Fantastically terrifying

Last Sunday we took the kids to a local amusement park. The day started off kind of rough because Little Dude was not as tall as we thought. Luckily we could get his hand stamped with his height at the guest services station. That meant we wouldn't hold up any lines when the employees questioned his height.

Even though Little Dude wasn't tall enough for the roller coaster he wanted to go one (not even 2 inches too short), he was able to ride many other things he couldn't do last year. As a matter of fact, we didn't even go near Kiddie Land. Except when we stopped for ice cream, which is located right next to the entrance.

GG on the other hand is tall enough for every single ride in the park. I think I was more excited over this than she was.

During the weeks leading up to the big day, she told anyone and everyone that she was going to ride the Phantom.

Phantom's Revenge

"Phantom's Revenge is one of the fastest roller coasters in the world.
Unlike most coasters, the biggest drop on this ride is not the first but the second--
a whopping 230 feet, reaching speeds of 85 mph."

Phantom's Revenge

the view from atop the 2nd hill
courtesy of Google

For hours, she nibbled on her fingernails and said she wasn't sure if she was ready. Finally the husband convinced her to go. The line at the time wasn't all that long, but it felt like forever. Unfortunately it didn't work out where I rode the same time GG and the husband did. All I could do was wit my turn and hope that she enjoyed it. I kept telling her she would. I don't like to be wrong!

When we all met up at the exit, the husband admitted he thought GG was going to hate him forever. He couldn't tell if her screams were from terror or enjoyment. GG's first words when she got off the ride? It rocked.

From that point on, she was ready to hit up every ride in the park. Except the one that went upside down. Maybe next year. Instead she rode the newest coaster not once, but twice. 0-50 in 3 seconds, inversions, and corkscrews - my kind of ride. And now they are GG's kind of rides. I am so excited to have another coaster enthusiast in the family!

Sky Rocket

The Sky Rocket - the park's newest coaster.

You can't see all of the twists and turns in this picture, but the sunset was so gorgeous. I just had to get a picture of it through the tracks while we waited for our turn.

Proud Mommy Moments from Kmama

Proud Mommy Moments

Until next time...

Parfait Pops

GG loves American Girl and anything related to them. She has not one, but two dolls of her own. Both dolls combined probably have just as many clothes as GG does. My girl has a lot of clothes!

GG was nothing short of excited to receive a subscription last Christmas to American Girl magazine. I have flipped through a few of her magazines myself and I must say, I am quite impressed. They are full of stories, crafts, and all kinds of confidence boosters.

Her latest edition came in the mail the other day. While she was flipping through it, she came across some summer snacks that we just had to make. We finally agreed on one snack and off to the store I went to get supplies.

The first snack from GG's list turned out so well that I have to share it.

Parfait Pops


3-ounce paper cups (we decided 5 ounce cups are better)
Popsicle sticks
Fruit-flavored yogurt

1. Fill cups halfway with yogurt

2. Place a layer of fruit on top of the yogurt

3. Sprinkle granola on top of the fruit

4. Finish filling the cup with yogurt

5. Cover the top of the cups with foil and poke a stick through

6. Freeze overnight; peel away the cup and remove foil before serving

For our parfait pops, we used strawberry yogurt as the bottom layer and vanilla yogurt as the top layer. We chose blueberries and kiwi as our fruits. You can experiment with different flavors if you would like.

A healthy snack on a hot summer day. How can you go wrong with that?

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Until next time...

Easy as 1, 2, 3...4?

Hurry up!

Eat your dinner!

You need to change your clothes!

Every June, as week or so before the 4th of July, a local shopping center holds a pre-holiday celebration with fireworks. I have taken the kids since they were little. They love the colors and the booms, but it is always a production to get there. This year was no different. We had a guaranteed parking spot at my in-laws house, but I still wanted to get out the door early.

We love to walk around and see the dance school show off their latest performances. We played some Wii bowling for a chance to win a win or a special bowling ball. We didn't win, but the kids did amazingly well. We ate a bunch a good, junky food and we finally made our way over to a good spot to plop our butts.

The fireworks started a few minutes later than I thought and it started to get a little ugly (none of us have an ounce of patience!), but once the first firework umbrellaed the parking lot, we were all smiles.

Luckily the rain held off until we were walking back to the car. The skies didn't fully open up until we were all safely buckled and pulling out. This would have really mattered if I didn't have 2 kids who really had to pee. I had to pick a few things up at the grocery store, so we planned on stopping for that and to use their restrooms.

By the time we finally got home, we were not only tired, but soaking wet. I told the kids to change into their jammies and as usual, Little Dude putzed around. While I was trying to get GG settled, he came in her room and said,

"Look mom, I have on 2 pairs of underwear!"

Apparently he snuck on that other pair when we were trying to rush out the door earlier in the evening. Upon further inspection, I realized that he did not have on 2 pairs of underwear on. He had 3!!!

And within a few minutes, the boy placed a 4th pair on his head and pranced around the room.

The only thing I could do was laugh. That child is definitely a character!

Until next time...

Fast as lightening

Tuesday night was my third annual Jimmy Buffett concert. I had a blast, but needless to say, yesterday was definitely a day of recovery. I needed to grocery shopping in the worst way, but I just wasn't up for it. Instead the kids and I went to Target for a few necessities. Because taking two kids to Target is much better than to a grocery store with a babysitting room, right?

I blame it on the after effects of the alcohol.

Anyway, while we were walking through the toy section (apparently I am a glutton for punishment!), I noticed that bikes were on sale. Little Dude needed a new bike in the worst way. A 12 inch bike doesn't really work for a 4 foot tall almost 6 year old!

Walt Disney himself must have been sending me shooting stars filled with subliminal messages. Little Dude had been talking about Cars all morning long. And I mean all! The bike with the best deal? It was a Cars bike. Score!

Cars bike

As soon as we got home, my hungover self decided to try and put it together. Again, glutton for punishment? After much cursing and a smashed finger, I finally got 3/4 of the bike together. I couldn't figure out the handle bars for the life of me so that had to wait til we picked the husband up from work.

Now that the bike is all put together, I have one happy little boy!

Cars bike

Just so you know, I didn't forget about GG. Thankfully she didn't insist on getting something new that cost the same as the bike. It wouldn't have happened anyway! She is now the proud owner of a full sized metal Slinky. We've been looking for one of those for ages!

She also now has a mini pink sock monkey that we call Amy.

Until next time...

What the future holds

Quite often I watch my kids play and wonder what they will be when they grow up. Sometimes their interests change as often as I change my underwear, but other things remain the same.

Around the time that Little Dude turned 1, he became infatuated with any and all things construction. I know that all kids go through phases of favorite things, but this digger obsession is still going strong almost 5 years later.

My boy loves to build and dig. The amount of dirt hiding in his arm pits the other night was nothing short of astounding! A construction worker would be the perfect job for him if his love continues.

Over the past year or so, Little Dude has also found love in art. He loves to draw and create. He is so proud of his artwork that he hangs almost every piece of it on a wall somewhere in the house. Right now I have quite a fleet or paper airplanes on the walls around the living room! Perhaps his new found love of art combined with his love to dig and build could lead to a career as an architect.

GG, on the other hand, I'm not sure if I have her figured out just yet. Some days I just hope I'm downright wrong in my theories on her future career.

Her imagination is incredible. She loves to make up little skits and perform for anyone who will watch. Currently her favorite thing to do is pretend to be an animal. The other day she was dressed to the nines as a cat, tail included. She crawled around the house, meowing and rubbing against my leg. At one point, she yelled at her brother to move. He was sitting where she liked to chase her tail. The following day, she was a dog who loved to play fetch. She must have been bored by that, and turned back into a cat by the weekend. She even went as far as taping whiskers to her cheeks. If she doesn't turn this fascination into an acting career, perhaps she will one day be a veterinarian.

GG also loves to sing. She sings in the tub. She sings while doing the dishes. I'm surprised she doesn't sing in her sleep. She may not always sing very well, but if fine tuned, maybe she will be the next American Idol.

My concern for GG comes when she goes outside to play. If she's not making up some crazy game with rules only known to her, she is dancing. One of her favorite things to do while dancing? Climb and swing around to poles that hold support the roof of the porch.

I can handle and support the struggles that come with trying to make a career out of singing or acting. But every time I hear myself say "Quit swinging on the poles!" all I can think is please god, don't let my daughter be a stripper!

What do you think your kids will be when they grow up?

Until next time...

Because of Harry

A while back I wrote about GG and her reading habits. I hated to make her stop reading so much, but even with the restrictions, she has made me one proud momma!

GG was only able to finish the first six Harry Potter books by the last week of school when they stopped taking quizzes for Accelerated Reader. I say "only", but having my 9 year old read those books, some of which are pretty big, is quite an accomplishment in itself.

I knew within the last few weeks of school that she was kicking ass with her points accumulation for Accelerated Reader. The third graders had a Candy Land type board hanging on the wall outside the classrooms. Each child had their own gumdrop and would move up the board based on how many points they had.

Because of the Harry Potter books, GG was given a new and bigger gumdrop. She was on round two of working through the board. This was when I realized she was the top reader in the third grade and would receive a special prize at the end of the school year. Each child, first through fifth grade, receives a book for participating, but the top readers from each grade receive something special, like a gift card.

The last day of school, GG received a book, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and a $25 gift card to a local book store. I was so incredibly proud of the hard work she put in to be awarded those prizes, but I was completely blown away by her work about a week later. I came to find out that not only was GG the top reader in the third grade, but she was ranked fifth in the whole school. Fifth out of approximately 170 students. The students above her were fifth graders.

This is definitely a Proud Mommy Moment that I was more than happy to brag about share.

Until next time...

Fast little honkers

The past few days have been pretty cool weather wise. Especially compared to last week where I though we would melt! We've been taking advantage of this cool down by doing more things outside. It is so much easier to exit the house when the temps are way below 95 and the humidity isn't a million percent.

The other night, I took the kids to a local park to feed some ducks. Unfortunately it was after dinner by the time we got there. The ducks apparently ate their dinner by that point as well. They weren't hungry, but we still enjoyed walking around.

We saw ducks, peacocks, buffalo, and a few turtles. On our way back to the car, we circled the pond one final time and saw the cutest things ever.

Goose family

Trying to protect their young, the waddled away pretty quick. Darn those honkers are fast!

Little honkers

We had a lot of fun on our adventure, but it came with a price. Dirty, stinky children!

Dirty, stinky children

I'm not sure if he wants to get cleaned or not!

Until next time...

Oh, oh, it's magic

Last week I shared our sink debacle. I was hoping by Friday afternoon our bathroom would be nice and new again. But no such luck.

I stayed home with the kids thinking the plumber would show, because that's what our landlord said. Finally after lunch I called to find out what was going on. After I explained to the man who answered the phone who I was and why I was calling, he told me to call back in half an hour. The secretary would be back by then. Why did he even bother answering the phone?!

To kill some time, the kids and I took a walk to the convenient store at the top of our hill. It was starting to thunder, so I was trying to hurry them up. Since my day was already going anything but planned, it shouldn't have surprised me that the skies opened up as soon as I was paying for our stuff. We tried to wait it out, but after a few minutes it didn't look like it was going to stop any time soon. The kids and I decided to run home. Besides, all of our windows were open anyway. Long story short, don't ever try to run downhill in the pouring rain wearing flip flops. You will end up barefoot!

When we returned home, I called the landlord's office once again. The secretary put me on hold to call the plumber. When she returned to the line, she told me he would be out Monday or Tuesday and he would call to set up an exact time. Livid didn't even begin to describe my emotions. Our sink was busted, the second floor was a mess. I was done!

I'm typing this post out Monday night and the plumber or landlord still haven't called. But I'm not sure if it's really a big deal anymore.

Friday night while getting the kids ready for bed, the water in the dink magically disappeared and it was draining like new. This has happened in the past and it wouldn't surprise me if it happened again down the road. But for now, I'm sick of sitting at home waiting. I'm sick of my second floor being a mess. I'm putting everything back in it's place and calling it a day.

Until next time...

Glad I don't have a tail

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. When someone asks what your child ate, the best answer to give to sound like mom of the year is "I don't know". You look even better when the person who asked the question is a paramedic. Let me back up and explain the whole story...

Over the weekend, my little town had their 3rd annual Community Day. It's nothing to rave about because quite frankly, there's not much there. And that's a shame. Even though I'm not a fan of one of the ladies in charge, I really need to find the organization on Facebook or something and suggest how to get the word out more for next year. We really need that new park and stadium.

Just because there's not a lot to do at Community Day, we still managed to have some fun. The first hour that we were there, the husband and I let the kids play on the inflatables and play a few games. After that, the boys went home. It was time for me to volunteer at the Girl Scout booth. On the way over, GG stopped to get a sno-cone.

Instead of having GG be bored out her mind with me at the booth, I let her run around with her friends. They ran all over the field for the next 90 minutes or so. I ran into GG on my way to get a bite to eat and she asked for a bottle of water. She had a headache. I should have paid more attention to this little detail, but I failed. GG drank some water and went back to find her friends.

Another 30 minutes pass when my girl returns to the booth. She now says her stomach hurts and she is really hot. I turn to look at her and all of the color has drained out of her face. I was about to gather our stuff to take her home when I thought to feel her head for a fever. After all, she was sick earlier in the week. Perhaps it had been lying dormant for a few days.

When I touched her face, she feels clammy and cold as ice. My friend put her hand on GG's leg, which was also cold and clammy. I look back at her face and this is when I realize that her lips are blue. My heart dropped. Thank goodness the EMS tent was nearby because off we ran.

The paramedics turned on the misting fan behind her to cool her off. I was not a fan of this. It was warm that day, but nowhere near as hot as it had been earlier in the week. The checked her blood pressure, as well as her pulse ox (the level of oxygen in your blood - I know this from our asthma induced hospital trips years ago).

Everything checks out fine, which is when one of them turn to me and ask "What has she had to eat today?" That is when I utterly failed as a mom. Other than the sno-cone, I honestly had no clue what she ate for breakfast. The husband feeds the kids on the weekends so I can sleep in. I also had no clue what color sno-cone she ate (drank?). Turns out it was blue. I'm thinking (hoping) I didn't notice the sno-cone blue left on her lips until she lost all her color. Another fail? Probably.

The diagnosis? Get the girl something to eat, like a hot dog or hamburger.

If I had a tail, it surely would have been between my legs. I should have paid more attention to what was going into her body.

Until next time...

Nobody better have to pee

There are pros and cons to every situation. Focusing on the pros can really get you through sometimes, especially when the cons make you want to punch someone in their throat.

We do not own our humble abode. We rent it. As much as the husband and I would like a place of our own, renting does have an upside. When things break, it is not our job to fix them. More important, it is not our responsibility to pay for the repairs.

When something in our house needs fixed, we call our landlord and he sends out his guy. The Jack of all trades. Actually, his name is Frank.

Frank has really pulled through for us. A year and a half ago, our kitchen sink clogged up. I know I wrote a post on it, but I'll be damned if I can find it. Let's just say that we were doing the dishes in the bathtub for two weeks. Ya, it was a nightmare! We think it had something to do with our neighbors. By the way, a duplex? That's a con!

Towards the end of last summer, our water heater decided to leak all over the place. Have I mentioned the basement is also the husband's computer room? Fun times! Frank came to inspect the situation, hauling a new water heater in the bed of his truck. Once it was installed, he realized the ignitor was busted. Back to Home Depot he went.

I'm starting to think that Frank may have something against us with all these less than easy fixes. Our current situation is certainly not helping that matter!

A few days ago, our bathroom sink clogged up. The water is black as night and smells of Drano. The landlord and I both agree that it has something to do with sharing plumbing with our neighbors. Again, duplex equals con. He placed a call to Frank, who graced us with his presence yesterday morning.

Frank's lovely mood walking in our door should have tipped me off. Yes, "lovely" is dripping with all kinds of sarcasm!

When I showed him the sink, he asked if we had tried to put Drano down the sink. We had. Over a month ago. I told Frank this, to which he replied, "Well I need to know if you put it down there or not cuz I have to stick my hand in there". I don't know what crawled up his ass, but I wasn't lying to the man.

In the next 30 minutes or so, I hear the snake going into the drain followed by lots and lots of mumbling. Frank finally comes downstairs. And throws my hairdryer at my feet!

"You have to throw this away. It fell in the water."

Um, excuse me? Ya, I could have moved it, but so could you. Idiot!

By the end of Frank's time here, he did not fix the sink. He said he couldn't find the clog and would be back. Out the door he went. Which left me wondering when exactly he would return. Taking the kids to the pool was not looking like a possibility.

Finally our landlord called and explained that a game plan was in the making. Frank was on his way to Home Depot. He had noticed that the tiles around the base of our toilet need replaced. That works out because our current toilet needs to be ripped out to try and snake the pipes from there. If that doesn't work, he would have to go in through the access panel and try those pipes. By the way, that access panel is located in GG's room. And if that doesn't work, he might have to rip out the vanity and try from there.

After spending last night taking everything out of the bathroom and cleaning GG's room, we better have a new toilet, new floor, and a sink that works by the end of today. And if Frank decides to leave a mess, as he sometimes does, my inner bitch will need to come out of hibernation.

Wish me luck today. If nothing else, I'm sure today will create some great blog fodder.

Until next time...

You do voodoo? Who knew!

For the past few days, I've been wondering if someone in this house knows voodoo. I think I might have to start watching my step and make sure I am nice to the little people that live here. Unless it's the husband's doing and that is just not nice!

A few weeks ago, Little Dude had circus day at school. Each child took in a stuffed animal to train and the class showed off their animal's tricks to the third graders next door. There were other games and activities they did throughout the day, but the best part seemed to be the balloons. One of the moms in the class makes balloon animals as a side job.

Little Dude came home with these...

balloon animals

He did the face of the white balloon. The gray balloon attached to the green balloon is an airplane. I still say it looks like a dog!

The dog airplane is long gone, but the face stayed for quite some time. It was startling to see that white face peer out at me from beneath a pile of stuffed animals, but one morning I had the scare of a lifetime. The round happy face had turned into this....

Shrunken head

Did you see the teeth on that thing?!

Shrunken head

Again, I would really like to know who in this house knows voodoo. Whoever can make shrunken heads is someone I do not want to mess with!!

Until next time...

Help! We're going to melt!

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The lesser of 2 evils - PMM

I always have proud moments when it comes to being a mom. Most times I truly am proud of something that my kids did. Other times, when I say I am proud, the words are dripping with sarcasm.

The past week or so has been rough. I've been crazy busy doing this and driving there. Add to that all the last minute things that come with the final weeks of school (help!). You would think I would be full of proud and not so proud moments, but I couldn't come up with a darn thing.

Until I decided to do some cleaning in the kitchen.

GG is 9 years old. As a 9 year old, I feel she is definitely responsible enough for some chores. Of course her (and her brother) are responsible for keeping their rooms cleaned, putting away toys in the living room, and making sure their dirty dishes are in the sink. But GG is ready for some extra stuff. Even if she wasn't ready, I'm tired of doing it all!

Her main chore is to wash the dishes. It really wasn't that hard to convince her to wash the dishes in the first place. This post explains what started it. Naturally after a few weeks, she became bored of doing the dishes and would protest. Every night! But then I bought an actual dish drainer. Her excitement returned. And just as that joy was about to disappear yet again, I returned home with a mat to go under the dish drainer. For the past 2 weeks, she has not complained about doing the dishes. Thank goodness!

However, just because she is not complaining doesn't mean I'm not complaining.

GG rarely gets the water hot enough. Heck, most of the time it's still freezing cold. Cold water accomplishes crap when it comes to grease. I'm always the one to notice the leftover grease because I am the one who puts the dishes away. Time and time again, I have to turn to handle to warm the water up. I thought we were making progress, but apparently I didn't catch her in time last night.

As I was putting away the dishes, quite a few of them slipped out of my hands. Luckily nothing broke. Some of our mugs are surprisingly bouncy! As I'm transferring the still dirty dishes back to the sink, I start mumbling to myself. "She really needs to wash the outside of the dishes, too".

This stopped me dead in my tracks. My own mom used to say those words to me all the time when I washed the dishes as a kid.

I'm not sure which is the greater mom fail here - the fact that my daughter still hasn't figured out how to wash dishes the right way the first time. Or the fact that I may be turning into my own mom!

Check out my post from earlier today, too! That is something I am truly proud of!

Until next time...

I'm green

The exact location of our house is both a blessing and a curse. We live on a hill. Our neighbor's house sits just a tad higher than ours. Our first summer here I quickly discovered that their house blocks the afternoon sun from reaching in through our windows. We don't have central air, so in the scorching summer months, this is definitely a blessing. The hill behind our house is covered with trees. It's a blessing because it provides shade for the kids to play. It's a curse because we have to rake the leaves every fall at least three times.

As much as I appreciate the shade provided to both our front and back yard, this proves to be a problem if I ever wanted to grow any kind of plants or flowers. Not that I'm very good at keeping things alive to begin with! How the kids are still thriving sometimes amazes me!

Over the years I have discovered that I am the master of impatients. Those pretty little flowers thrive in the shade! Outside of a few select flowers that I can manage to not kill, I've always wanted to grow a few vegetables or herbs. I don't have the patience for a full blown garden, but a few veggie plants would be nice. We all love fresh veggies!

A few months ago when the Easter Bunny was shopping, I she decided to pick up a pack of sweet peppers and a pack of strawberries. The kids were so excited about having their own plants and a few weeks ago, we finally got around to planting some seeds. I chose a few pots and we carefully placed the seeds in the moist dirt. I really didn't expect anything to grow. I'm lucky to keep plastic plants looking nice and new!

Every night the kids and I would diligently water all of our pots. Every night we would say "I hope something grows". Early last weekend, GG and I noticed some green in her strawberry pot! I'm a little upset that after all the seeds we planted, only 2 grew. But 2 are better than none. We rejoiced!

Her and I tried to be optimistic for Little Dude because his pots were still holding nothing but dirt. Until Monday! A teeny speck of green was starting to poke out of the dirt. My boy was so thrilled to finally see that he has his very own plant to take care of.

As of tonight we are just a tad more excited. We now have 2 strawberry plants and 5 pepper plants sprouting!

As if growing veggies isn't fantabulous enough, I also managed to have a geranium come back! I always thought they bloomed and were done. Something must have been hiding in the soil because I now have a baby geranium!

Who knew I actually had a green thumb? Certainly not me!

Until next time...

A call no mom wants to get

Karma is a bitch. Plain and simple. I keep saying things and those things keep coming back and biting me in the ass.
karmaI had been bragging for quite some time about my kids rarely getting sick while all their friends were dropping like flies. BOOM! Ear infection with one and pneumonia with the other.

Yesterday really solidified that karma is definitely not my friend. I received one of the phone calls no mother wants to get. A call from the teacher can be bad enough, but a call from the school nurse is never good.

I'm sure the nurse explained everything that she knew, but I only heard bits and pieces. Your son. Bathroom. Head. Doesn't remember what happened.

Oh shit!

I took a few deep breaths before I got in the car. The last thing I needed to do while freaked out was drive! Luckily the school is only around the corner.

What we think happened was my boy banged his head on something in the bathroom. If it wasn't the bathroom, it was the hinge of his classroom door. Anything is possible with Little Dude! How this injury was discovered, since he doesn't remember, was by a friend. One of Little Dude's classmates pointed out that he had blood on his neck. When he went to wipe it off, his teacher noticed that it was in his hair as well. This prompted a trip to the nurse's office.

The nurse explained that his cut didn't look deep enough for stitches, but the fact that he had no clue how it got there was disconcerting. Concussion was where my mind immediately went. And I'm sure hers, too.

Since we were unsure about him needing stitches, I really didn't want to wait in the ER to have them send me home. I would if I had to, but I thought to call our pediatrician instead. My favorite doctor (he really is!) looked at his head, asked a few questions, and did some test to rule out a concussion. Thankfully stitches were not on the agenda. We were sent home with directions to apply antibiotic cream and avoid sports, pools, and washing hair for a few days.

Head injury
We don't have pool passes yet and my boy is quite happy to not have his hair washed. But how the hell am I supposed to keep him engaged in calm activities? This is obviously not something a boy who busts his head open is good at!

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Until next time...