10 Things I’ve Learned After the First Week Back to School

School has been in session for a little over a week now. It feels like they’ve been back for four months already. Anyone else feel that way too? It’s weird.

Even though this is not my first time at the rodeo, I always feel like the new school year teaches me something new…besides how to do common core math, which by the way is ridiculous.

It doesn’t take long to be reminded why I actually look forward to the summer and days off. Between work, school, activities, and meetings…it feels like it should be wine o’clock all day long!

So, what have I learned since we hit the play button on the new school year?

  1. I hate making school lunches. If the school lunch menu gods would understand that my kids don’t eat pancakes and French toast sticks for lunch then maybe I wouldn’t have to make sandwiches that I hate to make and I know they hate eating.
  2. There is no “fun” in fundraisers. Yes, I know they idea is to raise “funds” and not have “fun”, but I still find the name deceiving. It’s no fun seeing family members cringe when your child walks up to them with their trusty little sheet and book of “goodies”.
  3. Realizing you’re giving up half your day on Saturdays to sports. I proudly wear the title of soccer mom, but when you have two kids on two different teams, that’s your Saturday in a nutshell. The bigger problem is realizing you’ll have to use the porta potty if you opt for the medium coffee over the small.
  4. Apparently a closet full of clothes=nothing to wear. Funny how I was ready to poke my eyes out with a  spork while doing back-to-school clothes shopping, yet my kids tell me they have nothing to wear. My wallet tells me otherwise. Perhaps I need to get their eyes checked. By the way, uniforms were so much easier.
  5. My kids are allergic to waking up early. That is the only explanation. Riddle me this…in the summer they were ready to jump in the pool by 8 a.m., yet we can’t get up at 7 a.m. no matter how early we’ve gone to sleep.
  6. I don’t care where everyone in class sits. While I love to know who is in my kids’ classes and who they’re having lunch with, I don’t need to know where everyone sits and how many feet away they are from the door. If Jenny sits directly across from Michael who sits next to Thomas, that’s great, but I don’t care.
  7. I can’t keep every worksheet my kids do at school. I love seeing what my kids do at school, but am I supposed to keep every piece of work? Who has the space for all that paper? Why in creation do my kids think we need to keep everything? Yes, I know it’s special because they did it, but that work can still be special somewhere else…like not all over my house.
  8. My car is a disaster. All of a sudden, my car is full of soccer cleats, socks, shin guards and half-empty water bottles (okay, a lot of those are mine). It’s chaos in the car. I’d much rather go back to when sand in the car was public enemy number one.
  9. Getting to bed on time must be an Olympic sport. It seems like we’re jumping through hoops to try to get to bed on time every night. It’s a 100 meter dash that we are desperately losing. It seems that everyone is dehydrated or needs to give me the answer to a question I asked five hours ago just as we’re going trying to get to bed. In this event, we’re barely getting the bronze.
  10. I can’t do third grade math “right”. If my daughter has a question about her homework, I’ve tried to help but I’m told I’m not doing it “right”. Hmmm…but I know the answer is right! It’s downright annoying.

As the year progresses I’m sure I’ll learn many more life lessons! For now, it’s time to pack lunches and secretly hide all of those worksheets that have wallpapered my home!

If My Children Were Running for President

I’ve never been one to publically display my political views or beliefs. But, this election season is certainly different than any other I’ve ever experienced. With that said, I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re not satisfied with either of the choices for President this time around. So, that got me to thinking, what if my two daughters were running for President? What would their campaign promises be? What agendas would they try to push? At ages 7 and 5, they certainly have minds of the own. So, let’s take a look, shall we? As both of their campaign managers, I have some insight.

Presidential Campaign of my 7-year-old:


If you elect me as your President, I would provide taco supplies to each & every American household once a week because tacos are yummy and everyone should eat them. I would also abolish all bed times and all rules that kids need to sleep in their own beds. After all, they made mommy’s bed big so that must mean I can sleep in it too. As Justin Bieber as my Vice President, I would make sure everyone in America has his latest CD at all times, even the non-Beliebers.

Slogan: The only thing we have to fear is bedtime itself.

Health Care: Everyone would be guaranteed one sticker after each routine doctor’s appointment, but not at specialists. There are no excuses for running out. You’re a doctor’s office. You know people like stickers. Get with the program.

Taxes: No taxes on money collected from The Tooth Fairy, Santa, or any of their cousins (even second and third ones).

Jobs: You should get one. I plan on becoming a teacher, hair dresser, nail person, and writer, that’s after I become your President of course. 

Education: I actually like to go to school, so you should go too. But, I’m really trying to get the perfect attendance award. So, if you miss a day, oh well. That’s less competition for me.

That’s what the 7-year-old is banking on. Now let’s take a look at the 5-year-old.

Presidential Campaign of my 5-year-old:


If you elect me as your President I will make sure ice cream is put on the dinner menu and not the dessert menu. We all know ice cream is a meal so it needs to be treated as one.  I will make sure each and every American has their own teddy bear to sleep with every night. Expecting anyone to sleep without one is just cruel and unusual punishment. Any walls that need to be built will be built with my Jenga blocks or Duplos. They will probably be knocked over and rebuilt over and over again on a daily basis. Oh well. One last thing, as  Pharell Williams as my Vice President, we will all be happy all the time.

Slogan: Ask not what your Teddy Bear can do for you, but what you can do for your Teddy Bear!

Health Care: Under my presidency there will be no more boring Band-Aids sold anywhere. All Band-Aids will have characters. No one uses brown ones anymore. Not having characters is just inhumane.

Taxes: Everyone getting more than $2 a week for allowance will have to pay taxes. I firmly believe the rich need to do their part.

Jobs: That’s why I’m running for President. Do you know anyone who’s hiring 5-year-olds? I don’t. Duh.

Education: Each child will receive proper Shopkins training so that they can learn the names of each Shopkin from every season. Education is key people. This is important stuff.

So I think that pretty much sums up the campaigns of both of my pint-sized candidates.

On a serious note, I did ask each of them what they would do if they were President. They actually both said they would help poor people and give them food and houses. They didn’t say how they would pay for it all. But, everyone would have a house and enough food, which I thought was sweet. Oh, and my five-year-old wants to buy everyone flowers! So, she’s got that going for her too!

I don’t know about you, but I kinda like these presidential choices better. I can get on board with stickers and teddy bears in a heart beat, can’t you?



10 Signs That It’s the End of the School Year

The end of the school year is here. You can hear kids and teachers rejoicing while many parents grunt and go hide in a corner. Besides the obvious calendar telling us what time of year it is, there are ten other things that happen to signal that the end of the school year has indeed arrived.

  1. The Thought of Buying Teacher Gifts Makes You Cringe. You know it’s the right thing to do, but you really don’t want to go shopping for teacher gifts. Although you should put some effort into the process and avoid buying another coffee mug, the temptation is too great. You could always go on Pinterest for some super creative ideas, but who has time for that? Coffee mug it is.
  2. Your Kids’ Homework is Wrong & You Don’t Care. So Billy added instead of subtracted his entire homework. At least he still did math, right? There comes a point in the school year when seven and six equals fourteen and you don’t care.
  3. Clothes Don’t Fit, Oh Well! Your children’s toes are rubbing against the edges of the sneakers you bought…in August. Who told them to keep growing anyway? Those yoga pants are looking more like capris. But, aren’t yoga capris in these days? The next time your child tells you that his shirt is getting too short just tell him to stop raising his hand in class. This way it won’t be so short. Problem solved.
  4. Bedtime & Wakeup is Getting Downright Dreadful. You can’t even convince yourself that it’s bedtime when it’s still light outside at 8 p.m. so how are your kids going to buy into it? Let’s not even talk about waking up for school. The whining is unreal! Maybe if they just went to bed when you told them,  the mornings wouldn’t be so bad. There are days I’d rather watch a Caillou marathon by myself then go through the whole bedtime/wakeup process.
  5. You’re Running Out of School Snacks. Your fruit snack and Goldfish cracker supply is dangerously low. Instead of replenishing you decide to get creative. Kids can bring cans of cream corn and baked beans for snack, right?
  6. You’re Sick of Packing Lunches. If you have to make another ham and cheese sandwich you’re going to throw it against the wall. Forget about thinking of different things to pack your child for lunch. Check back in September. At this point packing lunch means making sure they have enough money to buy whatever is being served in the cafeteria. What if they don’t like the menu? Maybe it’s time to try new things.
  7. You Can’t Find the Handle to Your Fridge Because of All the Artwork. The kids are bringing home all of their art projects. Yeah! You’re finally getting your Valentine, Easter, and “Holiday” card…all at the same time…in June. What could be better? Now, if you could just get into your fridge.
  8. Your Child’s Book Bag has Holes. “Mom, my book bag has a hole in it.” So. There’s no way that it’s going to get fixed. It’s just not happening. Anyway, don’t think of them as holes. They’re easy access pockets for when junior just needs to find a pencil or eraser right away.
  9. You Can’t Remember a Saturday Morning That Didn’t Involve a Coach or Referee. Sure, sports are great for kids. They have fun. You have fun watching them, but there comes a point when you dread Saturday mornings. The morning fights with the shin guards and cleats are no longer bearable. Trying to clone yourself to make it to all of your kids’ games gets exhausting. You want to trade them all in in for an endless cup of coffee and a Lifetime movie…or three.
  10. Your Child is Going on a Field Trip Every Other Day. You remember signing the permission slips, but weren’t these all supposed to be spaced out? Your child is going more places in two weeks than you’ve gone in two months. It’s all in the name of “learning”, I know. Let’s admit it, the real learning stopped after April vacation.

Before you can say sunscreen and shorts, the kids will back in school and we get to run the hamster wheel all over again! Here’s to some time off from glue sticks, flash cards, and school assemblies!


Caillou Has Left the Building

It’s one of those days I’ve dreamed about for a good five years now. I honestly thought it would never come. But, it has. Oh yes, it has!

Caillou has left the building. As in the building, I am referring to my house. And I couldn’t be happier! If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I have a hate-hate relationship with the little ball-headed whiney child. From the day he entered our lives, I wanted him out. But, my girls loved him. Correction, they were obsessed with him. They loved him so much, we got the doll, the tree house, and a few puzzles. We watched Caillou every night before bed. Every. Single. Night.

You’re probably asking yourself why I didn’t shut it down from the beginning. As a parent, you know you pick your battles. Watching the show made them happy. Playing with the toys made them happy too. They really weren’t hurting anyone or anything, except for my sanity. So, I let it run its course. It is a course that has now ended.

I can’t remember the last time we actually sat down to watch a Caillou episode. They have no interest. They’ve moved on to Nickelodeon shows like “Henry Danger” and “The Thundermans”. I can honestly say I enjoy “The Thundermans”. I can take “Henry Danger” in small doses. It’s a little unbelievable that no one can in Henry’s family can figure out that he’s also Kid Danger. But, that’s another topic for another blog.

Getting back to Caillou…my girls have actually muttered the words “I don’t want to watch Caillou. I don’t like him anymore.” It is sweet music to momma’s ears!

As parents it can make us sad when kids grow out of certain phases. But, not this one. I no longer have to hear that whiney voice when no one wants to play with Caillou at “play school”. First of all, it’s pre-school or daycare. No one calls it “play school”. Second of all, I wouldn’t want to play with him either if I were a four-year-old kid. I no longer have to answer my girls when they ask me why Caillou never grows hair. I don’t know! Truthfully, does anyone? I no longer have to worry about Caillou’s parents never changing their outfits or Caillou crying when he has to give his favorite shirt to his sister Rosie.

The reign of this little monster is over!  Peace out Caillou! Take your olive muddle and bad dance moves with you. If your child is still infatuated with this little monster, I’m sorry. I’m sure your day is coming too. Until then, just remember, He’s just a boy who’s four. Each day he grows some more (although it doesn’t look like it). He likes to explore. His name is Caillou.

Overheard at Bedtime Prayer: Part 2

About six months ago, I told you all about some of the crazy and silly things my girls are thanking God for during bedtime prayer. Well, the hits keep on coming. I am extremely glad that they are keeping up with their prayers and still have things to be grateful for. The day they’re not thankful for something is the day that I think I’m in trouble. Now that my older daughter has started her CCD classes, she’s getting a little more creative with her prayers and such. Just the other day she told her teacher she was thankful for “Target”…as in the store that I frequent at least twice a week! I would have loved to hear the teacher’s response to that one.

Here are some other things my girls have been thanking God for lately…some of them are a real hoot!

“Thank you God I had guacamole today.”

“Thank you God I had lots of sugar today.”

“Thank you God I’m buying lunch today.” (This one really made me laugh because I guess my homemade lunches aren’t cutting it!)

“Thank you God I had corn for dinner.”

“Thank you God for my wonderful mommy (Awww…). I’m never going to throw her away.” (Umm…thanks? That’s comforting.)

“Thank you God I had soccer today.”

“Thank you God I looked beautiful today.”

“Thank you God I went to Nuvita.”

“Thank you God I had pasta for lunch.”

“Thank you God I played with play-doh today.” (Mommy is not thankful for the mess you left behind, but I’m glad you were happy.)

“Thank you God I had cupcakes.”

“Thank you God I went to Kohl’s.”

And these are only the ones I remember! There are so many everyday things that we would never think to thank God for. But, my girls do! I can’t want to hear what they come up with next.

What’s the funniest thing your child has ever been grateful for?



Can We Stop With the Pooping Baby Dolls? Please!

“Look Mommy, this doll poops charms and surprises and real poop!”

Me: (rolling eyes) “Great.”

This exchange between my three-year-old daughter and I goes on more times than I care to mention. She is obsessed with dolls that poop…everything. Did you hear me? I said obsessed!!!

It all started one day when she was watching a video on my phone. Yes, my daughter occasionally watches videos on my phone. Don’t judge. Well, during an episodes, a box for one these “great” dolls pooped up…I mean popped up. From that point on, it was all over. She started to ask me to put the “poopy video” on.

Curious about her fascination, I had to watch. Basically, it’s some narrarator chick (who was probably never a mom) talking about how she’s feeding a baby. Then minutes later she gets excited about how “charming” her doll’s poop is. Sometimes it’s just a soiled diaper, other times she strikes gold. The narrator gets obnoxiously excited. Either way, I’m grossed out. My daughter is thoroughly amused.

Besides the videos, I don’t know where all this came from. Her older sister was never one for the poopy dolls. But, number two is. No pun intended. The funny thing is, she doesn’t even have one of these dolls. Why? You may ask. Because I just won’t buy one. I know dolls are for play and joy…blah blah blah…but I have a problem with a doll that poops charms, surprises, or anything else. Until diamonds and pearls start coming from my kids’ butts, you won’t see one of these dolls in my house. I won’t even buy the ones that actually give wet or “dirty” diapers. They’re just gross.

What I would like to see in one of these videos is for the doll to have an all-out blowout. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. One of those blowouts that goes up your baby’s back all the way to her neck. One of those blowouts that goes through every layer of clothing possible, but still manages to get on the car seat. If baby doll had one of these, I want to see how excited our narrator chick would truly be. I do know who would be happy. This girl right here. This would prove that these babies are real. No charms. No jewels. No stuffed animals. No cutesy poop. Just the real stuff.

I know the probability of this happening is slim to none. So, in the meantime, can we stop with the pooping baby dolls? Please!



5 Reasons Why the New School Year is Better Than the Real New Year

3…2…1…Happy New School Year! Okay, so there’s no ball drop and no noise blowers or confetti. But, the beginning of a new school year really should be a holiday too. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the new school year is like the real new year…just a few months earlier…and a lot warmer.

In case you haven’t guessed, ever since my kids started going to school the new school year is one of my favorite non-holidays (although a Hallmark card to acknowledge would be nice, just sayin’). While I love having them home for the summer, really I do, there’s just so much excitement that comes along with a new school year. In case the new school year doesn’t have you reminiscing about your old Trapper Keepers and longing for a Capri Sun, here are some reasons why you should be:

1. New School Supplies: Okay, I’m a self-proclaimed geek so I love new school supplies. There’s just something about freshly sharpened pencils and clean notebooks. A fresh box of crayons with all 24 colors still intact…you just can’t go wrong. If that’s not enough to get you going, how about those new book bags and lunch boxes? I think I get more excited than the kids!

2. Bedtime is Back Baby: “It’s a school night.” The words are magic to any momma’s ears. They mean the kids are going to bed whether it’s still a tinge light out or not. They mean mommy can catch up on her 17 episodes of “Young & the Restless” that are waiting for her in the DVR. They mean getting on a schedule. Amen! Let me tell you, there’s nothing wrong with a little routine.

3. No Christmas Toys to Hide or Put Away: Usually around the real New Year, we’re still cleaning up from the holidays. It is tiring and annoying. There is so much junk…I mean valuable gifts, lying around the house. This means opening things, buying lots of AA batteries and sometimes hiding toys. Did I say that? We never hide toys. We also never secretly return toys. The great thing about the new school year is that you’re not dealing with more crap in your house. Simply put.

4. New Friends: If you weren’t a fan of your child’s BFF last year, there’s hope this year! Maybe he’ll find a friend who doesn’t think boogers are a new food group. Let’s be honest, there are some kids your child may love, but ones you could do without. A new school year brings hope of new friendships…minus the boogers. Fingers crossed.

5.  Drop Off Chitter Chatter: While we all promise to hang out over the summer, sometimes getting together with school friends gets buried in the sand. Sometimes you don’t get together as much as you would have liked. Sometimes you miss hanging out. Sometimes it’s nice to drop off the kids and have a real conversation with someone else who isn’t worried whether Caillou will ever grow hair. It’s refreshing to talk to other moms and dads. There’s nothing wrong with momma getting some social interaction too. Plus, you may be able to figure out who has the booger-eating kid at lunch.

So, the next time the new school year’s got you down, think about what I’ve said. You can keep your champagne and noise blowers…okay maybe just the noise blowers…I’ll take a new school year over the real new year anyday. Now, where’s my Trapper Keeper…




Jem is Truly Outrageous for My Girls in 2015

If you’re now a mom who grew up in the 80’s, chances are you rocked out to at least one “Jem and The Holograms” episode in your life. Okay, admit it, probably dozens more!

Courtesy: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Courtesy: www.hollywoodreporter.com

In case you were living under a rock during the 80’s, Jem is the alter ego of Jerrica Benton. Jerrica has these super-cool star earrings and an out of this world computer named Synergy that help transform her to the pink-haired rocker Jem, lead singer of the totally rad Holograms. Jerrica’s little sister Kimber is part of the band along with friends Aja and Shana.

Of course the Holograms have an enemy…The Misfits. These girls look like a cross between KISS and Poison, but with a bad girl attitude. They’re no Debbie Gibson or Punky Brewster. Pizzaz is the lead singer of The Misfits and would love to pull a Karate Kid on Jem and her little Holograms. Her little crew get into it with Jem in every episode. It’s fan-flippin-tastic. And who could forget Rio! Rio is Jerrica’s boyfriend/Jem’s stage manager. I think every little girl had a crush on Rio growing up!

Jem & Rio! Courtesy:www.angelfire.com

Jem & Rio!

So, why am I going on about an 80’s cartoon that has long been canceled? Because my girls are now rocking out to Jem too some 25 years later! One morning during their spring vacation last week I was flipping through the kiddie channels and stumbled upon Jem on the Discovery Family channel. Transported back to my electric youth, I made my girls watch it with me. They asked a lot of questions about this Jem person. Why is she two people? Why is Pizazz so mean? Why do they all have different colored hair? I could go on, but you get the point.

After about ten minutes, they were hooked, cheesy music and all! Another episode followed and they sat down and watched the entire thing, then asked for more when it was over! This was truly outrageous!

On Saturday morning they woke me up at 7:15 to ask for Jem or as my three-year-old calls her “Hem”. They were actually disappointed that it wasn’t on during the weekend! This was so “out of the blue”! I felt like this could happen “only in my dreams”. But, I really was reliving my “Electric Youth”. It was so refreshing and such a nice change from our usual “Lalaloopsy”, “Kate & Mim-Mim”, and ” Max & Ruby” cartoons.

This morning I even had to yell at them to leave “Hem” on the screen to eat breakfast before school. Bring back ALF and this 80’s obsessed mama would be one silver spoon away from taking out her old Kirk Cameron posters from BOP magazine! (Come on, I know I’m not the only one out there who had them!)

Needless to say, I’m ready to relive my 80’s childhood with my girls. I even hear a Jem movie is in the works! Now, if I can only find my Jem dolls! Hmmm….






When is Teddy’s Time Up?

I only have two children, but sometimes it feels like I have three. Wherever my girls go, so does one little special teddy bear.


No, he’s not my teddy bear. His name is “Mine”. That’s the name my 3-year-old daughter gave to him awhile ago. He’s a little tan teddy that she takes everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

He rides in the car on the way to school.

He goes shopping.

He goes out to eat, especially at Texas Roadhouse.

He goes to church. He hasn’t been baptized, but he considers himself a Catholic, in case you were wondering.

He goes on the slide and the swing. He’s not very good at the see-saw.

He goes to the beach, but doesn’t wear sunscreen.

He goes to bed (that’s a given).

He even goes on vacation. He’s already seen quite a few road trips and has already been on his first flight.

He’s been left at Wal-Mart on one of those ride-on toys, only to be discovered missing once we got in the car and my daughter freaked out. You would have thought she lost me. Thankfully we didn’t have to call the police. No one snatched him. Truly, I don’t think anyone would want him, except for my daughter.

He’s been around. One look at him, and you can tell instantly.


My daughter’s favorite teddy, A.K.A. “Mine”


He’s a little tainted in color. He’s not as soft and stuffed as he was in his younger years.  The little teddy bear attached to him has been gnawed almost to the point of no return. Grandma has performed “surgery” on him more times than I can count. She says he’s now beyond repair. But, my daughter doesn’t mind.

“Mine” is like the little brother my daughters don’t have. Most days I don’t mind, except for when we forget him at home and I have to turn around to pick him up if I want any peace and quiet.

When will it end?

Funny you should ask because my daughter has actually been asking me the same thing.

“Mommy, when I’m five do I have to give up “Mine”?”

“No”, I said.

“How about when I’m ten?”


“Not if you don’t want to, ” I answered.

“What about when I’m 18?” “18 people don’t have a teddy.”

18 people? I laughed then answered, “Well, you don’t have to get rid of him, but you may not want to carry him around everywhere. That may be a bit weird.”


After that answer she walked away and hasn’t asked me since. So, I don’t know if she was satisfied with what I said or if she just had enough of the conversation.

I’ll be curious to see how long “Mine” hangs around or quite frankly, how long he can survive without disintegrating.



My House Needs a Colon Cleanse

Did you ever just look around your house and say ugh?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending so much time in it thanks to Mother Nature, but I’m noticing some things around the house that are really making me twitch.

A brothel of half-naked Barbies sprawled over the floor.

Dozens of “Petite Picassos” as I like to call them, all over the table. They’re all beautiful, trust me. There’s just a lot of them.

Stuffed animals up the ying-yang.

Valentines from my girls’ classmates that they have to keep. Mind you, some of them are from pre-k kids who can’t even write their names. Yet, they are keepsakes.

Crayons. Lots of crayons. Broken, whole, you name ’em, we got ’em.

Dittos from school. More like “ditto diarrhea”. Yet, I feel bad even throwing one away because I know my daughter poured her heart into each and every one of them.

Toys. Tiny, big…it doesn’t matter

Dust bunnies.

Appliances that need a facial. Floors that need a wax. Cubbies that need the big “O” (organization).


My husband says I’m exaggerating. He says we have two kids, what do you expect?

I expect not to feel like my house needs a colon cleanse.

That’s right, a colon cleanse. A deep cleaning from the inside out to purge out all the nastiness and junk.

Truth be told, if you walked into my house you wouldn’t think it’s that bad. I’ve seen worse. But, it still gets under my skin.

I want to give my Swiffer and Magic Eraser a big cuddle and then send them to work overtime.

I want to take a garbage bag and just toss all the things that are making me break out in hives. The kids will never notice. Right?

Sometimes, they actually don’t. Then there are the times I put things in a box to put in the basement and they somehow find them. They pull them out of the box and resurrect them. There’s no fighting it. It’s exhausting.

Total defeat.

If you feel like your house is that bad, then why don’t you just give it a colon cleanse? You may ask.

Because I have kids. Simply put. We all know things don’t stay clean and organized for more than one minute before crumbs and dolls invade once again.


Excuse me while I go bury my OCD in the mound of toys in the playroom.