Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The H Word

You all know of my enthusiasm for school to start, and it finally happened yesterday.  The kindergartner, JareBear was so excited that when we pulled up to his school he exclaimed, "I'm freaking out." We'll see how long that lasts.   I now have kids in college,  high school, middle school and elementary.  Yes we spread our kids out just enough to have the school experience as long as possible.  As much as I looked forward to my new  freedom at the end of a long summer, I forgot about the price I pay for that freedom.  The cost of my quiet time is the  H word, otherwise known as homework.

Having five kids in the house with homework ranging from trigonometry to counting how many apples in a set, makes for some strategic planning.  There can be no distractions.  Even a burp or well, you know, other noises, can set off a trigger reaction.  They all have to be far enough away from each other that one's eyeballs can't make contact with another.  They can't be in a room with a TV or a computer because they have a magnetic pull that can't be resisted.  Cell phones must also be unglued from fingers and taken out of arms reach. (How else am I going to read their texts without them knowing)?

For some reason, another requirement of getting homework done is I have to turn into Momzilla.  There must be constant monitoring, evil stares, threats of starvation and a life on the streets.  Because we all know who will get blamed if homework does not get done and it's not the kid.  I did not feel this much pressure to get homework done when the homework was actually mine!  (That might explain a few things but that is a whole other blog).

 Now, I am not one of those parents who requires straight A's, nor am I drilling math facts into their brains in their sleep.  Nor do I "do" their homework for them. Just getting their assigned work done on a daily basis is my entire goal.  With my high schoolers this goal can take until midnight and that is when Momzilla is worn down and the trust factor comes in.  I hate the trust factor.  It works for some teenagers and not others.  But in the end we have to let go, which is the hardest  part of being a parent.  We have to let go and live with and love the adult that is being produced under our wings.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my peace in the mornings.  I will hug an kiss my children when they come home from school.  I will feed them a healthy snack.  Then I will quietly put on my Momzilla mask and crack the whip.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Recently my college cutie and I both had to get something notarized.  (The reason why,  I will share in a later blog).  In my 43 years I think there was one other time I had to do this.  The idea seems very antiquated.  I was surprised to find that UPS stores have notaries so I told my daughter, who lives in another city, to go to her local UPS store too.

I did not know what to expect.  I pictured an old guy in a back room at an old metal desk with a big round embossing thing.  But there were just UPS folks in their blue polos and khakis.  (I guess the brown uniforms are reserved for the hot delivery boys). The blue-polo lady asked me to go over to a counter in the middle of the store.  I met her there with my very important papers.  She had a log book that she put down info. in and looked at my drivers license.  Sitting next to her log book, was a stamp.  There was no round embossing thing.

So after I signed my very important paper and before she signed and stamped her very important paper, she asked me to raise my right hand.

Huh?  In the middle of the store?  Not wanting to be un-notarized, I did it.

She proceeded with something about solemnly swearing that everything I said, did, wrote and thought, was the truth and nothing but.  So help me God.

Really?  In the middle of the store? Who died and made her judge?  She did not flinch or smile.  She was serious.

So with my right hand still in the air, I said yes.  Thinking I was under oath, I then testified that Colonel Mustard did it in the library with the knife.  Or maybe that was just in my head.

I then got to pay $5.00 for the privilege.

I left the store thinking the whole thing a bit odd but supposed that was how it was done.

I then talked to my hubby who snickered at me.  He said he's had things notarized a lot for his business and never had to raise his hand and swear anything.  Well, maybe that is just because he is a cute and charming.

But then I talked to my daughter who went to her own UPS store.  She snickered too.  Well, more like laughed out loud.  No, she did not swear to anything either.

What?  Why me?  Did I find the only notary on a power trip? Was there a hidden camera and they were watching video, on their lunch breaks, of the poor slobs that raised their right hand in the middle of the store?

I think it was racial profiling.

Everyone knows that Caucasian, middle aged moms, are always the first to get the shaft.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Does your McDonalds have an open bar?

I have tried to keep my connections on the down low.  I don't want anyone to think I am not just a normal down to earth mom.  But I guess it's time to spill the beans and then you can decide if you're still worthy of my presence.  I have connections at McDonalds.  My BIL might own a few of them.   I may have access to Happy Meal Toys. Yea I know, it's a pretty cool perk.  Well, the BIL had an open house for  his new restaurant last night and we got to see it pre-grease and nugget-hungry people.

The store was so beautiful and un-hamburger like.  My SIL, who has luxurious taste, decorated every square inch.  There were purples, greens and black and white accents.  And a chandelier.  Yea it would make me think twice about dripping my ketchup on the floor.  It is so pretty it could totally count for a cheap date night.  

And what do they serve at a McDonalds open house? NOT french fries and ranch dip.  It was catered by Wolfgang Puck's restaurant.   There were froo-froo appetizers and an open bar, in a McDonalds.  Though we do not drink, the hubs and I tried to feel as fancy as the atmosphere as we drank our cranberry juice.  When I recognized something that looked like pizza I snagged that too.  

As we were taking a tour of the stainless steel kitchen, the WP chef was also there.  He had on his chef smock and was having an intense conversation, in his European accent,  with the store manager.  She was showing him the ins and outs of the kitchen and how everything worked.  He was fascinated.  I was fascinated watching him be fascinated by how fast food works.  At one point he was holding a frozen beef patty.

So the next time you go in a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, and they offer to supersize your meal, you'll know why.

Last week, to celebrate my 100th post I held my first giveaway. 
We have a winner for the CSN Stores $50 gift certificate...
Drum roll please.....

She is an adorable blogger and gardener from the Great White North. 


Friday, August 13, 2010

School, Shmool

Yea, quit bragging.  I know a lot of you have already sent your kids back to school.  My kids have two more weeks.  Go ahead and feel sorry for me.  I cannot wait for school to start.  I am not one of those moms that will cry as I drop them off.  Though I love the lazy days of summer (a.k.a. sleeping-in), they are usually accompanied by a lot of fighting, whining and "what are we going to do today?" I so desperately want to say "YOU ARE GOING TO SCHOOL TODAY."  So with that being said, for my monthly stint on BlissfullyDomestic.com, I shared my strategy, or lack of it, for Back to School Basics.  Please head over there and share some comment love.

ALSO don't forget to enter my 1st Giveaway to celebrate my 100th post!


Monday, August 9, 2010

My First Giveaway!!!!!

It is time to celebrate!  I am celebrating my 100th post as a blogger.  I wanted this post to be my 100th but it is actually my 101st.  Whatever.  I started blogging in 2008.  I think I wrote four posts that year and four in 2009.  So at least 90 of my posts have been written this year.  It was the 43 years of pent up angst and rants that could no longer wait to get out! My family now wears t-shirts that say "blog fodder" because they know their place.  I started blogging becasue I love writing but had no idea of the world I was entering.  The friends I have made have been a priceless bonus.  So this giveaway is for my bloggy friends and loyal readers and commenters.

There is nothing I like more than shopping online. Being able to spend money while still in my underwear is a gift of living in the internet age.  Since having 8 people live in my house makes it sometimes smelly and not pretty, I like add pretty things like quilts, pillows and someday, these awesome upholstered headboards!


Let's face it folks, a soft headboard is easier on the love life (sorry Dad, but it's true).  But these are only a fraction of the things CSN Stores has in its over 200 stores.  So for my lovelies we are giving away a 

$50 gift certificate that can be used at any CSN store.  

 I am going to make this easy-peasy-lemon-squeasy.  All you have to do is leave a comment.  That's it. Of course those comments that say great things about me may get extra consideration. And if you wanted to join my Facebook group you can.  And if you became a faithful reader and follower of my blog, that would be super. And if you wanted to twitter about it I would love you forever.  But all you have to do is leave a comment because I am easy like that.  Just ask my husband.  

*this giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada. 

*this contest will be open until August 15, 2010, midnight, Pacific Coast Time.  A winner will announced on Monday August 16.  Good Luck.  


Friday, August 6, 2010

Master of My Domain

Back when the Seinfeld gang had The Contest and became "masters of their domain" I would have never have imagined that I too would be master of my domain.  My web domain that is.  I bought my own little piece of the web-o-sphere today.  I am now a dot com.  I have been watching, learning and listening to the smart women around me like Dee Dee at What Ever Dee Dee Wants and her great how to blog post about custom domains.  And voila! I am the domain master of www.seemomsmile.com.

So now that THAT is mastered, what's next?  Here are some other things I would like to master...

...the art of putting the toilet seat protective cover on and actually sitting on it before it falls in.
...the art of reading a book in less than a month.  So much to read, such a slow reader.
...the art of texting or typing emoticons without looking at the screen.  Where is that darn parentheses anyway?
...being a dog whisperer.  Right now I am just the dog yeller.
...the art of cooking.  Well, not really but I think I supposed to say that because I am a mom.
...parking my SUV in a parking space, straight.  Yea that's me, the crooked one.
...being able to have a pedicure without letting it tickle.  And then giggling.
...not being bitter that there is not yet a  Real Housewives of Las Vegas.

What would YOU like to master?


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And then there was one

No I am not talking about Roberto. who the Bachelorette Ali chose tonight (though I have decided to start calling my husband, Roberto instead of Robert).  It was a good ending to a fun season of the Bachelorette though Ali's hair never quite found it's groove.  I digress.

My heart is aching tonight for a mother in my neighborhood.  She laid her eggs in the bushes of our neighbor across the street.  These hedges have been the incubating spot for many a duck family over the last couple of years.  We have seen many ducklings grow up on our street, which is in walking distance to the lake.  They are the neighborhood pets.  They are watched over and protected as much as possible.

Last spring there was this mommy of about 12 ducklings.  I  think she was vying for her own reality show with that big flock.  They wandered the streets in all their cuteness and spurt their poop in all its grossness. Eventually they go to the lake and stay.

So the new mommy emerged at the end of last week with five little ducklings, barely taller than a blade of grass.  Our whole family was so excited and went outside at every sighting (okay maybe the 16 yr old man/boy was not as excited as the rest of us).

On Sunday afternoon, pulling up to our house, Mommy Duck was walking them across the street, all FIVE.  On Sunday evening she was camping out on our front sidewalk, babies gathered around, and there were only FOUR.  My hubby and I looked around and it was nowhere to be found.  I felt so sad for this mommy and wanted to throat punch the cat or dog or whatever it was that took her baby.

This afternoon we saw Mommy Duck a few doors down on someones lawn.  There were only TWO babies.  More sadness, more longing for throat punching.

Tonight as I came home from a late night of eating junk and making fun of the Bachelorette's hair, Mommy Duck was in front of my house again.  And there was ONE baby. ONE!  My heart sank.  This poor mommy had lost all  but one baby.  I wanted to  bring her inside and protect her and her duckling.  Or stand outside all night and guard them with a bat.  But as we learn from Shark Week and The Hills,  there is a circle of life.

As a mom, raising six of my own babies and wanting to keep them close and safe my heart aches for Mommy Duck.  We can't always protect our kids.  Though I know my own kids will not be eaten by a wild animal (unless camping in Yellowstone apparently), they will leave me.  They will poop all over my house and leave me, as one already has.  So I just pray I have taught them enough to not get eaten alive by the world and to call their mom every once in awhile.


P.S. This was written at 1:30 am, have no idea if it's coherent.  Going to check on Mommy Duck and go to bed.


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