The UnValentine's Day

From My Barbie to Yours, Happy Valentine's Day

Hope you're doing something extra lovey dovey special today-with whomever you hold close to your heart.


HELP! A Domestic Diva Is Holding Me Hostage!

I walked into our kitchen this morning and found myself held hostage by a crazed domestic version of myself. She stripped me of my dignity, she wrapped me in an apron, handed me a bowl full of cookie dough and waved me in the direction of my oven. Before I knew it, there were 4 dozen perfectly browned sugar cookies receiving the lightest shade of homemade butter frosting, they were dotted with hot pink and red sprinkles all before 8 a.m.. Somebody save me from myself!!!!!

The next part I can hardly find words to describe. This part involved cardboard, whistling, tape, creativity....and patience: All the while I was quietly encouraging my four year old to continue frosting the last of the cookies (without grabbing the spatula from her). Did I mention she cast a sleeping spell on my youngest daughter-who slept until 8:37?? In a flash, it was finished, and here are some of the results:

By the way, when this schizophrenic maniac left me to my own devices, I was 20 minutes late to preschool (as usual) and covered in sticky icky pink sugary stuff. Feeling like myself again, I primped my bedhead, loaded up my Valentine's Gift Boxes and dragged my half dressed children to the car.


White Noise and Future Therapy

Due to the vast coziness of our 1000 square foot house, John and I have employed various "white noise" contraptions to soften any distractions during nap and bed time for the girls. The bathroom fan runs continuously, the wall heater occasionally, and the classical CDs are on a constant loop. My oldest daughter, Shelby, has always been a descent sleeper and falls asleep almost anywhere. Example:

And another example:And one more:

Moving to our tiny house when she was 2 never phased her sleeping habits. However, bringing our second daughter into this world in our cozy little home, has greatly affected her ability to catch some z's. After 18 months, I do not have a picture of her asleep, anywhere. And this crutch, along with all the other parenting flubs we've committed along the way will, I'm sure, manifest themselves as adult issues. One of which will include the use of a wind tunnel in her bedroom.
P.S. I am including exactly 3 pictures of baby Ana (an attempt to thwart any further psychological damage), none of which show her sleeping.


This Time The TV Wins

My last post declared my family TV Free. Which is true. And I don't have any reservations about it. Except for yesterday, when every person in the free world watched their morning news channels and learned that there was snow in areas of the Central Coast.
And, because I am totally unplugged, today I got to read about all the people who sought out snowy fields, built snowmen, and threw snowballs in places only 15 minutes away from our house-yesterday. So, instead of appeasing my 4 year old's latest dream to go to the snow, we instead went grocery shopping, surviving our fourth NO PRESCHOOL DAY (aka HellDay) totally oblivious to the potential fun right outside our city limits.
And today, every kid at preschool brought proof of their "Snow Day" for share time and Shelby brought a book about vegetables. All because her mother doesn't believe in television. Man, I suck.


My Family Unplugged

As an avid proponent of "Unplugging Your Family", I must forward the link to this article featured on today's www.MSN.com. You may already know this but John and I stopped channeling Cable TV, or any Television programs, into our home in 2004, the same year our first child was born.
The Article, "Is TV Bad For Your Kids?, How TV Affects Your Child" was featured recently on www.msn.com 's home page. Here's the link, if you're interested:
This short 3 page article got me thinking about life without TV...
Interestingly, if MSN Health encouraged you to turn off your TV what would happen? What if everyone stopped watching television? What would happen to the food industry, the movie industry, toy makers? How greatly would this effect child obesity, crime, violence, Type 2 Diabetes, standardized test scores? How would this positively effect other sources of entertainment? Movie theaters, Drama theater, Arts, Museums, Radio, internet, blogs? How would a "No TV Policy" effect marriages, families, children, education, productivity, health?
Well, I can postulate, but I am just one person. One person rejecting their cable TV box.

Face Cream Developments

As you know, I've raised the bar on my approach to preserving the youth in my face. Elizabeth Arden is my partner in this wrinkle war(for a hefty fee). And yesterday, I rolled my ginormous butterfly shopping cart into the checkout aisle with both kids in tow, threw the 12 pack of beer on the counter and the checker asked, "Do you have some I.D. for the beer?"
OMG, I just got carded!!!!
Nevermind the fact that the checker was recently featured on Tales From the Crypt. Or that her next job was a California Raisin commercial. I'll take what I can get: I got carded!


Rain, Rain Go Away

Man I hate this new blog layout. What was I thinking? (Well, I'll tell you it wasn't the 4 glasses of wine that improved my design skills)

Here are a few cheap and easy ways I've managed to avoid committing myself to the nut house in this incredibly wet California weather:
#1. It's bathtime! When in doubt, toss your kiddos in a tub of warm soapy water and add toys-any toys, kitchen items, sippy cups, straws,etc. My kids bathed at 10:30 a.m. yesterday. It'll kill an hour at least. And don't forget the ritual "Naked Dancing" afterwards. Crank up the tunes and shake your nakey self!
#2. Grocery Store games. Aside from the produce sprinklers, it's rather dry, warm and spacious in the supermarkets. Lucky for me, my local grocers recognize me and my crazy kids but DON'T know me by name. Which is why I can roll into their store and let my kids run rampant through the aisles. Shelby and I play the alphabet game-Sing the ABCs and then look for an A on the food packages, look for a B, sing the ABC's, what comes after B? Find a C!, etc. The younger one just toddles along waiting for a chance to knock something down.
Another game is the "I Spy" game in the produce department. "I'm thinking of something round and red."
#3. MOVIE NIGHT. Pull out your inflatable mattress, throw it on the floor, Pop up some Jiffy pop with the foil wrap over your stove and throw on a new kid flick (we rented Madagascar 2). The kids can bounce around on the air mattress and cozy up to watch the movie. It's fun!
#4. Gear up and head out into the wet.
ANY other suggestions cause we're facing ANOTHER rainy day and I'm cleaned out of ideas. Call the nuthouse.