February 28, 2011

Fire Breathing Dragon Mommy

image from google

There are a handful of things that bring out the wild-eyed, fire breathing dragon in me.

Potty training is one of them.

Just thinking about it makes smoke come out my nose.

So is liquid splattered across my kitchen. Not a spill, a splatter. There's a huge difference.

I just...  I mean, it's just so... grrrr... it just gets to me, you know?

Well, the other day must of been national Splatter Serene's Kitchen Day, and I just missed the memo.

It all started when I handed Jacob a full cup of juice. But instead of sitting down with it, he decided to take a swig while standing in the bar stool at the counter.

*plunk, splash*

I whirl around to find Jacob crying and mourning the loss of his juice. But seriously, why the heck was he crying? That was my right!

Sticky pink juice was scattered across the legs of all three bar stools, up the wall, across the counter wall, and had stretched it's blasted fingers across my kitchen floor.

Fire-breathing dragon mommy appeared on the scene to handle the clean up.

Later that day, Alayna was eating a bowl of cereal. She decided to pick it up so she could move something that apparently was annoying her from the counter.

In the process she tipped her bowl and poured milk and cereal down onto her seat, which then proceeded to splash it's way down onto the wall, the bar stool legs, and the floor.

Fire-breathing dragon mommy appeared on the scene to handle the clean-up.

Just a few minutes later, I was reaching over the counter to give something else to Alayna when, as I turned away, my elbow hit a cup of milk one of the kids had left there on the edge, and it fell to the floor, splattering all across the floor, up the stove and refrigerator.


Wild-eyed, fire breathing dragon mommy appeared on the scene to handle the clean-up.

A while later, after yet ANOTHER splatter attack by Jacob's juice AND Alayna's milk, wild-eyed, fire breathing, wet towel flinging, super annoyed and frightfully frustrated me, walked to the the counter, tossed my fifth towel onto it, closed my eyes and sighed heavily. Throwing my head back in exasperation, I swore that if one more kid made one more splatter...

I opened my eyes.

Wait... what the? *blink blink*

Oh. My. Serious?

I then recalled that a couple days earlier, I had been using the blender and decided to toss a handful of ice into it without turning it off first.

I'm usually pretty good at it but that time, I was too slow with the lid and so I had made a big splatter mess across my counters, walls, and cupboards.

Apparently, I missed the ceiling during clean up.

At least my kids aren't that good yet.

Serves the fire breathing dragon right for getting so annoyed at her children. I'm thinking she needs to learn to swallow a glass of ice water whenever smoke starts coming out her nose.

$50 Giveaway with CSN Stores *CLOSED*

My neighbors have this really great wooden swing set which my kids are allowed to play on whenever they want.

'Cause my neighbors are cool like that.

My children can see it from our back, kitchen window and will often gaze lovingly at it and ask when it will be warm enough to play on again.

But when you live in the frozen tundra of Thewindwillfreezeyourfaceoffville, one can only gaze out over the 700 feet of snow and say cheerfully, "Soon!" Then mutter under your breath, "Maybe... I hope." And then try not to remember that 4th of July last year was freezing.

If you live somewhere warm and exotic, we will try not to hate you. *evil stinky eye looking your way*

But we make no promises.

Anyhow, in honor of the cabin fever we are all experiencing here, and in hopes that spring will be here really, really, really, really, really soon, CSN stores is offering one of you fabulous readers a $50 promotional code to be used at any of their 200+ stores to help you with the winter blues!

Wahoo! I may just have to enter my own giveaway! Perhaps I could disguise my name to something super cryptic like, "This is NOT Serene".

I'm feeling pretty confident that would keep my identity safe.

How to enter:

Just leave me comment saying how much you love and adore me and my blog and the person with the best flattery wins!

What... No? Pish fine.

Just leave me a comment telling me how much chocolate you'll send me if you win!

No? *sigh* Fine, I guess we'll just have to make it fair for everyone then.

**How to REALLY enter:

Just leave me a comment with your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win!

**For a second entry, blog, Facebook, or tweet about this giveaway (you only have to do one of those things) and come back to let me know in a separate comment!

Good luck to all! This giveaway ends next Monday, March 7th at midnight MST, and the winner will be chosen using random.org.

Oh, and uh, if you see someone enter the giveaway under the name "Not Serene" Or "Chocoholic Anonymous" just know, it's NOT me.

Eh hem... really!

February 24, 2011

Is it spring yet?

My kids keep asking me when spring will be here. (with deep sighs as little heads are pressed against the window while gazing outside longingly)

But when your days still look like this,

and I'm still having days of nauseous agony, a mommy's gotta do what a mommy's gotta do.

It was time to pull out the big guns, and let the kids...

mop the floor!

Because ever since the very first time we did this, they think scrubbing the floor is about the coolest thing ever.

So I have to limit how often the "get" to do it.

Can't have them catching on to my conspiracy after all.

Once I figure out how to get them to do all the laundry, I'll let you know.

After a while, the scrubbing appeal wore off and soon they were slipping and sliding around the floor, and laughing hysterically about it.

But it wasn't long before this whole venture turned into a reenactment of "Cinderella".

What I wouldn't give to have a recording of the dialogue.

But the ball Cinderella was getting ready to attend looked more like a tribal ritual as it involved more stomping and falling than dancing.

 But once Cinderella got her prince, the "ugly stepsisters" lost interest in helping. So it was up to the girls to finish the job.

Which they didn't mind doing at all.

My kids were happy, my floor was squeaky clean,  and I got to throw up during it all in peace.

Happy day.

February 22, 2011

Bloggy Buddies are the Best!

I have met some pretty fabulous people through blogging.

And I say "met" quite literally because last year, besides being mocked by my family, in-laws, and friends, I went to MMB's Casual Blogger's Conference where I got to meet, in person, several of my bloggy buddies.

It was so great.

I even hitched a ride down to it with a super fantastic blogger who, as it turns out, only lives about 20 minutes from me!

Do you know Tauna from The Garden of Egan?  I luv Tauna. If you don't know Tuana, you're missing out, cause she's awesome. A hilarious ER nurse who is truly thoughtful and sweet. 

Yesterday I was out toting my married-since-Thanksgiving-and-are-now-expecting-twins, brother and SIL around town. Just as I was pulling up to the house, a vehicle pulled into my driveway just in front of me.

At first, not recognizing the vehicle or the person driving it, I was worried that maybe it was a sales lady. (So sorry Tauna! I truly didn't recognize you with your haircut! Which is super cute bytheway)

But lo and behold, Tauna was standing before me, bearing the most beautiful gift I have ever seen!

*sniff* Isn't it just... just... *sniffle* the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen? *dabbing eyes*

Sorry, I just need a moment. *blowing nose, sniffle*

K, I think I'm good now.

The instructions on top said "Take often, even in the shower!"

'Cause I wasn't joking when I said yesterday that I sneak chocolate into the shower with me so I don't have to share.

I really wasn't.

*deep sigh of contentment* I could just gaze at it lovingly all day.

Okay, I'm lying. I have been venomously attacking it since Tauna left it with me. And I have to say, these are the BEST prenatal vitamins I've EVER had!

I don't understand why these aren't prescribed more often, I think they would work wonders on pregnant women.

Well, she DID say to take often and she IS the nurse after all. I'm just following orders!

I wanted to invite her in and chat it up, but my hubby has strep, and the other kids are getting over bad colds. So I decided against it. Because I like her that much.

Thanks so much Tauna! You're the best! Seriously, you're awesome.

So... can I contact you when my prescription needs a re-fill?


Another fabulously funny blogger, whom I also got to meet in person at the CBC, sent me something rather grand in the mail a few weeks ago.

Do you know Lisa from Blue and Shoe?  I luv Lisa. If you don't know Lisa then you're missing out, 'cause she's awesome. She blogs on the wild side of things and so hilarious, so be sure to fasten your seat belt before you pay her a visit!

Look, look, look what she sent me!!

*squeeeeee* Isn't it adorable! There is no such things as having too many baby girl clothes.

Although Alayna has tried to claim the headband for her own after she realized the outfit wouldn't fit past her chubby thigh.

Thanks so much Princess Lisa! You're the best! Feel free to come babysit whenever you want!

Really, I won't complain.


And to all you other awesome bloggy buddies out there, even the ones who come to read and laugh at me in total anonymity.

Just know, that I {heart} you.

*double heart pound, peace sign*

February 21, 2011

WARNING: Thoughtful Post Ahead

You've been warned.

Have you ever yelled at your children, only to have them yell back? Then you give them the evil stinky eye and say, "Don't you yell at me!"

Or perhaps you've jumped all over them for having a messy room and demand that they pick it up this instant! Only to realize your own bedroom looks like a bomb went off in it?

*...awkward silence...*

Whew! *nervous laugh* Me either! *clearing throat... cough* Pish, don't know what you're talking about. Heh...

But if I did kind of, sort of, know what that was just maybe like, which I don't of course, *cough* eh hem.... I may just feel guilty when I do it.

Here's the thing.

I teach the 12-13 year old girls at church in the Young Women's program, and it's great! But the last two lessons have really latched onto my conscious and they refuse to let go, forcing me to re-evaluate lot of things.

Nuts... oh I mean, fabulous!

Last weeks lesson was titled, "Creating a Spiritual Environment in the Home". 

The two main points the lesson covered was the actual physical environment in which we discussed how important it was to keep slothfulness and uncleanliness far from you.

Great, just great.

And the other main point covered the attitudes of the home occupants and how one person's attitude can have a huge effect on the mood of others in the home.


I'm the mother after all. And the all too popular saying about, "If mom's not happy, no one is happy!" is so true.

No pressure. (I suddenly realize why I'm a chocoholic)

Now, I'm pregnant. But I'm not the glowy pregnant women type. No no, I don't glow. I growl. A lot.

Messes and fights are just a little harder to deal with and I can often fly off into a tizzy over seemingly ridiculous things.

I refuse to give you an example. Gotta maintain some sense of dignity you know.

So, in the lesson there was story about a girl who decided to change her attitude and everyday pretended to be cheerful, until it became a habit as well as her real attitude.

I can do that, right? Pretend to be cheerful on the days when duct taping certain little people who-will-not-be-named together seems like a perfectly wonderful idea?

I bet that would make a big difference in a lot of situations.

Now, yesterday's lesson was called, "A Woman's Responsibility to Teach". The basic point of the lesson was that we are always teaching, whether we realize it or not.

Our words, attitudes, actions, and examples are all having an effect on someone at all times.

As a mother, it is my children who are affected the most by every word, action, and attitude.

Again, no pressure. It's cake! (burnt to ash cake anyway)

So yes, I have been re-evaluating many things, setting new goals, etc. Perfection isn't the goal here, just going to try a little harder to be a little better.

Course, if life changing lessons like this keeps happening, I may have to go on vacation to recover from all this spiritual surgery.

If I I'm going to start being a better example for my children, I guess I better stop telling them they aren't allowed to eat candy for breakfast, then sneak chocolate into the shower so I don't have to share.

Well, maybe. I'll think on that one for a bit.

Speaking if chocolate.....

What are some of your thoughts? I'd love to know!

February 19, 2011

Weekend and Awards

Sometimes, the weekends are perfect for kickin' back, relaxin'...

and hangin' out in front of your nice, big, plasma screen television.



Special thanks to Felicity from Simple Elegance for my three newest blog awards! 

So be sure to swing by and give her some bloggy love.

Of course, she's probably regretting it now since she awarded them about a month ago and I am just now saying something about them.

Kind of like when I splurge on something, then have to confess to my husband.

Oh wait... he reads this blog.


I'm afraid my bloggy people skills have gone down the toilet. I use to be so good at keeping up with everyone's blogs, commenting on everyone's comments, etc.

But soon I realized I was spending way too much time on my computer and not enough time taking care of other things, so something had to give.

And as you can tell, it was my funny blogging skills as well as my bloggy people skills. So I hope you nice, kind, sweet, loving, gracious, understanding, compassionate, blog readers will forgive me.

You know it's bad when my husband comments on the fact that people have been unfollowing me.

I told him, it was the price I had to pay to make sure he had clean clothes to wear.

And he owes me... big time.

(okay, not really) 

February 17, 2011

Scary Silence?

It was quiet... too quiet.

Dangerously quiet.

Looking up from my project, I cocked my head, listening intently.

Not a sound.

No pattering of little feet, no shuffling of a diaper, no rustling of papers, or indication that a movie was playing. There was just... pure silence.

It was almost, scary.

Determined not to panic, I went to go investigate.

I came across the first one, not too terribly surprised. He's been sick so, this was good!


The second one was also easy to find. All I had to do was follow the bread bags. He seems to have a slight obsession with bread, and falling asleep on the kitchen floor.

In case you couldn't tell.

He really is in there, I promise.

Two down, one to go.

I quickly, and somewhat frantically began searching all the rooms, inwardly preparing myself for whatever horrible disaster was laying in wait for me.

Because let's face it. Alayna + Silence = Disaster.

It's a proven science.

Not finding her with the initial sweep of the house, I went at it again, more thoroughly.

And what to my total, utter, and complete amazement did I find?

The little one herself, tucked away in her own bed.

I just stood there, dumbfounded!

What magic was this? Maybe Fairy Godmothers really do exsist!

Smiling now at the peace and quiet, I set off to enjoy this ever so rare moment of tranquility.

Then, at that exact moment, the one who had been sleeping on my bed walked in and announced he had an accident.

All over my DRY CLEAN ONLY comforter.


I take back what I said about Fairy Godmothers.

February 16, 2011

To Patch a Pair of Pants

I don't sew.

Well, I mean I can use the basic setting on a sewing a machine and I have even done one or two simple sewing projects.

Basically anything that doesn't require more than sewing a simple line.

I do have an old sewing machine, graciously given to me by a neighbor. But the kids managed to lose the screw that holds in the needle. So for all intents and purposes, I don't have a sewing machine either.

Now, poor Savannah always seems to have a shortage of non-holey pants. She does have one pair that I bought her recently. But all four of her other pairs have nice, fatty, holes in the knees.

Still, the rest of the pants are perfectly fine and I do so hate to see them all go to waste. 

But remember, I don't sew. Plus I'm sewing-machine-less.

So I tried to come up with a nice, temporary solution.

And I did. I think.

I hand-stitched a patch over one of the gaping holes.


You! Quit rolling your eyes at me! I was rather proud of myself!

But forty-five minutes later, I had developed a really big appreciation for hand-made clothes, and their poor, poor seamstresses.

I'll never be able to watch any movie set "back in the day" the same way ever again.

I'll be too busy crying over their clothes.

February 15, 2011

It was a bust

If you want to read about pink, heart-shaped pancakes, cute decorations, and heart-shaped pepperoni for the homemade pizza, sorry. You'll have to go back and read last year's V-day post, 'cause this year, I didn't make it past buying some candy.

Which I ate most of.

Eh hem....

I'm not quite sure where this lands me on the lame-o-meter, but I'm guessing pretty high.

Yesterday, well, nothing went according to plan. It was kind of an odd day.

Not odd as in, Oh great! He just asked me to be his valentine, but I don't like him! Now where's my pink scrunchy and high tops?

No. It was odd as in, unexpected situations kept arising.

So instead of feeling too bad about it all, I'm just going to blame it on the fact that Hubby wasn't feeling too good so he missed some work in the day, which resulted in him working late.

And when Savannah had come home from school, she quite literally crawled into bed a few minutes later and didn't wake up again until 9:30pm for a quick drink of water before going back to bed to sleep all night. She got up about ten to 8:00 this morning.

Not to mention the pretty impressive meltdown Jacob had at dinner, which lasted well past bedtime.

So no cookies, not candy, no exchanging of family valentines or cute decorations.

Outside of a Sunday afternoon helping Savannah with her school valentines, we more or less did nada, nothin', zip, ziltch.

Because I'm pretty awesome like that.

This message has been brought to you by the Lame Parents of America Association, where we pride ourselves on making you feel better about yourself.

February 14, 2011

Four things I love about my man

4. The other day, Jacob's new toothbrush got flushed down the toilet.

Not sure what happened exactly, perhaps it just couldn't stand the thought of life in our bathroom (not that I blame it) and threw itself over the edge, but sure enough, it was lost and gone forever down the swirling vortex of terror.

I'm sure you know where this is going.

Cause you're smart like that, I can tell.

Upon hearing one of the boys flush the toilet about... oh, seven or eight times in a row, I finally called out (cause there's a fine line between calling and yelling, right?) and told him to quit playing with the toilet or he'd end up with a swirly!

Okay, not really.

"But mommy!" came the reply,"da toiwet's not fwushing!"

(No, the inch of water on the floor was not caused by the toilet. But rather by that deceptively innocent looking little girl in the tub)

Several days later, ( not that I'm trying to draw attention to that little aspect) Luke finally unclogged the thing, using his ingenuity and a wire, and re-discovered the lost toothbrush.

What would we do without him?

Swirling vortex of terror indeed.

3. Even when I'm nine months pregnant, he still weighs more than me. And even when I wear my 5-inch heels, he's still an inch taller than me.

What about that can't a girl love and appreciate?

2. He's not a picky eater. He'll eat anything, and I mean anything I make at least once. Even if it's nasty or just, you know... a little burnt.

Except for this one time while we were dating in college. Let's just say it had to do with a slight... okay, maybe more than a slight, over-dosage of pepper.

Eh hem. Anyway.

1.He looks sexy in a tool belt, or anytime using tool, especially a power tool.

Sorry guys, I just can't help myself. It's totally hot.

February 10, 2011

Operation Escape

Faint whispering and giggling alerted me to a covert operation.

I was up to my elbows in dinner so I stood down and waited, keeping my senses on high alert. I remained suspicious, but unalarmed.

Suddenly, I heard the front door open as Savannah burst into the kitchen.

"Mommy mommy!" She squealed while smiling so big I'm amazed her face didn't split in half, "Alayna's escaping! Quick, you have-ta go catch her!"

I walked to the front door and encountered the boys laughing hysterically.

"Wook mommy!" Joseph giggled, "Layna is weawing Savannah's coat!"

"Yea!" says Jacob, "And da Bob da Buiwder snow boots too!"

Savannah claps her hands in excitement. "Haha! She looks so cute!" 

Alayna, realizing she's been caught, tries to run away.

Should I go left?

Or right? 

Or... wait, it is kind of dark out there....

Back inside the doorway, the other kids continued to laugh and giggle at what they considered a clever scheme on their part, since they were the ones who dressed her up.

"Layna! Layna! Look over hewe!" Jacob kept calling.

"Yea Layna! Smile! Wook at da camwa!" Joseph yelled outside.

Savannah too was the perfect cheerleader. "Come on Layna! Come on cute girl! Look at the camera! Say cheese!" she said in a voice the one might use to encourage a puppy to come to you.

The most entertaining part for me in all this, was watching and listening to the other kids laugh and giggle in pure excitement, and think they were just so very clever. 

But finally, Alayna had had enough, and the kids all went back to doing different things.

Still, it was an awesome moment.

February 8, 2011

Daddy is like... the King!

The day was winding down and we, as a family, were cleaning up the house. Of course we were having the kids do most of the light pick up work, seeing as all the stuff that needed to be picked up belonged to them.

Savannah, however, was not happy about it.

Finally in a moment of frustration, she blurted out to daddy, "It's like you're the king and we have to do whatever you say! And... and you do less while we do more than you!"  

We scoffed (nicely of course) at this.

The dialogue between her and daddy went back and forth along these lines for a few moments before she finally finished with, "Humph! You make life so hard."

Suddenly, Luke lets out a long wolf howl and says, "Whoa! Did you hear that whinny wolf? That's what you sound like, a whiny wolf."

Savannah pulls a pout and mumbles, "I do not."

Thankfully, Luke has a talent for ending on a good note with the kids and soon they were laughing and working together.

*This message has been recorded and preserved in writing for Savannah's future enjoyment for when she has her own six-going-on-sixteen year old daughter.

February 7, 2011

My Vanity Suffers a Blow

Hi! I'm Serene. This is me.

Well... okay fine. Technically speaking, this was me last summer BEFORE I was pregnant. Can you blame me for using a skinnier picture?

No, you can't.

Anyhow, that's me on a typical, non-pregnant day.

Well, my dreadful Quasimodo transformation all began a week ago, Sunday morning.

I awoke with this slight pain on the bridge of my nose.You know that feeling like a gigantic, all face-consuming pimple is coming on? Ya, that feeling. But when I looked in the mirror, I was just as horrified to see that the whole bridge of my nose was swollen and red!

Okay okay, so it wasn't THAT noticeable, unless I pointed it out to someone. Which I did, to my hubby and my neighbor while at church.

Both reactions? Oh yaaaaa... it is, isn't it?


But Sunday night, it was worse and I had developed this big, red, painful splotch that spread from the bridge of my nose, down onto my right cheek.

Hoping it was just a weird... something, and it would be gone in the morning, I went to bed.


I woke up to the feeling that I had been pummeled in my sleep.

Not that I've ever been pummeled before, but I think I can now imagine the feeling.

To my great dismay, the red splotch now looked like a butterfly across my nose and both cheeks. It was hot to the touch and a little itchy.

But what surprised me the most, was just how much pain was in my face. My jaw, cheekbones and nose felt especially battered. Touching my skin was very painful and the glands just under my chin were swollen and hurt like crazy.

Remember my belly post last Monday when I cut off my head and mentioned my face was all weird?

I wasn't exaggerating.

Because I NEVER exaggerate. Ever. Never ever.

In this case though, I really wasn't, like I mentioned already.

Not knowing where else to go, I called up my OBGYN and set up a last minute appointment to have him check out my face.

He looked stumped, and I didn't feel reassured by that. But, due to the nature of the butterfly rash, he guessed it was either Rosecea, or possibly even Lupus.

Awesome... not.

He prescribed some anti-biotic cream for the "rash" and said if it didn't get any better, to let him know and we'd get an appointment with the dermatologist.


If I thought Monday was painful, Tuesday was twice as bad. Again, having never been punched in the face, I could only imagine that I now know what it feels like. It hurt to talk or eat, and anytime I bent over or looked down, I felt like my face was going to explode.

Not my finest moment, I know.

And you! Ya you, I heard that horrified gasp! You owe me some chocolate for that!

So rude.

Anyway, I called the doctor's office and set up an appointment with a dermatologist for the following morning.


If I thought Tuesday was painful, Wednesday was twice as bad! By now I was ready to smash every mirror in the house.

The dermatologist inspected my face and finally determined I had something called Erysipelas, or St. Anthony's Fire.


He then went on to declare that it is a rare infection, even rarer to see it on both sides of the face and that he hadn't seen the infection in years.


He even brought in another dermatologist to show me off. Apparently I was a cool patient.

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

So, antibiotics were prescribed and I was excited to get on with the healing.

But by Wednesday night, I looked like this.


Have you ever had an eye completely swollen shut? I would like to state for the record, and you can quote me on this, it is highly annoying!!!!

No it... really is.

I kept trying to pry my swollen eye open just to get some relief from the annoying situation.

The good news is, the antibiotics had helped a lot with the pain. It wasn't nearly so intense, and I was so grateful.


Yes, I had just rolled out of bed in this picture, What gave me away?

The pain continued to lessen and the swelling was slooowly starting to go away. But I was still super self-conscious about the was I looked.

Cause I'm vain like that, obviously.


Most of the swelling had gone away although you could still see a little in my right eye. My skin was also peeling from where it had been swollen and inflamed.

It was like having a sunburn without the nice tanning side effects.

I also kept trying to strategically style my annoying hair to cover the right side of my face.

I was only mildly successful with that.


There is still a slight red splotch or two but the swelling in my right eye is barely noticeable.


PLEASE NOTE: If any of you laughed at or plan to use any of theses pictures against me, I will send my 2-year old to your house. You know of whom I speak.

I know, you should be scared.

Disclaimer: As you read this voluntarily, I am not liable for any mental or emotional damage sustained with viewing these images of me without make-up.
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