Friday, October 31, 2008

In my spare time...

The precious commodity of free time is not something that, as a mom, I get to enjoy. However, after reading about the author Jen Lancaster on one of my favorite blogs, I have made free time for reading a priority.

I started out with her most recent book "Such a Pretty Fat." Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight should read this book. Check out the promo...

During my trip to New York, I was able to finish "Bitter is the New Black." I also highly recommend this book especially if you have ever been out of work or wondered where in the heck all of your money goes.

Check it out!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Parenting lesson #560

Children have a built-in auto responder to the question, "Do you have to go to the bathroom."

Two days in a row, I have fallen for the auto response of "No."

Two days in a row, I have had to take off Baby Bear's coat, clothes, socks, etc.; find a new outfit for him; step in a puddle of pee; clean the floor and be completely annoyed with myself for not double checking to make sure he went the bathroom before putting on his coat.

Have I mentioned how much I love my new morning routine?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun at the Farm

This weekend we made a trip to Eckert's Millstadt Farm. It is a local orchard and we have made visits to the farms a part of our family traditions several times throughout the year. In the spring, there is a massive Easter egg hunt and breakfast with the bunny. In the early fall, there is apple picking. In December, there are story times, cut your own tree and pictures with Santa.

Since the kids are a little bit older, we decided to try the haunted hayride this year in addition to our pumpkin picking. The kids had a blast! We had not been to this particular farm for this event so we did not know what to expect. Much to our surprise, they had a ton of things for us to do and we ended up spending four hours there.

They had pony and camel rides. We opted for the camel because it we had never been on a camel before.

There was a petting zoo...

Lots of things to climb and play on...

One of the features that I had not been aware of in the past, were the bonfire sites available to rent out for the night. I cannot wait until next year, so that we can get a group of friends together to roast hot dogs and make s'mores.

At the end of the night, we rode a haunted hayride and then picked up some pumpkins. Yesterday, we were able to carve our masterpieces.

The final product...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Traveling mom

With my new amazing job, I got the opportunity to travel to NYC this week. For a sheltered mid-western gal, this is a big deal. It's only my second trip ever to the city.

I desperately hate leaving the kids behind and always get a little weepy eyed when I call in to check on them. At the same time, I also love the taste of freedom that comes from traveling sans family. Part of me starts to feel bad about loving the freedom and the other part just gets giddy about not having to put anyone to bed for a solid three days.

In my free time this week, I have been able to enjoy things that I don't get to do during my normal life...

Bikram yoga: LOVE IT. Got up yesterday and went to a class at 6:30 a.m. That's right, ninety minutes of yoga in a 110 degree studio. It's amazing the energy I have when I wake up and don't have to chase around kids and dogs. I think about how in the world I would be able to incorporate this into my schedule and it's just not possible. Ninety minutes alone to do anything in my house is simply not an option.

Dinner in a nice restaurant: Bonus points with this one, conversation with a grown up that didn't involve talking about kids. Double bonus points: No one in the restaurant stared at us with the look of death because we weren't being too loud, throwing our food on the ground, spitting on each other, rubbing butter in our hair, going the bathroom every three minutes, etc.

Drinks at a piano bar following dinner: Granted we had Blossom (circa early 90's) as our waitress (complete with big hat and flower.) She kept telling us to be quiet and then at one point moved us to the back room so we could talk. And the kicker on this one, it turned out to be a gay piano bar. Somehow we didn't pick up on that little tid bit until the very end.

Point is, there were no commitments, no bed times, no cleaning up after someone and it was just nice. I feel horrible saying how much I enjoyed it, but I think sometimes you just need a break from being a parent.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Parenting lesson #238

Anything you do not want the children to repeat will become their new favorite catch phrase.

The kids have recently picked up on two phrases that I would really prefer they would just forget. They use them over and over. First thing in the morning, I get to hear it. While we're driving to school, I get to hear it.

The first phrase came about during the Olympics. Fortunately, it's not the Buzz Lightyear song. There is a cell phone commercial where a family has gone on a vacation to the beach and it turns out it's a nude beach. One of the kids in the commercial can be heard saying "Why's everybody naked?"

And so it began.

Every night like clock work, as everyone prepares for bath time high pitched toddlers shouting "why's everybody naked?" can be heard from our home. I've started shutting all of the windows so that the neighbors don't start to think we have some weird ceremony going on within our suburban home.

The second phrase was only picked up because it has the word 'poop' in it. To a child, anything involving excrement is immediately classified as hilarious. A couple of weeks ago I was getting ready to take my dog for a walk, when A. shouted "before you go for a walk you might want to grab a poop bag."


Now with this particular phrase, the kids have found a way to work it into ALL conversations.

ME: Why don't you go pick out some books to read.
BABY BEAR: Before you go for a walk, you might want to grab a poop bag.
ME: silence
BABY BEAR: complete hysterics

ME: It's time to go brush your teeth.
MOOKA: Before you go for a walk, you might want to grab a poop bag.

You get the picture.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The house of crazy

The other night during one of our twenty weekly stops at Target, we noticed this lovely Halloween gingerbread house kit. Given my love for baking and creating in the kitchen, we just had to have it.

It was nice because the house comes fully assembled, all we had to do was mix up the icing and add the candies.

Some of us just wanted to eat the icing...

Our version was not quite as manicured as the house pictured on the box. Ours looked a little more like a house of crazy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to normal...kinda

The drive still sucks.

My body also went into a state of protest late last week and started to get sick. So for the weekend the family got to deal with an overly grumpy, short on patience, generally unpleasant- to-be-around Mommy.

We did manage to sneak in a quick craft this weekend. Mooka has an odd fascination with mummies right now. I think it is because she finds it hilarious that Mummy and Mommy sound so similar. For the past few weeks, she will say "Hey Mummy" and when I respond she says "what, I wasn't talking to you." Ah, five year old humor.

We made mummy pumpkins. We used some plastic pumpkins from the store, gauze and googly eyes.

Everyone wrapped their mummies.

And voila!

But, because everything is just more fabulous with sparkle, we bedazzled them out.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Where we've been

Yesterday, I started a new job at an absolutely amazing company. I have spent the past few days wrapping up at the old job and mentally preparing to come to the new place, so I have not had time to share the latest antics.

While the new job is super cool and fantastic, I had to make a trade off and acquired a miserable commute. Granted, I have been extremely spoiled for the past 3 years with a seven mile commute so the 35 minutes that it takes to get to the new job is treachery. The new commute also equals an earlier wake up time at Maison d'O.

We have been trying to follow FlyLady rules and prepping the night before which so far is working out fabulously. The kids are both too tired when they get to school in the morning so I have also escaped the morning "Mommy, why are you abandoning me?" fiasco.

All in all, everyone is adjusting nicely (but it is only day 2) and I promise to start doing stuff with my kids again once the dust settles.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The plague has hit our house

During our wonderful trip to the mall, the icing on the cake came when I looked into Baby Bear's eyes and notice the goop.

The pink eye goop.

He had been coughing for a couple of days but I thought it was just the normal change of season cold.

We loaded up our caravan of wild mules children and headed off to the Walgreen's clinic. Speaking of which, have you been to one of these things? They are amazing! You get right in and they can write a prescription. Then you just walk across the waiting room and turn it in to the pharmacy. SUPER convenient!

The nurse said that he did not have pink eye, but rather a double ear infection and a cold in his eyes.

On Monday, I got the call from the school and Mooka had pink eye.

C'est la vie.

Since we could not play outside with anyone for the past five days, I have had to get creative with inside projects. I am so in love with the blog Flipflops and Applesauce because she has so many inexpensive creative ideas for craft projects.

Our first venture was with a modified version of her paper mache fish. I modified it to make patchwork pumpkins for Halloween.

I was able to get pre-cut paper in the dollar section at Target.

Then we made the floor, sugar and water goo.

Next, we just dipped the paper in the goo and stuck it on the balloons. VERY messy, but VERY fun!

We added a stem made out of an empty paper towel tube. The final results...

Our second project was not as successful. This idea also came from Flipflops and Applesauce and was for puffed up paint.

We made our paints...

And painted our pictures...

Baked them in the microwave...

But then Fatty Fat Fat came along and ate them as soon as we went up stairs to wash our hands. Apparently, she thought we had made biscuits for her.