May 31, 2010

Blogger's Conference - Part 1

Before I get to talking about the CBC, there is one thing I just gotta get off my chest. You don't mind do you? No? Awesome.

This flu/possible kidney infection I've been fighting all week has come back to kick me in the butt. Yes, you heard right, butt. Sorry mom that I must use such language before your eyes, but it is very much called for in this situation. Butt. Butt, butt, butt. If the flu had one, I would kick it out the door!

I was flying high all weekend thanks to wonderful Tauna, ER nurse extraordinaire, and her happiness and sunshine bottle filled with Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

But due to the lack of sleep and perhaps over-extending myself just a wee bit, (don't know why I brought high heels) Sunday did me in! I barely made it through church, dragging my sad carcass from class to class, then came home, found my way to our solitary couch and landed into it's open arms.

Where I stayed. All. Day.

My husband was good enough (and smart to enough) to leave me there. Today, still feeling pretty lousy, but better.

Okay, whew! Feeling better now that I've vented. Cleared the air. Have it all out in the open, if ya know what I'm sayin'.

Now, where to begin! First, you have to know I was LOUSY at taking pictures. There were a ton of bloggers that I met that I didn't take pictures of. Bad Serene!

Well, I guess I'll just start off with the Girl's Night Out that was Thursday night as the kick start to the CBC. There were suppose to be free mani's, pedi's, massages, and some make and take projects.

In the end there were no pedi's. *sniff* That was the one thing I wanted above all else. But alas, I was left with ugly toes the whole conference.

So rude.

I'll admit when we walked into the room at the hotel where it was held, I looked over the vast see of estrogen and wondered how in the world I was going to find anyone I knew! It's tricky to try and match up a tiny little profile picture to the real deal.

So Tauna and I slunk to the back of the room where we sat and observed for a while. Then we decided it was time to take advantage of the massages going on. As we got up and started talking to people, we started to find people we knew!

Here's Tauna enjoying her massage!... I think.

I haven't yet told my husband that another man had his hands all over me at the conference. *gasp*

Linda from See Mom Smile was the first one I recognized right off the bat, and she is honestly just as funny as her blog. I just love her. I'm sorry that it's such a frighteningly close picture. My face always looks so... scary when it is.

And super cute Charlotte from Memories for Later. What a brave soul to come so far by herself for the conference. She was so great! Can I just say I still can't believe her husband picked out her outfit. I know right? A man with taste!

And Amber from Making the Moments Count. She wasn't what I was expecting. What a happy, smiley, sweet soul. I just fell in love with her. I wish we lived closer.

And then there were these adorable sisters. They were just down-right awesome and so fun! InkMom from I'm Not Crazy Mommy, and MommyJ from Mommy Snark. Loved their southern drawl.

And even though I met many, many others, I failed to take pictures. Bad Serene!

Well, I must end here. My kids are all awake and playing with things they shouldn't, like knives, and my husband thinks we should go do something productive, like plant the garden. Because apparently blogging isn't as productive as planting a garden.

Who knew?

May 28, 2010

Quick CBC Update

So I swiped Tauna's computer for a moment since I'm not cool enough to have a laptop to call my own, *sniff* or a phone that gets Internet access.

I know right? Where's the justice in that?

But holy shnikies people, I am having so much fun here at the CBC! No seriously, I haven't stopped laughing since it started! I think I may have actually lost a pound or two because of it. I would have asked for shorter toes instead but, what can ya do.

And sorry, not to rub it in for those of you who couldn't come this year... well, except for maybe Braden, I'll rub it in for him. But I would do this every year in a heart beat!

I have met so many of the awesome bloggers that I read and just love. And believe it or not, they are even better in real life!! Just these amazing, fun ladies! Oh, and a guy. Even if he was only here because he was a speaker, but he still has a great blog. And of course, I've made several new bloggy friends.

I had to laugh though because at the Girl's Night Out that was held Thursday evening as the kick off for the blogging conference, I was talking to a couple gals and they stopped me and said, "Oh my gosh, you sound JUST like your blog! If all I heard was a recording of your voice, I would know it was you just because that's how you talk on your blog!"

So there you have it people, the truth is out. I'll understand if you don't think we could ever be friends.

I would be crushed and devastated for all eternity and it would be all your fault, but I would totally understand.

But oh, so many pictures, so many stories!! All will be revealed upon my return....

May 26, 2010


Aside from the ever present raging headache that I would just LOVE to squish like a bug under my shoe, and nausea that's almost bad enough to make feel pregnant, I'm feeling much better. The aches and chills have dulled almost to the point of being gone. I feel good enough to move around and take care of basic needs of children and keep them out of trouble.

Good thing too. As great as he was yesterday, Mr. Mom left me with quite a mess to clean up. And I have to feed the missionaries tonight and my mother-in-law is coming tomorrow to watch the kids for me so I can go to the CBC.

I wonder if she'll have trouble finding all my kitchen ware? I suppose I should just leave a note to check outside.

I'm still pretty weak but that's probably from the lack of food. My appetite is back with a raging vengeance and I'd give anything to assault the nearest Wendys.

All in all, I feel set and ready for tomorrow! Assuming my ride still wants to hang with a recovering sickie, and I pack lots of painkillers and chocolate, I think I'll be good.

P.S. I'm also over at MMB today but am whole-hearted embarrassed to send you over there to read as I counted at least three typos. Usually I'm pretty good at catching those! Blast, this is not good good for my image.  :D

May 25, 2010


Sick. So very, very sick. I hate being sick.

Don't the powers that be realize I don't have time for such silly nonsense?

It hit me yesterday quite suddenly, the aches, the chills. I've been couch-ridden for two days now. The Motrin barely holding at bay the migraine waging war inside my head.

I've sat curled up in a ball on the couch, wrapped up in a blanket, teeth chattering with cold. And whenever I lay down, I break out into an awful sweat. My body is aching something fierce as I sit here at my computer typing.

I've barely eaten anything because I get nauseous when I do. Although I could really use a chocolate bar right about now. Hey, at least I'll look all skinny for the Causal Bloggers Conference on Thursday! Because I'll be better by then. I will!

In the meantime, could you please direct me to the nearest complaint box? I need to leave a note. Someone needs to be reprimanded for making my husband miss work to take care of the kids.

And now I'm going to go curl back up on the couch and suck on a otter pop.

In the meantime, weep for me and my untouched to do list.

May 24, 2010

Puppy Love

"Mommy." Savannah whispered, "Mommy, that boy is smiling at me!"

Between holding a wiggly baby on the verge of toddlerhood, and attempting to catch of few words from the Regional Stake Conference broadcast, I distractedly glanced across the aisle to see a cute little boy around Savannah's age shyly smiling at us.

I looked back at my five-year old daughter. She was grinning from ear to ear back at him. I couldn't believe she was flirting in the middle of Stake Conference!

Check that. I totally believed it.

As she looked at me with her excited face, I gave her the acknowledgment she was seeking and tried to turn my attention back to the broadcast.

A few minutes later, Savannah again turns to me, giggling. "He's still smiling at me mommy!"

I tried to tell her to turn and pay attention, but her face quickly turned into a slight pout as she whispered, "But mommy, I like the way he's smiling at me but I don't know his name."


Pretty soon she was writing on a piece of paper. When she finished, it read, "Hi, my nam is Savannah. Wats yors?"

She was dancing like there were ants in her pants as she anxiously awaited a time when she could hand it over to him. During the intermediate hymn, and since everyone was standing up, I told her she could go.

She practically vaulted out of her seat.

Before the hymn was over, the note was handed back. In big, capital letters it read, "LANDON". I'm pretty sure her face almost split in half couldn't stop giggling the rest of the meeting.

When conference was over, his mom and I chatted for a minute and laughed about our silly kids.

The event started to fade from my mind until a couple days later, my husband comes home from work, and as he was catching me up on his day, he says, "You'll never guess who I got a call from today."

Not feeling anything terribly clever come to mind, I just stared at him.

"Remember the little boy Savannah was flirting with at Stake Conference? Well, his mom called."

"Really?" I looked at him in complete surprise. "How in the world did she find us?"

"She said she just typed in Savannah's name on the Stake website and started calling everyone until she found us."

I admittedly thought it was a bit strange, but then Luke continued.

"I guess he's been talking non-stop about Savannah and has been drawing her pictures ever since. So she was wondering if they could stop by and drop them off."

Well, okay. At this point I was actually rather impressed by her dedication.

Later that day, sure enough they pull up to our house. When Savannah saw Landon at the door she was SO excited and stared giggling all over again.

Attached to the pile of drawings Savannah received, was a note attached for me in which his mom explained that Landon has a tendency to hang onto things and is slightly OCD in some ways.

At that point I understood and thought it was actually pretty brave of her to try and find us. So a few days later, we returned the favor by dropping off notes and drawings Savannah had made for Landon. Turns out they only live about two minutes away.

Savannah stayed and played for a while and his mom and I got to chat. She is super nice and I felt completely comfortable in their home.

Every since then, Savannah has been asking if she can go back and play at Landon's house.

Puppy love. What can you do?

May 21, 2010

The Truth About Serene

I enjoyed every one's comments yesterday tremendously! I have much to think on.

But there was one in particular that made me chuckle. Yes, chuckle.

"I'm so glad you posted this - for selfish reasons :) You always seem so cheerful about all your kids and all the messes that they get in to and I was starting to feel like you were the absolute perfect supermom :)... and now I know you feel like me sometimes too!"

Let it be known to all that if there's one thing I'm NOT, it is this:

As you can see, I don't pull off blond very well.

In blogging I think we tend to put our best foot forward. While I do try to keep things real here, I don't talk about ALL the times where I just loose it and yell. Or lock myself in my bedroom to keep from yelling. Or the times I get angry and speak to my children through clenched teeth. Or when I just can't take it anymore and feel like I want to pull my hair out. Or wonder what in the world I've done to myself by having kids in the first place. Or the days I spend sobbing in the shower so no one will hear. Or the nights I spend thinking about all the things I'm doing wrong and how I'm the world's worst mother.

I'm on a constant roller coaster of ups and downs. And it's a daily ordeal. 

But humor is how I deal with situations, most of the time.

I know I've been pulling from my archives a lot but I wrote this a year ago and it is as true now as it was then.

So dieMutti, this is for you. This is the truth about me. 


Once you became a parent, did you notice how suddenly people were always giving you advise or offering the latest "well I heard that____".

For example:
Some people say, going from one kid to two kids is the hardest.
Others claim that going from two kids to three kids is the hardest.
And still others say that after three kids, its all the same. One more makes no difference.

Come, step into my laboratory and let's do some research to test this theory. Just be sure to read all warnings and side notes before entering. This research facility will not replace damaged goods or compensate lost or stolen sanity.

WARNING: Please don't wear white. Peanut butter and jelly hands in motion. It's just not safe.

NOTE: I am a non-profit organization so feel free to send donations!

Big ones.

Date: Oct 2007
Children: Three

Date: April 2009
Children: Four


People have no clue what they're talking about.

May 20, 2010

What's the Secret?

Dear wise and all-knowing readers,

I am drowning in to-do lists, deadlines, demands, diapers and messes.

I've fallen behind in just about everything.

Individually they're easy.

Combine them all and they drown me.

And all this time I thought I was a good swimmer.

Dang, I HATE being proven wrong!

And I have no chocolate to nurse my wounds. *sniff*

Perhaps I just need a better swimsuit?

So, what's the secret, oh wise ones?

I hear wearing shoes around the house makes you more productive.

Fact or Fantasy?

Tell me, how do you do it all?

Save me.

May 19, 2010

Just so we're clear

I do not let my kids run around in their unmentionables like a bunch of hooligans.

And even if I did, which I don't, *cough* but if I did, it would only be because while I was say... making dinner, the hooligan would run into the living room buck naked, having freed himself from all societal constraints and declare himself wild and free.

So I would do the best I could under such circumstances.

Because I'm not that redneck.

I mean, come on, most of the time my kids are at least half-way decent!... usually.

Nor do I bribe said naked hooligan into napping by bestowing chocolate milk and marshmallows.

Because desperate times do not call for desperate measures.

Just so we're clear on such matters.

The End.

May 18, 2010


I really was going to wake up early and work out.

I really was going to exercise after the kids were in bed.

I really was going to clean the house.

I really was going to stop eating chocolate for breakfast.

I really was going to catch up on all my emails.

I really was going to plant the garden.

I really was going to make a fun craft with my kids.

I really was going to remain calm at all times.

I really was going to stop making up excuses for not getting things done.

But I didn't.

Hello? Hello? Can anyone hear me? The line is kind of fuzzy. Hello, is this really a magic phone like daddy says it is? Hello? What year is it?

Oh nuts, I can never tell which phone is ringing. *sigh* So many people clamoring for my attention. Hello? Yes, I can hear you, just barely. This is 2010.

Whoa... it's 1984 here. My name is Serene, who's this?

Really? Cool, I'm your daughter Alayna. Hey hey hey Jacob, it's mommy! From when she was in diapers.... Okay, that's a little disturbing. What's up! Why are you calling?

Oh, no way! Tell me ALL about myself. What am I like? Am I awesome, am I cool, am I smart? Am I just the best mother ever? Oh I just KNOW I am!

Ooh ohh... and what's my favorite food? Favorite toy? Favorite VHS?

*crickets chirping*  Uhhhh... what's a VHS? And um, right now you're blogging about all the things you didn't do yesterday in a feeble attempt to get out of doing them again.

Oh um, okay. That sounds... interesting and um... sort of cool. 

What's blogging?

May 17, 2010

Drama Queen

"Mommy, what if no one wants to marry me? What if no one loves me or thinks I'm pretty and then doesn't want to marry me?"

Such is the manner of a typical, concerned conversation with my oldest offspring. She brings it up often. 

Daddy is always sure to step in and tell her that he'll always love her and no one will ever love her more than he does.

And the gazing into anything that reflects, while speaking to herself are all fairly normal for a girl, I think. I try not to let it play tricks with my mind as I remember as a young girl wanting to be beautiful.

That's normal, er... right? Right?

But don't let her calm exterior fool you. Beneath it all is the queen of all that is dramatic. The peace of our lives is often shattered by the crying of this fair maiden because we looked at her wrong.

Or we threw away a scrap of paper that was apparently held sacred.

Or one of the boys touched her shoe.

Or she didn't get the last yogurt.

Or the baby dragged "her" blanket out of "her" room. 

I guess she hasn't quite figured out that since the girls are sharing a room, it is now the property of both of them.

Little did I realize that these were the calm days. The days of peace and tranquility. 

These were the days before...

the very first lost front tooth.

Oh the drama that has ensued since! The never ending stream of heartfelt cries that involve the most hideous of words!

It started out calm enough though. When it was first lost, she would approach me often and somewhat sorrowful and ask, "Mom, am I still pretty?"

"Of course you are!" I would reply vehemently. "Why wouldn't you be?"

"Because my tooth is gone, now I look silly."

And no matter how many times I would give a lengthy speech about why one silly tooth did nothing to mar her cuteness, all has been in vain.

Now when she get upset, she comes out with, "Fine! I'm not pretty, I'm ugly!!" And off she'll storm.

In fact, accusing herself of being ugly now that her tooth is gone is her new favorite way of letting us know how unhappy she is with any given situation.

Can I just say, I'm not equipped for this?

Heaven help me.

May 15, 2010

Sending out some Linky love.

I don't know what makes a good day or a bad day.

Heck, if I did, I'd write a book about it and title it something obviously clever like, "I know something you don't!" Then I'd be disgustingly rich and the first thing I'd buy would be pair of sexy red heels.

But I do know a good day when I see it.

And today was one of those days.

Not that the fighting or screaming or tantrums were lessened in anyway, they just didn't stick to me the way Alayna's half chewed Cheerios do.

Although, it was almost ruined while I was sitting in the Walmart parking lot, waiting for my husband to come back with a box of the coveted otter pops while the kids had their windows rolled down as they yelled at the tops of their lungs to everyone who walked by, "Hi! My name is (insert some random word, like cheese stick)."  

Then, a woman and her two kids walked in front of my car. And her pants were half way down her bum. No really, either she wasn't wearing underwear or had an invisible thong.

It was disturbing. On so many levels.

At any rate, I know I'm way behind on my blog reading, sorry peeps. I haven't had a lot of time at my computer the last few days.

But, I did stumble across a couple of things I thought I'd pass along. I hope you'll take a moment to check them all out.


First is Jocelyn's Service Boot Camp and Giveaway. It's for the Write it out Project. This project was started by an Iraq War widow to make journals for other widows so they can journal through their grief. So be sure to check that out.


Also, I know it's so scary to have a loved one deal with major surgeries or a terrible sickness, like cancer. Not only for the emotional stress, but the financial as well.

This cute little one was diagnosed with cancer, neuroblastoma

To read more about it and find out how you can help, just click HERE.


And last, but certainly not least, there is a giveaway going on HERE for the I Love Lucy Project.

This sweet girl is three-years-old, and was diagnosed last year with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome which causes blindness, obesity, and a wide array of other health issues.

Be sure to click on the links to find out more!

May 14, 2010

Dear Monkey Child,


Girl, I am going to strap a ball and chain to your ankles! Seriously!

How could I have forgotten this stage? It's not like it's been THAT long since your older siblings grew out of it... well, sort of grew out of it.

But I think it's safe to say that you are, by far, the worst yet!

After the sixth bowl of cereal and milk you've dumped over, the seventh glass of water you spilled, the fourth box of cereal you poured out, the box of goldfish you emptied, the bag of animal crackers you threw everywhere, (deep intake of breath) the couch you dismember at least six times a day, the bathtub you dive into, fully clothed, into the water, the windowsill you climb up into, the book case you attempt to pull yourself up on, the yogurt you grab and wipe all over the counter..... stop, just stop!!

I KNOW that I shouldn't be surprised, after all, you were doing a full flight of stairs, both up AND down well before you turned the ripe old age of one year.

But still, stop climbing!!! What are you, part monkey? Orangutan?

You should NOT be able to climb up the bar stools to the counter at 15 months. But you do. Six hundred times a day! Hence all the spilled water, yogurt, and bowls of cereal.

I leave for less than one minute and I find you here, atop our ever stylish plastic folding kitchen table.

And here!

Would it make ANY difference if I told you that is NOT where I hide the treats?

And if you don't like being stranded in the window sill, stop climbing up into it!!

*sigh* Gone are the days of ease and tranquility when I could close my bedroom door and hide away from the screaming for a minute... or twenty.

Why, just this morning, I walk into the kitchen and what do I find? You, pretending to be all Innocent and cute.

But the moment I turned my back, pretending to leave the room, I caught you in action! Ah ha!

And yes, I am FULLY aware of the fact that you are wearing basketball pajamas.

Because that's what happens when you have older brothers, and a slacker laundry mother.

You also climbed up into my computer chair and tried to sabotage this post, but I caught you in time, barely.

Oh, and lets not forget last week.

I had JUST finished cleaning the kitchen. Such joy, such peace.

Then a loud clatter brought me a runnin'.

Yea, daddy, was not too happy when you broke the drawer a couple days later.

And guess who got in trouble for it! Go on, guess!! That's right young missy, it certainly wasn't YOU!

And instead of feeling all remorseful and guilty, you rolled onto the floor and tried to smooch and cutsify your way out of trouble. (because "cutsify" is a cool word)

But I didn't fall for it! No sirree.... *arms folded across chest with my sternest face on... except for that dang smile that kept trying to creep up onto my face*

(interject real time event) "MOOOMMMMYYYYY!!!! Layna's on the counter and she made a mess with the yogurt!!"


That's it! You've officially driven me to the edge and so I must now take drastic measures.

Store tender, give me the good stuff.

Double shot of chocolate.

Straight up.

May 13, 2010


I just found out that I'm over at MMB again today.

Tauna, this one's for you. It's about the time I lit my turkey pot pie on fire.

Seriously, you don't want to miss it.

Boys will be Boys

Lazy days (since I've never actually seen one I'm not sure I'm a true believer in their existence) always tend to backfire.

The mess is just bigger, the kids are just crankier, and bedtime is just louder.

Why is that? Who's evil, diabolical plan was it to create a fail safe button hidden away somewhere that prevents us parents to have any sort of peace for any decent amount of time?

Just checking to see if anyone knows the answer.

In the meantime, I have this totally great idea.

I know you want to hear it.

Leave the kids outside alone for a little while, probably in the neighbor's yard that has no grass yet.

Especially the boys. Oh yes, definitely the boys. Because they have a knack for doing things they aren't suppose to be doing.

Like say.... oh, pouring dirt down into places that shouldn't have dirt in them.

And sing while they're doing it. 

Then laugh hysterically like they are the funniest little boys to ever walk the earth.

Then run away quickly when they see mom marching towards them.

Go ahead! I dare you.

And yes, that really is all just dirt.

Because this blog tries to be rated NPE. (No parental experience required) All material is appropriate for parents and non-parents.

Except when this blog is used as a form of birth control.

As I've often been told it has been, quite successfully.

May 12, 2010

Honesty... maybe too much honesty.

After the last post about my awesome dad, would it be wrong of me to admit that I'm sitting here in my pajamas, unshowered, having just polished off a chocolate bar for breakfast... and lunch?

No pictures, too frightening.

My poor husband has been waking up early every day to meet the demands at work and I can't pull my lazy carcass out of bed so I can shower before my kids wake up.

I'm still deciding if waking up to put kids back to bed, or change leaky diapers three to four times every night is a valid excuse.

I know right, gosh Serene, suck it up girl and get your lazy bum to work!

But I don't wanna!

Is there such a thing as too much honesty?
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