Apr 8, 2009

Dr. Phil....here we come!

I am not a very good mother.
Although I DO try....I really do. Seriously.

But the fact remains.....I will never win 'mother of the year'. Not even close.

In fact, I am sure that someday you will all watch my children appear on an episode of Dr. Phil....disclosing truths about me like how when they were babies, I'd give them a lemon to suck on.....just because it was funny to watch. Or maybe how I accidentally left one of them in a playland because I forgot that I had checked him in there......or how I one time popped my son in the mouth at tj maxx, causing a SEVERE nose bleed and then pretended( on my way out the door) the he had fallen down and bumped it so that nobody would call CPS on me. There was that time when I locked 2 of them in the running car (heat blasting) with a bag of popcorn (choking hazard...I know!) and had to call the fire department to get them out.

The list is long my friends......

.....and this past weekend was no exception. 

I allowed (or maybe encouraged) my boys (ages 10 and 5) to sign up to go pondskimming at schweitzer.  The videos above say it all. Keep in mind that this 'pond' has actual snow floating in it because it is so cold that it wont even melt....
Keep in mind also, that when you fall.... your skis/snowboard will likely still be attached to your feet which is (of course) not good for swimming.....

especially when you are 5......

and especially if you don't ski that well and still have to wear an 'edgie-wedgie' on the tips of your skis......
and especially if your mom (who can be seen at the edge of the pond in Kellen's video) does not jump in to help you out of the water because she doesn't want to ruin her Ugg boots.

I'm pretty sure people in the crowd were wondering what idiot parent would let their small child participate in an event like this. I'm pretty sure about this because I have wondered the same thing about myself after watching the videos.

Both boys, I am happy to report, survived this event with no permanent damage done. No head injury, no drowning, no frostbite or hypothermia......

See you in a few years Dr. Phil!!!!

Mar 24, 2009

I've become an adrenaline junkie....

My heart is pounding....palms sweaty.....breathing erratic.....
The moment of truth has arrived and the excitement is overwhelming!  I've been preparing all week for this and finally, here I stand. With glassy eyes and knees knocking nervously, I step forward......Its my turn.

"What is she about to do?" you might be wondering....."Skydive???? Run a marathon???? Bungee jump?"

No my friends.
It's none of these things.

What I'm about to do....
buy groceries.

Try not to be too disappointed. There is a bit more to the story than just that. Here is the reason...
The reason is......
I have become a crazy, obsessed, compulsive coupon clipping freak nerd.  
Yes...friends......I"m one of  'those' people.
The people who clog up the line at the grocery store because they have a coupon for every single item in their cart and then hassle with the checker over pennies. The people who have the annoyingly huge envelope packed with coupons who stop every few steps to sift through the hundreds of little scraps of paper in order to save 25 cents.
I have become one of them.
It is nearly as time consuming as my real job and so seriously fun that I can't even write about it without smiling.....
My family teases me. My kids harrass me. I have
 to carry an extra large purse to accomodate my giant coupon holder.....but ......I'm saving a butt-load of money and I get something for free almost every day. Let me repeat that, I get something for free almost EVERY DAY!

I have no shame.

Of course, couponing at this level comes with a bit of a learning curve and some embarassing moments......
It turns out that returning your large order of groceries and re-buying them in order to use a coupon is irritating to safeway cashiers.
It also turns out that trying to use a $1 coupon on a 97 cent bar of soap can cause a near riot situation at wal-mart.
Oh well.....I'm ok with it. I'm also pretty comfortable with knowing that nobody really wants to come to the store with me anymore.  Clearly they don't embrace the rush of adrenaline that comes with getting 25 bottles of free shampoo. (Yes, I really did do that!)

So, all I need now is a sweet pair of 'mom jeans', a sweatshirt with a kitty on it ,a nerdy haircut and a minivan....and I'll have captured the whole look. (see example below)

But of course, I can't get those things......
                               .......until I have
                                     .......a coupon to buy them with!

Feb 11, 2009

17 random things about me.....

I was recently 'tagged' on facebook to come up with 17 obscure facts about myself. For those of you who missed it.....here they are!

1. I spend a lot of time wondering what it would be like to have thighs that don't touch at the top.
2. I recently ran a half marathon and pretty much hated every moment of it.
3. I work the night shift.
4. I have to wear pajama bottoms when I sleep and a shirt that covers my shoulders...otherwise I have bad dreams or can't sleep.
5. Right now, my favorite treat is salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks.
6. Last month it was pumpkin pie blizzards from Dairy Queen.
7. #5 and #6 are the reason my thighs are fat.
8. In middle school, I had to wear a back brace....which probably impacted my self esteem but also gave me a flat stomach.
9. I love boots and flip-flops
10. I am learning to play the guitar and plan to force everyone at loon lake to listen to it around the campfire this coming summer.
11. I shattered my wrist last winter while trying to be a 'cool' mom and learn to snowboard. Turns out that riding down the mountain in the ski patrol sled is not 'cool' and actually embarrassing to your kids.
12. I am very scared of horses and flying on airplanes and heights.
13. I hardly ever pay full price for anything. I LOVE bargains! I think it annoys some people.
14. When people ask what my 'most embarrassing moment' is....it is very hard to pick just one.
15.I don't really like wine at all.
16. I LOVE guitar hero and dance dance revolution and am....hands down...the best in my family at both.
17. One of my favorite places in the world is Loon Lake.

Jan 9, 2009

Reality check

We were all snuggled up on the bed , having just finished reading a story when my tender-hearted , 5 year old  offered to give me a  back rub. I was most definitey enjoying the moment....even thinking I might doze off for a minute when suddenly.....SMACK!  He took that sweet little hand and slapped me right on my side where my.....ahem.....'muffin top' resides. 

"OUCH!" I said angrily...... "What was that for????" 

"I was giving you a spanking on your butt" he replied.

"Well....that's not my butt......its my side" I explained.

A few moments of silence followed and I began to settle back into my happy, sleepy state of mind only to have him break the silence with this.....

"Mommy....you might want to know this. Your "side" has a little bit of your butt on it!"

(Its a good thing he's so cute.....)


Dec 23, 2008

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!

I'm sure you can picture it.....

The party was festive and fun....the people warm and inviting and the conversation lovely. We were all sitting in a large circle, visiting and laughing when suddenly...out of the blue...my 10 year old son asks from across the circle.....
"Mom....what's a douche bag?"   (talk about a conversation stopper!)

With flaming cheeks I quietly say, "Lets chat about that later sweetie'. To which he (thankfully) replies "ok". I think he could tell that it wasn't really 'party talk'. Unfortunately I didn't just let it drop there...which in hindsight....would have been the best choice since we did now have quite an audience of wide-eyed spectators. No....instead I ask, "where did you even hear that?' to which he replies......
"Dad called someone that today when were driving in his car!"

Father of the year anyone?????

Dec 19, 2008

Oh....the holidays!!!

As the frantic final week of Christmas arrives, I am personally feeling a little overwhelmed. We have had a BUSY month....full of activity, excitement and of course....stress!
Sometimes its hard for me to slow down and really reflect on the meaning of the season and the things I am thankful for. I think you will understand better after reading/singing the following song I wrote about life in the Flanigan house.

(Please sing to the tune....'what child is this?")

What child is this.... who 
in the house kicked a soccer ball
through the window glass?
Whom mommy greets with stomping feet 
and thoughts of spanking his a#%.

This, this is child #2, whom 
makes a mess in every room.
sigh,sigh...try not to cry
the month is just beginning.

What child is this...who rolls her eyes
at every thing I do or say?
Who threatened to scream 
over the flu vaccine
and acts like we're all in her way.

This,this is child #1,who
thinks we are lame and not any fun.
sigh,sigh...try not to cry
December is just halfway over.

What child is this....who 
walks in his sleep and 
keeps his mommy from counting her sheep.
Who never stops eating and always is bleeding
from taking such huge flying leaps.

this, this is child #3, who's
broken most ornaments on the tree.
Sigh, sigh...try not to cry
December is almost over.

So bring me food and drugs and beer
I need it to capture this Christmas cheer
2008 hasn't been too great
Let's hear it for 2009!

Merry Christmas Everyone! (don't worry....I really DO love my kids and plan on keeping them)

Nov 18, 2008


This morning I was on a mission. Drop kids off...gym...shower...errands....store.....all before I needed to pick Kellen up at 12:15. Every minute mattered. Every single one.  I was actually doing well until I made that fateful stop in the laundry room, on my way out for errands, to fold one last load of towels. Thats where my day took a turn for the worse.

(Hmmm....funny how so many of my posts are about time spent in the laundry room. This should tell you 2 things: 1) I have a very boring life and 2)I spend a fair amount of it washing clothes). 

So there I was, quickly floding my clean, fluffy towels and listening to the washer fill. I was even feeling a little smug as I realized that not only was I a few minutes ahead of schedule, but that my precise timing was going to allow me to throw the stuff from the washer into the dryer before I left. My heart soared.....my feeling of accomplishment growing with every moment.

Suddenly, I heard some strange noises in the distance which pulled me from my happy place. It sounded like rushing water....Maybe a little like someone was in the shower....only I was the only one home. Hmmmmm??? I pause for a moment longer, trying to figure out what it could be because now I hear another noise....a thumping noise.....like the noise the sump pump in the basement makes when we are flooding.....HOLY CRAP! I tear out of the laundry room and as I do....the sound of rushing water gets louder. Its coming from the bathroom. The bathroom???? What the heck????
I switch on the light and much to my delight....the toilet is spilling laundry water all over the floor. In addition, the bathtub is also filling with bubbly liquid that smells of Tide. As fast as my legs will carry me, I run back into the laundry room to stop the washer. As I dive for the knob that will stop the spin cycle (and hopefully stop Niagra falls in the bathroom) my sweater catches on the little sensor that exists inside the door of a dryer (which tells the dryer that the door is closed and allows it to...well.... dry clothes)  and rips 
it clean off of the appliance. So now I have a flood, a broken dryer, and a crazy long piece of snagged yarn hanging off my sweater. In addition, the sump pump is still making its thumping noises in the basement....... I'm afraid to look.

I have a hunch that Tom isn't going to be too happy about this. 

I have also lost that warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.

After the waters receded, I assessed the damage. 
Tub, toilet and floor.....cleaner than they were before the flood.
Basement....damp but smells nice (at least now). Sump pump did its job. Yeah! (by friday it will likely smell like mildew ....or urine)
Sweater....slightly more vintage looking. I managed to creatively tuck the dangling yarn.
Schedule for my 'productive' morning......completely shot.
Dryer....silent. Broken. not working.

You may think this is the end of the story......sadly its not.

For some reason....I decided that I should try to fix the dryer. I really can't say what posessed me to take on this project. I know nothing about dryers. Perhaps I was blinded by my obsession to acheive on this day. I still had much laundry to do and was not willing to concede. Plus...how hard could it be????? 

I managed to slightly lift the top off. Maybe 3 inches. Just enough to reach my beefy arm in there and feel around for the backside of the sensor button. The top of the dryer, which as you may recall, is only open like 3 inches.... is cutting off all circulation to my hand and probably making actual cuts in my arm. Suddenly...  I find the sensor with my throbbing fingers....and then listen as it drops deep into the bowels of the appliance....most likely never to be seen again. Sh*T!!!!! With much effort and wiggling.....I free my nearly amputated appendage. I did manage to pull out the box of wires that controls this sensor button.  Somehow (I'm unsure of exactly how...possibly divine intervention), I manipulated that box of wires with a screwdriver and a strategicaly placed sliver of tape . Now, the dryer runs and actually never stops....even with the door open....it just dries and dries....unless of course you pull the screwdriver out. (which is what is holding the whole thing together.) Its very tricky. Please don't try this at home. Also, please dont' call to borrow my dryer.

Here is a photo of my handi-work. Maybe you'll agree that I should stick to nursing......

Nov 9, 2008

What happens when men are left in charge....

Nov 6, 2008

some pics from Halloween...

Colleen as captain Jack Sparrow....

Miss America and first runner up!

Oct 12, 2008

my day as a (half) marathoner.....

The alarm went off at 7. 

Holy cow...it's race day. Once again I think..."what was I thinking when I signed up for this?" But I have already paid my money and I'm too cheap to not at least get a shirt for that so... I get out of bed and try to figure out what one wears to run when it's 22 degrees. Let me repeat that...its 22 degrees. I'm not even sure I CAN run when its that cold. I decide to go with the 'zero gravity, wonder woman sports bra", dri-fit shirt topped off with a pink running sweatshirt (which I think looks quite nice with the pink stripe on my nike's),sweats, hat, gloves and handwarmers. One bowl of cheerios and one cup of coffee and we're off. 
On the way downtown, Tom "encourages" me by telling me that he's heard this is the 'worst and hilliest' run around. He makes some groaning noises as I describe the course and finishes off the pep talk by commenting on how few people are at the starting line. ( I think he thought my chances of actually coming in last were pretty high...especially with so few competitors). 
I jump out of the car, after a good luck kiss and an "I hope you don't die" embrace to join the other runners.
I quickly find a few people I know and we huddle together, trying to keep warm. All around us runners are jogging around, stretching, etc.  and I start to feel insecure about my 'warm up" (which consisted of flexing my legs while sitting on the seat heaters in my car) so I throw in a few knee bends and lunges. A few minutes later we're ready to start....

Gun goes off! Michael Jackson is singing "wanna be startin' somethin'" on my ipod and I feel empowered to be a part of the "small-ish" swarm of bodies pounding the pavement.

Mile 1: Feeling good. Starting to get a little sweaty so I ditch the dollar store hat. There are a lot of people passing me at this point as everyone falls into their pace. WOW! I start to wonder "how long until people stop passing me!"

Mile 2:I thought I was seroiusly kicking butt at this point because it had only been like 7 minutes since mile 1. My accomplishment was short lived, however, because a few minutes later I passed another "mile 2" sign and realized that the first ego-crushing sign was for the full marathon (which was going on concurrently.) By the way....People are still passing me.

Mile 3-6: Basically uneventful except for the soreness I started experiencing in my toe. I walked for about a minute to shed my sweatshirt and gloves and decided that I run faster when listening to 'bust a move'.....  

Mile 6:My terriffic dad shows up on the course to give me water and shed some tears. I hope it was because he was proud of me and not because I looked like I might end up in a medical tent. 

Mile 7: Some lady in front of me dropped her really nice running glove which I bent down and grabbed. I then spent the next mile trying to catch her. I think that really helped my time! Maybe if I ever do this again someone should run in front of me with a donut or something so that I'm actually chasing them??? I wonder how fast I'd finish??
(I did finally catch her in case you were wondering)

Mile 8-9:Pretty much from here on out, it sucked. My toe was killing me, my knees were aching, the people around me were annoying with all of their breathing and shoes on the pavement noises. I hated the spectators with their clapping and cheering. My ipod was uninspiring. Did I mention the fact that people were STILL passing me? I begged Tom to give me a ride. (I think he thought I was kidding)

Mile 10: I got another small boost which was soon squelched by reality. Suddenly these REALLY FAST men were running up behind me and passing me (big surprise). I was thinking to myself, "How in the WORLD did I stay ahead of these stellar athletes for 10 miles? I am a stud!" Moments later I realized that our course had just merged with the marathon course and these men were the elite runners, about to finish 26 miles and finish them before I could finish 13. UGH! I thought about trying to draft behind them but by the time I decided that, I couldn't see them anymore. (There is also not much of a 'draft' when you're only going like...2 miles an hour.)

Mile 11-12: Just... keep... g-o-i-n-g.....I had to keep telling myself this. Everything hurt at this point and to top it all off, we were now running on a gravel/dirt road with a sidewalk that was like...2 feet up from the road. I had to go from sidewalk to road a few times(to pass people..yes, I finally passed someone) and let me tell you...it was painful! My legs were lead. I think I was almost running in place! The really fun part was when a car would go by and spin up some dust into my already burning lungs. My dad showed up again to 'run me in' and/or check me in to the hospital. One quarter of a mile from the finish my sister-in-law Ann joined us (who had already finished. GO ANN!)and the 3 of us ran in with Tom snapping our photo. I was never so glad to see a finish line. 
So here I sit, on the couch. I am thankful to mark this off my 'list' and I  do feel accomplished. I did it!!! I am sporting my new tee shirt and also a half dollar sized blister on the bottom of my big toe. In addition,I feel worn out, sore, and like I might have diarrhea at any moment. I'm not sure that I am really cut out to be a runner but for today....
I am a (half)-MARATHONER!