Monday, October 31, 2011

Don't Make Mama Bird Angry

OK, I find this hilarious and completely insulting at the same time. You might remember last week I posted about making Ryan an Angry Birds costume. Well, it has been driving droves of traffic to my blog. Not the point. 

Here's a reminder of how cute he looked. 

I was checking my blog stats just now and noticed some traffic from BuyAngryBirdsCostume (dot) com. Won't even type it because I don't want you to click it and give this guy traffic. 

So I clicked the link to find a little write-up about my costume that said the following: "DIY Angry Bird Costume - So Easy Even I Can Do It (My headline). Really, this should be your last resort. Making an Angry Bird from carton and hanging around your neck, we can hardly call it a costume, but desperate situations call for desperate measures. Read more here." 

Wait, WHAT? "This should be your last resort?" I am a lot of things and desperate isn't one of them. 

"Making an Angry Bird from carton and hanging around your neck, we can hardly call it a costume???Oh my gosh. Are you freaking serious? Well, I'm just insulted! It most certainly a costume and not a stupid one I might add. My feathers are ruffled - yes, that is a bird pun, glad you noticed. 

And before you think I'm ignorant...I do understand how web links and search work. He's just got my links on there to drive traffic to his site though search, BUT I'm beyond perturbed at his comments. He's probably some ignorant douche canoe who's name is Dennis (I looked up the domain name, it's really Dennis). 

Let me explain to you Mr. Dennis Just Trying To Sell Costumes: My kid is 8, as I mentioned before he'd look like a complete jackass walking around our neighborhood in one of the store-bought costumes where he had to stick his head through a hole like you're trying to sell. Sticking his head through a hole would make him look like an A-hole. I crack myself up. 

I love my kid and don't need him getting beat up on Halloween because he was wearing a sissy costume. Here's what they look like. 

Secondly, it is 80 degrees here today and cardboard is pretty much all we can do so our kids don't sweat to death walking door-to-door begging for candy, asshole. Yes, was the one with the handy sewing instructions more impressive? Perhaps, but again that costume is pretty babyish and HOT. 

You've got me ranked third of the "Best," but the last resort? Really? A mom that actually makes a costume instead of just buying it? A costume that her kid asked for and is thrilled with. 

Not to mention that the one this guy has in 2nd place (and not as a "last resort") is a boy wearing red leggings, red socks and a feather boa with a paper beak. It comes from one of my absolute favorite blogs and I'm not saying anything bad at all. But again, what do you think the odds are of getting my son to wear girls pants or his father letting him go out of the house with a feather boa? 

Hoo boy am I fired up. 

By the way, Ryan's costume is essentially paper and it's pouring rain here. YAY! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Science Project - I "Rock"

This post is dedicated to any parent who has ever "helped" their child do a science experiment for school. Read it to the end for the best part. 

Two weeks ago, Ryan came home from 2nd grade with the class "Scientist Bag," a blue tote bag with a lab coat, a pair of goggles and a journal in which to log findings of any science experiment he chooses. Each kid takes a turn.

As any parent knows, no science project will ever be a solo mission no matter how brilliant your kid is. Ryan's idea of "Rot or Raisin" (seeing if the grape would turn into a raisin before it rots) was quickly shot down because of our chilly South Floridian temperatures in the 80's.

After plenty of internet research and a hearty sales pitch, I sold him on making rock candy crystals. And I might have, in a moment of weakness suggested that I'd make a video. YES I KNOW! STUPID! Foreshadowing: not part of the assignment, overkill. 

So I studied the experiment, I made him read about it to learn it, I got the materials together, I measured sugar and water, and I set him up in the kitchen where I told him exactly what to do while I video taped him saying what I helped him articulate while wearing a little white lab coat. Foreshadowing: I used the word "I" in that sentence 8 times.

Oh but wait...we didn't have enough sugar. So I went to the grocery store for more.

I boiled water and explained what we were doing so he could say it on the video. We talked about "solutions" and "seed crystals." He was like a junior Bill Nye the Science Guy. He really "got" what this project was about. The ploy of making the movie was just to get him to get excited about it. Way to go Mom! You just got your kid interested in science! 

I cleaned up the sticky sugary mess we made in the kitchen.

Every night for six nights (except the night when he was puking) I brought him into the dining room where we had jars of sugar syrup with strings hanging in them and dressed him in his lab coat. Six nights of sugar "solution" while we were experiencing a gargantuan ant problem in our house. I held the camera as he gave his awesome spiel for his movie each time (some took a few takes) and then he watched as I measured the sugar's progress with a ruler and wrote it in a notebook.

Last night we did the last taping. He went to bed and I sat for two hours editing the movie so it would be ready when he woke up. He LOVED it. Tomorrow he'll write our findings in the journal which means I'll sit there the whole time (like I did on his large intestines report on Monday) and help him outline his thoughts.

So tonight as I was tucking him in I gave him a hug and said "Ryan, you're doing really well in school and I'm very proud of your hard work on your science project."

His reply (and I swear this is 100% authentic, verbatim): "Thanks Mom, but I can't take all the credit. I couldn't have done it without you. I were the one who held the camera."

I'll take that as a "thank you." I swear I better get an A on this thing. I mean HE better get an A...HE, Ryan better get an A.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WTF Wednesday - The "Kicking & Blood Curdling Screaming" Edition

These things happened in my house Tuesday morning:
  • Natalie wanted me to put on her necklace, I was already doing her hair, I kindly told her to wait.
  • Natalie violently threw her necklace across the room like a steroid-abusing major league pitcher...because I raise heathens.
  • I calmly told her to pick it up. I'm rather certain that I sounded like Mary Poppins in my delivery. 
  • She started crying and said "no." ...I gave her 3 chances. Several times so it was more like 12 chances. 
  • I picked it up and told her she couldn't wear it at all today. Take that little parenting moment Bratty McBratterson. How'd ya like that? No necklace. Mmmmhmmmm. 
  • She freaked out like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. 
  • I dragged her out of the room. We were done. 
  • She refused to come down stairs. Kicking and screaming. It was awesome. 
  • I dragged her down the stairs by her arm. 
  • She threw a tantrum putting on her shoes. She couldn't put them on. The same shoes she has successfully put on 20 times...same shoes. But today they were a challenge. 
  • She screamingly refused to eat her mini-muffins. Screamingly is a real word says spell check.
  • I counted to 3. 
  • Justin counted to 3. Thanks for your support Justin. Now finish your Cheerios. 
  • I sent her to the bathroom until she could stop crying.
  • She practiced her best "Nightmare on Elm street Freddie is killing me" scream, just in time for Halloween.
  • I walked in and threatened her life. 
  • She said she wanted her necklace. Ya think? 
  • I told her all she would have had to do is PICK IT UP WHEN I TOLD HER TO.
  • I shut the door.
  • She took off her shoe and banged my door (When she puts the shoe back on it will be time #21 of practicing it).
  • I walked in and told her if she broke anything in my bathroom I'd "break every single toy she had." Yes, I did. What of it???
  • She came out and refused the muffins again.
  • I shoved gummy vitamins in her mouth (after all, it was wide open because she was still screaming. I saw and opportunity.)
  • She spit them on the floor. 
  • I ate her muffins. They were delicious. 
  • She decided she wanted muffins after all. But of course she did!!!
  • I ushered both kids into the car where she cried all the way to school muttering the word "necklace."
  • I walked her into her classroom and offered her a big hug. Which she accepted...for a very long time. It was touching and sweet. 
  • Then she said she was hungry. 
  • I offered her carrot sticks...she said no and threw a fit.
  • I left. 
This bugged me all morning. She's my girl and I absolutely hated that we fought. My heart was hurting. We never fight. 

So what did I do?

Duh, I actually took a lunch break, picked her up at school and took her out to lunch so we could "talk about it." Yep, a deep-and-meaningful with a 5-year-old. 

You know, because in our house WE REWARD REALLY BAD BEHAVIOR. 

I screwed up. I'm a pushover. I totally caved. I set a very bad precedent. 

WTF was I thinking??? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

DIY Angry Bird Costume - So Easy Even I Could Do It

WELCOME - Are you here because that "Buy an Angry Birds Costume Guy" called this a "last resort"? COOL!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for!!!

I'm fully aware you all have NOT been waiting for this moment. Just humor me. 

I said that I'd be making his costume over "the weekend." So now it's Friday...yes, it took a little longer because of numerous distractions, but now Ryan's Angry Birds costume is complete! 

Why, you might ask, did you not just buy it considering you are super-busy you dumbass? Every Angry Birds Costume I found online was very expensive and was big and puffy and made you stick your face through. Lame. Completely weird for an 8-year-old and too hot for Florida Halloweens. The other DIY Angry Birds costumes required a sewing machine. Ummmm...

What you'll need:

  • 2 pieces of red foam core board (or white and you can paint it red -  it's cheaper)
  • 4 sheets of craft foam (2 white, 1 black, 1 yellow)
  • Red ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Pencil
  • Exacto knife
  • Glue Gun

Step 1 - Hit the computer for a picture of your angry bird. Snag the eyes, beak, etc. and blow them up on the computer and print out to make tracers. They'll be grainy, but that doesn't matter. Cut them out. 

Step 2 - Using a pencil, draw your Angry Bird body onto paper that you'll then trace onto the BACK of the foam core board. Make sure you do it backwards because you want the tail to be on your kid's right-hand side. This took A LOT of trial and error because the Red Angry Bird is not a perfect circle so there was nothing we could just trace. Shoulda done yellow. Ours still isn't perfect, but it totally works. Don't forget the feathers that stick up on the top of his head. I made a separate piece with the red foam core for simplicity. I'll glue it later. (If you feel like it, you could probably have a huge Angry Bird blown up at Kinkos and you can trace that)

Step 3 - Cut out bird body using a sharp exacto knife. This is a mess. Foam core is hard to cut. Do your best.  Your edges won't be perfect. I might use some red paint to fix it...later...if I have time. 

Step 4 - Trace the body onto the other piece of foam core to make the back of the costume. Make sure you trace on the opposite side of the board so the tails match up on the correct side of the kid. 

Step 5 - Trace the eyes (white), eyebrows (black), tail (black), eyeballs (black) and beak (yellow) using the tracers you printed from the computer. Cut them out with scissors. Like the actual angry bird, I used a black marker to carefully outline some of the face parts black. (you could probably also just paint these on, but I'd screw that up)

Step 6 - Make the off-white bird belly. Ever notice that the Red Angry Bird has a off-white belly? Me neither until now. Eyeball the correct shape on to the second piece of white craft foam. Again, not a perfect circle so there was nothing to trace. I used some of my own powder foundation and brushed it on with a cosmetics brush to give the white an off-white tint. Yes, I'm a crafting genius. And I'm out of foundation. 

Step 7 - Use a hot glue gun to glue the face pieces, belly and head feathers into place. 

Step 8 - Measure two pieces of red ribbon to go over your kids' shoulders that will hold the front and back in place (like an old-fashioned sandwich board). Make sure you have enough room to slip it on over his head, but not so much that it falls off his shoulders. Glue them to both sides. (I'll probably still try to figure out a way to keep it together on the sides too so it doesn't slip down and the pieces stay lined up.)

Viola! A DIY Angry Birds Costume suitable for a big kid. 

Now go pin all of my costume-making genius to Pinterest! 


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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WTF Wednesday - The "Thanks For Ruining Christmas" Edition


Warning Parents: Please do not make the same reckless mistake I made - Like the lazy, heathen mom I am, I allowed my son to read a toy catalog. Gasp!

Yes, I know, it sounds harmless enough. I've done it dozens of times. However, this last one might have ruined Christmas forever. Yes, I'm being way overly dramatic, but I'm pissed at a stupid toy company. A toy company with a sloppy marketing team.

And we all know how much I love writing blog posts when I'm fired up. 

Last week, a catalog came in the mail from a toy catalog company that I'm not naming (although this post has already published, I'm now thinking better of it). Now, I've never even heard of this company, but after flipping through the catalog for a few seconds, I noticed that it had some really wonderful, unique and educational toys. Note: I did not read it cover-to-cover. Awesome! I'm always looking for non-crap gifts to get the kids because they have way too much stuff as it is.

This thought literally went through my mind: "I love this catalog. I plan to buy every single present from it." No joke.

So what did I do? I tossed the catalog over to Ryan, an 8-year-old who believes in ALL the magic of Christmas. But recently, he's been asking some logical questions thanks to the jackball 5th graders on the bus.

"Here Ryan! Look at this. Start thinking about what you want to ask Santa for." Remember when we were kids how exciting it was when the Sears catalog with all the toys in it came before Christmas? How we'd sit there with a marker circling all of the stuff we wanted? Why wouldn't I give a toy catalog to him?

Two minutes later my husband walks in and says "I had to throw away that catalog that you gave Ryan."

What??? The coolest toy catalog ever? The one with science toys in it? You damn Grinch.

"Yes, he was reading about how the Elf on the Shelf is $39. I took it from him, but I'm pretty sure he saw it."

I grabbed it out of the recycle bin, sure enough, there on page 20 was the white version of our ethnic Elf (a story for another time) with the low, low price of $39. I tore out the offending page, but kept the I can write this blog post (and still get gift ideas.)

OK Catalog Company - WTF is wrong with you??? Did it not occur to you that your TOY CATALOG might fall into the hands of a child? Perhaps one of the millions of children who already have an Elf on the Shelf?

Just so you know, Catalog Company, the Elf that has visited our family for the last two years is named Phineas. He looks exactly like the one you are selling in your catalog, but in our case, Santa sent him here to look over our kids during the Christmas season. He was not purchased from a catalog. Phineas decorates our children's rooms while they are at school. Our Elf is a REAL Elf from the North Pole. We all know the rules about how we don't touch Phineas - just like it says in the book that SANTA sent with him the first time. He certainly does not come in a box, like yours and if he did come in a box it would be hidden deep in the garage and not even stored with the other Christmas items so nobody would ever see this non-existent box.

Yes, I have also avoided certain book stores at Christmas because I know they sell elves that look similar to our very real Elf sent from Santa.

And I know what you're thinking: You have to sell these things somehow, right? Well, that certainly is a bit of a dilemma with you and me on polar opposite ends of the opinion spectrum on this one.

It does not sit well with me, Catalog Company, that my son has now seen your suggestion of "Starting a Family Tradition" by purchasing a $39 stuffed elf in a box that comes with the same book our family has - an elf that clearly the parents have to buy. An elf that is in a catalog in which (as far as I can tell) every single other item is a TOY. Sure, you can blame me for not noticing the one non-toy, Christmas deal-breaker if you want. It would have been like finding a needle in a haystack.

My son saw this. My son found the needle in your catalog of a haystack. My son is not stupid. You are. And thanks for putting yet another doubt into the mind of a smart kid. Yes, I had already considered this might be our last year with this him still enjoying all the magic of Christmas like he has since he was little. Add this to his list of proof points.

You're just as bad as a 5th grader on the bus.

I hope you sell a lot of Elves.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Annual Halloween Dilemma


2011 - the first year all three of my kids have had opinions on what they are going to be for Halloween.

My mother used to just stick us in whatever SHE wanted literally every single Halloween I can remember. One year, I think I was about 9, she made me wear a Court Jester "costume" (note I had no idea what a Court Jester even was). She put pantyhose on my head as the jester hat and handed me a baby rattle. Child abuse.

Long gone are the days of just telling them what they were going to be and them not being smart enough to argue. In fact, for their first Halloweens they all wore the same pair of Target pumpkin PJs. And I'm realizing 8 years later that I don't have a picture of Ryan in them.

So getting to my point - Ryan. The coolest kid on the planet. NOT the easiest kid to dress for Halloween.

Like his mother, he has opinions. And once an opinion is formed, it's pretty hard to change it.

I should have known this was going to be a problem the year he was 3 and decided he wanted to be a kangaroo. And as you can imagine, they don't sell cheap kangaroo costumes at Walmart so I was given no choice but to buy a ridiculously expensive one online. And it was yellow?

We walked around our neighborhood in South Florida October heat all sweaty and nasty with a kid in a flannel costume. And despite the fact that the costume came complete with a pouch and joey, numerous people commented how cute "she" was in her "kitty cat costume." Idiots.

In his fourth year, we realized that we were dealing with a bigger issue that would effect Halloween forever - he's not "in to" things that other boys are. He never got into Star Wars, Transformers, Super Heroes. He just never acquired a taste for them.

Now think about this - what do you dress a kid up as when get older and there are no readily-available costumes that they like? Store costumes for older kids are pretty much all 'characters' or scary. You have to get creative.  

Instead, that year we learned that he is completely obsessed with Disney like his father. But by age 4 you don't just buy your kid in a Mickey Mouse costume any more. They only make those for babies. So we picked up a "Sorcerer Mickey" hat at Disney World and elicited the help of his grandmother to make him a robe. Walmart costumes never looked so good. I dropped about $60 by the time we were done with this little ditty.

Luckily, he wore it the next year for the Story Book Character - non Halloween parade held on October 31 at his school. Yes I'm still bitter about the birthday.

I actually went online and bought a book to match the costume so we could get some more use out of it.

He's 8 and was wearing it last week...

So far though, my claim to fame was 2009's scuba diver costume with soda bottle scuba tanks, straps made out of a dollar store dog leash and "mouth breathey thing" made out of wire tubing. Let's not forget the head piece with foam sea life.

He wanted so badly to walk around with the mask over his eyes, but he kept fogging it up.

Again like me, he's a stickler for authenticity.

So this year, I came up with the idea and he jumped right on it. I'm going to make you wait in suspense until my next blog post.

As a teaser, I'll let you know that it required two pieces of foam core and several pieces of craft foam from Michaels.

Any guesses?

And today is the LAST DAY to vote in the Parents Magazine funniest mom blog contest. Please give us your vote. Click this pretty pink box.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Is Why I Could Never Go Into Politics

Those of you who have ever gotten their butt kicked by me in Trivial Pursuit know I'm a weeeee bit competitive. Yes, I'm talking to you Dad.

I like to think of myself as an butt-kicker. I want to win at everything. Operative term: "want." I'm not an butt kicker 100% of the time.

That said, I've got a World Famous Blog that's less than a year old. I entered it myself in the Parents Magazine Funniest Mom Blog contest. Yes, I entered it myself, as did most people. And I'm fully aware that I'm not going to win.

A few weeks ago I set out to lobby my friends for votes... I got a lot. And I have friends who shared the link. AWESOME. I know who you are...and I don't forget stuff. I'm actually in the top several blogs (top 6 last I checked) and I'm really happy. But kids, I'm in sales. I have a goal. My goal here is to hit 200 votes. I'm not anywhere near 200 votes. The pretty pink box you have to click is this:

So like the sales person I am, I'm going to ask a "discovery question."

Pretty much "what do I need to do to get those last non-voters to vote for me?" This is getting ridiculous.

Because I'll tell ya...It takes all of two minutes. Yes a whopping two whole minutes out of your very busy day.

I know you big babies, it asks you to "join." It's the damn Parents Magazine website, not the KKK. Join! Who cares?

And I know you don't want to put in your email address. Let's call a Waaaambulance. It asks you a few questions about yourself, your kids. But seriously?  "I like Ali, I like her blog, but I'm way too busy to type for 90 seconds."

And for those of you who are scared or just complete whiners, I've made up this little diagram to help you.

So I mean this in the nicest way possible. I'd do a favor for you. I'd ask my friends to vote for YOU. Do you have 90 seconds so I can quit bitching about this?

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm Not a Math Jeenyus, But You Have a Few Pounds to Lose

Mathematically, I think I probably hit my plateau in 3rd grade. So I have this year and next before I am completely incapable of helping my kid with math homework...and that might be me being generous...

Yesterday after checking his mistake-ridden homework, I sat down with him to try to explain how he needed to fix the following problem (the answer below is the fixed one...I think...I could be wrong):

As you can see, there is a scale and the items on each side are equal. For those of you who are also not impressionist artists, those are staplers and tape holders.

Why could they not have simply used something that is decipherable in a workbook illustration like, oh say...squares and circles, apples and oranges, cats and dogs? Nope we'll stick with staplers and tape dispensers, things that he'll really have to place on a scale at some point in his life. 

And let's not talk about what the middle of the scale kinda looks like...

His original answer of "neither" was wrong: two tape holders, three staplers, yada yada. It's asking which one item weighs more.

"But Mom," he said frustrated. "Staplers are really heavy!" Not the point Ryan. 

Now, I like to think that I have a way with words, but articulating this for Ryan was near impossible for my tiny brain. It made sense in my head, I just couldn't get it out in English words. So I came up with the following analogy.

"Let's say you, Justin and Natalie were on one side of the scale and Mommy and Daddy were on the other and it was equal. If Natalie and Justin stepped off and I stepped off, there would still just be one guy on each end, but Daddy is heavier than you. It took three kids to equal the weight of two adults." He just kinda looked at me. It didn't make much sense to me either. I suck at math.

Then I restated: "Actually, all four of us could stand on one side of the scale and still weigh about the same as Daddy."

Daddy, currently devouring a rotisserie chicken with his greasy bare hands, glares at me from the kitchen while trying to calculate in his head whether I did in fact have a point.

"OH  I GET IT," Ryan said.

Thank God I wasn't going to have to explain any more math tonight. He GETS IT!!!. 

"You're trying to tell Daddy that he's fat AND teach me math at the same time."

And he was absolutely right. That's precisely what I was doing. In real life, he'll probably never have to weigh office supplies, but this kid can pick up on a subtlety from a female, a lesson that's invaluable if I do say so myself.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WTF Wednesday - The "Oh My Eyes!" Edition

You might assume that the fact that we left our kids' suitcase at home last week during our cruise was the most traumatic thing that happened on the vacation - but you'd be wrong. (Read about that here)

I don't think anything quite compares to the visual trauma we suffered from seeing this man, whose head is way to small for his body, sunbathing in his Speedo. WTF?!?!?

I don't think it's the fact that he was quite large in general that struck us, or even the Speedo. I think it was the way he was just laying there all sprawled out, legs open, arms behind his head with nothing more than the obvious goal of roasting himself in the sun. Like this:

Like a big-ass turkey with a teeny, tiny head and black sunglasses.

I hate being mean and I know that this is, but please people - nobody should own a Speedo unless you're a competitive swimmer. However, smart money says this guy isn't. I stuck a beach ball on his face to give him some dignity. What do you think?

Poor Natalie almost walked into a wall while craning her neck to look at him. I took the opportunity to have a little "we don't stare at people" parenting lesson with her, but it was hysterical to see the expressions on people's faces and their double-takes when they first got a glimpse of this guy.

So after I taught my kids not to stare, I got them settled at the pool with their dad, while I walked away with my camera and made like I was taking pictures of the scenery so I could have him for my WTF Wednesday post.

I'm going to hell.


And one more thing. Geez people! If you haven't yet voted for us in the Parents Magazine Funniest Mom Blog contest can you give us a click? I'll only ask for the next 10 days. Takes 60 seconds. Just unclick the boxes and Parents Magazine won't send you emails. Just click the pink box.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

And Then I Washed Their Underwear in the Sink

One might think that because I have the word "suitcase" in the title of my blog that suitcases would be top-of-mind for me. On the contrary.

We left last Monday for a 4-day Bahamas cruise without our 6th suitcase...the one designated for BOTH of the little kids' clothes.

I swear this stuff happens only to me. 

Let's take a moment to digest this: In the middle of the ocean, going to an island nation, children with very small butts who are prone to spilling and nothing to wear. Here's a picture of it.

Now try to imagine that initial moment when you realize you forgot. You have no clothes for your kids. All your planning is down the toilet. A really small cruise ship toilet that flushes really loudly.

JakeRyan and I didn't point fingers at each other. It was mostly my fault. It was packed by me, left unzipped and never pulled out of Justin's room for The Suitcase Guy to lug downstairs.

This was the suitcase dreams are made of, perfectly packed with literally 10 outfits for each kid, 7 bathing suits, 7 pairs of shoes, all of the underwear and socks, PJs...everything. And it was sitting at home on the bedroom floor while my kids were still wearing what they'd worn to school that morning (a dress & pink Converse All Stars and jean shorts & a dirty polo). Here we are before we realized...

Here's where I'll point out that this isn't the first time we've left a suitcase at home...

And let's be honest: We all want our kids to look super-cute on vacation. Not just any old outfit will do.  Everything was planned by activity. I even ironed Justin's shirts. And above all else - you DO NOT, under any circumstances, want your child to be wearing a souvenir t-shirt from the place you're visiting because that's dorky. (see photo below)

We noticed it was missing as we were about to get ready for our first fancy dinner. Because we packed fancy clothes that we didn't have...We scurried to count luggage tags to see if by some mistake it just hadn't been delivered to our tiny little room yet. No luck. We had five bags and five tags were used. We were so close...we could still see Miami, a city with probably no less than 10 Targets and a dozen Walmarts to buy clothes at.

I was sick to my stomach. I didn't know what to do. So I called my sister-in-law just as I was losing phone signal. She Googled a Bahamian mall for me. I was kinda pissed that she didn't drive to my house and get the suitcase and heroically rent a jet ski to race into international waters and throw the bag up to the 10th deck. Whatever. No offer to get a helicopter or anything. I have a bone to pick with her.

I knew that if we were lucky enough for the ship's gift shop to have anything in their sizes we'd be spending several hundreds of dollars. They had one bathing suit. $22. Ugg. We bought it, another to add to the nine she already owns. No socks, no underwear, no shorts...nothing.

After a strategy session with the ship's shopping consultant, we had a plan to go into Freeport...the REAL Freeport, not the tourist area, to get some clothes the next morning. We'd be leaving the kids with the ship Kid's Crew... like parents who haul-ass instead of spending time with their own children. We told them our sob story and the Director gave us some Norwegian Cruise Line gear for them to wear in the meantime. I wanted to hug her but I didn't want her to think she'd be watching the Crazy Hugging Lady's kids for the next few days. I have a reputation to live up to.

When we returned to our teeny tiny room, I stood in the bathroom hand-washing underwear and socks with shower gel and drying them with a hairdryer. Well this is a first...

They slept in Ryan's t-shirts...commando for one night. Natalie was NOT pleased.

The next morning, JakeRyan, armed with a list I made of the kids' sizes, took a cab into Freeport without me (to the tune of $60). Someone had to be with the kids in case something happened considering it wasn't the safest place on Earth. He was awesome and returned with the following:

  • Bright yellow knock-off girl Crocs
  • Two pairs of girl shorts
  • Two girls shirts (only one matched the shorts)
  • An orange and yellow dress
  • A package of girl undershirts (too big)
  • Underwear & Socks
  • A boy bathing suit
  • Fruit of the Loom briefs (two sizes too big) & socks
  • Two pairs of boy shorts (two sizes too big)
  • Two boy collared shirts (two sizes too big)

Poor Justin. Bahamian children must all skip sizes 2 & 3T. His pecker was hanging out the side of his underwear because they were too baggy. We couldn't find shoes in his size at all so he wore sneakers to the beach. I bought him a "Bahamas" shirt in the straw market too. I won't even tell you how much this crap cost ($200).

Didn't matter. It was raining anyway so our glass bottom boat thing was canceled. 

Luckily for us, JakeRyan threw the bag of Natalie's hair stuff and jewelry in his suitcase. I was able to take her girly hair ties and use them to rig up the clothes that hung off her (check out my handiwork on the shoulders of the pink undershirt below).

However, my proudest moment: Norwegian does a "White Hot" party on each of its ships. I packed myself a white bedazzled tank top just in case we decided to go. I was pretty impressed with the mini-dress I created with her hair accessories. 

So enough of my misery. Here are some photos of our Bahamian purchases. It's good to be home.

To look at the bright side: I've got a lot of clean laundry and outfits already picked out for at least the next few days and all those times that we go to fancy restaurants...yeah.

And one more thing. If you haven't yet voted for us in the Parents Magazine Funniest Mom Blog contest can you give us a click? Have pity on me. Takes 60 seconds.