Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just A Sliver

I have never understood those parents who let their children sleep with them until they're practically teenagers.  I know better than to judge, but as I lay there last night with a small creature draped across my face I had to wonder at how they maintain any sanity whatsoever.  My husband and I have a king size bed.....and I love it.  Most nights I can sprawl around like a lizard sunning on a rock.  Of course, then there are the nights where the dog is on my feet....or my husband has taken up more than his fair share of room.  And lets not forget the nights that one of the smallish creatures (1) had a nightmare (2) couldn't fall asleep (3) didn't feel good, etc., etc., etc. and crawl in for a snuggle.  P.S. I love snuggling with my babies.

Last night poor little Noah was coughing.  For the record, he's been attempting to convince us co-sleeping is a good idea for a few months now (sometimes he's more successful than others depending on how tired we are).  So I pulled him into bed and he snuggled his little butt right up to me.  I'm pretty sure I looked at the clock at least every 15 minutes or so for several hours.  At one point, as I was laying on a small sliver of my side of the bed I thought, "this is ridiculous, he weighs 25 pounds and he's taking up 75% of the bed!  And he didn't even pay for any of it!"  So I shoved him over towards his dad.  He slept there for awhile before he got restless and started to crawl all over his dad, who by the way does not tolerate interruption of his sleep very well.  This went on for about 10 minutes or so before dad said, "that's it....back to your bed." He went back to sleep in his bed.....for about 30 minutes.  Needless to say, I didn't have too much trouble getting up and going to the gym this morning and I won't have too much trouble taking a nap later when Noah does either!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

High Rollers

I gave in tonight and played Monopoly "the adult version" (as they call it) with Austin and Connor.  I was dreading it, but it ended up being a lot of fun.  They've gotten a lot better at counting money and remembering the rules, so we actually did some wheeling and dealing!  I had to laugh though as Austin could not remember how to say Vermont Ave. and kept calling it Vermin Ave.  They also took great pride in counting their money and were very excited to get change back.  So if one of them had to pay, say $20 in rent, he would give his brother a $20 and a $10 so he'd get the $10 back.  As I observed their unbelievable delight in playing "an adult game" I thought of all the things they were actually learning from it.  Obviously, math skills.  Then there was the moment when Austin wanted to buy Park Place but didn't have enough money.  He was quite upset over this fact, but stated, "I guess that's how it works in the real world, huh mom?" What a great lesson - if you can't pay for it, you don't get it.  He quickly recovered and managed to wipe the floor with us as the wicked land baron of the game.  All in all, it was an hour of fun that I'm glad I made time for.  A lesson was learned by mom as well.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lucky Strikes Again!

Bet you're wondering why I haven't blogged in a month and a half huh? Welllllll, even if you haven't been wondering I'll tell you.....I took a break (gasp!)!. And I've been on vacation (double gasp!)! At any rate....I thought of something funny to write about the other day and I have now harnessed the ambition to actually sit down and do it.

Lucky is my mom's cat....that think's he's a person.....with more personality than most people I know. Among his many "quirks" is a serious hair tie fetish and a need to sleep on my mom's face. In addition, Lucky has poo bear. That's right, not Pooh Bear, poo bear. Apparently when he was a kitten my mom put this little red teddy bear in the box with Lucky and he of course pooped on it. After a thorough washing, Lucky and poo bear became best buds. Now we find poo bear all over the house. The other night he was skinny dipping in the toilet and I almost peed on him. Occasionally he makes it into the dog water dish but that's only if he feels like bathing in plain sight (or when Lucky is trying to irritate Sandy, the dog). Poo bear is well-traveled and obviously very forgiving.

Until next time my friends!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

You Can Visit Me

We've started giving Austin and Connor an allowance for completing their chores without whining or arguing. Of course in the interest of promoting parenting everywhere, we have outlined for them all the lessons to be learned including goal setting, saving and finding things that cost less than the amount they have. Little did I realize that they've been learning other important lessons as well!

Today was their day to go pick out something with the 50% of their allowance that they get to spend each week. Of course all the way out the store they were begging to open it. I told them they had to wait until we left the store and that they couldn't leave any of the packaging on the ground, to which Austin responded, "because that's littering, right mom?" and of course I confirmed his suspicion. Then Connor piped up with, "and you can go to jail for that, right mom?" Although I knew it was a teeny-tiny white lie, I again said, "yup, you sure can!" Thinking that was the end of it I was caught off guard when a moment later Austin said, "don't worry mom, you can visit me in jail!"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stinkin' Summer "Vacation"!

When I was a kid I looked forward to summer vacation for 9 months. Now that I'm a mom, I dread summer vacation for 9 months. Let's face it, 9 months just isn't enough time to mentally prepare yourself for the birth of a child, let alone 3 solid months of "quality time" with your children!

As my husband left the house this morning he was actually chuckling. I heard definite sarcasm in his voice when he said, "and have a GOOD day!" The fact that I was clinging to his leg pleading, "please don't leave me alone with them, please, please please! You know they'll eat me alive! They're practically pirhanas, I don't stand a chance!" seemed to have no effect on him whatsoever. Rotten bastard. Very rarely do I envy his 40-hour work week, having to deal with all the office politics and people (I get to work in my pajamas, so there!), but today I was a particularly nasty shade of green.

I suppose I need to put my big girl panties on and just deal with it. Good thing that wearing my big girl panties also entitles me to buying signifcant amounts of alcohol. Maybe this summer won't be so bad after all........

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Cookie Dough Incident

For those of you who know me, I have always been working on losing a few pounds (that's code for 50+ pounds). After I had the twins I lost almost 60 pounds. And after having Noah I waited about a year, but once again am back at it. I've been committed and dedicated to my quest since January. I joined the gym, I've seriously modified my diet.....I GAVE UP MY MOCHAS! I've tried edamame, red peppers, spinach and feta. I KNOW WHAT VEGGIE-LOADING IS!! and I like it (gasp!) And (golf clap anyone?) I'm down 11 pounds. I have sweated, substituted and de-sugared like nobody's business for every ounce of those 11 pounds.

Yesterday I had a weak moment. I kept trying to think of something, anything! that sounded appealing that was even remotely healthy. All I wanted was cookie dough. So I made the cookie dough (Erin, I know what you're thinking, please don't cry.....). I ate some, then I ate a little more. Then I ate a healthy dinner.

Then I sat down to watch Biggest Loser and I ate a little more while I was watching. I know, I know, the irony right? But then I went to bed and forgot about it. Rather than sticking my face in that bowl and inhaling the whole bowl like a dog who hasn't been fed in days, I ate a little bit each time and went to bed satisfied (that's kind of a white lie, I wanted more but was finally able to say NO! I WILL NOT EAT YOU COOKIE DOUGH, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU BEG!!)

And then I got up and went to the gym this morning, ate a healthy breakfast and lunch and settled in to start on pound #12. Look out Tyra, Cindy and Heidi, here comes Jujee!! All 5' of me in a fun-sized package! Woot! Woot!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kids Have All the Answers

My sister has taken to finding creative ways to remind me that I haven't blogged lately. This morning she mailed me a link to an absolutely hilarious blog ( that made me feel guilty for not blogging myself. Soooooo, here I gooooo.

I have decided that some of life's most interesting questions aren't philosophical, they're child-initiated. In the course of any given day my sons will ask me the usual things like, "Why is the sky blue?" or "Would our heads blow up in space if we didn't have a spacesuit on?" Then there are the days with questions that will be forever stamped upon my brain preventing any possibility of forgetting them. For example, the other night Austin asked me, "Mom, do you know how you can tell if a fart is really going to stink?" Not paying full attention (mistake #1), I took the bait.....,"hmmmm, how is that son?" Providing him with the necessary launching pad for sharing his most recent hypothesis, he quickly lept right in. "Welllll, if you have to work really hard to get it'll be stinky for sure. But if it just sort of slips out (complete with very smooth hand gestures), you probably won't smell it at all!" And here comes mistake #2. "How did you come to this conclusion son?" (hereby fully vesting myself in this conversation). "Oh, the guys (his 7-year-old buddies) and I were talking about it at recess.

This prompted one of my famous "visions." I could so easily picture my child standing around, just like in a scene from some mobster movie, with his pals and a thick New Jersey accent. The conversation would go something like this:

Bennie: So Sal, I been thinkin'.....
Sal: Yeah Bennie, whas that?
Bennie: You know how Joey's always stinkin' it up?
Sal: Sure, sure.
Bennie: Well I bet he could warn us if he wanted to.
Joey: How'd I do that?
Bennie: I can't tell you here - people are listening.....Fuhgedaboutit!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"The Best Day Ever"

Some days really stink....and then there are days that totally rock!! This day rocked more than most lately. It started out with sleeping in and snuggling my husband. Then a little work, not too much, just a little. And then Pizza Hut with Beezy, some grocery shopping with Noah and a fabulous afternoon nap. I was able to pay all the bills and still put money in savings. I took my first Jazzercise class tonight with my friend Kayla and LOVED it. I have untapped potential in the rhythm department, that's for sure. Then I got home, had a deeeelicious dark chocolate Jello-O pudding cup and watched a new episode of Bones. Finally, I logged in all of my food and I came in under my calorie limit!! On Spongebob Squarepants he sings a song called, "The Best Day Ever" and that is definitely an accurate description of today. Most of the time, it really is about the little things. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Scientific Research

I once read that the government gave a grant to some scientists to study the amount of methane gas produced by a cow's butt and the effect it had on the atmosphere. Can you believe that!? Large sums of money given to scientists just to study a cow's rear end! Well, it occurred to me that my children would probably qualify for one of those grants. Here are my proposed areas of study:

1. The effect of constant light switch flipping on an electric bill (which my husband also reports feels like being in a disco, so perhaps there's a two-fold study there....)
2. The effects of a bath tub full of water on a bathroom floor.
3. How long it takes a dog to gain weight by feeding it a full box of cereal off the kitchen floor.
4. How truly dirty is a toilet if you flush it 100 times consecutively?
5. Can carpet be worn off stairs by sliding down them on your butt or stomach?

Really, aren't these more noble areas of interest? Wouldn't the world be better served by reaching a better understanding of what makes children tick? Or would that be as much a waste of money as studying a cow's butt? Ahhhh, the things that keep you awake at night.....

Friday, March 26, 2010

Funny Body Part Names

I once read that every family develops it's own language. After realizing that our family does not call a single body part by it's correct anatomical name, I would have to agree. The following is a short list of what we call things:
1. Head = Melon
2. Forehead = Foremelon
3. Feet = Putties
4. Stomach = Buddha
5. Boy parts = peepers

Funny story about that last one. My sister coached Austin and Connor in a gymnastics class a few years back. With the whole class lined up and supposed to be watching her for direction, she stated, "Now everyone open your peepers..." Silly Aunt Erin, what a crazy thing to say! Austin and Connor stood up and started to pull down their shorts!

Occasionally I wonder if we should start teaching them the proper names, but then I realize that would cut down on a large majority of the funny stories I have to tell my family. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"That is NOT what we use that for!"

Wooo Hoooo! A bonus post this week - consider it my gift to you. Actually, I was just sitting here (yes, rather than working) and was chuckling about dual conversations held over the phone between my sister and I. It used to be I was the only one of us that had kids and my sister would often hear things like, "Your brother is not a punching bag!" and "So help me God, if you do that one more time!" while we were talking on the phone. She was very patient and would often laugh at how I could yell at children and have a civil phone conversation at the same time. Now she has kids. And now I get to laugh. The other day we were talking and she said, "Don't stick that noodle there!" and "what did I say about crayons!" Some other favorites that come to mind are, "The toilet is NOT a swimming pool!" "For the love of God, I just cleaned that!" We used to roll our eyes at our mother who could be yelling like a banshee one moment and then answer the phone and be as sweet as pie the next, "Get to your room before I beat you until your legs fall off!......" (ring, ring......) "Well hello, of course I'll bake a cake, no problem......"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Ode to Chocolate

On any given day I can find a really good reason why I need chocolate. The dog made a mess, the kids made a mess, my life is a mess! I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm apathetic! I worked out, I didn't work out, I thought about working out! It's movie night, it's Arbor Day, it's Tuesday! The list goes on and on (indefinitely).

But seriously, I'm fairly certain that if all the world leaders sat down together in the Hershey's Factory and put their brilliant minds to it, they could solve the world's problems with chocolate.

Chocolate provides all the things a woman needs in life. It is rich, it is silent and there is an endless variety of things you can do with it. My friend Beezy and I have a running joke about all the things we would like to do with chocolate. Basically we start out by saying we'd like an apple (for example), but only if it's dipped in chocolate, rolled in chocolate, fried in chocolate and covered in chocolate sprinkles. Then the other person has to come back with an even better way to cover that apple in chocolate, like covered in chocolate drizzle and smothered in chocolate. It can go on for a very long time and can be exceptionally entertaining.

But I digress. I could give the Illiad and the Odyssey a run for their money when it comes to talking about chocolate. Suffice it to say, although you don't really need a reason to eat chocolate (or bathe in it), if you feel that you do you can call me and I will gladly help you out.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Different Day....Same Stuff!

Due to extreme pressure applied to me by my sister, I am blogging. Sadly, it has been pretty low on my priority list lately (in fact it fell off the bottom about 2 weeks ago....) At any rate, just a quick update on things in the land of Smiff.

It's still snowing in Alaska, a lot.
The kids are still sick, a lot.
The laundry is still mating in unseen corners of my home.
The dishes are staging a coup in the kitchen.

We did recently buy some furniture, a very nice dresser and nightstands for our bedroom. The boxes we were using as nightstands were sad to leave, but we weren't sad to see them go. We're thinking of buying a couch next as everyone is sick of fighting over the bean bag chairs. Smile on my friends!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little Treasures

Previously I have written about losing things, namely my mind, my sanity, my privacy, etc., etc. This post however is different! Recently I have begun finding things, what I like to think of as little treaures. Today it was a small wooden train in the dryer (making an alarming amount of noise I might add). The other day it was an action figure in the dishwasher and a few days before that it was a bath toy in the refrigerator. Of course I could stand around and ponder how these little treasures miraculously appear in strange places, but that would be engaging in my new hobby.....procrastination....and I just don't have time! I once read that if you find a turtle on top of a fence post, all you need to know is that it had help getting there. So true, so true. Perhaps these are just small tokens of affection from my son, (17-months old a few days ago!) who thinks I might need a reminder of all he is able to accomplish now. How thoughtful of him. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It is again award season in Hollywood and I'm constantly hearing about the Grammy's, the Tony's, the Oscars, the SAG awards, so on and so forth. Why, I ask, are there no WMA's? What is this fabulous award you ask? Well let me tell you! It's the Wife and Mother Awards! This brilliant idea came to me just last night as I was applauded by my family for serving a dinner that everybody liked (practically unheard of at our house, which is why I felt I was receiving an award).

I had a vision of stepping onstage to accept my trophy (a miniature golden vacuum cleaner of course!), and with tears in my eyes, making my acceptance speech:

"I would just like to thank all of the little people, literally, the little people, for allowing me to make dinner for you every night! Without you, I would have no purpose. It is such a privilege and honor to slave over a hot stove for each of you and finally stumble across a recipe that you deem worthy of repeating. And to my husband, what can I say? are the light in my refrigerator, without you....all would be dark....Thank you, thank you very much!"

As I'm walking back down the red carpet the reporters are asking me about what I'm wearing (sweats and t-shirt by Target, shoes by Walmart), my hairstyle (I call it fashionably dissheveled, ala Meg Ryan) and my date (no date, they're all in front of the TV).

Although it is unlikely this award will ever come into existence, just thinking about it does make it a little easier to compete with Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray every day...... :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pack Mentality

As the mother of 3 boys and only female resident of our house I have known that this day was coming. I know that I will gamely participate in and/or tolerate all sorts of male rituals from bodily noises to hunting and excessive sports exposure. On Friday I experienced my first.....Boy Scouts pack meeting, which turned out to be nothing like I expected. There were so many opportunities for humor in that gym that I may just go back next time voluntarily!

It was such a relief to see that my children are VERY normal when placed up against a slice of society. There were plenty of other children there with their clothes tucked in oddly (into boots, underwear, etc.), hair not combed and holes in their jeans. There were also children that stammered, spoke excessively about nothing and displayed a serious need for corporal punishment.

All of this was overseen by someone I can only describe as "The General." This intimidating man has to have served a long stint in the military, my guess would be the marines. He was bald, uniform incredibly crisp and he barked like a drill sargent. I kept expecting him to yell, "Sit down and shut up you little maggots!" However, in his defense, he was great with the kids! I think there might actually be a potential Santa Claus hiding under that Boy Scout uniform.

All in all, my husband and I shared many glances that conveyed, "can you believe that?" and afterwards decided to treat our kids to Dairy Queen because we had discovered that a pack meeting is a lot like the county fair and as Jeff Foxworthy said, "we're dang near royalty!"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One of THOSE Days....

I got up this morning with the best of intentions, but sometimes fate and hormones just refuse to let you have the kind of day you were hoping for. I started out the morning with a very angry shout from my neighbor to "keep that dog on a leash!" I didn't get the incredibly sincere, heartfelt, "love you too" from my husband that I felt I deserved. My kids didn't make it to the bus on time so I had to drive them to school. All in all, one of those mornings where I just wanted to crawl back into bed and hibernate for the rest of the day.....or go get a massage from some non-English-speaking, strikingly handsome Hispanic man named Antonio, either one would do.

Unfortunately, I haven't found Antonio yet and I have a TON of other things that need to get done, so hibernating is out of the question. I decided that I needed an intervention, so I called the one person I rely on to be sympathetic and motivating at the same time, my sister. She listed several ways to get myself back on track but didn't strike gold until she mentioned going to get a coffee. Why hadn't I thought of that?!

And here I am, in front of the computer, feeling somewhat better and back to hoping the rest of the day turns out okay :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's All About Me!!

I finally did it....wait for it...wait for it....I bought new underwear and socks!! Isn't it amazing how many things you can put off needing and wanting when you have children? I could spend a fortune in all kinds of places, but instead I choose to feed, clothe and entertain my children. I suppose this makes me a good mom, but I do have a dirty little secret to confess. Sometimes I wish I could indulge my selfish side just a little bit more. As I sit here daydreaming (while I should be working of course), I can think of several ways I would treat myself more regularly if my children didn't require most of my cash flow:

1. I'd get a haircut more often than once every 6 months.
2. I'd buy new shoes, running AND casual.....AT THE SAME TIME!!
3. I would wash my car once a week instead of once a year.
4. I would buy things for my house besides cleaning supplies.
5. Dinner and a movie would mean a nice restraunt and the movie theater rather than Arby's and Blockbuster.

Ahhhh, if only. Someday my children will have left the nest and I will have gobs of free time and perhaps a little more money. Sadly, something tells me I will still dress in sweats and my old tennies while I drive my dirty old car to go grab dinner at Arby's and rent a movie at Blockbuster! Some habits die hard.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Sweetest Sound

Many, many moons ago, when I still lived with my parents, I used to yell out, "Moooommmm" about 600 times a day. And many, many times I would hear my mom mumble under her breath, "I'm changing my name." Now, after a busy day and many echoes of, "Mom, have you seen my...?" and, "Mom, will you...?" I think that joining the circus under the name "World's Greatest Drinker of Coffee" sounds awfully attractive.

Then yesterday it happened. My adorable little 16-month-old said it. He finally said mama. And I remembered how wonderful it is to hear that sweetest of sounds. And for awhile, I will savor every single time he says that word. And for awhile, I won't cringe when I hear the other two say it, over and over and over again, because I will remember how lucky I am to have 3 little people that think mom is a title greater than any other.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fishing: Toddler Style

This morning I raced into the bathroom for an emergency pit stop (again, sorry about the visual). I was just about to sit down when I noticed a small semi-truck sitting at the bottom of my toilet. Bless his little heart, he left me a gift! And as any good mom would do, I plunged my hand into the toilet, retrieved his favorite truck and plopped it into boiling water. I then vigorously scrubbed my hands with antibacterial soap and went to look for my cell phone, which I hadn't seen in awhile.........

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crazy Talk

Settle down everyone - it's been a little crazy up here in Alaska and I haven't had a chance to blog. We've had hurricane force winds (gusts up to 80 mph) which knocked out our power, ripped part of our deck off and carried my sanity away , Mary Poppins-style! At any rate, here are my latest thoughts for those of you possibly going through Smiff withdrawals.

Parents say a lot of crazy stuff. Of course in our defense, this is brought on by children who do a lot of crazy stuff, that in turn....makes us crazy. My parents were famous for things like, "This hurts me more than it hurts you," and "I had to walk 2 miles to school in the snow, uphill both ways, with no shoes on." I, on the other hand, only use the parental teachings handed down from the Big Guy Himself. These include handy catch phrases to explain all the things that I can't think of a scientific reason for, such as, "because I said so that's why," and "because God made it that way" (one of my mom's all time favorites).

Let's not forget the fabulous threats and bluffs that parents come up with as well, those great wittiscisms such as, "come here so I can slap your face" (AS IF!) and "do you WANT me to spank you?"

Sadly, now that I have children of my own I often find myself repeating these well-worn phrases used by my parents that I swore I'd never say. And just as I did back then, my children roll their eyes, sigh and say, "Seriously mom? That's crazy talk."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why Is It?

Lately it seems that this is a recurring question. Often I feel that I "did not get the memo" and that things have changed without anyone consulting me! The nerve. While in the shower this morning (I know, a lot of these posts have to do with my bathing habits, but that's the only place I get peace and quiet to think!), I started to think about all of the things that struck me as "not quite right," and as a courtesy to you my loyal followers, I have listed my Top 10 below!

Why Is It......
1. Jehovah's Witnesses go door to door, but chocolate salesmen do not?
2. Substitution lists in cookbooks never have the substitutions I need?
3. The more sleep I get, the bigger the bags under my eyes?
4. All that white snow causes my car to be so dirty?
5. Telemarketers don't look at their watches before they call me to beg me to buy something I don't even remotely need or want?
6. I can visualize an oasis and relax, but I can't visualize exercise and get skinny?
7. All the great Christmas decorations go on sale AFTER Christmas when I have no money left?
8. My children will only knock over their baby brother if he's the only thing in the room to go around?
9. My children can squeeze toothpaste everywhere but on their toothbrushes?
10. No amount of singing in the kitchen causes cute furry little animals to do MY housework? Thanks Walt Disney, for misleading me through my entire childhood! No dwarfs, animals or fairy dust to magically make my chores disappear!