Monday, June 29, 2009

Pool Pass

Family pool pass $200
Super-size bottle of sunscreen $14
Swimmer's ear drops $6
Assorted swim toys $35
Having the kids get so tired from swimming all day that they do this by 8:00 -



Priceless!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Sound Out

Frooooom Chicago, where Dawn has less than 48 hours to finish the rewrites on her pregnancy book tentatively titled "You'll Lose the Baby Weight (And Other Lies About Pregnancy & Childbirth)", it's Sunday Sound Out!

When are you going to do another video blog?
Here's my latest video blog where I pull Lexi's tooth. Yep, I'm one of those moms. I hate to see dangly little teeth and insist on pulling my kids' teeth when they get that loose. Thankfully, due to the lure of money from the tooth fairy, my kids usually happily let me pull their teeth for them. You can check the video out here...


I'll have some more video blogs coming soon. I didn't give them much to work with however, because I lost a tape! I had an hour of awesome material and I can't find it to save my life. I'm still hoping it'll just appear one day soon.

Here's a SSO question for you--how do you ever find time for yourself? I just had my 3rd baby 6 weeks ago, and I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. Since the baby arrived, I can barely find time to eat a sandwich or spend 5 minutes checking my email during the day. My only reprieve is when my husband is done working and I basically throw the kids at him and say "They're all yours!". I'm having difficulty even finding time to fold a load of laundry without one of them needing SOMETHING, or else I have a squabble to break up before there is bloodshed, or the dog needs to go out NOW, or we're late for something already. I never knew adding one more kid to the mix would add 10x the work! How do you handle it with SIX?!?! You are my hero for the simple fact that you're still sane after all that.
Duct tape and rum.
Ok, seriously, I'll tell you what people told me back when I was in the trenches with 3 young kids. It will get easier! Of course, if you're like I was back then, you won't believe a word of it. Going from 2 to 3 was the hardest leap for me. It's tough. You don't have any time to yourself and you won't for a while. But it does get better. I promise. One day you'll be able to read an entire book that doesn't rhyme. And yes, I have 6, but 2 of those are teenagers and they help me a ton. Hang in there. Come here for a laugh. Trade stories with your girlfriends. And know that it does get easier.

Hey. I would like to send you my book to be signed i might sound stupid but what does SASE mean? Also can you give me the address to send it to please. thanks
SASE stands for Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope. Just send me return postage and the return address so I can mail the book back to you. You can sends books here -

Dawn Meehan
836 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
box 230
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Or you can always order a book signed by me HERE.

Also another question if someone wanted to get an autographed book from the website you posted. Is it signed by you? or just a sticker put on.
It's signed by the one and only me! :D

Did you make any special efforts to potty train your children or did you wait until it was mostly their idea?
Oooo! I wrote a potty training post almost 2 years ago HERE. I really pushed the issue with Austin because I was stupid he was my first and I didn't know any better. It was disastrous. The other 5 trained themselves. They ranged in age from 2 to 3 1/2, but they all potty trained overnight with very few accidents when they decided they were ready.

Dear Dawn, no, seriously, how do you strikeout words? I try, but it's not on my blogger options!
OK, pay attention because it seems like I get this question every stinkin' week often.

Before the word you want crossed out, type the "less than" sign, then letters D, E, L, then the "greater than" sign.
After the word you want crossed out, type the "less than" sign, then this slash /, then the letters D, E, L, then and "greater than" sign.

Dawn-when was the last time you went 36 whole hours without changing a diaper? You must be amazed with all the extra time you have now ;-)
Nope, my time is now just spent setting Brooklyn on the toilet seat and wiping her butt.

Yay, Joe! Do your kids realize what wonderful parents they have??? SURE they do, right? ;)
Oh yeah. They tell us all the time how great we are. They thank me for watching out for their health when I make them eat their vegetables. They thank me for teaching them cleanliness when I make them clean their rooms. They thank me for teaching them responsibility when I make them do their homework and chores before playing. They thank Joe for making them ask before rummaging around his work bench and taking his tools. Yep, they just think we're awesome.

I don't get it! You could (and still can) eat off my mother's floor, but I'm not sure my floor is fit for even a mouse!
You could eat off my floor! You know, because there are so many crumbs and stuff stuck to it. There's probably a whole meal down there.

#14 For husbands only. Eat your ice cream as quietly as possible, because clinking the spoon against the bowl and making chewing sounds while eating your ice cream can sound like "nails on a chalkboard". At least to this wife!
Good point, Jen! I'd almost forgotten about that one. Maybe we should let the guys take the kids camping by themselves this summer. You and I could head to a spa. ;)

How many hours a day do you spend cleaning up after your children??
Far less than I spend trying to teach them to clean up after themselves!

With mess after mess how do you not just shut down and leave it where it is?
Yeah, ummm, about those pretzels that spilled on the floor a couple days ago...

And now, I must get back to my book and finish it up before my editor reads this and realizes I'm still not done with it!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Step One, Step Two

"Thanks for taking us to the pool, Mom. Can we go back tomorrow? I'll help you out tonight. I'll give the little kids baths, ok?"

"Thanks Jackson, that would be great. And we'll see about the pool tomorrow."

So, after Jackson "helped me" by bathing Brooklyn and Clay, I walked in the bathroom to see this...



Let's go inside and take a closer look at the pile of wet towels and clothes, shall we?

Oh my gosh! Could it be? Did the kids actually change the empty roll of toilet paper? Oh my gosh, I think I'm having a heart attack!



Oh wait. There's the empty roll on the floor. I knew it was too good to be true.
Step One: Teach the kids to change the roll of toilet paper.
Step Two: Teach the kids to throw out the old roll.



a water bottle - Makes perfect sense to me. You never know when you'll be peeing and get a sudden unquenchable thirst.


Nice. You can't tell, but there are approximately 52 gallons of water on the floor.



The floor was also covered in unripe raspberries the kids picked and put in their pockets.



And is that the most disgusting thing you've ever seen? That's how much dirt, sunscreen, and bug spray was on my kids last night! It took me forever to scrub the tub clean! And that was after cleaning up from their snack this afternoon...




Note the dustpan. The kids spilled pretzels, got out the dustpan and brush and ran outside to play. Close, kids. Really close. But you have to actually brush the pretzels into the pan and throw them away before playing.
Step One: Teach the kids where the dust pan is located.
Step Two: Teach the kids to actually use the dust pan.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to Eat Ice Cream

My 4 youngest kids asked if they could have bowls of ice cream before going to bed tonight.

I told them, "Yes, but just a little bit and SIT AT THE TABLE TO EAT IT!"

Clearly, I made the mistake of omitting the following stipulations.

1. Don't squirt chocolate syrup on the floor.
2. Don't squirt chocolate syrup on the counter.
3. Don't squirt chocolate syrup on the table.
4. Don't squirt chocolate syrup on each other.
5. You know what? Just leave the chocolate syrup in the fridge!
6. Don't lay the lid from the empty ice cream container upside down on top of my books to be mailed out.
7. Don't leave the ice cream scooper on the floor where it fell.
8. Don't put ice cream in your hair.
9. Don't drop a huge spoonful of ice cream on your pajama pants and then smear it around.
10. Don't lick the spilled ice cream off the table; use a dish cloth!
11. Don't leave your bowls glued to the kitchen table with ice cream!
12. Don't leave your spoon, covered in ice cream, sitting on your chair.
13. Don't stir your ice cream until it turns into soup and then slurp it up from your bowl like a cat.

You may not realize you need to specify all these rules, but I'm telling you, if you don't, you'll be sorry. Feel free to add any others you think your children may need such as, don't finger paint with the ice cream on the wall or don't have a contest with your brother on how far you can fling ice cream off your spoon.
Forget the ice cream. Forget all meals. I think I'm just going to buy a trough, set it outside and fill it with kibble every day. No fuss, no muss!

Pearl Girl Winner!

The random winner of the book, Pearl Girls (Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace) is.....

Number 82!

MarcomMom said...
I am so inspired by great women writers. Would love the book and will share it with others.

Congratulations! Please email me at mom2my6pack@aol.com with your shipping address. Thank you to everyone for taking time to check out this worthwhile book. If you didn't win, you can order your own copy HERE. And remember, ALL the proceeds are going to benefit Hands of Hope and Wings, 2 excellent charities committed to helping women and children.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Snap!

I teach Sunday school throughout the school year, but get a break from the classroom in the summer. I'm always so excited when summer comes because I tell myself that I can now go to worship service and hear the sermon and find out what's going on in the church. In reality, when Sunday rolls around, more often than not, I decide to sleep in. I know, I know, save the lectures. Honestly, this is a big reason why I teach Sunday school during the school year - so I'll get my butt to church! Otherwise sleeping in would be far too tempting week after week. What can I say? I love sleep and I get far too little of it these days.

Anyway, last week on Sunday, the kids and I slept in like lazy heathens. Joe went to church by himself. On the way home, he called me, "Hey, I'm on my way home and I have a surprise for the kids!"

A surprise for the kids? I'm thinking that he picked up donuts. Cool! I don't have to make breakfast!

I was wrong. This is the surprise he brought home...





Yep, that's right - a big ole snapping turtle.

"Surprise!"

"Umm, does this mean there are no donuts?"

This guy was out in the road as Joe drove home from church so instead of picking him up and plunking him back in the water, Joe opted to bring him home for a little show and tell before loading up the kids and the smelly turtle and returning him to his watery home. I think I've figured out where Clay gets his curiosity about critters.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Man Who Catch Fly with Chopstick, Accomplish Anything

I asked the kids to leave me alone this afternoon so I could get some work done on my book, so naturally, they came knocking on my door every 10 minutes. I gave them specific instructions to let me work in peace unless someone was on fire, spurting blood, or had any bones protruding through their skin.

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, can we smear soap all over your car and leave it to dry in a nasty film and then spray each other and the windows of the house with water and then leave the hose, bucket, sponges, and soap on the driveway all day wash your car?

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, can you take us bowling?

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, can I go to the pool with my friends?

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, can I call Allyson?

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, I know I'm grounded, but can I go to Timmy's house?

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, Brooklyn wants to wear her bathing suit.

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, can we flood the backyard make a pool out of the sandbox?

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, Clay just hammered his finger and he's screaming. I think it's broken.

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, Brooklyn's eating gum off the ground.

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, can we use some string cheese and an old pizza box to try and catch a mouse in the garage have some cheese for a snack?

KNOCK KNOCK: Mom, I have to go potty again.
(This was the only interruption I didn't mind today. For some reason *Shhhh, I don't want to jinx it, but...* Brooklyn took it upon herself to potty train today. She's been completely dry for about 36 hours. She even pooped on the toilet for the first time ever today. I'm not sure why today was the magical day, but I'm not knocking it.

Then, at one point, Clay was hanging out in my room this afternoon. You know, because I asked all the kids to leave me alone for a while. He was watching a fly buzz around my window. He sat still and watched, seemingly fascinated by the insect. Then, quick as lightning, he reached out and grabbed it! I kid you not! Mr. Miyagi would be proud! Oh well, at least it's better than the handful of worms he brought me yesterday. At first glance I thought he'd found some critter's intestines.



Needless to say, I got very little work done today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Sound Out

Happy Father's Day to all the dads and grandpas and dad-like guys out there! Here's one for you! :)




Ok, did the hamster really go through the wash?
Uhhh no. We've never had a hamster. The gerbils, on the other hand...

I knew IF I was sharp enough,eventually I would catch you in a FIB!! So..You're a THIRTY-Something,eh? NOT according to the photo you just posted standing next to your little BROTHER! The JIG is UP,Meehan!What are ya REALLY? 20? 21?
Ok, you're officially my new best friend.

By the way: Where are those ExLibris stickers?
Well, all the ones I've seen have dorky images and I don't really want to order up a bunch of "From the library of" stickers. However, you can order an autographed copy of Because I Said So HERE or you can mail me your book along with a SASE for return shipping and I'll sign it and send it back to you.

Dawn, whatever you do, start saving for college now. Otherwise you'll end up doing what we're having to do - sell things (ie, husband's beloved project cars) to pay for her tuition. =D
That's ok. I have a plan. All 6 of them are going to get full rides to the universities of their choice. What? It could happen! (See? I could TOTALLY write fiction!)

Is he [Austin] the only child that looks like your husband? The rest seem to look like you.
I dunno. Most people say that the first 5 look like him and Brooklyn is more like me. I don't think Brooklyn looks like me. Unless..... you don't think they're talking about her attitude, do you?

Saw the photos with Audi (that's what we call my nephew Austin) by the Fisher Price Basketball hoop and was just wondering . . . with six kiddos how many Fisher Price Basketball hoops have you gone thru? How many Cozy Coupe cars? How many bouncy seats (a.k.a. baby catipolts)? Pacifiers? Diaper bags? Bottles? Tricycles? etc. etc.
Hmmmm, I've never stopped to add everything up. I'd say approximately 4.8 million dollars' worth of stuff. You know, give or take...

lol, if you didn't have to fight to get her dressed, then why does she still look upset? or is that just Brooklyn? lol LOVE the boots:)
Uhh yeah. That's Brooklyn. The other day, she wore one sandal and one dress-up shoe all day. Clomp click, clomp click, clomp click was all we heard as she walked through the house. When it came time to leave for baseball, Jackson was adamant about her changing shoes. He wanted her to wear 2 matching sandals. She, of course, threw an all-out fit. I told Jax to let it go. Well, she fell asleep in the car on the way to the field and Jackson took that opportunity to change her shoes. I carried a sleeping Brooklyn to the bleachers and sat down to watch the game. As she began to wake up, she looked at her shoes (or the lack of one dress-up shoe) and started screaming again. There's a reason why she's the last.

And as a mom preg with her 6th I must ask how does 6 compare to 5?
I know people say this all the time, but really it's true - once you have that many, what's one more? Going from 5 to 6 really didn't make much difference to us. You're a pro now. You've got the whole parenting thing down pat and you've got (hopefully) a little bit older kids who can help out some. It'll be a piece of cake for you!

What are your plans for "enjoying" another funnel cake? Too bad you didn't barf into a towel. You could have just thrown it away. It is too hard to throw away a shower.
I got food poisoning when I was pregnant with Austin. It was right after I'd eaten at one of those places with burritos the size of your head. I've never been so sick. I didn't eat Mexican food for a good 8 years after that. I don't think I'll be looking at another funnel cake for some time.
And your towel plan gives me an even better idea! Next time (oh please God don't let there EVER be a next time!) I'll just puke in the street then I can simply walk away!

Actually, wouldn't it be pretty easy to clean the shower? Just wash it down the drain with some sanitizer thrown in.
Perhaps for a normal person. If I hear, see, smell, or even think about vomit, I throw up. If I was stupid enough to open the shower door, I would've thrown up all over the bathroom floor. I'm not kidding. Thank God, Joe stopped by and cleaned it up for me.

Click HERE to head on over to my review blog for a chance to win a gift package from Baby Einstein!

Click HERE for a chance to win a copy of Pearl Girls!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pearl Girls

My friend Margaret McSweeney is the inspiration behind the book, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace. Margaret is one of those incredible people who just blesses everyone fortunate enough to meet her. And if you so much as ride in an elevator with her, you WILL meet her. She's one of those outgoing people who is just full of joy! Anyway, she has assembled some of the best female Christian writers on the planet to add their wisdom to this amazingly inspirational book. You'll find stories from Debbie Macomber, Shaunti Feldhahn, Melody Carlson, Robin Jones Gunn, and many, many others! For some reason she asked me to contribute also.


This book, I'm certain, will bless the lives of the people who read it, but not only that, it's going to bless a whole lotta people near and far because all proceeds are being donated to two charities. One is Hands of Hope - "Hands of Hope is a community of women helping women and children in crisis, with a current focus on Africa." The other is Wings (Women in Need Growing Stronger) - "WINGS helps homeless and abused women and children by offering integrated services that meet their needs for shelter, education, guidance and support."

I was fortunate enough to meet Rebecca Darr, the Executive Director of Wings and later was given a tour of one of Wings' safe houses this past winter. I was surprised at not only how nice the house was, but at the services offered. Wings does not just provide a safe place to stay for women and children escaping domestic violence. It provides education, and help in finding employment. Wings doesn't kick the women and children out of the safe house after a couple weeks or months and leave them to fend for themselves either. They find them housing and continue to work alongside them.


Rebecca is on the far left

This book contains over 60 essays from some of the awesomest writers. (Yes, it's a word!) I know you'll find it inspiring! Get a copy for yourself and all the wonderful women in your lives. It's not only a book that will bless you, but it'll bless the lives of women and children struggling to survive in Africa and women and children fleeing from domestic violence here in the Chicago suburbs. You can get a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace HERE.

I have a copy of Pearl Girls to give away! Leave me a comment here, and I'll choose a random winner on Wednesday. Good luck!

Evil Funnel Cakes

I'm sorry I've been missing in action. I've had a umm, hectic week to say the least, but things are falling into place and getting better. And summer has finally hit in Chicago. We went from shivering in 50 degree weather at our kids' baseball games, to sweating in 89 degrees with 4000% humidity overnight. We've had so much rain that I spent yesterday searching for the schematics to build an ark that I printed out last year when my town flooded.

Two days ago, at Savannah's softball game, the little kids were lying on the ground coloring with markers. Clay got bored coloring and stacked 3 markers together in a kind of makeshift light saber. Because playing with weapons is always a good idea. Anyway, this looked like fun to Brooklyn who did the same thing. Except she decided she wanted ALL of the markers so she ran around, chasing Clayton, screaming and whining that she wanted his markers too. Right on cue, Clay took off teasing and taunting her just to make her scream a little louder because not everyone within a 15 mile radius could hear her.

Meanwhile, I was trying to videotape Savannah pitching so I didn't immediately intervene. As the inning ended and I started walking toward Brooklyn, the umpire (a teenage girl with an attitude) said, to no one in particular, "Someone better give that brat what she wants!" Little did she know I was the mother of said "brat". I looked at her and said, "Actually, no, I'm not going to give in to her demands." The ump muttered, "I'm sorry."

Then I walked over to Brooklyn and told her to scream a little louder.

After the game, I took the kids to a nearby festival for a couple hours. The kids went on a couple rides and I listened to the band with my friend Doreen for a little bit. When we left, I ordered a couple funnel cakes, brought them home, and used them to bribe the kids to shower and get ready for bed. I even Twittered about this. I believe I said something like, "Mmmm funnel cakes! I could live on funnel cakes!"

At 5:00AM, I woke up, sick to my stomach. Now, you have to know that I hate, hate, hate to throw up. I mean, I'm sure no one really LIKES to vomit, but I absolutely detest it! My friend Sue and I have talked about this. Whereas most people would get to a point of such pain and discomfort, they would welcome the relief that comes with vomiting, we would do anything and everything in our power to avoid it. I'd rather lie, writhing in pain all night then to give up and throw up. I'd rather have diarrhea every day for the rest of my life than to vomit even once. I pray profusely whenever I get that stomachache that tells me its contents are about to be evacuated. "Please God, I beg of you, keep me from throwing up! Pleeeeeaaaaassssseeee! I'll do anything! I'll move to Africa and be a missionary. I'll give up funnel cakes forever! I'll stop yelling at my kids! Just say the word, God!"

As my stomach continued to feel worse and worse, I began to think that God wasn't listening to me. And really, what was He thinking when He designed humans with the ability to put their digestive systems in reverse anyway? What an awful, horrible way to get rid of the contents of our stomachs! In fact, the whole digestive process is pretty gross when you think about it. Before I got too far into my analysis of human digestion and how I'm sure I could've done a better job than God at designing people, I got that uncontrollable urge and ran to the bathroom. After emptying everything from my mouth down to my toes, I hopped in the shower to cry like a baby cool off and feel better. But no, oh no, my stomach wasn't done rebelling yet. I continued to throw up in the shower. (Yes, yes, I do need to share the graphic details with you.)

Now, here's the thing. I can't clean puke. Not mine, not my kids', no one's. I can't do it. Not, "I don't like to do it" but "I CAN'T do it!" The mere thought of it, makes me vomit. So, I did what any other normal person would do. I shut the shower door, taped a sign to it saying, "Do not use", and went back to bed. It's ok. We have another shower. If anyone ever barfs in that shower, we'll just move to another house. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Fashion Plate

There was a time when I never would have left the house with a kid dressed this way. You know, back when I just had a couple kids. I used to think that if your kids were dressed to the nines, coordinating Gymboree clothing, hair neatly coiffed, unscuffed shoes and matching accessories, then everyone would think you were a good parent. If you went out in public with your 3 year old daughter wearing, for example, red, white & blue shorts, a teal tank top with metallic gold fish all over it and hot pink cowboy boots that are 2 sizes too big for her, then everyone would think you were a terrible parent.

Now, I realize it doesn't matter at all how your kids are dressed in public. Wait, scratch that. It would still matter to me if say, your teenage daughter was wearing a slutty dress or something like that. But, as far as little kids dressing themselves, it doesn't matter one little bit. In fact, I think you're better off letting your kids dress like hobos when you go out in public because really, when the mom with the kids dressed to the nines walks by, what do you think? You don't think - Wow, she's got it all together! Look at her kids! They're in matching duds and they're all clean and shiny! Nope, admit it. You think - what an overachiever, as you snort to yourself (even if you're secretly wishing that just once you could run to the store without one of your kids forgetting their shoes, another one with a cup and a half of peanut butter smeared on their face, and yet another one dressed like a color-blind clown.)

Here's my stubborn Brooklyn in the red, white & blue shorts, teal tank top with metallic gold decorations and hot pink cowboy boots that are 2 sizes too big. Yeah, we got some strange looks as my little fashion plate clomped along in her big, pink boots, but you know what? It doesn't matter. She was happy, I didn't have to fight with her about getting dressed, and I didn't have to worry about anyone looking at me like I was an overachiever.



***** For those of you who asked if/why Brooklyn was mad, here's the scoop. We came to a stop light and I said, "Gee that's a great outfit, Sweetie! Can I take your picture?" Brooklyn, being the most stubborn child on the planet, looked the other way and refused to smile. As soon as the light turned green and I turned around to drive, she looked at me, smiled, and said, "You can take my picture now." *****

Monday, June 15, 2009

Austin's Going to High School!

Austin graduated from 8th grade tonight. I don't know how that happened! I swear I was just pregnant with him, waiting, waiting, waiting for him to make an appearance (he was 2 days late and at the time it seemed more like 2 months overdue.)


I'm not sure what's up with the goofy face he was making and I have no idea when he got so tall! Just yesterday he looked like this...








:) He wore this hat for years. Every single day, day after day. He slept in this hat. I had to fight with him to take it off for his bath. This hat was his security blanket. I still have the ratty ole thing packed away in a box in my attic. :)
One down and five to go. And then there's high school.....and college....and weddings....oh my!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Sound Out

Now it's time for Sunday Sound Out, the part of the blog where Larry comes out and answers your questions.

I was wondering how much coffee you drink in the mornings to get you going?
I'm beyond coffee. These days, I just chew a handful of beans.

Dare I ask what they wanted to accomplish with this "experiment"? [blue liquid in sink] What treasure to mankind was to be made? Inquiring minds want to know (ok this inquiring mind wants to know)
Well, I asked Clay and Brooklyn what they were trying to make and they answered with a highly intelligent, well thought-out "I dunno".

What's up with the adorable White Sox top? I thought you guys were Cub fans...

&

Auww! What a terribly ugly shirt on such a cute little girl... poor Brooklyn!
I just knew someone was going to comment on that! I am a Cubs fan. Joe, Austin & Savannah are fans of that other team. And the shirt Brooklyn was wearing was a gift from friends of ours as a cruel joke. :D

I just have to ask - what was your reaction? [blue liquid in sink] Some days I wonder if I should yell or laugh when my kids do things like that.
Honestly, stuff like that doesn't usually bother me. So the little kids poured some stuff in the sink to see what would happen. No big deal, in my opinion. Is it going to matter next week, next month, next year? Nah. I don't yell, but I don't really laugh either. I kinda shake my head and try to explain that there are better experiments (that don't use copious amounts of shampoo and their brother's toothbrush) to do.

And I must also say that I've now read your book, it really was just as good as I expected and now I am looking forward to vol 2. How long do I have to wait? Until Christmas?
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You'll have to wait until 2020 if I don't finish up my rewrites soon! Actually, it's scheduled to come out spring, 2010.

Why was it that Veggie Tales "O, Where is My Hairbrush?" was running through my head the whole time I was reading your post?
I have no idea, but it's now in my head. Gee thanks for that.


hahahah. that's disgusting(and hilarious)LOLplease tell me you RE-washed the clothes. [crayfish claw in laundry]
Are you kidding? I do a good 4 loads of laundry a day. I don't have time to rewash clothes because there are dead animals parts in them. Besides, it gives the kids something to find during the day. It's a like a little surprise. They'll be sitting in school and reach into their pocket or put on their sweatshirt and find a claw, or a tail, or a foot in the sleeve. It's all good.

Thank goodness you don't have a hamster!
Yeah, that was a sad day when Fluffy went through the wash.

Your posts are so entertaining! I have to ask, what age of child do you enjoy most? What age is the worst? I have a 22 month old and I think the terrible twos have begun (though I've heard three is much worse).
I'm not sure, but I'm thinking age 0 - 18 is probably the worst.

OK, honestly, I like all the ages so far. It's cool to see how the kids grow and change. I love seeing how their minds work (and sometimes don't work) at each age. It's so great how they learn more and more at every stage. My teenagers have learned so much that they're smarter than I am now. I'm fact, I'm downright stupid compared to them.

Perhaps a buzz haircut will trick the Chicago weather into warming up. We can hope.
Shhhh, you shouldn't say that aloud! You'll jinx it!

HAHAHAH!!! well at least he's a boy and you COULD buzz him. what happens when a girl does that???? I'm so worried about my 2 girls. I'm sure one of them will do it. yikes.
Like this?


Savannah cut her hair after watching the movie Mulan. In the movie, Mulan cuts her hair to look like a boy. Cute, huh? Lexi cut her waist-length hair a week before she was to be a flower-girl in my sister's wedding. Actually, every single one of my kids (except Brooklyn) have given themselves or a sibling a haircut at one point or another. I give Brooklyn 6 months until she does it.

They ALL cut their own hair at some point. Or they cut a sibling's hair. It's just a fact of life. Sigh.
Hi I came across your blog while searching for party supplies for my son's birthday. He is wanting a green eggs and ham party and was wondering by chance if you know where i can get any decorations or even any ideas for the party. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
Sure. All you have to do is click the little X in the top right corner of my blog. Then type "Green eggs ham party supplies" in your web browser. Make sure you type it like I wrote it. Don't go typing, "I need to find Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham party decorations for my son's birthday where should I go".
Talk about multi-talented! I not only blog, but I find party supplies for people, AND I teach you how to use Google.

I requested your book from the library. Good book btw. I was wondering why the little boys eyes on the book cover are purple?
Ummm, he's an alien in disguise?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beauty School

I was giving Austin a haircut outside today so he'll be all handsome-like for his graduation on Monday. Clay came out and said, "Look Mom! I have armpit hair!"

I turned around to see this...




Yep, Clay scooped up the pile of hair from the garage floor and stuffed it under his armpits. A few minutes later, he ran inside and reemerged with this brand new hair cut...
Note the before and after pictures. Great new hairstyle, don't you think? Uh yeah. I asked him, "Clay, why did you cut your hair? Do you know how to cut hair? Did you go to beauty school to learn how to cut hair???"
To which I heard this reply, "You didn't go to beauty school to learn how to cut hair either."
Touché!
Then I buzzed him. That kid's gonna be the death of me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Things in My Washer

I guess I shouldn't have complained about all the missing socks yesterday. This is what I pulled out of the dryer today. Apparently I'm not only washing clothes these days, but crustacean parts as well. Oh gosh, I hope it was just a claw when it went in and not a whole crayfish! Ugh. "JACKSON! No more playing by the creek!!!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Do All The Socks Go?

I'm the only person in my house who can find anything. Seriously, I'm the only one who thinks to look for Brooklyn's shoes in the bathtub. I'm the only one who would think of looking on the back of the toilet seat for Lexi's glasses. No one else in the family can see the orange juice in the fridge when it's behind the gallon of milk. If something doesn't jump out and bite them on the butt, they'll never find it.

"Where's my hairbrush, Mom?"
"Behind the couch."

"Where's my homework?"
"Look on the shelf with the video tapes."

"I can't find my headband."
"It's outside on the swingset."

I think I should start teaching classes on how to look for missing objects. I should show my family how to actually move things around in order to find the missing item. "If you don't see the yogurt, it doesn't mean it vanished from the fridge. Try moving the leftover pizza and look behind it. There you go! That's it! See? The yogurt's still there in the fridge and you can find it. All you have to do is look!"

I can find stuff. I'm good at finding stuff. So, why is that I can't seem to find the match for this many socks?!!!





Where do they go? Where on earth do all the stray socks go? And not only that, but I often find extra socks that don't even belong to anyone in my family! "I don't remember anyone having purple argyle socks! Where'd this sock come from???"

I suppose if I was a Martha Stewart kinda gal, I could sew cute little animal buddies out of the stray socks. But I'm not that deranged crafty. I've been hanging onto these things, optimistically hoping their sole mate (Get it? SOLE mate! Not soul mate. SOLE mate, like the sole of your foot! BAAA HAAA HAAA! Oh I just crack myself up! Hey, it's late.) would magically appear one day. I think it's time to give up the dream though. It's time I acquire some new dust rags, I believe. I mean, it's not like I won't have a brand new crop of singlets by this time next week...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another Experiment

I walked into the bathroom the other day to find this...


their latest experiment...


But how can you be mad at a kid who turns around, picks some flowers and hands them to you, saying, "I love you Mama"? (In case you're wondering - yes, I replaced Austin's toothbrush.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sunday Sound Out

It's time, once again, for Sunday Sound Out, the part of the show where I answer viewer mail.

First, congratulations to Vicki Vaught who won a copy of Because I Said So in Jen Singer's The Housewife Awards on MommaSaid.net. You can check out her winning story HERE!

I'm still wondering how you cut the lipgloss cake. Did you have to set it on its side? Cut it in half from the top down and then set each half cut side down? Just trying to figure out how you would cut it so each piece has frosting.
You didn't like last week's answer that I used a knife to cut it? OK, the lipgloss cake was actually 8 small 6-inch cakes stacked up. Between every 2 cakes, I put a cardboard circle and dowel rods for support. See the nifty diagram I just slapped together on which I slaved for hours drawing to scale. When it came time to cut it, I just cut through 2 layers at a time, then removed the cardboard and dowels and cut through the next 2 layers.
I can't believe how much your kids look alike! You put them by age in reverse order, right? Brooklyn at the top; Austin at the bottom? I HAVE to know!
Yep! Very good! I'm impressed. I don't even think my family could get them all right.

So someone asked me, if there is going to be a translation [of Because I Said So into other languages] -- so is there?
I don't think so. But I ouldcay obablypray anslatetray itay intotay Igpay Atinlay oweverhay.

I just have an SSO question. Have you had to change your phone number or other personal info due to all this fame?
Yes, I've changed my name and am now answering to Ed.

oh so cool - um, I didn't know you could play these games on an ipod??? Will an ipod nano work?
I'm sorry. I should've been more specific. The apps I talked about are for an iPod Touch or an iPhone.

SSO: When do your kids get out of school? Are they doing any camps this summer? How will you keep them occupied? Send all your suggestions my way... Nothing worse than 5 kids saying, "I'm bored."
They still have another week to go. I don't have them signed up for any camps or summer school or anything. I just like to let everyone have a break from the routine in the summer. I don't have much planned. I'm more of a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda gal. I'm sure we'll visit the zoo a few times, hang out at the local pool, go downtown a time or two, and probably do some camping. I like having our days free for impromptu get-togethers with friends and day trips to museums or waterparks and such.

If they tell me they're bored, I'll give them something to do to break up the monotony... something like folding laundry or cleaning the bathrooms or memorizing the periodic table of elements.

Oh yeah! My friend Denise sent me this resource. Check it out to see if there are any participating lanes in your area. You can sign the kids up at your local bowling alley and each kid will receive 2 free games of bowling every day, all summer long. Check this site for details, but it's a pretty awesome deal! KidsBowlFree.com

Please tell me you didn't get that mess of seafood from the Italian Village! I would be so disappointed if you did! It looks like you might have been eating outside though, so it couldn't be Italian Village....whew.
It was Volare and the food (other than the ocean on a plate) was really good. But I agree, Italian Village is my favorite! You can't beat that atmosphere!

*Come and knock on our door, we've been waiting for you, where the kisses are hers! and hers! and his! Three's Company, too*
Now I'm going to have that song in my head all day. :-)
I hadn't even THOUGHT of the song till you sang it and now it's in MY head too! Thanks!

Your pictures of the city make me want to just go downtown and be a tourist for the day! I love this city!!! (I just don't like driving in it!)
Neither do I! That's why I take the train. You meet interesting characters on the train! Like this old guy who was wearing pirate pants. For some reason, it amused me to see little jolly rogers all over his shorts.




Or Hanukkah Harry (I met him in December).

The sign is because people were getting their purses stolen off the hook on bathroom doors while they were "indisposed" ;)
Really? And here I thought there were really attack purses on the loose in the city!

I have a question, is there a way to get your blog posts sent in their entirety to email anymore?
Yep, give it another day and it'll be back to the way it was. :)
(Wow! My spell check really didn't like that Pig Latin!)

iPod App Winners

Oops, I forgot to announce the winners of the iPhone apps. Here you go...

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

15
53

15 sandyn said...
Dawn,my son is always bugging me for $$ for apps for his ipod, wouldn't it be nice to get a few free ones?thanks for the blog...you rock!


53 Donna said...
i have an itouch, and in addition to games, i have downloaded books to read while waiting........

Congratulations! Email me to confirm. Thank you to everyone who left a comment. I got some great new app ideas from reading through all the comments!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mmmmm Sonic!

The good folks at Sonic noticed I'd twittered and blogged HERE, HERE, and HERE about my little Sonic addiction how I like Sonic, so they invited my family out to dinner last night. I didn't want to hurt their feelings or anything, so I agreed. It had nothing to do with the fact that a large diet cherry limeade was calling my name. Oh who am I kidding! I've been addicted to Sonic since I visited my friend Kelli in Corpus Christi and she took me there. I'd always seen the commercials for Sonic, but had never been to one. Wait, let me rephrase that - Sonic has taunted me with their commercials for years. They've made my mouth water and made me want to drive to the nearest Sonic. The only problem is that, until recently, the nearest Sonic was several hours away!

Speaking of the commercials, I met Molly and Claudia from the Sonic commercials last night at the Algonquin Sonic. I think I'm going to have to make my own Sonic commercial. I can sit in a car while drinking some Sonic goodness and chatting! Why not?!


Molly, me, and Claudia

Yes, we're wearing jackets in June. It was only 55 degrees yesterday evening. (What is the deal with my hair??? I have wings! Ugh)

So, we got to Sonic and enjoyed our yummilicious dinner. I had a grilled chicken wrap and a diet cherry limeade because I was trying to be good. You know, since I tried on my shorts from last summer and they didn't so much fit. With any luck, the temps will stay under 60 degrees and I'll never have to put them on. :::sigh:::

Anyway, we enjoyed our dinners. Well, I'm guessing Austin and Savannah enjoyed theirs, but I'm not sure since they sat at their own "too cool to sit with anyone else" table and ate while Savannah played with her iPod and Austin read Harry Potter for the 80th time.

Meanwhile, Lexi, Brooklyn and Clay did the limbo under the menu board until Lexi forgot to duck and smacked her head. A free root beer float made it all better though. :) Thank you Anita and gang for the invite, the delicious Sonic yumminess, and all the Sonic goodies!

I couldn't find my camera when it was time to leave, and I only had the stinky camera on my phone. (BTW, when we got home, I found my camera in the bag where it's supposed to be. What idiot put it there?!!!)

Know what I just realized? That picture of Austin to the left there was taken at Sonic! Notice the blue coconut slushie tongue! LOL!

Ocean on a Plate

Last weekend, I went downtown with some friends to celebrate a friend's birthday. I snapped these pictures out the window of the cab on the way to the restaurant.









Does this name sound familiar? Name the sitcom.


This sign was on the door inside the bathroom at the train station. It cracked me up. Just what exactly do stolen purses do to make one beware of them?


This is why you should always listen to your waiter when he explains the special. You should ask questions if you don't understand. Don't just assume that the "seafood special" contains little bits of lobster and shrimp and clams amid some pasta with a light sauce. Sometimes the "seafood special" actually means "ocean on a plate". This picture was actually taken after I'd finished eating. There were even more dead sea creatures on my plate to begin with. Half a lobster, clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, chunks of some sort of icky fish...


I found myself feeling sorry for this lobster. I mean he was cut in half. I think the rest of his little lobster body was over on my friend, Julie's plate. And he was covered in sauce. I mean, COVERED! There was no way I was going to try to crack that thing open or I'd have flung sauce all over myself and probably at least the 5 or 6 people sitting closest to me because I'm just classy like that. Next time, I'm ordering the gnocchi.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And here's the winner of the year's supply of Kraft macaroni and cheese...

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

42
Timestamp: 2009-06-04 07:16:43 UTC

Vanessa said...
1 year...OMG...that would be a LIFESAVER!!!!! My kids eat it EVERY DAY...seriously. They like it the old fashioned way...just like the box directions. I even sneak a few bites here and there...talk about comfort food! :)
Vanessa

Congratulations! Email me with your shipping address and we'll get the mac-n-cheese out to you right away. Thank you to everyone who left a comment!

Monday, June 1, 2009

iPhone Apps

I got the chance to try out a couple new apps for my iPhone the other day. I have to admit that my iPhone is as much a video game/toy/entertainment center for my little kids, as it is a phone for me. Yeah, I've got a couple apps on there that I use like Facebook and Twitter and this one that has a virtual ocean complete with crashing waves. But I have 2 pages of apps to occupy the little kids while we're out. I've gotta say, I'm loving this technology. When we're sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office, I don't have to drag along coloring books, and crayons, and dolls, and cars, and activity books. All I need to do it pull out my phone and let the little kids watch a video or play a game when they're getting restless and we've already played "I Spy" 4000 times.

Color Now is one of the new apps I tried out. You can choose from 12 images (more to come later) to color. The images aren't well-known characters so my little kids were less than enthusiastic about them. You "color" the pages by touching the color crayon you want and then touching the section of the picture you want to color. There are no sound effects or music so it's a nice quiet game that can entertain the kids when they need to play quietly so you don't disturb others around you.



Although I love the idea of having virtual coloring pages for the kids, we found these particular pictures difficult for the little ones to color. They have a lot of really small spaces that my 3 and 5 year old lacked the coordination to "color". I think simpler, larger images would've been much easier and more enjoyable for the little ones to color. As it is, they lost interest in this app quickly. Now, if you're an older kid or an adult who likes to color, you'll probably like to play with this app.

The other one I checked was Stuck Genie. In this game, you maneuver a ball around a maze while picking up other balls on the way. You have to figure out how to move all the balls around the walls of the maze while scooping up every last one. There are numerous levels of increasing difficulty so you won't get bored. There are sound effects and music on this game, but you can control the volume on each. You can also type in your name and the app automatically saves your progress so when you get to level 23 and decide to take a break, you don't have to start all over at level 1 the next time you pick up your iPod/iPhone.



This game is too hard for little kids, but older kids and adults who like puzzle games, will love it! I'm personally addicted to I personally like this game. Savannah liked it so much, she put it on her iPod and my friend's 7th grader played it "to help me win a level", but had a hard time giving my phone back to me when he finished the level. It's a fun time-waster!


If you've got an iPod or iPhone, leave me a comment here and you could win both these new apps for FREE! I'll choose 2 random winners on Thursday.

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