually - Go ahead and try not to fall in love with Hugh Grant. Resistance is futile!
Happy watching and safe travels to those of you making holiday journeys in the next few days!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Leftovers

On Fridays, this mama doesn't cook because we have a fridge full of leftovers. Sometimes last night's meal tastes just as good as the first serving, other times, you just can't bear yourself to choke it down again.

And then? Someone might just suprise you and ask if you have anything left in the dish from 3 days ago. We always do and I'd be glad to share if you're hungry.

Friends, I'm not going to beat around the bush - life's been pretty damn overwhelming lately: 

  • Christmas - planning for Santa's early visit on Sunday, Mia's school party, company party at work, Christmas Eve with the fam, December 25 BOOM!
  • Christmas shopping - so.many.presents
  • Christmas candy - I can't stop eating it... 
  • Christmas cards - Why do I buy these every year and never buy stamps? Because I'm irresponsible.
  • Work - Audit and I'm STILL not allowed to wear sweats when it's cold!
  • Weather - Again, it's friggin cold! You'd think I'd be used to this by now. It's only been 30 years of Midwestern winters, but alas, I hold out hope for a tropical winter instead.
  • Being married to Chris Palis - Lord...
  • Potty training Miles - I've resigned to the fact that he'll NEVER poop in the toilet. 
  • Laundry - The amount of dirty clothes in this house? Insane. We got a new washer recently and it's SOOOO complicated! Figuring out all of the buttons is like programing a space shuttle for NASA!
The blog though? That's the main thing I've neglected. I've sat down to write 3 times in the last week and a half and can't seem to finish! I blame all of the fudge I've consumed - sugar makes me crazy...

Thankfully, it seems that while I've put Baby in the corner, the Johnny Castles of the internetz refuse to let her stay there!

Here are just a few little treats just waiting for all of my friends to enjoy:

The kind folks at Gemperle Farms are giving you the chance to win up to $300 in Amazon gift cards! For your chance to win:
  1. Go to the Gemperle Farms YouTube Page and watch their selection of educational and kid friendly videos, then be sure to FAVORITE and COMMENT on the videos that you've watched. 
  2. Send an email to SUSANGEMPERLEABDO (at) with your name, the number of favorites and comments you left on the Gemperle videos, and your YouTube username for verification purposes. The subject line of your email should read: MOMMY BLOGGER CONTEST
Each comment and favorite will get you an entry into the drawing for a $100, $200, or $300 gift card! This contest ends tonight (sorry for the short notice) so enter NOW! Winners will be announced on December 16, 2013.

Alert! Alert! 

I love when things are fabulous and you don't have to pay a subscription fee to share them with the people you love!

Holiday shopping stresses me out. You guys already know that, though. The giving makes the stress totally worth it in the end, but what if I told you that it was possible to automatically donate to your favorite charity just by doing a little holiday shopping?

Now through December 24, J.Jill will donate 5% of the proceeds from your purchase to the charity of your choice via Plan G! PlanG offers over 1 million charities to choose from, and let's all remember to help others this holiday season.

For more information on the J.Jill/PlanG Holiday Giving promo, please visit the

(and um... I wear a size 10 boot... subtleties are for patient people...)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Totally Traditional Helga

You guys, look at Helga...

I might be a tad bit biased, but I think she's completely adorable in her Christmas sweater. Sure she hates the sweater, but it's my job as her human to make sure she's warm. So, Christmas sweater it is!

Recently, the fam and I were invited to enter Airheads Candy's "Non-Traditional Holiday Contest" - judged by Chef Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes fame - for a chance to win (drumroll please.......) A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF AIRHEADS! 

"Hi, my name is Jen and I love candy more than I love my 3 children..."

Juuuust kidding! I do love candy a whole butt-load, but my kids are a 1/2 notch above the sugar. WHEN THEY'RE BEHAVING!

Naturally, if we have candy in this house, it's here for a very short time because nom nom nom. That being said, Granny and I made a trip to the local Sam's Club on Sunday and picked up a bulk box of Airheads bars for our project. Then we came home and hid that bad boy in a spot the kids couldn't reach!

(FYI a big kid box of Airheads runs about $10 at Sam's and you get 90 bars. It's a pretty sweet deal. Oh, snap! Pun!)

We decided that Helga, queen of the dramatic miniature Dachshunds, would be our inspiration for the contest. Obviously we had no choice, guys. One look at what Mar describes as "dowes sad puppy eyes" and she had us convinced that she was the ultimate muse. Her likeness must be created using delicious fruit candy as the medium.

We happened to have a half busted (this is why we can't have nice things) Dachshund figurine, and the rules state that you only have to use one piece of Airheads candy for your entry. The bust was black though and that just wouldn't do our brown puppy justice.

Brown = green, red, orange, and purple Airheads melted together
To start off, we melted green, red, orange, and purple Airheads together in a large stock pot before spreading it onto wax paper and rolling it with a rolling pin. A few key points to remember: stir that stuff like crazy or it will burn, and yes, it sticks to EVERYTHING!

Thank you for rolling, Granny!
Tearing bits of the newly brown Airhead apart, we molded the candy onto our wiener dog until she was covered. Then we added blue, red, and green Airheads - cut with a pizza cutter - to the torso to create a dog sweater.

Notice the texture in  the ears? It's because Helga's a long-haired
Dachshund. And because smoothing candy is a tricky process!
Once our form was completely covered, we used the white Mystery flavor Airheads to make eyes with little green pupils and a red Airhead for the puppy tongue!

I'd love to say that the kiddos helped on this, but really, all they did is get all hopped up on sugar and run circles around the kitchen! Chris and Granny worked really hard on the brown while I did the sweater. To be honest, this wasn't the simplest project but we had a freaking blast doing it! So. Much. Laughter.

The one person in House Palis who wasn't enthusiastic about the end result?

She's an unappreciative little thing, isn't she?!

Oh, and guess who else is invited to enter the contest? You, ya lucky S.O.B. so head on over to the Airheads Candy Facebook page and upload your entry photo anytime between now and December 16.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Tip #1

Today Granny and I made our annual pre-Thanksgiving pilgrimage to the Price Chopper for our family dinner. All of the usual Thanksgiving shoppers were there: 
  • Little old ladies getting supplies to make the meal completely from scratch
  • Moms trying to divvy up cart space between children and food items
  • Single folks buying small hams and individual potatoes, with and without beer or wine
  • Married men scratching their heads in front of the assortment of spices, "My wife needs..."
  • Young couples
Oh, the young couples! They were my favorites to watch today in a completely "Bless your little heart" way. If you've got even a touch of Southern mentality, then you're well aware that "Bless your heart" is really just a polite way to call someone a dumbass...

Is Home Ec still a mandatory class in high school? I don't know, but I do know that I heard one young girl say to her guy, "I'm bringing the pie, remember?" and then she picked up a pre-made graham cracker crust and a big box of instant chocolate pudding...

WHAAAAT? Oh, honey, that's adorable but it's not pie!

Girls, do yourself a favor - go to your mama's house and cleverly swipe whatever cookbook you remember her using the most during your childhood. Get the one that's stained and torn up. You steal that thing and you read it! You STUDY it!

My mother's copy of The Betty Crocker Cookbook, first edition 1969. It no longer has a cover, and is covered with stains. The index pages have come loose, so I use them as bookmarks for my favorites. Stolen about 8 years ago.
Find one or two recipes for sides in that cookbook and you make those dishes for the family dinner. Sweetie, if you're old enough to live on your own and buy your own beer, you're old enough to cook a real meal! 

That old saying about cooking being the way to a man's heart? It's true and it doesn't apply to men in particular. People. Like. Good. Food.

So in short, forget about that 'pie' made of instant pudding. You're an adult, cook like one and everyone will will be thankful.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Movie and Cocoa

{This post is brought to you by Netflix}

I'm going to come clean right here at the beginning: Last week was National Young Readers Week, and that was supposed to be the basis of this month's Netflix sponsored post... BUT because my life is one awkward moment after the next, I didn't see the original suggestion at the beginning of the month... 

Good news though - I'm still going to write and dang it if I'm not including a recipe for what my kids describe as "Da bess hot chok-lit you hab ever maked, Mommy!" You're welcome, friends! I'm a giver by nature!

In keeping with the theme of children's literature we took a vote tonight on whether to watch James & The Giant Peach (a book that I loved as a child) or The Polar Express (a book the kids love, and loved so much that one child... just take a guess which one... took into the shower and ruined last winter). The Polar Express won the vote because the kids outnumber the adults here at Palis Palace.

As my girls watched the movie, I watched their sweet brown eyes light up. "Mia dat yooks yike a rwollaw-coasta! I would NOT go on it!" followed by Big Sis's reassuring "Marlee, you could ride with me and then you wouldn't be scared." They lost themselves in the movie, the same way they lose themselves in their bedtime stories at night. Little people fueled by imagination + watching a movie with Daddy where they sing about hot chocolate + Mommy making our very own homemade hot chocolate? Here we go, creating memories like the freaking champions of parenting that you know us to (sometimes) be!

"Hot hot! Ooh, we got it! Hot hot! Yeah, we got it!
Hot hot! Say, we got it! Hot hot! Hot chocolate!"

Homemade Hot Hot Hot Chocolate (serves 6):
  • One 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 caps of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 packets of cocoa or chocolate flavored drink mix
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon

In a large pot, warm the sweetened condensed milk over medium heat until it thins a little. Add in the chocolate chips once the s/c milk begins to bubble, and stir the mixture constantly with a whisk to combine the chocolate and canned milk. 

Next, you'll add in your vanilla, milk, cinnamon, and chocolate drink mix. You need to do this fairly quickly and remember to continue with the whisk while you're adding the remaining ingredients. If you don't stir the entire time you're adding ingredients, you risk burning the canned milk and chocolate chip mixture.

Once all of the ingredients are combined, raise the heat a little until the entire mixture comes to a low boil, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat once the hot chocolate has boiled for a full minute. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.

{Chef's notation: I don't typically use measurements or time things when I cook, and tend to eyeball things and use my judgement by the sight and smell. All measurements are approximate, as are times. Good luck and remember, there's really no way to screw up hot cocoa. Unless you skimmed over that whole 'stir the entire time' part and you burn it. In that case, congrats on screwing up a completely simple recipe!}

As I said earlier in the post - the girls claim it's the best cocoa I've ever made. Photographic proof of this perfection? Done:

That smile says it all!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Holly Jolly Impatient Me

I'm going through a bit of an internal struggle right now, guys:

Why do we have to celebrate Thanksgiving before we celebrate Christmas?! 

This. Is. So. Hard.

Since the day after Halloween, I've been fighting myself on digging out all of the decorations and plopping a big 'ole tree up in the living room. The child in me says that it's never too early, but the adult in me says "Hey Crazytown - you're hosting your first Thanksgiving this year. Let's chill on the stockings and leave up the scarecrows for another week or so."

Fine, sanity, you win for now, but only because I'm willing to compromise...

Beautiful is a gross understatement here, friends! If there was a dream boat classification for Christmas music, David Ian's CDs would be Grade A Holiday Dream Boat!

Both albums are available for purchase now on iTunes and Amazon and can be previewed on David's website

For those of you who are fans of the classics, think Bing, Dean Martin, and the incomparable Rosemary Clooney. And you young whippersnappers? In the style of Harry Connick Jr., Buble', and Miss Norah Jones. 

Dream Boat, indeed!

And an added surprise that I received with the CDs? A little note from Ian's wife, Grace. Talk about a sweetheart!

Thank you again, David and Grace for sharing your music with our family and I strongly encourage any holiday music enthusiast to do the same!

That's all I have for now. It's time to start getting ready for our Christmas card photo shoot. I'll leave you with a little hint of what's in store with that one...

"It's because I'm green, isn't it?" - The Grinch

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Looks Like Flat Square Boobs

I came home the other night and noticed that someone (definitely Marlee) had pulled the towel bar out of the wall in our bathroom. Not completely out of the wall, but enough so that the drywall was bulging on one side. And, obviously, just enough to irritate the shit out of me.
Of course when I asked who'd done the deed (I only asked Marlee), nobody (Marlee) knew who the master of destruction had been.

Chris came home a few hours later and it wasn't long before I pointed out the new eyesore. Pissy? Quite!

Again, children were questioned (Marlee, just Marlee) and no one (Marlee) would confess. Several minutes into the interrogation, the culprit (MARLEE) cracked: "Aw-wite! Fine! I di'yit! But I was jusssss pyaying cyime da wallllll!"


Chris decided that it was an easy fix - remove the towel bar, patch the holes, re-drill into studs. 

Have you met my husband? He doesn't fix. He maims.

"Babe, calm down. The grout has to dry before I can sand and paint it."

This is why we can't have nice things.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Missile Launch

I'm one of those people who thrives off of background noise. TV, radio, screaming kids, all noises that are easy to drown out and yet, I need them or something feels off. 

Tonight, I absentmindedly turned on the TV for some noise and selected an old episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels. I've seen all of the episodes and that naggy old conscience of mine reminded me that it probably wasn't kid-friendly, but I tuned in and continued my conversation with Granny. 

About 5 minutes into the show it hit me what episode we were watching- the one where Gene hangs out with Carrot Top in Vegas and accidentally glues a large vibrator to his hand. 

Cue Marlee in 3, 2, 1... 

"Mommy what is in his hand?! Is it a missile? It yooks yike a missile."

Have mercy.  

"Yes, Mar, it's a missile..."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mean People Suck

{This post is brought to you by Netflix}

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Netflix in regards to being a member of their bloggers Stream Team program.

Accepting the invitation was pretty much a no-brainer for me because we have Netflix Kids streaming on at least three devices in our house at any given time! Write about something my family already can't function without? Done! 

Oh, and did I mention that they sent me a cute little Apple TV to complete the package? Well they did (and yes, I had to Google 'what is an Apple TV' before I accepted) and it's insanely easy to use - even for me!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and as a reformed mean girl myself, I really feel that it's important to teach my kids that you get more joy from life by being kind than from making others hurt. You give to give, with no expectations and you do so simply because you want to. 

In keeping with the October theme we sat down for a family movie night last night to watch Disney's Hercules. Remember the bully in this classic? Hades. THAT'S RIGHT - ONE OF THE MOST OMINOUS EVIL VILLAIN NAMES IN DISNEY MOVIE HISTORY!

Everyone - including Chris - was shocked that I knew the words to this. I've said it once, I've said it a million times - I'm a musical savant, friends! The girls were completely entranced by the movie with full on giggles at Pegasus, scrunched up disgusted noses when Meg & Hercules fall in love, and of course stern looks of disapproval when Hades acts like a big jerk. 

Tonight we sat down and we had our anti-bullying talk, and honestly it kind of broke my heart...

ME: Guys, what's a bully?
MIA: Somebody who's always mean.
MARLEE: A big kid what is aw-ways reewy mean to you.

ME: And who was the bully in 'Hercules'?
MIA: The bad guy with the blue fire hair.
MAR: Hey! Mia I was gonna say dat!

ME: Have you ever been bullied?
MIA: Yes. One time last year at recess, me and my friend were playing on the see-saw and another kid came and told me that I had to get off because I was too fat and it was too much weight for the see-saw.
ME: Whaaaaat? When was this? Who was this kid?!
MIA: Mommy...
ME: Ugh! I'm sorry, I won't flip out. What did you do about this kid bullying you?
MIA: I told the teacher and she said right away, "That's mean! I'm going to go talk to him right now!" and then it made me feel better but not because he was getting in trouble, just 'cuz the teacher was going to ask him not to hurt my feelings anymore.

ME: Mar, have you ever been bullied?
MAR: Nope! Neva!
ME: Are you a bully?
MAR: Sometimes I am to Mia.
ME: How do you bully Mia?
MAR: I say mean tings to huh sometimes... yike... I call huh a poopy head and I say she smewz yike a sack of butt cheeks.
ME: And does that hurt Mia's feelings?
MAR: Yes and den I say 'sowwy' 'cuz it makes me feew bad when I hurt Mia's feelings.
ME: Right and nobody feels good when they make someone else feel bad.

ME: Why shouldn't you be a bully?
MIA: Because sometimes when someone is getting bullied, they will think it's ok for them to be a bully too and it's not ok. It's never ok.

Mia is 8 years old and she already can pinpoint a moment when she's been bullied. Isn't she too little for that?

And for future reference to the child who hurt my girl's feelings making comments about her weight: let me know when your birthday is, I'll make you something delicious and we'll see how easily you fit on the see-saw, kiddo. Mia's mom doesn't mess around with hippie food!

With that being said, I'm out for the night, friends. I have a glass of wine calling my name, but first I need to tuck my sweeties in and turn Phineas & Ferb on the Netflix in their room. 

Good night and be nice tomorrow!

Monday, October 21, 2013

From The Creative Minds of Babes...

The PTO at Mia's school is having a contest to come up with a new T-shirt design. 

My girl, budding little artist that she is, is very excited to enter. So excited, in fact, that she worked on her design today.

For those readers who aren't immediate members of our local community, the district is called Sherwood (as in the Sherwood Forest, ala Robin Hood) and the mascot is the Marksman (an archer). 

And for those who are new to the blog - Mia (age 8) is my good kid: polite, sensitive, NEVER says bad words or anything remotely close to a bad word. She could also care less about archers - she's really REALLY in to ponies, so what did she draw? She drew a pony and one hell of a slogan to go along with it...

'If you don't go to Sherwood, buck off!!!'

If I were a judge, this baby would have 1st place written all over it, but there's a reason that moms like me aren't a member of the PTO!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

No Tea For Me...

Tonight was the annual 'Room Parents Tea' at Mia's school and I attended for the first time ever.

Because I love my daughter (and having an excuse to leave work early a couple times a year), I've always signed up to be a room parent. Just a support parent though - never the head room parent because let's be honest, I'm kind of a clusterfuck and that's way too much responsibility for me!

Anyway, the tea was tonight and I thought I'd go and maybe get better acquainted with some of the other room moms for my girl's class. 

How did it go? Terribly...

As soon as I walked in, I realized that I was the only parent present for our class. I sat with the few friends that I had there and after a comfortable 5 minutes, we were separated because our kiddos aren't all in the same grade.

I moseyed on over to the right table, after awkwardly sitting with the wrong group (twice) and found a few familiar faces. Remember none of them have children in Mia's class! They were there happily planning their class parties. Me? I was sipping on some weak tea, looking through a handout of healthy party snacks.

Bored. Out. Of. My. Mind.

Mentally, I reminded myself that I'd attended so that I could get to know some of the other moms at school, and I began to make small talk. But I had to remind myself a few times:

1. No cussing at school. No cussing at school. NO CUSSING AT SCHOOL.
2. Don't say anything about 'Not having the time' to make fantastic homemade adorable treats from Pinterest like these ladies do because I work outside of the home. And I'm too lazy.
3. Do not attempt to say the names of their kids. You'll say the wrong name and offend someone. Don't do it.

And then, lo and behold, I offended someone on accident anyway because, duh, me...

MOM 1: I think I'll just make those dipped strawberries that look like ghosts!

MOM 2: Oh yum!

ME: Um ... can I make a recommendation on those?

MOM 1: ... What's that?

ME: Have you ever made those before? 

MOM 1: Dipped strawberries? Yes. I made them last year - don't you remember?

ME: You did? You DID, didn't you! 

(Honest to God I didn't remember though. I didn't remember her child being in Mia's class, and I can't even tell you what I took to last year's Halloween party, let alone what everyone else sent!)

MOM 1: Yes. What were you going to recommend?

ME: Well I was ... just going to say that you want to take your time with those. I made them a couple of years ago for a class party and I rushed making them... 

(Insert everyone looking at me quizzically waiting for the dramatic finale of this tale.)

ME: ...and when they were done they looked like a bunch of penises. And I sent them to school anyway. And they were delicious.

(Insert silent horrified looks from most of the other moms.)

MOM 1: Well... like I said - I've made them before. A lot of times actually.

ME: Oh... Congratulations then... Good job. You're probably a pro at this point.

MOM 1: (no words, just an icy stare)

Annnnnd about 5 minutes after that, I said "I'm out girls!" and all but ran for the door.

Why must I always be the inappropriate mom? I try really hard to just blend in but it never works out.

They looked like wieners, didn't they? Don't rush. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Googled It

I'm currently welcoming the cool weather with open arms: Hello there, sweater weather! Long time, no see!

{insert awkward, yet genuine hug between Fall & myself right here}

Something about the temperature drives me straight into Suzie Homemaker mode, and I crave a cozy house filled with the smell of my own cooking.

Seriously - there is nobody's (minus my mom's but that goes without saying) cooking that I crave as much as my own. Not to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT Y'ALL, I'm a dang good cook! 

And yet, between the months of May and August I just can't motivate myself to cook. Summer makes Mama lazy! 

"How 'bout a turkey sandwich? Or something we can microwave? Who wants a Hot Pocket?"

I like to tell myself that it's not neglect...

Anyway! It's cold today and the lady thought it would be a really nice gesture to cook for her husband after a long day at work:
  • Slow cooked ribs
  • Sweet corn 
  • Loaded baked potatoes
  • Corn bread fresh from the oven
This lady also had to Google a recipe for baked potatoes. Not for the ingredients, but for the temperature and length of time to bake those suckers.

I find this pretty shameful - what kind of self-proclaimed good cook Googles a recipe for baked potatoes?


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Piece of Advice

Just for future reference, it's probably not a great idea to say the words, "Come on, come on, you dirty crack whore!" in front of your kids.

Oh yeah, you might think you're saying it quietly. You might even think the only person who can hear you is your mom, who's riding shotgun in the Mom mobile.

You're way wrong though! If you say it, your 3 year old son will probably immediately say something along the lines of "Mommy, you no yike dat cakk huuur yady? You no yike dat yady?"

Then your mouth will drop open and your eyes will bug out of your head.

In my defense though - it's a small town, and the lady really was a known crack head. Whore? I don't know that for sure.

Shouldn't there be some kind of filter moms get once we have children?


In other news, Babble's beginning their annual 100 Best Bloggers campaign for 2013. High Heels & Dirty Dishes has been nominated for Reader's Choice (thanks, Mom) in both the Parenting and Humor & Entertainment categories. 

If you have a chance, stop by and share my page - or don't, but don't expect a hug on your birthday, guys - and check out all of the other awesome bloggers in the running!


Last but not least, I joined the modern world and got an iPhone! Ok, Chris got me an iPhone. 

I thought using it would be easy, but I'm still all confused. HOW DO YOU SCREEN SHOT SOMETHING? I seriously learned yesterday at lunch and by supper my new found knowledge was gone!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


As a child of the late 80s/early 90s, I can tell you that I was seriously excited when The Hub network started playing the old Animaniacs cartoons again. 

1. Wacko
2. Pinky & The Brain
3. My kids were impressed that I could still sing the theme song

To say the least, Animaniacs has quickly become a favorite in our house. 

Because we have it on so often, Mommy's really good at figuring out which characters my the kids are quoting when they say something off the wall. It took me by surprise this evening when I covered Miles up with a blanket and he spouted off a "Tanks, yady!", followed by insane giggles.


Tanks, yady!

Tanks, yady? Lady? Are you calling me Lady?

Yeah, yady!

Like Buttons & Mindy? 'OkayILoveYouByeBye'?

Yeaaaah! Yuv you! Buh bye! Tanks, yady, tanks!

The comedic stylings of a 3 year old, ladies and gentlemen! This fella was so stinking proud of himself and with his toddler pronunciations... I just about died in my fit of giggles!

This, guys - these little bits of playtime and conversation - that's what makes the everyday frustrations in life nothing more than a momentary inconvenience. 

... And on an ironic side note - I may have uttered the words "I prefer to be called a broad, not a lady" today. In the women's restroom.

If my baby boy tells me "Tanks, broad!" I might have to rethink my preference though.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Recap: Dirty 30

Basically we celebrated my birthday for a week straight. I feel like that's allowed when you turn 30. And probably again when you turn 40. And definitely when you turn 50.


You guessed it - annual super romantic birthday card from Mr. Palis!

If you don't get a Macho Man shirt from your brother &
sister in law,  you're obviously not doing it right!

Cookies from my BFFs! Text from my mama: "Tell Trisha
these cookies are like freaking crack. No. More."

A coworker and I have the exact same birthday. We're polar
opposites, but being bday twins is pretty awesome!

I forgot this was on my car for the better part of the week.
People honked, I got pissy... then I'd remember... durrr...

This creepy old dude... He was a big hit with
everyone who wasn't terrified of him!

Photo booth pics with my besties, Trisha & Shauna!

Look at these two! I've got some good lookin' family members, right?!

This is a tradition at all get togethers: Kim takes a shot, we get a photo.
Love. This. Girl.

... Maybe my BFFs from high school MADE me
toilet paper our other BFF's car even though she
let us have a birthday party at her bar... !

The old gang!!!! All we were missing is Mr. Farr, but seriously,
if he'd have been there the bar would've got burned down or something!

And a Waffle House ending!

I could (and should) go on and on about how awesome this birthday was. From beginning, to end - which, by the way, is tomorrow when I meet up with my other bestie for a belated birthday lunch - it has been absolute perfection.

I have the best friends and family that anyone could ask for! They really know how to make a girl feel loved!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mom Bod

I turned 30 on Wednesday - hands down one of the best bdays I've ever had, but I'll tell you more about the actual celebration on Sunday.

Tomorrow night, we're actually celebrating my big 3-0 at a great bar with no kids, good music, better friends, and alcoholic drinks. I'm really looking forward to it! Looking forward to it so much that I decided tonight that I wanted to get a new outfit for the occasion.

After a quick run to Target tonight with Chris and the two younger kiddos, and searching to no avail for a decent top, I asked if we had time for me to go into Maurice's and look around. It was 8:30, the store closed at 9, and I told him I'd be quick since they were closing soon.

Chris said yes, that he and Miles would stay in the car and Marlee and I were on our way to find something fab for Mommy's big grown up fun night. This is kind of a big deal for me to even go inside a store. I loathe every bit of the clothes shopping experience, mainly because I hate to be followed around by anyone remotely pushy. Helpful is good, pushy is not. Because I hate to get into these situations, I do almost all of my shopping online.

And now, friends, a tale of how NOT to 'help' your customers...

SALESGIRL 1: Hi! How are you?! What are you looking for?! Are you looking for something specific?!

ME: Oh, a shirt for a birthday party...

SALESGIRL 2: Oh a party! Is it formal? Semi-formal? Casual? Do you want a dress? Pants? A skirt? Where's it at?

ME: It's at a friend's bar. I just need a shirt. Something kind of dressy. I just bought new jeans. My husband and 3 year old are in the car, I promised we wouldn't be long so I'm just going to try a few things on and hope I find the right thing.

SALESGIRL 2: Ohhhhh I'll help you find something! What about this top? (holds tiny shirt out for me to see) This is really cute, isn't it? I really love this one!

ME: Oh... um yeah, it's kind of cute, but I don't...

SALESGIRL 2: Now what size do you need?

Let's stop for a minute. This entire portion of the conversation happened in a 1 minute span. I'm not even shitting you. High energy? Definitely. Girl had some pep! 

Secondly - I knew with one look that the shirt she wanted me to try was not a shirt I was going to buy. White cotton, strapless with a lace print. Sweetheart neckline. Peplum. Ain't no way in hell that top was going to look good on this body! I've been dressing myself for the last 25 years, ok? I know what works and what doesn't!

But I didn't want to be rude, so I decided I'd try it on for the sake of pleasing her.

ME: Um... (eyeballing the tiny shirt she was holding up) maybe... a large?

SALESGIRL 2: (shaking her head) Uh, no. Not with that waistline. I'd say you're more of an XL or XXL definitely.

I swear by all that is holy, my eyes popped out of my head cartoon style! Exqueeze me?! 

Now I've never sold clothing before, but I'd say "Not with that waistline" probably isn't the best way to tell a customer that they might need a bigger size. How about "This style runs small, let's size up a little!" or "You have a large chest, we don't want anything popping out!"

Not very tactful, this one, but I kind of shrugged it off because I had zero intentions of even buying that shirt.

SALESGIRL 2: Ok now let's find you something to wear with it!

ME: Oh, I have something already! I just need a shirt!

SALESGIRL 2: Honey, do you want a skirt or pants?

ME: (giving up) Uh pants...

SALESGIRL 2: Great! Now you go try these on. It'll look perfect! And come out and show me once you're dressed!

Annnnnnd with that, she handed me a pair of skinny black dress pants. People who know me in real life - you've seen me. I'm 5'4 and I weigh 145lb on a really good day. I have big boobs, hips, a short torso, and legs that look good in control top pantyhose. I'm a fan of the skinny leg pants - on other people. I just can't pull it off!

Mar & I went to the dressing room and I began to change.

MAR: Mommy, yuh boobies aw sooo squishy!

ME: Boo, stop touching my boobs. (pulling the shirt over my head) Oh shit. This isn't going to work...

MAR: No, itz beau-yiful! I yove it!

ME: No. It looks like a maternity shirt that's not long enough. And it's stuck on my rib cage.

MAR: Whatz a wib cage?

I pried the shirt off and put my own clothes back on, eager to go out and find a shirt I actually liked... and I almost ran into the salesgirl, who had thoughtfully pulled together 4 more shirts for me. All XXLs, all looking too big.

SALESGIRL 2: You're done? ALREADY?! You didn't even show me!

ME: Yeah... that's not going to work... It didn't fit me right. I'm just going to look around.

SALESGIRL 2: I didn't get to see it though! What was wrong with it? (exasperated)

ME: I've had 3 kids. Thiiiiis (pointing to my abdomen) works better with something more... flowy. Longer.

SALESGIRL 2: Well, ok. I got you some more tops. They're pretty flowy. Did you even try the pants on at all?

ME: No I didn't try them on. I already have pants.

SALESGIRL 2: What kind of pants?

ME: Jeans.

SALESGIRL 2: Hahaha! Honey, you can't wear jeans with these tops!

I'm clearly losing my temper here. Why does it freaking matter what kind of pants? 

And then it hits me that she thinks I don't have any style and I'm obviously clueless about how to dress up for a night out. BECAUSE I'M WEARING BAGGY JEANS, FLIP FLOPS, AND A MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE T-SHIRT AND HAVE MY 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER FOLLOWING ME THROUGH THE STORE!

God damn it! Pigeon holed as a mom who gives less than a fuck! Oh sweetie, you couldn't be more wrong! I just happened to roll up into that Maurice's on Casual Friday! This mama lives for a chance to dress up!

My. Blood. Was. Boiling.

ME: You wouldn't wear jeans with any of these?

SALESGIRL 2: No! No I definitely wouldn't wear these with jeans.

ME: Well I would. And I'm going to. Also, can I actually take a look around the store and maybe, I don't know, pick out something myself?

SALESGIRL 2: What? (looking shocked)

ME: I'd like to look at the clothes if that's allowed. Or is that some rule here, that you have to pick out my clothes for me? Because so far, all I've seen are the things you want me to try on. I'd like to look around

SALESGIRL 2: Look, I was just helping because you said you were in a hurry.

ME: I'm not in such a hurry that I can't pick out my own clothing. 

SALESGIRL 2: Oh um... ok (translation: whatever)

Then Marlee and I proceeded to look around the store grabbing 2 tops, trying them on, and really liking them. One shirt, a pale gray chiffon definitely needed a camisole underneath.

I asked the salesgirls 3 separate times "Do you guys have any camisoles without the lace trim?" and each time, they either didn't hear me or simply ignored me. A fourth time, I walked directly in front of one of the girls and repeated my question. She informed me that no, they only sold tank tops with lace trim. 

Shitty experience or not, they do have cute clothes and I did end up buying both shirts. And a pair of earrings.

After paying, I went to the car to tell Chris about the experience and he laughed as I told him that I'd bought two shirts that the salesgirl hadn't picked out "just to prove that I have decent taste and can shop for myself".

CHRIS: Yeah, you really stuck it to that bitch. Buying not one, but two shirts AND a pair of earrings after she pissed you off. You're such a bad ass, Jen.

ME: Shut up.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This Kid Done Lost Her Mind

Without going into all of the details right now, I'm super stressed out at the moment. I'm drinking a large amount of booze for supper and feeding my kids chicken nuggets (left over from lunch) and cheese burritos. 

Mom'a the year, y'all!

As I'm microwaving tonight's meal du jour, this convo happened....

ME: Well girls, I turn 30 on Wednesday and I'm not happy about it. I remember when I thought 30 was REALLY old. It really bothers me.

MIA: Is that why you're drinking that big mar-gar-eeee-ta instead of eating?

ME: Yes. Yes it is. I promise though, tomorrow I'll make nachos and we'll have giant plates.

MIA: Yesss!!!!

ME: Seriously though, do I look 30?

MARLEE: Yes. You yook old. Weewy old.

ME: WHAAAAT?! Guess who just got herself grounded! FOR REAL MARLEE? Rude!

MARLEE: What?! Faw how yong?

ME: Forever! You're grounded forever! Do I really look old?

MIA: No! Marlee she doesn't even look old. Stop lying.

MARLEE: Yep... jussssss kidding Mommy! I meant to say you yook beautifuw!

ME: Grounding undone. Eat your nuggets kid.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Do NOT Drink The Water!

I've been kind of stressed lately: 

  • Mia's back to school and 3/5 mornings she's a real peach.
  • Work is ... making me drink.
  • Our new house is haunted just like the last one.
  • I turn 30 next week and I have a giant wrinkle right between my eyebrows. Eew.
Pretty typical things that'd stress a gal out, right? Yes. Typical.

Tonight I decided that the best remedy for my frazzled nerves was to soak in our giant bathtub. Ok, maybe you're not supposed to put bubble bath in and then turn the jets on, but I have the willpower of a small child, so I did it anyway.

Half a cap-full of bubbles and about 30 seconds later... well, let's just say that I had way too many bubbles. Before I could dilute some of the bubbles (so Chris didn't catch me), Miles & Marlee came in and all hell broke loose.

Miles scooping handfuls of bubbles and flinging them across the bathroom, Chris repeatedly asking if I wanted the dog to get in with me, etc, etc, etc. 

I finally gave up on the whole event when I realized that Miles was gulping my bathwater like he'd just returned from a hike through the desert...

"Oh sick, Miles! GROSS! Don't!"

... and then I looked past him and saw Marlee wearing one of my bras, posing in front of the mirror.

There is no such thing as relaxation in this house. I've come to terms with the reality that I'll have plenty of time to relax when I'm dead.

(PS Mia was already in bed asleep when this happened. Tomorrow morning is going to be smooth sailing! Hallelujah!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Oldest Is Clearly The Favorite Right Now

The unspoken rule of the road denotes that he who drives chooses the music. In our family, the loudly spoken rule denotes that she who sings the loudest ultimately chooses the music. My husband learned years ago that it's easier to block me out when I'm singing than it is when I'm whining- and so, it's rare that he stops on a song that I hate while we're driving. 

On our way home from supper tonight, this came on the radio. One of my favorite songs, by my all time favorite band. He knew better than to change it, so he just turned it up a little louder.

ME: (singing to the kids in the back seat) Now here you go again you say you want your freedom ... Well who am I to keep you down ...

MIA: Mommy! You sound JUST LIKE the lady singing! Seriously, I thought you were lip syncing until I heard you stop a little before she did!

ME: Yesssssss!

CHRIS: Mia, don't tell your mother things like that. You'll give her an even bigger head.

And this, friends, is how you decide which child you will take care of you when you're old and senile. Mia says Mommy sings like Stevie Nicks = I'll be her burden when I'm 85 and refusing to wear pants and/or teeth.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Public Pool

Today was the last day of the season for our local pool. What that means: free admission & free ice cream! 

I don't take the kids to the public pool very often because I always end up being the one mom in the water, watching my 3 and ten additional kids that I've never met. It amazes me how easily other moms trust a stranger at the pool. 

"It's OK, girl, you work on that tan and be thankful that I'm not a pedophile! Your bronze should definitely take precedence over the safety of your firstborn!"

Anyway, since we don't go very often I found it absolutely necessary to quiz my heathens before we made our appearance...

ME: Guys, what are the rules at the swimming pool?


ME: (hysterical laughter) Yes. Most important rule of all. And?

MIA: No diving! No running!

MARLEE: No going in da deep end wiff out a n'udult!

ME: Right. No splashing anyone in the face either.

MIA: Yeah, no splashing anyone in the face!

MARLEE: Oh, and no licking anyone at da pool eitha!

ME: Whaaaaat?!

MIA: Yes, Marlee - absolutely no licking anyone!

I don't remember ever seeing the 'No licking anyone' rule posted at the GC pool but it seems like a really good one to remember. More importantly, in what situation did I have to initiate a rule of 'No licking anyone'?! It obviously stuck with her.