Thursday, September 30, 2010

No Smiling Allowed

My driver's license expired last week. I don't know why I haven't run right down to the DMV to get it renewed. Oh wait, I do know why ... I'm not psycho.

I told my husband a couple of days ago that I was planning on taking care of the renewal first thing Saturday morning. He reminded me that because of furlough days, the DMV probably wouldn't be open on Saturday. I checked the Internet. He was right.

So then I thought I'd do that appointment thing online. First available appointment: November 2nd. Seriously?

My only other (legal) option, was to go stand in line with all the other happy people. It was recommended to me to get there before the doors open, so I arrived 30 minutes before business hours, and there were already 20 people ahead of me! Another 40 people came after that. CRAZY.

Once the doors opened, I had my number (G-006) and was sitting inside within 5 minutes. (So far, so good.) 2 minutes later, some guy sits right next to me. I'm sorry, but there were like 100 other places for him to sit, and he chooses to sit RIGHT NEXT TO ME. He didn't even leave the one chair buffer. I almost moved over, but didn't want to be rude. (Blogging about it is much more polite.)

Anyway, my number was called within another 15 minutes (Yay!) I went up to Window 14 and did all the necessary stuff (thumb print, vision test, payment.) I was told to go over to the blue screen located across the room to have my photo taken.

This was the best part of the whole deal for me. I've had my last license for like 8 years, and wasn't thrilled with the photo (read: flat hair day) so I was ready to make a change for the better!

I go up to the counter and sign ...

DMV Guy: Okay, stand up against the wall.

Me: Alright.

DMV Guy: Now focus on the machine.

For some reason I looked at him instead. (In my defense, his arms were too small for his body. How could I not look?)

DMV Guy: Don't look at me, look at the machine.

Me: Right, sorry. I stare at the machine (also known as a "camera", hello?) and SMILE.

DMV Guy: Don't smile.

Me: Don't smile?

DMV Guy: It's a mug shot, not a picture anymore.

Me: Are you serious?

DMV Guy (looking very irritated after only being at work for 25 minutes): YES, I'M SERIOUS.

How sad is that?! You can't even smile for a driver's license photo anymore? My girls will never know what it's like to hand over a smiling driver's license to a policeman. I can hear me already ...

"Back when I was 16, we got to smile for our driver's license pictures ..."

It's the end of an era, and I'm NOT smiling about it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bing Mean

Our girls, like most kids, want to push things to the limit. A few nights ago, Megan did this very thing, and Henry had to put his foot down. This naturally makes him a Meanie in Meg's eyes.

At some point between bedtime and morning, Meg had written this note and taped it onto the light switch for Henry to see:

That's right. It says, 'Dad is "bing" to mean!' Have you ever seen such a hurtful note?

It reminds me of my own childhood. I believe I was about Meg's age, and my parents were "bing" mean to me too. To teach them a lesson, I did what any 7 year old Christian girl would do ... draw a picture of them in the LAKE OF FIRE, and hang it on my bedroom door. I sincerely thought that would put them in their place (so to speak). Now that I'm a parent, I realize that all I did was give them a good laugh!

Even though I whine from time to time (okay, all the time), let the record show that I love "bing" a parent.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cleopatra Momma

The lighting in our bathroom is somewhat dim. This can be a concern when it comes to eye make up. Yesterday morning as the girls and I were walking from our car into church ...

Me: Amanda, is my eye make-up too dark?

Amanda: Uh, yeah.

Me: Dark enough that I should go into the bathroom and rub some of it off?

Amanda: Yes. You look like an Egyptian.

Wow. Glad I asked. Even though our pastor is doing a series on Moses, there's no need to be mistaken for a visual aid.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cheese Ravioli Anyone?

For the last few months, Megan's been bugging me to buy raviolis. A couple weeks ago, I actually remembered to get them. Not the Chef Boyardee kind, but the fresh kind you have to boil in water. (Impressive, I know.)

A few days later, when dinner time rolled around and I was once again wishing I had a personal chef, I opened the fridge and saw the raviolis! Yes! An easy dinner was just moments away!

Me: Megan, guess what!

Megan: What?

Me: I remembered to buy raviolis, and we're having them for dinner tonight!

Megan: Awesome! Did you get the meat kind?

Me: They didn't have meat, so I got cheese.

Megan: Cheese!? I wanted meat!

Amanda: We're having cheese raviolis? I hate cheese raviolis!

Me: When have you ever had cheese raviolis?

Amanda: Last weekend at my friend's house, and I did NOT like them.

Me: Well, sorry. That's what we're having.

Amanda: Great.

We sat down to dinner.

Megan: I'm not eating this.

Me: Actually you are.

Megan: But I wanted MEAT raviolis.

Me: Sorry. We're having cheese.

Amanda, after taking 1 bite: These are just like the ones I had at my friend's house, only they had meat sauce, which was better. These are GROSS. I can't eat anymore of them!!

Megan: Me either!! I'M NOT EATING THIS!!

Me: Oh yeah?! Well guess what? I didn't want to make this dinner in the first place, but I did. I'm certainly not going to make a second one. If you two don't want to eat what I made, then you can fix your own dinner!

Megan fixed herself cereal, Amanda had toast or something, and I had two helpings of the FABULOUS cheese raviolis. So there.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Our family went to a dessert party tonight celebrating the arrival of Fall. While the adults were enjoying adult conversation (I mean conversation with other adults, not "adult" conversation ... oh never mind) the kids were overdosing on sweets.

Once we were back home and tucking the girls in bed ...

Amanda: I could just close my eyes and die right here.

Me: That bad, huh?

Amanda: Dad said I had a sugar rush.

Me: Yep, and now you're experiencing the sugar crash. How do you like it?

Amanda, with eyes closed: I ... like it ... a ... lot.

Not exactly the answer I was looking for.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Only in America

Megan came waltzing into the kitchen a few minutes ago, wearing a beret ...

Megan: Mom, look! I'm French!

Me: Sure enough.

Megan: Hola!

Me: Perfect.

And there you have it. Today's All-American 7 year old.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yay for Football Season!

School football games mean different things to different people.

For a lot of us moms, it's a time to chat.

For most of the dads, it's a time to watch a game. Go figure.

For Amanda and Megan, it's a time to frequent the concessions stand, and run around catching these, apparently:

Go Eagles!?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Megan is my fashionista. Last week she spent some of her money on black nail polish. She's SEVEN!

Last night we took the family to Red Robin to celebrate our wedding anniversary, because we're romantic like that. If you've never been to a Red Robin restaurant, you need to know that the walls are covered with entertainment memorabilia ... framed posters of celebrities, movies, etc.

So as we're waiting for our food to arrive, Megan tells me that a friend from school told her that black finger nail polish is 'Goth'.

Me: Well, that's partially true, but black nail polish has gone mainstream in recent years. A lot of models and celebrities wear black nail polish nowadays.

Megan: What's 'Goth' anyway?

Me: It's a look that is not very becoming. Dark black hair, lots of black eye make-up, black lip stick ...

Megan, pointing to a celebrity's photo on the wall: Like her? Is she 'Goth'?

Me: Uh, no, that's Jackie Onassis Kennedy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tantrums, Bladder Infections & Anniversaries, OH MY!

You just never know what an evening might hold.

I had my girls in bed by 7:30 tonight. Not just because they need as much sleep as possible, but because I too had big plans of hittin' the sack early. So around 7:50, I was headed to beddy-bye. You'd think I'd know by now not to have such lofty ideas ...

7:55 - Amanda comes out crying from symptoms of a bladder infection. I guess I hadn't noticed the frequent trips to the bathroom earlier this evening. Now that we were all in our pj's and ready for ni-night, the pain begins. Nothing I offer helps, so I do what any other mother would do in this day and age: Google bladder infection treatments.

8:00 - Megan comes out from her room to announce that she can't sleep because she's not tired and Amanda's crying is keeping her awake. I tell her it's just as well, because apparently we're all getting dressed and going to the drug store to buy some stuff for Amanda.

8:30 - We're dressed and getting into the car. Amanda's still crying, poor thing.

8:40 - We're now roaming the aisles of the drug store, and Amanda needs a bathroom. She and Meg go find one while I look for this miracle drug that the Google gurus have recommended: AZO.

8:50 - Found it!

8:51 - Megan finds an electric toothbrush that one can decorate with stickers. I've been meaning to buy her an electric toothbrush, so we take that up front as well.

9:05 - We're home. Amanda takes her medicine, and Megan decorates her toothbrush.

9:10 - Megan shows me her toothbrush. I tell her to remove the pink skull-n-crossbones sticker.

9:11 - Megan slams her toothbrush down on the kitchen counter and runs to her room yelling, "You hate me! Why did you buy me a toothbrush at all?!!!!"

9:12 - I try ignore the tantrum and check on Amanda, but cannot believe the level of screaming coming from Megan's bedroom. I yell out: Megan! You are being ridiculous! It's a sticker for cryin' out loud! We don't wear skull-n-crossbones, pink or otherwise. You know that, so get over it already!

9:13 - Megan screams back: I hit my head! Oops.

9:14 - I check on Megan. Sure enough, as she stormed down the hallway, she cut the turn into her doorway too close, and slammed her cheek into the door frame. Could this night get any better? I could hardly stand the suspense.

9:15 - I get an ice pack for Megan and make a comment about how tantrums never pay off, and that I hoped she'd learned a lesson from this. Who am I kidding?

9:30 - Both girls are tucked back into bed a mere 2 hours after the initial tucking in.

Tomorrow is our 16th wedding anniversary. Last year we had to cancel our out of town plans because the girls got sick. This year's not lookin' much better in the way of celebrating, but it's okay. We had our fun back in August when the girls were at Grandma and Grandpa's. So it's all good.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

True or False?

Megan had to do a book report this afternoon. She chose the book "Panda Bear Cub" (I'm sure you've heard of it.) Anyway, She was to write 3 TRUE and 3 FALSE sentences about the book.


Pandas are pink at birth.

Cubs grow fast.

They open their eyes in six weeks.

I tried to make suggestions for the FALSE sentences, but she had her own ideas. See if you can pick up on a theme here ...

Me: Okay, how about something like, 'Cubs walk as soon as they're born'? That would be false.

Megan: No. I think I'll write, 'Cubs are afraid of cats'.

Me: Okaaay. How 'bout if the next false sentence has to do with pandas not liking bamboo?

Megan: Wait! I know! 'Cubs are afraid of bamboo'!

Me: Uh, yeah. That's better. Alright, one more. Maybe something about the mother panda leaving her cub after it's born? Whataya think?

Megan: Or ... 'Mother pandas are afraid of the baby cubs'!!

Me: Right. What was I thinking?

I guess I wouldn't care so much that she seems obsessed with the idea of being afraid, if it weren't for the mad scientist look on her face each time she'd come up with a new "afraid" sentence. Kinda' creepy, but oh so Megan.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Last week my friend Lisa showed me something that has changed my life, and I just can't keep it to myself.

What do YOU do with YOUR plastic bags?

I either stuff them into another plastic bag, or shove them into a fabric tube thing that has elastic on the top and bottom. It works great, until you fill it up. Then the bags start falling out the bottom.

Guess what? There's a better way. Are you ready?

Flatten your bag.

Fold it in half length-wise.

Fold it in half again.

Start folding the bag like a flag, from the bottom up.

Fold the handles into the now tidy plastic triangle.


Is that beautiful, or what? Not only does it save a ton of space, but now you have the perfect excuse for putting off house cleaning or feeding your children ... you've gotta' fold those bags.

Brush Your Teeth

There are some phrases that, to me, seem self-explanatory. Last night, Megan made me rethink this.

Apparently, "Brush your teeth" to Megan means a few different things ...

Play with dolls,

Torture sister,

Watch yourself in the mirror while singing Little Drummer Boy.

When I finally asked Megan why she hadn't brushed her teeth yet, her reply was:

"Why would I?"


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bread Girl

It's not easy naming your children. A lot of thought goes into it. What does the name mean? Does it rhyme with anything that might become a nick name and possibly scar the child for life? If we'd had boys, one of the names I liked was Cooper. Until someone pointed out that Cooper rhymes with pooper. Okay, so much for that one.

'Amanda' seemed like a safe enough name for a girl ...

Amanda: Mom, what were the other names you wanted to name me?

Me: Well ...

Amanda: Natalie, right? Wasn't Natalie one of the names?

Me: Yes, and McKenna. That was a newer name back when you were born.

Amanda: That's a good one. Why didn't you name me that? At least then no one would call me 'Manna'.

Me: Maybe not, but they might call you 'Kenna'.

Amanda: That would be better than 'Manna'. I don't like it when people call me that. It makes me feel like bread.

Me: Sorry.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Need a Ride ... to INSANITY?

Welcome to a typical ride in our car ...

Amanda gets in first and slams the door shut.

Megan tries to get into the car on Amanda's side. Amanda knows this is coming (because Megan does this every morning), so she locks her door before Megan can open it. (What are sisters for, right?) Megan gets mad and stomps all the way around the car to her side and gets in, slamming the door shut.

Once everyone is inside and buckled, Megan puts her dirty shoes on the back of the seat in front of her. I tell her to get her dirty feet off the seat.

Someone asks for music.

I point out that the radio is already on.

I'm told that "music" means a "CD".

Once the CD is playing I hear, "Number 5 please." "Up please." "UP PLEASE."

Before number 5 is even done the other one says, "Number 3 please."

The newest CD in the car is Jonas L.A., from the same titled TV show. The girls were watching it the other day when a song came on. I asked them if that song was on the CD. They said they didn't know. I replied, "Well, since we've only heard tracks 3 & 5, It's no wonder you don't know." They just looked at me with blank stares as if to say, "Why do you insist on talking to us?"

Halfway through song number 3, one of them tattles on the other for one of the following reasons:

2) She's looking at me!

3) She's not singing right!

4) She has her feet on the seat again!

5) She won't let me look at the CD cover!

6) She's not doing anything, but I love to tattle so spank her or something!

This is when I turn off the "music" for the remainder of our commute.

I have considered driving into a tree on more than one occasion.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Don't Touch Each Other!!

While dining at Costco (can you use 'dining' and 'Costco' in the same sentence?) Amanda felt a kick underneath the table ...

Amanda: Megan!! Mom, she kicked me!!

Me: Okay, I'm gonna' say something that I say every day. Several times a day actually. Can you guess what it is?

Amanda: 'Megan, stop it?'

Me: No ...

Megan: 'Don't touch each other?'

Me: Right! Don't touch each other! Believe it or not, I can go ALL DAY without touching ANYONE, so I know it can be done!! So many of the fights you two get into would be eliminated if you just wouldn't touch each other.

My little speech worked like a charm. Megan didn't touch Amanda for like 15 minutes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Amanda: Dad, you're part Dutch and part German, right?

Henry: Right.

Amanda: And Mom, you're Swedish and what else?

Me: Welsh.

Amanda: What's 'Welsh'?

Me: People from Wales.

Amanda: Wales?

Me: Right.

Megan: What's it called? Whale-ish?

Me: No ...

Megan: Who in your family was Whale-ish?

Me: Uh ...

Like many women in America, I have a poor self body image, but I can't say that myself or any of my ancestors would be considered 'Whale-ish', would we? Don't answer that.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Buyin' Babies

Megan: Mom, did you buy me?

Me: What do you mean, buy you?

Megan: You know, like at the store. Did you buy me or did I come out of your tummy.

Me: The tummy thing.

Megan: I'm gonna' buy my baby.

Me: Why?

Megan: Doesn't it hurt to have a baby come out of your tummy.

Me: Yeah. So you're thinking of buying a baby, because it won't hurt?

Megan: Right.

Henry and Amanda arrive on the scene.

Megan: So where do you buy babies anyway, Babies R Us?

Amanda: No, you go to an adoption agency.

Henry: Or you can do like the Lichti's, and go to China to get a baby.

Me: That'd be cool, huh Meg?

Megan: Yeah! Then I'd learn Spanish!

Henry: They speak Chinese in China, not Spanish.

Megan: Oh.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dyin' to Go to Heaven

On the way home from church, there was a smashed up car on a flat bed tow truck.

Megan: Was that car in an accident?

Me: Looks like it.

Megan: Can you die in accidents like that?

Me: Yes.

Megan: I wanna' die.

Me: Why?

Megan: Because I want to be a kid in heaven.

Me: I sure would miss you.

Megan: Okay. I'll wait one more week.

Me: Thank you.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Parking with Amanda

I didn't know that everyone goes to Target on Labor Day. Now I do. We actually had to park a ways away from the store, so as we were getting out of the car ...

Me: Okay, everyone take note of where we parked.

Amanda: Easy. By the tree.

Me: Uh, there's lots of trees in this parking lot.

Amanda (looking around): Okay, next to the car with the disco ball hanging from the mirror.

Me: Right. I'll go ahead and remember where we parked.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Last night as I reached over Megan's head to shampoo her hair, she took a big whiff of my forearm (anyone else have a kid who does that?)

Megan: Mmmmm. You smell gooooood.

Me: Oh yeah? What do I smell like?

Megan: Root Beer.

Good to know.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wii Fitness Age

Megan: Mom! Guess what my Wii Fitness Age is!!

Me: 7

Megan: No, 59!!!

Me: Uh, that's not good, seeing as you're only 7 years old.

Amanda: Ha! Ha! My Wii Fitness Age is only 45!!

Me: Yeah, still not good.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I don't know.

Sometimes hallelujah ... sometimes I don't know. Do I really not know, or am I just so tired of the questions (hundreds daily) that I take the easy way out and say "I don't know"? Hmmm. I don't know.

Here are just some of the questions I've either said (or wanted to say) I didn't know the answer to recently ...

Mom, why do actors always have messy hair and a red nose when they're sick on TV?

What's a toupee?

Are toupee and touche' both french?

Why do people wear make-up? Do they think it makes them look smarter?

Is it really illegal to get married when you're 14 years old?

Why do some people have unibrows?

What does affirmative mean?

Why is he wearing a ring when he's not even married yet? I actually answered this with, "It's a purity ring." But when she asked what that meant, I told her she'd find out when she's older. Don't need to be explaining THAT any time soon. Sheesh!