Thursday, April 28, 2011


Yesterday afternoon I was hiding out in my bedroom, while the girls were running around, screaming and playing in their own rooms.  Sonya came back to find me and said,

"Mom, I have a question I need to ask you."

This always means something interesting is coming next.

"Okay," I said.  "What is it?"

"Well, Aaron at school said that when Michael Jackson died he turned into a zombie."

Wow! Where did THAT come from??  I mean Michael Jackson died like what, almost 2 years ago?  Not to mention the fact that this kid is taking a music video from the 80's and combining with a more recent event.  Although, I guess I could see how that could get confusing at six.  

"No, honey Michael Jackson did not turn into a zombie," I assured her.  "There was a music video when Mommy was little where he PRETENDED to be a zombie, but he is not one for real now."

"But he died?" She asked.

"Yes he did."

"Aaron said he took a WHOLE bag of medicine and that's how he died," she told me.

To which I replied, "Ummmmm, well, more or less I suppose that's what happened." 

"But he's not a zombie?" She asked me again skeptically.

"No. What, you don't believe me?" I asked.

She stared at me for a minute, then I said, 

"Who are you going to believe Aaron at school or your mom?"

"Weeelllll..." she hesitated.

REALLY?  Come on now!

"Sonya, he is six and there is no such thing as zombies.  You need to trust me on this one," I said.

"Ooookkaayy..." she replied and ran back to the rest of the screaming clan down the hallway.  

I can't believe she wasn't sure who to trust.  Although, I will admit I have a big fear of zombies myself and there might have been a tiny part of me that is afraid that I will be proven wrong, and the six year old is right.  Maybe she sensed I wasn't totally committed to what I was telling her. I mean who knows, Michael Jackson may just be lurking in the thriller night. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

Lately, I've been trying to find a better way to discipline my children and get them to do things, like pick up their toys.  A way that doesn't involve me yelling, crying and opening a bottle of wine at four in the afternoon.  Something that makes me less of a "mean mommy".  Yesterday, I thought I had found a that way.  I think it may have been something I tried before, but the problem with all these "tricks" is they only last for so long.  Some last a shorter time than others.

After the girls had dinner last night, I decided we were going to take a shower.  When we walked into my bedroom, I remembered the mess the girls had made in there earlier that day when I tripped over a baby stroller.  Instead of my usual, "GIRLS!  Clean up your toys right now!" rant I went for a more sunshiny positive approach.

"Oh look at all the baby strollers back here," I started.  "I sure am happy that Sonya is putting her stroller away right now.  Oh and Lana is doing such a good job getting her baby crib back to her room!  What good girls I have."

Now keep in mind, while I'm saying this they are running around my room screaming.   Sonya is the first to realize what I'm saying and immediately runs over to her baby stroller and starts to push it back to her room.  The other two, see her doing this, hear what I'm saying and go over to their own toys and start to carry them back to their bedroom.  I continue to compliment all of them on a what a great job they are doing, until every last toy is carried out of my bedroom. 

 It worked!  I couldn't believe it f'ing worked!  Then I used it again to get them into and out of the shower.  Saying what a great job they were doing, even if they weren't doing it yet.  Once they heard me, they would do whatever it was I was praising them for.  

I was feeling pretty proud of myself for abandoning my threatening, frustrated ways, and finding something more positive and fun that the girls responded to.  I WAS feeling proud.

There were just a few more things to clean up in their rooms, so I decided to try it again.  The three of them were on the floor of Sonya's room,  playing with some plastic Easter Eggs.  I'm pretty sure Sonya was trying to hustle the other two with the shell game.  

"Oh girls!  I love the way you are cleaning up your rooms and putting away your toys right now!  Great job."


Maybe they didn't hear me.  "Wow you guys are doing such a nice job cleaning tonight.  It makes me so happy. Thank you!"

They were still playing the game, and ignoring me.  Then Sonya said, without looking up, in a matching condescending tone to mine, 

"Oh Mommy, you are soooo welcome!"


Well, I guess THAT trick isn't going to work anymore.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Birthday Wishes

As I mentioned in my last post, Monday was my birthday.  I had quite a few people on my facebook wishing me well on my day of birth.  I also had some who said things like, "hope you have a relaxing day", or "hope you get spoiled", or "pampered".  These must be the people who do not read my blog.

Turns out my girls didn't much care that it was my birthday.  Not only were they not on their best behavior, but they seemed to be a bit on their worst behavior.  They were all a little crazy in the morning, running around, screaming and fighting, while Sonya was still here.  Then off she went to school and I was sure my morning would go a little better.  However, I forgot Lana was home. 

 Lana, who I swear is ruled by the moon as I've mentioned before, has been in crazy mode for about a week now.  And guess what was high in the sky on Sunday night?  So she's been a bit, um, challenging lately.  Monday seemed to be one of the worst days.  She cared not one bit that it was my birthday.  Unfortunately, if Lana is doing something wrong, you can pretty much count on Georgia following right behind.  She doesn't really think for herself right now. My fear is she will always go along with Lana's evil plans, but I'm hoping her more good natured attitude will take over at some point in her life.  It didn't happen on Monday, however.  

At first they seemed to calm down after Sonya left.  Maybe that was because I let them watch TV for a while.  I snuck off to my room to do a quick workout.  Usually, I don't do that on my birthday, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't be waking up early on Tuesday morning to do it, so figured I should take advantage of the time I had to workout, despite it being a day where calories don't count.  That's right, right? You can eat anything you want on your birthday and it doesn't count?  At least that's the way I've always known it to be.  

Anyhow-I was about ten minutes into my workout when the girls came running back, each of them with a 100 calorie snack bag they had snatched out of the pantry.  They wanted to know if they could have them.  I was feeling generous, so I allowed it, even though it was only 10 in the morning.  They ran back to their show and their snacks, where this kept them satisfied for at least fifteen minutes.  Then I heard them in the pantry again.  This time they ran back with individually wrapped chocolate mints.  Okay, I wasn't going to be THAT generous, so I told them no and took the chocolates away.  This did not please Lana and she proceeded to have a bit of a tantrum.  After a minute or two, she calmed herself down and went back to the living room, or so I thought.  

I came out of my room five minutes later to find Lana with scissors cutting open the wrapper of a NEW piece of chocolate.  She had already opened one chocolate, which was being eaten by Georgia as I entered the kitchen.  I immediately took Georgia's from her.  Then I wrestled the scissors and the second chocolate out of Lana's hand. From there she went to time out, where she screamed and cried all four minutes. 



Before getting her out of timeout, I took the child lock off the cabinet under the sink and put it on the pantry.  I think my kids are all at an age where they know better than to drink Cascade.  The chocolate in the pantry, however, is much more tempting and should probably be kept under lock and key.  

After I released Lana from the bathroom prison, she and Georgia went off to play in their room while I cleaned up the kitchen, because birthday or not it wasn't going to clean itself up.  Stupid kitchen. IT apparently didn't care about my birthday either.  Then, I decided to go to the bathroom and then take a shower.  It was one of those bathroom times, where I was trying to have peace.  Instead I listened to the pantry heist that was taking place in the kitchen. 

 First I heard a chair being dragged across the floor.  Then I heard the two of them talking in hushed voices.  Next was the sound of running feet down the hallway and into my bathroom that I was currently occupying.  It was Lana with that sneaky smile on her face. The one that makes me want to laugh, but I also know it means she's up to no good.  From behind her back she produced a package of peanut butter crackers.  

"I'm hungwy.  Can I have deese fo snack?"

"Where did you get those?" I demanded.

"Da pantwy," she told me like it was no big deal.

"But I put a lock on it," I said.

"Yeah, I got a chaya(chair) and took off da wock," once again telling me like it was just a matter of fact.

I gave her my "I'm not happy face" for a minute, she gave me a big "please mommy smile".  Then she said,

"Pweeessee can I have it!  I'm hungwy!!"

Now I know this is where I should have said no, taken it away from her and punished her again.   Truth was, I sorta admired her ingenuity and tenacity.  Plus I didn't feel like fighting with her again.  So I said, 

"Fine. You can have it, but you have to share with your sister.  You're lucky it's my birthday and I feel like being nice, but no more going in the pantry!"


So to all those people who wished me a relaxing, fun, easy day on my birthday, I appreciate the sentiment, but no I did NOT have that kind of day.  Then again, I never really expected to.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quickly Approaching 40

Today is my birthday. 

 I am 37.

LATE 30s.

 Urgh!  How did this happen?  When did I get to be someone in their late 30's?  It really just snuck up on me and to be honest, most of the time I still feel like I'm in my late 20's.  Alas, I am not.  I was feeling kinda depressed about this upcoming birthday, and then I got my new licence in the mail.  You remember, the one I went to get a month ago that I almost couldn't get because my brain malfunctioned on me.  Anyway-when I saw the envelope was from the DMV, I immediately ripped it  open to see how my picture came out.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  

Then I pulled out my old licence to compare the two and see just how much older I looked. To be honest, I think I look better now than I did when I was 23.  At least in the license picture.  Can't really say the same for my body, but thankfully the licence is only a headshot.  I look like such a baby in my license at 23 but this one at 37, I actually look like an adult.  However, I don't look OLD, which is what I was afraid of.  

So I suppose turning 37 isn't so bad after all.  I mean not as long as I'm still hanging on to my super model good looks. 

(The first picture is at 23, the second is from last month. Not like you couldn't have figured that out for yourself or anything.)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Serenity Now!!

I posted this video on my Facebook page a couple weeks ago.  I figured I'd put it here, since some of you are not on my Facebook page, and this is what has become of my life.  A constant stream of refereeing fights, and calming down crying or tantrums because of the fights.  It's completely exhausting and totally annoying.  I know my sisters and I used to fight non-stop and the only thing I have to say about that now is, oh my God mom, I am so very sorry!  I had NO idea what a pain in the ass we were.  My mom used to get so mad at us for fighting and I could never understand why it  made her so mad.  Now I know.  Mom, how you kept from killing us, or letting us just kill each other I'll never know.  This is why I so desperately need a massage to go with my glass of wine at night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bleep My Daughter Says

I remember when Sonya was about two I realized I had to start watching my potty mouth.  I did that by taking the REALLY bad words and turning them into what I thought were harmless words, like crap and damn. I found out, however, that those words coming out of a two year old don't really sound so good either.  So I had to learn to not say the harmless bad words as well.  This has been a bit harder for me and I tend to slip those in more often.  Hey- at least I'm not yelling "SHIT!" all the time.  Just times when I hit other cars.  

Anyway, I realized Georgia has started to pick up on some of not as bad, bad words.  Sometimes she even tries to correct me.  Last week I was in her bedroom cleaning up and I dropped something, stepped on something, or fell, who can remember?  I just know it called for a bad word of some sort, that I managed to turn into "Dammit" under my breath.  Upon hearing this, Georgia corrected me by saying,

"Mommy!  Don't say dammit, say bummers."

Now I'm not sure where she got the word "bummers" from, but it certainly is a better one to say.  So I told her she was right and I would try to use that one from now on.  I guess she doesn't feel the same way about one of my other favorite non-bad words.  Crap.

A couple nights ago, I was trying to get her to sleep.  She was the last one to go, of course, and we were on procrastination technique number two.  The -I have to pee-move.  I was in the kitchen and told her she could come to the bathroom.  She appeared in the doorway of the kitchen and looked and me.  Then a realization came to her and she said, 

"Oh CWAP!  We fogot to bush ow teeth!"

I had to take a deep breath to keep from laughing before I said to her, 

"First of all, we did indeed brush our teeth.  Second of all, please don't say crap.  That's not a nice word, okay?"

"Oh, okay," she said and ran to the bathroom.  

Damn it's hard for me to watch my mouth sometimes!  Oh I'm sorry.  I meant bummers.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Losing the Bedtime Battle

Bedtime is by far my  least favorite part of the day for many reasons.  Andy doesn't have a normal 9-5 job where he is home every night to help get the kids ready for and put them to bed.  No, I have to do all of it on my own EVERY weeknight.  By the end of the week, my patience begins to wear thin and I've had it with the bedtime battles.  I've been battling the girls since Sonya was born, pretty much.  

Sonya is much better now, but she went through a period of being up for half an hour to an hour after I put her to bed at night.  There would be requests for more water, going to the bathroom, being too hot, being to cold, wanting to read a book again, whatever she could think of.  Then she got older, stopped napping and now is usually out within five minutes of going to bed.  

Then there is Lana. (I think I say that phrase a lot don't I? "Then there is Lana".  Well she is usually her own category.)  She is the General of the bedtime wars.  Nobody could give more of a hassle than Lana.  Similar things were requested, water, bathroom, books, then she added her own flair: wanting to be covered up again (after kicking the covers off herself), wanting me to sing to her, or lay with her, or tell her a story.  Sometimes I obliged, sometimes not, depending on how late it was.  When these antics were still going on until almost TEN at night, we decided maybe Lana shouldn't have a nap anymore.  Now, thankfully,  bedtime is a breeze with her too.  She is out like a light by 7:30 every night.  

So I figured we'd taken care of the problem.  Lana was the one keeping Georgia up so late and now everyone should be asleep by 8pm with no battles, right?  RIGHT?!  Yeah... no.

Apparently, Georgia has taken over where the other two left off.  She does still nap.  She's not even  three yet, so I refuse to let her give up her nap completely.  Plus we tried that this weekend, and by Sunday at 5pm, we had an extremely, whiny, crying mess of a Georgia on our hands, and she's usually, the easy sweet one.  So now I have her up with me until around 8:15.  I figure that's enough time to get her a bit more tired and for the other two to be asleep completely. But no, because by 8:55 last night I was still fielding bathroom requests from her.  

Now, I'm sure some of you are wondering why I don't ignore them when all this is going on. The truth is, I would love to and if we lived in a big two story house, where I didn't have to hear such requests, I would.  Unfortunately, we live in southern California, in a house built in the '40s.  That means our house is fairly small and their bedrooms are fifteen feet from the kitchen and living room.  This makes it kinda hard for us to ignore them and vise versa.  They know we are here and doing things, so why not get our attention since they're not tired and bored.  

I finally got Georgia back into bed, somewhere around 9pm.   I was getting a bit frustrated with her and just wanted peace at some point in my night.  As I was saying goodnight for the fifteenth time and walking out the door she said something to me, I didn't hear.  I poked my head back in, exasperated, and said,

"What Georgia?  What is it?"

She pulled her thumb out of her mouth and said to me, "You da best mommy in da whole worl!"

Awwwww!  I know!  But,  why did she have say that for, because now I felt terrible about my frustrations with her.  Dammit!  

Fine, Georgia,  you can stay up until 11.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Turnabout Is Fair Play

There is a mommy technique I use on a regular basis that I learned from my own mother.  It's called distraction.  It's best used  on the younger kids.  Sonya doesn't really fall for it anymore, and I'm beginning to think Lana is outgrowing it too.  It works something like this. 

There are certain daily occurrences that need to be done that kids don't always want to do, when you want them to.  Like getting Georgia dressed.  Sometimes she's ready to be dressed, and I have no problems.  Other times I have to wrestle her to the ground and pin her, just to get a shirt over her head.  Her cooperation depends on what everyone else is doing at the time, and whether they are dressed or not.  When she decides to fight me she starts to go into tantrum mode.  This is the same road the other two went down when they were this age and didn't want to get dressed,  have their diaper changed or get  buckled in the car seat.  You get the idea.  They don't want to do something, you then have to force them to do it, so they start the road to tantrum town.  Instead I try to set up a roadblock to tantrum town by saying something to them at the beginning like,

"OH!  Listen, listen!  I think I hear a doggie outside." Or if we're outside, "Look! A butterfly just flew by!" And occasionally when we're out in public, "Oh you better stop, because here comes the man!"  

Don't ask me who the man is and there is almost never a dog or butterfly around. This just provides me with enough of a distraction to allow me to finish whatever it is they don't want to do.  A lot of the time it stops the tantrum as well, as they look to find a doggie, or butterfly.  Or some man.  Like I said though, this only works with them when they are younger.  Georgia still goes for it, but Sonya is too smart for it now. I thought I could still use it on Lana for a bit longer.  However, I'm having second thoughts about that one.

For some reason the girls like playing in the bathrooms.  By playing I mean, they bring their blankets, dolls, strollers, sometimes pillows (I know-yuck) into the bathroom.  I guess it's like a little hideout in there for them.  It doesn't bother me as much as it bothers Andy.  One day a few weeks ago, he decided to ban the bathroom play after something had gotten out of hand.  I'm sure it was a fight among the three of them resulting in an injury.  It usually is.  They stopped playing in there for a few days.  Then a couple weeks ago,  on a Monday morning, when Andy and Sonya were gone,  I caught Lana and Georgia taking things into the green bathroom.  They saw me watching them and started to close the bathroom door.  I got there just in time to keep it open.  Then Lana started begging me to let her close it.  I asked her what they were doing and reminded her of what Daddy had said.  She insisted they weren't doing anything and kept saying, 

"Pease go away!  We not doing anything!"  Which usually means they are, so I didn't budge.  Then she tried again, this time throwing my own mommy technique back at me.

"Mommy, just goooo away!!  Peeeessee!"  Suddenly she stopped her begging,  looked away from me, pointed and said, 

"Oh Mommy!  LOOK!  A PONY!!"

I immediately fell into a fit of laughter, and she managed to get the door closed.  I knew exactly what she was trying to do, because obviously I know there is no pony in our bathroom.  At least not on that day.    However, it was so comical when she said it  that she did distract me from my original objective.  

Touche, Lana.  Touche.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

And Now, For Your Entertainment Pleasure

Last Sunday morning, as we all sat around the breakfast table, we started to discuss what we were going to do with our day.  Well, first and foremost, we had to go buy a new washer and dryer.  Oh did I not mention that yet?  Yes, we got to spend a couple grand on new appliances for the house instead of a vacation somewhere with our income tax return.  Yay!  We had to.  Not sure why, but our washer started to sound like we needed to find a helipad to land during its spin cycle.  I'm  not kidding, you guys.  When we were in the kitchen we had to practically yell to have a conversation if it was spinning.  It still seemed to work okay, but it is a nine year old set that has gotten a hell of a lot of use, so it was time for a new one.  We decided Andy would go on his own, because we had already been looking around and pretty much knew the set we wanted.   We just had to buy it.  Andy going on his own seemed like a better option than bringing three kids to buy a washer and dryer.  Because that would be like, well, bringing three kids to buy a washer and dryer.  Turns out they really don't like to do things like that.  I spend more time yelling at them to close the doors to every dryer they've opened, while telling them that no, you may not climb inside even if it is big enough to fit you.  So he was off to take care of that task in the morning.  But then, what to do with the afternoon?   Andy came up with this idea.

"Let's make a movie!"

Okay, I've mentioned before that I moved out here to L.A. to chase my acting dreams.  Andy also came out here with similar dreams of acting, writing, and directing.  Life seems to have taken us in a different direction, but that's not to say that we don't still have those underlying dreams.  And who knows that we won't achieve them on some level one day?  Andy used to make movies like this in college all the time.  They are all damn funny.  Some of you out there even know his work from college.  So once Andy had this idea in his head of making a movie with the kids, that was it for the day.  He was excited to do it and focused on the task at hand.  Before he left to buy the washer and dryer he was giving me instructions on certain props to find, making sure the camera was charged, etc.  He had a story, the way to shoot it, and all the editing equipment needed.  See, the only problem was, he was working with kids.  Plus they were OUR kids.  You know, the ones that are all girls and sometimes a little difficult to get to cooperate.  This is not really something he had to deal with when shooting the college films.  

I think our first problem was that we waited until late afternoon to start.  Since we had more of a brunch than a breakfast, we skipped lunch.  At the start of shooting the movie, the girls were excited.  It only took about 20 minutes for that excitement to dissipate and for them to be done with this project.  Then Andy's patience  started to wane, along with the girls attention span.  He would give them direction, and they would nod along seeming to understand.  Then he would shout "action" and some of the... okay most of the time they wouldn't do what he asked or they did the complete opposite.  I was starting to find it comical.  But Andy was getting frustrated and saying things like,

"What are you doing?! Why don't you just do what I told you to do?"

I just kept gently reminding him, "Because she's two, " or sometimes, "four." There's a reason why people don't want to work with kids in Hollywood.

Sonya did well, except for the,

"Sonya, stop looking at the camera!" moments.

It was mostly Georgia, who was hard to control, and she was the star of this particular movie.  I was the designated child wrangler and about half an hour into shooting, I broke out the chocolate chips and peanut butter crackers.  Then came the promises of a huge after dinner treat and perhaps even a pony if they would just do what Daddy was asking.  Now I see why almost every child actor in this town ends up on the Lindsay Lohan path.  It's an easy road to go down when you are doing everything you can to get kids to do what you want for, "just two minutes", and then "another five more minutes".

About an hour and a half into it, I was beginning to get frustrated too.  The kids were over it and I was convinced this was not going to turn out well and we had just wasted our Sunday afternoon.  I wanted to stop and finish another time, but Andy was determined to get it done then.

Half a bag of chocolate chips, 3 packages of peanut butter crackers, a quarter of a goldfish bag, a possible pony purchase and almost two hours since we had started, we were done.  The girls went outside to play and Andy went to start editing the footage.

He's been working on it when he's had a chance all week.  I have to admit, after watching it, even the first time, I realized we did not waste our afternoon after all.  It is cute and funny and looking back now, it's a great memory of a Sunday afternoon we spent together.  I don't know if other people will enjoy it  as much we do, because they are our kids.  It's going to be more funny to us.  Watch it and let us know what you think.

Oh and don't worry, I say movie, but we're talking a shorty short movie here.  It will only take less than 5 minutes of your time, even though it took WAY more than that of ours.  Enjoy!