My King-Sized Vibrator

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in Family Life, From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem | 1 comment

Well…It happened again.  For the fourth time this week, I was jolted awake in the middle of the night by electric current.  Sounds strange, right?  I agree.  Actually, it sounds ridiculous.

Last summer I threw my back out.  Craig and I decided it was time for a new mattress since neither one of us had been sleeping well.  We easily agreed upon a firm memory foam mattress.  What we did not agree upon was the electronic component associated with it.

I go for practical.  I am happy to pay for what I need and only what I will use.  Bells and whistles do not excite me.  Most often they irritate me.  Craig, on the other hand, lives for bells and whistles.  And when the bell or whistle comes in the form of a remote control, there’s no stopping him.

Our mattress plugs in.  With the touch of a button, we can elevate our heads, our feet, or both.  Hell, we can even vibrate.  Yep, that’s right…A vibrating massage in the comfort of our own home, instead of some skanky-ass motel operated by a coin slot machine.  All of these glorious options are controlled by his and her remote controls, both of which run independently of each other.

Our new mattress sleeps like a dream, as I hoped it would.  We rarely use the remote controlled bells and whistles of the bed, as I expected we wouldn’t.  However, our children do all the time.  They love to snuggle in our bed and watch tv, pushing buttons until they get their heads and feet in nice and cozy positions.  Once comfy, they neglect to put the remote controls back where they found them.  Against our rules, they sneak snacks into our bed.  We commonly crawl beneath the covers at night only to curse the crumbs of disobedient evidence they’ve left behind.

It gets worse, as we have discovered the hard way.  Without knowing it, on random occasions the kids accidentally activate a bonus feature on the remote control that we weren’t even aware of during our purchase: An alarm button…for the vibrator.  That’s right, this glamorous bed can be programmed to shake us awake.

When we least expect it, we are obnoxiously buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’d with an invigorating “massage.”  Most often this occurs in the wee hours of the morning when we should be sleeping instead of frantically searching for a remote control to turn the damn thing off.  Since you can only turn it off with the exact control that set it, the frustration that sets in when we can’t find the right remote control is maddening.

It makes me furious.  However, at the time of attack, I choose to say nothing in fear that I won’t be able to go back to sleep if I do.  By the time we wake up, my fury has subsided.  I do make it a point, though, to smack Craig with a sarcastic one-liner to remind him that he’s the one that had to have the bed that vibrates.

You know who he blames?  The kids.  For messing with the remote controls.

All I can do is shake my head.  His proclaimed innocence makes me laugh, even though I don’t want to.  Because I blame him.  And his need for unnecessary bells and whistles.

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My New Tattoo

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in From My Perspective, Raising Great Kids | 1 comment

I’ve always wanted a tattoo.  I resisted the temptation when I was younger because the permanency scared me.  There was never anything I coveted enough to mark myself for life.

Then I had children.  I covet their smiles.  I crave their spirit.  I treasure their love. Each one of them has left a permanent tattoo on my heart.

When Gabriel was 4, and Taylor and Sydney were both 2, we moved into our new house.  We built the mudroom with three lockers, so each child would have their own space.  I purchased  wooden letters from Pottery Barn to label that space.  As I prepared to hang them, I was struck by their random order on the floor: SGT.
The abbreviation for sergeant.

I couldn’t help but dwell on the irony:  Often, I feel like a drill sergeant as I mold my children with tough love.

I am their leader.  They are my tribe.  It is my job to teach them to be confident, independent, fair, and kind.

I am their model.  They will learn to make choices for themselves based on the examples I set for them.  So they better be good ones.  As I guide them to be great, they also bring out the best in me.

That day, the idea for my tattoo was born.  It is the logo you see everywhere on my page.  It is the symbol for sergeant: an abstract representation of me, the mother, with all of my children.  I am part of them, and they are part of me.

The colors are indicative of their birth order:


  • Gabriel is yellow:  Since birth, he has been a constant source of Sunshine.
  • Taylor is green:  Her contagious spirit is as bright as her first love, Tinkerbell.
  • Sydney is blue:  She wears it just as compassionately as her heroin, Cinderella.


Who knows if I’ll ever be bold enough to go through with the ink on my skin?  I still can’t decide if that is the example I want to set for my young children and future grandchildren.

For now, I am perfectly content without it on my body. Because my heart smiles everytime I see it here.

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Twin Style

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Twins | 1 comment

This morning Taylor asked me to do her hair.  This doesn’t usually happen unless she wants it curled, but she has a jammed finger.  I agreed with hesitation, knowing she probably wasn’t going to be satisfied with the outcome.  At 8, she is already very in tune with her own sense of style.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked her, hoping her request would be simple.

“I don’t know.  It’s too fuzzy on the sides,” she pointed out.  “We need to find a way to hide that, but I like how it’s wavy on the bottom.”

I agreed.  She did have pretty waves from sleeping with a single braid down the back the night before, but the hair near both temples was out of control.  “How about two small braids on each side to cover up the messy parts?” I suggested.

At first she wasn’t keen on the idea.  When I volunteered to re-do it if she didn’t like it, she reluctantly agreed.  I knew there was a high probability of failure on my part, but we had a little extra time this morning and I saw it as a challenge.

She judged me as she watched me work, “Momma…I don’t know where you’re going with this, but it’s not good!”

“Hey, missy!” I shot back.  “Back off, would ya?  Your momma’s got all the tricks!”  This made us both giggle.

After the second small braid was in place, I dropped my hands from her hair.  “See?  Look how pretty that looks!” I spoke the truth.  She looked precious.

“Momma!” she groaned.  “Are you kidding me?”

“NO!  You look really pretty, Tay!” I campaigned.

“Momma.”  She took a deep breath after making a declaration of my name.  “It does look pretty, but this is Sydney’s style!  You know my style is not like Sydney’s.”  Her tone was full of condescension.  “We’re gonna have to pull these braids back, or something!”

Just then, Sydney entered my bathroom with wet, tostled hair because she prefers to shower in the morning, unlike her twin sister.  “Oh wow, Taylor!  Your hair looks really pretty today!”

Taylor cocked her head to one side and glared at me through the mirror.  “See, Momma?!  Now let’s fix this,” she demanded.

I burst out laughing.  There was no use arguing.  The only thing worse than twins that disagree, are twins that agree.  It’s an unstoppable force of nature that can not be reckoned with.  “Fine,” I agreed.

I pulled both braids back to the center of her head and secured them with one black rubber band.  “Give me another black pony, T,” I directed.

“Why?” she asked skeptically.

“Because, it’s not nearly edgy enough yet for your style,” I mocked her.

“What are you gonna do?” she asked, as she handed me the second rubber band.

“I’m gonna give you some flair,” I told her.  I yanked out both bottom halves of the braids under the rubber band I had just put in.

“Momma!  What are you doing?!” she panicked.

“Trust me,” I told her with confidence.  I placed the second rubber band three inches down from the first so it made a gap of puffy blond hair.  Then I spread both black rubber bands out across the blank spot, creating a messy wrapped look.  I always love this look on other people, but can never pull it off myself.  I knew T would rock it.

“There ya go.  Now get outta’ here,” I pushed her from the stool.

“You don’t even know if I like it!” she countered.

Before I had to say anything, Sydney chimed in.  “Oh, you’ll like it.  Trust me, Taylor.  It looks just like your style.”

Tay stood up to inspect it with a mirror.  “Ooooooh, Momma!  I like it!” she smiled.

“Of course you do!  I did it!” I teased.

She threw her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes.  I winked at her and then volunteered to blow dry Sydney’s hair. After it was dry and soft and fluffy, Sydney reached into the drawer and grabbed a conservative navy satin headband, adorned with a petite bow on top.  When she put it on, she looked precious.  Just like her rocker “identical” twin sister.


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Busted by Bacon

Posted by on Jan 21, 2013 in Family Life, Musings from the Mayhem, Raising Great Kids | 0 comments

The kids are home from school today.  Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You have set an impeccable moral standard for my children.

Since the kids didn’t have to wake up this morning, we celebrated last night with a lazy family-movie-night on the couch.  As a result, I woke up to a messy kitchen. I didn’t mind, but I did want to get it cleaned up right away this morning.

After wiping down the final countertop, I looked forward to snuggling up on the couch next to the warmth of the fire and enjoying a hot cup of coffee while watching the snow fall.

Just then, Sydney walked up to me.  “Momma, I want bacon for breakfast this morning.  Please?”

“Oh Syd.  I just got the whole kitchen cleaned up, honey.  How about cereal?”

“Momma, please!  You make the best bacon!” she pulled out all the stops.

But I was still safe.  “Honey, we don’t have any bacon.  Remember we had it for breakfast yesterday?”  Whew, I thought.

“Momma, we have lots of bacon downstairs in the freezer.  I’ll go get it.”  Off she ran with great determination.  As promised, she re-entered the kitchen with a frozen package of Kirkland bacon in her little hand.  Damn Costco and all its bulk.

“Honey, it’s frozen,” I held on to hope, “I can’t cook frozen bacon.  We’ll put it in the fridge and let it thaw.  Then I can cook it another morning.”

“Momma, come here,” she instructed.  “Let me show you something,”  she took me by the hand and led me to the microwave.  “Did you forget about this button?” she asked innocently.

I was defeated by my daughter who is much too smart for these silly games, and I knew it.  “What button?” I played dumb.

“This one right here.  The one that says d-e-f-r-o-s-t.  If you put the bacon in there and push that button, it will make it soft so you can cook it.  I promise, Momma. It really works.  I’ve watched you do it before!” she busted me.

So, I made bacon again this morning.  Crunchy – just the way they like it.  As I cleaned up the greasy mess, I could only shake my head and chuckle.  Our kids are growing up fast – and they’re on to our tricks.

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Born to Bling

Posted by on Jan 18, 2013 in From My Perspective, Musings from the Mayhem, Raising Great Kids | 2 comments

“Momma,” Taylor says, “we have a shadow student coming to visit our classroom tomorrow.  Will you help me pick out a different pair of earrings?”

“Sure, sweetie.  Grab three pair that you like, and I’ll help you decide.”

“Okay, Momma!  I’ll be right back!” she responds with excitement.

A minute later, she bursts into my closet as I’m on the floor sorting clean laundry that needs to be put away.

“Here you go, Momma!”  She lays three pairs on top of the pile of clothes, so I have no choice but to invest my full attention into the selection of her earrings.

In front of me are three sparkly pairs of dangles.  I snicker at their similarity, not at all surprised that she’s leaning towards bling.

“Well?  What do you think?” she asks.

“Well, honey, I guess you have to decide what look you’re going for,” I tell her.

“What do you mean?” she asks.

“Well, what do you want your earrings to say about you to your new friend?” I suggest.  “For example, look at this pair,” I hold up the largest dangles, dripping with shiny silvers balls.  I allowed her to buy them as part of her fairy dragonfly Halloween costume this past year.  They are much too big for her little ears on an ordinary occasion.  I use these as an example first because they are my least favorite choice of the three.

“These earrings are loud, Tay.  They say, ‘Hey!  Look at me!  I care about being fancy!'”

“Okaaaay,” she agrees.  “What about these?” she asks as she holds up the second pair.  Only slightly smaller, these have silver sequins on the top half and hot pink sequins on the bottom half.

“Well,” I consider my words carefully, “these say, ‘Hey!  I’m a fun girl and I don’t mind being different.'”

“Alriiiight…” she listens.  “And how about these?”  She holds up the third pair, the tamest selection of the three.  They are the smallest dangles of the bunch, adorned with soft, muted purple sequins.

“Hmmmm…” I think aloud, “these say ‘Hi, I’m a nice girl.  I like to look pretty, but I don’t have to stand out.'”

“So???” she prods.  “What do you think, Momma?”

“Honey, this decision is up to you.  Only you know what you want your earrings to say about you tomorrow,” I tell her, crossing my fingers that she’ll pick either the second or third pair after listening to my interpretations.

“Yeah…good point,” she agrees.  “Then I’m for sure gonna pick the first pair!  Thanks, Momma!”  She hugs me tightly and runs off to play.

I bite my tounge as hard as I can not to offer her a moral lesson.  After all, I told her it was her choice.  How can I tell her I think her choice is wrong?  Only she knows how she’ll feel the most comfortable when meeting a new friend.

What it tells me is that I’ve still got some work to do with my little girl.  I look forward to her company in the future as I get myself dressed so I can explain to her how and why I make my clothing and jewelry selections.  Since she was born a little fashionista, this might be just the language I need to speak to her to help her understand that confident, inner beauty is more important than any accessory in her closet.

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