Books We Love!

When it came time to stock our home library after my Bonus Kids started staying with us, I wasn’t really sure where to start. I picked up a couple of my favorites from my childhood and then got stuck. However, when you work in an industry where little ones are the focus eventually you start to learn about more books.

With the Holidays coming up I wanted to share some of our favorites. I’ve included links to the books on Amazon to make shopping even easier. I don’t benefit from any of this but I know as a parent I hate reading crappy children’s books so consider it my gift to you.

1) Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang

I am a big person and I 100% needed to hear this story and so did my tiny people. The story follows Jim Panzee through a day filled with friends trying to make him less grumpy. The more they “help” the grumpier he gets. I won’t spoil it for you but suffice it to say that we have all been Jim at some point. This story is a great way to teach your kiddos about feelings without being mushy and weird.

2) We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

This book made me laugh so hard in the bookstore that I bought it and then brought it to work to read to my staff. They loved it too. I’m a firm believer that children’s books are supposed to be fun for the grown ups that read them too and this one is definitely fun.

3) Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs as retold by Mo Willems

This awesome retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is filled with sass and fun. Mo Willems is probably most famous for Don’t Let the Pidgeon Drive the Bus. His writing and illustrations make his books (especially this one) easy for everyone to enjoy.

4) Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

Alright so this one has won a ton of awards but I’m putting it on here for Moms like me who missed the memo. Not a Box takes you back to the days of make believe and encourages children to see the world differently. I especially love this book because we have a thousand kids so we do our best to encourage imaginative play that requires few toys. If you like this one then you’ll probably like Not a Stick as well.

5) The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstien

This is my kiddos number one favorite book for me to read to them! We have read it a thousand times and they know all the words. I loved this book growing up but I love it so much more now that I’m sharing it with them. We laugh and giggle and I make stupid voices. I feel like its got a great message about being able to stand on your own too. (Admittedly, I didn’t pick up on this until I was an adult.)

I hope that you enjoy these! I’ll be sure to let you all know when I get introduced to other great books. If your family has a favorite book or two leave me a note in the comments! The bigger our library is the happier I’ll be!

Crazy Eyes

After my post the other day I wanted to take a minute to tell ya’ll more about Crazy Eyes. I love this kid. She’s an absolute nut and that’s part of the reason she got her name. She also has huge crystal blue eyes that she is prone to crossing and bugging out at people. We’ve called her Crazy Eyes since she was about a year and a half. At four and a half the name still applies.


That’s one of my favorite pictures of us. Its from the very first time I met her. She was and is ridiculously cute.

She alternates between tiny terrorist and sweet helper just often enough that you can enjoy her being around when you aren’t ready to sell her to the circus. She’s smart and quick which is what makes her so funny. Once, while dressed like Elsa, my husband told her to clean her room to which she responded “I’m Elsa!” and walked off. Another time she put a pearl choker on our large pitbull, Moose. When I told her that I didn’t think Moose wanted to wear jewelry she looked at me with a completely serious face said “He does.” and then went on playing.

Its not unusual to see her wandering around our house dressed like a Princess, playing her pink ukulele, and quietly chanting “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor.” She hates black beans and about every fourth meal claims to also hate onions. She enjoys helping with dinner provided she is allowed to smell, taste, and touch everything that we put into it. She calls tights “sock-pants” and insists on helping me pick my jewelry (the tackier the better) any chance she gets. Her kisses are always wet and her hugs sometimes involve both her arms AND legs wrapped around you.


I’ve learned a good deal about myself and what patience sometimes looks like from her. There are times that I have to remind myself that she’s still new at learning how to be a human and that I’m still very new at learning how to be a mom. These are the times when I have to remind myself that it is okay to be frustrated and confused when she gets upset or is weird because she probably doesn’t really know why she’s upset or weird either and is likely feeling the same way.  When I convince her to go to the grocery store with me or get her to dance with me in the car I say a silent prayer that we will have moments like that forever.





Mommy Time

Before I was pregnant I knew what taking care of myself looked like for the most part. I understood “Me Time.” While pregnant I figured that “Me Time” and “Mommy Time” would look the same. Then the girls were born.

Suddenly I wanted to tell everyone who’d told me that self-care was important to kiss my tired ass. Self-Care! Mommy Time! Baloney! When the heck did people expect me to do this mythical “Mommy Time”?! When I took a bath? Hard to do that when your kids have magic sensors that tell them to scream as soon as you get wet. When they sleep? But I thought I was supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps?! (More mythical fairy tales told by people who have forgotten what its like to have babies. Even more of a crackpot fantasy when you have multiples.) Ah yes! Self-care while they play! You mean in between trying to keep them from escaping and putting everything in their mouths? And if I find time then what do I do?

People tell you when you’re pregnant that self-care is important but I never really thought about what self-care would look like when I was caring for tiny humans. “Mommy Time” looks nothing like the “Me Time” I had before. This took me longer than I’d like to admit to figure out. Over and over I got frustrated that I couldn’t read a book or draw or paint my nails. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to do these things when I can but I had to find little things to hold me together when those things weren’t possible.

Some days self-care means that I treat myself to lunch instead of packing one. Other days it means I shave my legs for the first time in God knows how long. Some days it means you allow yourself to throw out the absolutely awful “wear only in case of laundry emergency” underwear that you frown at every time you open your underwear drawer. (You know the kind that make you consider wearing your dirty underwear inside out because you were too damn tired to keep up with laundry but you hate to throw them out because you spent money on them.) It can be as simple as wearing your favorite T-shirt or texting your best friend while you’re on the toilet.

To all you Moms out there who are like me, please don’t get discouraged or give up on the idea of taking care of yourself. Take a moment sometimes and listen when your brain says “if you don’t take care of me I’ll make you do stupid things like accidentally wear your slippers to drop your kid off at daycare.” (Did it while wearing sunglasses AND glasses at the same time. Looked like a complete disaster.) Find your weird way to tell yourself that you can survive this insanity. Don’t be upset if it isn’t Pinterest worthy. Don’t get too hung up on the fact that “Mommy Time” doesn’t look like “Me Time.” You deserve it. You need it. You are freaking awesome!


Stupid Stupid Stupid

Am I the only parent who occasionally makes a really idiotic choice in a lame attempt to make their kids think that they are cool? I feel like there are bound to be other people like me out there. A couple of weekends ago, we took the kids to a church fair near our house. I tried to make my older kids think that I, Deedee, am awesome and cool. Instead of looking cool, I looked like a big baby and almost peed my pants.

When I was growing up, the big scary ride at the fair was The Bullet. Its essentially a big stick that spins around with pill-like capsules on either end that also spin. (Aka Big Scary Death Trap). I rode it once with my grandmother and we both spent the entire ride screaming and convinced that we were going to die. Its pretty incredible how your brain blocks those memories out when you are being stupid for your kids.

Anyway, I’d promised The Boy that I’d go on one ride with him. Before the intelligent side of my brain could stop me I blurted out “Let’s go on The Bullet!” As soon as I said it I started praying that he would be too short to ride. Unfortunately not only was he tall enough to ride, so was Crazy Eyes. As we got in line I continued to pray that they would chicken out or have to pee or decide that they were hungry or something so we could move on. Of course, none of these things happened. We inched closer and closer to the ride and I began to feel more and more stupid.

Finally, the time came for us to get into the death trap. We tucked Crazy Eyes in the middle and I realized that I was 100% not prepared for what I’d gotten us into. Momma Bear instinct kicked in and I put my leg over hers and braced myself as best I could in the metal cage. We were the first to load into the ride so that meant we got a little sneak peak before it even really started. As we made our first half rotation Crazy Eyes and I were already freaking out. For a brief minute we sat at the top of the ride looking down in horror. I quietly cursed myself for being such an idiot.

I spent the rest of the ride doing my best not to scream curse words at the top of my lungs while simultaneously cheering on my little Crazy girl for being so brave. My mind pinged around like crazy. “Don’t pee your pants Diana!” “Don’t let Crazy Eyes fall out!” “Is that my husband laughing on the ground?!” “I am NEVER doing this again.” Out loud I tried to laugh and reassure her that she was doing great. I’m pretty sure that to the people on the ground I sounded absolutely insane. The Boy was having the time of his life and thought that the whole thing was hilarious. By the time we got off she was crying and we were both shaking. (Its important to note here that neither of us peed our pants or threw up. #winning) I hugged her and told her how proud I was of her over and over again. Eventually I got her to laugh and convinced her to go ride a kiddie ride with Daddy. She was fine after that and I refused to go on anymore rides.

Looking back I can only hope that we all learned a little about ourselves. The Boy should be well aware now that he isn’t scared of anything a ride can throw at him. I’m positive that I didn’t look any cooler. If anything I probably look less cool now. I hope that Crazy Eyes learned that she is incredibly brave. Maybe we can just look at it like a trust fall. I was right there with them, screaming my head off and trying to make sure they knew that I’d keep them safe. I guess that’s what parenting looks like sometimes. Scream a little, laugh, and do your best to act like everything is fine until you get back on the ground without peeing your pants.


The Hubs

Trying to decide what stories to tell you has made me realize that a lot of my favorite stories involve poop. If that doesn’t tell you about my family I don’t know what does. Taking a break from potty humor, I thought I’d tell you all a little more about my partner in crime.

The Hubs and I met online. He got my number when he gave me the best response I’d ever heard to my favorite dating question. When asked, “What was the last thing you learned that really interested you?” He told me that he’d just finished a book on Quantum Physics. Total. Panty. Dropper.

The first time he called me I thought I was being catfished. He’s very smart but he has a very thick redneck accent. I spent at least a minute in open mouthed disappointment trying to figure out if I was being punked. We spent the next hour talking on the phone. He talks a lot and so do I. We talked so much on our first date that we only ate an appetizer and desert because we were talking too much to decide what to order. Our house is rarely quiet. After three and a half years together he still brings me little gifts of fun facts and weird knowledge on a regular basis.

Given how much he looks like a bear it’s a wonder the kids don’t look like bridge trolls. (Although The Boy recently informed us that he does have sexy manly man hair on his chest but its blonde so you can’t see it.) His chest hair grows into his neck hair which then grows into his beard hair. He’s also muscular and tattooed. I tell him all the time that if I looked the way he did I’d probably be in jail by now. I firmly believe that God put me in this tiny body so that I couldn’t get into too much trouble. We all agree that its impossible for me to look hard. He, on the other hand, looks like he could smash things quite easily. (This is probably because he can.) Despite his big scary exterior he has a smile and laugh that are even bigger. His laugh is one of my favorite sounds. (He’s going to make fun of me for that later but I don’t care.)

Beyond being big, scary, and chatty he’s also super smart and can fix pretty much anything. I watched him fix a friend’s motorcycle with a piece of cork and some electrical tape once.  I lean towards the book smart side of life. He is mechanically inclined but enjoys reading things like manuals and how to guides. Between the two of us we can figure most things out. When we can’t (like when a baby is crying and we have no idea why) we call our parents.

I’d love to say we have this whole marriage and parenting thing figured out but we totally don’t. Its definitely a work in progress. Some days I threaten to sell him to an old lady that’s looking for a boy toy. Most days I tell him I’d marry him again. Today is a marry him again kind of day. I’m glad that we found each other. Its nice to have someone just as weird as I am to hold my hand through the insanity.


Crazy Eyes and I are now hardened battle buddies. Just as I was wrapping up dictating a blog post for you guys about how it’s important to take time to appreciate the little things and not judge yourselves, one of the babies started fussing. That’s when the following shit-tastrophy occurred.

She came into my room and let me know that one of the babies seemed like she was ready to get out of the Jumperoo. I told her it was probably good idea to give her sister another turn anyway. As I pulled The Conqueror out of the Jumparoo I heard a horrified “OH MY GOSH!!”

I looked down right as the smell hit my nose. My tiny terror had jumped the poo right out of her little body. It was all over her, all over the Jumparoo, and smelled like death. Crazy and I started gagging. We both ran down the hallway with the baby. I kept chanting “don’t throw up on your child! Don’t throw up on your child!” over and over as I dry heaved. I  wished I had more arms as I wrestled to keep her from rolling in it. I had no idea what Crazy was doing I just heard her running up and down the hallway. Belatedly I screamed “DON’T GET ANY POO ON YOU!!” I heard the toilet flush a few times and the faucet running. I didn’t ask What she was doing. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to know.

Once I got The Conqueror cleaned up I went back into the living room. Sweet little Crazy Eyes had braved that poopoo and cleaned most of it up. She used almost an entire roll of toilet paper doing it but she did better than most adults in the situation. With an exhausted sigh she looked at me and said “I love you….can I have a piece of candy now?” I gave her a hug and told her yes. She definitely deserved it.

Moral of the story: Having four kids is hard but sometimes they are exactly who you want by your side.

Bad Naked!

My Bonus Dad has coined the term “bad naked.” We use it anytime we’re talking about being nude in the ways you wouldn’t want anyone to see. It’s not artistic, it’s more domestic and VERY unflattering. (Think bending over and digging through the laundry naked.)  Today I’ll tell you the story of how bad naked quickly became the worst kind of naked.

For whatever reason the girls woke up extra early and ready for Booby Milk. Rather than go back to bed after they ate, I decided to go ahead and take a bath. After my bath was over I crawled back into bed to snuggle my babies for a few minute. There wasn’t much room on the bed as most of it was taken up by two infants, two dogs, and my snoring husband. I tried to perch delicately on the edge of the bed while laying on my side so as not to wake everyone. Unfortunately this left me quite exposed with a couple of my wobbly bits hanging off the bed. After a minute I got cold and decided to try and pull the sheets over myself without getting off of the bed. As you can imagine, this did not end well.

What happened next seemed to pass in horrifying slow motion. My lame attempt at trying to cover myself sent me flying off the bed.  To put this into perspective, my bed is about 3.5 feet off the ground and the Twins’ crib was right next to it at the time. As I fell to the ground, bear assed and legs flying, I saw my life flash before my eyes. It was like a horrific game of Plinko as I bounced between the bed and the crib on the way down. I landed butt first, legs and arms above my head, pinned precariously between the bed, the crib, and the nightstand.

In the next few seconds a few quick thoughts ran through my mind.
1)   Is anything broken?… I don’t think so.
2)   Literally no one in this room made a noise as I hit the ground! No one is checking on me! I could be dead here! Jerks!
3)   What is that smell and why is my butt wet?

What was that smell indeed! You see, my Little Bad Dog, in a fit of when I can only assume to be jealousy, had quietly pooped next to the bed while I was laying on it. Being a new Mom, I innocently believed one of the babies was responsible for the smell and had decided that I’d change them whenever they woke up. With a sinking feeling and rising nausea I realize that I had indeed fallen bottom first into dog poop. Horrified, I shouted to my husband “Oh my God! I’ve fallen in poo!” I didn’t have time to hear what he said next as I ran, gagging, to get in the shower.

By this time I was running late and in survival mode. I got my thoroughly scrubbed bottom out of the shower, woke everyone up, and got them dressed for the day. Somewhere along the way The Boy Child looked at me and said “Deedee it’s superhero day today at camp!” I quickly handed him his Flash costume complete with mask and cape. (Yes I know the Flash doesn’t wear a cape but the kid thinks capes are cool so we went with it.)

It was only in the stillness that followed my way to work that the ridiculousness of my morning sunk in. As I called my Mom and recounted the event I laughed until I was in tears.  I remembered how The Boy looked up at me and said “You’re the greatest Step-Mom ever!” I can only assume this is because I let him wear a costume to school when I hadn’t confirmed that it was actually superhero day at camp. That night I decided to just not ask. There are some things I’d rather not know and he seemed pretty happy with himself. The Little Bad Dog has still shown zero remorse. I periodically giggled throughout the day just thinking about what happened and my staff thought it was hilarious. It turned out to be a really good day despite the weirdness of the morning. Honestly, if I have to fall bare bottomed in poo every morning to make it a good day it just might be worth it.

Blog Post # 1: Draft # 6,873…approximately

I’ve talked myself into and out of starting this blog about a thousand times. I’m not a perfect Mom, I have no special skills, and my kids/husband/dogs/job frequently make me question my sanity. I haven’t even been a Mom for long. So why write to you? I write with the hope that maybe one day, when you feel like you have failed in all the things that your mind tells you a perfect Mom should do, you’ll read this and know that you aren’t alone. Maybe you’ll even laugh.

I’ve lived a large chunk of my “adult” life by the philosophy that most things are worth trying if they’ll make a great story later. I’m pretty sure God saw that and said, “Oooo Girl! If you want stories I’ve got the adventure for you!” God’s voice in my head is typically sassy and has a sense of humor. Think Queen Latifah in pretty much all of her movies.

In less than three years, I went from single and living alone to married with two bonus kids and a set of twins. We’re an unusual group. I’m short, loud and a strange hybrid of wannabe hippy homemaker and business woman. I want to be all healthy and bohemian but most days I’m lucky if I manage to slow down long enough to wolf down a Snickers bar. My husband is a big, hairy Veteran who drives a Harley, sounds like a redneck, and reads about quantum physics. Our oldest kiddo is 6. He’s sweet, funny, and an awful dancer. We’re hoping the robot is a cool dance again by the time he’s in high school. Next in line is our four year old daughter. We call her Crazy Eyes. We called her The Walking, Talking Middle Finger when she was three but she’s maturing some. She is incredibly smart and is basically her Daddy in a skirt (minus all the hair). The twins are almost eight months old. They enjoy rolling around, making faces at people, and growling at everyone. We call them “The Hun” and “The Conqueror” and enjoy talking about their quests for world domination. Add to the mix a tiny dog with an attitude and a big dog who is allergic to practically everything and you have our crazy household.

I don’t live the life that I imagined. I live a life that I never could have dreamed. Most days are so weird that I couldn’t make them up if I tried. I am so grateful for all of it and I look forward to sharing my stories with you.

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