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Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

Well, I haven’t been blogging as much as I have in the past.  If you want to know why…it’s because I joined my best friend from law school, Julie, and started blogging with her.  We’ve got this great blog/website:

mommyesquire.com

“We’re Moms.  We’re Lawyers.  We’re Your In-house Counsel.”

Check us out and see what the fuss is all about.  It’s fun and informative.  We’re taking your issues and offering free advice.  We’re reviewing everything from lip balm to overnight diapers.

Why?  Because we can.

What makes us think we are experts?  We don’t know.  Does having six kids between us count?  How about two undergraduate degrees, two law degrees, and one pageant title?

Who are we?

Julie - Creator of mommyesquire.com

Julie - Creator of mommyesquire.com

This is Julie:

Creator of mommyesquire.com
Working mom
Mother of three
Likes: reading, jogging, cooking, traveling, hiding from her children
Dislikes: cleaning, incorrect grammar, people who dress their little girls like skanks
Dreamed of being a Court TV anchor after law school
Voted “Most Likely to Achieve”…or should have been

Likes…no, loves…wine

Kim: Co-creator of mommyesquire.com

Kim: Co-creator of mommyesquire.com

This is Kim:

Co-creator of mommyesquire.com
Stay at home mom
Mother of three boys
Likes: reading, sewing, shopping, making her kids push her on the tire swing
Dislikes: people who don’t write thank you notes, sassy children, the smell of Polo cologne
Dreamed of being a non-profit lawyer and “helping people”….(yeah, now I’m in-house counsel to three very indigent clients).
Voted most likely to wear pink to court.
Has a raging case of ADHD…and a vegetarian.

So, come visit us at mommyesquire.com and have a laugh…all at our expense.  Enjoy!

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This week has been particularly trying with my boys.  Summer is here.  School is out.  We have more time on our hands.  Which means….

I’m saying even more crazy stuff.

For example:

I like to listen to a radio station that plays “oldies.”  I really like their “Disco Lunch Hour.”  The other day, we listened to “You Dropped the Bomb On Me” and my boys loved the bomb sound effects, etc.  Later in the lunch hour, we  heard K.C. and the Sunshine Band sing, “Shake Your Booty.”  I thought it was fun to sing while I reminisced about weekends spent at the roller skating rink as a child.  What I didn’t think about was that my boys would latch on to the whole “Shake Your Booty” thing.  The boys loved the lyrics, mostly because K.C. said the word, “Booty.”  For the rest of the day, my boys ran around saying the word “Booty” and laughing like wild hyenas.

Ah, to have three little boys….

Herein starts a new list of crazy stuff I’ve said to my kids this past week.  Enjoy the insanity that is my life:

#1 – “Stop saying the word, “Booty”!  It isn’t funny.  And, No, you may not sing “Shake Your Booty” at church!  I mean it!”

#2 – “Do not try to go down the slip n’ slide naked…..especially before it gets wet.”  (He didn’t listen to me and had to “recover” inside for an hour after the incident)

#3 – “Just because Daddy lets you pee outside in the backyard does not mean that you can just pee outside at the park.”

#4 – “I don’t care that the Hulk runs around without shoes and no shirt.  You must be fully clothed when we go to the grocery store.”  (said to the child who went down the slip n’ slide naked)

#5 – “Farting in the bathtub does not make the tub into a bubble bath.”

#6 – “A rattlesnake would not make a good pet.  I don’t care if they have them at the zoo.  In fact, no snake would be a good pet for us.  Think of something else…please.”

#7 –  “Why do I make up the bed every morning when we just mess the bed up again at night? hmmmm.  Good question.”

#8 – “You may not have a popcicle for breakfast.  I don’t care if it is made with “real fruit juice” like it says on the box.”

#9 – “Please go to sleep.  One day when you are an adult, you will wish you had a nap time.  Seriously.”

#10 – “Why do Mommies wear makeup?  Well….your Mommy wears  it so I don’t scare anyone when I go out in public.”

Thanks, K.C. for the lyrics Shake Your Booty (not really)

Thanks, K.C. for the lyrics "Shake Your Booty" (not really)

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My husband and I have had a very full social calendar lately.   Don’t immediately think that we are really into the “social scene.”  I mean that we’ve had soccer games, practices, church activities….and a few events that have NOT involved our children.

We’ve enjoyed our “adult outings” to various activities.  It requires me to get dressed in something other than gym shorts and yoga pants.  I have to wear makeup, etc.  We get a babysitter and generally have a good time.  However, I’ve noticed that the last three years as a stay-at-home mom have done a real number on my vocabulary and conversation skills.

For instance, this weekend I found myself involved in a conversation with another adult about art.  The artist was a very interesting person and great conversationalist.  I couldn’t believe it when asking him about his art, I actually asked him, “So where do you hang your… stuff?”  What I meant to ask was, “Where is your art on display?”  Definitely not… “Where do you hang your stuff?”

“Stuff?”  My goodness!  Could I not have said the word, “art”?  Or “paintings”?

Sunday evening at an Easter Egg Hunt, I found myself talking with a very interesting woman whose business is in finance and we were conversing about the state of Wall Street.  She said, “The state of our economy is really a concern for most people.  I think most people are really freaked out and don’t want to invest….blah, blah, blah.”  Suddenly, the woman’s voice sounded like the teacher in A Charlie Brown Christmas (you know…”mwah, mwah, mwah, mwah”).   Frankly, I was so busy watching my three boys out of the corner of my eye that I only heard the word, “freaked.”   I replied, “Yeah, I know what you mean about being freaked out.  The Yo Gabba Gabba guy really freaks me out.”

She walked away.

I couldn’t help it.  All I could concentrate on was the sight of  all three of my rowdy sons clinging to the  poor guy whose job it was to dress up like the Easter Bunny.  By the time I got Will and Jack off the Easter Bunny’s back and George off his leg, I realized that I had not responded very appropriately to the conversation that I was just “involved” in.  If that’s what you call it.

I certainly don’t have this “problem” with my friends.  Or maybe I’m not so self conscious while  in their company.  Actually, we talk about all kinds of interesting things.  I don’t censor myself when I’m with them or my family.  However, put me in a room with people who actually go to jobs every day and have a variety of hobbies and activities that don’t require schlepping kids in a minivan all day….and I’m utterly brain dead.

I think I’m suffering from “Mommy speak.”  Mommy speak is when you know all the words to “The Wheels on the Bus,”  but couldn’t carry on a conversation about the local music scene.  It is when you can tell someone about non-staining finger paints, but can’t remember who painted the The Last Supper (It’s Di Vinci, right?).   Mommy speak also enables you to translate on behalf of any toddler or baby.  I can tell you what my one year old is saying.  When he says, “Fyes!”  I know he is saying “Fries,”  as in french fries (this usually happens when we pass a McDonald’s).  I can tell you what any toddler is saying when they say “Poo,”  “Doo,” or “Wee Wee.” Because of this thing, Mommy speak, I am now in the habit of referring to the restroom as the “Potty.”  You know what I’m talking about….surely?  If you don’t have this problem….well, more power to you.

I mean it.

Really.

Mommy speak can sneak up on you.  It can impair your ability to carry on a full conversation.  It impairs your memory and comprehension skills.  I am definitely sure of this.  Some of this is due, in part, to “Momnesia”…or also known as “Mommy Brain.”  I do believe that when you have children, most of us lose precious brain cells…by the butt load.  Don’t even get me started on what happens to your attention span.  Since having children, I am convinced that my three year old has a longer attention span than I do.

I know this won’t last forever.  One day, I will be able to carry on a brilliant conversation.

I’m just scared it will only be after my children leave for college.

Yo gabba gabba

I said to her, "Yeah, the Yo Gabba Gabba guy really freaks me out."

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Some people say that when you die, Heaven is supposed to be better than anything you could have imagined on Earth.  It is supposed to be like being in your most favorite place.  If that is the case, then Heaven would look a whole lot like summer camp, to me.  I’m not kidding.  When spring arrives (It’s sunny today…thanks, God!), I can’t shake the feeling that summer camp is around the corner.  I’m almost forty years old and I still get that longing to pull down the trunk from the attic and begin planning for summer days ahead.  Where’s my canteen, my flip flops, my sleeping bag? Alas, there is no summer camp for adults.  I only wish there was.

In Sleepaway:  The Girls of Summer and the Camps They Love by Laurie Susan Kahn, the author chronicles the whole summer camp experience.  The book is pure nostalgia…in black and white photos.  Kahn’s book is chock full of memories of camp rituals, camp menus, dances and songs…all from the single-sex camp perspective.  It is one that I can totally identify with. I, too, am an alumna of a girls’ summer camp…only my camp was nestled in the woods of Fishville, Louisiana…not near the rocky shores of Maine.  Amongst my bookshelves filled with Jane Austin, Tom Wolfe and Margaret Mitchell, this “picture/coffee table” book has a special place.  It’s a book that I treasure, since I did not have the foresight to save so many of my camp photos and memorabilia.

However, I do have memories. From the age of seven to seventeen, I spent two to six weeks of every summer at camp.  The smells, sights, sounds, and tastes of camp never fade.  I remember the smell of camp so vividly.  The smell was a heavy perfume of Off insect spray, bubblegum, pine tree sap, Coppertone tan lotion, and Sea Breeze anteceptic. The communal shower always smelled of bleach and one doesn’t forget the stench of horse manure steaming in the Louisiana heat.  However horrible the smell of the barn, the mess hall always smelled fantastic…like hot yeast rolls or hamburgers grilling.

Summer camp sounded glorious, too.  It was the most beautiful sound to hear a mess hall full of girls sing the dinner prayer…right before getting totally rowdy and shouting a round of bawdy songs or pounding on the tables demanding M-A-I-L!  There was no better music to drift off to sleep than to hear crickets and the lapping of the lake water…or the rustling of the wind through the pines.  The camp at full tilt was just as harmonious…to hear constant laughter, the thud of arrows hitting a bullseye, cheering at a game of tug-of-war, or the clopping of a horse’s hooves in a riding ring.  My personal favorite was the sound of the campfire with a circle of girls around it, holding hands….singing “The Call of the Fire.”

Camp was always bustling.  There was never too much time to get “bored.”  If memory serves me correct…here was my schedule:

6:45 – Reveille (yes, someone played a bugle to wake the campers)

7:15 – Flag raising (imagine 50 to 75 sleepy girls saying the pledge of allegiance…sometimes this included the flag being raised …and someone’s underwear)

7:45 – Clean up bunk & cabin before breakfast (The floors of the rustic -and I use that term generously – were always covered with grit.  To this day, I can’t stand to walk barefoot on a wood floor)

8:00 – Breakfast (we sang before and after every meal…there were always “hand” movements or some sort of motion to most songs….”Do Your Ears Hang Low?”, “Father Abraham,”  “Lemonade,”  “Clementine,”  “A Cabin in the Woods,”  “Be Kind to Your Web Footed Friends,”  “Rise and Shine,”  the list goes on and on….)

8:45 – Cabin inspection

9:15 – Swimming

10:15 – Arts & Crafts (Tues/Thurs), Archery (M,W,F)

11:15 – Horseback riding

12:15 – Lunch, Mail Call

1:15 – Rest hour (Playing cards, writing letters, making lanyards)

2:15 – Canoeing

3:15 – Snack (popcicles or frozen snicker bars)

3:45 – Tennis & organized games

4:45 – General Swim

5:45 – Clean up before dinner

6:15 – Dinner (which tasted really great at camp….mostly tossed salads with Good Seasons Italian dressing, spaghetti with meat sauce, hot rolls, green beans, fried chicken, corn on the cob…sometimes hot dogs/hamburgers on the grill)

7:00 – Evening Activity (This could be anything.  Every night was something different.  Some of the activities included:  skit night, overnight camping trips, capture the flag played with the whole camp divided into two teams, talent night, movie night…..but the last campfire of the season was reserved for the last night.  More about this later…)

9:00 – Lights Out (more bugle playing)

The last campfire of the season was the most special.  The camp counselors would go out into a clearing in the woods, near the lake and chapel, to build a huge bonfire.  The girls would be led from the camp in single file to form a circle around the fire.  This was a night that the whole camp wore all-white…white camp shirt, white shorts, etc.  We took a minute to take a camp-wide picture out by the lake (one which I wish I still had in its black and white starkness of all of these precious girls) before heading to the fire.  Because many of the new campers would not be familiar with the songs, sheet music would be given out.  I remember being so proud of myself to pass on needing the sheet music after a couple of seasons.  We would all link arms and begin the songs.  After singing Kum By Ya and It Only Takes a Spark, we’d pass out candles and each girl would light the next girl’s candle from one lit candle.  We saved this song for last:

“The call of the fire comes to us through the shadows
That follow the close of the day.
It’s flames bring us peace and a calmness of spirit
That drives all our troubles away.
We are thankful for days and the joys that they give us,
For nights and the rest that they bring
May we go on believing in this life we’re receiving,
Just now round the fire as we sing.”

Then, the counselors would award girls with some outstanding achievement while at camp….”Most Improved Swimmer,”  “Best on Horseback,”  “Most Courageous,”  etc.  I don’t think I remember a girl leaving the campfire without some small ribbon that she had “won” at camp.  Everyone cried..but, only as girls do when faced with leaving a place you love…and people you cherish.  Everyone wanted to stay.

So, why do I love camp?  Easy.  It’s about tradition.  A sense of belonging.   Innocence.  Everyone fitted in.  Childhood was cherished and observed.   Kids were uninhibited.  You ran and played and got dirty and didn’t care.  Gosh, I miss it.

I get a glimpse of that feeling on days when I climb on my sons’ tire swing and let them push me.  I can see over the picket fence in my backyard to the pond down the street.  It reminds me of some camp scene in the back of my mind.  Sometimes I get a whiff of camp while taking my boys hiking down by the river.  Nostalgia boils up from the recesses of my mind.

So, what do I do with this longing?  Well, I plan to send my boys to camp.  Every now and then I look online at a myriad of camps and get excited for them.  However, they are two to three years away from actually going.  It will be a while before I order the big steamer trunk and saving hotel bottles of conditioner.   In the meantime, I revel in my memories … and look forward to giving my boys the same chance to experience it for themselves.

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Secret..Agent Man...  Are you sure it isnt Secret A-S-I-A-N man?

"Secret..Agent Man...?" Are you sure it isn't "Secret A-S-I-A-N man?"

My best friend from childhood, Nancy, is planning a visit to see me this summer.  She lives more than 500 miles away from me.  That doesn’t stop us from talking on the phone every two or three days.  We call each other with serious needs and even call each other about things that are totally trivial…like if it’s O.K. to wear jeans to a parent-teacher conference.

It’s been several years since we’ve seen each other and have decided that this summer is THE summer.  We are going to plan time to see each other.  It’s been long overdue.  We are totally stoked to see each other and looking forward to just being in each other’s presence.  In high school, we were known as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.  We were quite the pair.  I’m not ashamed to say that in 30+ years later, we haven’t changed much.  When we are together, we slip into goofier versions of ourselves and we laugh hysterically at everything.  You know…all the things that you do with your oldest and dearest best friend.

One thing that I am sure that we will do is crank up the music and sing to every song…and screw up lyrics.  It’s what we do.  It’s what we’ve always done.  Ever since we were kids.

Back in the day, we’d sing as loud as we could:

“Medieval Woman…..Oh yeah…Medieval Woman!”   Later, we found out that Electric Light Orchestra was singing, “E-V-I-L Woman!,”  not singing about someone dressed up for a Renaissance Fair.

Or one of our other faves was:

“Secret Asian Man….Secret Asian Man…They’ve given you a number and taken away your name!”  Later, we discovered Johnny Rivers was singing about a “Secret A-G-E-N-T Man,” not someone immigrating from China.

To this day, I want to sing:

“Here’s a little bitty…about Jack and Diane…growin’ up in the Heartland.”  But, no.  John Cougar Mellancamp is telling us that “Here’s a little D-I-T-T-Y ’bout Jack and Diane.”  He isn’t telling us that Jack and Diane are short in stature. No, Jack and Diane are not “little people.”

There weren’t too many songs that Nancy and I couldn’t mess up.  Secretly, I think we liked singing the songs the way we “heard” them.  I still think that by stretching out “evil” in the song, Evil Woman, into three syllables, ELO is making it far too confusing.  It just sounds too much like “Medieval.”  But, I’m beating a dead horse.  Anyway, I’m looking forward to riding about town, with our kids in tow, singing along to whatever comes on the radio.  Lately, Nancy has been into Radiohead and Moby.  The words are muffled enough on both of their latest albums that I am most sure that if we can’t figure out what they’re singing…we’ll make something up.

I’m sure it’ll be quite entertaining….’till we find out what the real lyrics are.

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MoNique in Charm School

Mo'Nique in Charm School

I confess.  It’s terrible.  I’ll come clean….I’m addicted to trash t.v.

My husband and I ban certain shows from the general t.v. viewing area (so our kids will do other things in lieu of becoming couch potatoes and learning bad stuff).  Even my husband has pretty good taste in his television viewing habits (History Channel, Iron Chef America, This Old House).  Well, I should say that he doesn’t really spend much time watching t.v.  In fact, we both don’t sit down to really watch any television show from start to finish.  We’re always doing something.  However, I manage to find some show to watch while I fold the laundry, etc.   Trash t.v. can be excellent entertainment.  Seriously.

Charm School, Girls Next Door, Rock of Love…I wish I could say that I follow CSI, 24 or Lost. That sounds so much better than saying that I plan to watch Bret Michaels choose some skank to spend an hour with in a hottub on his show, Rock of Love.  Don’t even get me started on the reruns of Flavor Flav’s version of “The Bachelor”, entitled “Flavor of Love.”  It was just too hilarious to watch Flavor Flav rename all of his contestants with the most atrocious nicknames (Pumkin, Deelishis, Hoopz, Thing 1, Thing 2, Toasteee…you get the idea).   I guess the years Flavor spent touring has done a real number on his brain, so he needed nicknames to tell the women a part.  It was simply disgusting watching Flavor actually kiss these willing participants.  It was like a car accident that you don’t want to look at, but you find yourself craning your neck to get a look at the spectacle.  I especially couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen during one episode of Flavor of Love when Pumkin spit in the eye of one of the contestants, New York (Yes, that is a nickname).  My husband says that I have a very sick sense of humor.

I also think I have been morbidly curious about the Girls Next Door starring Hugh Hefner’s three platinum blonde (under 30) girlfriends.  I find myself watching that show in complete amazement that three women could bare to “share” a home, cars, and a “boyfriend” (although I use that term loosely).  It’s hideous…and yet, I’ve been known to watch it.

However, my all time favorite “trash t.v.” moment came a while back during an episode of Charm School with Mo’Nique.  Mo’Nique is the “headmistress” of a charm school of sorts.   This charm school attempts to make “proper ladies” out of the contestants from Flavor Flav’s show.   This is more difficult than you would imagine considering that some of these women are strippers…and well, you get the drift.  These women make Eliza Doolittle, in her pre makeover stage, look like Queen Elizabeth.  I digress…

In my favorite episode, Mo’Nique explains to the girls that they will abandon the nicknames given to them by Flavor Flav, in an attempt to “reclaim” themselves.  Each girl comes forward…takes off her name tag with her nickname (Pumkim, Toasteee, etc.) and tosses it in the fire before announcing, with much pomp and circumstance, her “real” name (Sarah, Jean, etc.).

This is the exchange that had me rolling on the floor, laughing:

Mo’Nique:  Come forward! What’s the name that Flavor Flav gave you, girlfriend?

Contestant:  Saaphyri.

Mo’Nique:  Tear off that name tag and throw it in the fire!

(Contestant reluctantly tears off her name tag and throws it in the fire)

Mo’Nique:  O.K., now what’s your real name?

Contestant:  Saaphyri.

(Mo’Nique looks at the camera dumbfounded.)

Mo’Nique:  Say what?!

Contestant:  My real name is Saaphyri.

Mo’Nique:  (quiet for a long time)  Well…hmmmm….O.K……then let me get you a new name tag, Saaphyri.

Could mainstream t.v. be funnier than this?  I don’t think so.  The moment was priceless.  I laughed ’till I cried.

I know. I know.  This kind of stuff can kill your brain cells.  I just need a good laugh now and then.  It’s not like I watch it all of the time.

Oh, for goodness’ sake!  Don’t judge me.

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I have a love-hate relationship with permanent markers.  I love those little sharpies and how great they are for labeling my boys’ jackets and coats.  I love the big ol’ honkin’ ones that I use to write Will’s name on the outside of his snack bag.  I love to doodle with them, too.  I really used to like those big markers that would smell like different kinds of fruit.  Even though our art teacher in school would tell us not to sniff them, the multi-colored rings around my nostrils would give me away as a “marker sniffer.”

However, I also hate permanent markers with a passion.  I didn’t have this much hatred toward an inanimate object as I do now….until I had children.  Permanent markers are not safe in the hands of a child.   This is pretty obvious, right?  Well, let’s just say that my boys can find a permanent marker that has been meticulously hidden better than a police dog can find contraband at the airport.  Let me explain…

Today I found my baby, George, squealing with delight as he was but inches from my white kitchen cabinet.

Holding a huge black permanent marker.

With the top off.

It was like I was running in slow motion toward my child…..Nooooooo!!!!!!!!  Stooooopppppp!!!!!!!!!!!  Drop the marker!

George dropped the marker.  As he turned to face me, I noticed a large black streak down one side of his face.  He had “painted” himself with the marker.  UGH.  This little incident brought me back to my first year with Will.  Will also enjoyed some time with a permanent marker…when he decided to paint his “private parts.”

I’ll never forget when Will was about George’s age and he found a black magic marker in my “stationery drawer.”  I thought my markers were safe in this little drawer along with my calligraphy pens, personalized stationery, and stamps.  I was sadly mistaken.

I don’t know when or how he found the marker.  I only know that my marker was missing.  I shrugged it off and thought I may have left it in a purse or a bookbag.  Later that afternoon….while changing Will’s diaper….I thought I was going to pass out.  I looked down into my son’s diaper to find that he was covered in black streaks from his lower belly to his….Well, let’s just say that his “private part” was completely black.  Will jumped up and begin to shout while pointing at his “privates” and laughing, “BWACK!!!!!!”

I thought I would faint.

I freaked out.   What would cause such streaking?  (the urine in his diaper caused the ink to fan out and look like raised veins)  Oh my Dear Lord!  Should I rush my baby to the doctor?  Was this some rare blood disease?  I immediately called the pediatrician’s office and waited for the nurse to begin her litany of questions.

Just then, Will walked into the kitchen holding …the black permanent marker…and began to demonstrate what he had done earlier….before sticking the thing in his mouth…and proceeded to giggle.

I grabbed that marker and threw it in the trash.  Will began to scream like a toddler who’s had his lollipop taken away.  I apologized to the nurse who endured my hysteria and told her about the marker.  She laughed.  I’m glad someone could laugh. Later, I hid all of my permanent markers.  Over time, I think I’ve become too lax.  I’ve stopped hiding stuff.  Today was a reminder that I’ve got to hide things again…things like markers.

Anyway, I’ve decided that along with my Ginsu knives, the permanent markers have their own “special place”….high up…away from little fingers.  So far, the “special place” is a cupboard above the refrigerator that holds all of the things that my boys find appealing…and that cause trouble…like  knives, rubber bands, twine, rope, sharp scissors, balloons, kitchen gloves (don’t ask) and now….permanent markers.

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