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!)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dinner Is Served

Roasted chicken legs, ranch smashed potatoes, pears.
I have a real knack for creating monochromatic meals.
Our supper ritual is for the parents to make plates for the kids, and allow them to begin eating before we make our own plates. We all still sit down together, but staggering the beginning of the meal minimizes the amount of times we have to get up to get drinks for one child, condiments for the second, and napkins for the third. 

Basically, our food doesn't get cold sitting on the plate while we run around getting things for the kids when we wait to make our plates - and sometimes we make 5 trips back and forth to the table and 2 out of 3 kids are finished eating by the time we get our first bite.

Tonight, Marlee figured out what it's like to be the mom at supper time...

MAR: I want to sit derr! Wite derr!

ME: Ok, gimme a sec, Boo. I'm bringinng it over.

MAR: Tanks, Mommy! I'm so hungry I cud eat a whole chicken not just a yeg!

ME: 'Welcome. Please use your napkin, ok?

MAR: Okay. Oh! And Mommy? Can you get me some tea, too pweez?

ME: Yeah, in just a minute - I've got to get Mia's plate first.

MAR: But when you come back can you do it?

ME: Yep. I'm all over it...

MAR: Hey, Mommy dis is juss yike a west-want sometimes!

ME: I know...

MAR: And yaw da waitwess! Is dat fun, Mommy?

ME: It's a real blast, Mar...

MAR: I tink you're lying...

ME: Would I lie to you?

MAR: Yes!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Date Night On The Night Train

You read that right, friends: we had a real life grown up date night on Friday! One that doesn't involve Happy Meals, packing Monsters Inc pull-ups, sippy cups filled with chocolate milk, or screaming fights over whose turn it is to play the Furby Boom app on Mommy's phone.

It. Was. Awesome.

I even spent a full 2 hours primping just for the hell of it... and because Grandma Debbie was kind enough to come up from Columbia to keep the wild bunch. 

Where did we go on this grown up date night? We went to the Sprint Center in Kansas City to see Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, and Tyler Farr. Well, we went to see Tyler Farr - the others were just an added bonus, but really, Tyler.

*Back story for non-locals: Tyler Farr grew up in Garden City and grew up to be a gosh darned famous ole country music singer. Everyone around here has about a million stories from growing up with him. To put it mildly - so SO proud of him! 

Just for funzies: I believe this was actually women's choir class and the boys just stopped by to hang out.

What if we left the house late, had to get gas, then remembered we hadn't stopped at the ATM and had to drive back across town before heading to the city - do you think that would make us late to the concert? If you said yes, you'd be correct.

What if we made it to KC and then couldn't remember which exit we needed to get to Sprint Center? What if we randomly picked an exit and then I couldn't figure out how to use navigation on my iPhone? What if Siri is a sneaky bitch who gave us directions 'from our current location to the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri' and the directions took us in the exact opposite direction? What if we figured out where we were and then couldn't find a lot to park in and drove aimlessly for 10 minutes before deciding to spend $15 for the 5th floor of a garage? What if we hauled ass to the elevator, took the trip down to ground level, and THEN remembered that WE LEFT THE TICKETS IN THE CAR?

Guess who didn't see a single song out of Tyler's set? Chris and Jen Palis. 


Oh sure, we heard him singing (and he sounded awesome - goosebumps and everything), but as far as seeing him on stage? Nada. 

Guess who we did get to see though? Florida Georgia Line. The band we were the least excited to see...

"Chris, show me a face that depicts how excited you are to see FLA/GA Line"
He isn't very good at faking it, is he? 

'Get Your Shine On'. I sang along and my husband said "Gosh, Jen, I love paying a ton
of money for concert tickets to hear you sing at full volume like you do in the car..."
A selection of comments from the Florida Georgia Line set:

  • Is that sleeveless or a vest? Jesus... it's a leather vest...
  • Are all of their songs going to have the video playing in the background?
  • Oh my God!!!! All of the words are flashing on licence plates on the screen so we can sing along! (during 'Round Here')
  • Why does he keep doing that 'I'm getting a blow job' motion while he sings?!
  • I want long hair to put on a shirt under that vest. He's really creeping me out.
  • Jen, our commentary is offending everyone around us. They love FGL and hate us right now.
  • Nooooooooo! (with hysterical laughter as they did a Bruno Mars cover)
  • He looks like the singer from Creed and he's singing a song that sounds like Nickelback. Poor rich dude. (During 'Stay')
  • Oh! Missed that crotch grab!
  • I really think they should've asked Tech N9ne to sing Nelly's part. (during 'Cruise')

Actually, they put on a really good show and we had a lot of fun during their set! Guess who else did? This drunk guy:

Even the strangers next to us were taking his picture! He was obviously having the time of his life, guys. Sure, the lady friend that he'd brought as his date seemed mortified, but I'm sure when he woke up on Saturday morning - likely hung over as a mofo - he had no recollection of her embarrassment.

Next up was headliner Jason Aldean. I'm a big fan, you guys - I knew after 2 beers that I'd be ruining the entire show for Chris. And no, I didn't care!

About the photos, we had decent seats, I just take absolutely horrible pictures. Sorry 'bout that!

Jason Aldean put on an incredible show and it was his birthday, so it just so happened that he'd brought a special guest to sing with him...Kelly freaking Clarkson!

Guess where I was when Queen Kelly came on stage to sing 'Don't You Wanna Stay'? In the bathroom. Of course. We came back in just in time to hear the last chorus and see her walk off of the stage. Life is one cruel joke after the next, friends!

Finally, we got to see Tyler sing when he came back out to sing 'ACountry Boy Can Survive' with Jason Aldean. Maybe I got choked up... I definitely got choked up...

We took bets on whether a Royals jersey would make an appearence at the concert. Nailed it, y'all.
And then after the show? We ran into some friends of ours who actually live just down the street and talked until we got kicked out of the Sprint Center, only to continue our conversation outside in the freezing cold! Tony & Tonya, we're having a GC barbeque as soon as it's warm enough!

Let's see... then we got lost for a minute in the parking garage, and got lost for a long time when we pulled out of the parking garage and back into downtown KC... 

CHRIS: Babe, if you can get me to any highway, I can get us home.
ME: Who do you think you're talking to? Once I'm past Grandview, I'm totally lost. Jeeeeeesssssuuuussss! Don't turn right here, you're fucking headed down TROOST!!!!

Then we took the really long way home (I-70 East to 291, anyone?) and made our pilgrimage to the Waffle House. You guys know I can't pass up the chance to eat my hashbrowns smothered, covered, and topped!

Around 2AM, we finally made it home. You guys, I'm too old for this shit. This is why we only go on dates once every 2 years or so.