Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dear AJ

Dear AJ,

Time goes by so quickly. I can't believe how quickly you have grown. In just a few days you'll be 18 months. My sweet boy, I see so much of me already in you. When I tell Nana of all things you are doing she just laughs and says I was the same way. She also adds in a "good luck" for humor.

I wish I had a video camera permanently recording you everyday. There are so many quick, funny, adorable, sweet, amusing moments that are so hard to recapture in words. But nonetheless I will try. Not so much for an entertaining blog post but just as a reminder for me of the little things you do/did that make/made me smile.

1. Your scrunchie face
2. Your LOVE of dancing. As soon as any beat comes on, you are instantly grooving.
3. Last night when I asked you to help mommy with laying the towel down on the floor for bathtime. You took it, went straight to the bathroom, tried to unfold the towel, threw it on the floor "in place" and clapped your hands for a job well done. Again, not significant but oh so cute.

4. Snuggling with mommy.
5. Our daily night routine. Read book, hugs and kisses, lay you down to sleep, leave room, you cry, I come back in, you immediately drop back down on pillow, I cover you back up, rub your back, wipe tears away, I leave, you cry, repeat, repeat until I lay on floor, read magazine and you fall asleep. (I know this doesn't make sense as to why it would make me smile but it's the immediately dropping down on the pillow that does it for me. And I have to be fully in the room before you'll do it. I cannot stand at the doorway and tell you to lie down. No, I have to be in the room.)

6. The way you run.
7. Your love of balls and anything that resembles a ball. Pronounced "bah"
8. The way you snuggle with your blankies and Paul the Puppy.
9. The way you play and wrestle with Seena.
10. Your sloppy wet kisses.

Thank you for these moments.

I love you,


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Enough is Enough

All I have to say for today is enough is enough.

AJ - enough with the nonstop pooping.

Seena - enough with the naughtiness.

Teen - enough with the attitude.

G - enough with the clean house.

Enough said. Geez.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Starburst Detective

Dear Seena,

I'm sorry that I didn't learn the first time. I'm sure you remember when you were three, I tried to pull a fast one on you and I ate one of your pink starbursts. I know this is was awful, considering how much you LOVE starbursts but I really didn't think you would notice. You were three. I guess, maybe the fact that you separated all of the pieces by their colors and lined them up would have provided me some clue but it really didn't. I am very sorry. I know you were quite upset with me when you immediately noticed a pink starburst missing. You would have thought I would have learned my lesson. But alas, we are here again.

It was the morning after you had your three starbursts for dessert. The remaining starbursts were still in the wrapper and left out in the bowl of fruit, in plain sight. Tia V came over in the morning for a quick visit. She saw the opened package of starbursts and took one. I did not stop her.

Later that morning I, too, was drawn to the delightfully fruity flavors of the starbursts and I could not resist. I took one. Yes, without hesitation or remorse, I took one. Why I thought I could get away with this, I do not know. Perhaps I thought because the remaining starbursts were still in the wrapper in no particular order you would not have noticed? No so. I should have known better that your sharp eye in detecting missing starbursts would not have missed it. Sure as last time, the missing starbursts were noticed immediately. And not just one, both were noted to be missing. I even dare say, you were able to determine which flavors were missing. Unbelievable.

I see now that my feeble attempts at indulging my taste buds are no match for the Starburst Detective. From now on I promise to ask your permission before eating one of your starbursts, or any of your other treats as I now know, your ever watchful eye is always watching.

With love my sweet tooth,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Commercials - as much as I hate them some really funny. I never really pay that much attention to them. Sure they can provide some helpful information but I never feel the need to rush out my door to get a McLatte or call up Geico to see if I can really save 15%. I will give it to the makers of commercials for their profound expertise in demographics and nailing the "I want that" appeal in kids.

I'm not sure when Seena started really paying attention to commercials but all of sudden everything was "oooh, mommy, I want that....can you buy that for me?" At first it was typical things like the Easy Bake Oven, Barbie dolls or the latest real-life I can pee now doll that was on the market. But then the infomercials started to appeal to her and all of the sudden she wants bend-a-roos and some sort of ball that flattens for easy storage? Who knows??? I always just say we'll make a list and maybe for her birthday or X-mas we'll get it. I'm not buying that crap - if it was that great than sell it at the store.

Anyway, the list has now gotten quite long but some of my favorites are:
1. A "carpet board" that can be used to skateboard around the house
2. Rocketshot - a fishing tool?? (my personal favorite)
3. Miniburger maker. She thinks this such "a great idea". Every time she sees the commercial she makes the comment that we should buy it so that daddy does not have to **demonstrate patting of burger with both hands** to smash the burger meat.

And although these are not items that she wants they are commercials that have been engraved in my little blossom's head:
4. Subway and the 5 dollar foot long
5. F.H. Furr. - another favorite of mine because she said this when she saw the truck in our neighborhood - "hey mommy, I know that guy. It's the guy on the back of the truck"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cell Phone #6

I need a moment to vent, although I have been venting about this subject for quite some time, just not here. The issue at hand is Teen has broken her 5th phone and now wants another. 5 phones. I don't even think I've had 5 phones since cell phones "came out". Actually, that's not true, I'm on my 5th phone now but that's over a span of 10 years. Teen's time frame is 2.

After she broke her 4th phone we told her that that was it. If the next one breaks, then too bad, she's not getting another one. We bought her 5th phone for X-mas. It was a nice blackberry, cool chic phone. This was her 1 major present for X-mas. She broke it a month ago by taking her phone into the bathroom. She just had to check her text messages immediately after getting out of the shower....dripping wet. I mean, seriously, please tell me what is so important in a 14 year's old world that she just couldn't wait until she was out of the bathroom or at least dry! I was 14 once, I know how important middle school drama is and needing to know who said what and when, but seriously, why couldn't she wait 10 seconds longer.

Anyway, naturally Teen is freaking out because she knows the deal with the phone. But she also knows she has a sucker for a dad. At first I was very proud of him for sticking to his guns and saying no about "buying" a new phone. We were eligible for a free upgrade so we could get her another phone - that would cost us hardly nothing. BUT NO....she wants a cool sexy phone. A phone that costs $180 dollars...oh, but there are rebates so essentially it's only $50 or something like that. That's a freakin load of crap. I have yet to see a rebate that actually comes through.....especially with phones. So, we came to an impasse, Teen refused the free phone and we refused to buy her a new phone. Teen said she would rather not have a phone than walk around with an ugly phone...ok, that was fine by me. BUT she also made a comment that got under my skin and is still there. Quite confidently, Teen announced that she'll get her phone, one way or another she'll get the phone. Excuse me?

So, now it's been a month and a half and she still has no phone BUT she has not given up on getting it either. She has asked her mom to pay for half and us to pay for half. G almost agreed but I interceded and insisted that it's the principle of the matter now, not just the money. She doesn't get it...at least not yet. Phones are expensive, they cost money. We work hard to get money....especially now when we don't have ANY! Plus this comment of hers is still ringing in my ears and still gets me fired up.

Teen has also now "graduated" from middle school....so far. And G is now on me about getting her a phone for "graduating". I still said and say no. It's the principle. Teen doesn't take care of her things and she needs to learn. Somehow she needs to learn to appreciate the value of money and work. So, I agreed to come up for a way for her to "earn" her phone back. At first we said she could earn $5 for every chore she does....oh, and I have to add that G is only making Teen earn half the cost of the phone. He said he would match the other half. Teen complained about this...."what chores do I do?" After giving her a list she nixed about 75% of them. Still doesn't get it.

Since that didn't work my sister had an idea that she was going to implement with her son, minimum wage. I thought it was brilliant. I informed G that I would agree to buying her a phone if she worked to earn ($80) her phone back. She would get minimum wage at $8.50 an hour. We would provide her with a list of things and she could pick and choose and work. She would clock in and clock out. G agreed.

The first day we brought this up she "clocked" two hours cleaning her room and her bathroom. I docked her a half hour because she left out cleaning her closet - the messiest part of her room. The following week she helped her dad clean the house (while I was the river house) and clocked in another hour. I am suspect of this but I what can I do. So, so far she has earned roughly between 17 and $24.50. On Sunday, I overheard her ask G if he could order her her phone. G told her to ask me. I of course, replied, you have to earn it. She huffed and puffed and wanted to know what chores she could. Again, we provided her a list and again she came up with one reason or another for not wanting to do that particular chore. She then further argued that no other 14 year old had to work 10 hours and that she was not in the real world yet so therefore she did not care about working. Meanwhile I am desperately trying to explain her that it's not about the # of chores that she's doing it's showing her that it takes a lot of work to just earn money. Still did not get - and she continued to argue with me. I look to G for some support to see if he could explain it better because I'm getting angrier by the minute. He tried but I could see the dread in his face for being caught in between his daughter and his wife. This was on Father's Day. Reluctantly, Teen wrote down her "assignments" and got to work. She completed most of the things and she worked for an hour and a half. If I give her the full $24.50 for the "3 hours" of work she completed prior to this she has earned $37.25 so far.

Yesterday, Teen asked again if we were going to order the phone. G again said to ask me and I again said no. She has not earned enough money yet. "But I did all my stuff" - Teen said. I reply - "That's great, thank you but you only worked an hour and a half". Teen - "But I did all of my stuff". Me - "I"m sorry Teen. See...it takes a lot just to earn some money." Teen pouts. And pouts. And pouts. G, on his way out the door, says..."stop pouting, we'll order the phone this week." He's lucky he was walking out the door. And he wonders why I've had my grumpy pants on. Grrr.

So, here we are. I've lost this battle. G seems to believe she has "earned" it and it's for her graduation. I, of course, do not agree. But I am wondering is it my stubbornness to not lose to the Teen comment of "I'll get the phone one way or another". Am I being fair? Am I overdoing it? G seems to think so. What do you think?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Face Eating Iguana

There are few things in life more entertaining than listening to kids talk amongst themselves and tell stories...at least I think so. And even funnier, when you have an older sibling who understands the "real" world and can call you out on it.

While I was at my mom's yesterday, Seena's older cousin - Mother Hen (6), began to tell me a story about a "guana" biting a girl's face. At first I was only half paying attention until she started to tell me the girl's face came off. I began to ask her who this girl was and if she went to her school. To be honest, I don't remember what her answer was. Again, my attention span was not 100% yesterday and I just thought it was just a "story" made up. A little later, Party Girl (4) came home and she began to tell me about the same story. Now, I'm starting to get interested. I asked my sister what the deal was with this story since both girls are telling me. She said Uncle J let the girls watch some show that morning that had an iguana biting off a girl's face ...or something like that. I really still don't know exactly what the real story was. But Party Girl kept up the conversation and went something like this:

PG - It bit off her whole side of her face. mmmhmmm.
Me - Wow, do you know this girl? Did she go to your school?
PG - Yes, she is in my class. She's my friend.
MH - No! She is not your friend. You are making that up.
PG - No, she is my friend.
MH - I can tell by the look on your face that you're making it up.
Seena - No, she's not. Look at her face, does she look like she's lying? Does she look like she has a happy face?
Me - Seena, how do you know she's not lying.
Seena - look at her face, she's not lying.

And last weekend at the river house PG was whining about a scratch on her leg that she had gotten earlier:
Me - What's the matter?
PG - A dead fish bit my leg.
Me - why did it bite your leg?
PG - because it couldn't make it back to the house.
MH - what?!! That is not true. A dead fish can not bite you. A dead fish is on top of the water and is upside down. It could only bite you if it was in the water the right way up.

So stinking cute.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Crazy Eights

I’m still a little new to the wonderful world of blogging but I’m finding that I’m getting quite addicted to it. And I’m finding that it’s tough to come up with something to write about everyday so little breaks like this are very much appreciated.

My dear friend Danifred tagged me on on this questionnaire and I have to give her and her blog a shout out of thanks. Reading her blog helped me refocus my priorities and helped me find my way out of a very fogging time in my life. Plus I just enjoy reading her funny stories about her kids.

So here it goes….

First, the rules:
1. Mention person who tagged me (Hi Danifred!)
2. Complete the list of 8s
3. Tag 8 people

And, I’ve decided to be a copy cat so I'll be adding in some of G’s, Seena’s, maybe AJ’s, and Teen’s (if I can find her) answers too.

And, without further ado, the lists:

8 things I am looking forward to:
1. a clean slate and staying in my house
2. Having a toddler who sleeps through the night.
3. Having fun this summer with the kids.
4. Digging up my yard and adding new flower/fruit/veggie beds for next year.
5. Seena’s b-day party.
6. Entering the Master Gardener Program and becoming a Master Gardener.
7. Teen going to High School and Seena going to Kindergarten so I can get involved with their PTA’s and volunteering.
8. Enjoying my stress-free job for as long as I can take it and/or as long as it stays this way

8 things G is looking forward to:
1. Watching my girls grow up.
2. Teaching Teen how to drive
3. Getting another restaurant.
4. Getting another restaurant.
5. Getting another restaurant.
6. Getting AJ boy appropriate toys.
7. Getting the house to stay clean longer than 10 minutes.
8. Taking lots of vacations.

8 things I did yesterday:
1. Pruned, weeded, deadheaded, dug up bulbs and planted new plants that I “borrowed” from my neighbor.
2. Tried to help my dad fix my washing machine.
3. Went to the grocery store.
4. Tried going to the Father’s Day celebration at Seena’s school that was actually the day before.
5. Did not clean.
6. Went for a walk with the kids.
7. Watched Ice Princess for movie night.
8. Watched Ghost Adventures and freaked myself out again.

8 things I wish I could do:
1. Work part-time or be a stay at home mom.
2. Sleep an uninterrupted eight hours every single night in my bed.
3. Give my parents back their security.
4. Afford a housekeeper on a weekly basis.
5. Afford to buy anything I wanted at the grocery store
6. Cook like my mom
7. Finish my scrapbooks.
8. Win the lotto so that I and my loved-ones could live a debt free life and travel the world.

8 things G wishes he could do:
1. Own another restaurant
2. Sleep
3. Get a maid
4. Go to every major sporting arena/stadium in the U.S. and watch a game
5. Not work
6. Own a top notch night club
7. No longer pay for a bad investment
8. Meet Michael Jordan

8 things Seena would like to do
1. Go to Virginia Beach
2. Open presents
3. Fly
4. Watch movies
5. Go to the store and buy toys
6. Stay at home
7. Go to Disney World and the Disney Store
8. Go swimming with nothing on me except for a bathing suit.

8 shows I watch:
1. Brothers and Sisters
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Ugly Betty
4. Private Practice
5. Grey’s Anatomy
6. Lost
7. Ghost Adventures
8. Disney Channel

8 shows G watches:
1. Entourage
2. Eastbown Down
3. Rock of Love
4. Daisy of Love
5. Denise Richards – It’s Complicated
6. ESPN News
7. ESPN News
8. Chelsea Lately

My 8 favorite foods
1. sushi
2. french fries
3. stir-fry
4. Come callados (my mom’s inventions)
5. Hummus sandwiches
6. Linguine and clam sauce
7. Pork BBQ sandwiches
8. homemade popcorn

Seena’s 8 favorite foods
1. cake
2. Ham sandwiches
3. pasghetti
4. Lucky Charms
5. Watermelon
6. corn
7. candy
8. oreos

8 places I’d like to travel
1. Greece
2. Cross country in an RV
3. Spain
4. France
5. Brazil
6. Ireland
7. Fiji
8. China

8 places we’ve lived (in no particular order):
1. Falls Church, VA
2. Astoria, NY
3. Blacksburg, VA
4. Midlothian, VA.
5. (G) A white house in Fairfax, VA with a revolving door of roommates and that should have probably been condemned.
6. A townhouse with my friend, Johanna, who owned 95% of the furniture and stuff in there.
7. (G) Multiple apartments, townhouses, basements, rooms in Fairfax, VA with one or more of the Style Boyz.
8. Our current home sweet home.

Unfortunately, I do not have anyone to tag....

Friday, June 19, 2009

What Ever Happened to Manners?

I would like to know what is happening to manners? Simple "thank yous" and "you welcomes" are even forgotten for such simple things as holding door open these days. I usually give evil stares or say "you welcome" under my breath since I'm a chicken and don't want to face an unnecessary confrontation. Not worth it these days.

But lately, my observations in manner-lacking are within the teen population. Surprisingly, I'm seeing it worse in the female genre. I first observed this phenomenon during Teen's party. It was the boys that took off their shoes first and it was the boys who said thank you when they left. The girls just caused drama, cried, screamed and giggled. Are boy parents more cognizant of manners because they are boys? Or are boys just better behaved in the homes of their female counterparts?

Just the other day Teen had some friends over. One female and two boys. The boys took off their shoes NEXT to the door and they said their thank yous when they left. Unfortunately, they lost a few brownie points when I caught them cuddling too close in the basement. I know it happens but at least jump up and uncuddle when you see me, the parent, make a surprise entrance. Anyway, moving on. I'm not sure if it's more of a comfort thing or is it because I look like I'm their same age but the girls do not display the best of manners. The biggest surprise for me has been my name. Now, I don't know if I'm necessarily ready to be called Mrs. Juno Mom or Ma'am but at least I know I don't want to be called by my first name. I suppose I'm at a bit of a disadvantage since Teen calls me by my first name most of the time. She calls me mom too but she calls me by my first name more. But still, does this give her friends the right to call me by my first name too? One of Teen's friends began calling me by my first name almost immediately - like the day I met her. At first I thought maybe it was a mistake, maybe I'm being too old-fashion but G heard it the other day and was just as shocked as I was. This particular girl also took off her shoes right smack in the middle of the main hallway downstairs!! I mean, what is that all about??? Don't get me wrong, this girl is very nice and she's great with my other two kids. We were all even hanging on my bed the other night like a bunch of girls at a sleepover but still, I'm the mom and this is my house. Regardless if I look like I'm their same age or that they are taller, I am still the mom and I deserve respect, right? Right.

Old-fashion or not, G and I both agreed that growing up we called even our best-friend's mom by their last name. To this day I'm still uncomfortable with calling people their first name unless they give me permission to do so. So, how do I fix this without embarrassing the girl? Or do I just let it go?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Nonsleeping AJ

We're back to AJ not sleeping. I don't get it. We were doing soooo good. Ever since we got back from the river house we've been having problems. Maybe it's because I slept in the same bed with him all weekend and he got used to sleeping with me that quickly? I don't know....all I do know is that it's painful, literally.

The witching hour seems to be between 2am and 4am. I go into his room and determine if it's going to be a quick, lay him back down, recover him and go back to bed OR is it going to be one of those nights where I sleep on his floor until he falls back to sleep. Lately, it's been the latter. But now he wants to lay with me AND he doesn't just snuggle up and go back to sleep like he used to. Now he's up. He's restless, he tosses and turns, he babbles. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to sleep. I try to snuggle but eventually my arm falls asleep and I'm back to having shoulder/hips pains - if you've ever been pregnant you know what that feels like. And God forbid if I turn around to lay on my other side to get some relief. No way! The little beetle has to come with me. So of course that disturbs any progress he's made in falling asleep. And the pain doesn't stop there. In between the shoulder/hips pains and my arms falling asleep, I'm dodging head butts. My boy has a big head and those suckers HURT!

So, nothing hugely important today, just bewilderment as to why my little head-butting fart has to wake up at 2am and disturb my beauty sleep. Which he totally is. I have yet to wake up at 5:30am so that I can work out and get my super sexy body ;)

Um, today we woke up at 8am.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tattletale Mom

I did it. I tattled. I tattled to another mom about her kid. This was really tough -- you just don't go messing where you shouldn't be messing, right? It's none of my business, who am I to judge/interpret parenting for someone else's kid, right? Yes, ALL of these thoughts went through my mind BUT these allegations were serious enough and if it was my daughter I would hope someone would reach out to me.

Teen informed me Friday that her best friend (BF) was smoking pot, tried cocaine, smoked cigarettes and was dating/sleeping with a 20 year old. Teen and her BF are also fighting so I took the information with a grain of salt. But she was insistent, she was scared for her friend and other teens confirmed this information as well. So I did it but I did so very cautiously. I did not accuse and I acknowledged that some of it may be made up due to the feuding between them. The two are feuding, according to Teen, because Teen yelled at BF for engaging in such activities. Now, I'm sure there was other drama involved for the yelling to happen in the first place but I believe Teen has genuine concern for her friend.

Let it be said that it was NEVER my intention to judge either parent or teen. BF is a sweet girl. She is/was one of our favorites. Each parent raises their kid as best they see fit and it's no business of mine to question that.

Within 10 minutes of me passing on the information to BF's mom she contacts me. She is taking the news somewhat well, naturally asking a lot of questions, confirming whether I knew they were feuding, etc. etc. I also expected some retaliation from her - asking me if I was aware of Teens doings and behaviors, did she admit to smoking too, etc. I did expect this but I didn't want to be put on the defensive either. I wasn't calling to be a "tattletale" I was calling out of genuine concern. I just wanted to pass on the information and as her parent, BF's mom can decide how best to handle it. That was it. But instead the conversation went into her feelings about Teen, what she felt was ok with, teens are going to experiment, they are going to have sex, etc. etc. I started to feel a bit uncomfortable because I did not want to get into a conversation of our opinions on these matters or into a well, my daughter this and my daughter that so I just said my "mmhmms", "ok's", and quite frankly I let her do most of the talking. I am fully aware that teens will experiment and I honestly thought that Teen would be the front runner in leading the pack of experimental adventures but so far she has happily proven me wrong. And I hope she continues to do so but in the meantime, I'm not stupid, and I will continue to be suspect of everything she does and everywhere she goes. I don't necessarily let on that I'm suspect because I want her to feel that we trust her. And I do trust her but she's also a teen, plain and simple. I mean, for goodness sakes, I was 14. I know what they are doing. 8th grade was by far my worst year and I'm thankful we made it through with Teen without any major issues. Now, I just need to worry about my other two kids.

So the purpose of my ramblings, I guess, is to find some sort of justification for "tattling" and to remind myself that I may easily get one of these tattletale calls one day and hopefully, I will be able to take the information constructively and act upon it appropriately.

***BTW - BF's mom found the cigarettes right where Teen said they would be. A part of me didn't want her to find them because I can only imagine what is going on at their house right now but for my Teen's sake, I'm glad she did.***

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pre-School Graduation and Bad Karma

Back to our regular scheduled program....

Friday was Seena's preschool graduation. I first learned of her "graduating" from G. When we received Seena's school pictures one of the choices were a cap/gown picture. It never occurred to me that Seena was actually graduating. I mean, this is preschool. I thought the cap/gown pictures were just for fun. It was my husband that pointed out that they were because she was graduating from preschool. Err...duh. Anyway, the actual graduation ceremony was Friday night. I was planning only to have my mom, Teen and AJ attend. I also announced to G that I was going to go to the river house afterwards. G wasn't exactly pleased but my mind was made up and we were going. His only instructions were to NOT leave a mess before I left. Ok - no problem, I didn't have any work to do on Friday so this shouldn't have been a problem. Well, nothing really ever goes as planned for me. From the moment I woke up I was behind schedule by an hour-all day. I was further thrown off when V informed me that she was going to come to the graduation too and we would all just leave for the river house together afterwards. Ok...Seena will like that, no problem. Teen also decided to have a friend come over after school which did not present a problem until Teen's friend's mother would not come to pick her up. Teen's friend was suppose to be picked up by 6pm. I could hear the poor girl yelling at her mom and finally I couldn't take anymore of it and I told her I could take her home. This was at 6:30pm. We had to be at graduation at 7:15pm. I started to get nervous as my promise to G was starting to seem less possible. See, I saved cleaning and straightening until the end. Probably not the best plan but I hate cleaning so naturally I will put it off until I absolutely have to do it. I figured I could make mad dashes around the house while my mom watched the kids. This did not happen. At 6:45pm my sister and her two kids came rolling in with trays of food from their graduation party earlier that day. The mess just continued to pile up. I'm starting to feel the anxiety of hearing G's wrath starting to swell. I choose to ignore the mess for now and we leave for graduation. Naturally, I am one of the last parents to get there so I have the worst seating ...the back. And I'm probably the shortest mom there. Seriously, no joke. So, throughout the ceremony I am climbing on chairs to take pictures with a camera that no longer wants to cooperate. And of course, right when it's time for Seena to get her "diploma" my battery dies. Thankfully I notice a parent that I'm friends with taking pictures and I asked her to click away on any Seena shots.

This is where I would have inserted said picture but I have not received it yet.

As the ceremony continued and in between my chair hopping and hot flashes - which I am sure was due to my growing anxiety over the state of mess I was going to inevitably leave the house in- my eyes began to swell with tears. At first I really didn't think preschool graduation was a big deal and almost a bit silly but it set in again, that my baby girl was growing up. She'll be in kindergarten in just a few months and then graduating high school before I know it. Her time in daycare/preschool has made a world of difference for her. Seena used to be this incredibly shy girl who would hide her face in my neck when we went to any social function. But at her graduation she stood proud and announced to all the parents that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. Then she stood front and center when they performed their Wiggle song and dance. She was so cute and I couldn't be more proud. I could tell Seena was gleaming too.

After the ceremony and cake was over we trudged our entourage back to the cars so we could change, pack up the cars and hit the road. We get home and I immediately begin to run around the house like the Tasmanian devil trying to pick up and put away whatever I could as I whirl winded by. I didn't get too far. Between AJ pooping and chasing him around to change him, getting the girls to calm down to change and pee, and then giving instructions to Teen since she was going to be home alone it just couldn't get done. Really. Next thing I knew the cars were packed and all that was left was me. I took one last look around and realized in horror that I was leaving the kitchen sink a MESS. Now, let me just break away for a moment to explain why leaving my house a mess is a big deal. Besides the fact that G is overly obsessive of cleanliness he ALWAYS has the house clean when I come home from any sort of trip. I really don't want to take advantage of that because I know he's tired and needs the rest so I really try to do my part. Plus, I just don't want to hear it from him again.

So, back to my story. When I realized the sink was filled with dishes from dinner I yelled for Teen to come down and unload the dishwasher so I could get rid of the dishes. Teen did not want to this but I explained I could not leave the dishes in the sink or I would be in trouble with dad. She promised she would take care of the dishes and the dishwasher later that evening. I hesitated, I really did. I know Teen loves me in her own special way but I also think there's a little piece of her that gets a little pleasure of seeing me get in "trouble" with dad. But I had two car loads of impatient kids and family members so I made her promise, promise, promise that she would take care of it THAT night. I glanced around one last time and silently sent out an apology to G and to the stars above for once again leaving a mess.

Our trip to the river house was essentially uneventful except when we arrived. Presuming that karma had set it's eyes on me that evening, I left my house a mess to only arrive to a bigger mess at the river house. Due to what we assumed were bad storms, the refrigerators had lost power. It's been at least two weeks since anyone has been to the house so who knows how long the fridges were without power. And yes, there was food in them. Frozen meat in the freezer and all kinds of other food in the fridge. It was soooooo foul and the smell was beyond disgusting. On top of that, to save energy and money, my parents shut off the electricity when there is no one at the house. Therefore, the house was hot, humid and rancid with disgusting rotting food smell. I gag just thinking of it. So for the next hour and half, my sister, my mom and I spent cleaning out the fridge all while trying to keep the kids out of the kitchen, especially AJ. Mind you it is now midnight and all of the kids are up and running around. Finally, around 1:30am we declare the fridge mold free and clean and we settle off to go to bed. Was this my bad karma for leaving my house such a mess....who knows? But just in case and because I truly did feel bad, I sent a text over to G with two simple words. "I'm sorry" with hopes that my bad karma would end there.

****Sunday I came home to perfectly clean house....I love my husband*****

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bug's Blog

I have to postpone today's scheduled blog because I am too emotional to write about anything today. I stumbled upon a blog of a woman who lost her handicapped son suddenly one evening in 2005. She used her blog as a tribute to her son and how much she missed him. She has retired the blog in 2007. All I can say is that it is beautifully written and through her words I feel that I knew her son or wished that I had. I've spent most of my morning reading her blog....while at work. Thank goodness I have my own office where I can hide behind closed doors so no one can see the tears streaming down my face. I have not experienced the pain or loss that she has endured and I pray, pray, pray that I never have to, but if anything, reading her blog has reaffirmed what I've been desperately trying to hold on to as I am going through my own personal painful journey of loss and guilt. My kids and my family are my life. I know I harp on this way too much but reading her blog just drives those emotions deep into the very core of my soul. I do not want to live my life in fear, knowing full well that life is not a guarantee but all I want to do right now is go straight home, grab my kids and lock down my house so no threat of unimaginable loss will ever come my way. But instead I will use the memories of her son and the joys he brought his family to celebrate life everyday and to remember how truly blessed I am.

Friday, June 12, 2009


This is the time I am suppose to wake up and do my yoga and much needed ab workout. I have even written this down on my "daily schedule" to hopefully get it to "set" in. Not so much. I haven't gotten up to exercise since I was trying to lose weight for the cruise. I've started running, which is a great start but I definitely need the ab workout. After two babies and just plain indulgement, my abs are nonexistent. My sister gets up every morning at 4:30am to go to the gym. I have to admit I am jealous. She really does look great. Why can't I get that motivation? Is it laziness? Probably, huh? But I'm struggling with lack of sleep and therefore being too tired to get up. My goal is to go to bed at 10:00pm-this is also written down but I usually fall asleep anywhere between 11 and 12am. Then I usually hear G come home and we talk for a few minutes. That's around 1:30 to 2:30am. If I'm lucky, the rest of the night is snoozing time but that's not always a guarantee. Take last night, I had my alarm set for this morning as I was determined to get up and exercise. But a little after 2:00am AJ wakes up and we stay up until 4:00am. Grrrrr. This was also after G and I had a 10 minute conversation at 1:30am. As I'm walking back into my room, I'm thinking there's no way in h%LL that I'm getting up at 5:30. I crawled back into bed, turned off my alarm and prayed that AJ would at least "sleep-in" until 7:00am. I didn't quite make it to 7, Seena came waltzing into the room at 6:30 asking if we could get up now. So for the night I had a grand total of 4.5 hours of sleep. And that is really it. I don't take naps so that really is all the sleep I will have for the day.

Besides the lack of sleep and the non-working out in the morning, the part that kills me the most is that I AM a morning person. I like waking up early....I'm most productive in the morning. After 9:oopm I'm a walking brainless blob. So, somehow I've gotten completely turned around and I need to find my way back to early mornings and early evenings. But for today, I will just have to settle for flabby abs and hope tomorrow....scratch that...Monday will be the start to strong and lean abs ;)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Settle Down

I've started telling Seena to settle down when she's having an emotional moment. Usually her tantrums are due to not getting what she wants and she begins to kick her legs, whine and wither on the floor. I remove her from the area and take her to the stairs for time out. At that point I tell her she needs to settle down, count to 10 and rejoin us. I thought she knew what it meant but I didn't know she would use the term literally...

Set the scene last night as we were winding down for bedtime - I was on the couch with AJ on my lap and Seena was upset because she lost her TV time again: I decided to try to sneak in clipping AJ's toenails while he drank his milk. As Seena was getting ready to sit down next to us to try to persuade me let her watch TV I'm sure, I asked her to get the toe nail clippers for me. Oh my...you would have thought I asked her to run a mile. The drama immediately ensued of "why, why do I have to. I just want to settle down. Why do I have to keep getting up, why can't I just settle down". The girl just makes me laugh.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I want another baby. There I said it. I don't know why but I do. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I know, I KNOW the cons heavily out weigh the pros but it doesn't make my wanting #4 go away. Babies are addicting and even as crazy as toddlers and pre-schoolers are, watching them learn and discover life is priceless. It leaves me with an insatiable need for more. I really don't want my kids to grow up. I love them so much at this age and I'm sure I'll say the same every year as they get older but I really believe the years before 5 are unbeatable. Maybe that's why I want another baby...so that I can keep having kids within that age group? I'm crazy I know, but I can't help it. I know I'm alone in this desire and it's funny that I'm writing this the morning after I wrote about how crazy Seena makes me with her talking back. I know, it doesn't make any sense. Oh, well....I guess I'll just keep on secretly wishing for an "oops-surprise honey!".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Talking Back

I don't even know what to write or where to start. I expected talking back from Teen...and trust me, I got it and still get it but nothing in comparison to Seena. And she's 4, well almost 5 now. We fight almost every day and it's exhausting. Is it an attention thing? Is this normal, typical 4 year old behavior? I think I do a pretty good job of showing equal attention between the kids, she doesn't show any jealousy. I've been trying different methods of discipline; time-out, taking away the TV (or something), ignoring the outbursts, I've tried lowering my voice to whispering and I've even resorted to smacking her on the lips. This has only happened on a few occasions and it's usually been when I'm at my breaking point and she's been so completely and ridiculously out-of-line. I always feel horrible afterwards and I know it doesn't do any good, for one, the first thing she wants to do is go tell daddy - which then puts me in trouble and two, this only ends up with more crying. I'm not against spanking but I don't use it as a regular form of discipline. I know it doesn't work. So, I'm at a loss. One method may work one day but sure as day, it doesn't work the next. I guess consistency is suppose to be key. I'm trying. I've seen the best results when I take away the TV - which is actually probably not such a bad thing. Just a few weeks ago, Seena lost her TV privileges for the entire day in a matter of 10 minutes. I usually give punishment increments by the time of day - no TV until after lunch, no TV until after dinner - no TV at all. The poor girl kept at it and she lost it for the whole day. That was a tough one because I remember it was a crappy day outside too but I stuck to it. Tonight she lost her "show" before bed-time and that was the end of the world. She even promised to be good the rest of her life if she could just watch her show tonight. Can I get a guarantee on that?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Typical Juno Mom Day

It's no secret to my family and my dear friend, Auntie V that if things are going to go astray or just be difficult, I am usually at front and center. I believe my sister may be the only other competitor in this line up. If things are going to happen, they are going to happen to us. And not bad things, Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Hail Mary, just frustrating and/or embarrassing things. It's just how our world works. For me, these moments usually happen when I'm trying to be super mom and/or fun mom and ALWAYS when I'm by myself. Well, except for the time that my sister and I were driving home from the river house with all of the kids in the car and partygirl started throwing up. When we pulled the car over, OF COURSE, we pulled the car over into a hidden ditch on the side of the road and the car tilted sideways (on my side). My sister and I just sat there, staring at each other with mouths open wide (laughing of course), listening to partygirl yakking in the back, the kids screaming and thoughts of how the hell are we going to get of this. Or the time on the cruise when my tampon fell out while I was bouncing on the floating trampolines. I mean, seriously, do these things happen to other people? I guess they do, since America's Funniest Videos IS having their new season in the Fall. Anyway, like I said, it is just the way our life works. We have learned to embrace it and enjoy it for the memories. This past weekend I had another one of those times, not as exciting as the two previously mentioned occurrences but just a typical Juno Mom day.

I have always tried to keep my family...scratch that....my kids active. G and Teen are usually too busy being a Teen or too tired. Now that it's warm out, we're taking our daily walks, bike rides, going to the park etc. On the weekends I usually try to find something for the kids to do. It's gotten to the point now that Seena's asks where are going today or can we go somewhere....which I love. It's taken us awhile to get here because of our difficult past two years but I'm committed to keep this going as long as I can. So, this past weekend I made the announcement that we were going to the pool. Ahhhh...best mom award goes to ME! Seena is sooo excited. Saturday morning comes and it's gloomy and chilly. Uh-oh. Trying to save the day, I check out local events and find that there is a Strawberry Festival going on. Ooh...fun...price not fun...but...it's an alternative. I give Seena the choice and she decides on the pool. Ok, we're off and yes, it's freezing! I got to hand it to kids, they can deal with cold water like no one else's business. Not me....my feet were the only things get in that water. So, that excursion lasted for about an hour and a half - noon time. Now what - I have a whole freaking day with activity thirsty kids. Seena suggests going to the "festibal". We rush home, check the time...it' s a good 45-60 minute drive and we'll only have 3 hours at most there. Was that worth the $20 ticket price? Hell with it. We're going. Thank goodness I showered the kids and had lunch at the pool, brownie points for me! So I repack diaper bags, snack bag, call G to tell him where we're going and change my clothes in record speed of 10 minutes. Out the door and we're off. As I'm pulling away from the house I begin to question whether I made this decision too quickly and not think it entirely through. And then made day really began:

1:05 - Pull away from the house
1:06 - realize I did not eat lunch and I'm starving. Ooh, I got blueberries.
1:07 - blueberries fall over the floor
1:0Bold8 - pull over and pick up blueberries. Ate them anyway...I was starving and the car was just cleaned.
1:10 - realized I forgot the stroller. I'll deal.
2:01 - estimated arrival time per GPS. Perfect - 3 hours of fun time.
2:30 - Actual arrival time because I drove behind every slow person imaginable on one lane roads without any passing opportunities! But, it was ok....the drive was beautiful.
2:40 - try to get half price ticket - didn't work. Place is packed. Immediately I notice awkwardness of carrying my diaper bag, snack bag and AJ all while trying to hold Seena's hand and look at the map to figure out where we should go first.
2:43 - make way to play area. Begin cursing that I wore flimsy flip flops. Between the gravel, the muddy areas and unbalanced luggage I was carrying it was not comfortable.
2:45 - get to play area...there's no baby swing. Seena immediately goes to the slide. I carry AJ over to the swings (next to slide). Put all of my stuff down while trying to hold AJ back from running all over the "muddy" areas that I'm starting to notice IN the play area.
2:46 - Get AJ on swing and then I hear the dreaded unmistakable sound of squishy mud. "Please don't be Seena, please don't be Seena" I turn around and ....yep, it's Seena. Right at the bottom of slide was a nice wet, squishy mud puddle and Seena was sitting right in it with a look of horror on her face. Light bulb went off - I brought a change of clothes!!! Yeah! Oh whoops, lights out - change of clothes was a white skirt. Console Seena that it's ok - I have a change of clothes but we'll change later. Try to wipe her off with one wipe because, of course, the bag of wipes I do have is almost empty. Curses.!
2:48 - move on to sand pit with big trucks for AJ to play with. Yeah!! Fun mom!! AJ not interested. Curses!
2:49 - holding and fighting with AJ (while still holding bags and camera) because he wants to go back to the swing area. Not happening.
2:50 - look around area and realize there's too much mud to enjoy, so we try to move on the next area which was in a woody area. Before I could stop her I see her run through what I am sure was a poison ivy patch. Curses!
2:52 - move over to the big jumping pillow. This was fun. Socks probably would have helped since the surface was hot but we made do. Got great shots of Seena jumping. AJ loved jumping with me but I couldn't get any pictures of us because I was alone. Curses!
3:10 - move on to next area - Seena falls again in a nice wet squishy mud puddle. Now her entire right leg is covered in mud and I only have 1-2 wipes left. Curses!
3:11 - begin walking over to the many other activity areas while holding AJ and my bags. I think this was the time that I started cursing at G for not coming with me. It didn't matter that he was at work.
3:12 - get to the puzzle areas - kids won't get it
3:13 - get to slides - other end way too muddy
3:14 - get to pedal tractors - can't do it alone with two kids.
3:15 - rope swing - too muddy
3:16 - 2nd big tunnel slide - ooh, this one is dry! We climb up the many, many awkward natural steps while carrying AJ and my bags. ****I keep referring to the bags because no matter where they are on my body or how strategically I packed them....they are always in the way.***moving on. Seena goes down. Yeah, fun! My turn... with AJ and the bags. As I'm squatting and trying to get situated into the tunnel I start picturing stuffing ricotta into an already stuffed manicotti shell. Some nice mom I guess felt pity on me and tried to help me get situated, meanwhile my sunglasses are falling off my head, AJ's is wiggling like a worm on a hook and I'm trying to hold on to him while trying to hold and situate my freaking bags. Curses! Since this is one of the few non muddy activities we played here for awhile. After our first run AJ was perfectly content going down by himself. Thank goodness.
3:30 - sit down for snack time, unpack snacks. Hand sanitizer is missing from diaper bag. Curses! And Seena has to pee. Repack snack bag.
3:32 - find port-a-potty. Gross but not horrendously gross. Begin to curse at G again for not being with me and making me deal with two kids in a port-a-potty by myself.
3:35 - screaming at kids to not touch anything, use Seena to trap AJ in the corner while I pee. Oh, and of course the door opens while I'm peeing.
3:37 - thank God for having hand sanitizer in port-a-potty
3:38 - check out farm animals
3:45 - make way to hayride to go to the strawberry fields. I notice that there is a very nice restroom. Figures.
3:47 - start to get looks of pity from moms getting off the hayride when they see me carrying AJ, my freaking bags that are no longer strategically placed and now my tray to collect the strawberries. Is it really going to be that bad? I just wanted to have a fun day with the kiddies damn it!
3:49 - load up the kids and all of my crap. I start to feel like I'm getting the "looks" from people. I try to give my best "all in a days life of a mom" look hoping for some sympathy and hoping we'll just be ignored.
3:51 - hayride begins and finally....peace.
4:00 - get to strawberry field. We find our row and begin picking. Well, Seena picks, I keep running after AJ since he wants to go in the opposite direction - of course - meanwhile I'm still holding on to my freaking bags.
4:05 - finally get into a rhythm. Bags are off, AJ is sitting eating strawberries as Seena and I are picking. Finally, finally, this is the cohesive moment that I waited for all day. Besides looking at the bright red strawberry stains on AJ's white shirt and realizing that I didn't bring an extra shirt for him, it was the best part of the day.

4:30 - tractor comes back, reload kids, bags and tray of strawberries - this time we got help from other riders. On the ride back I see a look of pure joy on my kid's faces. Ok, so maybe it was all worth it.
4:45 - try to explain to a very disappointed Seena that there are no more crayons for face painting and there's no where to get more.
4:50 - go to the super nice restroom. Change Seena's clothes and AJ's diaper in a regular sized stall. Um? What happened to the handicap stall?
5:00 - Put AJ down for a minute to pack car and immediately he runs off. Come on!
5:25 - kids asleep and no slow cars in front of me.

Yes, these are my typical days but in the end it really is worth it. Really :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

4 Going on 5

I get the excitement and anxiousness of turning the milestone ages of 16, 18 and 21 but 5? Seena pulled my heartstrings last night when she asked if we could just says she's 5 since her birthday is so close? Noooooo....Why the rush? I think 5 is a bittersweet milestone for parents more so than the kids themselves. 5 is when they leave daycare and enter the real school system..sniffle, sniffle. It means your little one is really growing up...sniffle, sniffle. I think she knows 5 is a "grown up" age because she has been putting stuff off until she turns 5. I tried to put her in dance class when she turned 3 and it was horrible. She cried the whole time and we eventually had to take her out of the program. After some time she finally agreed to try it again but only when she turned 5. And that's been with a lot of stuff. Just this morning she asked if we could go to the pet store to buy a cat. The conversation went:

Me: Oh, no honey, we're not going to get a cat.
Seena: Never?
Me: No, I'm not going to say never, just not now.
Seena: So, tomorrow then?
Me: No, sweetie, now is just not the right time.
Seena: ok, so when I'm 5, right?

I don't know how she knows 5 is a "big" age but I don't want it to be. Even my mom was in shock last night when I invited her to Seena's graduation next week. She couldn't believe Seena was going to kindergarten. She actually disputed it with me. I assured her that she was turning 5 in July and would be going in the Fall.

Nana - "but she's so tiny (meaning thin not height-wise), she's too small to go to kindergarten!". Me - "I know, mom, I know"

Well, sorry Seena, I've decided you're staying 4 as long as physically possible. Please don't be sad. You'll be turning 5 and then 18 soon enough. Let me just have these few more weeks of you being "little"....sniffle, sniffle.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Short and Sweet

Every morning before we head off to school Seena tucks her little gang (Ariel, Paul the Puppy and Jasmine) in for the day:

I just think this is sweet.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Teen and the Damn Tongue

First there was the side smirk that appeared in almost every picture that Teen took.

And when I say every, I really do mean every.

Sure, some pictures are cute like that but when it's every picture, it's annoying. But whatever, these are her pictures and that's fine. The smirk didn't have any seemingly bad sexual meaning, so I let it be. These days there are so many secret teen languages and meanings, like "Rainbow Parties" and the meaning behind wearing different colored jelly bracelets, "sexting", etc. It's scary to think about and hard to keep up with. Just when you think you've "caught on", there's something new. And not that I think the smirking meant anything, I don't think it did. Those particular pictures were just annoying. Anyway, moving on...

Teen is a very beautiful girl with a smile...

Or without a smile....

But now there is the tongue.

And it's everywhere.....

I hate the tongue. The tongue drives me insane, inSANE, INSANE! I don't know if it means anything or if it's part of a "secret" language or if it's just the photo fad for now, but I just hate it nonetheless. I think it's sooo tastesless and it ruins pictures. I'm constantly deleting these photos from her pictures for both the plain yuckiness of them and to keep her from posting them on her myspace page in case there is some secret meaning behind it. I have told her many, many, many times to stop taking pictures of the tongue but it still shows up everywhere. Now, I'm not against goofy pictures. Even as adults, my friends and I have a slew of pictures of funny faces, but none of them include a tribute to Gene Simmons! I mean, seriously, what's wrong with just having fun photo like these?

There no tongues needed to show off how cool and funny we are. The tongue just ruins pictures. As per the exhibit below. I love these photos of AJ. And I would LOVE it even more if Teen were smiling. But no, instead we have the tongue. The ever lurking tongue. And I'm not even sure if I can crop it out or "fix" the picture to get rid of the tongue, I'll have to confer with my photo savvy friends for this.

And then of course, the tongue trickles down to the ones that are influenced most by their big sis...
Thank you tongue for ruining my pictures....again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Elf Mom

I know I'm short, no surprise there. And yes, I married a man who is 6 feet tall. So I should expect my kids to be tall, right? But geez, at this rate my kids are going to pass me before they finish elementary school!! G's genes for some reason, are extremely dominant, especially in the girls. Even with Teen being my step-daughter, she and Seena look sooo much alike. AJ looks more like me, so they say. But all of them are tall. I remember hearing or reading in my genetics class in college that the males passed on their genes to the females and vice versa (the first borns of each sex - I should add). I specifically remember this because I remember thinking...oh no, if I ever have a son, he will be short. Maybe it's only dominant genes....I guess, I didn't pay too much attention because AJ isn't appearing to be short so far. But it's interesting, everything else seems to go along with that theory. I'm finding many of G's traits in the girls and AJ has many of my characteristics. The kids are still very young so I'm going to wait before I post any conclusive evidence but for now this is where the kids stand, literally:

Teen - already towers over me, she's 14.
Seena - is at my chest. And she even remarked today that she was almost as tall as me. She's turning 5 in July.
AJ - is almost as tall as Seena. He reaches her chest. He's 17 months.

Maybe I should change my profile name to Elf Mom....geez!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Little bits of the kids, per Ms. Juno:

  • is realizing that I actually may know some stuff.
  • actually saw her studying
  • is still without a phone. She's holding out for a cool one...I'm a bit impressed.
  • will be in high school next year and get her lerners--yikes!
  • may have broken a record of the most text messages last month - 14,000


  • loves to sing. I see a future in songwriting.
  • is the perfect litte mommy to AJ
  • can write her full name without looking!!
  • can say the pledge of allegiance
  • is trying to collect coins to save the babies that are in trouble and to get the pizza party


  • can say momma, daddeeee, dogdog, nana
  • loves to talk...his conversations are dada, dadadada, daaadaa
  • understands - where are your socks/shoes?, get a book, go sit down (at meals), outside?, cheez cheez. doesn't understand "no". He thinks it means "smile".
  • would make any riverdance dancer jealous with his feet stomping tantrums
  • is already displaying his extreme need to be independent. No longer wants my help going up the front stairs nor helping him AT ALL with his spoon at meal times.
  • loves to play chase with Seena
  • still LOVES to go outside
  • still likes to cuddle with mommy :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Who's Birthday is it Anyway?

This past weekend I've been questioning myself and whether I'm being selfish. G's b-day is today and for the first time in a VERY long time I am able to actually get him something. Nothing crazy...very simple...a VISA gift card. And I wanted the gift card specifically because I wanted him to use the money for himself and on things he WANTED. If I gave him the cash inevitably he would use it on everyday things. All week he insisted on me giving him the cash because he wanted to go shopping on his days off. I insisted on giving him the VISA card on his birthday because I wanted to give him something ON his birthday. We went back and forth and I finally gave in and just gave him the cash. I mean, it's his birthday right? I should do what he wants, right? I just wanted to give him something on his birthday since it's been such a long time. So, was this more about me than him? I don't know...I'm finding that I'm doing the same thing to Seena. Her b-day is in July and I've been planning this is great "Save the Princess" party in my head. The party would probably be at our house (as usual) with themed activities. She of course is talking about doing her party at every place she's been invited to in the past 4 months, House of Bounce, Chuck-E-Cheese, etc. Now, I know it will all end up probably costing the same but I really enjoy planning and putting together these parties. I don't mind all of the work and preparation that goes into it all....I flat out love it. And it's not even about showing off and doing something spectacular, I just really, really enjoy it. I've been collecting cake decorating books and party ideas for the last 10 years in anticipation of having children to plan parties for. I know it's crazy but let's move on. So now I've found myself trying to talk her into having this particular theme party at our house. She's feeding off of my excitement so naturally she's excited but again, am I making it more about me or should I just give in and give her what she wants? I just hate those places, the kids don't really play together and it doesn't feel like a real party. Plus, how much longer am I going to be able to plan theme parties....the girl is going to end up just wanting a sleep over with just pizza and cake soon enough.