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.