Friday, November 25, 2011

Googly Eyed

Someone recently posted on FB an activity she had her daughter do, she may have seen on Pin-terest, and I thought, Yep, we could totally do that.

Cast of characters:
Stack o' magazines
Googly Eyes
Glue Dots, not glue
Cup o' Skizzors

This is easy, goofy fun. Have your kids cut out pictures of people, animals, etc. and use glue dots to affix the googly eyes. (Trust me on the glue dots. So much easier, much less messy. Glue would make the paper gooey. ew.)

The funniest part, I think, is where the kids place the eyes. It's sure to produce a ton of giggles, and even I could manage to accomplish this "craft" for the afternoon. Cheap easy entertainment.

Koko got a lil eye happy with Mr. Giraffe.

The hamburger. It kills me.

I love them. Love them all.
Check out this little vixen. The girls kept calling her LadyGaga.
These were the Dorky-do's.
Mommy takes full responsibility for the man in the middle. 

All in an afternoon of fun. And thanks to the free (and quite mistaken) subscription we have to ESPN magazine, we had loads of pictures to choose from.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Thanksgiving. What can I say?

The Good:
  • I didn't over eat at either one of the two Thanksgiving meals I ate today.
  • The food was good at both places, and the people were enjoyable at both places too.
  • I got to hang out at a friend's house for a bit today. So fun to have a friend!
  • I somehow managed to get my stove top cleaned. It really is monumental, people. It's been driving me insane for over a week. Either I just got too tired or the stove was in use. Today, despite something baking, I cleaned it anyway.
  • I didn't have to listen to anyone complaining about not liking what I cooked. Because EVERYONE loves dessert. (I made 3 kinds - 7 Layer Bars, Oooey Gooey Caramel Bars, and Lemon Bars, plus a ready-made pumpkin pie.)
  • I drank 5 glasses of wine. The last 3 were close enough together that I felt nice and happy and relaxed. 
  • I can't smell (this will be important later, just hang in there with me).
  • Any unfortunate events happened at the end of the night and not early in the day causing me to miss out on the festivities
  • I was not giving birth, though I enjoyed thinking about last year when I was giving birth on Thanksgiving.
The Bad:
  • I was awoken early this morning by my 3 yo screaming, literally - screaming, because he wanted everyone else to wake up too. No one was interested, least of all, me. I had only had 5 hrs of sleep by that point, and ...
  • I have a cold that is kicking my butt. I am so whooped, my nose is constantly running, I'm constantly sneezing (and whatever goes with that, ladies, ahem) and I feel like I'm in that cold commercial where the head is floating like a balloon. Yeah. Awesome. So after those mere 5 hrs of sleep, I was actually spinning when I tried to open my eyes, like when you have too much wine, only there was no wine. 
  • My hubby was being a (insert not nice word here). I mean, who doesn't love a good spat with your spouse on the eve and day of a family get together?
  • I miss a certain person who shall remain nameless who I don't feel at liberty to contact but I miss anyway. And even though said person probably doesn't want to hear it from me, I love you and I hope you had a great day. 
The Ugly:
  • My kid ralphed all over my mom's bathroom. The one room my parents didn't manage to clean. It was not a pretty site. Then came the pink-pop painted puke, prolifically painting porcelain plumbing. And walls. And clean towels. And the shower curtain. (This would be where my lack of smell comes in VERY handy.)
  • I am going to hurl if I have to see one more FB status or blog post on how thankful you are about your kids and your family and all that crap. Yeah, yeah. Me too. Blah blah blah. I'm sick and crabby. Sue me.
  • My baby is turning ONE in twenty one seventeen minutes and I'm NOT READY to be done with babies. Kids, yes, babies, No. Hello. My name is Mrs. Bananas, and I'm addicted to babies. I love my babies so much. All their shrivelly small, non-talking, non-mobile neediness. They have no excuses and you can't blame anything on them. You can't really teach them anything, or fail to teach them anything, or teach them anything you wish you hadn't. It's a wonderful wonderful time of parenting. Sleepless, very very tiring and sleepless, but so easy. Don't worry, though. This road has been block forevermore. sigh.

And in case anyone was wondering, I will not, nor in the foreseeable future, be doing any sort of Black Friday shopping, unless it's online, and not this year either because sleep is WAY MORE valuable to me than a good price on a dvd player. Amen, and good night. Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Morning Chatter

I think one of the greatest challenges to parents has got to be morning chatter. While most parents are fumbling to grab glasses and robes, stumbling quickly to the coffee pot as their still-asleep brain seeks a jumpstart, children often wake up with their little minds (and mouths) running full speed ahead. Adults tend to appreciate quiet tranquil beginnings, while our children don't necessarily have that need and thus begin the day with endless chatter. Non-stop. High pitched. Loud. Accompanied by running, jumping or squirming.

I'm a night person, without a doubt, but I have managed to overcome my lack of "morning glory" out of necessity. Once my feet hit the floor, it's like a switch is flipped and I'm good to go, just don't talk to me if I'm still horizontal. If you must, it had better be important and you'd better be whispering.

Once vertical, I still prefer calm and quiet, (thought that's not necessarily a morning-only desire) but it doesn't take me the 3-hour adjustment period that other males I know and/or am related to seem to require. (There's more than one.) My children, however, don't understand that. So I must endure. Also, I must force them to be quiet so as not to wake any dragons fathers.

Mr. Boots has definitely entered a very verbal phase as he is understanding more, hearing more (even if it doesn't seem like it) and then practicing more. Monkey see (hear) monkey do (say), right?  I would love to have a recorder in the car tuned in to Boots. The boy talks and talks and it is the most hilarious one-sided conversation you have heard. About everything. Things he sees, random stuff that leaves you befuddled, catch phrases he's heard and new vocab he's trying out. I've caught phrases like "sure", "whatever," "yeah," and "I don't care," mixed in with his talk about "pee water" (don't ask) and cows, or whatever.

This morning as I was putting pony tails in Cheek's hair, something I don't normally do, she and he had this very interesting exchange.

Boots: Oh Cheeks, that looks great. (A boy commenting on a girls hair is fairly impressive)
Cheeks: Ok, but when you say 'stupid' you have to say 'great.'

Say what?

(I finish her hair, she runs to the bathroom to have a look, Boots trailing behind.)

Cheeks: Oh, I love it. (Miss Melodrama)
Boots: Yeah, it looks nice. And you have three eyes.



??? Huh?

It could just be my morning brain, but I have no idea where these random comments came from.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life is short, so Live!

Ever since the movie The Bucket List came out, people are constantly talking about them. There are whole websites devoted to creating a bucket list. I guess I've never really thought about it much, considering my life is still mostly wrapped up in diapers and toddler tantrums (totally could do without those).

Today I'm thinking about it. I wonder how long it will take me to come up with more than three things.

Here goes.
  1. Go on a missions trip with my husband. (And not for the reasons you would expect.)
  2. Revive my Spanish speaking abilities to the point of fluency.
  3. Take all my children to a foreign country. Not necessarily at the same time.
  4. Learn to play the guitar well.
  5. Become a great photographer
  6. Figure out Photoshop
  7. Run a half marathon
  8. Go to a professional soccer game in Spain, just for the experience
  9. Visit all of the United States of America in a touristy fashion (hitting the airport doesn't count)
  10. Take a dance class
  11. Tour Europe
  12. Travel to a subcontinental country (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc)
  13. Wear my sari
  14. Live in a house of my dreams
  15. Become a foster parent
  16. Go shopping and buy whatever I want, no restrictions, no sales rack necessary
  17. Graduate from college
  18. ?Skydive? (I might be too chicken for this anymore, so... 19?)
  19. Para sail / hang glide / or something of that sort
  20. Go on a cruise - one to somewhere warm, the other to Alaska
  21. Read the whole bible
  22. Receive a love letter from my husband (but does it count if that's something someone else has to do for you?)
  23. ...

Just that took me about half an hour. With cheating. 

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. My mom had breast cancer, and while she is totally healthy now, it's a reminder that life is short, so live! Want to enter? Head over to to get the details. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Let's talk about $ex, bay-bee!

I stumbled upon a new blog. Wow. It's good. But... (or rather, yeah!)... it talks about $ex.

You maybe thinking, but this (All My Monkeys) is a blog about a mom and her kids. Yep. It is. But guess what... there's $EX in this world. And if as a parent we don't think about $ex in relation to parenting our children, we're gonna be in big trouble. Fortunately, for the children I am parenting, I don't have to deal with this issue too much. Yet. thank. god. But it scares the livin' daylights out of me how to communicate about all that is out there, being fed to them, so that they don't get hurt, make (huge) mistakes, or become victims of something they weren't ready for. I know my kids will make mistakes and get hurt and experience things I'm they're not ready for, but I still would like to equip them enough so that their mistakes are more calculated, not so bad, not so dangerous, not so damaging, those mistakes. As a parent, I want to remain realistic about what is likely, setting standards or expectations for them that communicate that they are worth more, maintain realistic expectations as a parent as they make their own choices, and unconditionally loving them if/when they do make choices that I opine are bad.

I don't think my parents really talked to me about that stuff. 

How do I have that dialogue, how and when to start that dialogue, with my kids?

I made lots of mistakes. I am not innocent. Do I tell my kids that? Or does it give them license to go and do... because mom/dad did?

I remember being a little kid and wanting to be $exy. I remember wanting to shave my legs at age 4 or 5, and sitting in my backyard with scissors, cutting my leg hair, because it was "gross" or "ugly." How at such a tender age did I get that opinion?

So far, I do know that one of my daughters has already had thoughts about things being romantic, of kissing boys, of boyfriends, of being in love. At least, so much as I can interpret her non-verbalized actions.

My heart aches and I become nauseous (in my gut) by the influence of social media and culture on kids, because I know of it's harm. Little kids, big kids, bigger kids, adults. The $exual imagery, the influence, the distortion, the total lack of reality... it's gross. Posts on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. by kids under 18 reveal a romanticized, crude, view on life and love and $ex. It's almost like a drug, their yearning for it, how they obsess about it, longing for a someone to love and hold them, to arouse them. It makes me sad. There's so much more to life than $ex. Love is not all romance. In fact, love is not about romance at all, but that's another post in itself. 

The best thing you can do is LOVE YOURSELF.

I don't mean this in a conceited kind of way. I mean, in how you treat yourself, how you expect others to treat you, in the kinds of crap you put up with, the way you let people talk to you, the way you talk to you.

This is where "I am a child of the Living God" is a really good thing to know. Not just know, but  k n o w . Know that He thinks you're worth more than you ever will. Know that He doesn't judge the outside - He always thinks you're beautiful. Know that, even though He knows all about your ugly side, He loves you anyway

While these are heavy issues to contemplate, I don't think it's inappropriate for me to be thinking of them. I want to be ready. Prepared. 

So the post that got this all thinking was actually about pornography, but the definition of "p0rnography" could be widened to include a lot of what is out there, in magazines, online, on tv. Shows like Jersey Shore, Skins, heck, even Toddlers and Tiaras, are about selling something to people who can't handle it. Kids.

I have friends and relatives who have or have had p0rn as a larger element in their life. A negative element. People I love, wounded by this yuckiness.

I know kids who take in too much "information" for their tender brains to deal with, and I wonder, who is shielding them?

Why are teenage girls posting pics of $exy girls (themselves or other, but especially of themselves) on their own website? Why do 10 yrs olds think they need a girlfriend? Or boyfriend? Ten year olds should not have a "marital" status on Facebook.

There are so many distortions, lies, that are sold to us in this stuff.

So this is the post that had me wowed, which got the wheels turning here, that spawned all this blather.

I wish that 10 years ago someone had educated me on p0rnography. What it is, what it does, and what it reaches in and destroys in the hearts, minds and bodies of men and women.
I wish that someone would have told me that researchers have proven it sabotages your $ex life.
I wish someone would have explained how dopamine, the chemical that is released every time you experience pleasure, drives you to return to what provided that feeling before.
I wish someone would have told me that the kind of pornography you’re most turned on by is usually linked to a corresponding hurtful event in your life, further injuring your brokenness.
I wish someone would have told me pornography would normalize things I wasn’t emotionally or physically ready to handle in my relationships with men, making me feel like I had no options or control over my sex life, filling me with much regret.
I wish someone would have told me I would begin to objectify men, build up images in my mind, and think of $ex day in and day out, to the point where I couldn’t remain focused on anything else.
I wish someone would have told me it would make me feel less valuable to men, and bring up insecurities for years in the bedroom.
I wish someone would have pointed out pornography establishes your sexuaIity completely apart from real-life relationships, causing huge problems in your intimacy with real significant others.
I wish someone would have explained what “$exual anorexia” was and that countless young men are unable to get erect!ons because they’ve been watching porn since they were around 14 years old.
I wish someone would have told all the men I’ve dated that the porn they are watching is keeping them from being turned on by me, ultimately destroying our relationship.
I wish someone would have told me that the dopamine and oxytocin being released from my watching certain types of pornography would cause me to question my $exual orientation, which in turn cost me relationships with friends.
excerpt from ask lauren, etc.

I read somewhere recently that the average age for boys to be introduced to pornography used to be (in the 90's?) 13. Now it's age 8, and it's not just boys anymore. My son is almost 8.

I don't want my kids to have their ($ex) life defined by this. It's so not reality. Or rather, it's not a healthy reality. Unfortunately for some, it is their reality.

Do you have a plan for talking to you kids about $ex?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Obligatory post-Halloween photo post

The much anticipated report. 

Haha. riiiiight. I'm sure you were all waiting with bated breath.

All in all, the kids looked great. Costume-wise, I think we had a good year, unlike last year when costumes were lost at getting-dressed time, and a rather pregnant and uncomfortable mother spent an hour and a half looking for them while her parents patiently waited as she had a melt down, followed by a certain child who flat out refused to wear his (most expensive) costume and ended up with the word "Stubborn" written in washable marker across his forehead. No, I'm not kidding about that. 

Getting ready took longer than I thought (hair curling and make-up application)(doesn't it always, ladies?) so our departure was set back an hour, which landed us at the pizza place smack dab in the middle of craziness. Hot-N-Ready? I don't think so. Try Hot-N-Ready after a 45 minute wait standing in a hot, crowded pizza joint. I was polite and held the door. My friend was nice and filed a complaint this afternoon (for numerous reasons, it was warranted, trust me) on the behalf of her husband and myself. Well, maybe just for her husband, but I'll count myself good on that and spare them my repeated story of dissatisfaction. 

But in the end, we got pizza, got candy, saw all the grandparents and had a nice evening. I'd call that Mission Accomplished.

The Sheriff
The Princess
The Cat
The Ninja
The cutest stinkin' Elephant you ever saw (no bias there)

The whole crew

And I'm proud to report that our candy haul was not great, (yes, you read that right) so no Candy Fairy is needed. They'll polish this all off shortly, I'll save myself 40 bucks in fairy fees, and we can resume our regularly scheduled crazy program.