Browsing Tag



Why I Don’t Answer The Phone

Friends and family sometime complain that I never answer my phone. There is a very simple reason why.

The short answer: BECAUSE I HAVE CHILDREN.


Read this mom’s explanation.  I love it because I feel the same.

She summed it up perfectly. Don’t expect me to answer the phone and have a QUIET conversation with you, if my kids are home.

Even though my kids are a little older than that mom’s kids, I can tell you that it NEVER CHANGES. The house is voicemailloud, the kids need me all the time, and I can’t hold a thought for more than 30 seconds.

A nice quiet conversation on the phone just doesn’t happen. The minute I pick up the phone, my kids desperately “need” me. Right that minute.

In addition to my kids, I also have 3 dogs (who all bark in unison every time a car drives by, or a squirrel climbs a tree, or a bird flies…). So even when the kids are at school, my dogs take over.

Common things yelled at my house are…

“Mom, where’s my sweatshirt?”

“MOMMMM-EEEEEE, I lost my train!!!!”

“Mommy, I pooped, come wipe my tushy”

“I’m Hungry”

“I’m Thirsty”

“I’m BORED!”

“MOMMY, the dog just threw up on the rug”

This is on a daily basis, whether I am speaking on the phone or not.  So I usually choose NOT to be on the phone.  Answering the phone and having an intelligent conversation doesn’t work so well.  Or end so well…  the promises I have made while “shushing” my kids, are ridiculous. “What? When did I say I’d buy you a TV for your room?” 

My other issue is having the callers complain that I am not focused on them.  UH, you’re right, I’m not!  I’m sorry but my kids want all of my attention.

So please, before you dial my number, understand that I probably won’t answer.  And just text me instead. Or email me.  I like email.  And if I do answer, please understand I may only be half listening.

♥ ♥ ♥

I’m just a mom trying to keep my sanity.



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That Moment When You Realize You Traded Your Sanity For…

That moment when you realize you traded your sanity for…Your Children!

When you are lucky enough to have children, you give them your “all”. You commit fully. And doing that often means losing every ounce of sanity you may have had left.

It happens to each and every parent.

It’s a fair trade, though… your brain cells in return for these amazing little people.

Inevitably though, there is that moment when you realize they have sucked all the sanity, right out of your brain.



My first moment of awareness (and I have had many more since!) came when I sent my kindergartener to school in an adorable penguin nightgown… for “pajama day” at school.  I had a baby at home who wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t sleeping. We had just moved from another state, and I was struggling to figure out everything going on at our new elementary school. I was trying very hard to fit in and meet new families and do everything “right”.

So when I got a note from my daughter’s kindergarten teacher saying THURSDAY, MARCH 3rd would be “Pajama Day” at school, I thought, “How fun”!

On Wednesday evening, my daughter and I picked out her favorite pajamas (the penguin nightgown was her choice). I took photos as she got on the bus, in her penguin nightgown and matching slippers! She looked so cute.

Fast-forward to the end of the school day. My daughter got off the bus and said (no, she yelled), “Mommy, guess what?”. “TOMORROW is pajama day. Not today”!  Yep, I sent her to school in her nightgown.  The poor kid walked around all day… class, recess, lunch… in her nightgown!  NO!  She must be wrong, I thought. I ran inside the house and found the letter and sure enough, it said, FRIDAY, MARCH 3rd!  F*&K!  (I actually yelled, “FUDGE!”).

That was the first moment I realized I had officially lost my mind. My kids had stolen every single brain cell left in my head. I knew WHY it happened…  there was way too much swirling around inside my brain, and too little sleep, to actually remember it all.

I apologized to my daughter and together we picked out another pajama outfit for the next day. I was relieved she was just 5 years-old, and not any older because she was pretty unfazed. I am sure a 4th grader would’ve been completely traumatized by it. But thankfully my kindergartener said sweetly, “it’s okay Mommy, I was actually really comfy in my nightgown all day”.

And that was the moment I decided to embrace the insanity of motherhood. Why? Because I knew it would happen again. My brain cells would keep disappearing into those vast depths of parenthood.

But then, I had a revelation… My little sanity-suckers may have caused many of my brain cells to disappear, but they have also made my HEART grow 10 times in size.

And you know what? I consider that to be a very fair trade.  ♥




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14 Hilarious Halloween Costumes For Dogs (And One Cat)

Happy Halloween. It’s not just a holiday for kids. Everyone loves Halloween. Some people go overboard with decorating. Some people construct elaborate costumes. Others dress up their pets! I am an animal lover, so I preface this post with a sincere apology to all the dogs who have been stuffed into Halloween costumes against their will. But I will also say, they are pretty hilarious.

My kids and I had fun collecting our 14 favorite dogs in costumes. We added a bonus cat costume photo too!


#1 “Baaaaahhh”



#2 Shaken, not stirred



#3 Rah-Rah. Go Team!



#4 “I pity da fool”



#5 “Who are you laughing at?”



#6 “May the force be with you Luke Skywalker”



#7  Oh my. This poor pup is really blue. It’s SMURF-tastic!



#8 Oompa-Loompa doggie



#9 This one is kind of sick, but pretty funny



#10 Wally Walrus doesn’t look so happy



#11 Touchdown!



#12 Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia



#13 Off to see the wizard. “Aunty Em, it’s a twister”



And our favorite…

#14 It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SUPER-PUP!



BONUS: Something rarely tolerated… a cat in a costume!  Looking cool…



Happy Halloween!

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Is “Guarding The Bathroom Door” A Chore Worthy Of Payment?

I had a rare moment of privacy in the bathroom this morning. Rare because I was alone in a bathroom, for the first time in probably 9 years. Between the kids, the dogs, the cat, and the husband… I am never alone.

My peace and quiet lasted only a minute though, interrupted by an urgent banging on the door.

I said, “Yes? What’s the emergency?”

It was my son. He yelled that I owe him $1.

One dollar, huh? “For what?”, I asked.

“For doing a chore. I am leaving you alone in the bathroom, and not letting anyone else in. So since I am helping do something for you, I earn a dollar”, he explained.

“So can you pay me now?”, he said.

Hmmm. Pretty logical for a 6-year-old. Smart too. If I was able to choose my chores, I’m pretty sure I’d pick “guarding the bathroom door for mom”, over scrubbing toilets too!

This isn’t the first time he has tried choosing easy chores. Last week he overheard me asking where my phone was, and he ran and found it and brought it to me, completely excited. I said thank you to him and he stood there, like a bellhop waiting for a tip! He then actually asked for his $1 for his “chore”!

I should add that we have a good chore system. Each kid has regular weekly chores that are their responsibility for chores2being a part of the household. No pay is given for those. But once those are completed, I give them the option of doing additional chores to earn money. $1 for each. And as you might have noticed, my son has gotten slightly carried away with trying to find more chores to do to earn money!

I’m proud he is already an entrepreneur at such a young age. But it has made me realize we may need to go back and repeat our Chores 101 class because he missed part of the point.

I think he definitely understands the “earning” part but he may need a refresher on the definition of a “chore” part.

But hey, it seems like I am not alone…


How do you handle kids’ chores in your home? Do your kids earn money for their chores?  I’d love to hear other moms’ systems for teaching kids about responsibility.


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10 Ways To Feel Like A Kid Again This Summer

Summertime is the perfect time to unleash your inner child. That one who has been trapped indoors all winter. Working too hard. Stressed. Busy. Overwhelmed with responsibility.

It’s easy to do. Be transported back to the carefree days of youth and your stress will melt away. You’ll remember how it feels to smile more often.

Warm weather, beach days, late nights, the musical tune of the ice cream truck circling the neighborhood…Summer activities trigger memories of childhood. You will be reminded of the simpler days when life was about just having fun. Watch your children’s eyes brighten with excitement during the summer, and you’ll see what I mean.

So grab your flip-flops and sunscreen and get outside and enjoy the summer. Don’t wait until Labor Day to realize you missed it.

I guarantee you can feel like a kid again.

Here are 10 easy ways…


1. Ride a bike with a basket attached. Kick those feet up. Bonus points if you have a bell too.




2. Eat a bomb pop. Better yet, get it from an ice cream truck and then eat it. Instantly you’ll be transported to your childhood!


3. Do a cannonball into a pool. Be sure to yell, “CANNONBALL”, as you jump.



4. Host a neighborhood lemonade stand. For both the kids and the grownups. Spike a pitcher of lemonade with Seagram’s 7 and 7 for the adults only and you’ll definitely earn more cash (and make some new friends!).

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy


5. Ride a rollercoaster. For a better ride, put those hands in the air and scream.




6.  Light a sparkler. Say “OOOH” and “AHHH”.


7. Do cartwheels on the beach.



8. Hop on a tire swing.


9. Get some cotton-candy and take a giant bite. Let the sugar melt on your tongue. YUM.



10. Soak up the sun with a buddy. A beach day is even better when it’s shared with a friend.



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7 Surprising Discoveries I Made About Motherhood

There is no way to fully prepare for motherhood.

I was told that I would always be tired. That’s an understatement. The lack of sleep is brutal.

I was told that my heart would swell with love. That is also an understatement. As soon as I gave birth, the love overflowed from every pore of my body. As did every other emotion that comes with motherhood…  awe, responsibility, worry, loyalty, pride. Every emotion was intense.

I was also told that my life would change. An understatement as well. Little did I know how drastically it would change. I sometimes refer to periods of my life as “pre-babies” and “post-babies”.

I had anticipated some of the changes, others were completely surprising discoveries….


1. I discovered I don’t mind the smell of someone else’s poop.

Let me clarify… “Someone else” means my kids’ poop, not strangers’ poop!

Before I had kids, I changed plenty of diapers. Between babysitting and niece and nephews’ diapers, I had a good amount of experience. I admit I gagged my way through every single one of those diaper changes.

Miraculously though, my own kids’ poop doesn’t smell awful to me. I honestly don’t mind it. I know I’m not alone. Something happens to a mom’s sense of smell when it comes to her own babies. I think it may be the true definition of “unconditional love”… to not mind the poop smell!


2. I discovered I could actually forget to brush my teeth.

In my pre-baby days, I loved the snooze button on my alarm clock. I was one of those people who hit the snooze at least  5-10 times before I actually rolled out of bed. When I became a mom, I realized the luxury of a snooze button was gone, for good. Instead, I was woken up most mornings by a crying, sometimes screaming baby. It’s kind of like having a bucket of ice-cold water dumped on my head.

So the routine I used to follow when I’d first wake up, like brushing my teeth, or washing my face, were ignored so I could tend to my baby. Then I’d be off and running for the day.

I am embarrassed to admit there were many, many days when lunchtime came, okay, maybe even dinner time, and I realized I had never made it back to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Or my hair for that matter!


3. I discovered a trip to the mall could be the highlight of my social calendar.


When my kids were babies, I went days without leaving the house. Sometimes a trip to the mall, was the most exciting place I went all week.

I was living in a bubble during those early days. I had a baby glued to me 24 hours a day. I smelled like sour milk and baby spit-up. I often forgot to brush my teeth and comb my hair. I was sleeping about 4 hours a night. I guess it makes sense I didn’t have any other social outings — no one wanted to be near me! So the mall was a big excursion. Freedom. I was out of the house. Other moms were there, like me, aimlessly pushing strollers. Sad as it sounds, it was actually a fun outing for me.


4. I discovered I needed to hide my own stash of candy.

I have a sweet tooth. But I also try to eat well. So it’s been important for me to teach my kids about nutrition and healthy eating. I am happy they love fruits & veggies and eat really well. But the minute they discovered sweets, they were as hooked as me. So I try to limit their candy consumption to special occasions. If they see a bag of candy in the house, I get “please, please, please, just one Swedish fish, PLEEEEASSSE!”

So if I have candy, I have to hide it! Then I sneak one Swedish fish at a time so they don’t see me. Crazy, but yes I do it!


5. I discovered moms have a uniform – yoga pants and a hoodie.hey-girl-i-love-it-when-you-wear-your-yoga-pants-all-day

One of the first things I discovered after becoming a mom was how important comfort is, and yoga pants are ridiculously comfortable.

Long length ones in the winter, and capris in spring and fall. Never featured on the pages of Vogue Magazine, yoga pants may not be stylish but they are great and definitely better than pajamas (which I would probably wear every day if yoga pants had never been invented).

Having loved fashion and trends, I didn’t see that one coming! But now that I am a mom, comfort wins over style.



6. I discovered I would want to punch any kid who is mean to my kid.

I thought I liked all kids. I discovered though that I don’t like the ones who do anything to hurt my child’s feelings. The first time I heard a little boy say something mean to my daughter, I wanted to punch him. It’s the mama-lion-protecting-her-cubs instinct.

Of course, I never would punch a child, but the thought has definitely crossed my mind!


7. I discovered that my heart would melt every time one of my kids made me a handwritten love note.

When your own child presents you with a love note. Painstakingly written with love, just for you… oh, it’s amazing. Melt your heart, tears-in-your-eyes kind of amazing.








I’m sure these are only the beginning of many amazing (and maybe some scary) discoveries I will make as I navigate the path of motherhood.

But because motherhood has made me a much better person than I was pre-babies, I say bring on more new discoveries!


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The Countdown To Summer Break

The musical melody of birds chirping woke me up this morning. Such a lovely, peaceful sound.

Just kidding, I’m a mom! I woke up with one dog licking my face, another licking my foot, and my two kids bouncing on top of me like a seesaw, chatting about summer break.

My older child was excitedly explaining the calendar to my younger one. She counted the days on her fingers, and said, “I’m so excited there are only 7 days until school is out for the summer!”

Those words caused squeals of delight. Both my kids jumped up and down, on my belly. “YAY”, they yelled. Endless days… at the beach, the pool, the park, camp, wherever. It doesn’t matter because wherever it is, it isn’t school.

“I can’t wait”, they screamed.



I clearly remember feeling that same excitement when I was a kid. I imagine most teachers have that same reaction too.

But now that I’m not a kid anymore, or a teacher, I don’t necessarily share the excitement.

School is out for summer, means something completely different to stay-at-home or work-from-home moms everywhere. What emotions did those words elicit from me?







Basically, “Oh Crap… I love my kids dearly, but what will I do with them all summer long?”

While I am partly joking, I am also partly serious! It’s tough to suddenly have togetherness all the time.

When the kiddos finally reach school age, most work-from-home, and stay-at-home moms have a busy daily routine.  Get the kids on the bus, and you are off and running for the day. My day is non-stop while they are at school.

Sometimes my husband questions what I do all day, which pisses me off. I am a freelance marketing manager, and writer. So that means from the minute the bus whisks my kids away, I spend 4-5 hours working. Which leaves 2 hours until the kids get home. Cue my frantic running around… laundry, empty the dishwasher, take out the garbage, pay bills, grocery shop, everything else shop… it’s honestly never-ending. And whatever I don’t get done is saved for the next day. It’s a vicious cycle!sleep

And after I scramble to get as much done as I can, and get home to meet the kids getting off the bus, the truly chaotic part of the day begins.

Sports practice, homework, dinner, reading, bath, bedtime. And don’t forget the hour of “Mommy, I’m not tired, I can’t fall asleep, I’m lonely”, until they FINALLY pass out.

Now, back to that annoying question – what do I actually do all day?  lol.

So what happens when summer comes and the kids are suddenly home all day?

Quick answer? Chaos.

Longer answer? Lots of chaos. Basically I envision refereeing daily sibling fights, while trying to get my work done, with the kids repeatedly telling me they are bored. I can just forget the chores. There won’t be time for those.

So after hearing the summer break countdown conversation this morning, I realized it’s time to plan. Okay, I’m a little late to plan, with only 7 days left of school, but, better late than never!

On my list of URGENT TO-DO’s:

1) Charge all the iPads in the house for the emergency “screen time, mommy needs to cook dinner” times.

2) Immediately host a training seminar for both my kids on how to independently work the TV remotes, as well as DVD players, Apple TV, and the microwave oven.

3) Find a teen to be the one to referee the fighting once in a while, (which means hire a “mother’s helper” to come to my house a few hours each week). Or many hours.

4) Buy a case of wine.

5) Lastly, a more serious idea: While I wouldn’t consider myself a “crafty”mom, I began putting together a board with fun summer activity ideas. When the kids are behaving, they will get rewarded by being able to pick an activity from the board. For instance, a trip to the local zoo, water park, or to the movies. I think this may actually be a good idea!

Please wish me luck. Check back with me in August and see how we did!




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It Happened: I Turned Into A Suburban Soccer Mom

There was a time, not that many years ago, when I was very afraid to become a soccer mom.

The image that I envisioned with the title, “soccer mom”, or worse, “suburban soccer mom”, was not a good one.

They are slightly crazy moms. Or so I thought.

“Soccer moms” are those mini-van, driving moms you can find cheering along the sidelines for their kids, elbowing other parents along the way, solely focused on their kids’ scoring the next goal. That would never be me, I vowed.

I lived in New York City for several years when I was young and single. When I got married, I took off for the suburbs, and more than one friend said to me, “Uh-oh, you’ll be a soccer mom soon”.

“NO WAY!”, I always answered.

Well, here I am.

A suburban soccer mom.



I have to confess… I like it. I might even love it.

Okay, I don’t ALWAYS love it. Wrestling with my 6-year old son every Saturday morning, to put on his shin guards. “They so uncomfortable”, he whines the entire way to his game. Then I don’t love it.

At practice watching my daughter stand twirling her hair and doing cartwheels on the field, I don’t love it. “Play” I yell, “Don’t do gymnastics!”

Getting up bright and early for Saturday morning games (which start at 8am – YAWN)… yeah, those are times that I don’t love it so much either.

But I do love watching my kids have fun. I love to see them “get” the concept of teamwork. And look so proud if Youth-soccer-indianathey score a goal, or help pass to a goal. Yep, those are the times I love it.

Watching my kids cheer for their friends and team-mates, or just as important, hug them when they lose a game. They are learning sportsmanship and compassion. Yep, I love it then too.

Seeing my kids follow their coaches’ directions (much better than they EVER listen to mine)… Yes, those days I am a happy soccer mom.

I now understand that soccer is a great sport for young kids to play. It helps get them ready for more to come in life. Teamwork, working well with others, encouraging others, showing kindness toward others, compassion for others, etc…

So I will say it… I still do not drive a mini-van, but I am finally a PROUD suburban soccer mom. No longer an embarrassed, “how the hell did I get here?” soccer mom!

P.S. If you need me, you’ll find me cheering on the sidelines every Saturday morning… “GO LIONS!”





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“Girls Are So Confusing”

Kids say the funniest things. I feel like I repeat that daily. But it’s true!

My latest “kids funny” happened when I was at my kids’ school to volunteer in the school library. On my way to the library, I passed my daughter’s 3rd-grade classroom, and a friend of hers was sitting in the hallway studying with a boy, a fellow 3rd grader. This girl, who I will call “Friend 1”, recounted a story about something that happened at recess.

Apparently, my daughter was walking with Friend 1 and another girl, Friend 2, when another girl approached and wanted to know what they were all talking about.

My daughter, Friend 1 and Friend 2, said, “It’s private”. Which made the other girl very mad. Remember, they are 8 years old. Everything makes them mad!

So the angry 8-year-old girl marched off and went over to another girl, and called my daughter, Friend 1 and Friend 2, a bad name.

I stopped the story. “Ok”, I said. “Well, that’s not nice”. “Did you tell anyone”, I asked?

Friend 1 told me that they told the teacher who called them all in to have a meeting. She had them talk about it. She had the “Angry Friend” apologize. And now they are all friends again.

Well okay then.

Drama, already. In 3rd grade!

During this entire conversation, the boy was sitting silently. Just listening. Listening intently.

He then said, “Geez, girls are so confusing”.

I burst out laughing. Kid… you have NO idea!

~Cindie xo


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A Mom’s Message To Daniel Tiger

Damn you Daniel Tiger.

Yes, you are cute.

Yes, you teach good lessons to my son.

And yes, I love you much more than SpongeBob.

But damn you for singing one song a hundred times in each episode. I end up with that song stuck in my head… all day long.

My son likes to watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood when he eats his breakfast, which is usually while I am busy getting the kids ready for school. But I hear it. Oh, I hear it. The same song, over and over. Bright and early each morning.

Then for the next 16 hours or so, I hum them. Over and over. And over and over.

Here is today’s catchy little ditty…

“There are potties everywhere
Potties for us to share
So if you gotta go, no matter where you are
There’s a potty not too far.

When you have to go potty
And go right away
Flush and Wash and be on your way”


You can listen to it on iTunes here if you want to drive yourself crazy today. I recommend you don’t!

Or if you see happen to see me at the grocery store today, I’ll be the one singing this as I shop.

I have one side note about this particular song: while I like that they are teaching to FLUSH and WASH (something my son, and sometimes my husband, both need a refresher course on!), I have one complaint about it – what about wiping?  They forgot that! Gross.

So to the very sweet and helpful Daniel Tiger,Fred_Rogers_and_Daniel_Tiger

While I love that you are so cute. And even better, I love that your series was inspired by the original “Mister Rogers Neighborhood”, and his very own Daniel Striped Tiger puppet. (I grew up watching Mister Rogers, and even had the honor of having Fred Rogers himself give my college commencement speech. I loved him).

I would like to formerly request that maybe you sing the jingle, oh, say 50 times in each episode, instead of 100!

Thanks Daniel!

~ Cindie xo


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