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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Grown-Up Punishments

We went skiing today and my five-year old son got mad because Daddy didn’t wait for us when we were all getting on the lift.image

So I told him that I was sure Daddy would wait for us at the top of the mountain.

And he said, “But what if he doesn’t?”.  And I said “well, he better, or he’ll be in trouble”.

And it was at that exact moment that my son came up with the best grown-up punishment EVER….  He said “if Daddy doesn’t wait for us, he will get BEER taken away for 100 weeks!”   Genius.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a punishment more effective than that!




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Snow Day Cabin Fever

It’s snowing again.  How pretty.  (I hope you read that with a lot of sarcasm).

The Northeast has gotten more than it’s fair share of snow this winter.  The falling snow is beautiful in December, but by this point in the winter, everyone is ready for the snow to stop.  We’ve had at least eight school snow days this year.  The first couple were fun.  After that, not so much.

Yesterday was a snow day.  And today, you guessed it – ANOTHER SNOW DAY!  So school has been closed for 2 days in a row.  Every mom out there knows what this means.

Kids with cabin fever.

Mom with cabin fever.

Dogs with cabin fever.


Cabin fever is boredom mixed with bickering kids (fighting about ridiculously silly things), three barking dogs (barking in unison every time a plow goes by our house), and too much Valentine’s Day candy left over.  Add it all together and it equals cabin fever chaos (and a crabby mom).

Cabin fever chaos started early this morning in our house. Our biggest dog, Sadie, is 11 years old, and queen of the house.  She has a bad habit of eating everything.  And I mean everything.  She woke me up this morning with the gagging and heaving noises every dog parent knows all too well.  Apparently she ate a bar of bath soap (I figured this out since it’s missing!).  She then proceeded to throw up soap bubbles.  Everywhere.  At least it was Dove Pistachio Pomegranate bubbles.  They smelled nice.  But it’s not a fun way to wake up.

After cleaning up the bubbles, I got back in bed and tried my hardest to go back to sleep, but my 5 year-old son did his favorite “wake up mommy” routine, of pulling my eyelids open.  I refused to budge.  Even while he repeatedly said “mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, wake up, mommy, mommy, wake up mommy…”  I pretended to be asleep, even snoring a little.  UNTIL… I heard his iPad clicking.  The little %@*%&er, was actually taking pictures of me sleeping.  That’s when the crabby mommy part started.

The day did get better though.  I had a great big chuckle when my 8-year-old daughter decided to get “fancy” and put on my lipstick.  But she missed her mouth.  By a lot.  And two bigger “oops” –  it’s bright red, and it’s 24 hour long-wearing lipstick.  Meaning, it doesn’t come off.  And it’s BRIGHT RED.  And it’s all around her lips!  The meltdown that ensued when she realized she may have to go to school like that tomorrow, was very entertaining.  I reassured her that she may get lucky and we’ll have another snow day, and then only her family would see her clown lips.  She didn’t think that was very funny.  But it made this crabby mommy laugh.

So here we are… the snow day is almost over.  We are all still wearing our pj’s (one with very fancy lips).  We have watched WAY too much Thomas and Curious George.  And we’ve eaten too much heart-shaped candy.  But for the moment, the dogs are finally napping, the kids stopped fighting, and we are all dreaming of spring.  And this mommy is momentarily not so crabby.



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Top 5 Mom Items I Wish Someone Would Invent

I’ve always wanted to invent a new product.  I’ve had a couple of good ideas, but then I usually discover it’s already been invented.  Or I see someone on “Shark Tank” with it!  That always sucks –  I think “Oh man, I was this close”.

This portable potty seat, for example.  Out of pure necessity, I came up with this brilliant idea.032005

One day, I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, when my 3-year-old suddenly yelled – “I HAVE TO POOP!”  I have not experienced such terror as I did in that moment.  Oh, the many joys of potty training.  While searching for the next gas station, Mickey D’s, or diner…  a lightbulb turned on in my head.

I thought – right now I need a car potty with disposable bags!  I soon discovered though, that someone else had also thought of it.  And probably many other moms too.  And you know what?  It really is an amazing invention.  Vital to every family with small kids.  We used it too many times to count.  Really.  If you are potty training and don’t have one, run to Babies R Us and get one!

Besides the potty, throughout my years with children, I’ve come up with some other ideas.  Like the potty seat, most already exist though.

I do have a couple of ideas that I haven’t seen yet.  Maybe because they seem slightly more complicated to construct, than the car potty.  But oh boy, would they make my life so much easier.



1).  A washer/dryer that FOLDS the clothes and PUTS THEM AWAY in the drawers.  (This would seriously be the best invention – ever).

2). A mommy robot/clone that would wake up with the kids whenever needed, anytime before 7am.  (I’m okay after 7am.  But before, not so much). Oh, and let’s not forget, that robot would entertain them until I get up!

3). An automatic dog poop cleaner-upper thingy majingy for my yard. (I don’t need to explain this, do I?)

4). An electric zapper that activates when someone misses the toilet. (I am convinced it would only take one zap to correct the situation.  And yes, it’s for my husband too).

5). A sound proof “MOM POD”. ( It would be like having a mini-vacation in my backyard.  And let me repeat, sound proof!  Ahhhhh…)  It would look like this –


Can someone please invent at least one of these for me?  Pretty please?  I guarantee that MANY, MANY other moms will thank you.  And so will I!


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