What's in a name? All sorts of sh*t....

While on Facebook the other day, I noticed that an old friend from elementary school was commenting on the struggle she and her husband are facing in finding a good boy's name that they like (she is pregnant with #5! Check out her blog HERE) It got me thinking of what a huge responsibility it is to name a child. They will have to live with YOUR decision for the rest of their lives (or until they turn 18 and become Thor or Seven) Naming a baby is a BIG deal. On a particular parenting website that I frequent the issue of naming your baby is a HUGELY popular topic of conversation between pregnant moms, experienced moms, and those who aren't even moms yet (come on, you KNOW you had "favorite" names picked out when you were 12). I have several friends on said site who are pregnant or who have recently had babies and so of course we've all had names on the brain lately and ever since seeing Maria's post on Facebook, I feel compelled to help. So put away the baby name books and back away from the internet because HERE are the best ways to give your baby the most amazing name EVER...

Taking what is a common or popular name and screwing with it:

Everyone likely knows a Kaitlyn. But do you also know a Kaiytelynne, Kayitlhin, Khaytlynn, Kaitelinn, Kaatlynn, and a Caitelynne? How about Madison? Mhadissyn? Maddisonn? Madysynn? Maddysin? Madycin? And we know a few Jadens. And Jayden, Jaidan, Jadon, Jhayden, J'Den....Yep, they're out there...all of them. All adorable names (that have made my lists before) but it never occurred to me to replace letters, add letters, or flip the whole damn name around but then get pissed off when people can't pronounce it or squint at it wondering if you just spelled it wrong.

Adding letters or random punctuation:

Because you aren't going to be that mom that gives your baby an ordinary name like Kyle. No, no...you need to spice it up a bit so you conjure up something that no other baby will ever have. Again. Ever. Khyhle. Oh yeah, that's the ticket. Throwing an "h" in haphazardly will make it the most awesome name ever. Seriously. Khyhle is going to be the very best of friends (when he manages to extract himself from his locker) with Ahlyhiviah, Jhayden, Ahmeliah, and Eahthen. Then there are the parents who believe that the insertion of an apostrophe will be THE way to set their baby's name apart from others. I mean, wouldn't YOU think that D'Jay Da'Mon is the coolest friggin kid in kindergarten? Hell yeah he is. So is his girlfriend, M'oree Sy'raiaha.

Flat out making up a name:

Putting two names together to create one is common and can often have very cute results. BUT then you have the parents who are smoking everything in sight, including the clippings from the lawnmower bag; and come up with shit like this. Thelmen...this poor child was going to be named after her deceased grandmothers Thelma and Ellen... I bet even THEY would have been pissed about this butchering of their names. But here are some personal favorites that were clearly just the result of sneezing too hard, thus making ones hands slam against the keyboard willy-nilly: Kaytaquana (isn't that an exotic fruit?) Shaynelna (Sha-nay-nay for short) Karlakenya (a newly discovered version of West Nile) Leezi (granddaughter of Weezy from The Jeffersons) Karjovon (I BELIEVE is the capitol of Azerbaijan) Breedee (whoever came up with this should NOT be allowed to "breedee") Allikaylor (how my toddler says "alligator") Tylera (ah yes, the ol' take-a-boy-name-and-throw-a-vowel-on-the-end-to-make-it-a-girl-name trick) Another cool way to make a name: let the kids throw some Scrabble tiles up in the air, whichever ones land on the floor face up will be turned into the baby's name. That one is pure genius; the kids get to play a fun, interactive game AND you name the new baby.

If you don't like any of those tips for coming up with a good baby name, I've listed a few here for you to peruse at your leisure (you can thank me later!):

Adolf Joseph (hell YES I want to name my son after 2 of the scariest men to ever come out of Europe)

Castor Cicero Fidel (because what parent wouldn't want to name their child after a Communist dictator? OH WAIT! It's ok, they flipped 2 letters around in the first name...)

Gamble Rocco (apparently someone lost a bet...)

Aurora Rose Arielle Eve (her mom still wears embroidered Disney clothing)

Tuesday December (in case she ever forgets when she was born, I wish my parents had named me 690-3012, that was a bitch to remember in kindergarten)

Tzephaniah Johannes Conrad Zoticus (his parents hate him. period.)

Catatonia Calliope (she may spend a great deal of time unconscious and drooling but she sure does sound pretty!)

Xandyr Oleo (don't even get me started on the "X" thing and isn't Oleo the stuff in fat free chips that makes you shit yourself?)

Pilot Eugene (I think more parents should make a habit of giving their children names of occupations they hope they'll have:" This is my son, Mechanical Engineer and our daughter Cardiovascular Surgeon")

Blix Kaylub (one of the lesser known reindeer)

Johnnie Walker Jameson (because what child wouldn't want to be named after what he had been conceived on??? How about Coffee Table? Or Airplane Bathroom?)

Ram Thorne (mom read one too many Harlequin Romance novels)

Broxton Aubri Rain (this is a boy's name...we'll be seeing him in a trench coat on a clock tower in about 20 years)

Mesmeriya Ahmayzing Graise (I'm not mesmerized, I'm in pain, my eyes are bleeding...)

Chesterton Cooper Thornville (helping you with all of your legal needs since 2009)

Like I said before, naming a child is a huge responsibility and can be very stressful. I know some wonder about MY child-naming skills; after all I gave my baby girl what is traditionally viewed as a boy's name. But I didn't further f it up by throwing in an "h", a couple of apostrophes, switch letters around, or give her a middle name that could either be a name or a species of insect found only in Brazil. Typically when it comes to naming a child, "to each his own" rings true...even if you think that those who name their little dumplings things like Zellmert, Blayz, or Reseniyah-Jane are clearly tokin' the doob...whatever, at least YOU don't have to yell out those names at the playground. Best of luck to you Maria and all of those parents out there searching for the perfect name. Remember, when in doubt: add a consonant, replace a vowel, or grab your Scrabble tiles.

WARNING: this workout is not meant for, well, ANYONE...

I made it back to the gym. It is late February, so it is safe to go now, just in case you were wondering. All of the "New Year's Resolution" crackheads have given up and left the treadmills, so now you can actually go to the gym, see familiar faces and find a machine to work on. So I thought "I actually work out on a regular basis why not try my husband's new p90X video". I am in shape, relatively speaking. So I popped in the "Ab Crusher 3000X" or something like that. It sounded intense, and that is what I was looking for....afterall, I will be getting in a swimsuit in a few months. So, I get my recommended equipment (which was a mat and water....how bad can this be, right??). The "warning" comes on. Not the "Reproduction of this is a violation of copyright laws resulting in ridiculous fines and possibly your ass in the clink..blah, blah, blah..." This was more of "WARNING: If you think you will actually be alive at the end of this video, you are sorely mistaken. Have someone else in the room with you to turn off the DVD when you are done, because you will most likely be dead." Of course, I fast-forwarded through the warning, because work-out warnings are meant for 90 year olds, people wearing their heart in a sling outside their body, and those unfortunate soles without arms and legs. Lucky me, I am not in any of those categories. Afterall, I have mastered all three levels of Jillian's 30-Day Shred. I could almost TEACH a class I am so shredded (my definitions are very loose here, and not at all meant in a self-congratulatory way...if you saw me in a swimsuit you would probably think that I sat on the couch with ice cream and cheered Jillian on through all of her levels) I have an over-inflated confidence in my exercising abilities...something I clearly blame Jillian for, and if she did not frighten me from her mere one-dimensional image on my DVD, I might consider suing her. Anyway, the nice man explains that if you keep up with him throughout the entire 17.5 minutes (that's it??...cake-walk) You will have done 365 sit-ups. That is like doing one sit up everyday for a year. How hard can that be? Bring it.

Then he begins. We start out with something called bicycles. Pretty self-explanatory, and easy enough. Then he wants us to do backwards bicycles. No problem, except that I have been gifted with extreme malfunctioning genes when it comes to coordination. My muscles are still fairing well, but my brain hurts because my legs will NOT do what the brain is saying. I physically CANNOT do backwards bicycle...it is like the "pat your head, rub your tummy" drill. I am dumbfounded and frustrated. I have always known that I lack coordination, but now I have this video further solidifying my mediocrity. So I am thankful when we move on. The perky, ripped and tan background people are killing these exercises and making them look easy. We are three minutes in and I am, well...starting to feel the fatigue. We move into some crazy deal where you lay flat on the ground, put your arms up in the air, bend all the way forward, touch your toes, and then as you are slowly rolling backwards, lift your straight legs up until they are totally vertical and then lift your butt off the ground. HUH?? As quickly as he explains it, they are already 3 reps in and I am still trying to figure out what the dude wants us to do. I try to execute my version of what I THINK he said, and I am pretty sure I look like a seal that has just fallen out of his tank at the zoo and is desperately trying to get back in. My preschooler and her friend are sitting in the kitchen behind me - apparently coloring. Then I hear "Mom, that is not what they are doing." I grunt out "I know baby, mommy is trying her best." Thankfully we move on. Unthankfully, I am starting to lose all feeling in my lower extremeties. We are half-way done. My brain is numb. The warning said NOTHING about needing brain cells and coordination for this. I can count to 25 while exercising. Anything more than that is overkill..including breathing. You know when the video people say "Don't forget to breathe" and you are thinking to yourself "No shit, who would forget to breathe?!" Well...frankly...me. I am that person. Anyway, we move to this exercise where you grab your straightened, elevated leg at different intervals. I see my leg, I just can't feel it. I am sweating. My abs are screaming. My butt is tingling. I am grabbing onto my leg now, not because that is what Mr. 6-pack says, but becasue if I let go, I will slam to the floor with enough force to knock me unconscious...and for a minute, that does not sound like a bad option. We have moved on. He says to take a break if we need it. The room is fuzzy. I reach around blindly for my water bottle. Dizzy. Parched. Sweaty. I faintly hear "mommy, your water bottle is on the counter, do you want it?" I mumble something like "thasKJDASdnjd" and her friend says, concerned "You'd better get it for her..." I am scaring the children now. I try to muster up what strength I have left, and finish like a champ. I have internal bleeding. I figure that this is what they do to prisoners at Gitmo...no wonder they are considering shutting 'er down. This is lethal. Mr Rip-Torn has moved to laying on his back, legs in the air spread eagle. If I had enough energy at that point, I would have made fun of his milky-white man thighs and the very unattractive camera angle, but who am I to judge. I have lost all felling below my clavicle. He can still move. I cannot breathe, feel my hands, feet or arms, and I am pretty sure that I have soiled myself at this point. I make the executive decision to skip that exercise because A) I can't imagine having the strength to move into that position and B) when my 5 year old calls 911, that is NOT the position I want to be rescued in. I try to channel my inner rock-star and finish strong. He is sitting on the floor, legs pulled in and elevated. Now he starts wildly twisting side to side, and touching the floor adjacent to him with each twist. I start. 1..2..3..4...Holy Hell....I fall over from exhaustion and vertigo. I get back up, 9...10...11. I make it all the way to 20, and then I hear the ringing in my ears. It is the sweet, sweet sound of angels. They are coming for me. Nope, damn...it is the phone. "HI Daddy. I am coloring and mommy is lying down." Ok....I move with lightning quick agility and speed (ok...this was what I WANTED my body to do when in actuality I think I just slumped over to the other side). And before I can intervene, she says "Ok Daddy. Love you." "Mommy, daddy wants you to call him when you wake up." WTF. Ok, in her defense I was laying down. But it was because I was dying from just shredding my abs into a bleeding mess. I call his office back right away to explain that I was NOT napping. Voicemail, of course. I turn off the Nightmare On Ab Street. I hurt...everywhere. I sneezed and I cried. I cried more and I cried. I soiled myself. I can't talk, laugh or digest food without hurting. If I don't wake up tomorrow with a totally ripped 6 pack, I am taking sandpaper to my husband's beloved DVD. And I was so exhausted when he came home, I didn't even have a comeback when he asked "How was your nap today?"

ill neva undrstnd it...

I'm getting old. That is all. I'm getting old. Not orthopedic shoes, blue hair, and lack of bladder control...wait, that last one has kicked in a bit sooner than I would have liked. No, old in regards to: music is becoming too loud, a total lack of manners is aggravating, I correct other people when they are speaking (thanks for that, mom!), I am a stickler for proper grammar and spelling, and I outwardly cringe everytime I see a kid walk by with pants down to his knees...literally, down to his knees. Does he realize he looks like a damn penguin? I often find myself hoping he'll fall. I digress...I'm getting old. This realization slapped me upside the head today during a series of text messages between myself and my babysitter.

First of all, she's been having issues with her phone so I'm left with no other option than to text her via her boyfriend's phone. So I send off a simple text message asking if she's available Friday night. This is what I receive back:

"Hay, thisiz her bf herez her home numba, shez there now so u can call her there"

WTF?????? It took me a good 5 minutes to figure out what the hell any of that meant. I literally sat there and just scowled at my phone in concentration trying to decipher the I'm-younger-and-cooler-than-you code that had just appeared before me. Once I gleaned the necessary information, I called my sitter and assumed all was well. As I'm fixing dinner another text comes in:

"Hey its me :). Just letn u kno im gona b w troy the next few dayz so if u need 2 get in tuch w me u dnt hav 2call arnd"

Oh sweet Lord, what the hell??? Sorry, my blackberry didn't come with a secret decoder ring so I don't know what the f*ck any of that just meant. I muddled my way through that one like a dyslexic kindergartener. Ok, she's going to be with her boyfriend. Got it. I made the mistake of sending back a simple message thanking her for letting me know and that I would be in touch to confirm the time for Friday night.

"Ok. Gret...Im gna hav my neiece fri whil my sis is @ wrk iz it ok w u if she cumz w me? i kno shed luv 2 pla w the kidz n i can totaly handle it iv watched way more kidz @ once!"

Holy shit, even my PHONE started acting up with that one. I'm not sure I ever figured that one out, I got tired with "gna hav" and gave up. Hopefully she didn't just cancel on me. Ok, so although I think I've become quite proficient in terms of technology I will NEVER figure out some of the current "tech trends". For example, when did the use of the vowel become entirely unnecessary? They're actually quite useful, not to mention helpful when trying to decipher unfamiliar words that make up the English language. There are only 5 of them after all, really doesn't take a WHOLE lot of effort to throw one in it's correct place in a word. And I have a phone. I see them. I know they are on there. Just sayin'. Which leads me to my next point. Punctuation. Didn't anyone learn about apostrophes, periods, commas and the like in elementary school? A run-on sentence is about as painful to read as War and Peace (not that I'd know, it's just a big damn book hence: PAINFUL). I just don't understand why it's SO very, very taxing to drop in punctuation where it belongs. Are they really saving THAT much time by eliminating these things that make the English language understandable????? It would take me 45 f-ing minutes to think that shit through before I could type it out. It hurts my brain just LOOKING at that shit, let alone even considering using "text speak" like that.

It's everywhere, and I still don't get it. I never will. Facebook, emails, online message boards, text messages. im not shur ill eva git y riting lik thiz savs sooooo much mor tim n nrg. Shit, I seriously think I may have a small brain hemorrage after that one. So don't feel bad if you don't receive a text from me that looks like this:

HEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!!! waz up wez goin 2 mcds latr cum hang w us

Or if my next Facebook status doesn't look like this:

ToDaY iZ gOiNg To Be SoOoOoOoOoO aWeSoMe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or if I never send you an email that looks like four paragraphs but is really one big ass sentence.

*I'll spare you the demonstration of this one, just thinking about it makes my head hurt*

I've just resigned myself to the fact that this is their version of dotting their i's with little hearts a-la the 80's, or folding notes to be passed in exotic origami shapes (do kids even pass notes anymore?) So yep, I'm old. And to be honest, as long as people turn their music down just a bit, use proper grammar when speaking to me, throw out a please every now and then, learn how to spell, and pull up their damn pants...I'm ok with being old. I'll suck it up and do my best to comprehend weird text speak but that doesn't mean I'll reply in kind. But will someone please let me know if my babysitter cancelled on me?


First of all we'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has been following us the past few weeks. We're shocked and flattered that there are people out there who think we're funny...our husbands don't, they just roll their eyes at us :) We're going to keep giving away more little prizes, so we'll be sure to give you the heads up!

SO with the aid of random.org, each comment left this past week was assigned a magic number and here are our first winners!!!!!


Congratulations Marci and Amy!!!! Send us an email to dailyepidural@hotmail.com so we can get in touch with you!!!

Thanks again everyone...keep the comments coming (even if we're not bribing with prizes!)

Bedtime: the battle that rivals D-Day...

I would have started this post earlier, but I was putting my kids to bed....for the 35th time. Why is it that my favorite part of the day is their LEAST favorite? It is not like we were doing anything that fabulous that would make them want to stay up. But nonetheless, every single night it is the same thing over and over and over..starting at 7:45 pm our night slowly and painfully unravels....with one child especially. The master of bedtime disaster...

Me: Bedtime in 15 minutes

Spawn: Awww...how come?
Me: Because we go to bed every night

Spawn: Can't we just stay up a little big longer?

Me: No, because it already IS a little bit longer and you guys never want to get up in the morning

Spawn: That's not fair. Michael doesn't have to go to bed until 9

Me: Then go live at Michael's. I'll help you pack

And on and on...and this is when I realize that my children have been blessed with my bargaining, marketing and yes, my procrastination, umm...skills. We roll through the never-ending and increasingly creative list of "If you let us stay up for 10 more minutes...." Let's see...I have heard everything from "we will get up right away in the morning all the way, we will buy you a goldfish with our own money, to(and this is where their brilliance kicks in) we will not tell dad that you got pulled over in front of school for running the stop sign." Masters. But no deal. They were dually surprised and disappointed when I noted that I had already told dad...Now get in bed! Their look of desperation is almost precious and their little brains start functioning at a critical level "I forgot I had something in my backpack for you to sign!!" Ok, I will sign it in the morning. Damn....foiled again. 8:10pm "Can I sing you the song that we are practicing for our school program?" Nope, because then it would not be a surprise for me at the program. Shit. "Well, I want you to know the words so you can sign along!" Well, the program is for first graders and mommy is not a first grader. You can almost see the hamster on the wheel....shit shit shit. Now what? The little brain is buzzing....humming. It might burst. He is running out of ideas. I am walking in the direction of the bedroom when lightning strikes "I LEARNED HOW TO DO A SOMERSAULT TODAY!" You've known how to do a somersault since you were 2. NOW GET IN BED! The defeat takes over his whole body as he slumps over and shuffles towards the bed. Stall, stall, stall....he finds a lego on the way that needs to be put away right this very second and not a minute later. Never mind that this lego has been sitting in that spot since I almost vacuumed it up last week, but he is getting desperate. "I need to put this away!" No, you can put it away later, just put it on your dresser for right now. "But you said you don't want a bunch of crap on our dressers." Damn, they can hear. Praise the Lord. But NOW is when we want to get tidy? Very handy. Hell no. 8:20 And for a few minutes, which seem like a snippet of eternity, we discuss for the 8 billionth time why it is bedtime. "Let's sing a song. Can you scratch my back. How come we didn't read three books tonight? Can I tell you about my school day? Why don't ants have cars? How do they make cardboard? Why does grandpa have hair in his ears? Can you lay down with me?" And then I bring down the hammer....TIME FOR BED!!! 8:30....not bad. But OH!!!...don't count him out yet. He'll be back....and 5, 4, 3, 2,1....there is the sound. The thud. The not-so-sweet pitter patter of feet. The slow soft creaking of the bedroom door. 8:31pm "Mom, do we have school tomorrow?" Yes, you do. Now get in bed. 8:33pm "Mom, when we go to Florida, can I pet a dolphin?" Sure, but we aren't even planning a trip to Florida. Now get in bed. 8:35pm "How come we aren't going to Florida?" IS THIS KID FOR REAL??? Because, we aren't...NOW GET IN BED AND STAY THERE!!! And I must have been mean and gotten my point across, because he did stay there, for a record breaking 4 minutes. 8:37pm "I need a drink please." At least the urchin said please. "Fine, but small one because I don't want you to have any accidents." 8:39pm "Mom, I have to go to the bathroom." UNF*@$%INGBELIEVABLE!!! Fine. GO AND THEN GET IN BED!!! So, the small victory; he does get in bed and stay there but this is when the "mommy" beckoning kicks in. It starts out small...almost inaudible, but the more I ignore it, the more it grows in volume....and pure irritation. 8:42 "mom...Mom....mOM....MOm....MOM...MOMMY!" What do you want? "I'm sorry, it is important...how come fish don't catch colds?" WHAT THE FU--!!! "Buddy, I am not sure why they don't, but I am not sure" ...wait...I stop myself. Am I ACTUALLY engaging in this discussion? BUDDY -GO TO SLEEP!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS! 8:43 "mom....Mom...MOMMY" WHAAT??! "Ok, if a dog only has three legs, will it's puppies only have three legs?" This kid is wanting me to go and literally eat a whole box of wine right now. Am I being punk'd? If Ashton F-ing Kutcher jumps out right now, I am going to go all ninja-style on his ass and let HIM put my kid to bed. That'll teach him. I am there. I have reached the edge where homicide and suicide shake hands and meet. But, hang tight friends...it is not over.

Just as I feel that I have won the battle (I have a very loose definition of "winning") I hear it...the unmistakable impish voice "mommy?....MOmmy?....MOMMY?" Rage takes over. My lid has burst. Steam is pouring out of my ears and my eyeballs I am pretty sure are about to jettison clear across the living room as I very deliberately stomp down the hallway, and to further exclaim my disapproval, I slam open the door...who the F cares, no one is asleep anyway...clearly! WHAT DO YOU WANT NOW??!!!!!!...........................and there it is, very sweet, quiet, whispered as if directly from the tongues of angels "I love you mommy." And I melt, although I know, OH DO I KNOW, that this is NOT what he had planned on telling me. It was going to be something much more important, like "Can I be a semi-driver when I grow up? Can my name be Bob instead? or Who makes brooms? or On Halloween (yes the one that is 9 months away) can I be a giraffe?" But being the savvy genius that he is, he got me. He won. "I love you too pal, now go to sleep please." It is 9pm. I guess he can go and live and Michael's another day.

***We'll be posting our winners in a separate post in a bit so be sure to check back!!!***

Off to school we go??? Oh HELL no...

As I picked #2 up from preschool last Friday, his teacher stopped me (which in and of itself induces a state of panic as the last time she did that it was to tell me that my son had proudly informed his classmates that "holy shit" was a bad word) "I almost forgot to give you this!" as she handed me a thick sheaf of papers...I must have looked confused so she clarified for me: "It's the registration packet for next year, we let current families register..." She broke off mid-sentence and started to laugh, "Whoops! Forgot that you guys won't need this, he gets to go to Kindergarten next year!" I offered up what could only be described as a sickly courtesy laugh, as her face began going in and out of focus and the ground started spinning. I was afraid I was going to vomit on her I'm-ridiculously-all-too-cheerful-all-the-time preschool teacher shoes so we bolted...just before I could knock Mr. Blue Bird off of Miss Zippidy Doo Da's perky shoulder. Bitch.

I'm surprised we made it home that day in one piece as I was now fixated on one thing: KINDERGARTEN. Yes, I realize that I went down a similar path with #1 a few years ago but this was different. This is my baby BOY we're talking about here. Going to freaking KINDERGARTEN. Oh HELL no. I was in a cold sweat and white-knuckling it the whole way home while he chattered away behind me, some nonsense about the letter P and how he gets to wear pajamas to school. Yeah, whatever pal...you're going to be living in your pajamas because your ass is NOT going to kindergarten. I'm seriously going to be expected to put my baby BOY on a school bus all by himself next year? Let him be gone ALL DAY LONG? Walk through those huge hallways alone? Stand in line and buy a lunch at the cafeteria?? No friggin way. I still have to wipe his butt sometimes! It takes him 45 minutes to poop...he strips down completely and whiles away almost an hour in the bathroom humming Star Wars songs. He can't do that in kindergarten! Great, he's going to develop bowel problems now. He'll become "that kid": either the one who refuses to poop at school, shits his pants during recess because he was afraid to ask permission to go, or the one who gets made fun of for dropping trou completely on the floor (along with socks, shoes, and shirt) to sit on the shitter and sing songs for an hour. Ugh, I need a drink. The BUS???? No way. Because although up until now I thought the bus driver was a relatively upstanding citizen, chances are the second I'm expected to put my boy on that bus my brain is going to switch gears and he will instantly morph into an escaped convict with a rap sheet longer than my driveway and yep, he's drunk too(and probably sells drugs on the side...to the kids on the bus). You just can't find good help nowadays. The idea of this little guy standing in line at the cafeteria clutching his lunch money makes me want to vomit. He's too little for this stuff. He can't do that by himself, and heaven help us all if he announces to the lunch lady that today's offering looks "nasty". Who is going to identify every little speck of food he's expected to eat? Ok, we can eliminate all potential issues by never letting him buy a lunch (even though his big sister has told him how awesome it is). But chances are he's expecting something akin to a Happy Meal, or the sandwiches I make with the crust lovingly cut off, cut into triangles, NOT squares and with his grapes as eyes and apple slice as the smiley mouth...like only a mom would do at HOME. So we'll put the kabash on lunch buying before it's even an option. Nope, he'll get his stand-by, peanut butter and jelly, pretzels, and applesauce...every day, for an entire year. But it takes him damn near an hour to eat lunch every day...how's he going to do that in kindergarten??? He won't have time to eat! He's going to STARVE???? So I guess I won't have to worry about him shitting his pants at recess, because he will be too weak and emaciated to have bowel movements. Images of my sweet boy sitting at his desk silently crying into his coloring sheet with hunger pangs send my blood pressure through the roof. And don't even get me started on academics. He's going to be the first kid kicked out of kindergarten. Some days my husband and I marvel over how smart he is but then the next we're left dumbfounded as he tells us all about the letter he learned about in school that day: 2. Yep, he's a genius. He'd much rather spend his days setting up battles with Legos than write his name (which he does backwards, by the way) Shit, I can't handle the pressure of kindergarten. Then there is naptime. Here is my theory: If they need a nap at school, then they are either WAY too young to be there or the school day is altogether too long. Kids nap at HOME. That is where he will be napping next year. And can you even bring your special blankie and 12 stuffed best friends to Kindergarten with you? I think not. Point taken. And what about show-n-tell? It takes my kid 52 minutes to recap the 25 minute video that we just wtched TOGETHER. He is going to be embarassed into a submissive mute when the teacher cuts him off 60 seconds into his explanation of how cool his army guys are. And who will he hug when this happens? The kid next to him on the rug eating his boogers? Or the girl who can't sit still and is getting into my baby's personal space? I know there are some parents of preschoolers out there who have made themselves secret construction paper chains and are taking off a link everyday as they count down to kindergarten AKA mommy freedom. But I'm not one of them. I am trying to find a way to freeze my children...stunt their growth. They have already rejected cigarettes and coffee. We already waited a year so he'd be the "older" kid and even that isn't making me feel better. Nope, he can go to kindergarten some other time....like when he's 12 or so.

**Don't forget to leave us a comment for your chance to win a little prize from us...we'll be doing a random draw tonight from all of the comments left in the past week!!!**

From mom bag to briefcase...

Let me draw you a picture....well since I cannot actually use the crayolas in this medium, let's get mental together. Crossroads. Me. Fork in the Road. Me. Big Mountain (think "Himalayas"). Me.

We will keep referring to past posts, since our creativity is fairly cyclical and all-encompassing. And since I seem to have "max'd out" on my multisyllabic vocab in the first four sentences of this post, that is all the creativity I have left anyway...since I haven't seemed to even quite make it to the MAIN IDEA yet. Welcome to my day....

Referring back (deja vu??) to our definitions on the types of moms, I find myself at a crux of my motherhood roles. I am a former working mom, turned stay at home mom, turned work from home mom. Now I am about to open a new chapter (ok....A.D.D with me for a second. Why do "they" use books as a metaphor for life? I get the whole "chapter" thing, but if my life is a book, then I feel I am more an "US Weekly" Magazine than a Mark Twain literary classic. That is depressing. Why not level the playing field with ice cream - it is cool, yet comes in many varieties. Mmm - we might be onto something here)
I am about to add another scoop to my already sweet life, packed with flavor and chunks of sticky, funky brown goo that you are not sure what it is, but it all works together. I am looking for a job. A real job. We've already noted that moms are THE JOB, so I will spare you the soapbox pontification. I am considering going back to what I did before I was defined by my little people. And to be perfectly blunt (which you can now tell, we have no problem laying it all out there in its blatant, raw unadulterated glory) I am scared out of my F-ing mind.

I am not afraid of work. Hell, meeting with clients, answering emails, voice mails and "come hithers" from the scary dude in the corner cubicle is a piece of cake. I am worried about actually GETTING the job. The economy is what it is. Jobs are harder to find than a topless dancer whose name doesn't end in "i". That part is understood in all corners of our sad, dilapidated country. I have an interview tomorrow, and I will not be able to sleep, eat, breathe, digest, blink, or move any appendage without breaking into a cold sweat (I have GOT to get that cold sweat thing under control...it is just plain unattractive). I have spent the last 8 years of my life answering requests like "Mommy, can you check to see that I got all my poop. Mommy, here is my booger...take it. Mommy, I asked for NONE crust. Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" There are days that I am not sure I even know my name anymore. Speaking of days, what day is it? November.

So, if current questions like "Mommy, why does daddy sleep whole naked?" make me go stone cold, black out and hope that when I come to, I am in line at Starbucks drive-thru and I have already dropped off "Mr. 900 Questions Before Breakfast" at school, how am I supposed to answer "Please give me a scenario in which you were challenged by a colleague or client in a negative manner, how did you deal with this situation, and what was the outcome?" Purple.

I think Wizards of Waverly place qualifies as high-quality programming. My lunches consist of whatever my preschooler discarded - usually her bread crust, luke-warm chocolate milk and the white stringy things plucked from the orange. I count on a snack just as much as my children. I still like naptime...for me. The last book I read was either Moostache or If You Give a Pig a Pancake...and I liked them. I am out of toothpaste...so the Power Rangers Bubbblegum has been working just fine. I sing along to KidzBop and Radio Disney. I shower on the days that I am lucky enough to wake before I hear the herd of children that seem to weigh one gross metric ton. A job would mean a daily hygiene regimen. Right now I put on make-up at 5pm before my husband comes home so that he thinks I have not gone to pot on him. A job would mean make-up ALL DAY?? I wear elastic. Plain and simple. A job would require big people clothes with snaps, buttons and zippers. I would have to eat with utensils. Drink beverages that do not require a sippy cup. Carry a briefcase or something similar...I'm only familiar with my mom bag which houses everything I'd need anywhere EXCEPT a professional work place. I would not be able to watch Super Why, and I LIKE Super Why. Can you hear me panting?? I feel faint. Are you there? Hang on. I am spinning. I'm gonna vomit... I need to put my head between my legs. Oooh. I don't feel so good.....

So, this is my life. How am I supposed to carry on an even somewhat intelligent conversation tomorrow with someone that spends their entire day with humans who don't use words like "potty, icky, undies, and boo boo"? . The most in-depth conversation I have had with another non-mom adult lately was the guy who installed our upgraded cable box. And I talked, and talked and talked. I am not even sure what I said, but I do know he left behind his pliers, a clipboard, threw me an extra remote as he damn-near ran out of my house holding his boots and he said that the service call "was on him". Thinking back, I may have scared him with my overly zealous greeting and sheer joy to see another human being over 36 inches tall. Things are not looking good for tomorrow. Would it be inappropriate to lick my finger and wipe something off of his face during the interview?

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Catholic guilt or an ulcer?

**PLEASE keep in mind these are MY feelings on Lent, this is in no way meant to discredit how others view this religious tradition*** (my Catholic guilt is making me think we need to put SOME sort of disclaimer in here as I dont want to offend or piss anyone off) Carry on...

#1 came home from school today and as always we did a debrief of her day; you know the typical "How was school....what did you do today....do you have a lot of homework....did that stupid, snotty, mean girl wanna-be little brat pick on you again" (oh wait, I didn't do that one out loud) etc, etc. She settled in with a snack and began her homework. She was silently working for a few minutes and then piped up from the kitchen table:

#1: " Mom, what does it mean to give something up for Lent?"

Me: "What do you mean by that?" (as if she had just said a bad word, asked me about the latest crude video on YouTube, or asked where babies come from...not sure why that was my reaction as I am, after all, Catholic)

#1: "I don't get it, what does it mean?"

Me: "Well, Catholics believe that in the time before Easter it's a good idea to give up something that means a lot to us or that we really enjoy because it's our way of thanking Jesus for the sacrifices He made for everyone" (not a bad explanation huh, Dee Dee??)

#1: "So am I supposed to give something up? One of my friends said her dad told her to give up CANDY, can you believe that??? Do I have to give up candy???? Did you see how much I just brought home from school? I CAN'T give up candy, no way. PLEASE tell me I don't have to give up candy...what about popsicles, I can do popsicles (DUH, it's February...don't usually keep popsicles stocked in February) Someone else said they have to give up TV, that's not even funny" (clearly worked up at this point)

Me: "No, you don't have to give something up. Usually it's for grown ups and kids who are a little bit older" (didn't mention it's also typically for those who are PRACTICING Catholics, but why nitpick). I clearly recall candid and terse comments from 8th grade math teacher Fern Singer "Giving up something you don't like, like brussel sprouts does not count in God's eyes. You need to give up something you cannot live without". Damn. My brilliant plan was foiled by a non-secular, plain clothes wearing commoner. You see Mrs. Singer was not an ordained chosen one of the Cloth... and if SHE was believing in this crap and not looking for the loopholes, then HOLY HELL, I better follow-suit.

#1: "Oh thank goodness!" (HUGE sigh of relief with all the flair and drama she could muster...which was quite a bit, after all she IS my child.)

She happily went back to her homework with the knowledge that she had just dodged a most painful bullet...no TV, no ice cream, no candy for 40 days. Yikes. All was right again in her little world. And then I hear:

#1: "Hey mom? What are YOU giving up for Lent?"

SHIT. Cold sweats, rising blood pressure, shaking appendages, pretty sure my heart is going to explode, head is pounding...all intermingled with brief flashes of Stations of the Cross and a dark, cramped, claustrophobia inducing Confessional. OH SHIT.

Me: "I'm sorry, what did you say honey?" (pretty sure I blacked out for a minute or two...normally I see this as a nice break in the day or at the very least an opporunity for the right and left hemispheres of my brain to briefly synchronize and come up with a brilliant comeback that lets me off the hook...instead I regained consiousness and her blurry face came back into focus....Nothing. Insert chirping cricket sounds here) I wiped my damp, sweaty palms on my thighs and could have sworn I was wearing a plaid, polyester, pleated jumper.

#1: "You said it's for grown-ups. So does that mean you have to give something up?"

Sweet Jesus. I was back in 7th grade with Mr. Nowicki staring at me with his beady little eyes through thick glasses as we discussed the meaning of Lent and the sacrifices we should all make to atone for our sins. Had the high pitched, whiny voice of Kai Lan had not broken through my daze I would have sworn Sister Doris was standing in my kitchen with me. I will fully admit that despite years of Catholic school and a Catholic upbringing, I am no longer a "practicing" Catholic. HOWEVER, the steadfast practices of Catholicism are about as deeply ingrained in me as my memories of the nuns who helped to oversee my years of Catholic education. It takes very little prompting for me to spout off the entire Nicene Creed or to recall what the "script" is when one goes into confession. So although I do not regularly attend Catholic mass, this time of year sends me into a panic as I know my Catholic guilt will come creeping up behind me to smack me upside the head with the ol' "What are you giving up for Lent this year?"

I can feel #1 staring me down (my vision is wavering...it's either her or Sister Marie Noelle, not sure which...) I swallow my panic and mutter "I'm not sure yet, kiddo, haven't thought about it." Apparently I should give up lying because the moment McDonalds started advertising their Filet O'Fish (which in and of itself is a big fat lie, that is NOT a filet and and you don't have to be a C-list food critic to realize that it sure as hell isn't fish either) I had been thinking about it. I began silently praying (ironic, I know) that she'd leave me alone to deal with my inner turmoil. Do I give something up? Do I embrace my Catholic upbringing and observe this tradition? Although I fully understand the meaning of Lent, I don't know that I internalize it and believe in it as much as many others do (more power to you!) So I'm left to wrestle with the decision of giving something up because I'm "supposed" to or giving something up because it's important and means something. I think I'm developing an ulcer.

I begin to weigh my options...thinking of the things most commonly "sacrificed" during Lent. Caffeine, chocolate, wine, favorite snack foods, bad habits...etc. So I mentally work my way down the list of possibilities.

1. Caffeine: oh HELL no. I can knock that bad boy off the list without a second thought. I couldn't give up caffeine for 40 minutes let alone 40 days. I believe God would want me to continue my usage of caffeine. Me giving up caffeine will endanger the lives of those around me...I don't see that pleasing ANYONE, especially God. That is a severe violation of numerous religious codes, bylaws, and commandments. Moving on.

2. Chocolate: it's a more plausible option than caffeine. But let's be honest, ANYTHING would be easier to give up than caffeine. Wait, isn't there caffeine in chocolate? So if I'm not giving up caffeine then I guess by default I can't give up chocolate. Next!

3. Wine: Can you hear me laughing? Can you hear GOD laughing? God encourages us to have wine, doesn't He? And in the off chance that I DO attend Church during this sacred season of sacrifice, I would be doing God and all of His suffering on my behalf a great disservice. Well, then giving it up would offend Him so I can't do that, I already feel guilty enough...Maybe in His good name I should drink MORE wine during Lent.

4. Favorite snack foods: Admittedly we don't keep a TON of crap food in the house, mostly because if we did, I'd eat it all. But occasionally a few will find their way in, they don't last long though. Ever seen a 20 pound toddler shovel in Cheetos at an astronomical rate? Come on over. Bring a camera.... so getting rid of snack foods wouldn't be an altogether bad idea. ALTHOUGH my kids do enjoy to have a little "treat" every now and then so since I can't expect THEM to give things up for Lent, it wouldn't be fair of ME to take THEIR food out of the house.

5. Bad habits: For some this would be cracking knuckles, biting nails...blah, blah, blah. Well, anyone who knows me knows I swear like a trucker. Often. I work it into conversations so artfully you don't always notice the subtly placed F-bomb. I manage to turn foul language into every part of speech known to man. Certain four letter words are quite versatile and can be used as a verb, noun, adjective, pronoun, adverb, and even a preposition if I get creative enough. While I have gotten better at curbing the usage around the ankle biters, I don't know that I could hold up my end of a conversation without dropping in a "shit" or "damn" at some critical juncture. A well placed swear word can make or break a dialogue. I'm afraid I would become a babbling, drooling idiot if I attempted to speak without swearing. Truly. I don't even want to talk about it anymore, I'm getting dumber just thinking about it. Someone once told me that I would be boring as F%#@ if I did not swear. That was painful to hear. Shit.

Ok, so this is where my inner marketing savvy will save me as it always has ( and by "marketing savvy" I clearly mean "master bullshitter".) This is how I rationalize the whole ordeal:

Giving up any of the above would make me a bitter, unreasonable person, one damn near impossible to live with. That would not be the example God and I would want to set for my children (well, thinking about it, either is attending church once a year, barring any Sacremental visits, such as baptisms, deaths or nuptials) but that is just the way it goes sometimes. I pray. Just not in the four walls of the holy sacresty. Anyway, the reasoning is clear; We give up something as GOD gave up something very important. But I know this about myself....I am a quitter. I will fail. I know this and this is my key to success...knowing my weakness. So why disappoint God, myself and the doe-eyed 8 year old not-so-eager to embark on this 40 day journey either?

I look at #1 who is now in full-on stare down mode and I tell her "Honey, God gave up His son for us, so traditionally people show their respect by giving up something that is important or special to them. And I thought about what is the most important and special thing in my life, and that is my family and friends. And I would never want to give those things up like God had to. So I thought this year instead of giving something up, I would try to DO something extra every day for a friend, family member or stranger. So you know how I have you make sure your lunch is packed every day? Well, some morning you might wake up and I have already done it for you. Or I will help a stranger at the grocery store bag her groceries. Or call great-grandma just for the heck of it. So Lent can mean that we TAKE ON extra things, instead of giving something up and make someone else's day special. That would make God smile just as much as giving up chocolate." I look into her blank stare. Silence. More Silence....her expressionless eyes are glossed over and I can literally hear her blinking now. Then a huge smile erupts on her face and I am at once enveloped in a huge hug. "Mommy, that is a great idea. I want to do something special for someone everyday too instead of giving something up." And with that, the terror, horror and mind-numbing stupor of that ulcer-inducing conversation subside. I am calm and at peace. And I actually believe what I have said also. God does work in mysterious ways. I am exhausted, and exhilarated simultaneously. Time to celebrate with a king-size bag of Cadbury mini-eggs and a Chardonnay chaser. SHIT.

A letter to my husband

To the love of my life...

In light of the recent celebration of St. Valentine's Day, I have taken pause to reflect on our relationship and all that it has come to mean to me. The many ways in which we have grown together, both individually and as a couple, never cease to amaze and delight me. And although our love seems to grow stronger and more intense with each passing day, there are more emotions than just love and affection that are bursting from within me.

As you wake from your peaceful slumber each morning, nothing pleases me more than to be woken by the snooze button being beaten into submission multiple times. Lying in bed trying desperately to get a few more minutes of sleep is just plain silly, as clearly I should be offering my assistance in whatever it is that you are searching for that has you slamming cabinets and drawers in the bathroom. And it was so very thoughtful of you to leave the door open so that the bright light from the bathroom spills into our bedroom...after all, I may want to catch up on a few chapters of my latest novel while you start your day...and God knows that the open bathroom door only enhanced the joy I felt when you coughed, hacked and spewed the contents of your lungs into the sink (I will enjoy tackling that later too, when armed with mask, gloves and gallons of bleach) When I stumble my way downstairs, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to make coffee for us, and I feel so needed as I hand-wash the four travel mugs that you just got out of your car. I don't remember pouring you grey fuzz yesterday, so it only tells me these science projects should have been retrieved from your car floor earlier...so my heartfelt apologies for making you drive around whilst they clanged about the floor. And I'm so appreciative that you always think to sprinkle sugar all over the counterops when preparing your coffee, as it's so efficient for ME to just use that if I should happen to be baking the cookies that you requested. And please don't worry if you take all of the coffee, I'll just make another pot. Don't you worry yourself about using the last of the coffee beans, I have no problems with dragging 3 children into Starbucks to buy more coffee(along with three small hot chocolates and blueberry scones that they insist on having but never eat...only crumble efficiently into a pile on the floor of my car) Since you have a busy day ahead of you don't bother yourself with putting your breakfast dishes into the dishwasher, the spot you leave them in on the counter is just fine. I am filled with love as I mop up milk that sloshed out of your cereal bowl, much in the same way I have to do it when cleaning up after our toddler; it makes me smile to see how much our children are like you. My dear, sweet love, you are so very welcome for packing a lunch for you each day, and don't worry, I have plenty of other Tupperware to use so the stash that is slowly building up in your car is really no problem. Washing them later may make for a fun science experiment for the kids, I love how you're always finding new opportunities to teach them! And if you accidentally leave some at work, no worries! I will just go pluck a fresh batch from the Tupperware tree in the back yard (it is in the same grove as the "stamp" tree...right next to my "sanity" shrub)

Throughout the day, many things remind me of you and make me want to punch you in the baby maker smile. As I cheerfully sort laundry for what seems like the 17th time today, I chuckle as I come across what seems to be the 114th pair of bunched up, sweaty, dirty socks. SO very silly that you still take them off inside out; don't you know by now that doing that makes me want to gag you with them while you sleep? As I complete my other tasks, I feel so very priveleged that you work so hard so that I can stay home to clean your shit ,I mean, home that you lovingly provide for me. I find joy in every tshirt or pair of boxers I pick up off the floor yet again, since you do work so hard I can't possibly expect you to wear yourself out by taking them to the laundry room, which is a mere 12 steps away from where you dumped them on the floor. And even though it confuses me that you dofted said underwear on our floor and then walk in all of your naked glory and wonderment to the laundry room, I am sure one day I will become wise to your ways and leave my ignorance behind. And as much as I would like for you to quit your icky little habit of chewing tobacco, the bottles that you use as "spitters" left on our nightstand really do add a certain flair to our bedroom. I've always considered myself a good decorator but it wasn't until I saw that you kept leaving those f-ing Coors Light bottles on the dresser that I realized you were subtly trying to get ME to see how drab and boring our decor was without them there! I consider it your contribution to the spa-like feng shui I was attempting to create. Your own "hillbilly bouquet". LOVE IT! My favorite is when the kids get into it too and bring them to me, as if to say "This didn't look quite right on the nightstand or next to the computer...let's try it somewhere else." I am giddy with joy as I recount those moments.

Every pair of shoes that you own scattered throughout the damn house? Not a nuisance that I trip over. I should be thankful that I have 9 toes left after kicking your "made of f@&#ing cement" size 11s. It just reminds me that the shelf we had custom built in our walk-in closet (no no, not the laundry room where you keep most of your clothes) leaves more space for my shoes. Thank you for thinking of me.

The serenity of our master bedroom fills me with love, and our spacious master bathroom area....ahhh the peaceful tranquility encompasses me as I walk over to your sink and HOLY FRIGGING MOTHER OF MARY! KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT!! AHHHH HOLY HELL!!! WHAT THE FU.....Oh my...excuse my outburst for a moment while I pry my heart off of the ceiling. It is only the residual hair you mistakenly left behind after shaving. I thought a squirrel or other poor woodland creature died in your sink. But when I looked over at the toilet, I saw your three feet of toilet paper floating in there in your attempts to clean up the mess. And I agree, 10% is good enough. After all, I am home. Allow me.

Again darling, as I walk throughout our beautiful home that you so generously provide, I can't but thank you enough for your little tokens and reminders that you leave behind so that during the course of my otherwise painfully boring and mundane day I can be reminded how grateful I am that you merely exist. I live but to serve, and I serve so that I can live. You have enabled and empowered me to become all that I can be just by the simple act of reorganizing the pile of junk mail you stacked on the counter - torn envelopes and all. Or when I hang your coat in the closet that you walked PAST so that you could hang it on the back of the kitchen chair...again my joy is abundant. And my heart is brimming when for the 800th time that week, I put away the toaster, sweep up bread crumbs the size of my head, put the toilet seat down, and take the empty milk carton out of the fridge (no glass on the counter????Hmm. Not a conundrum...you were thinking of me when you drank right from the carton)

In closing, my feelings for you are so strong, so intense that I can't help but look at our wedding picture and my eyes fill with tears. And I think "I am bound to you for life...." Take that in whatever manner you see fit.

All of my love and affection~

I quit...

Ironic that this post comes on the heels of discussing the importance of the jobs that we all hold as moms...but we know you've all been there, done that too...

Ok, I have had it, so I quit my job. I mean, I get it, I am a stay at home mom, but I quit. I am so tired of playing referee, cook, chauffuer, maid, maid, maid, doctor, laundress supreme, plaything, homework helper, etc, etc, maid, maid, maid all without any appreciation or show of respect. The only thing that might make me consider changing my mind would be if my family walked up and presented me with a big fat paycheck...and the comma better be in the right place. I invite you to join me for a minute and see precisely WHY I give up.

Welcome to my home...your first stop is my lovely, spacious mudroom; specifically designed to house shoes, boots, hats, mittens, etc all neatly in one spot. You'd never know by looking at it though...I clean the mudroom, they tromp in with snow, salt, sand on their boots (which please keep in mind that they walked RIGHT PAST the oversized shoe rack I had installed in the garage) and dump them. The neatly hung hooks for their coats go unused, and the backpacks go on the floor next to said boots, because the bench that was made specifically for the damn backpacks is full of their coats and snowpants that they refuse to put on aforementioned hooks. I hope they are dry in the morning (and of course they will be because before I go to bed, I am the one to clean it all up).

Onto my bathrooms; I have 4 lovely ones available for your use. Please ignore the empty toilet paper rolls still hanging on the holder. OH WAIT! Someone was considerate enough to leave a full roll resting right on top of the empty one for you, how sweet. Please just step over the towels on the floor from the morning showers...oops! don't trip on the jammies! Should you feel the need to brush your teeth just go ahead and scrape some of the fossilized toothpaste that is crusted to the basin. The drawer where we keep toothbrushes and toothpaste look markedly similar. The toilets? Let's just say there are boys in this house. 'Nuff said.

Come on down to the kitchen (watch out for the legos, Barbies, and socks that didn't quite make it back upstairs as they were supposed to!) Breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes get cleared (only with prompting) only to be put onto the counter DIRECTLY ABOVE THE FRIGGING DISHWASHER. Can I offer you something to drink? Looks like we've got about a teaspoon of orange juice left, would you like some milk? There's at least a 1/8 cup left in this carton. Apple juice? Nevermind, someone just thought it'd be a good idea to keep the empty bottle cold. I would offer you a snack but I am a bit afraid to open the pantry, you see the organizational system I put into place was clearly not working for my family. After all, WHY would it make sense to keep all of the snack foods together? It makes things so much more efficient when the breakfast cereals are kept next to the cream of mushroom soup and the snacks for lunches are perfectly placed right near the baking goods. Duh. Why didn't I think of doing it that way? I mean, everytime I go for the pretzels I think "man, these would be great with some cornstarch on the side" Well whaddya know? There it is right NEXT to the pretzels, how convenient!

Back upstairs are our bedrooms and the laundry room. Oh yes, it's SO convenienct having the laundry room upstairs. Would you like to see our bedrooms? Mine houses the only bed that gets made. I guess it makes me feel like I have SOME SORT of household control...and of course I make it 99% of the time. That other 1% it gets begrudgingly made by my husband who totally disagrees with making the bed when you are only going to get back into it later that day (that might be the whole philosophical problem with the mayhem that I like to refer to as my home....my children seem to have inherited this unattractive trait). No, no my kids aren't still in bed, those are just blankets and pillows that you see there. And possibly dirty clothes and some clean ones as well. The laundry room has a very neatly placed shelving system (set into place by yours truly) but it is overflowing with the clothes that the kids dig out of their laundry baskets, because why would they bring them to their rooms when they have this BIG room to get clean clothes from? Again, DUH. I guess the laundry room is my whole family's walk-in closet. My husband apparently now has two walk-in closets. See? I told you it was convenient having the laundry room upstairs! Whatever, I'd invite you down to see our newly finished basement but I believe we were recently robbed and ransacked and the evil villains were only interested in the toy room...OH THE TOY ROOM. I won't even go in there anymore. I'm not sure what the crooks were looking for but they found it necessary to upend every container and dump out each game that we own. We hope that the police catch them soon.

Please, it is not like I have not tried . OH BOY HAVE I TRIED. Remember the Groundhog's Day Post?? I try everyday...several times a day I gently and sometimes not so gently remind them "Please throw towels and dirty clothes in the laundry, put your dishes in the dishwasher, boots are on the shelf where they belong, clean out the sink when you are done brushing, hang your coat on the hook,. blah blah blah...." I have had their hearing checked. I know it works. My favorite is when I ask nicely for something to be done, and then....nothing. No movement. No brain function, no body function. Then I ask with a little more authority. Still, nothing...then I YELL my request in their general direction. And they go "Geez. You didn't have to yell." YES I DID BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T LISTENING TO MY NICE VOICE!!! I have tried to explain that even though I am a stay at home mom, my job is NOT to pick up after you when you are clearly able....God bless us. I am not the slack-picker-upper for the slackers that I live with. I have no problem vacuuming, doing laundry, unloading the dishwasher, but I will not clean objects not found in nature out of a sink that I never use. I have tried the job chart, the family "time to shape up" meeting, etc. I've gotten mad, sad, and even took the "whatever" approach. But now I quit. I just plain quit. We'll see how they like it....God help me if they don't even notice.

Please stand and Pledge Your Allegiance...

So, this past week we attempted to define the three major types of MOMs out there; the SAHM, the WM, and the WFHM (which to me looks like an acronym of something that would have prompted a squirt of soap in my mouth from my mother). Our goal was to highlight the main responsibilities, trials and triumphs associated with each of these titles. We heard that some of you were exhausted merely READING the synapses of the daily diagram for each corresponding role...and that was our point. We are all working moms, we are all important but the bottom line is, we still don't understand how Johnny's mom could miss the classroom party because she had a meeting? Or how Ellie's mom brought (GASP) a box of Twinkies for the cake walk...or how we overheard Mrs. Smith at the grocery store talking about how her kids have eaten only buttered noodles for breakfast this week and she has only had time to shower twice...and it is Friday! We have all caught our naughty little selves judging the "lazy stay-at-home" mom, or the money and power hungry "working mom"...or the "She can't decide what she wants to focus on so she burns the candle at both ends and looks like hell because of it" work from home mom. But this is the bottom line....we are a sisterhood. From this moment on, no judging. We have heard that the summaries have been met with laughter, tears and outright applause (ok, that was from us) for hitting the nail on the head with each description. So now you know what goes on behind closed doors (and closed windows at our house....I've learned my lesson about yelling at my kids with the windows open...and once with the monitor still plugged in on the deck. Yikes). So stand if you will, place one hand over your heart and vow with me: "I hereby declare that I will not judge other mothers for what they need to do to get through each day. Because motherhood is about survival and we each are armed with different tools. If my WFH neighbor needs to leave the playgroup in a cold sweat because her boss just called about a report, I will not assume she loves her mothering job less. If my SAHM friend has been wearing the same sweat pants for three days and she has a peanut butter hand print on the back of her hooded sweatshirt from high school, I will tell her only because I understand. If my WM friend cannot attend the Halloween Hoopla for kindergarten, I will take pictures and email them to her and know that she would probably rather be here than in a meeting about setting up another meeting. Because we are all on the same team. We are moms, united we stand otherwise those little buggers and other mother judgers will get the best of us and before we know it we will all be wearing orange jammies and taking a state-funded vacation in a fun place called Floor 9 of our local health care facility. Amen"

So, hopefully you enjoyed our tongue-in-cheek spin on the roles we all play. The bottom line is this....we hope you are doing what you want to be doing. My sister has stated that she is a better mom because she works, and she realized that early on. More power to her. We don't all need to fall into the socialized roles that have been defined for us. If you want to work, stay home, or work from home then good for you. If you find yourself reluctantly in one of the above roles, know that you are doing the best you can with what you have been given. And the most important thing is, that at the end of whatever your day brings to you, make sure those little critters you spawned know that you love them.

Whew....that was a little too serious. Damn and our apologies! We will get back on track tomorrow, let's throw a "holy shit" in here just for good measure.

But good news!!! We have broken 500 fans on our facebook page, in just THREE weeks! SO, as a thank you, whoever becomes an official "follower" on our Epidural blog page (directions are below for the technicologically challenged, myself included) and leaves us a comment with your email address, we will be having a random drawing NEXT MONDAY Feb 22nd for two small prizes. Start your day with and Epidural AND a prize...does it get much better??!!

Thanks again for being fans. We are happy to have had such a great start.

Directions to become a follower: Go to the top box on the rigth hand side of the blog page, click on FOLLOW, sign in with your google, aim or yahoo ID. If you do not have any of the above it easy to create one. Now you're official. Invite friends, relatives and random strangers to do the same :)

Best of both worlds?!?!?!?

The work from home mom (WFHM)....or shall I say The "As if working isn't crazy enough, and parenting isn't crazy enough, let's get super freaky and combine the two" mom.

So, there you are in your office/cube, whatever your workplace geographical terrain looked like. Zooming along in your career, climbing that ladder, shattering those ceilings and stereotypes. You may have even had your name on the door...then the EPT comes back positive. You spent several years in academia, but still stare in awe and utter confusion. You have the stick you just peed on in one hand, and the directions (ENGLISH side after the initial shock makes you realize you don't speak Spanish) but you still can't decipher what this actually means. I mean, you know that it means you are pregnant, but you are hoping somewhere in those 6 pages of directions and (EEEWWW) diagrams it will explain to you how you are to react and conduct the next 30 years of your life. The directions should say "Throw away these directions because you are damned if you do and damned if you don't and that little blue PLUS sign just injected you with ginormous amounts of guilt that you never could have even possibly imagined...even for a Catholic girl."

Fast forward to one of the more memorable O.B appointments (yes, one where the doctor did not use his whole fist in an orifice the size of a walnut) By the way, non-sequitur here, any man in OB residency should have a catheter the size of a popsicle inserted daily to give them a little empathy when it comes to pregnant women and their va-J-Js. I digress. In this appointment, the dr. notices your blackberry, rolodex, Palm Pre and Coach briefcase lying neatly on top of your Gap Maternity ensemble. He nods in their general direction and says "I bet after this little baby comes, you are going to want to stay home." To which you (and I totally mean ME here if you haven't noticed yet) scoff and say "I will love my baby more, but I will still love my career"...at the time you don't get what his shit-eating-grin is about.....until we fast forward one more time to when you hold that smelly, slimy, purplish blue little Yoda-esque creature wrapped and swaddled in your tired, exhausted post-birth arms and you fall head over heels completely over the moon in love. And the thought of letting a stranger feed, change, rock or even breathe in your little angel's direction makes you literally sick to your stomach (or was that the drugs wearing off)?

Nonetheless, the twelve (if you are truly lucky or crafty in the ways of maternity leave) weeks rush on by until the night of that 89th day (that is twelve weeks amortized out into days for dramatic affect) when you cry the entire time you bathe, feed and put your baby to bed just thinking about daycare and your return to the workplace that you vowed you loved so much and would never leave. So you announce that you would like to explore the possibility of working from home.
You obviously can't leave the career you have worked so hard to excel at, but you can't possibly drop off your little people at daycare everyday either. Then hit hits you, the answer to your prayers, the PERFECT solution that will give you the best of both worlds....you telecommute - the fancy buzzword of the nineties that allows you the flexibility of autonomy and independence. I am laughing out loud as I stated that last line, because those, as any WFHM knows are counterintuitive. That last word hurt my brain, and by all accounts, I should stop, but in typical WFHM fashion, we can't stop....the word does not exist in our vocabulary.

You thought (I thought) the home office was the ideal situation. But as we all know, nothing beckons a screaming, crying or vomiting child like a call from a client. The house can be virtually silent and chaos-free, but when the cell phone or business line ring, kids have a tendency to be overcome in a Poltergeist-esque tantrum, violent bouts of diarrhea or spontaneous bleeding. It is the Murphy's Law of the home office. And of course, proving that you can handle both (because you promised your boss you could) you simultaneously apply a tourniquet, take notes on your laptop, make a killer PB&J (no crust) and conduct a phone conference that would make Donald Trump proud. That is all by 11am. You have actually been on your computer since 6am before the demons awoke (at the office or from the bunk beds) to lurch you full force into your "What can I do for YOU today" mode.

You wanted your boss to see that the emails were sent bright and early and that your check list was complete, because you have an important date at the park...that is the joy of the WFHM right? You can do whatever you want, whenever you want and still enjoy that paycheck. Unfortunately it doesn't take the WFHM long to figure out that she is neither autonomous nor independent. If the boss does not need her, the children do, and the husband (who leaves you a list a mile long...since you are home) and the clients, and the other moms who have the privilege of actually JUST STAYING HOME. And no one can understand that this leisurely trip to the park with the cherubs can turn into a "freak-me-the-hell out, I am sweating out of my eye sockets full blown panic attack" when the WFHM realizes that she may have just forgotten her cell phone at home. It is like trying to leave the house without your kidneys - it is not possible nor practical. And it may just result in death.
So you smile, swing, slide and cavort at the park, make a quick stop at Starbucks and Target (because that's what SAHMs do) all the while fighting that inner panic that is peck, peck, pecking away at your ever-increasing bleeding ulcer. How many emails do I have? How many voice mails do I have? You feel guilty that you could not just simply enjoy playtime with your child because you feel guilty that a client or GOD AND HEAVEN FORBID your boss's missed call went into voicemail. You're just relieved upon pulling into your driveway that your boss is not waiting on your front porch. So you set junior up with a snack and a movie while you dig into the working world that went on without you for awhile...because technically you are a working mom so it is time to act like one. Return a phone call. "Mommy, my juice is empty" Return an email "Mommy, I spilled." Return another phone call and subsequent email from someone that was annoyed that you did not call them back right away "Mommy, will you play with me." Yes, of course darling. The other 42 voicemails and emails can wait. But all of the while they are there, hanging on your back as you roll around in the grass with your kids...wait....is that my phone?? And you don't answer it, because it is playtime and you know those emails and voicemails....they never go away. And the home office...it is like the workplace version of Herpes...it will always be there waiting for you...at 6am, 11am, 12:30pm, at snacktime, naptime, post-dinnertime and OF COURSE after bedtime (yours and the kids) Oh....and since you are home, don't forget the laundry, the bills, the hand-scrubbed floor, the 24 cupcakes for the class party...which since you are "technically" a stay at home mom should be homemade and not store-bought like "those working moms" do. And since you feel you need to go out of your way to prove your SAHM status, you take the cupcake deal (and every other project you can't say no to - because we WFHM do not say that horrid word - well, except maybe your husband) to another level by piping each classmates name on the cupcake in homemade frosting with a Martha-worthy flair that will not matter one damn bit to the sugar hounds that devour them in three miliseconds. But the expertly piped frosting made YOU feel good . Speaking of pipes - the WFHM mom feels like she should be smoking one. Ahhhh....this is the best of both worlds. Right, RIGHT? I will have a full report to you on that by 6am...

The "stay-at-home-but-I-still-work-my-ass-off" mom...

My sister and I have done it all; we've worked outside the home, worked FROM home, and we're both currently staying at home being wife, mom, chauffeur, chef, maid, finder-of-lost things, master of last minute projects, homework helper, and maid (yep, deserves being mentioned twice).

There are many misconceptions about the "stay-at-home-mom" (aka: SAHM). One being she does exactly that: she stays at home. She goes nowhere, she does nothing, other than stay at home with kids all day. Let me just tell you, after a few days of staying at home, doing nothing, hanging out with only her kids she's going to start chanting "red rum, red rum" and channeling her inner Jack Nicholson. The SAHM actually does everything in her power to NOT stay at home. She carves out a routine where many believe one doesn't exist. She craves that routine, she desperately NEEDS that routine. Without it, she is left floundering, flailing about in the unknown, spiraling downward and left wondering "Is it Tuesday? Or October?". No, my friends, the SAHM is actually a silly term. It should actually be the "I don't work outside the home but for the sake of my sanity and lives of my children I need a routine and schedule and I cannot possibly STAY at home all day so I get out as often as possible" mom. But let's be honest, that one is kind of a mouthful and certainly isn't going to become popular via Facebook statuses anytime soon so we'll just stick with the "stay-at-home-mom" for the time being.

The day of the SAHM often begins when she, in a very gung-ho, go get 'em tiger kind of way, sets her alarm early with the intent of getting up and working out before the kids get up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But lemme tell ya, when you've got visions of Jillian Michaels breathing down your neck, snuggling under the covers for just a "few more minutes" is a BAD idea. So depending on how intimidating thoughts of a sadistic bitch are for inspiring a workout, she begins her day (very often neglecting the workout...for now anyway, she'll "do it later"). Time to wake the troops...the SAHM is often left wondering why it is so very, very difficult to wake sleeping children on a school day yet these same children are often up EARLIER and on a voluntary basis on the weekends. At any rate, when she drags their sleeping bodies from bed an instant chorus of "Why do I always have to get up first?" and "I don't want to go to school today" echoes throughout the house. However, the SAHM is a unique creature in that she has developed an immunity to high-pitched whining. Like dogs CAN hear it? Moms can't, or at least pretend they can't.

For whatever reason, the time spent getting children ready for school seems to fly by. She is rushing around barking out commands and issuing instructions: "brush your teeth" "get some socks on" "NO we do not have time to build a pillow fort" "I don't know where your backpack is, where did you leave it last?" "DID YOU GET YOUR LUNCHBOX OUT FOR ME SO I CAN PACK YOUR LUNCH? I'VE ONLY ASKED YOU A DOZEN TIMES!!! DO YOU OR DO YOU NOT WANT TO EAT LUNCH TODAY!?!?!?!?" To which her child timidly replies: "but I asked if I could buy lunch today" Whoops...sorry 'bout that, go get mom's wallet. The morning rushes by and somedays it's like watching a beautifully choreographed ballet, other days it's like watching a drunk herd of stampeding buffaloes stumble their way around with a deer-in-the-headlights gaze permanently fixed on the faces of everyone in the house (including mom because her cup of coffee is left untouched and forgotten in the microwave...again...).

Once backpacks are finally on, mittens are found, lunch money has been doled out the door slams, the SAHM is left only with the little people. She has the very intent goal of being out of the house by a specific time for running errands and hopefully squeezing in story time at the library. Now, although the SAHM does very often create a schedule for herself and her children, the one luxury of not working outside the home is that she can often afford for wiggle room in said schedule. She tries to avoid hiccups at all costs because they can mean the difference in having enough time to get a coffee before getting through Target, and then the grocery store, post office, and the bank or having to skip the aforementioned altogether and only getting the bank checked off her list for the day. After the distractions of email, Facebook, the ladder leading to big sister's loft bed, Baby Center, Nick Jr., and the never-ending bucket of fruit snacks in the pantry have been dealt with, she is finally able to leave the house (albeit a bit behind schedule).

No time for coffee so she heads to the snack area at Target (where they recognize her instantly) where she settles for a diet coke and a "sample bag" of popcorn for her little person. The popcorn sometimes works for the toddler, sometimes it doesn't as she's at that age where being confined to the cart is akin to losing a limb or dropping a coveted package of fruit snacks. She does her best to calm the screeching, and may have to resort to bribing (my toddler learned the word "treat" early on in life...not proud of that one). She takes a well traveled route throughout the store (the one that avoids the toy and movie department) so she can escape with as few tantrums as possible. But there have been the trips where she has to ask the cashier to return Clap with Me Elmo, Tickle my Foot Elmo, Go Potty with Me Elmo, Sing Annoying Nursery Rhymes with Me Elmo, Kiss my Ass Elmo and 12 "babies" back to the shelves as tossing them haphazardly in the cart at her toddler was the only way she could get through the store unscathed (but she realizes later she forgot milk because there was no room for it in the cart). Story time at the library is usually an adventure; one she attempts only so often (after they lifted the ban on her and her toddler after an unfortunate incident involving a rotating rack and an unsuspecting librarian). There are days her toddler will cuddle in her lap and listen quietly to a few books, but then there are days where seemingly hers is the only toddler running all over hell and gone yelling "MOM!" from all corners of the library and gathering books from damn near every shelf. Time to go...

Lunchtime is typically painless and the SAHM's chance to grab something for herself to eat, sometimes the crusts of the toddler's grilled cheese but if she guiltily skipped that morning's workout, she'll throw together a quick salad. However said salad is often shared with the toddler, who ends up eating more of it than mom. Nick Jr. often provides the background noise like the members of the Rat Pack in an Italian restaurant. The mom has occasionally found herself transfixed by Yo Gabba Gabba without a child in sight. Don't judge. Naptime is a blissful reprieve from mothering for a bit, yet the mom typically uses naptime as her chance to throw in a few loads of laundry, unload and reload the dishwasher, call the cable company (as she promised her spouse she would 2 days ago), emails child #1's teacher about the Valentine's Day party, pick up the explosion of Fisher Price, Mattel, and Lego from her family room (even though it will all end up back on the floor later anyway), and maybe, just maybe get a chance to get on Facebook for a few minutes...but she really should work out since she didn't do it this morning. OR there are the days when all household duties are neglected in favor of nothin' but Facebook and mindless computer games (but then of course she'll spend the rest of the day panicking over unfinished "chores" and feeling guilty for doing them instead of spending time with the kids). Before she knows it, the toddler is awake and the big ones have returned home leaving a trail of backpacks, boots, mittens, and a sheaf of papers which are seemingly important (SO important that they warrant a place of honor under wet, snowy boots). Snacks are handed out, somehow Nick Jr. has found it's way back on (and let me just say that Ni Hao, Kai Lan has made me NOT want to learn Chinese) and homework is started despite the big ones' best efforts to claim they will do it later and please please please can I go outside for just a little bit? The SAHM knows that if she lets them go outside prior to finishing homework, getting them to do it later will result in a battle that rivals Normandy. Blocking out the grumbling and whining she begins to prepare dinner while homework is being begrudgingly completed. She does a quick pick up session around the house because she KNOWS her husband will walk in, take a look around and ask "So, what'd you do all day?" which will result in her wanting to punch him in the baby maker. After a whirlwind evening of dinner, baths/showers, bedtime snack, just "one more" episode of Zack and Cody, a round of Memory, a few more loads of laundry, books, and teeth brushing the ankle biters are off to bed and the SAHM has a chance to breathe for a minute. Before she passes out on the couch to her DVR'd episode of Greys' she gets the coffee pot ready for the morning (even though her cup from that morning is still in the microwave), finds backpacks, makes lunches, scrapes papers off the floor from their spot where they have dried to the laminate under the boots, signs permission slips, picks up another tornado of toys, and then sets her alarm because dammit, TOMORROW she will get up early and work out.

Aren't ALL moms working moms????

From what I can tell and have experienced, there are three types of moms ( I am not talking about Mrs. Cleaver, Mrs. Munster and Mommy Dearest - we will address those later I am sure) There is the stay at home mom, the work from home mom and the working mom. Between the two of us, we have experienced all three. Let's dissect today's mom.....

The working mom - I think we can all agree that the name alone is a huge misnomer. This should be an example of "redundant" in the dictionary. Aren't ALL moms working? For the sake of argument, this mom is the "work outside the home mom" (aka: WOHM); The moms who leave the home, and return with a paycheck.

The alarm clock goes off at the ass crack of dawn to an obnoxious song that she only knows two lines to and will be stuck in her head all day, but who doesn't love Brittany Spears at 5 am, right?? Most WOHMs will get themselves ready before even attempting to arouse the children, because once they are up there is no hope of doing anything for herself. No chance of putting on mascara because someone can't find the shirt they so desperately NEED to wear. No chance of changing shoes because the baby just dumped Cheerios all over the kitchen floor. No chance of packing herself anything to eat because today they've decided they don't WANT peanut butter, they want ham and why do I always have to eat fruit at school??? She looks as if she hasn't gotten ready yet because she dons a robe OVER her suit so that no one can get any bananas, snot or Gogurts on it as she is coercing her semi-awake children to eat something. She then tackles the task of attempting to put some form of an outfit on their bodies. It is like dressing a wet noodle..or a chihuahua on crack depending on the mood that day; unfortunately someone always ends up crying (even the mom which will really piss her off especially if she was actually lucky enough to get her mascara on that day). When the mom leaves the home, more often than not she is wrestling one or more kids (somewhat lethargic, therefore fairly cooperative), diaper bags, briefcases, laptops, lunches, drycleaning, a cup of coffee (which will end up dumped before even leaving the garage) and the "show-n-tell" hamster into the car...generally before 7:30am. Then she drops off the more awake, less cooperative child/children at school and or daycare where they HOPEFULLY (no guarantee) can get out of the door with no tantrums (tantrums=snot on clean suit not to mention heart-wrenching mommy guilt) or any other random child spewing something on them; because let's face it...we all think other kids seem to produce more fluorescent colored putresence than your average pitbull.

The commute is typically the WOHMs only chance to "relax" for the day. The term relax being used very loosely because most commutes may or may not be sprinkled with mild swearing at other drivers not nearly as adept at maintaining a decent speed while the mom completes her make-up regimen at 65 MPH. It is during this drive that if she's lucky, she can shove in a granola bar that she found in her purse and listen to HER radio station (although I will admit to driving all the way to work SEVERAL times singing along to Veggie Tales or reciting lines right along with Lightning McQueen...with no kids in the car). Once at work, she makes the requisite quick check in the back to make sure there aren't any strays. She puts in a full day of meetings, voice mail, email, regular mail, maybe a desk lunch,and perhaps a bathroom break. She is away from her kids, who smile up at her angelically from the handmade macaroni frame on her desk, yet somehow they manage to creep into her day several times. I'm not talking about her wistful thoughts of "I wonder what my babies are doing right now" or "I miss my kids". Nope, I'm talking about the phone call during a meeting asking where in the diaper bag the extra nipples are...ever used the word NIPPLE in front of your boss and colleagues?? Try it. Or the email from the teacher wondering if child #1 is allowed to go on the field trip because a permission slip was never returned and oh by the way, can you still help make costumes for the class play? Yet she is still the model of efficiency at work, breezing through her day marvelling at how much she enjoys her career...all so she can leave and beat the traffic to pick up aforementioned children who are now awake but VERY tired and have saved up all of the whining, crying, and fighting just for home.

Ahhhh....The joy of getting cranky, tired, hungry children into the house while she makes dinner, helps with homework, builds block towers, answers more emails and voicemails, pays the bills, does the laundry, dresses 12 Barbies for a party, feeds the dog, calms the panicked child about the show-n-tell hamster forgotten at school, and packs 4 diaper bags and backpacks for the next day. And this is a calm night without a stop at the grocery store, soccer practice or a school concert. ALL HELL BE DAMNED!! The grocery store. She just remembered it is her turn for daycare snack. The morning routine will have to begin a BIT earlier tomorrow...better get to bed after one more load of laundry, loading the dishwasher, a few more emails, finding the favorite shirt that she promised would be ready for tomorrow, and another layer of paint on the science project volcano. Ahhh...bed time. And there is that damn song again....

Anatomy of a sleep-over

Sleep-overs were always so much fun when I was a kid. I can remember spending the entire day playing with a friend and then conspiring to convince one set of parents to let us have a sleep-over. We'd dash across the street, put on our best puppy dog faces, bat our eyelashes, and then screech with victory when they said yes. We'd try to coordinate our jammies, pick out a movie, get excited all over again over a late night snack (which NEVER happened unless a friend was over) produce/direct/star in our own plays, get out every board game known to man, giggle, be loud, stay up late and get up early. Yep, sleep-overs were so much fun....when I was a kid.

If you recall from yesterday's post, there are reasons grown-ups don't do sleep-overs. And if you think back to a post from last week, there are reasons I, personally should not be having sleep-overs in my home. Since we are now on our 8th snow day this year, I should not even have my OWN children in my home; feel free to come and take one or two. But I figured other kids would be a good distraction and keep not only my kids from killing each other, but from ME killing one of them (MY kids, not someone else's).

From a child's perspective the evening was full of fun, games, movies, popcorn, make-up (just for the girls thankfully) dancing, no fighting (again, from the CHILD'S perspective here) and the requisite staying up late. From the mom's point of view, the evening was more like this...the children arrived and within minutes my front entryway was an instant explosion of bags, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, suitcases, boots, jackets, mittens, hats, and stuffed animals. The small herd buffaloed their way upstairs and proceeded to spread said explosion of blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, and stuffed animals all over the nearest bedroom. They were relatively cooperative in putting pajamas on, although I did have a brief moment of panic when I realized that one of the three girls did NOT have matching pj's...thankfully she was ok being the "odd man out". You never know, while I was waiting for them to notice that 2 matched and 1 did not I was mentally figuring out how I could fashion a pair of 2 piece turquoise pajamas with a smattering of hot pink reindeer on the legs. Luckily I dodged that bullet. They played upstairs for quite a while and were relatively quiet (meaning no screaming and the running around did not result in the chandelier crashing into my dining room table). They got out a game and an instant chorus of "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM" started billowing it's way downstairs...apparently the toddler decided that she too, wanted in on their game. Apparently it's not in the rules to mismatch the board game pieces, throw the dice, steal all of the pencils and confiscate the board itself. She was shuttled off to bed and that presented a new problem: keeping the other 5 quiet so as not to wake her. Anyone who has ever heard 5 children constantly shushing each other knows it's actually a hell of a lot louder than a Bon Jovi concert. Completely defeats the purpose when the volume of their repeated "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" breaks the decibel barrier. So doors were closed and a movie was agreed upon...praise the Lord. But within minutes doors were reopened and slammed multiple times, feet were heard stampeding around, and I peeked in to find that none of the 5 were sitting quietly watching the movie...they were reenacting it. High School Musical 3 has a multitude of characters and dance numbers; well each of the kids had chosen a role (after much bickering over who got to be Gabriella) and when it was "their turn" they of course had to get up and dance...and channeling their inner elephant while they did so. I was hopeful that the promise of popcorn would bribe them onto their blankets so I didn't have to resort to Benadryl and duct tape. It worked until one of the dance numbers resulted in 2 bowls of spilled popcorn and an upended glass of ice water all over a "favorite" blanket. The popcorn was cleaned up, water and tears were mopped up, the blanket was replaced and the movie resumed...for about 37 seconds. I had just settled in with a book when all 5 busted into my room in a sheer state of panic. It was hard to decipher what exactly had happened because every single one of them felt it was THEIR job to deliver the horrific news. The movie froze and then skipped all the way to the end. Definitely cause for a 5 way meltdown. Not for mom though, this presented the perfect opportunity for the little darlings to go to sleep. One by one they each drifted off; the last giving in sometime around 11:30. Now, I don't sleep very soundly when it's just my own kids in my house. Having 3 extras resulted in more broken sleep than I had ever experienced with a newborn in the house. With each little noise I heard I expected to see a head pop up by my bedside wanting to call mom and dad. By 4:30 I was pretty sure that wasn't going to happen so I drifted off until I heard movement around 6:45ish. I crept towards the bedroom silently praying that they were still sleeping and would stay that way until at least 8:00. Well, any mom knows when you pray for that, the exact opposite will happen. One of them was up and heading towards the adjoining bathroom. I whispered for her to be quiet so as not to wake any of the others, just as another emerged from under a cocoon of blankets. As they both made their way to the bathroom I reminded them to be quiet...yeah, right. One tripped over a stool and stumbled, prompting the other to start giggling, and both began the "shhhhhhhhs" the door slammed, the toilet flushed, a body was tripped over and I instantly had 5 children awake. Awesome.

Luckily breakfast was uneventful (even though all 5 wanted something different and WHY DOES SHE GET THE PINK PLATE? resounded throughout the kitchen), blankets have been folded up and put away, children are dressed and not having school AGAIN means another full day of playing...outside, or at someone else's house, or another state, or in traffic. Sleep-overs were so much fun...when I was a kid.