Archives for November 2011

Wake-Up Call!

This is what I found at my house last week.screws in outlet

This happened the day before Thanksgiving, and I was busy! It was an outlet that was out of view, behind a chair.  My three-year-old, Mase, was the culprit and fortunately didn’t get zapped.

We have sliding kid-safe outlets in our basement, but upstairs, as you can see, our outlets are uncovered.  I did such a thorough job covering them with our first, then none of our kids had ever taken a big outlet interest so we stopped bothering.  But, it only takes one time for a serious accident to happen.

I debated about posting this, though decided this was something I didn’t want to forget.  It was a wake-up call for me.  I know I can’t avoid all kid accidents.  I’ve seen them happen to some of the most careful parents, BUT, I can certainly take a few extra kid precautions.

And I’ll definitely keep praying daily for safety. I just hope my children’s guardian angels don’t get worn out!

Grateful Mom Goal:  Doing my best to protect my kids.

Have you had any “wake-up calls”?
I’m sure there are some other things I need to be reminded of.

outlet with childproof cover


Five Things I’ll NEVER Do Again…Probably

Free Samples

We took the kids to Sam’s Club for a free sample extravaganza this month.  It was miserable. People were sample-hungry scavengers.  And, I am convinced they train the sample giver to move at an “I can’t even believe you’re moving that slow” pace.  I will no longer actively seek samples.

French Fries

When I was in high school my dad randomly declared that he would NEVER eat another french fry again.  I didn’t believe it, and told him I would NEVER eat another fry again.  He has, and I have not.  It’s been 20 years!  Though this summer I randomly popped a McDonald’s fry into my mouth without thinking, but I spit it out.


Sticking with my food theme, someone told me apples were good for your teeth, so I’ve been letting my kids chomp away, even after they’ve brushed their teeth at bedtime.  I just learned, they are NOT!  Drats!  I’m not sure why this didn’t occur to me before.  We’re stopping our bedtime trend.


In junior high I became obsessed with MTV and took up swearing around my friends.  (My parents had no idea.)  I think I had a gift for it.  But alas, I gave it up when I started high school, never to return.  Though I need to come up with some new words.  Sometimes “drats!” just doesn’t cut it.


I used to do this a lot before I had kids.  Now I don’t have a single soapbox to stand on. Though I do judge judgmental moms on their judging.  Hmm.  I guess that means I still judge.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal:  Attempting to stop judging the judgmentals.

free samples

Ahh, the Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving was memorable, as always.

We ran a lengthy turkey race around our cul-de-sac.
Here are two of the losers fierce competitors.

 There was a  pre-Thanksgiving dinner bandit this year.bite out of dessert

The bandit was later caught sound asleep with some thieved crackers.

I broke out my most beautiful plastic dishes for our feast.Thanksgiving dinner

We also enjoyed some delicious eggnog.egg nog on couch

The leftovers went faster than I expected.
Here we have my homemade cranberries.cranberries dumped on stairs

And a bonus to our already amazing holiday.  My seven-year-old
daughter informed me that she is the world champion for wearing a
tail the longest — two almost full days…and nights.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Season: Appreciating my truly wonderful days.

Overflowing Gratitude

flushing toilet bowlI know many of you are busy today, but I have an especially phenomenal thing to be grateful for.  I must share.

Let me first explain:  My children don’t flush the toilets at our house — at all!   I’ve taught them not to; it’s much too risky.  Our disgraceful toilets overflow with two squares of toilet paper in them!

Even for skilled flushers, such as my husband and myself, sometimes we can’t shut off the water in time.  Our toilets have overflown two times only this past month!  Yuck — I know!

So, after six years and countless overflows, we found a decent deal, and made an oh-so-long-overdue investment.

Yesterday, my plumbing miracle arrived!

We were also awaiting my parent’s arrival from out of state and my three-year-old (Mase) got a little confused.  He asked the plumber, “Grandpa, you go jump on the trampoline with me?”

Thankfully, my six-year-old daughter let Mase know that the plumber was not Grandpa by laughing hysterically for at least five minutes.  Big sisters are good like that.

And now,
(drum roll please)
we have flushable nonoverflowing toilets!

It’s been such a beautiful thing!  I giddily spent the rest of the day flushing and reminding my kids to flush.  Now if I could just get my toddler to stop splashing in the toilet water.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Staying grateful for my overflowing blessings,
and my nonoverflowing ones.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

2011 Review Extravaganza

Have you heard about this??? The 2011 Review Extravaganza is something I hope you’ll be a part of!

What is the 2011 Review Extravaganza?

It is your chance to write some easy posts and recap what happened throughout the year.  You can use your favorite pictures, tell your favorite stories and link back to your favorite posts.  We will be reviewing three months at a time.

This will begin Friday, December 9th.
So, Friday the 9th, you will link up with your recap about January, February and March.
Friday the 16th–link up with recap of April, May and June.
Friday the 23rd–link up with recap of July, August and September.
Friday the 30th–link up with recap of October, November and December.

Emmymom is the grand mastermind behind this event.  You can do your recap however you’d like, but you can see Emmy’s example from last year by clicking here.

And now for:

My Ultimate Favorite Part!

There are fabulous mystery prizes involved — 8 of them!   A personal prize will be picked by each of our hosts for the winner. Who knows the treasures that await you!

How to win?

Every week that you link up with your review you get a point, and the more points you have, the more times your name is thrown into the hat.

For now, set your Fridays in December aside and start writing whenever you’d like.  These are great posts to do in advance if you’ve been feeling a little behind like me lately.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Month:  Get all recap posts done early. 

And on a completely different note, here’s a link to
Most Delicious Sweet Potato Recipe Ever!


I’m thankful for,

My Beautiful Children

Washing Machines


I’m also thankful I got most of the black sharpie out of our
newly cleaned carpet this week.
sharpie on carpet

Though I’m still working on my thankfulness for our
freshly sharpied walls.

Here’s just one masterpiece out of three.sharpie on wall

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Staying thankful and tossing all sharpies.

What are you thankful for this weekend?

Intriguing Discoveries

First, thank you for all the thoughtful comments from Tuesday’s post!!!  I’m obviously not alone, and it was so helpful for me to see how other people make blogging work.

Though I think I was a bit confusing in what I wrote.  I’m not taking a break from blogging right now.   I’m still going to post a few times a week, visit, and try to reply.  I’ll just be spending a little less time on a daily basis, taking time off whenever I need to, and not pushing myself to keep up!  

I already feel much better about the changes I’ve made.  Hopefully, I can stick with it. 

Now, I have something much more serious to discuss:

 There have been some intriguing discoveries at my house this week.

First, Evie discovered a hidden container of cottage cheese in the fridge.  It was over a week expired.  Later in the day, I found Mase chowing down on the cottage cheese.

Me: Mase, that’s expired!
Mase: No, that’s not expired.  That’s cottage cheese.

Next, I discovered that my husband can’t be trusted!  He “helped” the kids get ready to play in the front yard this week.  And here we have Mase wearing a backwards shirt (as always), his younger brother’s pants (with food on them), his sister’s socks (which my husband put on him), and no coat (it was freezing!).

Sometimes I wonder if my husband does things like this on purpose so I’ll stop asking him to help me.

And last, but not least:

I discovered what my seven-year-old daughter, Dani, wants for Christmas.

Dani: (enthusiastically) Mom, I really want a punching bag because sometimes I really want to punch people when I get so mad at them, but then I could punch the bag instead.

She can be sweet like that.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Searching for punching bags on Amazon.

Burned Out on Blogging

I’m putting it out there.

I’m burned out with blogging, already.

Not completely, but I’m headed in that direction.  I’ve even fantasized about dropping my blog all together.

Blogging has become such an important part of my life.  I’m grateful that I’m writing my stories.  I LOVE and appreciate the sweet comments and emails people leave.  I look forward to reading other blogs, and I’m getting to know some truly amazing people.  I’ve also learned so much from you all.

But!  It can be time consuming!

It’s my own fault.  I’ve put myself here.  And I’m OK with blogging taking up some of my time.

Recently, I’ve been trying to make it more manageable.  I now only post three, maybe four times a week.  I spend a little time on the computer during the day, but have switched the bulk of my blogging time to after my kids go to bed.

It’s helped; though, now I’m ignoring my husband in the evenings too much!  I’ve even missed out on most of my better half’s recent evening superhero movie marathon.  Such regrets!

I hope to be blogging for a long time, but I know if I stick with my old ways then that’s not going to happen.

So, here is:

My Official Blogging Manifesto
(otherwise known as “This Is My Plan So Far”)

I will put my priorities in order.
I’ve been slacking off on my personal goals that are truly important to me and will fix this.   And, I may even attempt to start reading my book club books again.  Everyone in the club will be so shocked!

I will be OK with the time I have to give.
This is a big one for me.  I’ve been feeling frustrated that I can’t keep up with visiting blogs and replying as much as I’d like.  I want to appreciate the time I do have.

I will mostly stop looking at stats.
I’ve already started doing this.  I don’t want to base the value of my content off of page views.  The stories that I love the most aren’t always the most interesting to others, and I’m OK with that.

I won’t compare myself.
At all, ever…hopefully.  Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by the fabulousness of other bloggers and feel I don’t measure up.  But I can appreciate the gifts of others and still be happy with my own strengths.


I’m not sure if this is all translating well, but everything makes perfect random sense in my head.  My bottom line is: I want to keep enjoying blogging but be more laid back about it, keep up with my other goals,  and drop any of the imaginary pressure I feel.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal: Sticking to my manifesto.

Have you ever felt burned out on blogging?

And if not, then how do you help keep balanced?

Stomach Flu and Cake Pops

My girls and I had the stomach flu (again!) this week.  My home became quite ill too.messy kitchen

While the bug is still making it’s way through our family, my kitchen has been miraculously healed! (for now)

We made cake pops during a sickness lull on 11-11-11.  In retrospect, this might not have been the best snack for sickish kids.  kitchen

Though the results were impressive.  I’m guessing you’ve never seen cake pops like

I know, I should have been a food blogger.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Tossing all leftover cake pops.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Carpet Cleaning Coercion

My carpet is a smorgasbord: dirt, glue, paint, chocolate, raspberry jam.  In addition, my one-year-old has been in a drink dumping phase for the past year.

I also heard a news report about lead on carpets.   Apparently it’s possible for lead to be tracked in when people wear shoes on the carpet.

And, my three-year-old recently got over a stage where he would have daily potty accidents, then tell no one!  All this could only mean…

it was time.

My husband called up a guy.  A great deal!  Seven rooms, stairs, and couch for a somewhat extraordinary price.  We set a date.  My toddler whipped off his diaper the day before and whizzed on his bedroom carpet, as if to confirm our decision.

The guys showed up and went to work–selling me.

“Now you’re going to want to sanitize everything.  That’s only an additional $49.”

“That couch your husband told us about is much bigger than we understood.  I’ll do the whole thing for another $30.   And that’s such a great deal.”

“Also, there’s no way we can get all those stains out without our special power scrub system, only $35 and your carpet will look as good as new!”

I gave in to the pressure!   Thinking about all the potty accidents put me over the edge.

They went to work.   He made sure to show me the large pinkish stain in my living room.  “In addition to the power scrub we’ll need to use our special stain remover to get it out, but I’ll give it to you for free.”

Time to pay.  I reconfirmed the total price before writing the check, though it was not enough.

“Oh I forgot to add tax to that.  You see we’re a legitimate company and so we have to add the tax, but I didn’t charge you anything for getting that stain out.”  So kind.

They left.  The carpets looked good, until they dried.  And that’s when the pinkish stain reappeared, only now it’s more gray.

Next time,  it may be wiser (and cheaper) to just have new carpet installed.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Keeping a constant eye on my

And an extra bonus:
Dax christened our almost brand new looking carpets just yesterday with apple juice.  At least I think that’s what it was.