Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chore Dodging 101

Kids hate chores.

Let's face it, it's a very rare breed of children that jump for joy when parents ask them to do something around the house. In fact, it is such a rare breed that I personally have never encountered one. I would even go as far to say that I would encounter good 'ole  Nessie or Big Foot before I would encounter a child that cherished housework.

My kids have pretty much perfected the art of chore circumvention. If there is a way to skip out, they have tried it. In fact, I think I have seen so many evasive tactics that I could write a chore-war manual.

Thankfully, almost all of their diversions fall into one of these categories (of which I am immune):

The Recovering Amnesiac: This child sees your chore and raises you a five-inch thick homework packet.

Mom: Could you please help me do these dishes?

Recovering Amnesiac: Oh, I JUST remembered, I have a paper due TOMORROW mom! And I haven't even STARTED it. I think it's going to take me ALL night.

The Whiner: Better grab your earplugs before asking this child to do ANYTHING. Two words in and they are already crying.

Dad: You have to fold this laundry up today. Its your chore.

Whiner: All of it?? That's too much! I CAN'T do ALL of it! 

The Pooper: This child has more regular bowel movements than a geriatric on a strict diet of prunes and bran. One word of anything "work" related and this child hits the toilet. For a good half hour. Or until you beat down the door.

Mom: Hey, can I get you to help me...

Pooper: Hold up, mom. I gotta go to the bathroom first. I've been holding it all day...

The Illusionist: This child gives you false hope. They willingly accept the mission and head off in good spirits, but half an hour later you realize they are upstairs reading a book or playing.

Dad: Today is the day you are going to clean your room.

Illusionist: Alright, dad! Let me grab a garbage bag and get to work! (Secretly grabs book off counter)

The Fit-Thrower: If you thought the whiner was bad, this child puts her to shame. If Hollywood had a hidden camera in your kitchen, you would find yourself the center of the next Honey Boo-Boo show with the dramatics this child pulls off.

Mom: Please unload the dishwasher.

Fit-Thrower: Whaaaaat? Now I can't even play outside? I just want to go play outside. (Throws self on kitchen floor) Why do you ALWAYS make me do all. this. work?! My life is oooooover! Nobody even understands me. 

The Flatterer: This child takes the dramatics to the OTHER extreme. They have mastered the art of the compliment. In other words, they know how to butter you up good.

Mom: I need you to pick up the bathroom.

Flatterer: Okay mom. You sure look pretty today. Did you do something different with your hair?

Mom: Well, actually I DID pull out the curling iron today...

Flatterer: It looks good! You should do that EVERY day mom! Do you think you could come in the bathroom and teach ME how to do that to MY hair?

Mom: (excited to be INVITED to spend time with her tween) Sure! 

The Side-Tracker: This child has good intentions. They WANT to please you, but Oooh! Squirrel!

Dad: Go take care of your stuff on the table.

Side-Tracker: (grabs stuff) Okay dad! (sees cupboard) Hmmm. I am kind of hungry. I didn't eat much lunch today... (puts stuff down on counter and makes snack)

My kids have tried it all. And I can't say that I really blame them.

If I had a choice, I would probably try to weasel my way out too.

Title photo courtesy of antpkr via freedigitalphotos.net

What type of chore dodger lives in YOUR house?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Girl and Her Dreams

My nine year old daughter LOVES animals.

She has labeled herself "Dog Trainer of the Year" despite the fact that we don't even own a dog. If you have a dog, WATCH OUT! She will insist on "training" it. To a point where when your dog sees her, it will run and hide, and no amount of treats will coax it back out.

She wants to be a vegetarian because it is mean to eat animals. Except for bacon. She doesn't want to stop eating bacon. (But who in their right mind does?!) And she doesn't really like any vegetables. But that isn't a pre-requisite. Right?

She once played hooky from school so that she could stay home and watch an all-day marathon of "Pitbulls and Parolees." No, I was NOT aware that was the reason beforehand. But she did end up admitting it later that night when the other kids were doing something fun and she couldn't because she was "sick". Tough lesson.

She wants to be either a veterinarian or a zoologist when she grows up. Or maybe both. For as long as I can remember asking her, her answer has never changed.

Unfortunately for this sweet girl, she has two things working against her.

First, we live in an apartment. One that doesn't allow pets. Not even in a cage.

Second, she is allergic to almost all animals that could be considered "pet" material, including: dogs, cats, horses, and rabbits. She was formally tested for allergies a couple years ago when she was having trouble with chronic ear infections and those were her results.

Devastating news to a little girl with big aspirations to be a vet... or so you would think.

But NOT this girl. In fact, she told the allergy doctor that she was going to be a veterinarian when she grows up and he, of course, trying to let her down gently, informed her " that probably wouldn't be a very good idea due to her allergies." She took one look at him and put him right back into his place. She would be a vet. And that was that. He chuckled and told her that she would keep him in business that way. I chuckled because I knew that she meant it.

I know that one day she probably will work with animals. She is my dreamer. And my do-er. But for now, she is stuck living out her animal fantasies by training your dog and by watching animal shows and movies on Netflix. So far we have watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3, 101 Dalmatians (the live one), and all the "Buddies" movies a thousand times a piece. 

Thank goodness Netflix just released a brand new series called The Adventures of Puss in Boots (my personal favorite character from the Shrek movies!) so that we can switch it up a little bit. 

Hey, a mom can only watch a movie so many times, no matter how good it is!

I receive complimentary Netflix service in return for my endorsement, but all opinions and referrals are 100% my own opinion.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

What Wakes me From Sleep? It’s Not What You’d Expect. A Guest Post by Sarah del Rio

If you don't yet....be sure to follow the hilarious Est.1975!

What Wakes me From Sleep? It's Not What You'd Expect.
by Sarah del Rio of Est.1975

On most mornings, my husband tries to wake up before dawn. It almost never actually happens, but what *does* happen is that his phone’s alarms go off at 3 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM. With plenty of snoozes in between.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Casa de Drama's Christmas Vacation

Last summer, I had a whole lot of fun chronicling our life through snippets of conversations and pictures in a fun little series I lovingly deemed "Casa de Drama." I promised, when it ended, to pop back in with it occasionally...aaaaand have failed miserably.

What? I have four kids. What more do you people WANT from me?!

But after surviving these last two weeks with the kids and the husband and all the Christmas gatherings and work...I decided it was time.

So, come! Take a walk with me through our two week holiday, filled with as much laughs as it was filled with gas. (But I am pretty sure that was just Grandma's beans talkin'.) We may not be the Griswolds, but we are, at the very least, cousin Eddie.


Vacation started out well enough. I had the day off of work and so I went to school with Brennan for her Holiday Party. What a treat! Brennan was pretty excited to have mom at school and had been telling all her friends I was coming. So basically I was the center of attention of 20 cupcake-sticky-fingered 4 year olds. Exciting!

At least I got the royal treatment unlike this funny conversation I had with Brennan about her daddy bringing her birthday treat to school next week:
Brennan: I am gonna be embarrassed in school.
Me: Why?
Brennan: Because. Why can't I just take my cupcakes on the bus?
Me: Because they might spill or tip over and get ruined. Dad is going to drive you, remember?
Brennan: I think the best thing is to not go to school on Monday...
Me: You do?! Why?
Brennan: Just because.


But, I can't really blame the girl. Her daddy CAN be a bit of a spotlight stealer. And sometimes his choices in clothing....well....it's probably a good thing preschoolers can't read! And he does scare the neighborhood with his shirtless "private parts" showing as Brennan so delicately warned us...

Brennan (looking at hubs sitting on couch shirtless): ummmm, you're gonna scare people...
Hubs: why? Cuz I don't have a shirt on?
Brennan: No. With your private parts.

Thanks to the "good touch, bad touch" program at school, my 4yo thinks her daddy's "boobies" should always be covered. And she has repeatedly embarrassed us in public. A couple days ago she told the teen's friend, "Watch out! My dad's private parts are out!" (Because he was shirtless) 
Lord have mercy! I almost died.

But, I am getting ahead of myself here! The first few days of vacation went well. The kids played good together. I even gathered up the littles and created this fun Snowman project that uses up lonely socks (you know, the ones the washer eats the mate too!): 

This one belonged to the middle little, Kk. She did pretty good, I think!

But after a few days, the crazy comes out. You know what I am talking about....
The fights. The messes. The inability to hear and follow directions. All of this craziness led to my New Year's Resolution: Accept the mess.

We did manage to get things cleaned up enough for the Christmas tree to go up, at least. Which made Brennan think the presents underneath it were a free for all.

I'm bored. I think I will just open up a Christmas present. Okay, momma?!

-My 4yo. Living the life.

But eventually, we managed to survive arrive at Christmas morning. And let's face it...the wondrous looks of joy on the kiddos faces, lit only by the glow of the Christmas tree lights, as they opened their stockings...makes all the other stuff worthwhile!
And the giant mess created by opening presents is soon forgotten in the joys of trying to assemble gifts that were clearly made in China. Or not...
Hubs: Who in their right mind puts the directions to build this thing ON THE BOTTOM OF THE THING YOU ARE BUILDING??
Me: The people who made it. In china. (examining box and discovering the giant Made in the USA sign) 
Me: Okay. I guess not. It was apparently made in the good ole US of A. Probably by sweatshop children that were illegally immigrated from China.
Hubs: Too bad we couldn't get some of them over here to put this stupid thing together!
Me: Weeellll, we can always let our OWN sweatshop children do it! Ooooooh teeeeeeen!

But seriously. WHO DOES THAT? And the teen, he put that sucker together in record time.

I knew we kept him around for some good reason.

After all that fiasco was solved and the stupid, giant dollhouse was assembled, we got all dolled up for some Christmas party fun. I think we clean up pretty well, don't you?
But my favorite part of the ENTIRE vacation was when I got my Grandma to take a selfie with me. This lady is a hoot! (And pretty good with the duck lips, if I do say so myself!)

Coming in at a close second, was all the fun we had this year by staying in for New Year's Eve. The kids are FINALLY old enough to have a family game night, and that is just what we did!

Thanks to Netflix, who sent us this awesome package of party favors, we partied like it was the end of 2014. Oh wait! It was!
"Hey, mom! Where'd ya get that package from? ...Netflix?" -Kk

Uhhhhh....Here's your sign kid!

#BloggingPerks #Streamteam

We had so much fun at our little New Year's party! We played all kinds of fun games. Brennan whooped us ALL in Uno and I showed the kids who was boss with a double yahtzee on my very last roll! And they all thought I was dumb for writing "mom rocks" on my score card before we started playing! Psssh.

When it's your last roll and all you need is fours and you get a Yahtzee....of all fours.

Mom rocks. #HappyNewYear

I did have to stage an intervention for the teen and his love affair with the sparkling juice, though.... I told him he was going to have to go to non-alcoholics anonymous if he didn't chill out with that stuff. Three bottles in one night is just TOO MUCH, man!

Thanks so much for joining in our adventures, not only of the past couple weeks, but the whole year! 

Wishing you many blessings in 2015

Okay, that was a tad bit exaggerated. 
But clicking the banner below DOES give me a vote. And votes make me happy.
So help a sistah out, would ya?
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