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

Sunday, December 25, 2011

At the End of the Day...

We did it. We survived Christmas. And what a wonderful day it was! First of all, the Zaz and the Pop are here. And I think you all know how happy that makes me. I have spent most of their time here trying to convince them to move into my basement, but so far it hasn't worked. Whatever. I WILL eventually wear them down. But, that is beside the point. The point right now is that they are here, and I love it.

Mario came into my room at 3:30 this morning asking if it was time to open presents yet. Ummm, NO! He was too excited to sleep, so he crawled into bed with Bowser and I, waking us every 45 minutes just to be sure that we didn't actually miss the present-opening spectacular that awaited us downstairs. I said we had to sleep till 7 before we could go down. At 6:45, he practically cried and said, "I can't take the waiting anymore!!!!" And by that time, we could here Luigi and Peach stirring, so out of the bed we hopped to see if Santa had indeed visited.

And oh, did he visit!!!! When the Goombas made their way down the steps, they were rendered speechless by the sight before them. Peach had an Ultimate Dream Castle for her princesses, fully assembled and ready to go. Luigi had a Cars 2 racetrack, complete with an Eiffel Tower, laser shooting cameras and a tumbling bridge. Also, fully assembled. And now, allow me to make a small sidenote about assembling toys...

Ummm, hello, toymakers. Do you HATE parents???? Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to put together a 4'x3' castle that is packed into a 12-square-ince box? You must not have children of your own, or you are wealthy enough to employ your own "elves" for the holiday season, because obviously, you have never had to put together your own creations. Four small black and white line drawings in the instructions is not much help when you are trying to put together a 4,246,904 piece castle. I'm just sayin'....

Mario spied his new 3DS within 4.2 milliseconds of hitting the bottom step, and I haven't seen his eyeballs since. They have been fully fixed on the 3-D screen for the past 13 1/2 hours. But, a true Christmas miracle occurred and my darling pre-tween, with an attitude the size of Texas actually hugged us all and said "Thank you," for his gifts, without being asked. That was gift enough for this mama.

After the Santa gifts, there was still a pile of presents the size of Mount Washmore to tackle. I thought we would get a good 45 minutes of present-opening out of it. Instead, we got about 45 seconds. It was like a feeding frenzy at the zoo in the lions' den. Don't dare get to close or you might lose an appendage.

While the Goombas played with their new things, the grown-ups feasted on mimosas, eggs Benedict, cinnamon rolls, and potato chips. (Don't knock 'til you try it.) Round 2 of packages came at Grandma and Grandpa Bowser's house later. Let me put it this way... A grandma and a grandpa, 5 children, 4 spouses/significant others, and 8 grandchildren makes for an incredibly chaotic free-for-all of wrapping paper, ribbon and tissue paper. But, I did walk away with an incredibly awesome purse and a fantastic cooler for my back patio, so you won't hear any complaints from me.

And now, here we are, at the end of the day. The aftermath of Christmas morning is spread throughout the house. The Goombas are tucked snugly into their beds after a long and exhausting day. The Zaz, the Pop and Bowser are dozing on the couches, watching the football game, waking each other up with the occasional comment. And I am blogging, thinking back, not just on today, but the entire year, and thanking God deep in my heart for all of His blessings... for my parents, my in-laws, my friends, my Goombas and my husband... The greatest gifts this Daisy could ever ask for on Christmas.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fred, Oscar and Light

Luigi has made a new friend. He is super-cool, 5-years old, loves racing cars and playing trains. His name is Fred and he loves to talk on the phone, although he usually wants to talk to me instead of Luigi. He never stays for dinner, but he around almost all day every day. He has "scratchy spots" (excema) all over, just like Luigi, so they do a lot of scratching together. They are best buddies. The thing about Fred, is that you probably won't ever actually see him, seeing as how he is imaginary and all.

Fred made his debut not long ago in a dinner conversation. Luigi went on and on about his friend Fred and how he just couldn't stay for dinner because his Mommy wanted him to come home. At first, I was very confused. Our neighbor has a little boy the same age as Luigi, but his name is not Fred. Could he have forgotten his friend's name? Then he went on to explain an elaborate race course that was set up in the basement and this car did this and this car did that and Fred made one car jump all the way over the tracks! It suddenly dawned on me that my little Luigi had made an imaginary friend.

I love imaginary friends. I think they are one of the coolest parts of childhood. I fondly remember my own little friends, Owl and Pussycat. Owl and Pussycat were named after a poem that my parents would read to me at bedtime when I was a little girl.

**I am now going to post a link to "The Owl and The Pussycat" by Edward Lear. BUT, I want everyone to PLEASE remember that there was once a time when words were innocent and nonsense was guiltless. A time when minds didn't head straight for the gutter. That being said, this poem is even more awesome as an adult than it was when I was a child. I digress... **

I also remember, very fondly, Mario's imaginary friends, Oscar and Light. Oscar was Mario's very best friend EVER. They did everything together. Light was Mario's wife. Yes, my darling 4-year-old had a wife named Light. Oscar and Light were a very integral part of my young son's life. We had to make room on the couch for them when we watched movies. (Trust me, one time, I accidentally sat on Light, and Mario's poor heart was broken!) They needed plates at the dinner table with us. They had to wear their seatbelts in the car. They needed to be tucked in at bedtime right along with Mario. At a time when many of Mario's friends were getting baby brothers and sisters, he had Light and Oscar. They were awesome and I have to admit, I was more than a little sad when I was told they "moved away."

But, now, we have Fred. And Fred is a silly little boy, who likes to cause trouble and make mischief almost as much as Luigi. In fact, I can hear Luigi and Fred singing some Green Day upstairs as I type. I am looking forward to getting to know him a little better, and I do hope he doesn't move away too soon. I'm glad my Luigi has found his first best friend.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas is supposed to be such a magical time of year. So, why is it that every year, as I get older, I get more and more Scrooge-like? It took all my effort this year to get our decorations up. In fact, we still don't even have lights up outside... and at this stage in the game, I kind of feel like, what is the point? I still have about 90% of my Christmas shopping to do and the thought of heading to Toys R' Us any time in the near future makes me want to just plop myself down in front of the kegerator and never move. Yes, this year, I am a little, more Abominable Snowman than Prep & Landing Elf.

Right now, the biggest thing is that my Goombas just don't seem to give two hoots about whether they are on the naughty list or the nice list. I'll give you one guess as to which side they are leaning towards. We started with an Elf on the Shelf. I love it. I thought, what a great idea! They will flip for this and it will totally make them behave. Enter fork, stage right, so I can eat my words. The first day worked great. We named her Merry and the Goombas were all very excited to please her so she could report back to Santa. By day 4, as exciting as it is to wake up and search for her every morning, her threats of telling "Santa" just aren't doing anything to deter naughty behavior. So, in addition to Merry checking in, I actually posted a "Naughty List" and a "Nice List" on the wall. By Christmas, Santa will check it and you better hope you have more marks on the Nice List if you want some presents. Hmmm... Let's see how that is going...

On the other hand, I guess we have had a few fun holiday moments so far.

Luigi loves to watch "Ru-dog, the Red-nose Rein-deal." No, that is not a Harlem version of Rudolf, but I think that would make a great Christmas program. Also, he loves the Christmas song about the "police man and his dad." It took me a few minutes to figure out that he was talking about "Feliz Navidad."

At dinner the other night, we were talking about armpits. (Please don't ask why we were talking about armpits. Isn't that just normal dinner conversation?) Something was said about stinky armpits for Daddy and Mario, then something about moldy armpits for Luigi, and then Peach lifted her shirt, raised her arm, pointed to her pit and said, "Look! I have sparkles in my armpit!!!" Yes, you do my little princess. Mommy's pits "sparkle," too. Other people call it sweating... Semantics.

My ever-growing pre-teen (dear me, is he almost a 'tween already??) is counting down days till Christmas break when he can "finally relax from all that work at school and play all day at home." I told him I think it would be awesome to be back in school again, hanging out with my friends, learning new things... He looked at me as if a second head just popped out of my neck.

Our Christmas tree only has ornaments on the very, very top and the very, very bottom. The middle is sort of bare due to meddlesome little hands and one very spunky Koopa Troopa. It looks a little strange, but it is ours and we love it.

Today, though, was one of those moments, when you really believe that it is all worth it. After a bit of a stressful morning, trying to get into the groove of Christmas break, we spent the afternoon making decorations. I printed out a bunch of free holiday coloring pages, laid all the crayons and markers out on the table and told the Goombas to go to town. Three hours, two bags of popcorn, 16 juice boxex (for the kids), 2 beers (for me), 42 coloring pages, one roll of scotch tape and hundreds of Goomba giggles later... we have an incredibly colorful home and I have a beautiful memory of my babies enjoying time together. It doesn't get any better...

This is what Christmas is all about.

Cheers and love,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Way Too Deep Rudolf Conversation

While stalking people on Facebook last week, I noticed a status update from a good friend from college. It really stuck with me and I had to find out more of his thoughts on the particular subject. The original status read, "It's one of my favorite holiday traditions - calling Santa a damn bigot on "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Umm, what??? Santa, a damn bigot??? That just didn't sit well. So, I chatted up my friend RB and asked what on the good green earth he meant by his statement. Here, in full detail, is the conversation that followed...

Me: Ok. So, you watched it with your kids, right? Now, why on earth would you say that Santa is a damn bigot???

RB: Let's break it down... What is the first thing Santa does to Rudolph? He comes in when the kid is like an hour old and mocks him for having a red nose. What if had Down's Syndrome? What if he had a cleft palate? I suppose Jolly Ol' St. Nick would probably harass him for that, too.

me: hahahaha! You know, I never thought of it like that.

RB: Then - to top it off - he kicks Rudolph's parents while they're down, too. Here they are, wondering how they're going to raise a child that is different, and then their hero (and boss) comes in and says "Jesus Christ! How could you make such a monster?" Imagine if your boss came by to look at your new son - and said "Holy hell! That thing is a monster! You ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

Me: True, I would not want my boss to come in and say that. He IS a damn bigot!!!

RB: Now - give Donner some of the blame, here. He should've stuck up for his son, but due to the probable deity-like reverence that the reindeer have for Santa, I can understand why he'd want to please the big man in red.

Me: True. It's like, "sorry, son. not gonna love ya if the big man doesn't." But, it isn't just the fat man. What about Comet, when he is running the reindeer games? He practically poos in his pants when Rudolf's fake nose comes off.

RB: It's not just Santa, for sure - Rudy's new buddy Fireball is understandably freaked out by the deformity and reacts accordingly. Comet (the Reindeer Games coach) is a **** (expletive that rhymes with stick), though. But I envision Santa as the "iron fist in a velvet glove" ruler - like if the reindeer don't do what he says, he looks at them and says "If you don't like, I have one word for all of you - venison!"

Me: Mmmmm...Reindeer stew. Well, not sure if you noticed, but he passed on his prejudiced to the reindeer in other ways. When they logger man (what the hell is his name?) goes over the cliff with Abominable Snowman, they are like, "Oh we are so sad, but the 'little ladies' can't stand this cold. we best get their weak-asses home."

RB: You are referring to Yukon Cornelius, the greatest prospector in the north. And yes - there are several instances of misogyny in Rudy - I mean, hell, they even say "You women can't go! This is man's work!"

Me: I know, right??? What the hell are we teaching our kids, anyway? Hey kids, Christmas is all about putting down women and treating "different" people like crap. And if you don't like it, well, no presents from Santa!

RB: But check out the all men in this children's classic - [RB, I simply can't use your words to describe Santa here, so instead, I will insert my own] slightly bigoted, chubby man who wants to rule the reindeer and force children around the world to be "good" (Santa), overbearing loudmouth boss (head elf), a father you can never please (Donner), a coach who singles out the weak and makes them feel inferior (Comet) and a flesh-eating snowman.
I can support Clarice's father's opinion of Rudolph, though - as a father to a little girl myself, I don't care what the little bugger looks like - just get the hell away from my daughter. That philosophy will stand until the day I'm in the cold, cold ground.

Me: I think Bowser would have to agree with you on that last point.

RB: So then - what happens at the end? The male chauvinist Donner gets his butt handed to him by the Snowman, and depends on his deformed son to rescue him. And then Santa realizes "Hey! Maybe I can benefit from the freak's malady! Time to exploit the mutant!"
If you want a textbook reaction on how we should teach our kids how to act, look to Clarice, Rudolph's new girlfriend.

Me: More people should be like Clarice, I agree. Do you think that when this was made it was only perfectly handsome Don Draper type men in charge? Or were they all just doing lots of drugs?

RB: Scotch and cigarettes used to sponsor the show.

Me: I also feel bad for the little elf that wants to be a dentist, too. I mean, with all those damn sweets the elves eat, you would think they would want SOMEONE to take care of their teeth. Not to mention the fact that if one of my children wanted to be a dentist, I would be rather proud.

RB: There's job security in being a dentist - especially if you're the only one in town.

Me: Oh, and even the Misfits on the Island won't accept them because they aren't TOY misfits.

RB: Don't get me started on the Misfit Toys. "We're going to exclude you and banish you - but hey, put a good word in to Santa for us, would you?"

Me: I know, right? Like we may be deformed, but you are SUPER freaks. We might like you if you help us get in with the popular crowd (ie: Santa and his gang)

RB: That Flying Lion King (King Moonracer) is like the bouncer at a crappy club - nobody wants to go there, so they develop an inferiority complex. Then, when someone actually DOES want to visit, he gets all high and mighty.

Me: Wow. You must watch this a lot. Who even knows what the Flying Lion King's name is???

RB: I've seen this show literally every single year of my life - so I know it better than I know the theories of algebra, economics and auto mechanics.
But what gets me is the behavior of Santa the entire show. He's apparently bulimic - as evidenced by his drastic swings in weight throughout the show.

Me: I never realized one could have such strong opinions about a Christmas classic.
Sounds to me like the stress of the season just gets to him. Maybe he needs some Ativan or Xanax to help control those mood swings.

RB: But most of all - he's just a jerk. Look at his treatment of the reindeer. Look how he suffers through the elves' performance of "We Are Santa's Elves" - then as soon as its over, he sweeps out of the room and simply says "it needs work"

Me: Hahaha! I've never really analyzed it this much. Do you have too much free time on your hands?

RB: They say you can get the true measure of someone by how they treat people that are in a lower station than them. Rudy and Hermey treat everyone equally. So does Yukon. But Santa barely gives anyone else the time of day at the North Pole.
Hey, fat man! Who made those toys? Who flies your tubby ass around the world so you can deliver the toys and take all the credit? Who puts up with your crap for 364 days?

Just because you drive a freaking sleigh doesn't mean you did jack. The elves, the reindeer and Mrs. Claus make you who you are - and if you can't appreciate that, then I hope you get eaten by the Snowman!

The other Christmas programs are just creepy. The only one I can truly get behind is Charlie Brown - and that one is mostly for Linus's speech on the true meaning of Christmas. It's the message that we should be passing onto our kids - not even the religious aspects (though that's important).

It's not about toys, or cookies, or trees or whatever - but we celebrate the birth of Christ, and embrace helping our fellow man. If you ask my 4-year old, she will tell you that December 25th is Jesus's birthday. She's excited as anyone about presents and toys, but she knows that giving and loving people are what we are really celebrating.
Realize what's important. We all want to give our kids tons of presents and everything they want for Christmas - but what we all REALLY want is love, family, friends and being together. Christmas is about love- not an Xbox (though that's a close second for me).

I am off my soapbox.

Me: Awww....so sweet, RB! You are exactly right, it is all about being with your family, having compassion for mankind, and celebrating Christ's birth. Buuuuttt...presents are pretty nice, too.
You know, I'm gonna have to edit down the sappy stuff in the blog...

RB: Please do. I would kick my own ass if I re-read all that.

Me: Actually, i think i might keep all the sappy stuff, with your disclaimer that you would kick your own ass.

RB: Sigh - fair enough.

And there you have it. A far too in depth conversation regarding the politics of Rudolf and Santa. Seriously, RB. We really need to get out more.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The Goombas are growing up. There is just no denying it. I went through all of their drawers and closets a couple of weeks ago, to get rid of the evidence that they used to be smaller than they are now. I sometimes take for granted that they are not my adorable little babies anymore. They now have their own opinions ("I will NOT wear that dress, I want the JAMMINS dress!), thoughts ("I think it is time you stop treating me like the 'kids' and let me do whatever I want), and feelings ("I hate you! I am so mad I will NOT clean up my puzzles!). I'll let you guess which comment belongs to which Goomba. But, sometimes, that change sneaks up on a Mommy and kicks you in the stomach when you least expect it.

For instance, without warning, about two weeks ago, Peach decided that her new favorite television show is Dora the Explorer. We had never even watched Dora, but suddenly it was all she wanted. No more Word World. Apparently, we have grown beyond the animals made of letters, and have moved on to the psychotic map and object eating backpack. Well, at least I have an entire new set of songs to get stuck perpetually in my head.

Luigi also switched modes on me very quickly. While we still practically worship the trains, Lightning McQueen and crew are making more and more appearances. Also, my darling boy has started imitating his brother more. Luigi used to be excited about school. Now it is "boring," and "dumb," and "fine, whatever, I guess I'll go if I have to." Hmmm...I believe I have heard this all somewhere before.

But, the one that really got me was Mario. Just this morning, we were having a rare moment alone at the breakfast table. He looked up at me and said, "I want you to know that I have decided to call you Mom now. When I say Mommy it makes me sound like a baby. I don't want to hurt your feelings, because I know you really like Mommy, but I think it is time for me to start calling you Mom. And Dad will be Dad." I looked at my sweet, first-born child, who was looking at me earnestly, as though if I told him no, he would still call me Mommy just to spare my feelings. "That is ok," I told him. "I like Mom, too. And you are right, you are getting older, so Mom works just fine for me." He smiled and said, "Thanks, Mom, I knew you would understand," and dove back into his chocolate chip waffles.

And just like that, I have gone from Mommy to Mom. And the changes just keep coming...


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Trouble with a Capital "T"

I always wanted a daughter. I love my sons more than life, I really do. But, deep down inside I always wanted to have some pink in my life. Then, when my darling Peach came along, my dreams came true. With two big brothers to protect her, I thought it was a perfect way to complete my family. When I told my mother that we were expecting a tiny bundle, of the rosy-colored persuasion, she immediately said, "And I hope she will be just like you." Hmmm... Well, I was an awesome daughter, so really, that would be a blessing, right? Yes, well, we all know how very, very wrong I can be sometimes.

My Peach is a sweet, curly-haired, bow-tie-mouth, princess-loving, gown-wearing, shoe-loving girl. And yes, Zaz, she is exactly like her mother. There were signs that she might take a bit after me when she started using tears to manipulate the people around her. Not that I have EVER been able to squeeze out a real tear to make someone do my bidding, but DAMN! This girl has a gift! I have a feeling that someday, when she is in high school, her poor father's head will explode while listening to the two ladies in his life battle for power.

...Sigh... It really didn't hit me, though, until this evening. Tonight sealed in my mind the fact that my daughter is NEVER able to leave the house without me, because she will surely be EXACTLY like me. Which, looking back now, as a mother, is not all that spectacular.

It is a typical Saturday night in Mario-Land. We are relaxing in front of our best friend, the television, while the Goombas giggle at Looney Tunes, and Bowser and I sip on a beer. Peach crawled up on the sofa next to her Daddy, batted her long eyelashes and said, "Can I have a drink, pwease?" Now, the boys have both tried our beer before and they think it is gross. With this in mind, he thought, "Sure! I'll give her a sip, what is the harm in that? She is going to think it is disgusting anyway!" Apparently, he does not remember that my love of the golden bubbly stuff goes way, way back to my early years. And this, my friends, is how I know that my daughter is going to turn my hair gray sooner rather than later...

She took a small sip of Bowser's beer. She looked at him, her eyes lit up and she said, "Yummy!!! More!!!!" AAAK!!!!! Surely this is just her being silly, so he offered one more small drop to her. "This is GOOOOOD!!!!" she said, with her wild curly hair framing the blissful look on her face. Dear Lord, I know that look. I better start praying now....


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Every Life is Precious

I really have been struggling the last few days on whether or not I should write this post, but, at this point, I feel it is worth talking about. This is not a lecture on abortion, as it might seem in my title. This is simply a short message on how precious life really is.

My very, very dear friend, lost her sweet nephew on Sunday morning. He was born at only 23 weeks gestation and was given a 10% chance of survival. The little man put up a good fight, until he succumbed on Sunday morning to pneumonia and God called him home. My heart is breaking for my friend and her family. I can't help but think of the age-old, unanswered question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I can only think that God must have needed a very special angel in Heaven to help Him watch over others.

As this was happening, my Goombas have been home sick. Of course they did their usual complaining, whining, and needing. Normally, this would have sent me over the edge and caused me to down a box of wine to drown out the noise. But, yesterday, instead of snapping at them, I decided to hold them all a little closer, for just a little longer. How lucky am I that all they had was a slight fever and some sniffly noses? Other mothers around the world are dealing with far worse, I can handle a "just-a-virus" for a few days.

Too many of us take for granted the fact that our kids are healthy. In the past year, besides my friend that just lost her nephew, I know a mother whose baby boy is battling leukemia, another mother that suffered a miscarriage, and one that delivered her baby at 30 weeks and had to endure test after test in the NICU for 10 weeks. Sure, we all have our rough moments, but all-in-all, most of us are fairly lucky to only have to deal with the occasional sniffle or broken arm.

So, today, instead of yelling at your kids for being too loud, or punishing over a glass of spilled milk, hug them instead. Tell them how much you love them, even when they aren't perfect. Giggle with them about a silly show. Leave the clothes in the dryer so you can push them on the swing for an extra minute. Cook them macaroni and cheese for dinner for the 6th time this week because they love it. Read them that extra story they beg for at bedtime. And pray for the babies that can't do those things and for their mothers, who wish they could.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mommy Freedom!

Peach starts preschool tomorrow. I can't believe it! Do you have any idea what this means??? It means that after 8 years of being home with my Goombas day in and day out, I will finally have 4 afternoons a week of Mommy Freedom!!!

I'm just going to be honest with you here. Some people have asked me if I am sad that my "baby" will be heading off to school. And my answer is a big, fat NO. Allow me to explain...

There is a big difference between nostalgia and sadness. Nostalgia is a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. Am I feeling a little "nostaligic" that my babies will all be in school? Of course I am! I miss those little bundles of baby burritos that used to lay all sleepy in my arms. And, I would be lying if I said that I sometimes didn't wistfully look back on those times and wish I had just one more moment. But, I would also be lying if I said that I was SAD to be where we are now.

I have no reason to be sad that Peach is going to school. In fact, I am very excited for her. When we went to meet her teacher today, she ran into the room, found her cubby right away and sat down to create a lovey piece of art. She was the sad one when I told her it was time to go home and that she would have to wait until tomorrow to come back for her class. Let's not forget that Peach has two older brothers that are both in school. Why wouldn't she want to go? She is thrilled at the prospect of being a "big girl," and I am thrilled for her.

Also, and let's just really get down to the nitty-gritty here. I have been a Stay-At-Home-Mom for 8 years now. EIGHT YEARS. That is a long time to spend your days wiping butts, looking for lost lovies, and filling sippy cups over and over and over and over again. Please do not misunderstand. I LOVE being home with the Goombas. I love that I have been here for every minute of their lives thus far. But, for the love of all things holy, it is about time I get a break and head to the grocery store ON MY OWN! It's time to let these kiddos explore the world outside of the nest, so that I can maybe (just maybe) get that nest back into some sort of order.

So, tomorrow, you will find me holding dear Peach's hand as I walk her into the classroom and take her picture by her new cubby. I will kiss her little, curly head and tell her I love her, I will see her soon and to have fun. And then, you will find me racing home again, to lie like a vegetable on my couch for 2 1/2 hours, with a beer in my hand, listening to the completely blissful sound of SILENCE! Hello, Freedom, I am looking forward to getting to know you again!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Monday!

Monday morning. Blah. Why are Mondays just so difficult? No one wants to get out of bed, it takes 2 extra cups of coffee to get moving, and everyone seems just a little cranky to be going from weekend fun to weekday grind. Even the Goombas.

This Monday morning was no different. After hitting the snooze button about 8 times, I finally dragged my sorry butt out of bed and woke up Mario. He did the usual complaining about how he didn't want to go to school, it is so boring, he hates uniforms, blah, blah, blah. The morning continued in the typical way. I had to yell at everyone to just "Sit down and eat your breakfast before I just throw it away!" And, "Where is your homework folder? No, it isn't in your backpack, where did you put it???" And, "Did you brush your teeth? Don't make me go check the toothbrush and see if it is wet!"

During all the hustle and bustle of lunch packing, breakfast eating and coffee guzzling, I heard Luigi and Peach start going at it. Not just yelling at each other, but knock-down, drag-out screaming. I do not have time for this, I thought to myself. I'm still on my first cup of coffee, I cannot deal yet! I let it go for a minute as the screams and shrieks got louder and louder. When I heard a thud, followed by a howl, I had to give in and go upstairs. What on earth they could possibly fighting about this early in the morning--I had no idea.

I trudged up the stairs with my Mean Mommy Face on, ready to drag Goombas to their rooms by their ears. I was in no way prepared for what I saw next.

I came up the stairs to find Peach crying on the floor and Luigi wearing her Deluxe Cinderella Princess Gown. The kind of princess gown that is covered in lace and sparkles with a fluffy skirt and puffed sleeves. And he was twirling around over Peach's sad little body, saying, "I am the Princess, now!!!" Ummm...seriously people. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

When I finally pulled myself together enough to ask what was going on, Peach said, "I want to wear Cinderella!!!" While Luigi yelled, "I am Cinderella because she is blue and boys are blue!!!" Ok, then. I finally appeased them both by explaining to Peach that Luigi was already Cinderella (chalk one up for the list of things I never thought I would say) and that she could be Jammins (Jasmine). Since Jammins is her favorite princess, this seemed to make her happy.

So, now, Luigi is playing with cars and watching Thomas in his beautiful blue gown. Even teasing from Mario didn't deter him from his wardrobe selection. Peach is eating her Cookie Crisp in her Jammins gown. And I am contemplating adding some Bailey's to my coffee, because I already have a feeling it is going to be one of those days.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What Happened??

I can't believe it. I'm not exactly even sure what happened. It has been more than a month since I have written or posted anything! I don't even have a good excuse, just that I have been so busy with Goombas, and school, and awards shows, and potty training, and traveling, and... Well, just lots of stuff!

So, where do I even begin? When last you heard from me, I was prepping Goombas to go back to school. And I must say, it is glorious! Mario is in 3rd grade, and Luigi is in 1/2 day preschool 4 afternoons a week. It is just Peach and I on those afternoons and we are having quite a nice time together. Teachers, I don't know how you do it, but THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for being with my kiddos for hours a day, teaching them and loving them and saving them from their demented and deranged mother.

Also on the home front... Peach turned 3 years old last week! Three years!!! It seems like only yesterday that I woke up at 1 in the morning with contractions...and made Bowser so nervous that he stayed in the bathroom for most of the 2 hours until we left for the hospital. My darling Peach, you are our little Princess and we love you. You are also the house Drama Queen, which I thought would be a tough title to win from me, but I don't stand a chance against you.

Speaking of Peach... Guess who is potty-trained??? Peach decided 2 days before her birthday that she wanted to be a panty-wearing princess. I thought it would be a struggle, but it wasn't! I mean, I don't want to brag... Ok, I do want to brag. But, I feel that since this is my blog, I am allowed to do that. It was like she knew all along how to do it! Only 2 accidents and we have been a diaper-free family for a week now! Bring out the champagne!!! Light up the fireworks!!! Sound the alarms!!! We are a diaper free family! I'm sure you can imagine my excitement, seeing as how I have been changing poopy diapers for nearly 8 years (with a small 18 month break in between Mario's potty-training and Luigi's arrival). So, good-bye Pampers! Sayonara, Huggies! Don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out, Luvs!!! We are movin' on!

More happenings here in Mario World...
I went to the Awards Show of the Millenium a couple of weeks ago. The First Ever Mother of the Year Awards! It was an awesomely good time, and totally deserves it's own post. Stay tuned for a detailed account!

Bowser and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary at the end of August. We went up to a gambling town in the mountains, while awesome Grandma Bowser watched the Goombas overnight. We had big plans... A night of gambling, drinking, and child-free fun! This is what happened... We gambled for an hour, ate too much at the buffet, crashed back in our room at 9 o'clock and fell asleep watching "Date Night" on tv. Not sure what happened to the Bowser and Daisy from 10 years ago, but I'm pretty sure they would severely mock their older selves. The next night, when we got home, I forced Bowser to get out the old VCR so we could watch our wedding video. It was awesome. Good times for sure! And Bowser, I still love ya just as much as I did back then, even if we are old farts that have to go to bed at 9 p.m.

We took a trip to visit the Zaz and the Pop for Labor Day. We stopped in a small town right off the interstate for lunch on the way there. You can't go wrong with a McDonald's play place, right? The Goombas jumped out of the van, ready to get some crazies out, while I ordered the food. Mario came out of the play place with a sad look on his face. "What happened?" I asked. "You have to wear SOCKS to play in their play place," he said. "Can you please buy some for us?" What the... First of all, it was 107 degrees outside that day. Who the heck was wearing socks??? And, honestly, every kid I know wants to play in a play place WITHOUT socks, because of course, it makes it easier to climb UP the slides. But, apparently, they enforced this rule, since my Goombas were told by an employee they couldn't play without socks. So, I went back to the counter and asked for 3 pairs. "That will be six dollars," the man replied. WHAT??? Umm, no thanks. Six dollars for 3 crappy pairs of socks? It was a conspiracy to get all of the travelers to spend even more money!! I told the Goombas to go right ahead with their little bare feet and play. The Sock-Enforcers could deal with me if they had a problem with it. We will not be stopping there again.

Wow! So, I guess that about covers it for now. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful month!!!


Friday, August 5, 2011

End of Summer Update

Well, we are almost there!!! School starts in 10 days for Mario, and 17 days for Luigi! Not that I am counting or anything, but jeez, this summer has dragged on for a while! Now, I realize that I haven't written anything for a while, so I'm here to give you an update on happenings in Mario World.

First of all, the reason I haven't been writing much is because I got a shiny new toy that I can't keep my hands off of! I love my new iPhone! It's so pretty, and smart, and full of fun things. I don't know how I lived with my "non-smart" phone for so long. Seriously. Bowser says I am a little too obsessed with it, but what does he know? Just because I carry it all over the house with me, and compulsively check my Facebook from wherever I happen to be, doesn't mean I am obsessed. A little crazed, maybe. But, not obsessed. Definitely not... Oh, look! Someone wants to play Words with Friends! Be right back...

Moving along... I struggled for the last few days with a preschool decision for Luigi. Man, I can really destroy brain cells by over-analyzing decisions. The preschool we love was just too expensive. I found another school that seemed awesome for a much more affordable price. After bombarding my friends with scrutiny of every last detail, a posting on Facebook, and crying 3 nights in a row to Bowser about how I could ruin Luigi's life with the wrong decision, I finally realized that it is just preschool. As long as I am happy with it and HE is happy with it, everything will be fine. We decided to go with the new and less expensive school and I feel good with my decision. It is a very fundamentalist church that offers the school, so as long as I don't scare them away with my ink and Green Day blasting out my windows in the mornings, I think it's gonna be great.

Peach is kind of making my crazy. My mother always said that someday I would have a daughter and my mother would get her revenge. Ok, Zaz, that day has come. Peach is well on her way to winning the Academy Award for Best Dramatic Actress. This girl can squeeze out crocodile tears at a moment's notice. And I swear she already knows how to manipulate her brothers to get whatever she wants. She is obsessed with her Paci and frankly, I haven't had the energy to take it away from her. Someday soon, the Paci Fairy is coming and I will be rid of the green oral fixation for good. When the boys are in school, we are moving on to potty training. And then, I will officially be baby-free, which is a little sad, but also incredibly exciting.
(**Quick update--last night, she gave it up! And the Paci Fairy left her a beautiful flower and some m&m's for doing such a good job! Yay!)

Mario is going to be starting third grade in just a couple of weeks! Third Grade!!! I remember third grade. I was in Ms. Morgan's class and she had this awesome pink VW Bug pencil holder/sharpener thing as a prize to whoever did the best at Math Minutes. Oh, how I wanted that car. I wanted it to sit on my desk, all shiny and pretty and MINE. Alas, I have never been a math whiz, and the car went to my friend Jellicle Cat. I'm still jealous. But, I digress... My Mario is now a third grader. I am taking him on a "date" this afternoon, just the two of us. Last night he said, "Mom, that sounds really boring to go to a restaurant and talk to each other." I had to explain that a date could mean doing lots of different things. "Ok," he replied, "But, could you PLEASE stop calling it a date? That is what boyfriends and girlfriends do when they want to kiss." Ummm... Ok... What? ...sigh...

Bowser and I are coming up on our 10 year anniversary this month. 10 years. When we look at our wedding pictures it seems like a lifetime ago. Who are those young kids, with no real responsibilities, no little people hanging off them, and with huge smiles on their faces??? That was us? Well, 10 years later, and I am happy to say that despite real responsibility hanging over us, lots of little people crawling on us at all times, and the worry lines that have sometimes replaced the smiles, I still kinda like him. I guess I'll keep him around for another 10 years, if he'll have me.

And that is about it here. We are getting close to the end of summer. I can't say I will miss this insanely hellish heat. Fall is just around the corner and it is welcome to come whenever it wants. Enjoy the last few days of break, everyone!


Monday, July 25, 2011


Every summer, my husband's family plans a big camping trip. The entire family gets together, heads up to the mountains and camps for a weekend. Sounds like fun, right? Oh, heck no! It's not that I don't love his family, because I really, really do. It's really more of a.... Well, a camping thing. I realize that I live in the most Outdoor Friendly State Ever, but here's the thing... Me and Nature, we don't like each other too much. In fact, my idea of camping is staying at a hotel with an outdoor pool and no room service. Cliche? Maybe. Totally true for me? Yes.

Bowser and his family have tried to convince me how much fun camping really can be. And, while they have pointed out some fabulous things about it, I have to say that my previous experiences with the Great Outdoors seems to outweigh whatever fun they may have in store. Allow me to present to you my arguments...

Point: We will be camping at a scenic lake in the middle of Rocky Mountain Country. Beautiful views all around and the peace and quiet of nature.
Counter Point: Beautiful views, yes. Also, bears and mountain lions, mosquitoes and ticks. All kinds of creatures that want nothing more than to eat me alive. Thanks, but no thanks.

Point: The Goombas love it! Fishing, running around, hiking, and more! They play so hard that they wear themselves out every day. It is good for their little bodies and souls.
Counter Point: Yes, great for the Goombas! Not great for Daisy. Fishing makes my stomach churn. I'm just not that into catching smelly, slimy things and skinning them for my dinner. Also, when I think "Outside," I think hot and sweaty. I do not like to be hot and sweaty. I like to be clean and pretty with my full face of makeup on. Last time I checked, our tent didn't come with a full bath and vanity. Yes, I am vain. We all have our flaws.

Point: Sitting around a campfire drinking beer and roasting marshmallows.
Counter Point: Ok, well, I really have no argument for this one because that does sound just plain awesome. I'd be happy to set that up in my own back yard.

Point: Sleeping out in a tent, under the stars is so peaceful and restful. The fresh air helps you get such a great night's sleep.
Counter Point: Have you ever seen a horror movie? Outdoors camping seems to be a prime location for bad guys and scary monsters. Sleeping with one eye open and jumping at every little sound does not sound like a great night's sleep to me. I'm just sayin'...

Ok, so I'm sure camping is not all that bad. Lots of people seem to really enjoy it! I am just not one of those people. Never have been, probably never will. I think while Bowser and the boys go this weekend, Peach and I will just "rough it" here, with take out food and some good old fashioned Disney movies. Maybe we will even get crazy and roast our on marshmallows on the grill.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

When Will It End???

I realize that it is only mid-July right now, but I have to tell you, I am already counting days till school starts again. Don't get me wrong, I love summer break. We have had a lot of nice lazy mornings, sleeping in till almost 8 a.m. (which is almost unheard of in our house!), we have enjoyed days where we didn't have to rush to be anywhere at any certain time, and all of that is very nice and good. I remember being Mario's age and being so sad when summer would come to an end, but, my mother would practically be happy dancing around the house as the final countdown began in August. Mom, I totally get it now. I love the Goombas, but for the love of all things holy, I need some time away from them! Plus, all three of the kiddos have always loved and thrived on a schedule. That just doesn't happen so well during the summer.

Our vacation time has actually been going fairly well up until recently. Over the past few days I have started to notice signs that it is time for the summer season to show some mercy and come to an end. Here they are, in random order...

The Top 10 Signs Summer Needs to Come to an End...

10. You have watched all 100 episodes of Blue's Clues on Netflix MORE THAN ONCE, and you are starting to want to move your relationships with both Steve and Joe to the next level. You already have some interesting places to hide the "clues."

9. You have gone through 3 Slip n' Slides, 2 blow-up pools, 4 bottles of sunscreen, a bottle of bug spray, 438 gallons of bubble solution, and 18 packages of sidewalk chalk. And you still have a month to go.

8. You can really only grill hot dogs so many times before no one ever wants to see one again.

7. If you hear the words "but I'm so bored!" one more time, you are going to have to be locked away at the Funny Farm.

6. You are starting to consider just putting all of your fighting kids into one room just to see who comes out alive, rather than break up ANOTHER fight.

5. Your kids refuse to go to sleep before the last bit of sunshine has gone, and they wake up at the first ray of light in the morning. At least in the winter you can put them to bed at 5 p.m. because it is already dark out and they can't tell time yet.

4. Everyone has all kinds of weird suntan lines all over their bodies, and there is always that ONE little spot on the kids, where you missed the sunscreen, and of course they get a crazy sunburn on that spot.

3. You have given up and given in and don't even swat away the mosquitoes anymore. Resistance is futile.

2. You are looking longingly at your jeans, sweaters and boots in your closet, because you realize that tank-tops just aren't looking so hot anymore.

1. Even your 8-year-old gets excited when he sees the back to school signs out at Target.

Only about a month to go, Mommies. We can do this. And on the first day back, breakfast margaritas at my place.


Friday, July 8, 2011

A Quick Opinion...

I know that most of us have been watching all, some, or at least the most recent events in the Casey Anthony trial. I also know that most of us are completely flabbergasted by the jury's decision that she was not guilty. And, since I am not one to keep my mouth shut when it comes to sharing opinions, here is mine...

That woman is crazy. Not just crazy, but seriously sick in the head. There is not a mother I know that would go out and party it up while her daughter was missing. Her daughter was with the nanny? Hell, I even call to check-in when my own MOTHER-IN-LAW is babysitting! To go 31 days without any contact, just seems a little absurd to me. Not a single one of my mommy friends would ever be ok with not knowing where our children are. In fact, we have been known to cut people off mid-sentence and run outside if a child has gone around the side of the house and we can't see them right out the back door. I really just don't understand Ms. Anthony's logic behind her defense. Then again, I am not a lawyer and I am a fairly normal type of mother. I think we can all agree that her actions speak far louder than her words in this instance. And, Ms. Anthony, those actions lead me to believe that you are guilty.

But, let's move on. The fact of the matter is, the prosecution did NOT show the jury evidence beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT that Ms. Anthony was guilty. A jury is instructed before any trial that they must believe BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that the defendant is guilty. I was not in that jury room and I have no idea what was said or deliberated. I would imagine some of the jury members are sick with heartache over the decision they had to make. Maybe someone was paid off. Maybe someone truly believed in her innocence. Maybe any number of scenarios played out. Whatever the case, they came to the decision they did and what is done is done. Am I happy about it? Absolutely not. Do I think that true justice will eventually be served? Absolutely yes.

Here is how I am coping with what I think is a tragedy all around... One day Ms. Anthony's own life will end. Until then, she has to live in her own mind. No one else can know what she is thinking or feeling. And karma sure can be a bitch, so my guess is that she will never rest easy again. When her life does come to an end, she and ONLY she will have to stand in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. No defense attorneys can help her then. No loopholes in the law. No sympathetic jury members. It will be then, and only then, that she will be put to the true trial. And it will be then that she will be sentenced accordingly.

So, my friends, although it is definitely an interesting discussion, I think it is time we lay this story to rest. Let's allow poor Caylee's soul to have some peace. Let's stop giving Ms. Anthony so much time in the spotlight. And let's keep praying that a tragedy like this doesn't happen to another innocent victim.

Sincerely Yours,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

I have two younger brothers. They are 4 and 7 years younger than me, respectively. And I remember ALWAYS getting along with them. We loved each other all the time and never fought, never beat each other up, never crimped each other's hands in crimping irons... Basically, we got along splendidly and never gave the Zaz and Pop ANY grief.

Which is why I can't figure out why my Goombas just can't seem to get along. It is a never ending stream of screaming, tattling, and trying to maim each other. I just don't get it. Seems like every time they get to playing a game together, I start to relax and walk away for like a second and a half, and then they are at each other again.

For example... Here is an interaction between Luigi and Peach from the other day...

Luigi: Peach, let's go play school!
Peach: Ok!
Luigi: You come with me, and we will play.
Peach: (ponders for a moment, then reaches out to pinch Luigi for no apparent reason) I crunch you! (followed by maniacal laugh)
Luigi: AAAAHHH!!! You crunched me, Peach! Mommy, Peach crunched me!!! (turns and knocks her down on her tush.)
Peach: AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! I crunch you, Luigi!!!! Crunch, crunch, CRUNCH!!! AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!
Luigi: (at this point, screaming at more than 8,000 decibels) AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! PEACH!!!! NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
Peach: (simultaneously) AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! LUIGIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!! NNNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mommy: sigh....

It doesn't matter what it is, they will fight about it. She got a bigger package of fruit snacks than me! I wanted to be the first one down the stairs! You didn't yell at him for drawing on the walls! You hugged her for .32 nanoseconds longer than you hugged me! It is enough to make this mother run for the hills screaming.

I feel like a broken record most days. Stop hitting your sister. Stop crunching your brother. If you can't play nicely, you can't play at all! Once, I even pulled one of my mother's old tricks out of the hat. When Mario and Luigi couldn't seem to agree on anything one afternoon, they started screaming that they hated each other. So, I made them sit on the couch for 5 minutes holding hands. I thought the daggers that were shooting out of Mario's eyes would actually kill me. I don't think it made them like each other, but let's just say they didn't bother each other for the next hour or so.

The only thing that is keeping me from selling my fighting little monkeys off to the gypsies at this point, is knowing that it will get better. Ok, fine, I'll admit, my brothers and I did not always love each other as much as we do today. And yes, I crimped one of their hands once. (Not my finest moment, I'll admit.) But, now, we get along really well and I would like to think we would all do anything for each other. And even though Bowser and his brothers and sister had their moments too (Bowser still has a scar near his eye from being hit with a C battery thrown by one of his brothers) they also now love and support each other through it all.

Unfortunately for me, today is not that day for the Goombas. I better get upstairs and make sure everyone still has all their limbs in tact.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

To My Daddy,

I just wanted to take a minute, on this Father's Day, to tell you thanks so much for being my dad. I would like to get all mushy and gooey here, but we both know that neither one of us is really into that, so instead, I will give you a top 10 list of why I think you are the best.

So, in Random Order...
The Top 10 Things I love about my Daddy...

10. You didn't make fun of me (to my face) when I tried to use a toy cricket to lure a very real and very annoying cricket out of the corner of my room one very, very late night. You just did your duty, came downstairs with a can of bug spray, sprayed the sucker and said, "For the love of God, put the damn toy away and GO TO SLEEP!"

9. When I used to have friends spend the night, you would mash up Tootsie Rolls and put them in my baby brother's diapers and pretend to eat "poop." It grossed us out, but guess what...we LOVED it! Also, broccoli up the nose was always a close second for fun dinner time tricks.

8. When I was in college, I called you at work one day crying because I didn't have enough money in my bank account to go buy tampons. So, my hero Daddy, promptly deposited $20 for me, so that I could buy some feminine hygiene products, and a beer. Thanks, Dad!

7. When my beloved cat, Smudge, died while I was away on a high school journalism trip, my Dad sat me down to gently break the news. Then he drove me out to the spot where he buried him so that we could put a small marker on his grave. And he didn't even care that I cried like a baby the entire time. In fact, truth be told, I think he might have even squeezed a tear out as well.

6. Dad, you put up with a lot of crappy boyfriends that I brought home. I mean, A LOT of crappy boyfriends. Wow. You must have really loved me and wanted me to be happy to allow me to bring some of those guys over for dinner. Yeeeaaahhhh..... Ummm.... Sorry 'bout that.

5. Ok, I've been trying to put it off and not actually "go there," but I think we all know it needs to be said. Daddy, you instilled in me a great love and respect for the golden, bubbly beverage that we affectionately like to call the "Nectar of the Gods." I can remember the trailer in good, old West Virginia, taking sips of your Schaeffer on hot afternoons. Wait. That kinda makes us sound trashy, doesn't it? But, look at us now, all big and fancy, going to events like the Great American Beer Fest. Dad, there is no one in the world I would rather Beer Fest with than you.

4. When I left for college, you held out your hand for a firm handshake. I was so devastated. My Daddy didn't even want to hug me good-bye?? I reached out to give a weak handshake, and lo and behold---my Dad's hand was full of cash!!!! Woo hoo! The "handshake" became a tradition that lasted through my college years. Don't worry, there were hugs too.

3. Dad, you taught me how to love good music. Yes, I had my bad years--I thought your head would explode every time I asked you to play the New Kids On the Block cd. But, also, you taught me a very, very important lesson when it comes to listening to great songs... If anyone makes even the slightest "peep" while your song is playing, you must immediately go back to the song's beginning to listen to it in it's entirety without interruption. The Goombas have now learned this important lesson, although, I am still working on Bowser.

2. Do you remember the first time you met Bowser? I could practically hear your heart screaming, "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" as the man that would eventually marry your daughter kept watering down his scotch. In the end, Bowser stopped watering his Dewar's down and asked for my hand in marriage. And since he agrees with your "ham sandwich" theory, you deemed him worthy.

1. At our wedding you gave the best Father-of-the-Bride toast EVER. We still talk about that toast. Even my friends still talk about that toast. And yes, I am very lucky to have married a man just like my Daddy in so many ways.

Dad, there are so many other things that I love, this is just a random sampling. You are a great Papa to the Goombas, you laughed at my "Have you been eating chicken lately" joke, and you have made it clear that I will always be your little girl.

Thanks for everything, Daddy. I love you! And now, I do believe, it is our favorite time of day... Beer:30!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New York, New York! Part 3 (with a bonus blog at the end)

And so the end of our trip came. We packed our bags and headed to the airport. Mario and I cried together over leaving awesome family and beloved New York. We were all mentally spent. We were all looking forward to getting back to our home, the Koopa Troopas and our own, cozy beds.

While we waited at the terminal, there was a cool little kids play area off in one corner. Perfect. Kudos to you, Jet Blue, for knowing that kids need to run around a bit before they get strapped into an airplane seat for hours. The Goombas loved it. They climbed, they jumped, they ran, they made Bowser and I feel very tired. When the time came to board, I just knew they would be so worn out that we would all relax on the way home. I. Will. Never. Learn.

They bounded down the aisle to our seats with as much enthusiasm as they did at the very beginning of our trip. Of course, we had to play musical chairs for a while before everyone was happy with who they were sitting next to. Luigi wanted snacks right away. Mario said he NEEDED a Dr. Pepper to help him stay awake for the entire trip. Peach... Well, Peach did NOT want to be on an airplane again.

I won't go into any more detail. I'll just say, it was an incredibly LONG 5 hour flight home. But, we landed safely and breathed a sigh of relief to be back to our familiar place. Luigi and Peach didn't even wake up when we pulled into our garage. We carried them to their beds and they didn't stir a bit when we tucked them in. Mario dragged himself upstairs, not even bothering to take off his shoes, and climbed into his bed. Bowser and I flopped on the couch while the Koopa Troopas attacked us with purring. Home sweet home.

I just want to say once again to everyone in NY... Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a wonderful trip. From the food to the laughter, it was a trip we will never forget! Love and miss you all so very much!


A Small-ish Bonus Blog....

Happy Birthday, my darling Luigi!!! I can hardly believe you are a whopping 4 years old!!! My dear heart, you are an amazing child and my life would be so incredibly BORING without you in it. Without you, our family could never be complete. Thank you for all the smiles and laughter you bring us every single day. Meow, meow, little kitty! I'm so glad I am your "best friend." I love you very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, veeerrrrrryyyy much! Have a wonderful day, my love. I can't wait to see all you accomplish in the future! Love, Mommy

Monday, June 13, 2011

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Blog Post...

I had planned to post Part 3 of New York, New York today. But, when this particular incident came up today, I decided it must be blogged and Part 3 of NY, NY will have to wait.

I have not been feeling super great the past few days. I figured I was still a little off-schedule from the trip, and maybe even a little bit jet-lagged. Plus, I have these nasty bug bites all up and down my arm. The bites are annoying to say the least. They don't really itch so much as they tingle and hurt. I'd given it more than a week, and the pain just keeps increasing, so today I sucked it up, loaded the Goombas into the van, and headed to my doctor's office.

I love my doctor. He is a chubby guy from Australia that likes to talk about the "old days" of medicine. He also believes that a good night sleep is the best medicine, so he is not shy about prescribing stuff to help me rest. (Like cough syrup with codeine when I get my yearly cough/sinus infection. He is awesome.) The downside to him (and the entire office) is that they are not very punctual with their appointments. I usually wait for at least 30 minutes in the waiting room. But, when you find a doctor you like, you gotta go with it, right?

Anyways, back to the story. The Goombas and I waited in the waiting room for 45 minutes. Not kidding. All this for a stupid spider bite, I kept thinking to myself. I was about to leave when they called me in. The nurse checked it out, made a few notes and said he would be in in a minute. 30 minutes later, he came into the room.

I explained to him that I somehow got these horrible bites and they didn't seem to be getting better. Actually, I screamed it to him over the sound of the Goombas "playing" on the exam table. He took one look at my arm, gently tried to touch it and said, "Oh. Well, that's not spider bites. That's Shingles!" He almost seemed delighted to make that announcement. My mouth dropped open and I just stared at him and said, "Wha???"

"Well," he asked, "Did your skin hurt, almost like a burning sensation a few days before?" I thought for a minute and said, "Yes, actually it did. It hurt really badly." "Yup!" he smiled. "Shingles!"

"But...but, isn't shingles for OLD PEOPLE????" In my mind all I could picture was when I lived in West Virginia and my great-grandmother came to stay with us and had shingles. It was not a pretty memory.

He assured me it is not for old people. Anyone who has had Chicken Pox can get Shingles. It is just particularly BAD for those over 65. He actually said I should consider myself lucky to have it now, in my 30s, than when I am older. Oh sure, I thought to myself. Lucky. R-i-i-i-i-i-ight.

He explained to me what it is and said that usually a great amount of stress will cause it. Just then the Goombas started actually jumping OFF the exam table. I just looked at Dr. with a blank stare and he said, "I think I know where that stress might have come from."

I don't know how much any of you know about shingles, but I gotta tell you. This is painful. It feels like someone is stabbing me with a million needles from the inside of my arm. It hurts like a really, really, really, really bad word. Just having my shirt brush against it sends pain shooting through my arm. My fingers are constantly tingling with that feeling like when your limb falls asleep and you try to use it before it "wakes up" all the way. It is not fun.

My darling Dr. said he knows how painful it is and gave me an anti-virus drug along with some Vicodin. (I told you he was a good doctor!) He told me to get some rest and sent me on my merry way. I called Bowser to tell him what was up and that my arm was not actually going to rot off, although it felt like it. Here was his response...

"Shingles??? Did you remember to put your Depends on and take your gout pills today, too?"

Nice, Honey. Thanks for the sympathy.

My dad, the Pop, said, "Hmmm...Shingles sounds kind of bad. Maybe you should find out the technical name for it. It will sound more official and get you more sympathy." To which I replied, "I don't think that is going to help. I would rather tell people I have Shingles than Herpes Zoster." He then laughed so hard that I'm pretty sure he might have fallen out of his chair.

The Goombas have been so sweet this evening, though. They want to take care of me. They told me to put my feet up on the couch and rest. Mario covered me with a blanket. Peach gave me her blanket to snuggle with. And Luigi gave me a pillow so I could close my eyes and feel better. Gotta admit, I am kinda liking this. I might have to milk this for a few days and see if I can get some good behavior out of them. **wink, wink!**

And now it is time for some pain relief and rest... Stay tuned tomorrow for your regularly scheduled programming...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

New York, New York! Part 2

Finally we made it to my Godfather's house. Really, there is no other name for him. He is actually my Godfather, and he will make you sleep with the fishes if you cross him or his family. We were exhausted, but so excited to see everyone. And of course, my awesome Aunt and Cousins had real NY pizza and bagels waiting for us! Aak! I practically drowned myself in that pizza. Even Mario said it was the best pizza he ever ate and he would never like any other pizza again. With that as a kick-off to our 5 days on Long Island, I was a happy, happy camper.

It was such a wonderful and CRAZY busy week, that I will just hit you with some highlights here...

~The food was AWESOME. I mean, a lot of food is good, and you can get good food anywhere. But, there is something about food in NY that is just so much...BETTER than anywhere else. We stuffed our faces with pizza, drank gallons of good coffee, bloated our bellies with fresh seafood and more. I've never seen Mario (my picky little bird) eat so much at one time. I think we all came back a few pounds heavier, but it was soooo worth it.

~We went to the town of my birth to walk around on the docks. Port Jeff is one of my favorite places in the entire world. Luigi liked throwing broken shells off the dock and watching them float down in the water. Peach loved the boats. At one point, Mario looked at me and said, "Mommy, this seems so familiar to me. Are you sure I haven't been here before?" "No," I replied, "you have never been here before. But, this is where Mommy was born. Isn't that cool?" He took my hand, looked me in the eye and said, "I knew our hearts belonged from the same place." And then my heart swelled with joy that my son and I share so much.

~We drove out one day to visit my Aunt Brooklyn (named as such because she is not only from Brooklyn, but she personifies the Brooklyn spirit perfectly), and we took the subway into the city for the afternoon. I thought sweet Luigi's head was going to explode from excitement when the F Train came rushing into the station. His eyes were wide and he was paralyzed with wonder over such an amazing sight. We got on the train and he clutched the Zaz's hand, eyes still wide, ready to take in every last drop of that train ride.

~Once we reached the city, we visited Nintendo World. Mario never wanted to leave. In fact, he even asked one of the store workers if he could have a job there and move in. We had a fast lunch and then the Zaz and Aunt Brooklyn took the Goombas to the giant Toys 'R Us on Times Square, while Bowser and I made a quick side trip to the most beautiful store in all the land--Tiffany's and Co. (More on that in a minute...) The Goombas loved the toy store. They had ice cream at Scoops 'R Us, Luigi had his picture taken with Iron Man and Spiderman, Peach got to dress up as a princess and Mario posed with a huge T-Rex. I'd say a good time was had by all. By the time we met back up with everyone, Zaz and Aunt Brooklyn handed the kids back to us with frazzled looks on their faces. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Luigi begged them to go up and down the escalators about 35 times.

~Tiffany's was awesome. I am like a magpie. I will go for anything that sparkles. And there was a LOT of sparkle in that store. On the 2nd Floor, also known as the Diamond floor, Bowser said, "Go ahead! Try something on!" Not wanting to be greedy, I chose a diamond eternity band, less than a carat total weight. It was beautiful! It was also $22,000. That was when I asked to be directed to the Sterling Silver Floor. And I am happy to say that I walked out with my own little blue box that will sit on my dresser forever.

~My Aunt Mets' wedding was beautiful. (Yes, she loves the Mets!) She was a perfect bride. She is my Dad's sister and he walked her down the aisle. I was honored to read a lovely poem during the ceremony. She and her new husband are a perfect match and I wish them many years of happiness. And... The reception was rockin'! My incredibly awesome cousins offered to come get the Goombas early so Bowser and I could party the night away, which is exactly what we did. Thank you so much K and T for taking such good care of my babies!!! It was a great time and for some reason, at the end of the night, Bowser and I managed to walk out with about 15 of the wine bottle guest favors. Hmmm... I have no idea how that happened. **wink!**

Before we knew it, our time in New York had come to an end. Mario and I cried when we left. I already miss my family so very much. We said good-bye to our hotel room and dragged out all of those bags that were now even more stuffed from all the loot we acquired during our stay. I'm sure the hotel was not unhappy to see us go. I'm still waiting to see if they send a bill for the 3 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that was ground permanently into the carpet in our room.

We made it back to the airport and prepared ourselves for the trip home. It was a 7 p.m. flight. Surely after our long and tiring week, the Goombas will sleep on the plane, right? Stay tuned to find out.....


Thursday, June 9, 2011

New York, New York! Part 1

Wow! What an incredible trip to the Big Apple! It was a whirlwind week, but we all survived and we had a great time. So much happened in such a short amount of time, that I am going to break it up into a 3 part series for you. I want you to be able to soak in every bit of the madness.

We left town last Monday night. I think I have already mentioned that Bowser got it in his head the the red-eye flight would be a good idea. Let's just say we won't be doing that again. In all honesty, the Goombas were great. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I made them fear for their lives at the first sign of misbehavior. Our flight left at 1 a.m. So, we kept the regular schedule the day before and just put the Goombas to bed a little early, thinking they would at least get 4-5 hours of sleep before we left for the airport. Sometimes I amaze myself with my wrongness.

The Goombas did not fall asleep til after 8 p.m. We had to wake them up to leave for the airport at 10 p.m. Of course, they were all very excited, so they jumped out of their beds ready to go. We got to the airport and somehow managed to drag in our 4 suitcases, 5 backpacks, 1 double stroller, 2 purses (one for me, one for Peach, of course), and 2 carseats. I can only imagine what the other travelers were thinking. I'm sure it was something along the lines of, "Please, God, do not let this family be on MY flight!"

We checked in, took the train to the terminal and prepared to wait. Thankfully, the flight was on time, so we weren't sitting around for too long. Also thankfully, the moving walkways were on. I'll give you one guess as to what the Goombas entertained themselves with for the hour we were waiting. Let's just say that if Bowser ever sees another moving walkway, he will probably run for the hills screaming in terror.

As we boarded the plane, we started getting "the Look." You could practically hear people rolling their eyes when they saw the kids trotting down the aisle to find our row. Luigi watched in awe as our flight attendant went through the safety procedures. When it was time to take off, Peach giggled and clapped, and oohed and aahed as she looked out the window.

One of the nice things about Jet Blue airlines is that they have tv's in the back of each seat. So, we set the Goombas up with headphones and a movie. I settled back into my seat and prepared for everyone to doze off. Again with my wrongness. Within 30 seconds Luigi wanted candy. Peach wanted her headphones off. Then on. Then off and on again. Mario sat quietly next to Bowser and played his DS.

The movie was over in about 90 minutes, so I turned the tv's off and made it dark. Now they will fall asleep and we will all get some rest. Nope! Luigi had to go to the bathroom. Not wanting to be left out, Peach decided she needed a diaper change. Mario got thirsty and had a brief argument with Bowser over the fact that we wouldn't let him have a Dr. Pepper at 3 in the morning.

Once everyone settled back in, I knew for sure this time that everyone would fall asleep. Just as I closed my eyes, Peach threw down her pacifier. (Sidenote: Yes, I realize she is too old for a paci, but I didn't think getting rid of it right before a 5 hour plane ride would be a good idea.) Then Luigi threw down Puppy. Then they made it a game and started throwing things at each other. Poor Mario was trying to rest, but the nasty lady next to him kept making snide comments and pushing him out of the way. Then they all wanted to switch seats. So, Bowser and I switched places and he got Peach out of her carseat to give her a break. Which of course, meant that she was supposed to go running like a wild banshee up and down the aisle, right?

Before long, I looked out the window and realized I was watching the sun rise. Oh dear Lord. It was a beautiful sunrise, but I knew that meant sleep was not going to happen AT ALL. Until, that is, the pilot announced that we were preparing to land, which prompted Luigi and peach to pass out cold in their seats.

We landed, trudged our tired bodies through the airport and found our way to baggage claim. Once again, we loaded up all of our belongings. Thank goodness for those handy smart carts! We got the kids each a donut to keep them happy, and we trekked what seemed like 10 miles through the airport to get to the train that would take us to the car rental place.

I have to say, at this point, we were all holding up pretty well. We managed to go with the flow. Even the Goombas mustered up a bit of patience and were well-behaved through the airport. When we got to the rental car place, however, things began to unravel quickly.

The Goombas started running in circles shrieking at each other. I realize that they were only doing this because if they paused even for a moment, they would have passed out on the floor. I tried to keep them entertained while Bowser waited in line while the cashier helped a nice man that had flown in from Japan. It only took him about 30 minutes to get his car. Aaak! Just when Bowser finally got to the front of the line and relief was in sight, Mr. Japan came back in and interrupted. "My lucky color is red," he said. "I do not want a blue car. I want a red car!" SERIOUSLY?????? At that point I was about to head into nervous breakdown stage. I just shook my head and laughed to stop myself from jumping up and wringing his neck!

After a few more minutes, we were finally loading up into our rental van. Once the Goombas were seat-belted in, they all crashed hard. Luigi was snoring before we even pulled out of the parking space. Bowser and I just looked at each other. "Well," I said, "welcome to New York!" Then I promptly joined the children in dreamland while poor Bowser was left to navigate the Long Island Expressway on his own...

To be continued....


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Break Begins

Mothers around the world, Rejoice!!! Summer Break is here! Oh, wait. I think instead of "rejoice," what I meant was, "Prepare the kegerator, it's gonna be a long two and a half months." Yes, summer is here and schools across the nation are celebrating their last day of the year. Moms across the nation, however, are trying to figure out what the heck they are going to do with their kiddos all day, every day.

Here in Goomba-Land, our summer vacation has already begun. Mario's last day of school was the past Friday. Luigi's last day is this coming Friday. Peach is just thrilled that both of her brothers are here to play with at her disposal. We are officially 3 days into the break (I don't count the weekend), and here is what we have done so far...

~We excavated the toy room. I'm surprised I didn't have to actually borrow my Father-in-Law's skid steer to deal with the mess in there. I bribed all the Goombas with ice cream if they would help. Aaah, I love a good bribe. We threw out a couple bags of trash. I had to sneak another bag out without them seeing, because we could have had a major breakdown over the noisy, spinny, baby toy getting tossed. But, now we are done and you can actually see the floor in there again! I won't gross you out by telling you what we found under the toys. Let's just say, old sippies full of milk are totally not cool.

~We have watched every single episode of Blue's Clues. Did you know there are 100? And that is not counting the movie specials. That is a lot of Steve. Thankfully Joe came along for the last couple of seasons. And now we walk around singing, "Here's the mail, it never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail, when it comes I want to wail...MAAAAAIIILLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I'll let you use your imagination to figure out just how loud my Goombas can wail the word mail.

~I have heard the phrase, "But I'm so BOOOORRRREEEEDDD!" more than we have watched Blue's Clues. Seriously, Mario. This is not going to be a summer full of Wii and DS. Use your imagination and find something else to do. We are only 3 days in. If he is already bored, I am done for.

~On a bright note, I now have 2 Goombas that can swing without my assistance. 2 down, 1 to go. It's not that I don't "love" pushing kids on swings, it's just that, standing there for hours at a time, pushing a swing, while listening to, "higher, Mommy, higher!!!" is just, well... not my thing. Now, eating sand pic-micks (Peach is just so adorable!) is something I can live with.

We do have some exciting things coming up. As we speak, I am tackling Mt. Washmore in it's entirety to prepare for our trip to the Big Apple. That's right, New York, watch out. The Marios are coming! I am giddy with excitement to see my aunt get married and to visit all my cousins, aunts and uncles that I haven't seen in far too long. Did I mention we are taking the red-eye with the Goombas? And, did I also mention we were on crack when we decided to buy red-eye tickets for 3 kids? Oh well, it is going to be a blast and I absolutely can't wait!!!

Then we have Cub Scout camp, Luigi's birthday, swimming lessons, a new water park in town to check out, and more. So, raise your glass, all you Mamas out there, summer is here and we are ready for it!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Play Time

I am all about kids using their imaginations. I love hearing the fun, unique and sometimes silly games the Goombas come up with, without the aid of the television or a video game. I also love when the little Goombas play nicely together, because it is not very often. Usually they are fighting like cats and dogs, stealing toys from each other, and trying to figure out ways to get the other one in trouble. But, every once in a while, when all the stars align and the cosmos smile down on the Mario household, we have a moment when everyone is enjoying each other's company AND simultaneously using their imaginations. Then Mommy walks in and finds out what is really going on.

We had one of those rare instances this afternoon. Peach woke up from her nap and since Luigi had lost his Blue's Clues privileges for the day, he decided to invite her into his game. They ran around downstairs for a while, giggling and talking to each other in some kind of pre-school code language that I couldn't quite figure out. Then they decided to head upstairs. Aaahhh...peace and quiet for me! I started folding laundry, and actually got through an entire load, without someone knocking a pile off the couch because their "very favorite shirt EVER" was at the bottom of the stack.

"This is so nice," I foolishly thought to myself. "When was the last time they played so great together?" Then I remembered. The last time they played so quietly and happily upstairs, was the time I found them with all of their blankets, pillows and lovies in the shower stall in my bathroom. Which, incidentally, was also still very wet because Bowser had recently showered. They were apparently having a "sleepover party" in my shower.

With this thought in mind, I figured I better go check on them. They were being far too quiet, with only the occasional muffled giggle floating downstairs. I slowly tiptoed up, not wanting to be too loud, because I wanted to catch them in the act of whatever it was they were doing. I tracked them down to the hallway bathroom by following the sound of laughter. Just before I walked in, I heard Luigi say, "No! Peach! She is taking a bath, leave her there!" Peach replied with, "Oh! Ok, that's right!"

I hesitated for a split second, before I turned the corner into the bathroom. When I finally stepped in, I saw Luigi with no pants on (thankfully, though, he still had on his underpants), and Peach standing with a towel wide open as if she were going to dry something. "Hey, what are you guys--NOOOO!!!!!" At this point, I realized that there were wet stuffed animals lying all over the floor and Peach's Thumper Bunny that she got for Easter was bathing in the TOILET.

...sigh... One of these days I will learn not to leave them alone together for more than a moment or two. I think it is Beer:30 now...


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Being a Mom is the most difficult job in the world. Oh, I will admit, there are other things out there that might technically be more dangerous and some that maybe require a few more brain cells, but really, Moms do it all.

I'm not going to sit here and lecture on all that we do. Because all of you already know, seeing as how you all had moms. You don't need to hear it repeated ad nauseum. But, I would like to take a minute to say thanks to all of the Mommies I know and love.

To my Mommy friends...
You are the people I depend on every day for love and support. You are the people that help me through every day crises, you don't judge me for not having swept my floor, and you make me laugh just when I think I might have to throw myself off the top of someplace very high. We watch each other's kids, we have lunch dates so we don't go insane, and we can yell at our kids while we talk on the phone and we still understand each other. You all mean the world to me and I love you so much. I think we should go out and celebrate sans kids with some wine and/or beer. We deserve it!

To my Survival for New Moms....
You are the very first friends that I made after moving here and having Mario. I was terrified of motherhood and I was terribly lonely. You all changed that! I used to live for our playgroups. I would even get all dressed up with my make-up on as if I were going out on a date, because I was just so excited to have friends. We laughed together, cried together and learned how to be Mommies together. Although we have grown apart over the years, I still hold you all very close to my heart and think of you often. Without you, I surely would have thrown myself off of an incredibly lofty building.

To my Mom-In-Law...
Most people talk about how much they dislike their in-laws. I guess I lucked out because I just happened to get the best Mom-in-Law ever. You welcomed me into your family with open arms so many years ago. You have always been there for me, from watching the Goombas, to your patience with a certain incident when I showed up crying at your door with the Goombas in the van. Without your help, I would probably have to throw myself off a very tall tower. Thanks for raising Bowser to be the man he is and thanks for all you do for us.

To my own Dear Mother...
I guess if I am going to be honest here, I have to admit there was a time during my teen years where I'm pretty sure we didn't like each other very much. But, since I became a mother myself, I have a whole new appreciation for all you did and still do. So, I guess really, I should say that I'm sorry and I really have no idea how you survived all 3 of us! I look up to you and believe it or not, actually take to heart the advice you give me. I miss you so much and desperately wish we lived closer. Your old, crepe-y skin and all. Ha! Thanks for never letting me throw myself off the Abbey Tower. I love you forever, like you for always, as long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be.

A very, very happy Mother's Day to you all! I wish you mimosas in bed, no fighting children, a helpful husband, and a day of all around relaxation!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Trouble with Peach

I just had an hour and a half long battle with my 2-year old daughter. That was 90 full minutes of arguing with each other, chasing, pleading, crying, and yelling. And what, you ask, was this disagreement about? My darling Peach decided she did not like any of her clothes and did not want to get dressed. Dear Lord in Heaven, please save me, for someday she will be a teenager and I'm not sure I will be able to handle it.

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are usually our mother/daughter mornings. The boy Goombas are both in school, so Peach and I have 4 hours all to ourselves. This morning, we laid on the couch for a while and watched Jammins. (Only for the 4,598,409th time this week.) When I told her it was time to go upstairs and take a shower she asked if she could shower with me. Oh sure, I thought. She likes to clean the walls in the shower with an old poof, so why not. Plus, her darling curls always look so pretty when they are freshly washed.

After the shower, she ran around in her birthday suit, giggling hysterically and screaming, "Naked Baby! Naked Baby!!!" All the while her adorable curls bouncing around her face. I threw on some clothes and said, "Peach! Time to put on your princess clothes!" Suddenly, my sweet little cherub became possessed by the fashion gods and decided that she was most definitely not putting on any of the "trash" she had in her drawers. I couldn't even get her diaper on her. When she went and pee'd on the floor in Mario's room (shhh! Do NOT tell him that!) I finally wrestled her down, kicking and screaming, and strapped on a diaper.

I pulled out a pretty pink dress. "No! I don't like it!"

I chose a cute new shirt with hearts all over it and some brown pants. "NOOOO! It's NOT princess!!!"

I opened all her drawers and told her to pick what she wanted. She proceeded to pull everything out, give it a once over, and toss it to the side like a rag.

At this point, I walked away to go finish getting myself ready. As I left her room, I heard her say, "Haha, Mommy! No get dressed!"

By the time I was done with my make-up and hair, I went in with renewed conviction that this girl was not going to be in the nude all day, whether she liked it or not. She finally picked out a shirt with purple flowers on it. I put it on for her, she looked in the mirror (yes, she loves to look at herself in the mirror) and she said, "No. Too big," and ripped it off. This went on for a while, till I finally found a nearly too small princess outfit from last summer. "Yes! Princess! Now get me dressed Mommy!"

Are you kidding me??? She isn't supposed to be this opinionated till she is at least 12 or 13, right? Have I mentioned that she is only 2??? My boys give me trouble now and then, but they never flat out fight me on things. I've never had to chase them down and sit on them to get their clothes on. I can see my mother now, nodding her head, with a gleeful smile on her face, thinking to herself, "Paybacks are a bitch, aren't they!"

After our long and arduous struggle, Peach looked at me, batted her long eyelashes and said, "You the best Mommy!" Which made me feel better for about a split second, and then she said, "And I the best Princess!"

I am in so much trouble.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Am SOOO Immature...

I am going to start this with a small disclaimer. This post is going to make me look incredibly immature. And that is ok with me. You gotta find the little things to help you get through the day. So, here it is... Daisy at my most unsophisticated.

Are you ever sitting there, watching a good, old-fashioned, educational television show with your kids, when you just think...What the heck? Did they really just say that??? Ok, I may be just a tiny bit on the immature side, but these are some things that crack me up and make children's programming so worth while to watch...

~Word World has a little clip where all the Word Friends dance together and sing a rhyming song. It goes a little something like this:
"Dancing here are Dog and Duck!
Do you know what rhymes with DUCK?"
Why, yes I do, Pig. I have a fabulous word that rhymes with Duck. What's that? Oh, Truck. Not the word I was thinking of.

~Also on Word World...(I'm tellin' ya, this show is full of 'em!) Bear wanted to give Sheep the perfect Valentine, so she was looking for something that rhymed with "art." She found a cart, a dart, and eventually a heart. I was thinking more along the lines of something stinky that my dear Bowser likes to give me for Valentine's day. Alas, Bear did not share my enthusiasm for farts as gifts.

~Moving on to the Wiggles. These guys are great. I love them! (Not so much that new Yellow Wiggle, but the original 4 will always have a place in my heart.) But, damn, when those guys put on the tutus and wings and sing about being fairies... I swear I fall into a fit of giggles every time.

It isn't just on television. Sometimes, you can be reading a book for bedtime, when suddenly a line in the story jumps out at you and makes you snicker to yourself. For example...

While he was reading bedtime stories to Luigi one night, Bowser came across a story about Thomas in which he (Thomas, not Bowser) and Percy were feeling "hot and bothered." I don't think he has been able to read that story since.

And, it doesn't stop there! Just look what happens to poor innocent Disney Princesses when they don't get put away before bed and Mommy and Daddy have a couple glasses of wine...

Charlie's Angels

Naughty Cinderella posing for the Prince

Oh lordy, yes, we got out a "stripper pole" for Rapunzel.

Of course, Jasmine didn't want to miss out on the fun

Oh dear. Poor Rapunzel, Jasmine and Cinderella. I just hope that my Goombas are able to grow up to be somewhat normal, in spite of my weird and immature sense of humor. Ooh! Word World is on! I wonder what we can rhyme today...


Monday, April 18, 2011

School Projects

I don't know if you know this, but I am a craft-aholic. I love crafts. Scrapbooking is my favorite, decorating cakes is a close second, but pretty much anything will do. I love making things with my hands that people can ooh and aah over. Not that I necessarily need the ooh-ing and aah-ing, but it is nice when people can appreciate your work. I digress... The point is, I love crafts, so you can imagine my excitement when a school project comes up. I get all giddy and happy and start thinking about all the things I can buy at Michael's to make it look just perfect.

Mario came home with a project last week. He has to make an Ecosystem diorama in a shoebox. Complete with animals, producers and decomposers. A very detailed project with lots of room for my-- I mean HIS -- genius imagination. He decided on the Grassland. My mind started racing with all the totally rockin' things we could do to make the other kids' boxes look like a 2nd grader did them. Oh. Wait. They ARE second graders.

But, that is the thing. It is SO DAMN HARD to let go and let your child do things the way he or she wants. I'm not even going to get into the existential stuff here, I am just talking about plain, old, simple dioramas for a class project.

Mario and I sat down at the kitchen table with an empty shoe box and started to get to work. It went a little something like this...

Me: Ok, Mario, how do you want to make your ecosystem?
Mario: Well, I was thinking we could use play-doh to make the animals, that's what other kids do.
Me: That is a great idea, but you know what would be even better? Let's make them out of sparkle pipe cleaners!
Mario: Ummm...Ok.
Me: (handing Mario a piece of green construction paper) Go ahead and start cutting out the grass for your grassland.
Mario: (snipping away at square pieces of paper) How is this Mom?
Me: Wow! How about if I show you a different way to do it that will make it look really cool? (proceed to take paper and scissors away from Mario and cut grass on my own.)

At that point in time, I glanced over at Bowser, who was giving me a look that said, "lay off and let the kid use his ideas!" I realized then what I was doing. I was totally stifling my son's creativity. He had some really great ideas, and I kept telling him how to do it better or different. I felt terrible. So, when Mario told what he wanted to do for flowers and butterflies, I let him take the lead.

It was difficult at first to let him take over, when I had a grand vision in my head of a professional looking, museum quality landscape. But, once I was able to let go, I found that he actually did a great job. When I listened to his thoughts and helped him bring them to life, it actually turned out to be pretty darn awesome. The best part was that Mario and I had a great time doing something together other than watching television or playing a video game. When we were done we made fun little things out of pipe cleaners and he said, "Wow, Mommy! You are so cool! You are the best at this!" ...sigh... Isn't that just the epitome of parenthood? When your kid thinks you are just the cat's meow, you know you must be doing something right.

Mario got most of the work done tonight, with me sitting on the sidelines helping him when he needed it, but mostly just watching his amazing brain at work. Normally, after he went to bed, I would fiddle with it just enough to make it look "my way," but not enough for him to notice I did anything. Not tonight. It is sitting on our kitchen table right now, paint and glue drying, and all I did was put it out of reach so that no Koopa Troopas or little Goombas could get to it and destroy it. Look at me! I am making progress. You know, I just might get this Mommy thing down yet.