I had a mind once. Now I have small children.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good-Bye 2010!

Another year bites the dust. It is amazing to me how the days can seem to drag on so slowly sometimes, and yet the years can just fly by. 2010 was no exception. Here is a recap of life in Mario-Land over the past year.

~January started out with a celebration--Peach's spica cast came off!!! After 3 1/2 long months in a cast that went from her armpits all the way down both legs, Peach was finally free and her sweet little hips were back in the right place. Although we still have x-rays and follow-ups, things are on the right track. If I could have torn that cast off of her with my own fingers, I would have. Good-bye and good riddance!

~February was fairly quiet. If you can call living with three little Goombas quiet.

~March brought Mario's 7th birthday with it. Wha? How is my baby seven years old? More importantly, how is it possible that I am old enough to have a 7 year old child??? We celebrated in full-Mario style with Yoshi Eggs, lots of Wii playing and our own version of Coin Runners. A good time was had by all.

~April came and went without much of a fuss. Luigi decided sometime during this month that he didn't want to wear diapers anymore. Can I get a whoop whoop?! Potty training had it's moments, but once he got the hang of it, Mommy was down to only one little one in diapers. And that, my friends, is a good feeling. Oh, April is also when I decided that if I didn't start writing about life with the Goombas, my head might actually explode. Finding the humor in motherhood has been so theraputic for me. Plus, the Goombas give me so much material to work with, how could I NOT want to write it all down?

~In May, Peach and I flew down to our favorite sunny, southern state to visit Nana Peach for her 75th birthday. It was a big surprise! We stayed with my very favorite uncle, Uncle Corleone (named as such because, much like the Godfather, you would not want to refuse an offer from him) and his family. We swam in the pool, played with my cousins, surprised Nana Peach, ate WAY too much food and drank way too much rum. It was awesome. Thank you, Uncle Corleone, for a GREAT getaway, and for convincing Bowser to let me stay that extra day!

~In June, we managed to survive the first month of summer break without too much trouble. Luigi turned three in the middle of the month. I'll give you one guess what his party theme was. Here is a hint--Choo Choo! Bowser finished our covered patio and it rocked our world. With the slip and slide and a sprinkler in the yard, the Goombas could play to their hearts' content, while I sat in the shade with the fans going, sipping on my icy cold beer. Heaven itself couldn't be much better.

~July was Wedding Weekend Extravaganza! My baby bro married his new Mrs., and Bowser and I were able to spend the entire weekend SANS Goombas to see it! It was a wildly fun weekend and a much needed vacation for Bowser and I. Plus, we rode in a peach-scented cab. You really can't beat that.

~August was back to school month for Mario and the very first day of school for Luigi. He was so excited to go to school just like his big brother. He thrives at his pre-school and I'm pretty sure he is the class clown. Peach was excited to get a little bit of alone time with Mommy three mornings a week.

~In September our darling baby Peach turned two. Two? Really? We celebrated Hello Kitty style and entered the realm of Princess Obsession. Along with Peach's birthday, Bowser and I experienced one of the greatest night's of our lives. No, not that...get your mind out of the gutter! It was the Great American Beer Festival. And I discovered the greatest beer on earth...Nola's 7th Street Wheat. Total and complete bliss.

~October came and went without any real pizazz. Bowser went camping. I went scrapbooking. We got about 30,000 pounds of Halloween candy.

~November was a busy month. Between doctor visits, school events, birthdays (ahem...as in, yours truly!), getting ready for the holidays and traveling to Zaz and Pop's, there was not much free time left for anything else.

~December came upon us way too quickly and we were in a mad dash to get through the holidays. Everything seemed to scream past us the speed of light as we hopped from one activity to another. Christmas came, and so did the aftermath, but we made it through.

So, here is my toast to the past and upcoming years...

And now, here we are
at the end of another year.
We've had our ups, and our downs,
and our fill of beer.
It's time to ring out the old
and bring in the new,
what the family will throw at me,
I haven't a clue!
Family and friends filled our hearts with gladness.
The Goombas did too, but also filled it with madness!
My three little dears are growing so quickly it seems,
I love seeing them achieve all their hopes and dreams.
Bowser and I are coming up on our tenth
Without him by my side, I'd be a total wench. (he told me to say that!)
A shiny new year will soon arrive
I'm so glad we all made it here alive!
So please raise your glass and share in my cheer,
Be happy, be healthy, and have a very, very happy new year!

Cheers to fun and SAFE new year!

ps--Please, please, please...If you are out enjoying adult beverages on this festive occasion, get a taxi or find a DD to get you home. You don't want to spend the holidays dead. (Had to get in one last Christmas vacation quote of the season!)

pps--What are my resolutions, you ask? Don't worry, you will find out soon.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Christmas Aftermath

So, last night I celebrated and gushed about the Christmas Afterglow. Yadda, yadda, yadda... This morning, I woke up and came downstairs to the Christmas Aftermath...

Much like after any natural disaster, I feel like the National Guard might need to be called in to help clean up the wreckage that is my living room. Our kitchen, eating, living area currently looks like a tornado hit, then the looters came, then a bomb dropped to get rid of the looters, and a garbage truck missed the trash heap and dropped it in my house instead.

Yes, this is partially my fault. I'm one of those crazy people that has the mindset that Christmas day should be for fun, not cleaning. Every year this comes back and bites me in my tush. And every year I forget how bad it really was and I do it again. Or rather, I DON'T do it again....the cleaning, that is.

Bowser and I put in a valiant effort. He had the trash bag ready to go for the wrapping paper. I tried gathering still usable gift bags (because YES, I recycle my gift bags), and we made the Goombas wait till there was some semblance of sanity before ripping toys out of their packaging*. All was lost though, and now we are faced with a disaster of epic proportions. Piled around our sofas, table, hallways and tree. About three feet high. I actually think Peach might be lost in the wreckage somewhere.

Time to get to work...Merry Christmas Aftermath to you all!


*Toy packaging will be discussed in a not-so-distant-future blog.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas To All....

Aaaahhh... Here we are, basking in the Christmas Afterglow.

The Goombas were up promptly at 6 this morning, to see if the Big Man made it down our chimney. Or, rather, through our front door, since we don't exactly have a chimney. We all went downstairs to check out the loot that Santa left. Within seconds, our neatly organized living room turned into mass chaos with paper and ribbon flying everywhere. Bowser and I settled down with our coffee to watch the madness.

Peach was literally taken aback by her Princess dolls. She is still in awe of having her very own princess dress-up clothes. And, she is currently wearing every piece of jewelry that came with her dress-up kit, including the tiara.

Luigi actually screamed a little and his voice went up about 3 octaves when he opened his Wibbly-Wobbly-Shake-Shake Bridge. Then when he opened Rocky the Crane, I thought his little head would explode. Needless to say, we haven't seen him much since we took it out of the box.

Mario is wearing his new Green Bay Packers uniform and I have a feeling we will be hard-pressed to get him out of it. He has also already performed several magic tricks and is now snuggled on the couch with Peach playing the DS.

Santa was very good to Bowser and Daisy as well. Of course, we mostly just enjoy being entertained by the Goombas' reactions to everything. Glee! Delight! Surprise! Hey, that's mine! No, that's mine!!! I'm so bored! Aak!

We relaxed for a bit, played with our new trinkets, then headed to Grandma and Grandpa Bowsers for more holiday fun. Imagine, if you will, eight grandchildren, each with a pile of presents from Santa, Grandma and Grandpa, and all of their aunts and uncles. Hysteria doesn't even begin to describe it.

After the foray into present lunacy, we came back home to await the Zaz and Pop's arrival. Cue Round 3 of unwrapping delirium, all of the Goombas were spent. I am happy to say they are nestled all snug in their beds. Daisy and Bowser and are nestled around the table with the Zaz and Pop and some ice cold beers. And a good time was had by all...

So in the words of the great St. Nick...
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


Monday, December 20, 2010

To All the Judgy McJudgers

I just got home from shopping with the Goombas and I am still steaming mad. Actually, it wasn't even really shopping. It was supposed to be our usual Monday trip to the grocery store, but I ended up walking out with only an opened box of cookies (a failed bribe attempt) and some cold medicine. Peach decided that this morning at Target was the perfect place to throw a tantrum of epic proportions.

It isn't even Peach that I am angry at. It is all the other people there, who looked at me as though I was beating, neglecting or otherwise abusing my daughter. Whoa, whoa, whoa there. Ummm, last time I checked, my littlest Goomba was not the only child to ever throw a temper tantrum a week before Christmas in a store. And she certainly won't be the last.

I probably should have known disaster would strike because Peach just woke up on the wrong side of the crib this morning. But, seeing as how my darling angels go through 6--yes 6--gallons of milk each week, I knew we weren't even going to make it through the day. So, I had to go. And since it is Winter Break, all of the Goombas had to tag along. Things were going swimmingly until Peach realized her brothers were walking around and she was strapped in the cart. Cue screaming, crying and kicking. The lady in the card aisle with me cleared her throat and looked to the ground. You know, the, "Ahem, are you going to do something about that?" throat clearing.

I did my best. I told Peach she couldn't have her cookie if she didn't sit in the cart. I told her she couldn't have her milk if she didn't sit in the cart. I made Luigi sit in the cart with her for a while. But, once she got going, it was like the dam broke and she just couldn't stop.

In a last ditch effort to salvage our shopping experience, I let her out of the cart so she could walk. Did it help? Nope. Then she cried because I wasn't holding her hand the right way, and because her brothers were going too fast for her, and because I wouldn't let her bring home the 10 bags of cough drops she tried to put in the cart. I finally threw her over my shoulder, went to the checkout with our open box of cookies and dragged her screaming little tush out.

Now, while all this was going on, I, of course, had that stressed out feeling that a parent gets when they know their child is misbehaving or causing a scene in public. My face was red, I was sweating, I was talking in a high-pitched squeal.... Ugh. Not pretty.

Then, when Peach threw herself on the floor (literally threw herself down...it was very dramatic) these 2 ladies standing at the end of the aisle actually whispered to each other, pointed, rolled their eyes and one hugged the little girl in the cart with them. You know that saying when you are mad that you "see red?" Yeah. I saw from red all the way to black. I am not a righteous woman, and I will never claim to be the perfect mother, but COME ON!!! How DARE they judge me like that!

If you have been following the blog, you know that I will often say this is a "no judging zone." That is because we all make mistakes. Every one of us tries the best we can to be the best mother we can be. Do we make mistakes? Yes. Do we sometimes make a completely wrong decision? Yes. But, do we love our children with all our hearts and do what we truly think is best at the time? Absolutely yes.

The woman at the check-out was no better. I put Peach on the floor so she could continue her tantrum and so that I could get my wallet out and pay. Check-out girl said, "Oh, looks like it is someone's nap time!" Yeah, lady. Ya think? Then, did you know that you have to show an ID to buy cold medicine? Because I didn't know that. And since I recently misplaced my license, I only have a temporary paper one. To which Check-out girl said, "Oh, no problem, I can TELL you are way over 18, but the computer needs verification." That really helped the already small and lowly feeling ego.

By the time I got my screaming princess home, she was feeling warm. When I asked her if she felt yucky, she said, "Yes. Head hurt. Nosey hurt. Want nap." My poor Peach wasn't feeling well. She is soundly sleeping now while I am still fuming over the fact that the other women at the store felt like they should discern my parenting skills when they really had no idea was going on.

So, to all you Justices of Mommyhood out there, please remember this... "Judge not, lest ye be judged." You never know when it is going to be YOUR child throwing a tantrum, or screaming for a toy, or begging for 10 bags of cough drops in the middle of the store. And when it is your turn to deal with it, I will offer you a sympathetic smile and think back to all of the times I dealt with the same thing. No criticizing or condemning from this Mom.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dear Santa

While helping the Goombas with their letters to Santa, I decided it would be a good idea for me to throw one in for myself. Just in case the Big Man wants to help out a Mommy who has been mostly nice (and maybe just a bit naughty).

Dear Santa,

Hi! I hope you are doing well. I know how crazy this time of year must be for you, what with getting toys to Goombas all over the world and all.

If it isn't too much trouble, I would like to throw in a couple of requests for myself. I've been a pretty good girl this year. Along with Peace on Earth and all the children of the world holding hands and singing, I would like...

~Total silence for 15 minutes of every day. I know this is a tough one, but really, Santa, you would be doing wonders for my sanity if you could make this happen.

~A never ending supply of Sunshine Wheat in the kegerator in the garage. This would be awesome. The gift that keeps on giving.

~Ummm...do those 8 maids-a-milking also clean houses? If you could spare one once a month, that would be fantastic.

~Not sure if you could swing this one, but if you could keep the Goombas from fighting with each other for an ENTIRE day, I would be forever in your debt.

~Do you have any connections with Father Time? Cause I would love it if you and he could work something out so we could get an extra hour each day. My scrapbooks are falling far behind and that extra hour could really help me get caught up.

~I really don't mind if you leave me a lump of coal. Preferably one that has been under intense heat and pressure for a very long time and is clear and sparkly. Set in a fabulous ring or necklace. I've been pretty naughty at times...better leave a BIG lump. I'm thinking, oh, I don't know...around 2 carats of lump would be perfect.

Pretty please? Thanks, Santa. You rock!

Remember to be nice to Mrs. Clause and come home at a reasonable hour so she doesn't have to wait up worrying about you all night. I'll be sure to leave some cookies and a beer for you. (Who are we kidding, we all know you could use one! Milk gets a little old after a while, doesn't it?) You and the reindeer be careful out there.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

'Tis the Season Part 2

Well, we made it. We survived the mall at Christmas time.

Was it as crowded as I thought it would be? Yes. Were the people as crazy as I thought they would be? Yes. Did the little Goombas behave the way I expected them to? Yes. Did I come home with a treasure trove of gifts to complete my holiday shopping? NO. I did not come home with one single, solitary gift.

I planned to leave the house by 9:30. We actually got out the door at 10:18. Nice. When we got to the mall, we drove around for almost 15 minutes looking for a parking space that was within 2 miles of one of the entrances. I finally scored by finding someone backing out of one of the "Families with Children" spaces. Yay! I put my blinker on and patiently waited. Just as the other van pulled out of the spot, a huge SUV honked it's horn and swung into the spot from the other direction. What??? Then she gave ME a dirty look. Way to show that holiday spirit.

Once we got into the mall, there was a lot of "I want to sit in the stroller!" "No stroller, Walk!" "Me first!" "I want to touch it!" and "Can I have that?" I spent more time corralling kids than actual looking.

We spent some time in the Playplace to burn off steam. Then we got some french fries and apples to keep us occupied. That lasted a good 15 minutes before Goombas were in and out of the stroller again. At one point, Luigi was lagging behind a little and yelled (quite loudly and clearly) down the way, "Mommy, if you don't slow down and wait for me, I am going to SPANK you! Spank, spank, spank!" Other shoppers snickered as I turned red and wanted to crawl under the closest rack of clothing.

And here is a note for store managers... I know that you like to put lots of fancy things on display for the holidays, because you want customers to show you the money. But--and, maybe you don't realize this--a lot of your customers are moms that have to push strollers around. When you crowd every single aisle of the store with coffee makers and fancy jewelry and Christmas dishes, you are really just asking for trouble. First of all, strollers don't maneuver that well around lots of obstacles. Second, if you put pretty, shiny things within the reach of 2- and 3-year-olds, they are going to touch them. Just something for you to ponder...

After almost 2 1/2 hours of wandering around, bribing Goombas and not finding anything, we decided to call it quits. We loaded back up and headed home. Luigi and Peach asked me to sing Jingle Bells about 3,000 times. Wow, that song gets old after a while.

So, now I am home again, and I have decided the best way to do my Christmas shopping is to sit in front of the TV, with my computer in my lap, and a glass of wine next to me. Now, that is what I call holiday cheer.


'Tis the Season Part 1

I am about to venture out to the mall. With two small children. Less than 3 weeks before Christmas. Someone please examine my head.

I usually have all my shopping done by this point, but for some reason, this year, I just couldn't seem to get my, um, stuff, together. So, now I am going to have to go with all the crazy people and do my shopping with the two littlest Goombas.

Here is the thing... Everyone always says, "Oh, 'tis the season! Warm hearts! The season of Giving! Love and peace fill the Earth! Jingle Bells and Oh Holy Night, isn't it grand!" But, then, you get to the mall or store and all you find are these maniacal shoppers that are grabbing and giving dirty looks and pushing you out of the way to get to the sale rack first. Not very warm and giving if you ask me.

It amazes me how commercialized Christmas has become. So commercialized, in fact, that there were Christmas decorations up in Target BEFORE Halloween? What the WHAT? Hallmark brought out their ornament collection in AUGUST! Really? I mean, I know there is a song that says, "I wish it could be Christmas all year long..." but how much fun would that really be? I shudder to think of it.

The worst part is that if you don't buy into it, you are some kind of Scrooge. What? You don't put up your tree mid-October? Scrooge! You don't shop on Black Friday? Scrooge! You don't spend thousands of dollars on each child's gifts? Scrooge! Somewhere in all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the true meaning has been lost. Jesus and Santa are not happy campers, I'm sure.

Ok, now, I am off my soapbox. And I'm loading the Goombas into the van to head to a Christmas Shopping Wonderland. I'm wearing my spikey-heeled boots just in case I need a weapon. And I'm kind of thinking a shot of whiskey in my coffee wouldn't hurt either...

Stay tuned for an update on how the day turns out...


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Vacation

Mommy’s Log: Family trip. First stop--visit with the Franks. Final destination--Zaz and Pop’s house for Turkey Day.

Day 1:
We planned to leave at 4 a.m. this morning. We finally got out the door at 5:30. We are currently on the long, straight and BORING stretch of highway that makes up 90% of our drive. So far, we have had no sleeping Goombas, an almost flat tire, and a breakfast of Corn Nuts and Dr. Pepper. This is going to be a great trip.
I put some movies in the magical DVD players to occupy the Goombas for a while. Bowser and I like to use this time when we are trapped together in the car to talk. We started talking about songs and how our tastes can change as we get older. Here is the conversation that followed….

Me: You know what song I used to hate, but now I love? “Boys of Summer,” by Don Henley
Bowser: WHAT?!?!?!?! Hahahahahahaha!!! Call your Dad and tell him that! Boys of summer?
(**sidenote: I am notorious for getting song lyrics wrong. Bowser and Pop love to laugh at my interpretation of the lyrics.)
Me: Why? That is the song! (I proceed to sing the chorus)
Bowser: Oh. Ok, then.
Me: What on earth did you THINK he said???
Bowser: Poison Summer.
And I have been laughing ever since.

4:30 p.m.
Finally arrive at the Franks. Bowser and Mr. Frank rekindle their bromance. The Goombas run around like caged animals that have finally been set free. Mrs. Frank and I commiserate over how our once clean and semi-stylish homes have become more like day-care centers, with toys and diapers and bottles everywhere. We eat delicious food and laugh a lot. At bedtime, Luigi and Peach decide they are not going to sleep, unless I lay down in between them and hold their hands. Two hours later, after my lovely beer buzz fades, they finally pass out from sheer exhaustion.

Day 2
Wake up to a yummy breakfast, courtesy Mrs. Frank. Head out of town to visit the college where Bowser and I met. Get sad and weepy and totally nostalgic over the fun times we had. College, I miss you, I love you, let me come back to you!!!! Get back on the road and head to the Zaz and Pop’s.

2 hours later
Goombas still not sleeping. What the heck? For the love of all things holy, just take a nap!!!!

10 minutes later
Goombas sleeping. Mommy sleeping. Have fun driving, Bowser!

3 p.m.
Arrive at the Zaz and Pop’s house. Release the wild animals. Someone please air that nasty smell out of the van. Oh, and let’s not forget, the week-long food fest begins. Pop hands Bowser a scotch and me a beer. The Goombas cling to their grandparents. Aaaaahhhhh…..

Day 3
Cashew Kitty. Because, damn it, no matter how many health violations that place gets, you just cannot go home without eating Cashew Kitty. Yum Yum!

Day 4
The entire family arrives. Mario goes nuts over the fact that his uncles will be there. Mostly because his Godfather is almost as much of a Nintendo nut as he is. Insanity ensues.

Day 5
The Day of the Turkey! I’m not sure if there is more food on the table or liquor at the bar. Either way, it is totally awesome. Let’s just say, I started out wearing super cute skinny jeans. I ended up in stretchy pants before dessert. Thanks Zaz and Pop for all the awesome food. (If you want to know all that I am thankful for, check it out here.)

Day 6
Since we didn’t eat enough on any of the previous days, we decided to go eat a crab leg buffet. I think we might have actually frightened the waitress with how many crab legs one family could eat. The Goombas got to see the jolly, red, fat man, Mr. Clause. Luigi just stared wide-eyed at him and could barely speak—which is saying a lot for Luigi.

Day 7
Back home again. We can hardly wait to pile up in the van again. The trip home is fairly uneventful. Except for the fact that Luigi seems to only have to use the potty right after we pass the only rest area for the next 100 miles. We left #1, and even a #2, at various spots along the interstate. Hey, when a 3-year-old has to go, he has to go. After about 13 hours, we made it home safe and sound. The Koopa Troopas were happy to see us, although immediately had to hide under the bed because Luigi and Peach wanted to show them how much they were missed. Bowser dragged in all of our, ummm...stuff from the van. I bathed the road-skank off the young ones and put them to bed. Then we collapsed on the couch and passed out almost instantly.

It was a great week and a good time was had by all.

Ok, Christmas, I'm ready for you. Bring it on, Santa.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

I can't believe the holidays are already upon us. Of course, with all the Christmas stuff that is already all over the place, you would think that we just glided past one of the most important holidays of all.... Yes, I am speaking of the Day of the Turkey. I truly feel that this is the most under-appreciated, over-looked, stepped-on holidays of the year. Hello, people....we try to teach our kids gratitude all the time, and yet we turn into frenzied freaks around mid-October when the retailers start pushing Santa on us. There is actually a holiday in between Halloween and Christmas. It is called Thanksgiving. And I, for one, refuse to forget it. And so, without further ado, here is my Thankful Thanksgiving List.

This year, Daisy is thankful for....

~Coffee, without which I could not maintain sanity in the mornings.

~Beer/Wine, without which I could not maintain sanity through my evenings.

~Portable DVD players for the mini-van. I can recall a time, many years ago when I was a youngster, when we would trek across the country to New York for holidays. A 24-hour car ride. Zaza and Papa, I salute you. Without our magical little devices strapped to the backs of every seat, I fear I would have to throw myself out of the van at 80 mph on the interstate.

~Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving Song. Every year, around the beginning of November, this song gets perma-stuck in my head. And it provides the Goombas and I hours of entertainment trying to come up with more turkey rhymes.

~TV. Because it is my favorite babysitter and the Goombas love it.

~Target. Because it is my happy place. And when I have nothing else to do and no where else to go, it is always there for me. And now that they give me 5% off every purchase with my Red Card, I can spend even more of Bowser's hard-earned cash there.

~Naptime. It is fading fast from our daily routine, but I will hang on as long as I possibly can to this magical time of day. Not only because it gives me some much needed peace and quiet, but also because I, too, love a good afternoon snooze.

~French fries. Because they really, truly do make everything better.

~For McDreamy over at Peach's orthopedic office. Because even now, I love to take her in for x-rays.

~The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Because, can you really kick of the holidays without it??? No. You cannot.

Oh sure, I am thankful for the other stuff, too. You know, all the classics...

~My Goombas. Because each of them have their own unique way of being. They keep me on my toes, they entertain me, they remind me that life doesn't get much better than it is right now. Without them, I would be a lost soul, searching for a place in this world. They give me my place. I am the Goomba's Mommy and I am so thankful to be that.

~My Bowser. He is my best friend. Without him, my world would be dark and gray. He makes me laugh like no one else can. He knows my deepest secrets, and loves me anyway. He puts me on a pedestal, but is not afraid to knock me off when I need a swift kick in the pants. He kisses me when I have pickle-breath and he watches The Notebook with me when he knows I just need a good cry. Bowser, you are the love of my life. I am the most thankful for you.

~My friends. You all know who you are. The good, the bad and the ugly...I couldn't do any of it without you. Blood may be thicker than water, but the wine and good times we share run pretty thick, as well.

~For our families, the roof over our heads, the food on our table and the shoes on our feet. For the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. For the love, laughter and life that we share, I am so humbled by and thankful for it all.

And now...bring on the turkey.

Cheers and Love,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dude! What happened to my baby?

I should have known what was coming when Mario offered me a handshake on the first day of school, rather than a goodbye kiss. I insisted on a hug at the very least, and got the one arm pat on the back instead. From my 2nd grader! Ouch! This isn't supposed to be happening yet, is it? Isn't my baby still in there somewhere, wanting to cling to my leg and stay with me all day?

There are other signs, too. The other night, Bowser and I played some Wii with Mario after the little Goombas went to bed. Mario was thrilled, since he doesn't get a whole lot of alone time with Mom and Dad anymore. Then out of nowhere, he starts using words like, "dude," and "freaking," and "mad skills" and I was all, like, "Wha??"

For instance, on his first throw of our bowling tournament, he said, "Dudes! Did you see that? I was all, like, Wham! Strike!" Later he said to Bowser, "Oh Man! Was that the bomb or what?" Ummmmmm....huh? I can't quite put my finger on when it happened, but sometime over the last few months, we became Dude and Man, instead of Mom and Dad.

Then he really hit us with it. We were all doing silly little dances if we made a strike or spare. I could see the wheels in Mario's brain turning away. When he made his next strike, he turned to us, pulled down his pants and MOONED us, shaking his little, white tush all around. I couldn't decide if I should collapse into a fit of laughter, or cringe in horror. Where on earth did my 7-year-old sweetheart learn such a.... such a.... well, such a COLLEGE like move?????? I decided to go with the laughter, since it was actually, really very funny.

Then I decided to return the favor. The next time I made a strike, I thought it would be fun to steal his little dance move, so I mooned him and Bowser. This was the response, "OH MY GOD, MOM! That is SO GROSS!" Talk about a blow to the old ego. I thought at least it would illicit a giggle out of him.

When I look back to when I first started acting like my friends and started being embarrassed by my parents, I guess I honestly have to say it was around second grade. There was a particular incident that I remember now with just a tinge of guilt. At our elementary school, we had a parents day when Moms and Dads would come eat gourmet cafeteria food with their little students. I was in 2nd grade at the time, and had just started to be noticed by the "popular" girls. (sigh...yes, unfortunately there are popular girls even at such a young age.) When my Dad came down the hall to meet me for lunch he picked me up and swung me around in a big huge hug. My response to him? "Dad! Stop it! You are embarrassing me!" Ugh. When I think back on that now, it makes me have a knot in my stomach. I can't believe I said that to my Daddy. And now I know just what he felt like. Ain't karma a bitch?

Mario is still young, though, and every once in a while I see the little boy in him sneak out for a moment or two. While we were watching "How to Train Your Dragon" the other night, he reached for my hand during one of the more intense scenes. I didn't say a word, I just let him squeeze and hang on for as long as he wanted. When Hiccup defeated the mean dragon, he sort of loosened his grip on me and said, "Oh, Man! I didn't even realize you were holding my hand!" I tried to keep holding on, but he wasn't afraid anymore and the big, tough kid came and took over again.

I am so proud of my Mario and all he has become, is becoming and will become. But, I am not quite ready yet, to let go of my sweet little Mario, who used to cling to my leg and tell me he wanted to live with me forever. I am going to keep looking for and hanging on to those little boy moments even as they become fewer and farther between. Because, Mario, dude, no matter how old you get, I am always going to be your Mommy. Ain't that, like, so awesome, man?!?!


A New Virus

Did you know there is a new virus going around? And that unfortunately there is no vaccine for it? Actually this virus isn't that new. It has been around since at least when Mario was a baby, and my guess would be it was around way before that. You may have heard of it before, and chances are your kids already have or have had it. It's called the Justa Virus.

This is a particularly sneaky type of illness. It can start with a fever (or not), runny nose (clear, green or otherwise colored), a cough (hacking or wet), and general crankiness. New babies with no siblings are especially prone to this virus, as the new parents usually have no idea what is happening. (Mario was diagnosed with it probably 10 times in his first year.) After a day or two (or 4 or 5 if you are a seasoned mom) you will decide to take your child in to see the Pediatrician.

Now, you may LOVE your pediatrician, as I love ours, but going to visit Dr. Kids? Not so much fun. First of all, you end up in a waiting room full of toys that are probably covered in Justa germs--or worse. Your already cranky child doesn't want to wait for anything, let alone someone who is going to poke them with funny things and gag them with a popsicle stick. Dr. Kids is usually running late because another mother decided to make an appointment for one kid, but she brought all her other ones along to ask questions about during the same appointment. (I have NEVER done this! Please note dripping sarcasm.) Eventually, you get called into the exam room, which is usually about four feet by four feet, may or may not have toys and is so loud and echo-y that you are sure everyone must be able to hear your child for miles. Then you wait some more. Even if it is only a 5 minute wait, with a small sick Goomba, this can feel like 5 hours. Finally Dr. Kids comes in and you think, "Whew! Finally some relief! He is going to tell us what is wrong and everything will be better and life will get back to normal."

Dr. Kids examines child and then tries to talk to you as if you have super-sonic hearing that can distinguish words over the sound of wailing children. Here is how the conversation usually goes:

Dr. Kids: What are the little Goomba's symptoms?
Me: Fever, runny nose, cranky all the time, kind of a wet cough. It's been about 5 days.
Dr. Kids: Let me take a look.

At this point, Goomba sits like a perfect angel and let's Dr. Kids do all kinds of stuff because it is so awesome when he wants to check your lymph nodes, but so NOT awesome when Mommy tries to do it.

Dr. Kids: Any vomiting or diarrhea?
Me: No.
Dr. Kids: Any loss of appetite?
Me: Not really.
Dr. Kids: Well, there is no sign of infection, everything looks great. I would say it is Just A Virus.
Me: (Internally) DAMN YOU, JUSTA!!!!

See, there is no cure or really anything at all you can do for the Justa Virus. It fools you into thinking your child is really very sick and needs medical attention. Then you haul everyone in to be checked out, you waste a co-pay and about 2 hours of your day, only to hear it is the Justa and now you look like a crazy mom who brings your kids in at the smallest little sniffle.

The Goombas have had this diagnosis so many times, that I actually put off doctor visits for them as long as possible. I wait for at least a week of misery before I give in. I always convince myself it is an ear or sinus infection and that this will be the time I am vindicated. 9 times out of 10, I am wrong. It is the dreaded Justa that decided to stop by just long enough to make the Goombas feel terrible and me go insane. Of course, then there is that 1 time, when it really actually is something that needs an antibiotic, that keeps you going back for more. And the thing is...I don't WANT my kids to have more than the Justa, because I don't want them to be sick and feeling so yucky and have to take nasty-tasting medication. But, darn you JUSTA! Darn you to heck.

**Sigh** Peach has been complaining for a week that her ears hurt. I have been putting off the inevitable. I had to give in today. So, Peach and Luigi and I are heading of to see our Dr. Kids in just a bit. I'm thinking we have about a 50/50 chance of having the Justa.

Remember to wash your hands and not share drinks. Let's stop the spread of this terrible virus today!


P.S. Thanks to my very, very dear friend, Ms. B, for originally naming the Justa so many years ago when our babies were so tiny.

P.P.S. Happy Birthday to Papa! The Goombas (and Bowser and I) are very excited to see you next week! I hope it is Beer:30 for you all day. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The things kids say....

We have all heard the saying before: "Kids say the darndest things!" And it is so true. I never realized just how true it was until my dear, little Goombas came along. Here are a few of my favorites...

-After listening to Bowser and I have a little tiff (where I dropped a few f-bombs), Mario, then 3 years old, said, "Hey, Mommy, can I please have my f-ing sandwich now?" So sweet and innocent and used in perfect context, too. My mouth dropped open and Bowser left the room.

~We were having a barbecue with some friends one night and Mario was busy playing and didn't want to go in to use the potty. Bowser said, "Well, you can just go out here in the yard." Mario promptly dropped his drawers and said, "Rocks or grass?" Apparently we wouldn't want to pee in the wrong place.

-Recently at the movie store, Luigi said, "Mommy, what doing here?" "We are getting a movie to watch tonight, honey." "I don't want movie, I want to go to liquor store!" "Ok, we will go when we are done here." Then, at the top of his lungs in the middle of the New Release section, "No, Mommy, I NEED to go to the liquor store!!!" Mommy does, too, little man. Mommy does, too.

~This afternoon, while Peach was watching Word World (her very favorite show), she asked me to sit with her. "In a minute, Peach," I said. "Mommy has to finish folding this basket of laundry." Tears welled up in her big, blue eyes and she said, "Dammit, Mommy! Sit!" Ummm...Ok, then.

~While eating Chinese food one night, Mario looked at us and said, "You know what is weird? These are so good, I can't figure out why they call them Crap-Cheese Wontons." Bowser almost rolled out of his chair from laughing so hard.

~A head's up...this one will only be funny if you have seen the Robot Insurance skit from SNL. One night at dinner, we were talking about nightmares and how they aren't real. Mario started to regale us with his scariest nightmare ever. "I was sitting at my friend's house, and we were playing the Wii, when all of a sudden, a ROBOT came bursting in with his claws chomping!!!" I really did not want to laugh at my darling son, because I know this dream truly scared him. But, in all honesty, as soon as he said it, all I could see in my head was the SNL robot breaking into the house with the old people and eating their prescription medication. "Because they're robots, and they're scary." Bowser and I have gotten hours of entertainment out of that one.

These are just a few of my favorites...there are so many more. Stay tuned! I'm sure as Luigi and Peach get older, there are going to be lots more laughs!


Friday, October 29, 2010

The Door Lock Monster....And Other Ways Parents Mess Up Their Kids

A Bedtime Story...

Once there was a family that lived in a small house in a small town. Every night the Father was diligent about locking the doors before he went to bed. One night, the Daughter came home from a friend's house and forgot to lock the door before she went to her room. That night the Door-Lock Monster came and terrorized the family. Then he ate them all, leaving nothing behind but their bones. Door-Lock Monster then went along his merry way, looking for more unsuspecting families that had forgotten to lock their door when they went to bed. The End.

I tell you this story as a prime example of how parents can royally screw up their children. You see, my own dear Daddy told me this story (or at least some version of it) over and over again when I was a young girl. And now, to this very day, I cannot go to sleep without checking, re-checking, and checking again that my doors are locked when we go to bed. Oh sure, I totally know that there is no such thing as a "real" Door-Lock Monster, but I will tell you what... The fear that there is even a possibility of him lurking around out there, waiting to torture and eat us, is enough to leave me lying in bed at night, cursing my father, and wondering if I made sure the door was really, really all the way closed and locked. Seriously, I am in my 30's now, with children of my own, and this story has buried itself deep in my core. I'm pretty sure that I will have to leave a note in my will so that when I die, my coffin is locked up tight so that the Door-Lock Monster won't be able to get in and torture me for eternity.

And, now that I do have kids of my own, I often wonder what I must be doing to mess with their sweet, innocent, little minds. I can only imagine that someday, all three of the Goombas will have some kind of therapy session where they are sitting around talking about how their mother used to call them Goombas, which is basically comparing them to small, scary, mushroom dudes. I also imagine that they will never be able to eat mushrooms.

Sometimes, I just don't think parents realize the absolute power we have over our little ones. One evening before dinner, the Goombas were being extraordinarily cranky and whiney. When I was asked for the 432nd time what we were having for dinner, followed by complaints about whatever it was, I broke down and said, "If you ask me again I am going to make Poop Sandwiches and Pee Juice!!!" Mario started crying and Luigi started gagging. Peach, being the food-lover that she is, wouldn't have cared either way. Now, a year later, Mario still says, "Mommy, please don't make Poop Sandwiches and Pee Juice," with a hint of fear in his sweet, seven-year-old voice.

I did it without even realizing it! I scared my eldest child into thinking that I would serve him human waste for dinner if he kept bugging me and complaining. Way to go, Daisy. Just call me Mom of the Year!

So, parents, be careful what you say to your children as they grow. Who knows what they are going to say to their therapists about you someday. Now, I have go double check that all doors are locked before I go to bed.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Blog For Bowser

My dearest, darling husband,

You are away for the weekend on your annual hunting trip right now. I must admit, I really thought the break would be nice. I mean, you do work from home so we are together ALL THE TIME. And now, I realize that I was just a little bit wrong. Now, listen up, Honey, because you know I won't admit this often, but this family just cannot function without you. Apparently, there are a few things we really need to have you around for.

Let's start with yesterday morning after you left. All was going fine, the Goombas and I were enjoying Saturday morning cartoons, I was sipping on my coffee thinking about what a relaxing weekend this would be. We made it through the morning, went to Wally-World for some Halloween gear and then we went to lunch at the Golden Arches. Because that is what Mom does when Daddy is gone, load the kids up on grease and salt and get them high on crappy, happy toys. That was when things started going downhill. Luigi decided that shoveling french fries (drenched in ketchup, of course) in his mouth and running circles around the table would be awesome. I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Luckily, they Happy Toy was a Halloween bucket. Perfect for a puking child. Thankfully my good friend, Lady Tag was there to help, because without her, I'm sure we would never be invited back to the "Place of Salty Goodness" again.

Fast forward to Sunday morning. Tra-la-la-la-laaaa! Everything again was splendid. I made honey biscuits for the Goombas for breakfast. We were having a gay old time when--BAM!!! Reality hit. Peach started in on an hour long temper tantrum that only, "Daddy!!! No Mommy! Daaaaaaaddddddyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!" could fix. I found a dead mouse in the garage that had strategically placed its body in my path to the driver's side door. Also, right in front of the outside refrigerator holding all of our extra milk and beer. Guess what we were out of inside the house. I'll give you a hint. It wasn't beer. As I was trying to soothe Peach and figure out how to trick Luigi into wanting anything BUT milk, Mario came to me and said, "Hey, Mom! Look! Here is a piece of my tooth!" Then he pulled out 3 more small tooth nuggets. Apparently sometimes the baby molars don't just fall out, they shatter into a billion pieces and come out bit by bit. Ummm...that information would have been useful YESTERDAY!

Thankfully, Peach's tantrum was nothing that a good old-fashioned princess movie couldn't fix. Even more thankfully, our fabulous friend, Mr. FK, came and took care of Mr. Dead-Mousey for me. Which means I was able to get to the outside fridge to get milk for Luigi (and a much-needed beer for me). As far as Mario's tooth, we are hoping the rest wiggles out be the end of the night.

To be honest with you, I just don't know how single moms do it. You ladies are amazing! By the end of Sunday evening, I was drained. So drained, in fact, that I laid on the couch like a vegetable just staring vacantly at the television, not even paying attention to the fact that Bree was sleeping with David from 90210. Ok, maybe I paid a little bit of attention. But, that isn't the point. I still had to get through Monday morning, which was going to be the most challenging part of our vacation from Daddy. Get myself and three Goombas ready for school and out the door by 7:50 a.m.

I am not even going to go into detail about how Monday morning played itself out. Let's just say there was a lot of yelling and crying and coffee-chugging. Somehow, though, we all managed to make it out the door in one piece. It is all kind of a blur to me at this point. Then we started counting down hours till Daddy came home.

Bowser, my love, I feel that I must apologize for just throwing children at you and running out the door as soon as you walked in. But, let's be real, here. You know as well as I do, that someone would have been hurt if I hadn't immediately escaped. And now you are home and the rhythm of life is back to its normal cadence. So, I am just going to say, thanks for all you do. Even though I complain, I guess you do more than I give you credit for. Without you, this family just wouldn't work. And I wouldn't get much sleep because we all know the "door-lock monster" is just waiting for me to fall asleep when you aren't here so he can come eat me and the Goombas.

Glad you are home, Honey!


P.S. For those of you wondering about the Door-Lock Monster... Not to worry, you will hear more about him very soon. ~Cheers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kids Are So Gross

**Warning** This post is not for the weak of stomach!

The other day, I was shopping at Wal-Mart. I rarely go to Wal-Mart, because Target is my Happy Place, but I needed to get something that could only be gotten at Wally-World. Every time we go to the Mart of Walls, my kids beg me to look at the fish tanks, which is fine with me because I can use it to bribe them to behave. Since my little Goombas did a fairly good job at the store, we stopped on our way to check out to look at the fishies. And that is when it happened. My sweet, smiley Luigi leaned over to look more closely at the fish and then LICKED the front of the tank. I actually had vomit in my mouth. I freaked out and grabbed him and said, "YUCKY! We do NOT lick the fish tanks!" He laughed and said, "Just kidding, Mommy!" And then lady a few feet away from us started giggling and walked away.

Holy grossness, Batman. It was so disgusting. But, then it got me thinking about all of the gross things that kids do. They are such curious little souls, and they don't understand about the filth of the world that is all around us. Now, I would like to state for the record here that I am NOT a germ freak. I'm kindof a "whatever doesn't kill them makes them stronger" type of Mom. However, I do have standards, and licking the fish tank at Wal-Mart, well... That is just repulsive.

Here are some other outstandingly nauseating moments from the Goombas...

~I was driving Peach to an appointment with McDreamy one day and had Luigi with me. I decided to be nice and get everyone a hashbrown from the Golden Arches on the way there. About a mile away from the hospital I hear liquid splatter all over the back of the front passenger seat. I turned around just in time to see that Luigi had projectile vomited all over himself, the door and window, and the seat in front of him. I almost started crying and I told him, "Honey, Mommy is pulling over as soon as I can!" That is when he reached in his seat, pulled out a chunk of hashbrown and said, "Mmmm, hashbrown," and proceeded to eat it. I think this kid is going to make all kinds of money winning bets in college.

~While playing outside just the other day, Peach was enjoying the sucker she got for doing a good job at physical therapy. Silly me, I took my eyes off of her for a moment to run inside the house and get something. When I came back out, she had found a lovely little patch of dirt to dip her sucker in. She sat there dipping into and licking off the dirt, every once in a while pointing to it and saying, "Look, ant!" Ummm, I guess at least she got a little protein?

~When Mario was a wee little lad, we had a beautiful (albeit crazy!) golden retriever. Mario and Puppy adored each other. They adored each other so much, in fact, that they liked to share everything, including their food. I can't even count the number of times I caught Mario offering Puppy some chow...one for Puppy, 2 for Mario. Also, Puppy had a fondness for ice cream. So, Mario, not wanting to leave Puppy out of the fun, would share licks of his cone with her. Yummy.

~When Mario was a tiny baby, I was rocking him and cooing at him and making sweet baby noises in his general direction. When all of a sudden, he went all Regan from the Exorcist on my butt and spewed about a gallon of vomit in my face. It was so awesome. (Please note sarcasm in previous sentence.) I tasted rotten baby spit-up for days afterward. I honestly didn't know that much liquid could come out of such a tiny being.

~You already know the story of the "Mystery Rock." If that isn't gross, I don't know what is. Actually, the kids tried to warn us about that one, so I guess parents can be fairly grody as well.

Of course, we also have the common offensive acts at our house, too. Nose picking and booger eating, turkey tracks in the underpants, licking the cats, smelling each others bottoms post-spark... But, sometimes, seriously, I am amazed at how absolutely revolting kids can be. Awesome, amazing, sweet and loving...but pretty darn gross all the same.

Oh great. I just heard Mario dare Luigi to put something in his mouth. This can't be good...


Monday, September 27, 2010

The Best Game EVER!

My family and I have a game that we play occasionally that is truly the best game ever. I can't quite remember exactly where it came from...but, I'm pretty sure that it happened one day after a trip to Costco. This game has brought our family hours, and I do mean HOURS, of entertainment. It's called The Toilet Paper Game.

The premise of the TP Game is simple. Bowser sits at the bottom of the stairs, while Mario and Luigi go to the half-way landing. Then they throw rolls of toilet paper up and down the stairs at each other. Ok. Now that I have written that out, it sounds a little ridiculous. But, really, don't knock it till you try it.

Here is how a typical game goes...

First, we decide to play the TP Game. At least 3 rolls are necessary for a really good game. And not those rolls you buy at the grocery store that come in a 6-pack. You need the Costco brand, where each roll is individually wrapped. The individual wrapping is especially important as you will quickly discover if you ever decide to bring the fun of the TP Game to your home. So, the Goombas run to the bathroom and grab 3-5 rolls and assume the position.

The game usually starts out with Bowser hitting one of them on the tush while they are crawling up the stairs. Hysterical laughing ensues and the TP starts flying. Bowser will throw several rolls up the stairs all at once while the Goombas try to catch them. Usually they don't actually catch them. Someone just gets hit in the head, then while they are laughing the other one gets hit in the head and they laugh even harder. Then they try to get Daddy by throwing them all at once. Peach has only recently joined in the fun. She crawls after the stray rolls and brings them back to Daddy, while he continues to pelt the boys with flying rolls of bathroom tissue.

Different rules have come up of the course of the past few years of TPG playing. First of all, if you hit a Koopa Troopa, you get extra points. Of course. Good thing KT 1 has learned to run and hide. KT 2 still thinks it is funny to try to play. She'll learn, though. Also, if you hit Mommy you get "double" extra points. I am usually a spectator of this fabulously creative sport, but when I have to walk through the playing field, it is on like Donkey Kong. (What the heck does that saying even mean???) I get hit by TP rolls coming from all directions. And they all think this is wildly funny. Then I try to throw them back and I miss everyone, because I throw like a girl, and that makes everything all the more amusing. There are "troll tolls," no-hitting-the-baby rules, no throwing during time-outs, roll exchanges when the wrapper starts to come off, and all kinds of other illogical, but totally necessary rules for play.

The game can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Things usually come to an end when a) someone's laughter turns into tears (because we all know kids can go from crazed giggles to uncontrollable sobs in less than 2.5 seconds), b) Mommy ruins the fun and decides it's bedtime, or c) all the TP starts to unravel because the wrappers are thoroughly destroyed. **A side note--if you ever come over and find a ratty looking roll of shredded TP by the potty, fear not. It was just a part of the TP Game at one time or another.

So, the next time your family has some free time and the kids are complaining of boredom, just head to your bathroom and make yourself some good, old-fashioned, toilet paper fun. I promise you will all get a few giggles out of it.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Heaven is a Beer Fest

A few nights ago St. Peter gave me a tiny glimpse into what Heaven must look like. And it involves a lot of beer. I have never kept it a secret that I really like beer. I mean, really, really, really like beer. I would have to thank my dear old Dad for that. I still remember being about 3 years old and begging sips from my Dad's can of Schaffer. So, you see, beer and I, we go WAY back. But, I digress...

In a spur of the moment decision, I decided on Thursday to check Craigslist and I scored 4 tickets to the Great American Beer Festival. I called my Dad to brag a bit, and to hopefully entice him and The Zaz to come out for a quick weekend. Which is exactly what they did. Within a couple of hours, they were on the road, and I was making preparations. Little did I know what an awesome night we were all in for.

I met the Craigslist man downtown, got our tickets and then we went to wait in the line that wrapped almost the entire way around the convention center. Oh, Tom Petty, you were so right when you said, "The wai-ai-ting is the hardest part." But, finally, the line did start moving and within 20 minutes we were in the doors.

I want to point out here, that we went into the GABF with the best of intentions. The Zaz and Pop had a notebook, as did Bowser and I, to write down favorites and take notes about all of the beers we tried. We had each picked a "theme" to try...mine was wheat beers. We planned to try from different regions and compare our favorites. However, once we made it through the doors, we heard a chorus of angels singing from Heaven and then complete mayhem ensued.

We traded in our tickets for our tasting cups (you only taste 1 ounce of barley pop at a time) and then we instantly ran in four different directions looking for the closest beverage to try. Within seconds our carefully planned strategy existed no more. You may think that it would be impossible to get tipsy off of one ounce of beer at a time, but I must beg to differ. Think way back to your days of college (or high school, or your early 20s). Remember Power Hour? One ounce of beer every minute for 60 minutes. This was kind of like that, only it was one ounce of beer every minute for 4 full hours.

We tried lagers from Louisiana, ales from Arizona, ports from Pennsylvania, and wheats from Wisconsin. All in all there were more than 2,000 beers to sample. We didn't even come close to trying everything there, although we all put in a fairly good effort.

Some highlights from the evening...

~There was a lemon-basil wheat from New Orleans that I was especially partial to, and I'm pretty sure the brewmaster thinks I am nuts now. (I don't think it would be wise for me to go into detail at this point.)

~Someone puked in the middle of the floor and Bowser and my Dad stood there for about 20 minutes watching and laughing hysterically as unsuspecting beer-lovers wiped out in the chunky mess.

~Pretzel necklaces. After doing a bit of research on the GABF, Bowser informed me that everyone wears pretzel necklaces. At first, I thought he was crazy, but we bought pretzels and made ourselves some edible jewelry. And they were AWESOME. They looked great, and once the beer munchies set in, we were glad to have them.

~Bowser was walking behind a man in liederhosen and PBR suspenders. PBR Guy turned around and said, "Hey, I lost my tasting cup." So Bowser replied, "Man that sucks! Can you get another one?" PBR Guy looked at Bowser and slowly said, "Dude, you are not who I wanted to talk to, but I appreciate your genuine concern for my loss." Then he walked away with his arms in the air and shouted "I love this place!"

~I met the fabulous Mom from "Mommy Needs A Cocktail." She was selling some of her completely, unequivocally awesome t-shirts. Of which I bought three because I just couldn't decide which one I liked best. I highly recommend her blog and her store...it's like we are soul mates...we just think alike. Thanks so much, Ms. K!

~This might not be so much of a highlight, as a warning. Don't try the Kriek. It is some kind of Belgium cherry brew. And it tasted like one of the kids threw up in my mouth. In fact, the only thing that actually got written down in my little beer notebook was, "NEVER, EVER DRINK KREIK-VOMIT." That, my friends, was a direct quote.

~At one point in the night we found the Karaoke stage. I took a potty break and when I came back, I couldn't find my parents. I asked Bowswer, "Where are The Zaz and Pop?" He replied, "Up on stage singing Man-Eater." Lord help us all.

I want to thank my lovely, lovely friend, FK for offering to drive downtown and bring our intoxicated tushies home. I can't even imagine how amusing (or maybe annoying?) that drive was, but thank you so much my darling FK!

And now, I am fully convinced there is a Heaven, and that I should try a little bit harder to make it there. Because it must be a full-time Beer Festival. I'm already counting down till next year.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No More Babies--The Good and the Bad

It dawned on me this weekend, as I was getting ready for Peach's birthday party, that I have no more babies. I mean, yes, all three of the Goombas still ACT like babies a lot of the time, but none of them are still actual babies. I'm not really sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it is so nice to be almost done with diapers. On the other hand, I'm a little choked up over not having any more tiny little bundles of sleepy sweetness. Of course, when I mentioned this to Bowser, he looked at me as if I just told him I wanted to turn our kitchen into a meth lab. He has been over the baby phase for quite sometime, and while I agree about 99% of the time, there is still that little twinge of baby fever that sets in every now and then.

But, as with all phases of life, there are good and bad things about leaving the baby years behind. Here are some of the positive and negatives.

Positive--No more formula and bottles! Oh, Lordy, how I hated bottles! Yes, I was one of those "terrible" mothers that did not breastfeed. (No Judging Zone!) Since I was of the formula school of thought, that meant hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a year on the liquid gold supplement. Bowser's wallet is very happy to be over that stage. Also, since my babies were all ravenous little piggies, we went through a lot of bottles every day. That meant I had to hand-wash them most of the time so that there would always be some clean. Let's just say, I have had enough bottle washing to last a lifetime. Good-bye and good riddance, Avent!

Negative--No more sweet slurping sounds, content sighs and sweet milky baby breath. Now it is gulping and belching, crying that the food Mommy cooked is gross, and disgusting pizza breath. It's just not as cute.

Positive--Children sleeping through the night!!! We still, of course, have lots of waking up for nightmares, or sick kiddos, but in general, we are all sleeping. What a relief! I thought I would be up 10 times a night for the rest of my life! I am finally starting to snap out of the sleep deprived stupor I have been in since Mario's arrival 7 1/2 years ago.

Negative--No more precious little baby burritos to snuggle with in the dark, quiet of the night. Because really, I don't think there could possibly be anything more blissful in the world than a sleeping baby's warm breath on your neck as you rock and doze together.

Positive--No more having to lug around 400 pounds of baby gear just to go to Grandma's house or the grocery store. Now that Luigi is potty trained, I only have to carry around a couple of diapers for Peach and a sippy cup for each of them. I am finally out of the diaper bag and into a regular old purse again! Yippee!

Negative--Now we have moved on to the gear with all the teeny-tiny pieces and a thousand moving parts. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have almost broken my neck and cursed the "Gods of Toyland" from stepping on a Lego or a Matchbox car. Also, I used to be able to buy "generic" gear. Now they want specifics. If it isn't Mario, Mario doesn't want it. If it isn't Thomas, Luigi doesn't want it. If it isn't princess or Hello Kitty, Peach doesn't want it. Sometimes I long for the days of Crazy Cow the rattle.

Positive--Mommy is getting some free time back now that (almost) everyone is going to school. And I feel better about asking for baby-sitting trade-offs so that I can do some things alone. After having little humans attached to my body practically every second for the last 7 1/2 years, some freedom is kind of nice.

Negative--I'm not there for every minute little detail of their lives. Sometimes I have to hear an amazing accomplishment from a teacher. Which is a hard privilege to give up after being the one who was always there for so long.

Positive--The Goombas are each becoming their own person with their own personalities and quirks. I love to see the people they are becoming and it is so much fun to be able to interact with them through conversations and games. I also totally love that all three of them have a bonding moment every night at dinner when they sing "Yoshi Loves to Eat Some Poo." (To the tune of London Bridge.)

Negative--This also means that I am not the Most Important Person in their lives anymore. Which is a bummer. It is so nice when those sweet little people look at you like you are the most awesome being ever. Then they grow up and tell you you are the Meanest Mom Ever. But, if they are anything like my mother and me, eventually, in about 20 years, they will realize I am not so bad after all.

Positive--The Goombas are all able to communicate using words at this point. No more trying to figure out if this cry means hungry, poopy, or bored. It really is a wonderful thing.

Negative--They. NEVER. Stop. Talking. EVER! Bowser and I hardly talk anymore in the evenings because the Goombas talk SO VERY much all day long. We consider the silence totally golden. But, I know I should enjoy it now, because soon, they won't want to say a word to us and I will be begging for them to talk to me. And then we will be in a whole other stage.

There was a time when I never thought those long baby days would end. The days of diapers, spit up, crying, bottles... But, now that I look back, they were gone before I knew it. Will I miss those days? Yes. Am I excited about moving on to a new stage in my children's lives? Heck, yes! One good thing is that almost all of my friends are currently expecting new little ones. This means that when the "fever" hits, I can just head over to their houses, snuggle a baby, and then come home to my walking, talking, growing Goombas. And that sounds perfect to me.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Baby Peach!

To my dear, sweet Peach,
Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Girl! I cannot believe how fast your 2 first years of life have flown by. You are so much fun to have around. Daddy and I sometimes can’t stop staring at you with your big blue eyes and crazy, curly hair…you are so beautiful! You are such happy little girl, and so good, too, but you sure have already given us a few gray hairs.

My darling daughter, here are some of the things that I love the most about you…

~Your wild, crazy, Shirley-Temple-curly hair. I have to admit, I don’t even know how to begin to style it. It’s not only curly, but it is frizzy, too, because you sleep on it and rub your head around. There are days when your hair actually gives you almost another 6 inches of height and makes you look like a mad scientist. And I love it. I wouldn’t trade your precious curls for anything.

~You are a major flirt. If there is a boy within 100 feet of you, you will bat your thick eyelashes and give a shy little look over your shoulder. When we carpooled last year with a 6th grader from Mario’s school, you would get all doe-eyed when he would get in the car. You would share your Goldfish crackers with him (which you never do with your brothers) and you would keep saying his name to get him to turn around and look at you. And of course, he fell for it hook, line and sinker. Daddy better go buy a gun now, because if you keep this up, you are going to have every man you ever meet wrapped around that pretty little finger of yours.

~You adore your brothers unconditionally. No matter how mean they are to you, you still worship the ground they walk on. Mario loves Wii, so you love all things Wii. Luigi loves Thomas the Tank Engine, so you love all things Thomas. When they decide to give you some attention, you look at them with an expression on your face that I imagine my face would look like if Ashton Kutcher paid any attention to me. You revel in it. Sometimes Mario will get you giggling so hard that I think you are going to burst. Other times, you and Luigi will chase poor Koopa Troopa 2 around the kitchen till you are all dizzy and then you will laugh and laugh. I love that you love them so much. And I love that they are going to be there to protect you forever.

~You will eat anything that I put in front of you. No, I am not kidding. Anything. No cooking a separate meal of grilled cheese and apple sauce for you, Girlie! Steak, chili, buffalo wings, pickles, salad, fish, and so much more. At one meal, you can eat more than both of your brothers put together. Maybe someday you will need to worry about that, but for now, my love, eat away and enjoy!

~You were so very good and calm when you were in your spica cast for 3 months. It was me who was the basket case. You just dealt with it and kept on enjoying being you. Oh sure, you cried after each surgery, and I could tell when the cast would be getting too tight, but all in all you handled it like the rock star that you are. Even though you mostly wanted to sleep with me in the rocking chair during those months, I have to admit, snuggling with you while you slept was so very nice. I was so proud of you during those months. And now, I fully expect you to become a gold metal gymnast in the Olympics to make up for that time.

~I love that you are SO very girlie! From very early on, you have loved all things sparkly (just like me!), and all things princess (just like me!). It sure is fun to have some pink around the house. I love that you (almost always) let me fix your hair in piggy tails. I love that you want to wear my jewelry. I love that you are already opinionated about the clothes you want to wear. I love that you want to watch princess movies with me. And Daddy and I both love how snuggly and kissy-faced you are. You love to give kisses and we love to get ‘em.

~When you crawl, you do this adorable little head-bobbing thing, like you are prancing. It is probably the most insanely cute thing I have ever seen. Now that you are learning how to walk, you are bobbing your head and doing a marchy-kicky kind of walk. I love it. I totally see performing in your future.

I remember when I found out I was expecting you...I realized it when I fell asleep in a parking lot and woke up craving pepperoncinis. It was such a surprise that Daddy tried to read the directions on the pregnancy test in Spanish and got angry when he couldn't understand them. You have been the sweetest surprise we ever had.

Little Loaf, I am so happy to be your Mommy. I am looking forward to playing dress-up with you, having tea parties, arguing with you when you are a teenager, watching you walk down the aisle to meet your prince someday, and being there when you hold your own baby for the first time.

I love you so much! Happy Birthday, Curly!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Cinderella Story

I recently had a wonderful evening with my daughter. While all the boys were camping, Peach and I had a girlie weekend all to ourselves. After dinner that evening, I asked if she wanted to watch a princess movie. "Pincess, uh-huh!" Oh what glee!!! She seemed kind of excited, too. This was the moment I had been waiting for since I found out there were no "twig and berries" in the ultrasound. I finally had my little girl and we were going to share the love of Disney fairytales together.

I popped in the DVD and Peach and I snuggled up on the couch and settled in to watch Cinderella, which of course, we all know is by far the BEST of the princess movies. Peach seemed to enjoy the movie, especially the mice and the birds. She laughed hysterically when Lucifer tried to catch Gus Gus and missed him. Then her attention started to fade. Oh sure, she still watched bits and pieces, but she also started chasing Koopa Troopa 2 around the living room. I, on the other hand, was riveted to the television.

I forgot how much I love this movie, but also how stressed out it can make me. Allow me to explain... The movie is great. It is the quintessential dream of every girl to escape their evil upbringing and marry a handsome prince. I love it. But, I gotta tell ya, when Stepmother follows Cinderella up the stairs and locks her in her tower room, I kind of freak out. Ok, I know what is going to happen, but I swear to you, every single time I watch this movie, I am terrified that the mice won't get the key up the stairs in time.

So, here is how it went down when I watched it with Peach the other night. As I said, she lost interest and started chasing KT 2 around. I kept my eyes fixated on the screen. She needed milk. Despite the fact that I have seen this movie about 2,465 times, I still had to pause it in case I missed a critical moment. Then she wanted "uppies" on the couch, then down, then uppies, then down.... Meanwhile, I am biting my fingernails because Lucifer caught Gus Gus under the cup at the top of the stairs just as he was about to slip the key under the door. In an effort to keep Peach quiet and occupied, I painted her toenails. Then, AAAAAAAUUUUGHHHH!!! Stepmother tripped the idiot footman and the glass slipper broke! I realized at this point that I am a 31-year-old woman holding my breath over the fact that Cinderella might not get her prince. Because we all know how movies just spontaneously change if you haven't watched them in a while.

Then, finally, a sigh of relief. Cinderella made it downstairs just before the Duke left and luckily she still had the other slipper in her pocket to prove she was the Prince's true love. Whew! That was close. I looked at Peach and said, "Did you like the princess movie?" She, in turn, looked at me like she suddenly knew she was going to have a lot of crazy to deal with throughout her years at home.

All in all, it was really a lovely evening with my sweet little girl. A mommy, her daughter and a suspenseful movie about a princess. Does life get any better?


Friday, August 27, 2010

An Update

I realized this morning that it has been a while since I posted something. And I know everyone that reads this has been sitting on the edge of your seat just waiting for something new. Well, friends, wait no more! Here is an update on life with the Goombas.

First off...Mario is back to school and Luigi started preschool! Hip-hip-hooray! Was it bad that I did cartwheels around the house on Mario's first day? We were all very excited to get back to a routine and a week later Luigi had his very first day of school. I started to get a little veclemped at the fact that my little man was off to school. Then he ran into the classroom, with barely a glance over his shoulder because he saw a choo-choo to play with. When I tried to kiss him goodbye, he gave me the, "don't let the door hit ya on the way out, mom" look. Ok, then. Go. Have fun with your teacher and your new friends. I'll go have my breakfast margarita and enjoy the peace of just one child in the house.

Speaking of just one child in the house...Peach has found a whole new reason for living. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. That is when she can play with anything in the entire house that she wants, without anyone stealing it away from her and hitting her with it. She is in Heaven. I worried that she would miss her brothers and be lonely without them. Not so. She does her little head-bobbing crawl from room to room just touching things that belong to the boys--because she can.

Also, Peach has picked up a rather strange habit recently. I'm not exactly sure where this came from, although I do wonder. She likes to follow me around the kitchen and lick my legs. Yes, you read that right. My daughter follows me around and licks my legs. So, here is one for the List of Things I Never Thought I Would Have to Say... "Peach, please don't lick Mommy's legs."

Another new and possibly exciting adventure...Bowser has been interviewing for a new job. This job would take him back to the office 5 days a week like normal working folk. He hasn't decided yet whether or not to take the offer. I am having some mixed feelings. On one hand, it would be nice if he would get the heck out and let me run the house the way I want (and the way God intended, of course). Absence makes the heart grow fonder right? We haven't been absent from each other in a while. I'm just sayin'... On the other hand, it is nice to put Peach down for a nap and run to the store while he is home. Decisions, decisions.....

In the world of the Koopa Troopas (our kitty cats), KT 1 has decided not to keep her food down anymore. She has left regurgitated Meow Mix all over the house. Let me point out to you that this wouldn't be a problem if she did her yacking downstairs where it is all hardwood floor. Nope. She insists on doing it upstairs where it is all carpet. So now we have crazy orange stains all over our upstairs. It's lovely. Even worse is that I sometimes catch KT 2 sniffing and licking it before I get it cleaned up. Nice. Vomit eating cats.

And that is about it here in Mario-World. I hope that all of you Moms are enjoying your time now that school is back in session. Peach and I are available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for breakfast margaritas and leg-licking.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Worst Mom Awards

Recently I had one of those experiences that left me feeling like the worst mother on the face of the planet. We went to Mario's back to school night and all three of them acted like little heathens. They were running around, screaming, and acting like no one had ever taught them any kind of manners. Luigi ran up to everyone and yelled in their face. Peach screamed every time I walked more than 2 steps away. It was fabulous. I tried not to make eye contact with any of the other moms, because I could just feel their thoughts of "Why doesn't she control those children?" flying through the air at me.

We made it home, although the Goombas almost ended up on the side of the road with a "for sale" sign on them. When we got home I went to my computer and checked Facebook. Because Facebook makes everything better. I posted about it and got several comments from other moms claiming that THEY were the worst mom ever. Then one mom posted the best idea I have ever heard. The great Ms. A suggested an awards ceremony for the worst moms ever.

I love this idea! You can only nominate yourself (because as moms we should never judge each other) and it is all in the spirit of fun. Here are a few of the categories...

~Too Much TV Award. This is for the Mom that allows her children to watch FAR too much television. As we all know, those oh so smart doctors at the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend no more than 2 hours of tube time a day. And NONE at all for children under 2. Something tells me there will be many competitors in this category, with me right there at the top of the list.

~Kids Throw a Temper Tantrum in the Store/Restaurant Award. We've all seen it, and most of us have been there. Little Bobby wants a toy. Mommy is not going to get it for him. Temper tantrum of epic proportions ensues. I try to be strong when this happens. I ignore it, I put said tantruming child in the cart and walk away, I have even left the store/restaurant. It keeps happening. Anything can set it off. Once it was because the French Fries were too hot. You become a front-runner in this category if you don't actually toss your kid out the window when he is in full on tantrum mode.

~Chicken Nuggets for Dinner Again Award. Let's face it. Kids are extremely picky eaters. Sometimes you just want to get some food in them. And, that whole "offer it to them 10 times and they will eat it" theory is a load of...you know what. So, yes. It is chicken nuggets, or pizza, or grilled cheese for dinner. For the 13th night in a row. If you have a problem with it, then YOU can try to feed my kids grilled salmon and veggies. You automatically win this award if they won't eat anything unless it is doused in ketchup or ranch dressing.

~Made the Kids Play Outside By Themselves Award. Some Moms...the perfect ones, I guess...can engage their children in educational and fun activities all day long. I am not one of those Moms. Sometimes, I just need a few minutes to breathe. Especially now that Mario and Luigi don't nap. So, yes, sometimes I send them outside to make their own fun. Does this make me a bad mom? No, it makes me a winner--of a Worst Mom Award!

~Lost Your Cool With the Kids in Public. We all want to look like awesome Moms when we are out in public. We plead with them to behave, we gently lead them away from trouble, we even bribe them with candy if they will just listen. And sometimes, none of this works. That is when you just lose it. This is what happened at back to school night. I actually YELLED at Luigi and Mario in front of other parents and Mario's new teacher. I was done bargaining. I just needed them to behave. Was I extremely embarrassed after it happened? Yes. Did they behave after that? For about 2 1/2 minutes. You definitely qualify for this award if you have ever lost it in front of Grandma. We all want to impress our Moms/Moms-in-Law, so falling apart in front of them makes you a Worst Mom winner.

And now...the Best Picture of the Worst Mom Awards....

Took Away Fun Because the Kids Didn't Behave Award
. This is a really tough Award to win. To be able to nominate yourself, you must have taken away some kind of beloved fun from your child because they misbehaved in some way. Child talked back to you? You took away the Wii for the rest of the day. Child threw temper tantrum in store? You took away Thomas for an hour. Child didn't do chores? You took away allowance for the week. Oh this can be so hard, because we don't want to take things away from our kids. But, they have to learn somehow that behaviors reap consequences. You are a winner of this Grand Award if your child has actually called you "The Worst Mom Ever."

Some other award categories...
~Ignored the Kids to Facebook Award
~Kids Repeat Naughty Words They Heard You Say Award
~Left the Kids With Dad For the Weekend So You Could Have Time for YOU Award
~Let the Kids Listen to Inappropriate Music in the Car Because You Like It Award
~Fed the Kids Non-Organic, Sugar-Filled Food Award
~Sent the Kids To Bed Early Because You Were Done for the Day Award

Congratulations to you if you find yourself in one or more of these categories!! You are my kind of Mom! And by the way, if you feel you can win one of these awards, that means you are rockin' it as a parent!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Time Warp

Have you ever noticed how quickly our children grow up? I am finding it hard to believe that the Goombas are 7, 3 and almost 2 years old already. I mean, what happened to those years? Where did they go? Wasn't it only yesterday that I was bringing each one of them home from the hospital in their little baby burrito blankets? I am watching them grow so fast and they amaze me every day. It's as though since the Goombas came along, I have been living in some sort of time warp, where the years are rushing by too fast.

But, this is not about THAT time warp. I'm talking about the other kind. The one that I suffer from nearly every day as a SAHM. I'm talking about how you can look at the clock and it says 3:08 p.m. Ok, you think. I can do this. Only 2 more hours till dinner. So, you play with the kids for a while, you check your Facebook, you sift through the mail, you get the kids milk and snacks... Then you think, oh! It must be about 4:45. Time to start dinner! You look at the clock and--what the WHAT??? It is only 3:11?!?!?!?! GAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! And that, my friend, is when you are stuck in the Mommy Time Warp.

We have all been there. In our house, I find that this happens several times a week. Usually between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. For some reason, those hours just drag on and on and on and on. Sort of like when you are trying to get a 3-year-old to put on his shoes, go potty and get out the door. You could probably write a dissertation on nuclear physics in the same amount of time.

And, it isn't just me. Mario, Luigi and Peach will wail with boredom during these hours. They are waiting for Daddy to be done working so the minutes creep by at a snail's pace. "Daddy will be done working in about 45 minutes," I tell them. "Go play." They putter around for a while and finally find something to do. They are entertained for what seems like a good, long while and then the Time Warp strikes. When they ask me again, "How long till Daddy is done working?" I look at the clock and--AAK! "Sorry kids, it's still going to be about 43 minutes."

Some other warped moments in time are...

~Bedtime. There are nights when it seems like bedtime is never going to come. I try not to look at the clock, but every time I do, only about 30 seconds has passed. I think it is some kind of evil trick, planned by the Goombas to make Mommy go crazy.

~Naptime. You know those days when you really, really have to get something done, and it would be SO much easier to do it without children hanging from your limbs? Those are the days the Time Warp will get you. The project just looms over you as the minutes go backwards.

~Driving across certain Mid-Western states. On those long trips to Zazzy and Papa's house, we can usually make time go by fairly quickly. Then we get to the point where we are out of things to talk about and we have played all our favorite songs on the ipod. I look out the window and see mile marker 276. About 3 1/2 hours later, I look out the window and we are at mile marker 281. Apparently Dwight D. Eisenhower liked to put Time Warps on his Interstate system.

Of course, the Time Warp can also turn on you in an instant. Like when you finally get a date night with your husband. Recently, Bowser and I decided to drop the kids off at grandma's house so we could do a little shopping and go to see a movie. I think I blinked my eyes twice and suddenly it was 30 minutes past when we said we would come pick them up. And we hadn't even eaten yet. Wait! We just left...I neeeeeeed moooooooore tiiiiiime!!!!!!!

If only there were a button, you know, like the Staples Easy button. Only it would be the Time Warp button. When you realize the minutes are passing more slowly than frozen molasses sliding off a turtle's back, Bam! You just hit the Time Warp button and you warp ahead. And on the contrary, when they time is whizzing by you faster than you can change your third kid's diaper, Bam! Time slows down and you can actually finish that movie and eat dinner, too.

Wow. I just realized it has taken me 3 days to write this post. And the time warp strikes again.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Great Mom Inventions

I am on a quest. My quest is to become an independently wealthy woman so that I never have to work, I can hire a maid, a chef and a personal trainer, and my beer supply never runs low. I have decided that the only way to really make this happen is to invent something that the world can't live without. And there are just SO MANY things that the world cannot live without! My expertise lies in the area of parenting (of course, I am such an expert, you know!) and so here are just a few of my inventions that are going have me rolling in the dough...

1. The Self-Pushing Swing. Yes, I love to push my kids on the swings. They giggle with glee and have such fun flying through the air. But, let's get real here. Sometime after around the 2,347,984th push, your arms start to tire a bit. And really how long can you stand there pushing and dodging a swing coming directly at your face? It gets old. I realize that they eventually learn how to do this on their own, but in those 3-7 years before that happens, there is a lot of pushing happening. Enter the Self-Pushing Swing. The kids have a blast, your arms get a break. Win-win for everyone.

2. The Anti-Sugar-Buzz Snack. This snack would be perfect for those days when Mom really just needs a nap, but the kids don't seem to agree. It would be a delicious treat with a calming effect on small, hyper children. They would of course be highly nutritious and totally organic. After one of these scrumptious snacks, the kids would simmer down, speak in low voices and lie like vegetables for at least the length of a Disney movie. A perfect amount of rest time for a harried Mom. These come in handy at bedtime as well. Kids fighting the bedtime routine? Give 'em one of these and watch 'em go down for the count. Er, ummm, the night.

3. The Mommy Face-Shield. This invention comes in handy on those long afternoons at the pool or playing in the sprinklers. We love to play with our kids in the water. If you are anything like me, you hate being splashed in the face. The MFS would sort of hover around you--to keep your hands free for playing, of course--and automatically jump in front of you when you are about to be splashed. The more expensive model includes a hot cabana boy that holds the MFS for you.

4. The Candy-Coated Sunscreen Pill. Does anyone really enjoy trying to apply sunscreen to small, wiggly, unwilling children? Not really. And, shhhh...please don't tell anyone...but, sometimes, I actually *forget* to apply sunscreen to the Goombas. With the Candy-Coated Sunscreen Pill, you give the kiddos a Skittle-like piece of candy, and BAM! They are SPF 80 protected for the rest of the day. It is water-proof, sweat-proof, PABA-free and tastes great too. Available in chocolate or wine-cooler flavors for Mom.

5. The Mom Swim Suit. This one is still a work in progress. The design is meant to be a swimsuit for moms that actually makes you look good and FEEL good in public. It will minimize your thighs, bum and tummy. It will enhance and lift the boobies. It will make your hair look more luscious and the bags under your eyes disappear. Many claim to be this amazing suit, but only one will be the real thing. The best part is that it will be affordable, and of course, available at Target.

Oh I have so many more of these wonderful ideas in my Mommy brain! I'll leave you with these for now. Imagine a world with these amazing inventions. You can thank me later.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bowser!

Dearest Bowser,

Happy Birthday, my love! For your "old age" birthday, I thought I would take a few minutes to write to you and tell you all the reasons I love you so...

~You have an uncanny ability to make me laugh. Even when I am throwing pizzas against the wall, you can come up with crazy comment, straight out of left field, that makes me giggle and step back from my anger. That is not easy to do, but somehow you are able to do it.

~You are a wonderful father to the Goombas. You let them crawl all over you, bother you during work in the middle of the day, and leave random toys in your office. You can make them all giggle with glee and scream with delight with your silly faces and games. When you come out of your office at the end of the day, they all jump around and yell, "Daddy! Daddy! It's time for fun!" You read them stories, change their diapers and tell them the monsters are gone. I am lucky to have a partner like you in this insanity-inducing job of parenting.

~You are so super duper smart. Computers? Piece of cake. Construction? Been there, done that. House projects? Eh, too easy. Homework for you and the kids? Done and done. If there is a question, you have an answer. And you don't show it off, which makes it that much more likable about you.

~You still have the same nice tush you had when I met you way back when in college. 'Nuff said.

~You listen to me sing in the car, even though I know I am totally awful and it pierces your eardrums.

~You play Wii with Mario and you let him tell you how to play. It drives me crazy to listen to it, but you have a wealth of patience that I will never understand.

~You let Luigi "help" you with projects even though you know he is going to try to eat the screws, or water himself instead of the plants.

~You always said you wouldn't know what to do with a daughter, but now that you have one, you are wrapped tightly around her little finger. Whatever Peach wants, Peach gets. I love how she is her Daddy's Girl.

~You listen to my Dad's "Ham Sandwich Theory" every time we visit them.

~You love beer with almost the same passion as I do. Which means you put up with having more Keystone Light in our fridge than milk and soda together. And that makes you a worthy man in my book.

~You take care of our family and provide for us. And of course, I only married you for your money, so there is that, too. (**Disclaimer--I did NOT marry Bowser for his money, although in a heated battle, he once told me that he thought I did.)

So, thanks, Bowser for being you. It's been 12+ years together. I have seen you go from young, crazy college guy to responsible husband and father, and I'm glad I have been here for the journey. I'm looking forward to being with you when all your hair really does fall out and you reach your "really old age."

I love you!
your lovely wife,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Favorite Time of Year

Beyond Christmas, or my birthday, or even St. Patrick's day, there are 2 days coming up that are probably my absolute favorite days of the year. It is Back-To-School time!!! Can you hear Moms across the world rejoicing? It's not that we don't love our cherubs. It's not that we haven't had fabulous summers full of fighting over Wii remotes and who used their brother's toothbrush. It's not even that we have been dragging kids around in 100 degree heat to things we thought would entertain them, but they deem boring. It's just that it is back to routine, consistency, and kids at school!

Today is the day that kicks it all off. School Supply Shopping Day! There is just something so exhilarating about buying all new stuff for school. I'm not sure the Goombas share in my joy over this blessed day, but they know that it makes Mommy giddy, and that is good enough for them. New crayons, sharp pencils with no eaten erasers, glue sticks, shiny sharp scissors...it's all so magical!

I just love how my friend, the Amazing Ms. B, describes the thrill of new school supplies:

"I get giddy when I see bins of glue sticks and crayons. I literally cannot pass by a twenty-five cent box of crayons without buying several unneeded boxes, which I did yesterday. What a deal!!! I secretly open the boxes and admire the unmarred crayon tips, and take a deep satisfying sniff of the childhood smell. I buy erasers and rub them between my fingers. I put new colorful pencil tip erasers on all of the pencils that I can find in the house, and send extras for my kids for when their erasers run down. My daughter adds colorful erasers with glee and packs them into her pencil bag carefully. That's my girl.

And oh the pencils!!! Ok, really, this is what it all comes down to for me. The pencils. Between my kids they required 60 pencils for their school year. SHARPENED! I love nothing more than sharpening pencils. I listen happily to the sound of grinding wood as I happily sharpen, sharpen, sharpen. After each pencil I test the lead tip to make sure it won't break and then, and THEN, I smell them. Each newly sharpened pencil is a fresh scent of delight!"

You are so very right, Ms. B. I really think Yankee Candle and Crayola should join forces so we can have fresh Crayola and sharpened pencil smell whenever we want.

The real fun for me comes when we get home, though. I love---I mean, the Goombas love to open the stuff and arrange it all neatly in their art boxes. I get such---oops, THEY get such joy out of labeling folders and large pink erasers. Then I--ha ha, again, I meant WE, pack it all ever so neatly into the backpacks and set them on the counter to await my next favorite day of the year....

The First Day of School! In the words of the great Lewis Carroll, "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" My love for the First Day of School started when I was young. I was one of those total nerds that looked forward to and was excited about going back to school every year. I used to wake up early, get dressed in my awesome new clothes and skip out the door. Now the excitement is a little bit different. Instead of new clothes and a hearty breakfast, it is my "nice" sweat pants and a margarita in my coffee mug as I skip out the door.

Although only Mario has been in school so far, this year Luigi will be starting preschool. He is so thrilled! Two first days for us this year. I'll admit, I get a little sentimental when I bring them to their classroom and say good-bye, but that usually goes away once I get home and realize that I have just a tiny bit more freedom to get something done. With only one Goomba hanging on my leg 3 mornings a week, I just might get a project or two accomplished.

And so the countdown is on. Two weeks till school starts. We are going to cram the fun in as much as we can over the next couple of weeks. Since we start school on a Thursday, we will have "practice runs" Monday - Wednesday of that week. I will iron uniforms with glee and gladly take Luigi shopping for a non-Thomas shirt. We will buy lots of delicious (but, of course totally cool) food for packing in lunch boxes. We will go to Family Nights, meet teachers, check out classrooms and then, before we know it...it will be here!!!

So, to all you Moms out there anxiously awaiting that most sacred day of the year...Cheers to you! You made it through another summer! Enjoy your supply shopping and back to school prep. I'll see you mid-August for a breakfast margarita soon!