Whose Story Is It Anyway?


Several years ago, a strange thing happened to my husband and me. We took an uneventful hike in a nearby park. After our hike, we decided to take a short-cut along a street, to get to our car. As we walked, I noticed a dollar bill floating down the street. I picked it up, and it was then that we noticed more money blowing down the sidewalk. A lot more money… $10, then $20. Then more. So we chased the money and picked it all up. We must have looked ridiculous chasing money blowing down the street!

Having worked in television, my first thought was that we were on a hidden camera show, or Punk’d! But we looked around and we were alone. No cameras hiding in the woods. No people around.

My second thought was, where the heck did this money come from? There were no houses nearby. No cars. No people. No wallet, no backpack. Nothing except money blowing around. Strange.

My third thought was, let’s count it! It turned out to be $385! Crazy. So what did we do?…

Sorry! This is where I am going to pause my story. I am not going to tell you what we did with that money. I think I’ll let that remain a mystery. Or save it for another post.

The real reason of this post, isn’t that we found money. So what is it about?


AMY’S STORY:rVvIisyfQwOhZv35PPhh_unsplash

Fast forward 15 years. One crisp, autumn morning, my friend Amy and I met for a walk on a nearby hiking trail. Amy and I have been best friends since way back when they called middle school, “junior high”. If you are too young to remember that, don’t tell me!  Suffice it to say that we met a long time ago!

This particular fall day, we were walking and chatting about life, kids, and probably what TV show was on the night before.

Something about being on the hike or the crispness of the air must have triggered a memory for Amy.  Because all of sudden, she said to me, “Do you remember that time Dan and I (Dan is her husband), found money blowing down the street? That was awesome”.

She continued, “we were taking a hike, like this, and we found a lot of money. I remember single dollars, and twenty-dollar bills too. And no one was around.” She added, “did I ever tell you about that?”

For a minute, I thought she was kidding. But she was serious. Then I wondered if it had happened to her too? That would be odd. The same story? I told her that she never told me about that.

And I asked her for more details.  And she proceeded to tell me MY DETAILS!  MY STORY!

I said, “I think you’re thinking of my story”. “No”, she said, “I clearly remember it”.

By this time, I was laughing. Could she really have mixed up our stories? But she was adamant that it had happened to her. So I had her call her husband and ask him. Sure enough, he had no idea what she was talking about. It didn’t happen to her, it happened to me! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that we were both laughing pretty hard by then.

The whole thing is pretty funny and amazing too. That after all these years of friendship, and all these years that we have shared our feelings, secrets, events… shared our lives with each other, that we have gotten to the point of forgetting whose story is whose!

A sign of old age? Maybe.

A sign of a great friendship? Definitely!

Something we still laugh about? You bet your ass we do!

I like to remind Amy about it every once in a while because I am pretty sure that one day, I will be the one to say “Hey Amy, do you remember that time that I…?  And I will recount one of her stories, that I think happened to me!

~Cindie xo


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How Cinco De Mayo Celebrations Have Changed With Parenthood




Lots of things change when you become a mom.

Celebrations involving alcohol for instance. For many years, I celebrated each Cinco De Mayo, with a group of friends, on an outdoor patio of a fun Mexican restaurant/bar in New York City.

Happy hour always started extra early on Cinco de Mayo. Never-ending baskets of  chips, salsa and guacamole, several margaritas, and maybe a sombrero or two, filled the evening.

The night usually ended with a tipsy walk home to my apartment, with everyone singing “Olé”!


Today, the kids and I will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo, slightly differently!

The big event? Tacos for dinner! Cue the applause. I know, I know, can you stand the excitement?


But don’t worry, I would never forget the guacamole. I could eat guacamole everyday.

And I may get crazy and have one yummy margarita too (as embarrassed as I am to admit it, it will be a Skinny Girl Margarita. Hey, don’t judge!).

So no tipsy walk home this evening, but I will still make sure we all yell -“Olé”!

Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!

~Cindie xo

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Things Kids Love to Say Over and Over (and Over and Over Again)

Kids are creatures of habit. I am sure there are many reasons behind the psychology of why they repeat the same things over and over, but it can be exhausting for parents. Some days, I feel like my life is the movie Groundhog Day (I know you remember it, with Bill Murray, where the day repeats… over and over and over).

Yep, Groundhog Day. Welcome to parenthood.


Some of my kids’ favorite things to say to me…

“Are we there yet?”

You know you’ve all heard this in the car. Anytime and every time you drive ANYWHERE. We can be taking a long trip, or a 10 minute drive and I swear I hear it within the first two minutes of getting into the car. And if it’s a long car ride, I hear it about 100 more times. “It’s so sweet that kids are so excited to get to their next location with such enthusiasm”- SAID NO PARENT DRIVING A CAR EVER!

Watch this video


Another favorite of mine…

“Watch me, Mommy. Look. Watch this. Look at me. Look, look, look.”

What is the fascination with kids NEEDING you to watch everything they do? I understand they are proud of what they can do, and their little brains crave validation. But for a mom who is juggling 10 things at once, it’s VERY hard to constantly stare at your child when they are…

a). Twisting a string into the shape of… uh… what is that?… nothing. Ok, “Oooh, awesome”, I say. And I stand and watch.

Or when they…

b). Show me how they can pet the dog -“Look, mommy, watch me, watch… LOOK!” And then they pat the dog’s head. lol.

Or my favorite one occurred this morning…

c). I was making breakfast, packing school lunches, emptying the dishwasher, and doing five other things, all under the pressure of “20 minutes until the bus comes”, when my son NEEDED me to watch him jump on one leg. For about 3 straight minutes. I kept waiting for some other amazing circus trick to happen, but no, it was just the jumping I had to watch.

I try really hard to boost their self-esteem, and to be nice about it, each and every time. I “ooh” and “ahhh”, but as all moms know, it is a HUGE exercise in patience. Patience I don’t always have. Patience I often dig deep to find. And if I’m honest, sometimes, I don’t find that much-needed patience.

But I do my best to “look” and “watch”. Then I go back to juggling!


A bedtime favorite of mine…

“Read me a book. Read me a book. Read me a book.”

Every single night at bedtime, my son chants “READ-ME-A-BOOK”. I read one or two books every night as part of our bedtime ritual. I am a huge reader, and have always encouraged my kids to love reading as much as I do. But it’s getting harder for me these days. It’s because we are in the “middle stage”. I’ll explain.

The beginning stage is great – it’s baby and toddler age. I loved to snuggle with them and read. The books were short and sweet, and I could skip pages without them knowing (you all know you’ve done that!).

The last stage is when they start reading on their own, and its fabulous. They find their own love of reading and excitedly re-tell the story.

Both the beginning, and the last stages are great. But the middle stage stinks. Honestly, how many times can I read 61s4LhSEjeL“Thomas’ Blue Mountain Mystery”? Or “Thomas: Day of the Diesel”? Or “Thomas is Stuck in the Mud”?  (I will admit I actually like “The Cranky Day”. It makes me feel better if I am having a bad day too!)

But you get the idea. The same books over and over. If it were up to my son, I’d read them all day, everyday. He has hundreds of books, literally. But he always picks the same couple of Thomas books. With an occasional Curious George thrown in. While I love both of those cuties (Thomas and George), I have gotten just a wee bit sick of them!

When my oldest child, my daughter, was in this 9780307976765middle stage, and constantly asked me to read her Barbie books, and Rainbow Magic books (about fairies), I almost lost my mind. Go read one, you’ll see what I mean. They are awful. When she learned to read on her own, I was thrilled. And I’m enjoying her books these days, and we often read together (I’m reliving my childhood with Judy Blume books again).

But oh, that stage in the middle when they want me to read TERRIBLE books… it just sucks.

So right now, the “READ ME A BOOK” chant usually makes me want to run away…


And lastly, I hear this way too often…

“Please, just one piece of candy. Please. Oh Please.”

Thanks to every well-meaning relative who regularly give my kids candy at every holiday. Yes, that would be all of the holidays and all of the relatives. Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and then they get more at their friends’ birthday parties.pile-of-candy

We end up with bags of candy, that they hoard. I actually keep them stored in a cabinet and they have to ask me for some. Otherwise, they’d definitely eat it all at once! But they are at the ages where they have categorized and counted, and re-counted, each piece of candy. They have even written their names on their own. So they know what they have. And they ask me for it daily. Or 10 times a day. Sometimes 100 times a day.

My son has figured me out. When he wants something really bad, he tells me that if I give him just one piece of candy, he’ll do anything I want him to. He told me yesterday that he’d wash all the laundry and even fold it and put it away!  That’s a good little man-in-training. And he certainly knows the way to my heart! Do some chores for me, and you’re in.

By the way, while it was a nice offer, it didn’t work. He’s five years old, so I realized that him doing the laundry would last a total of three minutes – not long enough for him to score the candy before breakfast.

So he went right back to asking – “Please, just one piece, please, please, please??????”


Someday, I will be proud of their determination and persistence. Until then though, like most of my mommy friends, I may be slowly losing my mind… one “Are We There Yet” at a time.

~Cindie xo


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Kids Fall Asleep In The Funniest Places

Kids fall asleep in the funniest places. And often in hilarious positions. They get to the point of exhaustion and just collapse wherever they are. My kids are no exception.

I’ve gathered some of my favorite photos of my children asleep in funny spots. Yes, I take pictures! Usually the hubby and I have a good chuckle, and then I say, “Don’t move them until I get my camera”!

Every mom I know will agree that there is nothing cuter than a sleeping child.

Ahhhh, silence!





















Sweet Dreams.

~Cindie xo


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National No Housework Day: It Sounds Good In Theory, But Is It?

Put down those dirty dishes!  Hang up your brooms!  Today, April 7th, is National No Housework Day.

When I first heard this, I did a little happy dance around my kitchen.

No Housework? For a whole day? No cleaning, cooking, laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, nothing?images-10

Just a day to put my feet up and relax? Awesome!

There isn’t a single day in the entire year that I don’t clean something.

Even on my birthday, I do housework (I actually received a vacuum as a gift from my husband one year – don’t ask how that turned out!).

Mother’s Day?  YEP.  I cook, clean, do whatever is needed.  So the thought of ONE DAY OFF sounds amazing.


But then I thought about it more…

What happens AFTER #National No Housework Day?  I guess tomorrow will be #National Freak Out Because My House Is So Messy Day? Or #National Why Are The Kids Covered in Dog Fur Day?  Or #National How The Heck Did We Use That Many Dishes Day?

Is it really a good idea to just ignore the mess?  What will happen tomorrow is that I will have DOUBLE the housework. Unfortunately it just needs to get done. And if momma isn’t doing it, who will?  Uh, I know that answer… me TOMORROW!

So I have decided  it’s not worth it to celebrate today. I will continue on with my housework today.

But I did have a great idea. Since it’s also #National Beer Day today, I’ve decided that I will choose to celebrate that one instead!  I think that’s a much better idea.



~Cindie xo




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4 Ways Parents Embarrass Their Slightly Older Little Ones

Ways parents embarrass their kids?  Hmmm, I’d have to say the list is endless.

Up until they were about age 4 or 5, my kids weren’t often embarrassed by me or their dad. We could say or do anything goofy, loud, silly. And they wouldn’t mind.

I just asked my cute 5-year-old if I ever embarrass him.  His answer today… “um, not so much”.  Good, I’m glad to hear that. But I’m sure he’ll answer differently in a couple of years.

My daughter is 8, and pretty much everything I do causes yells of “MOM. SERIOUSLY. STOP”. I can only imagine when she hits the tween years. I actually find it entertaining that she gets so embarrassed by me, so easily.

I’ve discovered it’s a great way to encourage better behavior.  Some may call that blackmail.  I choose to call it… persuasion.


I’ve compiled my current list of the best “persuasion tactics”:

1. A favorite of mine is school bus time.

Oh the horror if I try to kiss them as the bus pulls up. I have beenschoolbus warned by my daughter that I am only “allowed” to kiss her before or after the bus is GONE. Down the road, not in sight.

No one on the bus must ever see me kiss her. Or hug her. Or smile at her.

I guess a high-five is okay. She also approved a fist-bump if the bus is still there.

But NEVER, EVER a kiss.

So every morning I smooch her a lot until I hear the bus rounding the corner. Then I stop and she marches way ahead of me. Walking next to her is a no-no too. Sometimes I get lucky and get a wave from her as she gets on the bus.

But I am a smart momma, so I am saving this one in my secret “persuasion” arsenal. One day when she misbehaves, her punishment will be that I will walk her ONTO the bus, kissing her the whole way, and then I’ll yell, really loud – “I love you sweetie pie”.  Maybe I’ll even shout a very enthusiastic “hello kids” to all the others on the bus. She may not talk to me for a while, but she’ll behave after that.


grocery-store-calif-fresh-easy-2012-22.  Another source of embarrassment for my kids is when I sing, or worse… dance IN PUBLIC.

I have gotten to the totally uncool age where I actually like the music playing at Stop & Shop. And I love to sing along, and occasionally dance a little in the aisles.

The funny part is I don’t like to dance in public. But lately I get a kick out of doing it, just to see my kids so embarrassed they pretend they don’t know me. Even my 5-year-old. So if my two are arguing or not behaving well in the store, I just pretend I’m about to dance.  It works like a charm!


3.  Another source of embarrassment – using pet names in public. When my kids were babies / toddlers, I had so many cute nicknames for them. A few of my favorites –  Shmoopie, Peanut, Bunny, LoveBug, Bugsy-Boo, Shnookie-Mookie… I could go on and on. And my kids always loved these names. They’d giggle away.

But sadly, both of my kids have started requesting I REFRAIN from using these nicknames. Especially in public.

I have negotiated their usage at home. And for now, I am allowed to use them, only if no visitors are at our house. We have also agreed to limited use when other family members are around.

I took the liberty of adding my favorite nickname to my son’s birthday cake this weekend (no classmates were there, it was just his family party). I agree that this one is questionable. I’m not sure it’s usage is within our previously negotiated contract. He was slightly embarrassed by it. Especially when we all sang – “…Happy Birthday Dear Shmoopie Poopie, Happy Birthday to you”. He giggled, and it sure made me laugh! I’ve decided I’m holding onto the cute nicknames as long as I can.



4.  Yet another way my kids get embarrassed by me is the old-fashioned way to clean schmootz off their faces.

You know it. With mommy’s spit! It’s a sure-fire way to embarrass, and disgust. On many levels, I completely understand.  I wouldn’t want anyone cleaning my face with their spit. Gross. But you know you have all done it!  And if you haven’t yet, you will! When it has to be done, it has to be done. Just don’t be surprised by your kids’ shrieks when you do.

And I will admit, I have pretended there is something urgent that needs cleaning off their face, as a distraction from an on-coming meltdown.  And yes, it worked pretty well.


embarrassedI’m sure I will discover many, many more situations I cause my kids embarrassment.  And I’m sure when they hit the tween and teen years, it will be all the time.

It’s a little hard for me to see how uncool I am in my kids’ eyes. But I know it’s normal, and just a phase. And every mom out there is experiencing it too. Or will.  I was just kind of hoping it would start later because I’m pretty sure they will be embarrassed by me for many more years.

But I will wait patiently because I know one day they will come back around and think I am pretty cool again. Someday…

For now, I will find the funny in it and I will use this these embarrassment techniques wisely, and to my advantage, if needed.

And when I have to, I will also remind them that there are plenty of times THEY embarrass ME!




~Cindie xo

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Top 5 Parenthood Jokes

Take a minute out of your busy day to laugh. Out loud.

Daily life for every parent includes tons of stressful moments. Sometimes it’s hard to see the humor in the chaos, but you really have to try. Otherwise you’ll lose your mind.

So to help you maintain your sanity, I thought I’d share my Top 5 parenting jokes so you can find your funny today. Remember, laughing is always better than crying!



A 3-year old daughter walked over to her father, stuck out two of her fingers and said, “Daddy, look at this.”

Immersed in his computer, but wanting to keep her entertained, the dad reached out and stuck her tiny fingers in his mouth and, pretending to eat them, said, “Daddy’s gonna eat your fingers!”

A few minutes later he noticed his daughter was standing just staring at her fingers with a devastated look on her face.

The dad said, “What’s wrong, honey?”

She replied, “What happened to my booger?”


911cellphoneJOKE #2

A man calls 911 and yells frantically into the phone, “My wife is pregnant, and her contractions are only two minutes apart!”

“Is this her first child?” the doctor asks.

“No, you idiot!” the man shouts. “This is her husband!


Two kids are talking to each other. One says, “I’m really worried. My dad works twelve hours a day to give me a nice home and good food. My mom spends the whole day cleaning and cooking for me. I’m worried sick!”

The other kid says, “What have you got to worry about? Sounds to me like you’ve got it made!”

The first kid says, “What if they try to escape?”

JOKE #4beachblackandwhite

A four-year-old boy and his father went to the beach. There was a dead seagull lying on the sand.

The boy asked his father, “Dad, what happened to the birdie?”

His dad told him, “Son, the bird died and went to heaven.”

The boy asked, ‘”And God threw him back down?”



A preschool class went on a field trip to the fire station. The firefighter giving the presentation held up a smoke detector and asked the class: “Does anyone know what this is?”

One little boy’s hand shot up and the firefighter called on him.

The boy replied: “That’s how Mommy knows supper is ready!”


~Cindie xo


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Embracing Kids’ Endless Enthusiasm

MY MOMENT: Life with an enthusiastic five-year old.

As I watched my son speed-walk to his school classroom this morning (he speed-walks, only because he knows he’s not allowed to run in school, otherwise he definitely would have been running); I thought about how cool it is that he does everything with so much enthusiasm.  Every single day, he approaches life with an excitement I haven’t felt in a long time, if ever.  Actually, I’m sure there was a time I had that much energy, but it was probably when I was a toddler, so I don’t remember it now!

When my son wakes up each morning, he doesn’t lay in bed for a while trying to muster the energy to get up, like me.  He doesn’t hit the snooze button 10 times, like me.  He jumps up, eager and excited to start the day.  It’s infectious.  Ok, not always.  Some days, it’s utterly exhausting to me. Because his enthusiasm doesn’t end until he FINALLY falls asleep at night.  And then I rest!

He wakes up again in the morning, completely exhilarated.  He zooms through his breakfast, he runs to the bus 100B0218when he hears it turning the corner onto our street.  Even brushing his teeth, is exciting to him.  Jumping in puddles, finding a flower bud, watching the dogs run.  He has an enormous zeal for everything he he sees and does.  And it pretty much lasts all day.  Because he has an “eager-beaver” smile plastered to his face most of the day, he has earned the nickname – “Mr. Smiley”, given to him by his teachers.

Now I didn’t say my little Mr. Smiley is happy, all day long.  Just enthusiastic.  His excitement isn’t always expressed in a positive way.  When he finds something he doesn’t want to do, as in the shopping story, his enthusiasm becomes whole heartedly trying to AVOID it.  And he throws himself fully into that too.

Full-on tantrums when he was younger, and now repeated, relentless pleas.  He doesn’t give up. You should see what passion he has when he tries to convince me of something.  Yesterday he told me he’d help me wash and fold one thousand loads of laundry, if I didn’t make him clean up his toys.  Yes, he said one thousand!  I may take him up on that offer.  I’m actually kind of proud that he uses his enthusiasm to bribe his mommy too!  He certainly knows the way to my heart.  Do some laundry for me, and I’ll reward you greatly.

He is on-the-go, and eager all day long… with the big exception of shopping. Then his enthusiasm fades away completely and is re-directed at getting out of the store!  In case you missed it, I chronicled his hatred of shopping, with the exception of one store here –  

There are certainly times when his enthusiasm it exhausting for me.  But many others when it’s inspiring.  For what I have come to realize, is that this zeal will be such a fabulous trait for him to have as an adult.  His love of life, and passion for doing things, will be a huge personality perk as an adult.  I just hope he doesn’t lose it.


So I am going to embrace his enthusiasm and help him to learn to cherish it as well.  And I will try hard not to squash it.  As you can imagine, there are times it gets overwhelming to me and I try to get him to “tone it down”.  But I am going to try to avoid that as often as possible.

And then fingers crossed, my enthusiastic son will grow up to be a very handsome man, still fully loving life.  And he will greet each day with enthusiasm to spare.  

My only question now is ~ how do I bottle it?  I’d be rich if I could figure that one out!


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Why Gross Stuff Is So Funny To Kids

Life can be gross.  And gross stuff is funny.  Just ask any kid.  Especially my 5 and 8-year-old.kidslaughing

Gross words are hilarious to them now.  Utter any sentence with the word “poop”, “vomit”, “butt” or “toilet”, and my kids erupt into giggles.  I said a new friend’s last name tonight – Butler – and my son fell over laughing.  “You said BUTT mommy!” he yelled.

Gross topics are funny as kids get a little older.  I think that is mainly the curiosity of the unknown. Hemorrhoids, for example.  I remember when I was young and so curious about what the heck hemorrhoids are.  I didn’t want to admit I didn’t know.  Or worse, ask my mom to explain them to me.  So I asked my best friends.  I clearly remember this conversation, probably sometime in middle school…

ME – What exactly is a hemorrhoid?

FRIEND 1 – A giant ball in your butt.

FRIEND 2 – No, I think it’s a bunch of dangling strings hanging out of your butt.

FRIEND 3 – NO!  It’s red vines that grow all around your butt.

ME – Holy crap.  Well, do they hurt?

FRIEND 1 – How could a giant ball in your butt, not hurt?


Then we laughed our heads off.  And we agreed that whatever they were, we’d never, ever, like ever… get hemorrhoids!

Wishful thinking, if you’ve ever been pregnant.  They’re not so funny anymore!  I am sure my kids will be laughing about them someday soon though.

The great news is that as kids (hopefully) mature, they gain tons of knowledge about all the gross stuff.  Some of it correct, and some like my hemorrhoid conversation, maybe not so accurate!  And hopefully when they gain maturity and knowledge, they lose that “fear of the unknown”.  The gross stuff isn’t so hilarious anymore… it’s just stuff.  And life brings lots of stuff.

Some days I’d love to be a kid again.  I’d love to find everything silly.  But you know what?  I wouldn’t trade the wisdom of my old age, for it.  I am glad I don’t laugh hysterically because someone said “poop”!

I will never lose my sense of humor though.  And luckily, life gives us many things to laugh about.  Most are even funnier than poop, puke, pee-pee and hemorrhoids!

Life really is better when you’re laughing.



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