Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mom's 2008 New Year's Resolutions One Month Later

January 1st: “My children and I will learn Modern Hebrew this year.”
February 1st: “My children and I will weekly eat one dozen bagels with lox.”

January 1st: “I will get the kids the pet they’ve always wanted.”
February 1st: “I will buy a collar and a leash for my chia plant.”
January 1st: “I will make only home-made yogurt from only organic ingredients.”
February 1st: “I will allow my children only two Gogurts in their mouth at a time.”

January 1st: "I will take my children to a museum once a month."
February 1st: "I will show my kids where I ate super chili dogs in high school.”

January 1st: "I will make sure my children eat multi-grain fiber filled items at each meal."
February 1st: "I will store my bag of Krispy Kreme doughnuts next to a bottle of Metamucil.”

January 1st: "I will feature a Van Gogh each month on our coffee table."
February 1st: "I will fill up our Van at The Stop and Go.”

January 1st: "We will never eat food in the car in 2008."
February 1st: "We will quit using our gas grill in the car in 2008."
Please leave YOUR new year's resolutions in the comments box.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Great America Heroes: Our brave armed forces are one reason we are celebrating Christmas this year in relative safety and peace. God Bless America!

Cassandra Miller, US Navy (My neice)

Lieutenant Gami Ortiz, US Army (Our friend)

SSgt Gabriel Campbell

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bad News... Good News

Bad News is that he's Home Alone... Good News is that he's 22!

Bad News is she had too many Christmas Cookies... Good News is that she almost made it home.

Bad News is her kittens were a little different... Good News is that she loved them all the same.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What MOM wants for Christmas

1) Not a creature stirring... Sleeping children. Shhh!

2) Marshmallows roasting over an open fire with your kids.

3) Her kids' Webkinz password.

4) Friends that are faithful to the end.

5) Kids that love to help her fold the laundry.

6) Food that really is fast.

(Reindeer Pate)

7) Kids that love the Cubs so much they want to marry them.

8) Kids that Believe in the true meaning of Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just in time for Christmas and Hanukkah... The New Chicago Sticky Bun Diet

"I am a happy customer" - Uncle Chuck from St. Paul

Have you tried the New Chicago Sticky Bun Diet? It can reverse the healthy effects of weight loss and aerobic daily exercise in just a matter of minutes. You can add back those sightly pounds you've just lost and you can enjoy the taste of hot cinnamon and sticky yeast dough at the same time. Forget those fad diets that promise you dozens and dozens of pounds in a day or two if you buy their product -- only to lose them again and again. The Chicago Sticky Bun diet is clinically proven (at least we eat them outside our doctor's clinic) to add all the excess cholesterol, high HDL's, and dense body fat you want and stick there for years to come! So hurry now and order a dozen of calorie-rich Chicago Sticky Buns at 1-800-Pig-Outs. Operators are standing by - many with their mouths stuffed full.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's "Elf" Time Again

It's "Elf" Time Again

It's time to write your Christmas Letter. Here's my run at it...

Dear Friends (actually, you’re the only friend I have).

Last year I wrote you to tell you that my husband had received a big raise. I also told you that he was recommended by NASA for the Astronaut program by his supervisor at work. OOps! I lied.”

I also told you we remodeled our entire family room. Actually, I picked up all the toys for the first time in two years and discovered we had a different color of carpeting than what I had remembered.

Yes, and I did say that our daughter had joined a community group and been given jewelry by appreciative supervisors. Actually, she was ordered to do community service and is still wearing an ankle bracelet.

Well, I also told you I had lost over 50 pounds and was feeling terrific. The truth is I left the trunk open in our car coming home from Best Buy and our new television fell out on the express way. It weighs about 50 pounds and I feel terrific that the police aren’t pressing charges for the 21 car pile-up I started.

You may remember my telling you about our trip to California and how it gave us all stomach flutters to see wave after wave. Actually, we all had supper one night at the California Pizza Kitchen and got food poisoning and the wave after wave was actually…well you get the idea.

I may have mentioned last year that our church board finally recognized me as one of the church’s outstanding disciples. To tell the truth, actually the word they used was “church discipline” and I’m not allowed on the church property for two years.

So as you can see it’s been another memorable year. Well, the truth is I’m praying for amnesia, one more year like this and it’s all over.

Merry Christmas,

Cheryl and the whole gang (literally)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Insanity Relief

Need relief from the insanity of some days? Then order the perfect gift -A Papyrus Pilot XL. You won't have to buy expensive laptops, palm computers, or Internet phones to be hip, cutting-edge and so-today in your use of personal technology. Buy a Papyrus Pilot and start entering the truly important data of your life. This sassy little notebook can change your life.

Papyrus Pilot is a spiral notebook with nine subtabs - which include the following divisions: (We have had 100s of categories submitted by faithful Papyrus Pilot users and these are the ones who were chosen from many.)

People Who are Mad at Me

Dress Sizes I Can't Fit Into

Dreams Deferred

Things I can Hold Against my Children

Gifts I've Asked for and Never Recieved

Vacations I've Never Taken

Edible Foods I have found under couch cushions

Order for all your girlfriends and sisters an outrageous, fun gift to bring a smile to their faces. Order for your aunts and your grandmother and laugh your way through Christmas.

Want to instant message someone? It's easier than ever with Papyrus Pilot. Forget the tiny keyboard. With Papyrus Pilot, just write the information on a piece of genuine, undigital paper, tear it off and hand it to them. It's instant! It's a message!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Myths of Birth Order Dispelled

Does anyone have an older sibling that still treats them like they are five? Okay that’s me and I have three of them.

I love my older sisters, but they have always been my older sisters. It started when they were born first.

I always got the hand-me-downs. By the time I got the hoola hoop, it was square. When I got the easy bake oven, it had e-coli. And when I finally got the Ken and Barbie doll, they were already in a mid-life crisis.

Well, sometimes my oldest sister would watch us three younger sisters. My mom would give us four dolls and a stack of saltine crackers for a snack. She would of course decide when it was time to feed us. We would all sit there like baby robins in a nest with our mouths open waiting for her to drop something in our mouths – so she would ask if we wanted the cracker with or without salt. If we wanted it without salt she would take a cracker and lick the salt off and then hand it to us. It took the meaning of sodium free to a whole new level.

The 7-up Slurpee that we all shared... Well, that is why I have emotional backwash to this day.

How many of your remember when jelly came in those little Flintstone glasses? The neat thing was when you were done with the jelly – then you could wash the little glass jar and then use it at the table as a glass – if you ate enough jelly you could furnish a whole set -- even Martha Stewart hadn’t thought of that. One day I accidentally broke one – and one of my older sisters said, "How come can’t we keep anything nice around here?"

I love being the youngest in the family but some people don't like their birth order. The problem? The problem is all those books out there about birth order. And all of us believe it and live by it as though it were all true.

Well, I say if you don't like your order in the family why not change it so you end up where really want to be?

How can that be done? Well, what do you do if you didn’t like your first, middle or last name? You’d go to court and have it changed. Want to be first born? The youngest? Disappear in the middle? Go on the Web, find a site created by lawyers to change your birth order, download the forms, and voila! You’re now top of the heap and can run the universe. Or, if you’re now the baby of the family you can stomp your feet, get big alligator tears and threaten to go tell Mom and Dad even if you are 38.

To change your birth order you might try telling people the hospital got the ink footprints mixed up and actually you were born a decade before your oldest sister who looks nine years older than you. You can then go over to your (former) oldest sister’s home, knock on her door, and shout, “Give me back my make-up purse! Who said you could borrow it in the first place? And don’t let me ever find you in my bathroom again!”

Or, finally, to change your birth order go to and use Photoshop to insert your own picture into the class of ’86 where your brother’s face used to be. The amazing result? Suddenly, you’re now Wally Cleaver and he’s the Beaver. Even Ward and June are too old to go ape over something like that.

Finally, remember birth order begins to repeat itself in large families with every fourth child. This is mainly because no birth order book has more than four types of children so then by the fifth one the child starts acting like the first one. If someone could think of another chapter it would likely transform families overnight.

Birth order, according to some authors, affects everything about your life. It affects whether or not you have asthma, what type of exercise program you should undertake and whether the leaves turn in your front yard turn to autumn colors before or after others in your family.

Basically if you know about birth order, you don't need to know anything else. And why should you?

You already have a brother who knows everything for you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Flip, Flop, Cover-up?

We have eight people in our home who each own at least three pairs of flip-flops. That’s 24 total pairs of flip-flops. So why is it we have exactly 23 singles that don’t match any longer?

My answer may alarm you but here’s the truth. You know how we all hear about candidates running for President who are constantly being accused of “flip-flopping” on the issues? There’s a reason why. It’s not because they are constantly changing their mind on vital topics of the day. No, that’s too simple. It’s really code language for something far more sinister.

It’s because several of the Democratic and Republican front-runners for President may have actually stolen flip-flops right out of your front hallway closet (Go try and find a matching pair right now. See I was right). It’s all so obvious. Why else do you think the leading candidates are constantly calling each other “flip-floppers?” They all know the truth about each other’s shocking behavior -- but we’re not listening. Shame on all of them – taking one of our little kid’s seaweed green flip flops right in the middle of the night.

Still need more proof? Okay, try this on for size. Why is it that they never, ever show the feet of candidates during a televised debate? Why do they insist on hiding behind those floor length podiums even when they claim they’re going toe to toe? Just for balance? No, Sir. It’s so you and I won’t see their tiny little sinister political piggys from sticking out from a turquoise flip-flop on one foot and an orange flip-flop on the other. Imagine the gall of these Presidential candidates.

They’re constantly telling us, “It’s time to take back our nation.” I say it’s time we take back our flip-flops. Let them cash in their millions in campaign contributions and go to a clearance aisle at Walgreens in November if they want their own pair of flip-flops that bad. Why deprive a family of eight from the flip flops we so desperately need to go swimming next June?

As a mother I say, who cares about the economy, or health care, or foreign policy when compared to the real issue of our day? Don’t you agree with me that we as a nation have the right to see just who is wearing our flip-flops? After all, one of these men or women may someday place their feet in the Oval Office. (Hey, wait a minute. Now that I think about it why do they never show the President’s feet behind his desk in the Oval Office either? What’s he wearing? This story could get big…)

So which party can be trusted to address the problem of missing flip-flops? The Liberals promise that they’ll confiscate only those who own too many flip-flops. Their plan is to then redistribute flip-flops on a more equal basis throughout society. (Like I want to wear someone else’s flip-flop even if it once belonged to Donald Trump.) The Conservatives on the other hand, promise if elected, to cut your flip-flops in half and let you keep the other portion rather than sending the whole thing to Washington. (Like we all can wear a flip without a flop and not suffer for it.)

Moms, it’s time you got involved. I challenge you to attend a caucus or town hall meeting the next time a Presidential candidate comes to town. I, for one, plan to ask, “As a mother of six who are missing dozens of flip-flops, tell me…how will Baby Boomers once they reach retirement age, tip-toe through the Medicare system wearing only one flip-flop? How will you prevent “no child from being left behind” with only one sandal? And the perennial question, “Do you as a flip-flopper feel my pain (particularly fallen arches and bone spurs)?”

Yes sir, these candidates deserve these tough questions and more. And don’t be surprised if you catch one of them putting their foot in their mouth – and you suddenly recognize it’s one of your son’s flip-flops.

As a Mom, this may be the most important election of our time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dinner: Solved

Finding time for cooking a homemade dinner is tough. Friends, baseball and watching Hannah Montana all cut into our time.

For all of our busyness I've come up with a solution. No, its not revealing Hannah Montana's secret to the world, but rather canned food. I know what you're thinking... a whole meal from cans. Won't that taste awful? My answer. Probably. But it's fast.

To start things off I suggest chicken. Nothing spells homemade like Sweet Sue's Canned Whole Chicken. It's just like Grandma used to make in her country kitchen if Grandma were a multinational corporation specializing in processed and preserved poultry.
To compliment the main course I would say the best idea would be Jellied Eels. A lot of kids would never even think of eating a plain eel but throw the word Jelly before it and suddenly it's goes like hot cakes.

To top it all off there's refreshing Bird's Nest Drink. I think its producer sums it up best with its self proclamation of "Super." This will undoubtedly remind kids of other super things, like Super Soakers or the Super Mario Brothers.

So there it is, a dinner that tastes like homemade in a quarter of the time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Top Ten" Questions I have about Laundry

All of us have questions about our laundry. Women used to have their questions answered by their moms, grandmas and neighbors over the backyard fence as they hung their clothes up on the clothesline. I am a stay at home mom of 6 with mountains of laundry to do. These are some of my unanswered questions about laundry.

"Top Ten" Questions I have about Laundry

1) How come no woman I know has time to hang their bed sheets out to dry on a clothesline but has 45 minutes to drive to a Hallmark store to buy a candle named "country sheets?"
2) Why is it socks go in the washing machine as pairs and never come out?

3) How come people say it helps the environment if I wash cloth diapers instead of using Pampers for six children -- but in the end have to dispose of two Maytag washing machines and a dryer from running them night and day? Are these people willing to come and bury my appliances in their backyard?

4) Why did I let my Aunt Lillian talk me into washing my husband's new ties in the washing machine? Why did she smile and promise they would look "better than new?"

5) How come I have to use an entire cannister of Oxyclean on my kids' sports uniform to get a postage stamp of grass stain out each week -- yet they clean an entire carpet covered with sump pump sludge with only two tablespoons on television ads? Can I connect my sump pump to their carpet?

6) How come Metamucil tablets turn into lifesize baskteballs that have a life of their own when they go through the wash if they are left in a pocket?

7) How come my laundry pile is always taller than I am? How come I often hear the voice of a man from inside the laundry pile who once went into our laundryroom to work on our furnace? Is this the reason his truck has been parked outside for the last three months?

8) How come during the spin cycle my washing machine begins to vibrate with such force and velocity that it “walks” away from the wall? It really does. It reminds me of the robot from “Lost in Space” that used to follow family members waving its arms, “Danger Will Robinson…Danger Will Robinson.

9) How come one night we woke up thinking there was an intruder in our bedroom only to switch on the light and find out it was only our Maytag?

10) How come people ask me what I am going to do with all my time when I don't have all that laundry to do -- knowing full well that I will be dead.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Too Tired for Technology

As a mother of preschoolers, I fell behind the curve when it comes to technology. While other women were sporting Blackberries, Palm Pilots, and Blue Tubes dangling in their ears, all I could manage was a small spiral notebook from the dollar aisle in Walgreens. However, just to stay in the game I decided to refer to it as my Papyrus Pilot. My Bic ballpoint pen is my Cylinder Inkjet 5000.

These are some of the things that I have put in my Papyrus Pilot. First of all there's a listing of overdue library notices (now in the thousands of dollars, carrying with them threat of foreclosure on our home); the birthdays of all our relatives that I missed while taking anti-nausea drugs for throwing up during pregnancies.

Are you wondering what I was doing while you were updating? While other people were updating, I was scraping out the remainder of my mauve lipstick with the cap of my ink pen so I could make it last one more week.

While other people were updating, I was spending an hour walking around the block. That's how long it took me to walk around the block with preschoolers.

While other people were chatting on their newest equipment, I was chasing Pooka out of a drainage ditch. Every time I would ever start a conversation with another human around my age, Pooka would head either for a wet ditch, a river, a lake, a train track or a tollway. Pooka makes Curious George seem satisfied.

While other people were updating, I was dating my husband.

While other people were updating, I was laboring in childbirth.

While other people were updating, I was handing out hugs and kisses for all sorts of boo boos that preschool kids can get into.

While other people were updating, I was making dinner. I don't have a palm pilot to plan the family's menus. My Papyrus Pilot does a good job recording the grocery list. I always use my Papyrus Pilot in meal planning. I need help because the three words that I fear most in the English language are, "What's for dinner?" I have trouble deciding what's for dinner. And it's a question at least one of the kids hits me with before 9:00 Am. I can't think pasta primavera before the Cheerios are scraped off the floor. And I know the clock will keep ticking toward 6:00 Pm and I'd better have someth ing steaming, stewing or grilling.

Over the years I've decided a number of meal planning methods. My least favorite was to open the freezer and make whatever fell out and hit me on the head. It had spontaneity going for it, but the lump on my head grew monotonous. Besides, we couldn't afford the monthly brain scans this home making method demanded.

Even with this failsafe method there are certain things I won't make for dinner. Because when I was pregnant with six children, not all at once mind you, I calculated that I threw up a combined total of 2000 times. I am not kidding. One of the combinations of foods I will not eat together is potato chips and milk. Why? Because I refuse to eat something that at one time has come out of my nose

I finally settled on deciding what was for dinner according to the days of the week. Monday is for M so we eat meatloaf or meatballs; Tuesday is for T so we eat tacos or turkey, Wednesday is for W which limits us to watermelon and watercress sandwiches. And how do I remember what day it is? I use my Papyrus Pilot, of course.

So buy a papyrus pilot, simplify your life and enjoy your husband, your children, sunsets, fresh air and the important things in life that really do last.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

20 Things I've Learned from Raising Six Children

20 Things I’ve Learned from Raising Six Children

(Published also on October 2007)

1) Salt, pepper and milk are not fish food.
2) It's a bad thing when your child calls from camp and asks if it's a bad thing if one foot is bigger than the other.
3) If you mow the lawn with the basement windows open – the carbon monoxide detector will go off.
4) The ceiling fan doesn’t hold more than a 40 pound child and is not a substitute for taking your child to Great America.
5) Two kids cannot sit on top of the refrigerator but one can.
6) A 10-year-old cannot run a mile without shoes but he can run a ½ mile.
7) A mother with three sons doesn’t have that many friends who are mothers of all girls when the sons are young. The mother has more friends who are mothers of all girls when they reach high school age.
8) You get invited over less to friends and family’s houses for Sunday dinner when you have six kids.
9) When the nurse says, "even though the white count is as high as Mononucleosis – it’s only E coli," you shouldn’t be happy.
10) Finger painting is a good hobby.
11) Finger painting the front door is not a good hobby.
12) Green marker and a new couch don’t mix.
13) Black marker and a new loveseat also don’t mix.
14) The backyard swimming pool is not a bubble bath.
15) Pool filters do not like bubbles.
16) A dog who has been fed two packages of hot dogs can throw up twice his body weight.
17) Being hit with a marble from the second floor hurts more than being hit by a marble from the first floor.
18) The Easy Bake oven does not bake cookies fast enough for a family of eight.
19) “I hope you didn't forget I put the cell phone on the roof of the car” is not a good thing to hear when you are going 60 mph on the toll way.
20) A good sense of humor will get you through most problems in life.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Gifted Moms

I believe it’s time to begin in our homes a “Gifted Moms” program. Why should “gifted children” get all the press? Hey, where do they think these gifted kids came from? E-Bay? The spring clearance rack at Marshalls? No, we gave birth to these brainy, precocious, talented children. I’m telling you right now – you show me a two year old child that can recite Shakespeare while playing the cello with Yo-Yo Ma and I’ll show you a gifted umbilical cord that leads right back to – you guessed it – us.

So how can you know for sure if you belong in the “Gifted Moms” program?
Can you read and memorize a flashing caller ID number at 2:00 Am in the pitch dark while holding a colicky baby in one arm and working out on your Bowflex with the other?

Can you deliver fourteen kids in a minivan all to their right homes during a snowstorm while ordering out Chinese for supper on your cell phone without asking for an address? You must also be able to spell out Moo Goo Gai Pan and General Chao’s chicken in Mandarin if necessary. Definitely gifted.

Can you tell your husband which pile in the basement his favorite polo shirt is in while shoving de-worming pills down the throat of your Labrador retriever? Can you pull the polo shirt out of the dog’s mouth while stopping your husband from swallowing the de-worming pills because his thinks they are his high blood pressure medicine? Very gifted.

How do you know that you are a "Gifted Mom?" Well, you do your child's science fair project and get them to believe that they did it 100 percent on their own. Now that takes a talented mom to pull that off.

A Gifted Mom can actually shower, do their hair, cook, teach, clean, pay bills, launder, drive, get out lots of hugs and recycle. She does this while making/canceling appointments and shuffling pounds of paper into an organized calendar, all while maintaining a sense of humor!

So what kind of special programs should be offered for “Gifted Moms”?

How about a recital where “Gifted Moms” can recite all the artificial additives they don’t let their children eat (in alphabetical order of course)?

How about a one week special wilderness camp for Gifted Moms? Gifted Moms could plan their home school curriculum while repelling off cliffs using their old panty hose as bungee cords. Hang in there Mom!

What about Advance Placements classes for Gifted Moms? Three days a week, from the 3:30 to 5:30 Pm, a special bus should drive through neighborhoods picking up Gifted Moms for approved courses at the local junior college. There they could receive college credits in “Coping when my child finally misses one answer on a test.” Gifted Moms can learn to do the impossible: have a child that doesn't turn to gold absolutely everything they touch.

Of course, there would be Ph.D. courses for really, really gifted Moms. We’ll call these special, over the top Moms, Dr. Moms. Dr. Moms receive this special degree if they have first:

Served the entire soccer team a full picnic meal complete with organic vegetarian hot dogs, organic macaroni and cheese, oranges, juice boxes, and apples – while the team was still on the field and the game was still in progress (and without receiving a yellow card).