You made it! Here it is... the blog where you get to sit back and laugh at - or be completely horrified by - life with 5 kids, 2 parents, some frogs, a cat & a rabbit (and those are just the creatures we know about).


Censorship (or lack thereof)

As a child, my parents never really censored the things I watched or read. It wasn't an unlikely occurrence for me to beg to watch a scary movie like The Exorcist, only to end up crying and asking why they made me watch that. We all loved horror films growing up in my house. Unfortunately, I have an excellent imagination. Add that to my love of reading Stephen King (starting in third grade) and you get one screwed up adult who can be seen running through the house in the middle of the night if I have to pee.

Take the movie Poltergeist, for example. I'm fairly certain I saw that at the ripe old age of five. Thanks to that, the clown scene is forever etched in my memory. My family thinks it's hysterical that I am scarred for life. 

This is the magnet I found on my fridge when I got home from work. Thanks, big sister!
You will surely never find any clown dolls in my house. I'm not even too keen on the American Girl Dolls (thanks for taking me to see Child's Play, Dad).

Seriously. Who would buy this for a child and not think it would try to kill them?

You had to know this was going to happen!

The Stephen King habit hasn't helped, either. My dad has always been a huge King fan. I'm sure I was trying to impress him or emulate him when I picked up 'Salem's Lot in third grade. I even brought it to school as my personal reading book. Now, being a teacher, I can see why Mrs. McLaughlin sent me to other teachers' rooms to show them what I was reading that day. Like I said before, I have a great imagination and Stephen King certainly knows how to write a compelling horror story. In 'Salem's Lot, the vampires will come scratching at your window in the middle of the night. These aren't sparkly, handsome Twilight vampires. They're undead bloodsuckers waiting to kill you. So, when I'm in my kitchen at three in the morning getting a drink, I am surely not letting the cat in as he scratch, scratch, scraaaaatches at the sliding glass door. I can't even open the shade even though I know it's hopefully him. Sorry, Frank the Cat. You're out for the night.

It might be the cat, then again, it might be this creepy kid.

If you enjoy the idea of me running through the house in terror, why not become a follower? Just don't buy me a clown. You can also stalk find me on Facebook and TwitterLike the page and follow me!

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Cake favorites

I like to bake. One of my favorite things to make is birthday cakes for my children. Whenever we have a birthday, I post the cake picture on Facebook. One day a Facebook friend who I hadn't seen since grade school asked if I could make the Ariel cake for her daughter and she would pay me. I had never considered making cakes for money. It's since become that thing I do (at 3 am). It's not really a profitable business as each cake takes so much time (I have no training) and so many ingredients (I bake from scratch), but I really enjoy doing it. I've made over one hundred cakes, but I picked out a few of my favorites below:

**UPDATE: If you want to check out more of my cakes, visit me at my other blog - The Cake Beast.
Bob the Builder - he was my first cake & a little jaundiced.
I've made 7 Ariels - thankfully, people have started asking for other princesses, too.
Lucy wanted a "funky girl" birthday cake and I had to learn how to make a fondant bow.
I copied my niece, Regan's "Hippie Chic" decorations for her cake.
A special request from my other niece - unicorn farting a rainbow. She's a little whacked.
I copied my stepsister's wedding invitation for her bridal shower cake.
My boss bought these decorations for her brother's 50th.
This is the disco cake I made to match the plates.
A golf cake for my stepdad.
A special request. For my birthday, I'd like a Harpoon IPA cake. 
My friend - who happens to be an adult - LOVES Hello Kitty. This is her birthday cake.
Sophie's Angelina Ballerina cake for her 3rd birthday.
Sean's 3D Thomas cake. It had a little lean to it, but it tasted good! Rock candy "smoke."
Super Mario...
...with "mushroom" cupcakes to match.
A karate cake for a karate party
A cake for a Wild Kratts fan.
Patrick had a Star Wars birthday.
I struggled with the Scrabble cake!
A cake for some Boston College graduates.
Sean's wild animal 1st birthday.
Lucy's butterfly cake
Patrick & his buddy had a joint birthday and agreed on a basketball cake.
A Fourth of July cake
For a Harry Potter fan - copying the font was tricky!
Patrick wanted a black widow on his cake. I hate spiders. It was a challenge!
I made cake in a bowl to make the spider 3D.
Charlotte had a tiny christening cake to go with her tiny birthday cake on the same day. Poor 5th child.

So, there are a few of my favorites from all of the cakes I've made. If you're looking for me, I'm probably in the kitchen, covered in buttercream at three in the morning.

If you enjoy the blog, why not become a follower? You can also stalk find me on Facebook and TwitterLike the page and follow me!

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And don't forget to visit my Zazzle store. You know you want some!



Lately, I just can't seem to get my act together. The day-to-day craziness that is my life has taken over. I start each week with the intention of being better prepared (remember my resolutions?), and by Monday night, it's just not working. One of the areas that has completely fallen apart is dinner.

I actually really enjoy cooking. Last year, I was great at planning the week's meals, making a grocery list, and having PJ do the shopping on Sunday nights. This meant we would have nice, home-cooked meals most nights with a night or two for take-out or dining out thrown in to spice things up. This year is a different story entirely.

Monday rolls around and I realize that I have just what I need to pack lunches. During the day, the back of my mind is working on what I could make that would be quick and easy. I try to figure out the logistics of going straight from work to the grocery store and still make it to the babysitter's in a reasonable amount of time. By the time the end of the day rolls around, I toss that idea out altogether. Once I get home, I've come to the realization that it's going to be another take-out night.

Take-out is normally a fun, easy alternative to dinner. When it becomes a staple, you've got problems. We are lucky to live in an area with a multitude of take-out choices. Unfortunately, I'm fairly certain we've exhausted them all. 

me: What do you want for dinner?
him: Not pizza. We had pizza last night.
me: Chinese? 
him: No. I had Chinese for lunch.
the kids (shouting from the other room): Chicken and fries!
the kids (still shouting): No, Five Guys!
the kids (fighting amongst themselves): I don't like burgers!
me (ignoring the ruckus): Thai?
him: Well, if you get Thai, I'm getting Indian.
the kids (screaming): We want white rice!

Keep in mind, this conversation lasts for about an hour. By the time we actually come to a decision, we're creeping into that time that should be reserved for baths and stories before bed. For most people, take-out would be a quick and easy solution for dinner. Instead it has become the bane of my existence. My goal for the week is to make a few home-cooked meals. At this point, it's just easier. 

Or, I could just break out last night's Chinese, Sunday's pizza and Saturday's chicken pad thai for a multicultural smorgasbord. Bare minimum, I should probably serve dinner in disposable containers so I don't confuse everyone too much.

Please, give me a roast chicken or some stew...

If you enjoy the blog, why not become a follower? You can also stalk find me on Facebook and TwitterLike the page and follow me!

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And don't forget to visit my Zazzle store. You know you want some!


Valentine's Day

Oh, Valentine's Day. This goofy, made-up holiday always cracks me up. As a child, I thought nothing was better than waking up to a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a little red teddy bear. Any holiday that involves waking up to chocolate is alright in my book. Then, I started dating, and it was all about flowers and more chocolate. Even today, PJ knows enough to buy me chocolate. I can't eat flowers. (But, I can certainly suck down a king-sized Hershey bar.)

Now that I have children, Valentine's Day has taken on a whole new meaning. Much like every other event in our lives, I put off doing anything about it until the last possible minute. Then, I go to the store and literally take the last three boxes of valentine cards right out from under some other poor mom's nose. Hey, lady - you snooze, you lose. I'm sorry you needed to find your glasses in order to read the boxes. Good luck with the 32 Teletubbies valentines I left you with, four eyes. (I'm not sure why I just turned into a 5th grade boy from the 1950's, there - sorry.)

I was so excited that the cards I picked out were actually appropriate for the kids: Animal Planet for Patrick and Disney Princess for Lucy and Sophie. Not only that, but they even came with little lollipops you could stick into them. Am I the coolest, or what? (Don't answer that. Especially if you were handcrafting beautiful, homemade valentines all week.) Of course, Patrick and Lucy were horrified that I forgot that there is a strict 'no food' policy at their school. So, Sophie happily stuck the lollipops into her valentines and now I have 60 lollipops hiding in my house. They'll have to end up in the trash because I have issues and can't handle sticky things. (I know, I really didn't think this '5 kids' thing through, did I?) But, I digress...

I set up a Valentine's Day sweatshop at the dining room table. The three big kids were so excited to sit and write their names over and over on each card. All I could hear was, "Sophie M., Sophie M., Sophie M..."
Lucy managed to remember all of her classmates since I lost her list.
Sophie informed Lucy that writing valentines was a dressy occasion.
Patrick got right to work writing out one for each child and his teachers.
Of course, I spent the night making sure everyone had their red shirt to wear to school. My Catholic school kids cherish 'no uniform' days. I even laid out red and pink shirts for Sean and Charlotte in honor of the holiday. A little funny back story: Sean LOVES turtlenecks. He calls them "neck shirts." He was so excited on Valentine's Day morning when he was getting dressed to be wearing his "red neck shirt." Say it fast. It's funny.

In all, it was a good fake holiday. The kids came home with a billion tiny valentines which will now take up residence in every nook and cranny in my house. I'm sure to be throwing them away in time for Christmas. (Who am I kidding? I bet if I looked hard enough, I could find some of last year's valentines tucked away somewhere.)

Happy Valentine's Day!
I even got my favorite gerber daisies in addition to the Hershey bar that was as big as my head.
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Winning (literally, not the Charlie Sheen definition)

This week, Patrick and Lucy participated in the annual pig race at their school. For those of you who haven't been indoctrinated into the ways of the pig race, here's a little background. Each fall, the kids do fundraising for school. Those families that raise at least $250, get a mechanical pig. During Catholic Schools Week, one of the big events is the pig race. This is where each decorated pig gets lined up in the gym and they snort and wiggle their way to the finish line. The child with the winning pig wins $100. Which, as far as my 1st- and 2nd-grader are concerned, is equivalent to a cool million.

This event is major - and I do mean major - to my children. The night before the race, we decided how to decorate the pig. Of course, since it's a shared pig, this involved an extended argument about whether or not the pig could have a puffy painted flower on its nose. We then outfitted the pig with batteries and tested it out in the kitchen. (This test is necessary since Patrick is still traumatized by his first race. In kindergarten, his pig had a lame leg that made it only go in circles.) 

What's funny about the whole event is that my kids actually believe that they'll win. I suppose being a cynical adult has colored my view of the world, because I never in a million years expect to win anything. Patrick and Lucy, on the other hand, were already planning how to split and spend their winnings. So, we sat in the kitchen with the pig and a stopwatch and experimented with ways to try to win the race. After a while, we figured out that hot-gluing American Girl Doll shoes shaved twelve whole seconds off our time.

I sent the kids off to school Tuesday morning with a puffy-painted pig with pink and purple shoes. Sadly, those doll shoes were no match for that gymnasium floor. As has happened the past three years, the winner has been someone that the children know well. I suppose, if it had been some random sixth-grader that they didn't know, it might seem less likely that they could win. Unfortunately, when the winner is in your own class, it makes it seem so much more attainable. After school, I had two very disappointed pig race losers on my hands. 

That's the funny thing about being a kid. They have all the faith in the world that they will be the winners of any race or raffle. And they are highly disappointed when it doesn't work out that way. I suppose we'll have to hire an engineer from MIT to help us figure out what'll work for next year's pig race. Either that or strap some rocket boosters to its little, pink ass.
Next year, rocket boosters...
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