A proud mother. Why I cried at my daughter’s first triathlon…

My daughter is a cautious person. She needs to warm up to situations, is hesitant to try new things and finds a safe spot crouched next to me with her arms wrapped around my leg.

When with close friends, she transforms into a leader who laughs a bellowing roar and chants, “Girls rule, boys drool.” But when that comfort zone is not around her, she is timid.

This has been challenging for me at times. “Timid” is not a word that I think has ever been used to describe me.

But this has been a year of firsts for my girl that have filled her with a new sense of confidence. This year she moved to lap lane in swimming where she is gearing up for swim team. This year she learned to ride a bike without training wheels.  And this year she completed her first kids triathlon.

On Saturday, with a thunderstorm looming and my son’s birthday party later in the day, we all went out in the dark of the morning for my daughter to participate in her first triathlon. We practiced transitions from swim to bike to run with her, we got all the gear she’d need, and we talked up the race every single day.  But as we waited the two hours for the older kids to finish before her turn, she clung to my leg a little harder and told me she loved me a few too many times. She was nervous but trying to keep it together.

And then it was her turn.

From the second she jumped into the water, my heart soared. My daughter transformed into the most confident human being I have ever seen. She dominated that swim. Crushed that bike ride. And ran to the finish with the biggest smile on her face.

I can honestly say that I never felt so proud of someone in my entire life.

It wasn’t because she did a sport or anything like that. It was because she was afraid of something and conquered that fear with confidence and a fire I hadn’t seen before.

All day I would find myself just looking over at her and smiling. She might be wearing the finalist medal but I feel like I won that day. I won the chance to see my girl shine.

Shine on, sweet baby.

kids tri picture

Tips to Choose the Perfect Mattress Topper for Your Bed

Good and long lasting heath will require consecutive sound and restful night sleep. Bedding accessories are in the list as external factors delivering more add-on value to sleeper’s health improvement and power.

mattress topperA good mattress topper should be selected in the manner that it will satisfy the physical requirements of sleepers and others supplementary related factors. In accordance with these concerns, preference of sleep partners or budget can affect the process to select.

Therefore, any sleepers should be knowledgeable to select their own choice with range of mattress topper types available in different stores made by various manufacturers.

Things to pre-consider

Knowledge on different types of mattress topper is compulsory. Available alternatives of mattress topper can range from classic, modern-plus to highly technological applied pad.  In this part, sleepers will face with some challenges related to:

Types of materials: The basic mattress topper can be made of cotton or wool which is offered at average price while more advanced substances are down and memory foam. Obviously, discrepancies in price will verify the level of firm and soft capacity of the topper. Memory foam tops the list in elasticity to move according to the shape and motion of the sleepers’ body. However, its drawback is heat retaining which can disturb the sleepers with hot feel.

Brand names: Popularity of similar products of different names is essentially anti-monopoly which will benefit the customers the most, still at the same time giving them headache on their choice. As a good customer, you are advised not to shop with bias that reputational brand name is overweighing than low ranking manufacturers. A thorough look at all on hand brand name will help to obtain comprehensively good comparison leading to best option. However, it can not be denied that there is convincing excuse for such a good reputation.

Understanding of physical requirements is extremely needed. You should take control of your own health status and sleeping habits such as:

+ You are identified as stomach, back or side posture sleeper. There are even in the market mattress toppers which will be tailor-designed for a specific posture. It is indeed useful for patient.

sleep position
Sleep Positions

+ Frequency of your motion. If much, anti-motion mattress topper should be chosen especially in the terms that you will not obstacle your partner’s sleeping.

+ Body physical status will includes factors of sweet releasing level, pain with back or neck and so on.

Preparation of budget is required to make your budget balanced and efficiently spent. You may aware of the average price of the mattress topper you are going to purchase, then a respective amount of budget should be spare for, i.e. the amount which you are willing to pay should be identified clearly in advance.

How to test mattress topper?

It is recommended to have a look at several stores. To save time and effort, online reviews should be researched for time-saving and costly plan of visit. You are even free to pass by the store whose mattress topper is on your favorite list as going back is always the option.

Testing your to-be-purchased mattress topper is vital as discomfort feel in the showroom will result in similar feel at home.  It is smart to test the highest quality and most expensive mattress topper for initial try as you can be able to compare the quality of the rest correctly in order to find the most suitable in quality and cost in your ultimate decision. It is noted that sleepers should be patient to spend some minutes to rest on the mattress topper rather than hand touching or pushing plainly otherwise lack of test will be signal of being disappointed at actual home use.

Purchase notes are checking of warranty conditions as well as some promotion or plus service such as free delivery, return service, disposal of old mattress topper, etc.

How do you feel at home?

mattress topperIt takes time for sleeper’s body to get familiar with the new mattress topper, therefore for some first few days sleepers are going to real test the product. Criteria will consist of physical and visible factors such as the too hard or too sunk surface of the mattress topper, the ache and hurt of some body parts, especially the back.

After some days of use, if all of these signals fail to come then you can enjoy your comfort with new “partner” for a long time ahead, however, if problems are. Sleepers should return the mattress topper back but the exact problem should be clearly verified for better purchase afterwards.

After all, choosing the most in either quality or cost towards a mattress topper is not really a challenge to any sleepers provided that sleepers are confident with their shopping skills and knowledge on the mattress topper product.

How to Make A Water Blob That Your Children Will Never Play With

Step 1. Spend 1 hour on Pinterest researching ways to make a large plastic blob of water. Be excited by the joy on the faces of the children in all of the photos.

How to Make A Water Blob

 
Step 2. Drag your own children to two different hardware stores to find 4 mm painters plastic, parchment paper and duct tape. Make sure to bring 7 different snacks because said children will ask for one every 15 minutes.

Step 3. Return home to where your children will “help” you by asking every 3 seconds if the blob is done. Note: The blob will not be done for another 2 hours.

Step 4. Use parchment paper to seal the two pieces of plastic together with an iron. Make sure you burn yourself and proceed to curse loudly in front of Christian neighbors at least 4 times to reach full pissed-off capacity.

Step 5. Leave slight hole in the plastic to put hose inside. However, be sure not to be a dumb-ass and turn the hose on before putting into hole. (cough cough)

Step 6. Be horrified at the ridiculous amount of water you are wasting to fill this thing for the next hour. But not horrified enough to stop.

Step 7. Seal hole with duct tape. Make sure you use your teeth to rip the tape so you can spend your child’s future college fund on dental work.

Step 8. Spray water on the blob to make it slippery in hopes that you can laugh at your children when they fall.

Step 9. Call excitedly to your children to come immediately outside and play for hours on this amazingly beautiful blob of water while you check email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while in air-conditioning.

Step 10. Curse profusely at Pinterest when after 3 minutes your daughter yells to you, “So what are we supposed to do on it besides lay down?”

Step 11. Dream about letting all the water out of the blob, filling it with wine, poking a hole in it and using it as an adult-size Capri Sun. (Idea from my awesome friend Molly of Crazed in the Kitchen)

Step 12. Throw out water blob and just go to a pool.

Mommy A to Z – My interview with Meredith Peters Hale

I love when authors reach out to me. It’s such a cool community to be part of and I’m thrilled when I get to see a really great writer publish something that is unique, fun and definitely worth reading. So when Meredith Peters Hale told me about her new book,  Mommy A to Z: An Encyclopedia of the Joys, Wonders and Absurdities of Motherhood, I asked if I could interview her so you can get a kick out of her as much as I do. And she even shared what made her self-publish, which was a bold decision seeing that she was formally an editor at a publishing house.

Plus, I love interviews – it makes me feel like a younger but not-as-hot Barbara Walters.

1. If you had to pick three words to describe the book, what would they be?

Well, I may be biased, but the first word that comes to my mind is “relatable.” Mommy A to Z focuses on the small moments we moms face each day, from battling leaky sippy cups to surviving awkward playdates to admitting to your second grader that you have no idea where Mount Everest is (it’s in the Himalayas, in case you’re wondering—and if, like me, you’re still wondering, that’s South Asia). Mommy A to Z is an honest, no-holds-barred look at day-to-day life as a mom.

The second word that I’d use to describe Mommy A to Z is “funny.” As I say in the intro, “sometimes laughter is the only barrier between motherhood and madness.” I think to survive motherhood, you have to find the humor in it all. Whether you’re pretending your kid’s imaginary friend isn’t creepy, or smiling through your third princess party of the weekend, sometimes you just have to laugh.

The final word I’d use to describe the book is “loving.” When I wrote the book, it was important to me not to come across as mean-spirited or complaining. I love being a mom, no matter how hectic or overwhelming it can be. And so I included entries like “J is for Joy,” to remind myself how truly blessed I am to be a mother.

2. What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

I think all moms who write struggle with time management. It’s difficult to explain to your five-year-old that you can’t play Barbies because you’re writing about the joys of conception (or what you remember of it). Or to tell your husband that you can’t watch House of Cards because you’re struggling to explain the complexities of sippy cups. I often found balancing work, family, and writing to be a challenging task. Frequently I managed by writing into the wee hours, after everyone else had gone to bed. It was exhausting—but absolutely worth it in the end.

3. Tell us about the publishing process. Did you have an agent or go the self-publishing route? What advice would you give to other writers from your experience?

I chose to self-publish my book as an eBook, even though (in my life before kids) I was an acquisitions editor at a publishing house and still believe in the printed book. Personally, I was excited about the prospect of controlling every aspect of the process—from the cover design to the content to the distribution. One thing I learned as an editor is how much compromise an author has to make—whether it’s accepting a cover you’re not wild about or changing the book’s title to suit the marketing department. That said, I have to warn authors considering the self-publishing route that this control is a double-edged sword. Self-publishing means navigating the labyrinth that is the iTunes store. On your own. With a toddler sitting on your laptop. It means finding and hiring the right professionals to work with you. This can be hard for a new author, and requires perseverance.

For authors considering working with an agent, I have one word for you: platform. Book publishers want to know that an author (especially a nonfiction author) already has an audience in place. Before contacting an agent, try to build up your blog, or newsletter, or whatever you use to reach readers. This will help agents interest editors in your proposal, and help editors pitch your book to the sales, marketing, and other departments at acquisitions meetings.

4. What’s the best thing about being a parent?

This isn’t a terribly original answer, but I have to say love. What surprises me most, as an only child, is the joy I take from seeing my son and daughter interact with each other. The way they love each other—even when they’re arguing over a piece of lint on the floor—inspires me every day. I never understood the whole sibling thing before my son was born, but now I totally get it.

5. What’s the worst thing about being a parent?

The laundry. The relentless, unremitting piles of laundry that mock me on a daily basis from my kids’ laundry baskets. Before I even take the clean clothes out of the dryer, the piles have resurrected like something out of The Walking Dead, determined to crush my spirit with wet towels and soiled bathing suits. Oh, and the flu isn’t much fun either.

6. What’s your favorite letter of the alphabet and why?

I really enjoyed writing “M is for Movies”. We’re a family of movie geeks, and my husband and I couldn’t wait to start taking my daughter to the theater. Until, that is, we discovered that whoever writes for Disney has a serious dark side. As I frequently joke, everything my daughter learned about death, she learned from Disney. That said, movies have helped us broach a lot of serious issues in our family. Recently, my daughter lost her grandmother, and she explained it to us as “Nana is in the stars with Mufasa.” Which, when you think about it, is a beautiful way of looking at things.

Also, I strangely enjoyed writing “U is for Ultrasounds,” because, for the first time, I was able to admit that I never saw anything in those damn pictures. I think there’s something therapeutic in moms sharing that we’re not perfect. And there’s lots of imperfection in Mommy A to Z!

7. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?

I wish I had more time to see friends. As we all know, being a mom – as well as a writer or a blogger – can be isolating. Nowadays, most of my real-world interaction is from behind a computer screen. I miss sitting across from girlfriends over sushi and catching up on our lives. Oh, and I’m a terrible parallel parker. I would gladly change that.

8. How can someone get your book?

Mommy A to Z is available as an eBook at Amazon. You can learn more about the book when visit MommyAtoZ.com 

Manic Mondays Begin! Our First Guest: Hairpin Turns Ahead

hairpin-turns-aheadI truly believe the key to blogging is to be part of a community. Last year I took that idea and created Inside the Blogger’s Studio which featured humorous interview sessions with different bloggers each month. I loved doing the series because it was such a great opportunity to get to know fellow bloggers in a whole new way. You can check those out by typing “Inside The Blogger’s Studio” in the search for posts bar over there on the right side of the blog.

Now, it’s a new year and time to try something new.

With that in mind, I created “Manic Mondays” – it’s a simple concept. Bloggers share their funniest parenting stories. We’re not looking for serious, warm your heart kind of moments. We are talking moments that will make us snort liquid out of our nose from laughing so hard.

So it was perfect when Liesl Testwuide, from Hairpin Turns Ahead, submitted her story. After reading it, you’ll want to follow her on Facebook and Twitter – she’s that funny. Her post will definitely make me reconsider sending my son to sleep-away camp…

LETTERS FROM CAMP – by Liesl Testwuide

Like kids all over America this summer, my youngest son is spending a week away at camp. It’s the first time he has been away without his brothers. It’s been terribly quiet around here. I’ve been thinking about him constantly and crossed my fingers that he’d send me at least one letter. I missed him so much, I began to imagine what he might write to me. I fantasized that I might receive something like this:

Dear Mom,

Thank you so much for letting me go to camp. I have learned so many cool things, like how to take a fish off the hook, tie sailing knots, and even how to groom a horse. Thanks for packing the sun screen. I’ve been out on the lake a lot, so it has really come in handy. You sure think of everything! Since it’s been so hot, I’ve been drinking tons of water! See? I really listen to all your good advice.

The other boys here are really smart and nice. I’m making some lifelong friends I will cherish forever. We’ve had fun learning camp songs, playing cards, and catching frogs in our free time. During quiet time, I read the book you sent along. What a great selection! And just because you’re my mom, I made a special gift for you in arts and crafts!

I’m trying a lot of new foods, just like you suggested. You were right, the oatmeal at breakfast really isn’t bad when I add raisins. And don’t worry, Mom, I’ve been using all the manners you’ve taught me over the years.

We are camping under the stars tonight. I am hoping to see some fireflies.

I love you,

W

xxoo

P.S. Tell my brothers I miss them!

Yesterday I received a letter from him! It’s just slightly different from what I imagined:

Playing a game with the girls from Science of Parenthood

One of my favorite things about BlogHer this year was the really awesome folks I had a chance to meet. Two especially are near and dear to my heart – Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler, the duo behind the illustrated humor blog Science of Parenthood.

science-of-parenthoodWe spent many hours talking and sharing what we have learned not just about blogging, but about parenthood, life and all the crap that makes liquid snort out of my nose when I laugh. I truly appreciated having them at the conference and feel like I met kindred spirits when we first talked.

Now, they are celebrating this blog’s 1 year anniversary! They are having an awesome giveaway too of some top blogger books and some pretty fun swag – so head over there and check that out.

However, I couldn’t just sing happy birthday off key to them to celebrate. I asked them if they wanted to play a little game with me. So I came up with 10 words and they had to take turns saying the first thing that came to their head about that word.

Here we go!

Dessert: Mmmm …. I love free-association word games like this. Reminds me of therapy. Okay, so you say dessert and I say … chocolate. I L-O-V-E chocolate. If there’s chocolate anything on the menu, that’s what I’m ordering. Unless there’s bread pudding. Then I’m having that. If I had chocolate bread pudding, I’d think I’d died and gone to heaven. Which I don’t really believe in, but I do believe in chocolate. Especially Godiva. — Norine

Parenthood: “Parenthood” sounds so serious. I don’t feel that what I am participating in warrants such a heavy title. Floopy-Flailings?  Wingin’it-hood? Those sound a little more like it.— Jessica

Alcohol: Martinis. Jessica’s husband, Greg, makes a superb martini. Unfortunately, I loved martinis a little too much … to the point where I was drinking three a night … and now I’m in 12-step recovery program. I’m doing well, thank you. Sober for two-and-a-half years. I don’t actually miss the booze. But every once in a while, I think, Yeah, it’d be nice to have one of Greg’s martinis.  — Norine

Spouse: Long-term. My husband and I will have been married for twenty years this coming September. I know. It’s ridiculous. I suppose I should have said something like “soul mate” or “partner”, instead I’ve used a word typicalyl paired with “investment” or “prison sentence”. Let’s not examine that one too closely, m’kay? — Jessica

Birth: Well … I gave birth. I have a son, who’s nearly 8. But while most moms have these great, dramatic And then my water broke in the cab … stories, I have the lamest birth story, ever. My OB wanted to induce me, so I went into the hospital at 8 pm; they shot me full of pitocin and … nada. I didn’t feel one contraction. In the morning they said, Well, this isn’t working, let’s do a C-section. Forty-five minutes later, I had my baby. Barely felt a thing. I feel kind of cheated, actually. — Norine

Minivan: Being sixteen. When I was sixteen and first had my driver’s licence one of our family cars was a big ‘ol minivan. As you can imagine, it was every Cure-listening, Daria-watching girl’s dream car. I haven’t driven one since. Not that there’s anything wrong with minivans, but I only have one kiddo. Seriously, if you have two or more kids and they have any friends at all, you need a third row! — Jessica

Boobs:  I’m gonna risk pissing off a lot of women, moms, and confess that I … like my boobs. I do. Please don’t slap me. I would swap thighs with Kate Moss any day. But my boobs, they’re okay. I’m typically a B-cup, but when I was pregnant, I ballooned up to a D. That was fun for a while. But now I know I’m quite content with what nature endowed. — Norine

Youth: Fleeting. I had big plans to be super cool about getting older; now that it’s actually starting to happen, I’m not loving it. There are many, many things I appreciate about getting older: knowing more, being more confident, yada yada … I know they only come with age and experience. But the stiff neck and wayward chin hairs? Those I could do without. — Jessica

Embarrassment: Here’s the lovely thing about getting older — I’ll be 48 next birthday — I no longer embarrass easily. Stuff that would have made me want to disappear into the floor a decade ago — like the time my mom chose the sushi bar where we were sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with other diners to ask me, loudly, if I was “really into sex toys” — that stuff just rolls off me now. I’ve discovered that 99 percent of the time, people aren’t looking at you, they’re worrying about their own shit. Unless you’ve got toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Then people probably are looking at you. Hopefully some kind soul will tell you. — Norine

Mistake: I was all ready to say, “There are no mistakes. Life is a journey, my little snowflakes!” But then I remembered this one haircut I got in 8th grade. Oh my god, it was such a mistake. This was back when everyone wanted feathered hair. My hair was stick straight and thin. There was not enough Aquanet in the world to get this mop to feather. Sooo, I figured I’d just have them cut-in the layers. I didn’t learn the term “mullet” for another fifteen years, but that is exactly what I’d requested. – Jessica

Happy 1 Year Anniversary girls! I’m toasting my martini glass to you!

Check out Science of Parenthood at http://scienceofparenthood.com

If You Give A Mom A Cocktail…

You know that book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?

I was challenged by a friend to come up with my own version. Mine is called, “If You Give A Mom A Cocktail

I’m not a children’s book author or anything, but I think I might be on to something here…

IF YOU GIVE A MOM A COCKTAIL

If you give a mom a cocktail, she’s going to want crackers to go with it.

If you give her crackers, she is going to want cheese on top of them.

If you give her cheese, she’s going to want chocolate to compliment it.

If you give her chocolate, she’s going to want to watch reality tv.

If you give her reality tv, she’s going to want a blanket.

If you give her a blanket, she’s going to want a pillow.

If you give her a pillow, she’s going to want a bedtime snack.

And if you give her a bedtime snack, chances are she’ll want a cocktail to drink with it.

Thanksgiving Crafts I’m Not Smart Enough To Make

If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you know that I start to twitch and back away slowly at the sight of crafts. I can do some basic things like make a snail out of Play Doh (hey, that took me two hours to figure out), but beyond that, I’m craft-intolerant. So Pinterest to me is like a bad reminder of all the things I’m not smart enough to make.

With that in mind, I thought I would share a few Thanksgiving crafts I found that made me say, “How the heck would I actually make that?”

1. “Simple Thanksgiving Wreath” by Adorable You

In order to make this, I’d first have to get a subscription to a newspaper.

Second, I’d have to find time to actually read that newspaper and figure out what stories would make good wreath material.

Then, I’d have to buy an old fashioned bag of potatoes to get that burlap bow.

On top of that, where’s the strands of the bow? How did they magically disappear?

And last, I don’t think I could write the letters that neatly even if I was back in school with that gray lined paper we all used.

However, I feel very confident that I could glue all of the letters to the wreath. Except if I used a glue gun. Nothing good comes from a glue gun and my fingers.

2. “Light Bulb Turkey” – Crafts by Amanda

Uh, this one just looks painful to me. First, I’d have to capture two birds. One with red feather and one with orange. Considering that most birds have migrated to Florida for the winter, this is going to be really tricky.

Second, I’d have to figure out how to take out the energy efficient light bulbs out of the lamp. I always forget to let them cool before taking them out so I’m pretty sure I would burn my fingers.

Next, I would have to cut out two hearts for the feet. Ever since elementary school I’ve been inefficient at cutting out hearts. One side is always larger than the other and they end up looking like two mismatched boobs – which is a sensitive topic for me. (insert awkward grabbing of my boobs here)

And finally, I’d have to paint the lightbulb poop brown. Is that an actual color or do I just ask for brown at the paint store? Additionally, where would one get a miniature hat that fits a lightbulb turkey? Is there a store for that? I hear that crazy Tuesday Morning store has everything a human being could ask for and more…

3. “Lollipop Turkey” – Crafts n’ Coffee

Ok, now how long do you think a centerpiece like this would last on our dining room table? I’d go to sleep on the first night and find my 2 year old son under the table in the morning surrounded by lollipop sticks and stuck to the floor from all the juice that leaked from his mouth.

Second, I’d have to go to a scrap booking store to get all those different papers. I have a death fear of scrap booking stores. It’s not that I have anything against folks who scrapbook, not at all. I am simply scared of a store that is so damn organized. There is not a single piece of ripped paper and every pen has the top on. It just makes me feel like I can go nuts at any moment and start inappropriately folding and bending paper. I also have a fantasy of running around the store saying, “I’m running with scissors!!!”

Last, I can’t stop thinking that the turkey is wearing a tie. Perhaps he is dressing up for the holidays or perhaps it is supposed to be his waddle. Either way – I’m impressed with his ability to show personal flair and style right before his death.

 

So there you have it. Three crafts that I’m not smart enough to make. I think for Thanksgiving I’m going to just try to make a little black pilgrim hat for my Play Doh snail. I mean, I’m sure snails were aboard The Mayflower, right?

Inside the Blogger’s Studio: Crazed in the Kitchen

Welcome Crazed in the Kitchen –  we’re happy to have you Inside the Blogger’s Studio!  This series is a way to get to know other bloggers, while also getting a glimpse into the life of a fellow parent.  Who doesn’t love feeling like they aren’t the only ones going crazy??? This guest is a pretty special one for me because we were in the final 3 of Blogger Idol together.  She is truly one of the funniest and most honest writers around – make sure you give her some extra lovin’ – she’s worth it!

With that said, let the questions begin!

If you had to sum up your blog in two sentences, what would you say?

It’s about my everyday adventures as a novice housewife. I’m an elementary school teacher slowly adjusting to life as a stay at home mom–and blogging about it.

What thing did you do today as a parent you wish you could take back and do over?

Mornings are really hard for me, especially because my kids are like roosters—they wake up at the absolute first tiny twinkle of daylight and immediately begin to make ungodly amounts of noise. I wish I could relive this morning with a bit more patience and creativity. My boys always do better when I’m not lying on the sofa, drinking coffee through a straw and yelling, “Don’t hit your brother! Stop screaming at the cat!” On the mornings where I find the energy to play games with them and be positive, our days go much better. Most of the time, though, I give in and hand out the iPod and iPad for 20 minutes of peace (yeah, 20 minutes…I swear, that’s all…really, I mean it…).

What thing did you do today that you are happiest about?

My sons’ two best friends had their birthday parties this afternoon at the exact same time. Fortunately, the parties were just blocks apart and we were able to spend a good chunk of quality time at each party. It was kind of a pain to manage, but it brought my kids SUCH joy to get to celebrate with both of their friends. Also, I got to eat two different pieces of cake. I mean, I had to—right? To go to a birthday party and refuse cake would be downright rude, in my opinion. In fact, I’m SO polite that I went ahead and had seconds. At both parties. I may be busting out of my pants, but I am NOT rude!

What is your least favorite activity to do with your children?

It’s a tie between bath time and applying sunscreen. During bath time, they alternate between high-volume fighting and hysterical playing—both of which result in most of the bath water landing on the floor and me getting all wet. Seriously, if my husband didn’t step in I would probably only bathe them once a week. And I don’t know what it is about sunscreen that my children hate so much, but they act like I am smearing acid all over their faces when I put it on them. They twist and squirm and scream and cry until I’m done, so that most of the sunscreen ends up in their hair. Which, of course, just means they need another bath.

What is your most favorite activity to do with your children?

I love going with them to children’s museums. We have a membership to the one near us, and they enjoy it, but I especially love taking them to new ones they haven’t seen before. On our recent trip to Chicago we hit two children’s museums AND the kids’ area of the Museum of Science and Industry—they nearly lost their minds with joy. I love seeing them having so much fun and discovering new things. My 2-year-old wanted to spend all day in one museum’s kid-size grocery store, just filling up his little cart, pretending to check out, putting all the food back (ok, I did that), and then starting all over again. Geez, if *I* found grocery shopping that much fun we’d probably have more than leftover takeout pizza and Cheerios in our kitchen right now.

When your child drives you absolutely crazy and you want to scream a curse word, which word do you wish you could say?

FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCKING FUCK! That’s sort of one word, right? No matter, I feel better already.

What’s your favorite lie you have ever told your child?

Not long ago, in a fit of mealtime desperation, I told my boys that eating vegetables will make their feet stink and that eating meat will make their butts stink. They’ve been happily eating their veggies and meat ever since. The downside is that they are constantly thrusting body parts into my face at dinnertime, demanding that I “Smell this!!”

At what moment did you realize that you really were grown up?

Ugh. It was definitely when my husband and I decided to bite the bullet and write our wills. It wasn’t hard—we’re not millionaires—but it was one of those horribly unpleasant but utterly necessary tasks that grown-ups must do. Once we finally got it all done, we realized that we had to have witnesses who weren’t named in the wills sign them with us. So we did what any normal parents would do—during our son’s 3rd birthday party we whipped out our wills and had a few friends witness us signing them. Because nothing says “celebration of life” like “hey, here’s our wills, will you watch us sign them so everything is in order if we get hit by a bus and die tomorrow? Thanks! Want some cake?”

Blog Web Address: http://www.crazedinthekitchen.com