Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Take The Crown

I took the day off so that I could go down to the school for the girls' Halloween parties today. After taking them to school, Miles and I came home to have some breakfast.

While I was cooking, he spotted my Royals hair bow on the table.

"Mommy, what's dis?"

"It's my hair bow - for good luck!"

"Dis Woyalz?"

"Yep! Dat Woyalz!"

"You like them?"

"Yes and yoooooou yike dem?"

"I like them!"

"Hey! Me can wear dis bow?"

"...Sure, why not..."

He wasn't having it when I tried to put it in his hair! The bow tie? All for it - so dapper!

The girls have also been enjoying all of the postseason excitement: they've learned all of the crowd chants, they make Moose antlers when he bats, ask to watch Salvy's videos on Instagram, and tell each other that "Mom acts like a crazy lady when they show Billy Butler..."

Their current fave? Reading the Hunter Pence signs! With Game 7 happening tonight, we decided to make some Hunter Pence signs of our own! 

Hunter Pence plays Minecraft in peaceful mode ONLY!

My scooter is faster than Hunter Pence's scooter!

Hunter Pence hates Batman - WHAT A JERK!

They think they're hot stuff, right?!

These Royals, they're going to take the crown tonight at home, with the old fans and the new! Going to the World Series again after 29 years? Awesome! Watching them win with my family? Even better!

PS: If anyone is wondering how the class parties went... 
  1. I missed all but 5 minutes of Mia's class party. Marlee's party started at 11:30 and I just assumed that both parties happened simultaneously. Wrong - the big kids had parties at 10:30. Ugh... how do I even have children? Who allowed this? 
  2. I didn't get asked to bring treats for the party that I accidentally didn't attend. Thank ya sweet baby Jesus! For Marlee's class I only had to bring veggies and dip, and I didn't mess that up because it's impossible to mess up!
  3. I only got one message this year questioning whether or not I'd brought anything dick-shaped to the class parties. Thanks, Ashley for your vote of confidence! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Bitch Stole My Look

I always said that I didn't want to be one of those people who buys clothes for their pets... until we got Helga, and immediately went to find her "the perfect Christmas dress". That was two years and many dog dresses ago.

I love this damn dog like I love my children, and so when Halloween rolls around, all of my children get a costume. 


This year, we picked a simple Viking helmet with Ginger braids.

You don't have to be a genius to determine that she's not a fan of this get up... Does she feel even the slightest bit adorable? No, absolutely not. She hates it and she hates me for making her wear it!

Who hates the costume more than Helga though? Minnie.

This look lasted approximately 45 seconds and then Chris let her run free - mainly because he was afraid for his own safety. The man needs both arms, guys. Minnie is the kind of cat to rip them both off and knock 'em to the floor just for funzies!

Maybe we shouldn't force them to look super cute? Maybe they should just suck it up like good children or next year, we'll get them an itchy costume. Everyone knows the worst thing about Halloween is an itchy costume!

My question for you all though - who wore it better? 

Monday, October 13, 2014


Well, after 4 years of cohabitation, Marlee has finally noticed that Miles has an outie belly button.

She - along with Mia, Chris, and myself - sports a classic innie belly button.

Obviously, this is a problem, you guys...

"If he has an outie, he can't be part of this family anymore!"

He's cute, isn't he? Alas, I'm just a minion in the evil schemes of a 6 year old and she says he has to go. Godspeed, little buddy. Come back when you get a new belly button.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chauffeur Needed

Let's say that on your way home from work last night, you're cruising along at your normal speed (below the speed limit). Other cars are passing by you as if you're going... 20 mph slower than the rest of traffic. Maybe you don't realize this until you're about half way home and even though your speedometer reads a steady 70 mph when you speed up, the other cars seem to be running upwards of 90 mph. You creep up your speed until it reads 85mph (way faster than you'd normally drive), but the other cars are still flying past you like you're sitting still.

Would that freak you out a little? Give you a case of the shaky legs and sweaty palms? 

Let's say the next morning you leave the house and realize that your gas light is on. You stop for gas, swipe your debit card to pay at the pump and run inside to grab coffee. You're in a hurry because it's the one day out of the month where you absolutely can't be late for work. After paying for the coffee, you come out to see that the pump has kicked off and signified that your tank is full. You remove the nozzle and hop in your car, only to find that your gas light is still glowing and showing an empty tank. The pump had read a total of $55.60 when you got back into your car though, so you're pretty sure that you did, in fact, just get gas.

Would that freak you out a little? Que the leg shakes and make you wipe your damp hands on your pants?


Do you know what's messed up on my car? Practically everything, but now we can some of the little gauges on my dashboard right into the mix! Yea! Hooray!

As of yesterday afternoon, my speedometer's accuracy is somewhere between 5-20 mph of the speed I'm actually driving. It's really exciting because I never know if the gauge will be correct or not when I start the car! Yea! It really compliments the oil gauge though (hasn't worked right in a month), I have to admit. When neither of them are working? Damn near perfection...

As far as my gas gauge, it actually hasn't stopped working (yet). Apparently, I never actually STARTED pumping gas this morning, and the total of $55.60 that showed on the pump when I came out belonged to the customer before me. I honestly don't even think I put my card into the pump to begin with... I'm very thorough... 

Have you ever thought you got gas, left the gas station, then pulled in to a different gas station 3 miles away "Just in case I'm losing my frigging mind"? I have, and I got $20 in unleaded and that little gas light turned right off. This is what happens when I make the effort to get to work on time, I guess!

In conclusion, I probably have no business driving a motor vehicle. The last time I was this freaked out was a few years ago when I looked in the rear view mirror only catch a glimpse of a person in my back seat. It freaked me out so bad that I didn't want to turn around and look again! My mind started racing - if I stopped, he'd drag me to the back seat of the car and probably rape me after the car wrecked! If I kept driving, what if he put a gun to my head or a knife to my throat and murdered me? I was so SO terrified. 

Would that freak you out a little? Full on knees knocking, hands just wringing wet? 

Yes, it would, but only until you realized that it wasn't a rapist or murderer. It was your son's car seat and you are a complete nut job.

Anyway, if anyone would like to drive me back and forth to work from now on, it's a fun gig (because I'm a morning person and I like to sing) but he pay is terrible (the pay is nonexistent). Serious inquiries only.

Monday, September 29, 2014

AugTember: A Tale of 2 Months

Holy hell the last two months have flown by!

We've been so busy for the last eight weeks that I haven't updated the ole blog at all!  I don't know if I've ever gone two whole months before. I probably have, but for today let's pretend that I've never had a lull like this.

Do you know what's amazing about having a full schedule? It almost makes me feel young again - the whole experience of having plans and looking forward to them. Following through on showing up to events? Not having a meltdown over having previously arranged commitments? Sure, let's do this! And. It's. Fun.

The downfall? I'm too old for this shit... having fun outside of my own home is completely exhausting. 

Here's a taste of my August - September 2014:

School: We've had our hands full this year with Mia starting 4th grade and Marlee going into Kindergarten. Two separate trips to buy clothes, multiple solo trips for supplies & shoes for both girls, roughly 51 online searches for things that the stores were sold out of (I'm talking about YOU, red grading pencils). The struggle is real, guys. I was thiiiiisclose to asking my doctor for anxiety meds!

First day of school: They weren't this tidy when they got home!
How is school going? Smooth sailing, absolutely... minus Marlee almost getting kicked off of the bus on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, and that little incident where there was a fire at school and they had a false bomb threat the first day back after 5 days off... no, my kiddos weren't responsible for those incidents, thank ya Jesus! 

Mia, of course, is doing excellent aside from a pretty scary respiratory infection the second week of school. She loves all three of her teachers and her first year of block schedules - this science teacher? You'd think she walked on water. "Mom! She spent the summer working with bear cubs! BEAR CUBS, MOM!"  We're talking real bear cubs, guys. I don't know how anyone can top that in Mia's book... baby unicorns, maybe? It's probably impossible. Don't try!

Today was picture day at school. Fingers crossed that we
don't end up with a repeat of "The bad pic with an I Gotta Poop
face" that Mia had in first grade. Every year is a surprise...
Birthdays: Chris turned 33, Marlee turned 6, Miles turned 4, and I celebrated the 13th month of being 30... or I turned 31 if you want to be a dick about it...

Honestly, there were a lot of birthday shenanigans at work this year. I'm not allowed to write about that on here though because there's a policy in the employee handbook prohibiting me from blogging about anything at work. I'm not shitting you, Clark, it specifically lists blogging. Loosely translated to "Jen Palis - what happens at work, stays at work". Like I'm not 100 % professional or something...!

The bakery didn't have a Minecraft cake set, so Marlee asked for a cat cake.
You'd like a picture of a Maine Coone on your cake, child? Not odd at all...!
Are you familiar with 'Die-yan-erz'? Miles loves it right now!
Imagine the tantrum he had when he realized that he couldn't play
with the cake toppers in the game... Ugh....

Chiefs: Chris was given tickets to the home opener and in a sweet gesture, asked if I wanted to come to the game with him! I'd actually never been to a Chiefs game before (gasp!) and said yes - but only after he assured me that he wanted me to go & wasn't just asking to be nice, hoping I'd say no! 

I made it my personal mission to bond with every stranger I came across wearing the following jerseys: Neil Smith, Derrick Thomas, Christian Okoye, Marcus Allen, Dan Saleaumua, and my personal favorite, Len Mother Effing Dawson. Why? Because I don't know the names of any current players. Also, I told Chris at one point that if he'd have played in the NFL, he would've been Lin Elliott. Then he called me a bad word...

The Chiefs lost, but I didn't mind and really, I had no idea who was winning! I'm going to be honest here - I didn't eat before we went to the game and half way through the third quarter, the beer kicked my butt. Have you ever been told by your husband that you're quote "too drunk to stay at the football game"? I have.

Len Dawson is - hands down - the BEST former quarterback / sports caster
Kansas City has ever seen. He's glorious. Also, if you question my authority on this
I swear by all that's holy, I will make you bleed your own blood.
Fall Festival: The annual Fall Festival is one of my absolute favorite things about living in my home town. From the carnival, to the pancake breakfast put on by the bank, to the parade - I love the Fall Festival. Another great part of the Fall Festival is that I get to hang out with all of my friends from school - all of the ones who make the pilgrimage back to the homeland, anyway! Also, to be fair, I love any place where I can purchase legitimate carnival food: fried Snickers bar? Better make it two...

Aside from all of the fun stuff, I've been trying really hard to simply be a better wife and mama. I'M SERIOUS! STOP LAUGHING! 

It's tough, staying on top of this little routine we've settled in to since school started. Wake up, get everyone ready to leave, go to work, come home to cook/help with homework/clean/attempt to spend quality time with the family and still manage to find a little bit of time to just unwind. 

How people maintain a productive life every single day is beyond me. I'm made for a life of leisure, guys...

Lately, my favorite way to relax is just to climb in to bed with a classic movie on Netflix. Sometimes, a trip to the past is the perfect way to escape from a demanding reality. The fact that the men were total foxes doesn't hurt either...

Barefoot In The Park (Robert Redford, anyone? He's adorably uptight in this movie!)

The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (Rex Harrison - the grouchiness makes you want him even more.)

The Long Hot Summer (Yes, the Holy Grail of men, Paul Newman. You're welcome.)

If you're in the market for something that makes you laugh so hard you snort, but also gives you a hardcore of the ugly cry, do yourself a favor and check out Derek. I'm going to put it all on the line and say this is one of the 10 best things I've EVER watched on Netflix. Gervais, two seasons is simply not enough!

As if cuing me to wrap this post up, Coldplay just came on my Pandora. How does that cue me to stop writing? Because I hate Coldplay and when it comes on, it must be stopped!

I'll bid you all adieu for the evening, and leave you with a still frame from the classic 'Hamster On A Piano Eating Popcorn' because I love you and want you to be happy. GO WATCH DEREK!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sincere Apologies, DQ Cashier

CASHIER: So I have one pork tenderloin combo with mushrooms and one Flamethrower cheeseburger combo with mushrooms, is that right?

ME: Yep!

CASHIER: Ok, your total will be $16.08. Is this going to be for here or to go?

ME: (while digging out my debit card) We're going to eat here.

At this point, the teenage cashier looks up and acknowledges Chris with a polite smile. Chris's response ruined the entire perfectly normal interaction...

CHRIS: (loudly as I'm paying for our lunch) Since you're buying me lunch, does that mean that I have to put out now tonight?

ME: (through clenched teeth) Oh. My. God. WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

CHRIS: (to the cashier, complete with an awkward wave) Have a nice day!

Yes, young Dairy Queen cashier - that moment was completely mortifying for both of us, and yes, he's always that embarrassing. I'm really sorry, honey!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dial 1-900-Linden

{This post is brought to you by Netflix. All words and opinions
 are mine and do not directly reflect those of my sponsor.}

Ugh... July has freaking flown by, right? It's definitely flown by - don't even question it!

I'm serious, we've been so busy this month and it's been fun busy (as opposed to our typical "Please, someone kill me" busy), but now the summer is winding down and we're gearing up for back to school. Actually, back to school for Mia and first year of school for Marlee! Yes, Sherwood citizens, you'll be blessed with a little gift who goes by the nickname of Ladybug. We're trying hard to convince her that it's a school rule that all students must wear pants while school is in session, but she thinks we're full of shit. I can hardly wait for our first call from the principal...

As the last few weeks of summer wind down, all I've been able to think about is this:

Yes, kids, Season 4 of The Killing begins 8/1 on Netflix! I'm going to binge on this SO.DAMN.HARD. I'm bursting with fruit flavor over the return of my show! 

These are my main questions:
  1. Is Linden going to recover from the finale of Season 3? I think she's going to be a basketcase.
  2. Is Holder going to be the 'normal' person in this crime-fighting duo? Frighteningly awesome! 
  3. Jack, do you even love us anymore, Little Man? I think no. You only love your dad now.
I'm a simple gal. Toss in a tortured romance and I'm hooked...

My schedule is pretty much booked up for the next week. If anyone needs me after 7PM any time between 8/1 and 8/8 - just don't bother. I'm busy!

And for those of you wondering what else we've been binging on lately:

  • Coke with the names on the side of the can. I never get cans that say Chris, but that's a good thing because I wouldn't share with him anyway.
  • Sherlock. My mind palace is a complete clusterfuck. As always.
  • Kazoozles. They're heaven. Of equal importance to me as my 3 sweet children.
  • The Wonder Years. I've said it a million times: Kevin & Winnie are the gold standard for true love!
  • French Lavender & Honey lotion and perfume from Bath & Body Works. Oddly smells like nectarines and not lavender. It's nice, not your typical old lady or dirty hippie lavender.
  • Hemlock Grove. Sure, it's super weird and it gave me nightmares, but it's one of those guilty pleasures you just can't quit cold turkey!
  • Instagram stalking. Have you ever seen Kelly Oxford's cats? Jessica Seinfeld's Rick Ross obsession? Or ANY post by Johnny Weir? This is my life and if being a creeper is wrong, I don't want to be right. (@jenpalis if you'd like to creep random pictures of Helga being ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE)
What are you binging on these days? Don't say ice cream or cocaine...those are both forbidden in this house.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hello, Dearie

Today while talking to a coworker, she said "I wish I could be like that - you're just happy and laughing all of the time"... and it almost killed me.

I haven't been happy in about a month. Sure, I've been happy, but I've also been stressed, emotional, and bitter - and I absolutely HATE that.

"It's a conscious effort - to be happy all of the time. I had to basically train myself to be like this years ago. My two mantras in life are 1.) Everything happens for a reason, and 2.) If it's a bad day, get up and start over the next day."

Is it really a conscious effort though - this whole business of smiling through your frustration? I don't think it is anymore. I think it's a coping mechanism and it works really well sometimes until I hit a wall that I can't break through. At that point it just feels phoney and so for the last month - despite many moments of awesomeness with my family and friends - I've retreated into my own little world. 

Well, maybe not my own little world, but the town of Storybrooke at least. Every night after supper, after the kids are in bed, we haul the snacks upstairs and indulge in "our show". Escapism at it's finest, y'all!

Guys, I've been bingewatching "Once Upon A Time" on Netflix like my life depends on it... Do you even watch this show? BECAUSE YOU FREAKING SHOULD!!!

Quick synopsis: Evil Queen casts a spell over everyone in the Enchanted Forrest to get revenge on Snow White and Prince Charming. The spell causes some of the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forrest to be transported to a new realm in Storybrooke, Maine. The spell causes them to lose all of their memories of who they were in the Enchanted Forrest, and the rest...#spoilers...

In my own little fairy tale, there's good and there's evil (I'm good, duh) just like in the show, and sometimes good gets the upper hand while evil plots its revenge. Right now, evil has the has the upper hand in my little saga. And. It. Blows. (Oh, I know- terribly passive aggressive of me, but I can't go into the details. Once a tease, always a tease...) 

If you watch OUAT though, you know that that evil queen eventually slips up and hangs itself, allowing the good to defeat her. Then, everyone in the kingdom gets to live happily ever after until the next battle begins.

I feel like I'm half fan-girling over this show and half rambling psychotically... basically, though, I'm telling myself that it's time to start over and be happy. You can't change what's already happened, but you can be happy while you prepare for what comes next. 

"Believing in the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing..." - Snow White, OUAT


"Jennifer, stop being a pissy bitch because it's bringing morale down..." - Me, to my self

P.S. For the record, Rumplestiltskin is the most perfect character in the history of Storybrooke. It needed to be said. You're welcome, dearies.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Priorities, Ladies, Priorities...

We're leaving for vacation on Monday, guys! Woo hoo!

Oh, just a week away from home with 9 kids, no big deal... Yes, I'm familiar with filling a hotel sink with ice to cool off your alcohol thank you very much! (Calm down, calm down - it's for medicinal purposes...)

If you're wondering if we're going to Branson again, you're absolutely right! White trash Vegas, baby!

Anywho! We were gathering up travel gear this morning when I over heard this little gem from Mia:

GRANNY: You taking your wallet, Sis?

MIA: Yep! It fits right in the purse Mommy got me!

GRANNY: What do you put in your wallet usually? It's empty.

MIA: (opening the wallet and pointing to various compartments) Oh well, I don't put an ID in there like you're supposed to - I put in a My Little Pony card instead. In here, I'll put my birthday money. Then here - in here I usually put some sequins. You know - just in case I need them.

GRANNY: Ah... yeah, I got ya...

See that? She's 9 and already knows that a smart woman always packs sequins "just in case".

I love her to pieces!


PS: Free shipping on everything over at Bumblebean through June 3 and if you're planning a vacation, check out my latest expert collection for a few ideas!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


We moved into our house almost a year ago, and some of you might recall the big jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom was one of the things that we were most excited about.

You also might recall that the adults seldom use said tub because either Miles tries to drink the bath water or the dog jumps in for a swim...

The girls, though? The girls soak on a regular basis after hard days of attending third grade and playing Minecraft!

When I got my Netflix assignment for this month - musical movies - I had visions of turning on Grease at full volume and performing the movie in its entirety for my little family. You guys - I know the whole thing by heart! The dialogue! The song lyrics! The dances! Nobody was interested in that though... because my family doesn't appreciate how incredibly awesome Mom is...

Mia immediately requested Shrek The Musical, and I wasn't shocked at all by her choice. We were lucky enough see the show last year at KC's Coterie Theater and she absolutely loved it!

Circling back around to the big ole bathtub now: big ole bathtub has a great view of the TV in Daddy and Mommy's bedroom!

I spy a little boy hiding behind the fold out sofa - aka Marlee's 2nd bed
Ogres of all sizes, I present: the Shrek'N'Soak Sickening Spa Party:

What spa night is complete without a few products to make you feel completely pampered? I took a few facial scrubs, lotion, bubble bath, and other 'spa' necessities and made new labels for them with disgusting names. Ogres are gross, friends! 

To add to the ambiance, we made up some Shrek Spit to sip on and started the movie.
Clockwise from left: Wrinkly Face Gunk (face cream), Poison 4YaNailz (nail polish remover), Baby Ogre Poop (charcoal & sugar facial mask), Eau de Armpitz (eucalyptus aromatherapy spray), Shrek Snot (avacado & green clay facial mask), Foam Of The Mouth (bubble bath), Elbow Grease (body lotion), Vomit Polish (green nail polish), Eye Boogerz B-Gone (eye cream)

I'd planned on taking pictures of the girls with their 'Baby Ogre Poop' and 'Shrek Snot' facials, but didn't get the chance. Miles was keeping me VERY busy refilling his glass of Shrek Spit! The kid loves to drink spit and if you'd like to make some for your kiddos, I promise not to call child protective services on you!

Shrek Spit:
  • Lemon-lime soda
  • Coarse green decorator's sugar crystals
  • Fine green decorator's sugar crystals
  • Fancy glass
  • Paper plate

Begin by pouring about a tablespoon of fine sugar onto the paper plate. Wet the rim of your fancy glass, then dip it into the sugar on the plate, smudging the rim until completely covered. Next take about a teaspoon of the coarse crystals and pour them into the fancy glass and top with the lemon-lime soda. Drink. That. Spit.

Your 'spit' will magically change from clear to green as the colored sugar dissolves!
This was an insanely easy way to turn watching a movie together into something special for the girls! Fingers crossed that one day they'll pamper me the way I pamper them - hold the spit and eye boogers!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I Maury'd My Son Tonight

It's been a while since I've done the mom thing and talked about Miles's potty training progress:

  • He does really well for the most part, but he's VERY picky about choosing his own underwear!
  • Granny let him pee outside last week and it was amusing until he tried to poop in the back yard!
  • If I had a quarter for each time I've heard him say "Yook how big my weeeeen-a is", I'd be able to retire!
The low point of this whole potty training thing, is the pooping thing. He does use the toilet usually, but there are times when he just does his business in the pull up instead... and I'm not going to lie - I get about 10 kinds of pissy when he does that!

Seriously, it's so frustrating! People without kids: you will never understand the frustration of changing a crappy diaper until you think your kid's past the point of crapping in diapers.

MILES: Mommmmmeeeeeeee!!!! Me need you!

(At this point I get to his bedroom and find the door closed - a tell tale sign that he's done something he doesn't want me to know about.)

ME: Why's the door closed? Why's your TV off? 

MILES: Um... me not know...

ME: Why are you hiding in the corner? DID YOU POOP, MILES?

MILES: No! No, me not poop!

ME: Come here then - let me check... 

(Of course he's done it so we go to the bathroom to clean up.)

ME: Miles - ew! You need to poop on the potty and not in your pants!

MILES: Me not! Me not poop in mine puh-yup!

ME: You sure about that?

MILES: Me not do'yit.

ME: Really? Well the results are in and your pull up determined that was a lie...

(Blank stare. This is what happens when your kids watch cartoons all day - no appreciation for awesome pop culture references.)


Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the last post! Those comments put you in the running for a free 3 month subscription to Netflix - and as promised, I chose a winner tonight via 

Jessica Annicchiarico, please email me (jennifer.palis (at) by May 9, 2014 to claim your prize! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stacey McGill 4EVA

You guys, Mia will be 9 next week and my frail mama's heart can barely take it...

At 9 years old, my third grader goes to the same elementary school that I attended.  
At 9 years old, her third grade classroom is in the same classroom that I had.
At 9 years old, my third grader lives to read just as I did as a girl.
And, at 9 years old, my third grader still hasn't read any of The Baby-Sitters Club books.

As I said, my heart can barely take it! Growing up, I was obsessed with the BSC books! Each week on library day, there would be a hurried walk (no running in the library!) to the shelves holding the holy grail of Ann M. Martin books, and every week there would be a quick discussion between myself and Cathe Poisal (Hi Cathe!!!) as to which of us would be checking out which book for the week. There might be a deal made, a swap, or even a little spat over the books but it was all done out of pure love for the BSC. 

My friend Kimmie Instagrammed this pic a few days ago with the caption
"Be still my 3rd grade self. Bonner Springs Goodwill had all of these
Baby Sitters Club books. I was tempted to buy them all. #childhoodmemories"
If the title to this post is any clue, Stacey McGill was my favorite babysitter. Stacey, who was utterly cool obviously, was described as one of the best dressers (besides Claudia) and had beautiful penmanship (complete with hearts over her i). Oh Lord, did I want to be Stacey McGill!  She was from New York, friends! NEW. YORK. To a little girl in the Midwest, she was the epitome of sophistication!

Honestly though, as badly as I wanted to be Stacey, I knew in my heart that I was Mary Anne back then. Shy Mary Anne who just wanted to be nice and not upset anyone. Two years later, and I finally came out of my shell, but I was still no Stacey McGill...

Mia is a cross between Kristy, Claudia, and Mallory: determined, creative, and all around brainy and I wouldn't have her any other way. She's currently in the middle of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and insanely excited to plan her birthday sleepover.

Until then, we're watching the entire first season on Netflix. Yesssssssss!!!!!!!

Look at Stacey in that sweet beret! I'm a grown woman and
I couldn't pull that look off without looking completely ridiculous.

Oh, and by the way, Netflix is letting me give away a free 3 month subscription to one lucky HHDD reader! All you have to do is leave a comment, and the winner will be announced May 1, 2014!

(PS: I may be 30, but there's still hope for me to be as effortlessly chic as Stacey, isn't there? Say yes or we can't be friends anymore! Also, I realize that's a totally Kristy thing to say. So bossy, right?!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Age Before Beauty

Things are basically 'take away the shoelaces because Mom's lost her mind' crazy around here right now!

Quick summary of what's up lately:
  • Mia - field trip at school and 2 trips to the principal's office. IKNOWRIGHT!!! She also turns 9 in a few weeks and it looks like we'll be having another sleepover. Have mercy...
  • Marlee - kindergarten screenings a few weeks ago and still refusing to wear pants or comb her own hair. She's the girliest hillbilly child I've ever met.
  • Miles - potty training... and he's doing really great. Also, he tried to convince me the other night that he didn't have to go to bed because Dwight from The Office said he could stay up. FALSE!
  • Chris - started a new job yesterday! Yessssssss! After so many years with Best Buy, we are SO excited for him to finally work closer to home and have the weekends off to spend together as a family!
  • Me - oh, you know - losing every bit of what little sanity I still have left. Busy at work, busy at home. Do you ever feel like you need a vacation from all adult responsibilities? Yeah, me too. Every. Single. Day.
I can tell you one thing with certainty though: the stress of every day life hasn't given me a single gray hair yet! High five on that!!!

Guess who has a few grays... my loving husband!

ME: Babe, you have gray hairs in your beard!

CHRIS: No I don't! Those are white and I've always had them. I just pull them out when I notice them.

ME: What?!

CHRIS: Yeah, they're white.

ME: Um... no. Those are gray hairs and Jesus Christ - don't you know you're not supposed to pull out a gray hair or you'll get 3 more?!

CHRIS: It's not gray, it's white like a pale blonde. Gingers don't get gray hair anyway.

ME: Right, it doesn't turn silver or gray! It turns 'white'! 'White' is the gray hair of the Ginger community! Haha!

CHRIS: It's not gray! Fucker! Besides - your hair would be gray if you didn't color it!

ME: Dude, I haven't colored my hair since September and I don't see any grays. You're just getting old!

CHRIS: Fine! Maybe you don't have any grays but I hope to God you go bald!

This, you guys - this is the foundation of a solid marriage...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hail Of A (Field) Trip

Today Chris and I had the pleasure of going on the 3rd Grade field trip with Mia, destination Legoland KC!

We started the day off like any other day starts - by running late. By the time we got to the school, Mia's entire class thought that she was sick and missing the field trip!

 "Mia! Mia you're here! Yea!!!!"

We dropped her off and headed to pick up lunch for the day. Did someone say sandwiches from the gas station? You know I can't pass up gas station food, guys!

Chris drove and for once, I didn't have any complaints about his driving AND WE DIDN'T EVEN GET LOST!

Field trip time...

The trip went so smoothly for once, and we all had a really good time. At the end of the afternoon, we signed out Mia and her cousin, Emanuel, and headed home intent on stopping at the Walmarts when we got closer to home. 

It was sunny when we went inside, and sprinkling by the time we came outside. Hello, Missouri spring! And then?

The hail started just as we got onto the highway to head home. By the next exit, it was hailing so hard that Chris could only drive 35 MPH. It sounded like someone was literally hitting baseballs into our car! At that point, I started getting nervous as we merged over to the exit lane to head down 7.

"Kids, scoot closer together. Get away from the windows." 

We inched closer to the on ramp and suddenly, all of the cars in front of us were stopped. No one was moving, the hail was still coming down and hard. They were parked on the outer lane of the exit ramp - to afraid to drive.

Granny called to see where we were and as she talked it was hard to hear with the Mia crying in the back seat, the hail hitting the car, and Chris yelling at the cars to go. And then? Then I got a severe weather alert from the Bates County 911 service saying that there was a tornado warning for the area.

We made the choice to pull out from our spot in line and drive around the parked cars. Up the ramp, a short right, and we pulled in to a big gas station known to locals as 'the fireworks stand'.

When we pulled in, there were 10 or more cars parked under the gas pump awnings. I rushed the kids inside to an empty building and the cashiers inside looked at me like I was a crazy woman.

"They just issued a tornado warning for Bates County! I have to get these kids somewhere NOW! You have a parking lot full of people out there, we need to get them inside!"

I was shaking like a leaf the entire time! I don't know that there's anything that scares me more than tornado season!

After a few seconds, people started to come into the bathrooms and within 5 minutes of hiding in the women's restroom, a new message came through signalling the all clear.

We exited the building to sunny skies, 65 degrees, and a parking lot filled with little balls of ice.

Seriously, a day without chaos would be awesome...

"So you guys had an awesome time, right?"
"We almost died!!!"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Life Is Good

Well hello, gorgeous! You're looking amazing today! I've missed your smiling face!

See what I'm doing there? Dishing out compliments like they're daisies. You'd think I'm up to something, but really, I'm just a plain old nice gal occasionally.

I really don't have any stories to tell today because for the last week, life has been pretty peaceful. No crazy accidents, no (huge) foot-in-mouth moments, and very few times have I looked to the heavens and muttered "Sweet Baby Jesus, why are you doing this to me". 

Let's just allow that to marinate for a minute... 

Yeah! Crazy, isn't it?!

I'll just list a few things that have made my heart happy recently:

  • Mia's hair - is it wrong that my 8 year old is my hair idol? She's replaced Jared Leto. Yeah, the waves are that good!
  • Marlee's dancing - have you ever seen anyone booty pop to the theme song from "The Office"? I have and it cracks me up every time!
  • Miles's enthusiasm over everything - just as long as the chosen parent of the moment helps with his task. There's a 50% chance that he wants "Mommy do'yit!" and I love when he's mama's boy!
  • Chris's paycheck - hallelujah for raises! And Chris's kisses - TMI, but so true!
Something that hasn't made my heart so happy:

Eyes, I'm good to you! I buy you really nice makeup and I buy the finest Visene that Walmart sells. Why do you feel the need to fail me? 

I've yet to break down and go to an optometrist, but I know without an eye test that these are necessary. I don't hate them, but I really wish I didn't need them!

C'est la vie, y'all!


I'm crazy excited to announce that I've been invited to become an expert curator over at Bumblebean, and you should definitely go over and check out my first featured collection!

For those of you not familiar with the site, prepare your bank account because you're probably going to want one of everything! Little kids, big kids, Mamas, Daddies - there's something for everyone and the best part? The inventory changes constantly!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Frizzle Would Be So Bummed

{This post is brought to you by Netflix. All words, photos, 
and opinions are mine and do not reflect those of my sponsor.}

When Netflix sent out the Stream Team alert for March, I did a little fist pump to celebrate how awesome this month's theme is. Science, you guys! 

Growing up, The Magic School Bus was pretty popular at our house. Ms. Frizzle - one of my top 10 favorite Gingers of all time - was straight up ballsy in everything she did. No nonsense, major confidence, and always ALWAYS dressed for success! 

Mia and Marlee have been watching MSB for the last 3 weeks or so (these girls, they've got excellent taste) and I knew that if I suggested we play mad scientist, they'd be all for it.

I asked. They thought about it for approximately 3 seconds. Did they want to do an experiment? Yep! 

Flashlight Experiment Supplies:
  • 4 D size batteries
  • 1 small light bulb - like you would use in a flashlight
  • A small length of wire
  • Duct tape

A good scientist always records the results, right?

My husband works for Best Buy and we only had 4 size D batteries
 lying around  the house. Someone revoke this man's nerd card!

Wires before we stripped them. Bonus electrical tape & bulb from a night light.
Life is really about improvising and so is science - Thomas Edison. Not really...

The goal of the experiment is that you'll essentially build the inside of a flashlight when you connect the four batteries with the duct tape, touch the wire on one end to the bottom battery and the other end to the metal on the bulb at the top. If you do this very simple experiment correctly, your light bulb will light up! Whoa, science is awesome, right? Wrong. So wrong. 

Why isn't science awesome? Because my name is Jen Palis and I'm the queen of mishaps, that's why.

Guess who brought 4 dead batteries with her to the science lab (kitchen)? This mom. 

"Seeewy-us-yeeeee?! Come! On!" - Marlee
"Sis, be honest, did you think I was going to mess this up?"
"I had my fingers crossed that you wouldn't. Maybe next time, Mommy..."

My kids are going to put me in the most unpleasant nursing home one day.

For fun parents who actually don't screw up every fun activity they attempt,  check out Kelly's super simple how-to and for Pete's sake - splurge on a new package of batteries in the name of science! 

In the mean time, check out some of these great titles available on Netflix:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mr. Romance

My sweet Mister decided that today was a good day for a surprise: he left early for his mid-day shift at work, picked up some flowers, and left them on my windshield at work. 

He timed it so that he would be in and out before I left for lunch, and I'd walk out to my car only to gasp with an exclamation of "Awwww!" before calling to lovingly thank him.

Well guess who decided to stay at the office all day, feasting on a healthy lunch of leftover birthday cake?

Around 3PM, my friend Doc came in and finally asked me "Is that your Yukon outside? You'd better go out and look at it."

Always keep a vase in your office. You never know when you might need it!

I have a real knack for unintentionally screwing things up...

Thankfully, he's totally used to my shenanigans by now and honestly, I think that's part of the reason he loves me - because I'm just a wee bit unpredictable. 

And I love him because, among other things, he loves me.

Friday, March 7, 2014


While going through the laundry basket in our bedroom this morning (who actually puts clean clothes away, right?) I glanced out the window to find that Chris and the kids had drawn with sidewalk chalk last night.
At first glance, all I could tell was that Chris had written that Mommy loved something. Nothing out of the ordinary, sometimes he writes that I love him, the kids, etc. It's pretty sweet actually, but...

Looking at it upside down, I couldn't figure out what I supposedly loved because it was drawn in a picture not a written word.

Long and tapered... looked like it had testicles ... with... urine spraying from the top...

ME: CHRISTOPHER PALIS!!!! Did you seriously write 'Mommy loves...' and draw a giant dick in the driveway?! 

CHRIS: What?! Chicken, Jen. That's a chicken!

I didn't believe him until Mia (in our room brushing her hair) piped up...

MIA: It's supposed to be a chicken. You do love chicken, don't you? I drew it just for you!

ME: Aw, yes Sis, I do love chicken. I hate Daddy though.

At what point in life do you become that parent who doesn't say the absolute worst possible thing at every opportunity? If someone knows, tell me, please!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Don't Say "Cheese", Say "Boogers" Instead!

{This post is being brought to you with sponsorship by JC Penney Portrait Studios. I have been compensated for writing about my experience at JCP Portrait Studio. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.}

Do you know how I like to start my year? I like to start it with offers for discounted or free things!

Just being honest, guys! The only things that I spend large amounts of money on are gas station lunches, makeup, and children's toys. Those might sound frivolous to some, but they're absolute necessities in my book!

Anyway, imagine my delight when I opened up the ole email in January and found an offer for a $100 gift certificate for family photos at JC Penney Portrait Studios!!! Were we interested? Um...duh. Obviously!

We initially inteded to do a full on family photo shoot, in the end we only had them take the kids' pictures. Too many gas station taquitos for Mommy to get in on the pics and Daddy? "Ugh, I'm so pale compared to the rest of you..." Hashtag Vain Parents...

We had our shoot at the Lee's Summit JCP in late February and they're the best photos our family has had taken to date!

Well, we think they're pretty awesome but take a peek at a few of the pictures and judge for yourself:

Not only did we walk away with amazing photos of our 3 favorite little people, we also had the pleasure of meeting Cindy and Tracy. The best way to describe them? Sweet and silly! To say that they rocked the kids' socks off is such an understatement! 

Getting the kids' pictures taken is one of the things that usually frustrates me to the core, between dressing them/keeping them clean/keeping them entertained/making sure everyone smiles AT THE SAME TIME/trying not to undermine the direction of the photographers - these two ladies were SO SO SO good with the kids that Chris and I were actually able to just sit back and watch! It was almost like a date to one of the funniest movies you've ever seen, minus the overpriced popcorn and Junior Mints. We literally laughed so hard at their interactions that our faces hurt afterward!

Once our shoot was over, it was time for Chris and I to view the pictures - another stressful event, typically. How do you wrangle 3 hungry kiddos while simultaneously trying to choose from 50+ shots of perfection? You don't. JCP Portrait Studio had a little lounge area set up for the wild bunch to huddle around the TV and watch a movie. Bliss. For. All.

And then when they got restless? Miss Tracy led them on an adventure to JCP's toy section and gave us the perfect amount of time to make our decisions on which portraits we wanted to purchase! Cindy was just as excited to show us the photos as we were to view them. That meant so much to us - to see the pleasure that she got from seeing our delight. It's a wonderful thing to see people loving their job!

We loved these ladies! Have I said that already? Let me say it again: Loved. These. Ladies.

Between our $100 gift certificate and taking advantage of a promotion that was running, we were able to purchase photos from a package that typically runs for nearly $400 for... drumroll please... a little under $70.00! Yes, $70.00! 

I'm so pleased to have had such a great experience at JC Penney Portrait Studio, and I'd like to invite all of my HHDD readers to do the same!

Now through March 31, 2014 JC Penney is offering YOU (yes, you, silly) this great deal:

  • 1 free traditional 8x10 ($10 value) and 1 free sitting fee ($9 value)
  • Plus 23 portraits of your favorite pose for $7.99 or 3.99 traditional sheets (reg $10)
  • And 20% off portrait collections
To take advantage of this deal, click here for the voucher and then visit to schedule an appointment at your local JCP Portait Studio.

Thank you again, to the sweet folks at JC Penney Portrait Studios for the opportunity to promote for them, and for the perfect pictures of my perfect (hahahaha) babies!

(For those of you in the Kansas City metro, just a reminder that Tracy and Cindy work out of both the Lee's Summit and Independence locations. Book them, I promise you'll absolutely have a blast!)