Monthly Archives: October 2013

Trickster or Treat Fiend?


For my husband, Halloween is all about the once-a-year opportunity to scare little kids without major repercussions. Sure he’ll still elicit a scowl from a few mothers (most dad’s find it hilarious) as they comfort their dear children but mostly being scared on Halloween is excepted and those that wish to play tricks are allowed to do so.

For myself, Halloween is about the treats. That’s really a no-brainer. I love to go rifling through my kids’ loot once they’ve gone to bed Halloween night and I especially love to sneak around the corner the day after Halloween, stuff my face full of Twix bars and then as I’m using my tongue to remove the caramel stuck on my molars, forbid my children from consuming anything but vegetables. It’s awesome being a mom around Halloween time!

But really I love being the source of delicious treats. I spent the last three days working on 13 dozen sugar cookies for various occasions over the next three days. In case you were wondering what 13 dozen cookies looks like…


I designated 5 dozen for tomorrow, 5 dozen for my MIL’s fundraiser on Friday and 3 dozen for my mom’s church fundraiser this weekend.

I’m really happy with the way they turned out although the leaves don’t really excite me but at 11 pm after 12 hours in the kitchen…well…something had to give. It’s just a good thing they taste great (I know because I may have sampled a few too many broken broom sticks!)

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Somehow I missed the jack-o-lantern in the photo shoot.


The owl is my favorite and was by far the trickiest to make (possibly due to the late hour at which I was tackling him.)


I’m also partial to the spider web.


I must confess that I can not take any credit for the artistic nature of my cookies. Nothing here is original. It’s very rare that I have a great design idea and whip it up. Rather, I Google what I’m looking for and scroll the images until I find something that’s been posted that I wish to replicate. I know my limitations and work with resources made available by the artistically inclined people of the interwebs. Thank you Pinterest and Google Images!

Anyways, I look forward to doning all our rain gear tomorrow and taking my little witch/zombie princess (she hasn’t decided yet), Spiderman and Cinderella traipsing through our neighborhood getting spooked on occasion and raking in loads of that sugary goodness.

Whether you are a trickster on Halloween or a fiend for treats I hope you have a spooktacular day!


Organic Gifts From a Toddler


You know how pets, after killing an animal, will proudly carry its freshly massacred prize back home? It’s like a gift for their owners except their owners never asked for a gift. This is how I feel about toddlers and their desire to share their fecal matter with the world.


It’s a line you’d rather not hear from your oldest daughter, after a night of insomnia, as you’re stumbling to get three kids and your mess of a self ready for school but it’s exactly what I heard this morning while getting dressed.

I heard this undesirable information after just having put a fresh diaper on my munchkin’s little butt. I guess she can now take her diaper off. Isn’t that swell?

(Uncle John, how happy is your heart right now? I hate you!)

I just hope this isn’t the start of a phase of artistic expression using fecal matter. We already went through that phase with her older sister. It was horrible! Her most noteworthy moments during this stage involved finger painting her bedroom carpet on multiple occasions, pooping on top of her bookshelf (how she got down safely without disturbing the natural placement of the poop still boggles me) and placing her poop into her dump truck. It was a whole lot of nasty and I never knew what condition I was going to find her and her room in after nap time. Needless to say potty training was difficult with that child. I’m still scarred from it.


If it happens again with Ela there will be no more running around in a diaper, her favorite attire, for a while.

I hope you never have to experience the results of poop-art but you probably will because kids…and animals too…are curious creatures.

And gross.

As I always say, they’re just lucky they’re so darn cute! And I guess I’m lucky my two dogs don’t leave me gifts on my doorstep or bed!

Happy Thursday!




Have you ever had one of those moments where you meet a complete stranger and after a little while you uncover a series of similarities between the two of you that is just too weird for words? A moment that gives you goosebumbs, despite the fact that you’re actually sweating, and leaves you with the urge to tell anyone that will listen about what you just discovered about each other? Yes? No? Well, this just happened to me last Saturday so let me tell ya about it.

So, Saturday I found myself juggling my 3  year old son and 1 year old daughter at a birthday party for a girl in my son’s preschool class. I know a few of the parents and I would have been socializing with them but instead I was trying for 35 minutes (I’m not exaggerating here) to get my son to play with the other kids and stop scowling/looking mopey as my one year old was climbing all over me. Finally after two bites of pizza, two juice boxes and a few M&M’s he changed his tune and ran around like the happy (read: sugar high) little boy I know him to be.


So then, as I attempted to compose myself, finish feeding my little girl and eat some pizza myself  I had a moment to introduce myself to the mom who had sat with her children at our table. We of course started talking about our kids and when she mentioned her three kids were spaced roughly two years apart I said, “Me too.”

We then got to talking about having siblings and she mentioned that she is a twin to which I said, “Haha! Me too!”

That got us talking about our twins and where they live and what they are doing. She casually mentioned that their birthday was coming up but it was always a pretty big occasion because they have a younger sibling that was born on their birthday. That’s when I got the chills and all but yelled, “ME TOO!”

At this point we were so overwhelmed by the crazy parallels in our lives. To have three kids spaced apart the same was cool. To both be twins was funny. To also both have younger siblings born on our birthdays was just down right astonishing.

And then I learned she also went to UIC for college! At that point all I could say was, “Shut up! Oh my gosh!” That was just too much and as the goosebumps lingered I started to tear up a little. It was possibly the strangest moment of my life and once the shock of all that we uncovered about ourselves wore off we felt the need to tell many of the other adults at the party of our unusual similarities. I left that party feeling like this stranger was an old friend instead of just a mere acquaintance and I can’t help but wonder if as our lives unfold there won’t be any more coincidences that play out but I’ll most likely never know.

Life sure can be strange!


Has anything like this ever happened to you? If so, I’d love for you to share your story with me in the comments.




It’s All in Their Heads


I’ve mentioned once or twice in the past two years that my kids have an imaginary friend, Simba (yes, from The Lion King), that they play and fight with. They also blame him for many of the less than stellar things that occur around the house be it spilt milk (“Simba hit my arm!”) or a failure to follow directions (“Simba made me follow him onto the trampoline and tackle my sister!”)

Side note: I just realized I have never asked the kids if it’s kid Simba or adult Simba that lives with us. I’m betting the kid version but you never know with my goofballs! I think I’ll ask them in the morning because if it’s kid-Simba who spills the milk I can be more lenient on him but if it’s adult-Simba then I’ll be more strict. He should know better after all! Parenting imaginary friends, it’s a tough job don’t ya know.


Moving on.

The most recent Simba related moment that had me in silent stitches happened last week.  Here’s what went down:


Driving, driving, driving…

Lil (my oldest girl) spoken incredulously with matching facial expressions – “Oh. My. Gosh! I don’t believe it! I just won four games in a row of tic-tac-toe!”

Me (looking in rearview mirror) – “Huh? That’s cool. Who were you playing?”

Lil – “Simba! And he didn’t even let me win.”

Me – “So you’re playing against your imaginary friend, Simba, and you won FOUR whole games of tic-tac-toe? Wow! You must be pretty good!”

Lil – “I know… I think this time I’ll go easy on him.”


It’ll be a sad, sad day in this household when Simba runs off or finds another family to live with or dies…I’m not sure how imaginary friends meet their end since I never had one, possibly because I am a twin.

Keep that imagination alive!



Do You Dare Come Knocking?


This guy has taken up residence at our home since Monday2013-10-16 11.22.29. We decided against a delightful Fall scarecrow and went with something a little more nightmare-ish this year. Did we hit the mark?

As it turns out, this guy has already startled me on multiple occasions over the past four days and I’ve been told he has agitated a dog or two in the neighborhood as well. On Tuesday as I was pulling into our cul-de-sac the red sweatshirt caught my eye and made me anxious that a stranger was at our house until I quickly realized it was our creepy scarecrow. You’d think that since I’m the genius who put him in our driveway that I would remember doing so and not be alarmed each time I glance towards my garage doors and see a large, red-shirted creep looming in the distance but no, I flinch almost every time.

This is probably because I’m such a wuss. I hate masks and I hate being scared but I try to cowgirl up for the Halloween season so my kids don’t make fun of me. I’m a fearless mother of three after all… right? Right? Right!

Happy Spooking!


A Visit to the Principal’s Office…


Lilly was called down to the principal’s office on Friday but she wasn’t in trouble, rather she was selected as Panther of the Month for October because she ROARs! 2013-10-11 16.56.09

What does ROAR stand for? Well, at Lil’s school it stands for the four positive behavior characteristics that they deem most important. They believe students should act Respectfully, take Ownership, display a positive Attitude, and show Responsibility (R.O.A.R.)

Teachers and bus drivers can hand out ROAR awards to students that they think exemplify these characteristics. Lil has received a few since the start of school and is eager to continue on this path in hopes of rivaling one of her older neighborhood friends to see who can collect the most ROARS over the course of the year. I think she’s off to a good start!

Getting Panther of the Month was really special for her and we are very proud of our little Kindergartener. This is what her teachers submitted when they nominated Lilly:

Lilly always does what she is supposed to do! She is respectful, kind and a good listener. Lilly is a good friend to others. She is a great example of a student that ROARS!

Way to go Lilly-Bear!

Thursday Snapshot


Hardly a day goes by that I don’t snap a quick photo of my kids using my phone. The quality of these photos typically aren’t great or even good but they chronicle the little moments of my day that make me smile, laugh or roll my eyes. There are hundreds upon hundreds of these photos that I’ve stored on Dropbox and, although I do go through and cull out the collection from time to time, I can’t help but wonder what the point is of keeping so many photos of my favorite little minons.

Is anyone ever going to look through them and enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the moment in which the photo was taken? When my children are grown will I scroll through old photos of them and remember all the shenanigans?


And then again, maybe not.

For now, keeping a photo record like this helps to remind myself of the sweet moments that happen amidst the chaos of our days and when I’m feeling sentimental, overwhelmed or in need of a quick smile I just click on our Dropbox account and relive a few precious moments from days past. These were from today:

I hope you’re enjoying little moments like these too! Cheers!

Apples, Apples, We’ve Got Apples!


So you know how in my last post I mentioned I was in need of more apples? Well, I acquired a few.


Today we went apple picking and since we were required to pay admission for everyone entering the orchard even if you didn’t want to pick a peck we ended up with 4, 1/2 peck bags.


There is just something about a toddler in an orchard that speaks to me.



I have never used long apple picking sticks before and let’s just say more apples ended up on the ground thanks to this contraption. I was certain one of us were going to get railed by an out-of-control child eagerly raking the tree for apples but we avoided that scenario much to my surprise.

We finished up by buying apple cider donuts (because how can you not?!?) and ate them in the car. Grandma gave my baby a donut and she of course loved it bit I still don’t know why I had to clean up the mess! I needed 4 wet wipes just to clean off her sugar and cinnamon coated cheeks. It was worth it!

Now I get to start churning out delicious apple treats. Crock pot apple sauce and an apple pie are first on my list. Let’s get baking!


What Do You Do When…


What do you do when your kid has the day off of school and you’ve rounded up a few neighbor kids for the day AND it happens to be the best season of the year?

Here’s what you do:

1. You make pumpkin pancakes that’s what you do. Don’t forget the chocolate chips though, it make the children happy.

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2. You make caramel apples and coat them with lots of delicious toppings. Who cares if the candy and caramel pools at the bottom while they cool in the fridge. That’s the best part to eat anyways!


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3. You bake some muffins filled with carrot, apple, zucchini and walnuts. It helps if you have an eager chef-in-training to help you and some fun Halloween themed wrappers and toppers.

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4. You sit down with your crew and eat half of your caramel-candy coated apple (yes, just half because I’m mean like that and no kid needs THAT much sugar while at my house) and watch a movie, that’s what you do.

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Well, you try to sit through a movie but thanks to the sugar (or poor choice in movie) you end up wandering around, building epic train tracks, feeding the baby snacks and playing nicely with the neighbor kids while simultaneously annoying the shit out of your siblings.

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Sounds like a pretty successful 7 hours, right?

Let’s do it again tomorrow. Who’s in?

Maybe I’d better get more apples…

…and some sleep.