Tuesday, November 29, 2011

top ten gifts NOT to get your wife!

it's that time of year again! the season when men, with their purest intentions, will purchase gifts for their wives insuring they will not get lucky for the entire next year. i'm gonna help you guys out here. i know you want to get her something she'll love. let me lay down some things to avoid. please... take my word for it.

10. an exercise dvd. she's allowed to think she needs it. you are not.

9. a Victoria's Secret gift card.... come on... who are you kidding? that is not for her!

8. cleaning supplies... unless she specifically asked. which is ironic that i'm including this one as all i asked for this year is a steam mop. but unless she clearly told you that's what she wants, i'd err on the side of caution!

7. something WAY out of your price range. the delight fades in january when she realizes you'll have to spend all year paying it off.

6. nothing. i would think this is obvious (*hint, hint DAD!) but apparently it bears noting. if finances are tough, that's ok. you don't have to spend a lot of money. just make sure she knows that you love her and you tried.

5. a gift you've been wanting. (i'm starting to feel like this post should have been titled "dear dad, stop doing these things") she probably doesn't particularly care if you get her a blu ray player. don't kid yourself.

4. clothes that are way too small. or way too big. either will come back to bite you. (and not in a fun way) when in doubt, take her friend or your mom to help. unless your mom has terrible taste. then don't take her. i'm lucky my mother in law has flawless style.

3. stuffed animals. she's not 5. don't go there.

2. gift cards to restaurants. now i know what you're thinking... she'd love a date night! well you're right, she would. but do you know what a gift card says? i want to take you out, put no planning into it, and have you pay with your christmas gift. if you wanna wow her with a special date night, then make it a surprise and write something in an envelope. plan all of it. (sitter too!)

1. anything that infers that she should cook more, clean more, lose weight, start meditating or get more organized. look closely at your choice and ask yourself: what am i really saying with this gift? because at the end of the day, all we really want to be assured that you love us, that we are the most beautiful woman you know and that you are thrilled to spend another year with us. and we'd prefer you not say that with a new set of tires.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

oh murphy...

remember when we discussed the murphy's laws of mothering? well i'm about to give you a perfect example. it's the day before thanksgiving, so i have a thing or two to get accomplished. i need to clean the house. i need to do pre-cooking. i'm also making dinner for a friend who just had a baby...

oh yeah, and i have seven kids 5 and under here. let me break that down for you! Two 5 year olds, a 3 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old, a six month old and a 2 month old. Six boys and little ole Esme. Can you say time management? So by 1pm i managed to get dinner for my friend completed. the floors swept and mopped. kitchen spotless.

and all seven kids sleeping at one time. the youngest and oldest both sleeping in my living room because i'm out of bedrooms! i'm not gonna lie, i'm feeling pretty proud of myself. i make some lunch and sit down.

and then i hear it.

a chainsaw in my front yard.

my neighbors have decided that today is the perfect time to cut down the tree of theirs that fell in our yard three months ago. perfect.

because nothing says "naptime" like the sound of a chainsaw.

shoot me now.

happy thanksgiving :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

dinner 101

one of the joys of raising young children is the battle of the dinner table. while the goal is to teach children respect, obedience and good table manners; the process can turn your dining room into world war 3 every single night. in our early parenting years, we took a hardcore stance to eating habits. YOU WILL EAT ALL OF THIS FOOD AND YOU WILL NOT LEAVE THE TABLE UNTIL YOU DO! but like many things in life, parenting is a trial and error experience. so while we still feel the same, we did not like the unintended consequences of the battle. dinner time is one of the only times in a day where we are all sitting together around a table. one of our only times to connect as a family. kind of hard to do when you spend it fighting a two year old to eat green beans! eventually, our tactics evolved into what we do today! our rules are pretty simple, but effective.

1. you will eat what is served to you or you will be hungry. we will not fight with you. we will not try to cajole you or threaten you into eating. you can leave the table when dinner time is over. but you will get nothing else to eat until you finish that dinner.

2. if choose not to eat your dinner at dinner time, you forfeit your snack. even if you choose to eat later. you can come back and finish your dinner any time before bed, but you get no snack. sorry! (for a child that frequently chooses not to, you'd be amazed the effect if there suddenly are some really great desserts! they may not care they're missing out on a regular snack but a few times of something really special and they may change their tune :)

3. no complaining about the food is permitted. it is rude and disrespectful. you will thank the person who made it for you and be thankful to have it. we would never allow our children to tell another person they did not like the food prepared, why should they be allowed to say this to their own mother?

4. everyone eats the same dinner. no exceptions. part of life is learning to adapt and learning to be graceful and respectful in things we don't like to do. welcome to growing up.

5. dinner is not a time to argue. if you choose to whine, complain, argue or any other unpleasant behavior, you will spend the dinner hour in your room. we'd like to eat in peace.

while we certainly have our nights of frustration, for the most part our children are good eaters who eat with manners and no complaint. our dinner table is a much more peaceful place once we decided it wasn't worth the chaos to force children to eat. and with five kids, we'll take all the peace we can get!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i'm baaacckkk...

sorry for the absence. sometimes i just don't feel like being witty or smart or interesting. i just wanna be blah. nobody wants to read that. we all read that blog that feels pressured to post every day whether they have anything to say or not...
anywho, how are ya? i thought we'd reconnect over a good story of how stupid i am! let's jump in, shall we? yesterday was a rough day. if it could go wrong, it did. by midday, i was over it. so i go to stir our dinner, which i put in the crock pot a few hours earlier, and it's cold. there's no power. the crock pot has shorted out and died. and also blown out half the power in our downstairs. including the fridge and my bedroom.

i check all of the fuses. nothing.
i flip them all anyway, just in case. nothing.
i mention of facebook that i am going to google electrical repair and to check on me if i don't come back soon. (which prompts concerned phone calls from three different people. thanks for loving me guys, lol)
i learn quickly why electrical repair requires a degree.
i plug my fridge into multiple extension cords and into the living room.
i plug my kuerig in the front room.
i plug my mom's crock pot (which i borrowed and haven't returned!) in the walk in pantry, which is the only functioning outlet in the kitchen.

by the time my dear husband gets home, 9 pm, i'm in our room with my laptop attached to several more extension cords and i've just about had it. i'm freaking out by this point that it will be some huge, expensive repair right before christmas. (not to mention my crock pot, which i can't live without!)

he takes his tools and his flashlight to the basement.
ten seconds go by and it all comes back on.
he tells me (in between hysterical laughter) that i flipped the switches the wrong way.
who would build a house where some fuses go one direction and others go the opposite way??

not this girl.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the first of november

i like november 1st. do you know why? because it means halloween is over. which means i can stop explaining to people why we don't celebrate halloween. and then explain that i don't think they're going to hell if they do. it gets complicated. and i know that this next part is gonna come as a big shock but.... halloween is an issue that theMr and i don't agree on. i'll give you a moment to digest the fact that we are not perfect and we argue. i know, it's hard to swallow. see i grew up in a "don't celebrate halloween or trick or treat" family. but theMr grew up in a family where halloween was a big deal and they went all out for it. therein lies the issue. what does that mean for us? it means we've both had to compromise. we don't trick or treat. but we do let the kids dress up and attend alternative events. my husband is gracious enough to not push an issue that i feel strongly about, even though it means missing that event with his family. i try not to dwell on the fact that dressing up and getting candy is still awfully close to celebrating for my taste. but my kids look so darn cute in their costumes :)

a beauty queen, a ladybug, a soldier, a princess and buzz lightyear walk into a bar zoo...

even grown up princesses need their daddies...

the title of this picture is "I'VE HAD A LOT OF SUGAR!!!"

one (cold) happy family!