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In Perfect HARMony

20 Jan

Whine: I fear that if Lil’ Sis kept a diary, today’s entry might be entitled, “Another Day, Another Pool Noodle to the Face”.

Cheese: Lil’ Sis is no shrinking violet. I suspect Big Sis will very soon rue the day she noodled her sister.

My kids have been playing together peacefully for the last 5-7 minutes.

This means in the last 5-7 minutes I have not had to say any of the following things:

*No wrestling on top of Mommy.

*We don’t stick our bottoms in each other’s faces when we’re not wearing underpants. (Got your underpants on? Different story.)

*Why is your lunch behind the dresser?

*Put that skewer down and go jump on the trampoline.

*Stop arguing over which Bible story we’re reading. Mommy’s already chosen Cain and Abel.

Do you understand how LONG 5-7 minutes is in the world of a mother?

In 5-7 minutes you might be capable of returning not one but TWO text messages! In 5-7 minutes you might be able to sneak in half a cup of cold coffee. In 5-7 minutes (and only if you’re lucky) you might be able to read (another) article deailing the virtues of last-night’s episode of Sherlock.

I wish I could tell you how to find this far-off utopia where kids play as if their siblings are actual human beings and where their toys become tools of imaginative delight rather than harbingers of destruction. But I’m a mother, not a magician. The best I can do is give you a few pointers and wish you luck.

Hint #1-This is the most important one. Do NOT, under any circumstances attempt to use, or even enter, the bathroom. For any purpose. Even something as minor as brushing ones teeth will immedialy result in conflict. Or injury. Most likely conflict-related injury.

Hint #2-Feeding yourself is out of the question. The preparation of sustenance of any sort will cause immediate dietary needs in your offspring. Even if they are ouside and cannot hear you open the refrigerator to make your kale and spinach salad topped with sunflower seeds and balsamic, they will sense the preparation of food and immediately race to the kitchen and wrap their mewling, writhing bodies around your legs until you stop and throw them some processed cheese food and a half-gallon of milk.

Hint #3-Attempts at personal correspondence are also unwise. A surreptitious text message (or two)may slide by them, but emails, facebook messages or heaven forbid, phone calls will result in immediate danger to all involved, possibly death.

Hint #4-Do not attempt to document Peace Time in ANY way. Indulge yourself the pleasure of watching your progeny enjoy each other as you always dreamed they would. Pat yourself on the back for producing such civil children, then get the heck out of dodge before they spot you. Do not attempt to take pictures or text anyone about this miraculous occurrence! The only proof you’ll get of this moment is in 20 years when your kids realize that there are people in the world that are WAY more annoying than their siblings.

Your best strategy for preserving your glorious 5-7 minutes is to remain as motionless as possible without looking relaxed and/or asleep (these are, of course, instant beacons of invitation for disruption). Do the dishes stealthily. Avoid any sudden movements as you fold laundry. Avoid eye contact from behind the page of a boring book and enjoy both of the [boring] pages you get to read. Then, around Minute 8, pull yourself out of your blissful solitude, grab your Clorox wipes and pull up the number for Poison Control because I guarantee you’re going to need them.

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There is no Off-Season for Me

16 Jan

Whine: Mr. Dad has taken over the TV yet again to watch a Really Big Game. Which happens to be Really Big Game #4,238 of our marriage. That’s a lot of Really Big Games. And I’ll tell you a secret, we don’t win them all. Which is why I’m skilled in the arts of both CPR and Tai Chi. (Ok, not Tai Chi, but that would be cool.)

Cheese: We have been married long enough (4,238 Really Big Games, to be exact) that Mr. Dad knows he has to be super-dad for a little while before he transforms into a mindless sports-watching machine. So I enjoyed listening to a rowdy game of hide-and-seek from the other side of a locked bedroom door.

This post is dedicated to that brave and selfless group of women known as Sports Widows. These women weather the ups and downs of every sports season with grace and  aplomb. Sports Widows earn their name from the endless evenings and Saturday mornings and Sunday nights and random Wednesday afternoons they spend holding down the fort alone so their husbands can follow their dreams of watching other people play sports.

Are you curious about your status as a Sports Widow? Read the signs and symptoms below to discover if you, too, belong to that most-honored group.

You might be a Sports Widow if…

…there’s a line in your budget labeled ‘Sporting Events’ and it’s larger than the line labeled ‘Shoes and Clothes.’

…the only time you’ve heard your husband threaten to ‘rip somebody’s head off’ was in regards to a made-up sport.

…your best chance for seeing your husband would be to catch him in a crowd shot on the TV.

…you can use the ESPN ticker like a Weather Channel for your husband’s moods.

…your supply of commemorative plastic cups outnumbers both your casual and formal drinking glasses.

…getting ‘dressed up’ for your husband means changing out of his team jersey t-shirt and into his team polo or oxford.

…after a particularly hard loss, people who are not fans of the team or sport call with their condolences.

…in your husband’s opinion, the Sports Hug is the only legitimate man-hug.

…you’ve only ever seen your husband Sports Cry.

…when your alma mater plays your husband’s you root for his team because it makes life easier. For both of you.

…you feel very guilty, but you wish the team would lose in Round 1 of the playoffs so you could have your husband back. (At least until the next sport starts up.)

…your husband spent part of your wedding reception listening to a football game.*

…your husband spends more time writing a trash talk post for his fantasy football message board than selecting your anniversary card. (And don’t even think about him writing in it. He signed it, didn’t he?? Didn’t he??)

…you have ever travelled across the country so he could do a ‘live draft’.

…you know what a ‘live draft’ is.

…you know all the names of the local sports radio hosts because you listen to sports radio… when you’re alone.

…your second-hand sports information outweighs that of most grown men.

…you routinely use metaphors like “hurry-up offense, call an audible, and zone defense” to describe routine domestic events and wonder why the other mommies don’t know what you’re talking about.

It might sound like I’m complaining about my lot in marriage, but Sports Widowhood isn’t all bad.

Mr. Dad pretty much always owes me one (how do you think I got him to approve this post?) and when he’s gone at the game, I get the remote to myself. And I like to pretend that his passion for sports is simply a metaphor for how he feels about me. Because that makes sense, right? Either way, some of the sweetest friendships I’ve formed happened while waiting for our boys to come home from the game.

Those same  boys who sometimes surprise us by having those rare ultra-meaningful man conversations sandwiched between analyzing stats and complaining about the refs. Or who stop on their way home from a out-of-town game with a new dining room table they picked up (without prompting) from Pottery Barn Outlet. (Yes, I said Pottery Barn Outlet.) Plus, there’s something to be said for watching Mr. Dad coach the kids on the proper team cheers (Heeeeeyyyyyy, Sic ‘Em, Bears!) and dressing Brother Bear up so they walk around in matching outfits all day.

Besides, it could be worse, at least he’s not into NASCAR.

Yet.

I would like to apologize now to my future daughter-in-law/sports widow for letting it start so early.

*For the record, Mr. Dad did NOT even think about doing this. Mostly because we got married in June — well before football season.

This post is dedicated to my own band of Sports Widows, who have made this job a lot more bearable. Good thing they’ll never know how much fun we have without ’em, right girls?

Hardcore.

Tension Headache

18 Aug

Whine: My shower and I had an altercation yesterday. I’ve got a pair of goose eggs and a big ol’ scrape on my forehead to show for it.

Cheese: You should see the other guy.

Well now my head hurts and the only 60 minutes of the last 10,080 that I’ve had alone I spent scraping my dizzy and crying self off the floor of my shower. Go ahead and laugh, I know you’re going to.  It IS a little funny.

After I called and scared the you-know-what out of Mr. Dad “Hey honey, I’m home alone and I blacked out in the shower and hit my head and I’m bleeding [sob] but don’t worry about me I’ll be ok [sniff] I pulled myself together. OK, fine, I called My Mommy, too. But then after she came and kissed it and made it all better, I was really, really mad. I wasted all my kid-free time icing my stupid lumpy head.

I was really mad about those precious 60 minutes because I don’t have any to spare. I love having my kids at home with me all day every day for summer vacation even though I still have to work at an actual job that does not have a summer vacation. It’s very hard to plan lessons and stamp out playdoh at the same time. Not impossible, but difficult. And messy.  So can you see my problem?

That’s good. Because my vision is still a little blurry.

I’ve spent the summer negotiating, bargaining and just plain making-it-work. I’m working at home, working at night, working while small people are climbing on me like a jungle gym. I’m not sure this was what my boss had in mind when she said I could work Flextime.

But we also went camping yesterday. We pitched our tent between the foot of my bed and the dresser and waited for the bear attack to come. It did eventually come, but it was a very polite if not somewhat distracted, bear, followed by a bear cub who just wanted to tackle everybody on the floor. Then we caught and fried up some fish for snack–our stream spawns the orange whole wheat kind. I cooled off with some refreshing water from my sippy canteen.

Then I slipped away from camp to a place where there was good cell reception (South Living Room) and made a few calls. I had just enough time to shoot off a few important emails before they found me and dragged me back to the woods.

And that has been my summer in a nutshell. Play, work, lock myself in the bathroom, repeat. One minute I’m racing my kids around the house inside my suitcase and laughing my head off, thinking I’m a pretty fun mom with really fun kids and hoping summer will never end. The next minute I’m breathing into a paper bag because I have about ten deadlines and the stacks of unwashed dishes are  mocking me from the kitchen counter and there’s no space or alone time in sight and school doesn’t start for another three weeks how in the blue blazes am I going to survive three more weeks????

And when that day finally arrives and I ship Brother Bear off to his first day of preschool don’t you think I am going to feel really sad and have second thoughts because he’s so fun and just a little guy, after all? And when Lil’ Sis run straight into her classroom with her friends and forgets to kiss me goodbye, don’t you know that I’m going to be imagining that this is how it’ll be more and more every year until it’s college and she won’t need me at all?? And when I walk Big Sis in that door and I suddenly realize that I am sending my baby to kindergarten, don’t you think I am going to ABSOLUTELY FREAK THE HECK OUT AND POSSIBLY MAKE A SCENE IN FRONT OF ALL THE OTHER PARENTS?

Then I will wipe off my splotchy face, pull myself together and head to the first staff meeting in months where none of the agenda involves turning on Veggie Tales or distributing animal crackers. (Although my boss does get cranky around snack time. Oops, that’s me, not her.) I’ll sit at my desk and complete actual tasks without too much juvenile interruption.  And then I’ll feel really, really guilty because for the first time in a long time I’ll feel like the non-Mommy version of myself. And I’ll like it.

But then I’ll pick them up and see their faces and hear their stories and squeeze them as hard as I can and be really glad they’re home. Until tomorrow.

This whole I’m-a-mom-and-also-still-a-person thing is a real pain. When I’m not 100% mom 100% of the time I feel guilty. When I’m not getting my work done the way I want when I want, I feel guilty. When I’m sitting on the couch watching DVR and sipping a glass of red wine, I feel guilty (but a very relaxed guilty.)

It’s a hard balancing act. One that requires dedication and flexibility. Skill and grace. Whine and Cheese. No wonder I have a headache.

Choose Your Own Adventure

5 Aug

Whine: I heard Lil’ Sis crying in the other room alongside Big Sis’ cajoling whispers. I discovered Lil’ zipped into a carry-on suitcase, head downward as Big Sis dragged her around the room.

Cheese: All we needed was a bigger suitcase.

Do you think I could get this "luggage" past security? PS Big Sis is IN the suitcase.

 

 

 

On our 11th anniversary, Mr. Dad and I decided to get fancy. We threw three kids and everything we owned into our minivan and started leg #1 of what would eventually be a 40-hour road trip. We exchanged a quick smooch on our way out the door, muttered a somewhat sarcastic “Happy Anniversary” then hunkered down for the start of our 2,500 mile “vacation.”

But just as we were about to leave, he handed me two small strips of paper. Homemade tickets for a getaway weekend in the near future. So last weekend we dropped our kids on Kiki’s doorstep and got the heck out of Dodge. We spent a day at Schlitterbahn because what’s more fun than hanging out with thousands of people in their swimming suits? We spent the remainder of the weekend eating our way through Austin, TX.

I could talk for days about our little trip. How Mr. Dad saved cash in the back of his top drawer for months to pay for it. How we waited in line for a water slide for almost three hours and didn’t really care that much because we liked the company (well, except for the nicotine addict in front of us who got a little jumpy around Hour 2). How weird it was to finish an actual sentence without being interrupted, jumped on, or distracted by my lovely but attention-starved progeny.

The theme of our weekend was adventure. We ate tacos from a street vendor. Drank milkshakes with a little kick. Rode an uphill waterslide. Went dancing on 4th St (6th St. was a little too undergraduate for us.) Walked through IKEA (which is WAY on the wild side for me). Wandered around the Texas Capitol. I wore my hair wavy, for crying out loud.

We look well-rested, don't we?

Something about those three days reminded me of the days that seem several lifetimes ago. The days when Mr. Dad and I were just a couple of kids hanging out at the movie theater doing goofy stuff and trying to dig popcorn out of our retainers. The days when my biggest concern revolved around my hair (back the days of perms and hotrollers.) Or the days we spent as newlyweds on roadtrips and dinners out and watching whatever we wanted on TV. And somewhere between the Hotel Starbucks and 4th Street, we rediscovered both our love for really good tacos and just hanging out.

By the time we got on the road home, I was through with adventure and chomping at the bit to get home to my babies. Who, for the record, seemed rather unimpressed and a little confused upon seeing me. Brother Bear looked at me as if he may have remembered me from a former life as he looked to his Kiki for reassurance. I wanted to shout “GOOD GRIEF, I WAS ONLY GONE THREE DAYS, HOW BAD IS YOUR SHORT-TERM MEMORY KID?” but he’s a baby and he can’t count anyway, so I didn’t. But then we bribed them into coming home with us with a stuffed platypus and a few Disney t-shirts.

And now we’re back to Real Life. Which I don’t mind too much, since my kids can make an adventure anytime, anyplace. (Do you hear that, Costco? We’re coming for you.)

About A Boy

6 Jun

Whine: I looked down from making dinner and caught Brother Bear licking bacon grease off a paper towel he found.

Cheese: I guess he’s really going to like what we’re having. At least someone in the five-and-under set will eat their dinner.

I remember the day we found out we were having a boy. We rushed off to Target to buy a little something for The Big Reveal lunch we were having with our family. I was thinking we might bring in some blue jelly beans and hand them out. Mr. Dad had other, less appropriate ideas. So there I am, standing in the bulk candy aisle, watching my grown-man of a husband giggle about picking out an assortment of candies that represented boy parts. I guess I was just surprised that Mr. Dad’s gross sense of Boy Humor was kicking in so soon. I suppose he was just relieved to have another set of XY chromosomes around here.

Concentration

The significant increase of vomit and gas pains  during his gestation should have clued me in that “one of these kids is not like the others” but I remained clueless as to how definite and immediate his Boyness would be.

From Day One Brother Bear has been identified by his appetite. In German it’s called Barenhunger, i.e., I’m hungry like a bear. I found my pre-pregnancy clothes fitting a lot sooner despite the fact that I was polishing off whole plates of ribs. And when it came time to start solids, Brother Bear had strong opinions about baby food. As in, Don’t you even think about serving me that slop, Lady. Talk to me when you have some meat. Cheerios, that staple of early childhood, were flung back in my face. Instead of walking around with a snack keeper filled with fruit puffs (aka Baby Crack), Brother Bear’s is filled with sausage.

I call this Snot and Spaghetti on Two Chins

And when he’s not eating meat, he enjoys sampling the fruits of the earth. Well, not really, more like the actual earth. All of my kids have eaten dirt at one point or another. Only one of them has gone back for seconds. . .

My son lives in a constant state of stink. In fact, he has a reputation around my office for his aromatic exploits. Our secretary emailed me before a trip and said “Have a nice trip and I hope Brother Bear does not stink up the plane.” He’s also dirty. I wish the grunge movement of the 90s would come back–my laundry would be a lot easier.

He also instinctively knows how to throw a ball (or food off his high chair). He likes trucks and waves his arms at the tv while we watch basketball. He wasn’t an early walker, but in the last three weeks of walking he has already learned to scale the back of a deck chair and (nearly) go hurtling to the concrete below. He’s had three bloody noses (one from picking his nose, seriously) and lots of black and blue spots. Before I even get him out of bed in the morning he’s got scratch marks on his face.

Verbally he’s all boy as well. By this age both my girls were talking a blue streak. Brother Bear appears to be the strong, silent type. Although he can say Daddy as clear as day and I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the words hot dog and chicken come out of that baby mouth, he really doesn’t say mama. Sometimes he calls me baba,  but mostly he just flashes me those big blue eyes and reaches for me. I am SUCH a sucker.

On all of these points I was duly warned. And I understood them in theory. But only the act of living with an eating, stinking, falling machine can truly open your eyes to Boyhood. (Unless of course you ARE a boy, in which case you’re probably like Well, duh.)

Hygiene and safety issues aside, people often comforted me with the fact that he would most certainly be a Mama’s Boy.  When I heard this, I would always nod knowingly and silently think that I wouldn’t be that lucky.

But I am beyond lucky. Brother Bear luuuuuhhhhvvvvs his Mommy. He took his first steps without me, because when I’m around he’s much happier holding my hand (or in my arms). He looks for me around the house and lights up when I come back. When he’s cutting molars, Mommy Cuddles are as good a remedy as Orajel. He always comes to get me when his diaper is stinky. (I bet Mr. Dad taught him that.)

Self-Portrait, Mother and Child

Brother Bear has found his niche around here. He’s the little one. The dirty one. The hungry one. And already, at a year old he’s the funny one. So used to sitting at the dinner table to a chorus of cackles directed at him, Brother Bear has perfected the art of Being the Joke. Hearing the first hints of laughter, he wrinkles up his cute little nose and cranks out some fake laughs.  Forget SNL, we’ve got our own little Jim Carrey in the blue high chair.

A Portrait of the Comedian as a Young Man

So far his repertoire consists mainly of laughing with the crowd and occasionally putting something on his head (he knows that one kills every time), but I’m sure once he figures out that some people laugh when he is gross or gets in trouble then he will have a never-ending source of material. He is a boy, after all.

The Bookshelf Series, part 1

Dear Whine and Cheese

23 May

Whine: Ever since the Great Hail Debacle of ’95, when softball-sized hail came hurtling through our kitchen window (and also the windshield of my  brown 1983 Ford Fairmont), I have been just a teensy weensy bit scared of spring storms here in Texas. And also I hate getting my hair wet.

Cheese: Between the T-Storm/Large Hail warning on the radio and the peals of thunder overhead, I was very motivated to make my trip to Target quite brief. Who knew mortal danger could be such a money saver?

Dear Whine and Cheese,

I know as a family we are supposed to be spending lots of quality time together, but I’m not sure what to do. Got any suggestions?

Sincerely,

What Do I Do With All These Children

Dear What To Do,

I want to give you credit for desiring more Quality Time with your family. We all know that without enough Quality Time each and every day, all of your kids will grow up to either disown you or live in your garage indefinitely, so I think it’s important to do what you can while they are young. The good news is that Quality Time can come in many different forms:

Taking advantage of free activities in your community is one easy way to spend time together. Arriving two minutes late for the town Easter Egg hunt will allow you to park far enough away so that not only do you miss the actual egg hunt, you will also be able to push your emotionally exhausted 5 1/2 year old in a stroller while carrying your fussy toddler on your hip while your spouse carries your middle child on his shoulders, which is excellent for your cardiovascular conditioning. You will then have the opportunity to go to a local discount store to spend money on your own eggs and candy in order to recreate the hunt at home later that day in lieu of the free hunt you missed.

Doing arts and crafts is another way to stretch your children’s creativity and your patience simultaneously. Painting, gluing, eating thumbtacks and dropping loaded paintbrushes on your hair are all great ways to build fine-motor skills and digestive tolerance. Not to mention the gift-giving potential of a nice homemade gift, because who wouldn’t be touched to receive a repurposed juice bottle filled with tiny pom-poms and covered in streamers? It’s eco-friendly too!

Letting your family assist you in the kitchen also builds strong communal ties. There is something primal about letting your child mix the chicken salad and then wail unintelligibly as you wrap it in lettuce to make cute little chicken salad boats because (you discover much later) the boat lettuce was not cut at the correct angle. Baking cookies and cupcakes is also fun, as your family will develop a keen sense of when it is time to appear (when there are tastes to be had) and to disappear (when there are counters full of sticky dishes to be done).  Perhaps the disappearing act will someday transfer to the time while you are trying to shower or use the bathroom.

In the end, anything you can do to kill time enjoy each other can be considered Quality Time. Just remember, even the Von Trapps didn’t sing all the time. Sometimes they made clothes from curtains or escaped evil political regimes.  So just keep that in mind when planning your next family ordeal outing.

Sincerely,

Whine and Cheese

Dear Whine and Cheese,

How do I know if the time we’re spending together is Quality Time or if it’s just Regular Time?

Sincerely,

Does TV Count

Dear TV,

Determining the nature of your time together can be tricky business, so I have devised a Quality Time checklist for your convenience. Score one point for each item, unless otherwise noted.  If you score a ‘3’ or higher, you’ll know you have achieved Quality Time.

1. Forced participation of family members (1 point for each unwilling person)

2. A preparation/clean-up time to actual time spent ratio of at least 5-to-1 (i.e., At least 5 minutes of prep for each minute of actual enjoyment.)

3. Misunderstanding/miscommunication resulting in total meltdown. (1 point for each door slam, frustrated head banged on wall, or tantrum; 2 points if tantrum is in public or  full-out, flat on floor screaming fit.)

4. Arguments regarding trivial details

(Examples: type of sandwich for picnic, seating arrangement in vehicle, choice of dvd for road trip, color of game marker in Candy Land)

5. Exorbitant and unexpected cost (1 point for each unplanned $25 spent)

6. Pictures that make it look like you actually had fun. Pictures assist in creating the Magic Memory Filter all children need in order to look back on their childhoods with that happy, rosy glow. (And yes, pictures from the ER totally count.)

I hope this checklist can be of assistance in your quest for Quality Time.

Sincerely,

Whine and Cheese

Dear Whine and Cheese,

A really good friend of mine just published her 100th blog post and I’m very happy for her (even though it took her 2 1/2 years to do it and her posts mostly revolve around getting stuck in windows and the clean up of bodily fluids). What should I do to congratulate her?

Sincerely,

Loyal Reader

Dear Loyal,

Your friend obviously sounds like a delightful (although perhaps slightly disturbed) person. After showering her with lavish gifts and diet coke, I recommend spending some Quality Time commenting on her 100th post and reading through some of her old stories. I hear her take on potty training is informative as well as her handy tips on procrastinating and grocery shopping. I was in the mood for a good laugh-cry, so I read this and this.

And I’m sure, being the delightful person she is, she would want you to know how grateful she is to have a reader friend like you. I would hazard a guess that she really enjoys getting to tell her stories and feel so accepted and encouraged both in parenting and in writing for such a nice person as you.

With Much Love and Gratitude,

Whine and Cheese

Drum Roll, Please

15 Dec

Whine: I’ve had several inquiries as to the true identity of Sophie’s boot intruder. Inquiries phrased in such a way as to imply a lack of timeliness on my part. And so I offer my apologies for making you wait, but you know at Christmas that Mommies turn into crazy-eyed elves. We can’t help it–the banana bread is not going to bake itself.

Cheese: I didn’t realize that you all cared quite so much. Sniff.

In case you missed it, last week I posted a contest to determine the obstacle that was hidden in the toe of Sophie’s boot. I wanted to share the answers I got because they made me giggle.

1) Baby Jesus, to keep him warm. (Posted by Rachelle) Because what better place for the Savior of the World to stay warm than in the bottom of a stinky, dark boot? Probably beats the manger, though. And it is right along Big Sis’ line of thinking.

2)Red Tens. (Posted by Laura via Facebook) One year on our annual Labor Day Weekend to Kansas and back trek, Sophie “borrowed” all of the red 10 game pieces from Cousin Laura’s Rummikub game. Because for her, every episode of Sesame Street should be brought to you by the Color Red and the Number Ten.

3) Mindinator. (Posted by Aunt Lisa) The Mindinator is one of Sophie’s inventions. Basically it is a basket on her head that has some sort of undefined scientific powers. I’d be careful around that thing.

4) Hardened Halloween candy, stashed away in a moment of lucidity after a mad trick-or-treating frolic. (Posted by Jeanne) Hey, we’ve run out of candy, perhaps I’ll check all the shoes next time I need a candy fix.

5) A chicken nugget, hard enough to play baseball with. (Posted by Debbie)  I don’t know what kind of house you live in, but that kind of thing does NOT happen around here. Ewwwww.

6) Little Brother. (Posted by Uncle Paul and Karen) DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS!!!

7) A tampon. (Posted by Mandy) Well, I guess you never know when you might need one. . .

8) This is not an actual entry, but I thought it deemed repeating:  (Posted on Facebook by Karla) My district blocked your blog. Says something about bodyart. Excuse me, it says ADULT BODYART. Oh dear. I realize we do frequently discuss the fact that my children hate wearing clothes, I did not think we were quite THAT scandalous.

In my estimation, you are ALL winners. So gold stars all around. But I can’t buy Starbucks for everyone, so I’ll let Big Sis tell you herself. (Note: She dressed herself today, including the beret and western vest. What? She’s a French poet cowgirl.)

It WAS a hotdog and it WAS nasty. It was about an inch of petrified meat product. I have no explanation for it’s presence in her footwear, but suffice it to say based on my kids and their “creative abilities” I was not all that surprised.

I am going to declare Debbie the winner of our first Whine and Cheese contest!! With an honorable mention to Jeanne, seeing as how she was pretty darn close, just not quite disgusting enough. Thanks for playing, y’all.