Thursday, September 6, 2012

It Happened

I have now started this post 5 different times, and I've realized that there is just no clever or witty way to say it. Yesterday, I had to do the hardest parenting thing yet.  I had to send my baby boy, my handsome guy, my pride and joy, to KINDERGARTEN.
All I wanted to do was take his picture a million times.
All he wanted me to do was stop taking his picture so
he could finish watching his show.

I have been thinking about and dreading this day for the past five years, and I absolutely cannot believe it's here. How the freak is it possible that I am old enough to have he is old enough to be a kindergartner?!?!
Wasn't it just last week that I brought him home from the hospital?  And wasn't it just yesterday that I was chasing him around the house with his frog potty reminding him to sit and try? 
And all I could do yesterday was stand back and watch him walk away from me.  Down the hall and in to an entirely new phase of his wonderful life.
And all I could do was hope that all of his time with his friends at preschool would give him the confidence he needs to make new friends. Hope that the reading and drawing we did this summer would give him the skills he needs to keep up with the academic demands. Hope that the schedule we've had him on since birth would provide him with the security he needs to persevere through the long days, knowing that I'll be right there waiting for him the second he gets out every afternoon.
So I took a million pictures (much to his dismay), asked the hubs a million questions (much to his dismay), and started bawling the second I walked out of his brand new world (much to my dismay). 
He didn't cry. Not a tear. 
No problem, I thought.  Everyone thinks school is fun the first day.  I'll bet he'll miss me and be excited to see me tomorrow.  Plus, he'll definitely be exhausted.   Um, yeah. Wrong again.  Today, Day Two, I picked him up (7 HOURS after he got dropped off) and you wanna know what he said? 
"School went by too quick.  I wasn't ready for you to come pick me up yet."
Well, I guess I did do my job after all. And now I have it in writing.  I'm totally showing this to him when he's a miserable 10th grader. 
And now, I think, is a very appropriate time to retire this wonderful little blog. I no longer have "tragically true tales of my life with two toddlers" to pass along.  I have two glorious little men running around my house- making me laugh, making me proud, and mostly making me crazy. 
 I hope you'll join me over at my new blog, Healthy...With a Side of Ranch, where I chronicle their insanity, along with every other detail of my ever-enthralling life.  And just as a sidenote:  I don't broadcast those posts on Facebook, so if you want to keep up (and why wouldn't you?), please make sure you hit the "follow me" button over there (on the right hand side), AND the "subscribe by email" button (on the left).  I truly hope I'll hear from you.   

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My First Giveaway!!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned once or twice (or five hundred times) in the past that I am a total sugar freak when it comes to the foods I feed my kids. When they were younger, it was super easy- they didn't even know what they were missing out on. But know that they're older, they're on to my game. They totally have it all figured out. They know that granola bars and candy bars are in fact NOT the same things. They know that smoothies are in fact NOT milkshakes, and that chips at a cookout are more fun to eat than apples.

Well, I was SUPER excited to get a giant package of Funky Monkey Fruit Snacks in the mail the other day. They are little pieces of freeze dried fruit. They crunch like chips, but have no added sugar or other flavorings. Just fruit. I love that, and so did my kids! They are perfect for any diet you or your kids follow- vegan, gluten-free, organic, nut-free (did I miss any?)

I know you hoarders care less about the prize, and more about claiming your free goods, so here's the deal: you gotta go check out my post on Follow the instructions over there, and GOOD LUCK!

Here's the direct link to the post, just cuz I love ya so much and I wanna make this as easy as possible for you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

This Girl's Going Pro

Big news, Friends. Big, big news.

Ok, well, maybe it's not as big to you as is to me. So just indulge me for a couple of minutes, will ya?

Should I start at the beginning, or should I just jump right in and tell you what I'm up to? Ok, sounds good. The beginning it is.

Some people document their babies' lives by creating beautiful scrapbooks, others write things down in neat little baby books. I am neither organized nor crafty. I don't have the time, energy, or desire to maintain scrapbooks or baby books. Hell, I can't even remember to take the pictures off of my camera and stick a few in frames. But what I do have is a degree in English. And as my kids started doing memorable things, I started thinking, "I should really tell people these things".  And as they became older and funnier, and I became even crazier, I thought, "There is NO SHOT I am the only mom going through this". And that is how Naptime is the New Happy Hour was born.

No, CJ, you cannot paddle this fake boat. That is my job.
Now stop being mad. You're ruining the photo op.

And much to my surprise, not only did people read it, but they liked it. And I thought, "Wow. I really like blogging. I wonder what else people might like hearing about?"

I mean, my kids are cute and funny and all. But my life (much to some people's surprise) is about more than just them. I actually do other stuff besides attempt to maintain my sanity as a mother. I am a wife, a teacher, and a fitness instructor. I strive to learn as much about nutrition as I can so I can be healthy and fit. And that is how Healthy...With a Side of Ranch was born.

And again people read it. And (I think) they like it. And now here's where the big news comes in.

As I've started to navigate this whole blogosphere, I've become pretty obsessed with interested in other people's blogs. And along the way, I stumbled upon a pretty cool site called It's a compilation of blog posts written by moms all over the country. Food, fashion, fitness, family... it's all there.

And... drum roll please... I get to be a part of it!

Yes, that's right, starting next week, I will be a regular (twice a week) contributer to Skinny Mom!!

So make sure that you check it out. And don't stop there- "like" the posts, leave me comments, share them, tweet them, email them, shout about them out of your office window.

Oh, and one more thing- my name over there is Hot-Mess Mama... for obvious reasons.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stay At Home DAD

A few months back, Jerry became unemployed.  I was just about to start a brand new job. CJ was just about to start going back to school, and Ty... well, Ty was still ready as ever to raise as much hell as possible.  As luck should have it, our nanny found out that she had to get very unexpected surgery and was going to need some time off to recover.  Enter Jerry as STAY AT HOME DAD!!

In his defense, this guy made every single effort possible to embrace his new role whole heartedly.  He got the beds made and the boys dressed.  He handed out high fives to his new friends- the other preschool moms.  The toys were picked up by the time I got home, the laundry was folded, and food was out for dinner.  (WAIT... was he better at this job than I was????)

I came home one day and instead of hearing how everyone was in a great mood all day, how there was time to play baseball and vacuum the entire house, or how I needed to be quiet because they were on hour 4 of their nap; I heard about their trip to the mall.  Yes, Super Dad decided to pack everyone up and venture to... *gasp*... a PUBLIC PLACE.

Yeah, sure, we're cute. But innocent?  No way.
Apparently, they got to the mall and were walking around when Ty (in his typical fashion) decided he had to go to the bathroom.  And this, Friends, was Dad's biggest feat yet: taking the two boys in and out of a public bathroom at the same time.  Instead of insisting that everyone pack in to the handicapped stall to prevent an abduction, he brought only the potty user in the stall with him and shut the door.  Realizing at that point that by doing that he might lose a son, he turned to open the stall door.  (Oopsie, Dada,  Ty is now screaming because you just let go of him and he needs help sitting up there.) So with one hand opening the door, the other hand reaching towards Ty and his face looking at CJ and yelling at him to get up off the bathroom floor, Ty starts to fall in.  I'm not 100 percent positive, but I'm fairly certain that Dada broke into a sweat at this point and vowed never to attempt the mall alone with both of them again.  Hahahaha. ROOKIE.

I'm not even gonna lie- I loved that freaking story.  But what I loved more than anything was the moment my husband looked at me and said, "I will never again question what you do all day.  I give you a lot of credit for doing this day in and day out".  THANK YOU!!! (Now get a job- I'm way too much of a control freak for you to be all up in my territory like this...)

PS- Luckily, Jerry's stint of unemployment was short. And even though the whole lack-of-paycheck thing was stressful for a minute, the total role reversal was great for all of us in so many ways. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dude Club

Dude Club (def): That blissful time during the week when all of the dudes in the house hang out, and there are "no mamas allowed". AKA: Mama's favorite time of the week.

Dude Club was founded about 3 years ago- as soon as CJ was old enough to put a hat on backwards, and get outside to "help Dada work".

And soon enough, there were three members instead of two:

It has quickly evolved in to the time of week when things like this happen in the living room, and Mama isn't home to say anything:

The time of week when everyone celebrates Mama being out of the house so they can start being way too rough with each other and listen to music with lyrics that are completely inappropriate for 3 and 4 year olds to memorize.

So how do I even know what goes on during Dude Club? Well truthfully, I probably would have no idea; and ignorance could truly be bliss... Except for the fact that Ty has now had a gray tooth ever since it slammed in to CJ's head while "wrestling" about a month ago. Or for the fact that Ty woke up singing to himself. Lyrics of choice? "Dey know, dey know, dey know..." Or my favorite: Ty's go-to line whenever he now hears any sort of hip-hop song: "Wait! I think this is Cwis Bweezy." Ah yes, thank you, Dude Club.

But guess what? I literally do not care. Because Dude Club time means that I get to leave. Alone. (And hope that I remember to change the music before 10 minutes goes by and I'm now belting out the third Laurie Berkner song in a row. That only happened once by the way. Fine, maybe twice.)

Ok, ok, so maybe I baby these guys a little too much. Maybe it doesn't have to be all kids' stuff, all the time. But you know what? All too soon, Mama's cool ideas will be corny. So I'm hanging on to them for as long as I possibly can. (And that way, DAD can be the one responsible for all of the injuries.)

Long live Dude Club.

PS- On a totally different note, I know I've been MIA lately. And a lot of the reason is because I've been working really hard on a brand new blog! Have you seen it? It's called Healthy...With a side of ranch, and it's all about my journey towards total health and happiness(Yes! I do more with my life than let two crazy kids run me ragged!) I'm telling you, not only because I'm desperate for people to read it (even though I am), but because maybe you'll be able to relate to some of it, or even walk away with a new tip or trick to add to your arsenal. I'd LOVE to hear your comments on it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Just another random day

How was my day? I'm so glad you asked!

By 7:20 in the morning I had already told the boys about 12 times that NO, they couldn't watch their Superhero movie yet, that they should eat first; only to be received with, "last night when you were gone, Dada said that you are weird. That we are boys and we like watching Superheroes all the time, so you need to let us watch them."

By 7:30, now 10 minutes in to the movie, the little one picks up the Wii remote like a phone and says in to it, "Hello? Yeah, my Mama's in a very bad mood this morning." Click.

7:45- My hair is still unpresentable for work, and oh great, today isn't only show-and-tell day at school, it's also our day to bring snack. Ugh, I was going to be Supermom and make homemade granola bars for the kids. I probably shouldn't have watched 3 back-to-back episodes of Weeds on Netflix. Oops. There must be an unopened bag of pretzels around here somewhere.

8:15- Of course I can't find matching socks for anyone.

8:17- Of course there are dishes left in the sink from last night.

8:20- Of course no one is listening to me as I'm yelling for the 50th time to hurry up and get dressed.

8:30- The babysitter shows up and I get to leave. Thank God. Mama needs a break.

At work, I only get cursed at about 5 times, told this work is whack about 4, and my boss only rolls his eyes once and stands idly by as I try to enforce some sort of rules. One student learns how to pick all of the locks on the floor- with, guess what, his high school ID card. How appropriate.

As I walk back in the front door, the little voices make me happy again. My artistic genius made something fabulous at school, and the little one was the fastest runner in his sports class. All is well in my world once more.

Nap time comes, and 5 loads of laundry howl dauntingly at me from the dark confines of the basement. 3 more episodes of Weeds are so much more appetizing. Yet I only make it through one and a half. Nap time ended early today.

I stab myself in the thumb and start bleeding everywhere as I'm cleaning up from another dinner that no one ate. But the boys are actually playing nicely upstairs, so it doesn't even bother me. I sit down for a second for some dinner and adult conversation. Ahh yes, it's almost over.

But not yet. With fork in hand, I am stopped dead in my tracks. It's 7:45 PM. "Mom, you need to come up here right away. Ty just pooped on his carpet".

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

cookie disaster

because i truly embrace the definition of "hot mess" in all aspects of my life, i often (and by often i mean always) wait until the last possible second to start major projects, make an inappropriately large mess in the process, mess it up (because let's be honest, i don't usually know what i'm doing), and then complain about what a shit show i've just been the star of. making christmas cookies is no exception to this general rule.

for some reason, i pleasantly agreed to be a part of the first annual neighborhood cookie exchange. with high hopes of creating some intensely creative concoction from Pinterest, i reasonably settled on some no-bake peanut butter balls that i've made every single year. (or maybe i've just made them one other time, i can't really remember now). so i of course waited until way past my bedtime the night before the party to try to dip about 50 thousand crumbly balls of peanut butter into a saucepan of chocolate that wasn't really melting right. so i added some milk. (i thought i remembered reading that somewhere...) and i ended up with an even bigger mess. so i started over. and of course i have zero counter space in my kitchen, so i was balancing the over-sized tray on the 4 inch lip of the sink. and just as i started the last row of actually reasonable looking treats, the entire thing tipped on to the floor. i'm pretty sure i said every single curse word i've ever heard. and then, in true hot-mess fashion, i put them right back on the tray and served them with a smile the following night. just kidding, i made new ones. (no i didn't). yes, yes i did. (ha- you'll never know now, will you??)

the green "grinch" cookies for the preschool christmas party didn't go much smoother. after the first batch came out ready to chip any 4-year-old's tooth with swirls of green mixed in with semi-burnt brown, (ugh! why do they never look like the ones that the ultra-creative mom made and then posted to her ultra-cool blog?!) i once again started over. and yes, the second batch was both all green and edible. so of course, the following morning we were rushing to get out of the house on time and i allowed (demanded?) my preschooler to carry the plate and help his mama. it should be neither shocking nor surprising that the entire plate fell and green cookies went flying. no problem though. we picked them up, ate the broken pieces, dried some tears and- you know it... served 'em with a smile. (whatever. i followed the rule precisely- all cookies were off the floor within 10 seconds. or wait, is it supposed to be a 5-second rule?)

and there's no way christmas can come and go without some cut-outs with frosting, right? i actually DO know how to make these. and frost them. it's amazing. but let's not get too excited. in a moment of panic, i ripped my cupboards apart looking for some appropriate cookie cutters (where did i put them last year???) only to realize that oh yeah, I DON'T OWN ANY!! and not only that, i'm all out of red food coloring. so yes, hot-mess mama strikes again. but i must admit, my kids' jerseys, footballs, and rocket-ships that i so creatively yet not creatively enough tried to turn in to christmas trees turned out great!! never mind that they are frosted in hot pink and decorated with orange and black sprinkles. hey, we're making memories here people, not opening a bakery.