Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bully Bully

Amaya entered the car, and waited until Rio was finished with his tattle tale session about a friend using inappropriate language at school. Then she informed me on the new policies their school's going to implement next year in regards to bullies. Rio has been the victim of bullying, so it's a topic I have very strong opinions about.

"Next year the school is going to try to enforce a new policy," she said.

"Oh yeah," I answered.

"If someone calls someone a name, they will be suspended."

"Suspended!" My interest peaked. "For name calling?"

"And pushing, I think."

This sparks a lecture through the rear view mirror, directed at my children. I lecture on what bullying is and isn't. I explain to them that bullying consists of someone going out of their way on a regular basis to threaten, harm, tease, harass, and make people generally afraid and uncomfortable to be at school. It's not as simple as name calling.

"I think that's a little excessive," I said condemning the entire notion. "Not everyone in life is going to like you or be nice to you. That doesn't make them a bully."

"Well, our school has a huge bullying problem," she said. "Especially in our class."

"I understand that," I said. "I just think sometimes schools tend to go to the extreme when attaching labels like bulling to playground disagreements and confrontations. Punishing everything is just as dangerous as not punishing anything."

"I don't know what to tell you, Mom. It's going to be a law."

"A law!"

"Well I don't know," she confessed. "I don't understand. We're going to have an assembly."

I take bulling very seriously, but I approach the topic with a level head.

However I don't agree with the policies in place. I don't like that kids who are bullied feel like they can't fight back in fear of getting in trouble, or that parental intervention is discouraged. It's such a helpless position to be in.

It's important for kids to know how to stand up for themselves and others when they find themselves in this position. Rather than always focusing on punishing isolated behaviors to the extreme, schools should focus on giving kids the proper tools to deal with these situations. They should also encourage for the parents of both victim and bully to work together on finding a solution to the problem.

I don't believe parents want their children to be the victim any more than they want them to be the bully.

I'm attending this assembly.

What's your take? I'd love to hear your opinions on this topic.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

I am one of those people who hate surprises, but loves gifts. There's something about a wrapped box with a fancy bow. I see one and I have to physically fight the urge to pick it up and shake it.

Every year my husband tries to surprise me with some kind of elaborate gift. One that I would never guess. This was easier before the kids came along.

My husband has spent the last decade training Amaya and Rio to keep their mouths shut. Sad to say, he has nothing on the skills I possess to pry their secrets out of them. However, I admit, it's getting harder every year.

"Where were you guys?" I asked.

No one answers. Amaya and Rio head straight to their rooms and shut their doors. Umm...if that isn't suspicious. My husband plays dumb also.

"I don't know why you bother," my husband bragged. "They'll never tell."

"You want to bet?" I dared. "Game on!"

My first move, operation Rio. I decided to attack while he was in the shower. I barged in. My husband followed closely behind ready to jump on the grenade.

"So Rio..." I began, as I opened the shower curtain. "Do you have something you need to tell me?" I waited until his eyes were troubled. He looked over my shoulder towards his dad, who stood behind me shaking his head not to tell.

"No? I don't have anything to tell you?" he asked nervously following his dad's lead.

"Well the store called, they said you took something," Rio's eyes widened at such an accusation. "What happened? Do you want to tell me the truth or should we go back to the store and you can explain it to them?"

"It wasn't me!" he defended. "But...there was this...other girl leaving... from..."

"Okay stop!" I flapped my hands. "I'm kidding. I was just showing Dad one my tricks," I confessed.

Amaya was next. She was much harder to break. My questions couldn't crack her silence. So I upped the stakes. I went to the office and grabbed my wallet.

"What are you doing?" my husband panicked.

"Do you want to tell me now?" I asked and flashed a crisp twenty dollar bill in front of her face.

Amaya froze and gradually turned her head pleading for her dad to jump in and save her. She was too weak to resist.

" just have to know what motivates them," I told my husband.

"Okay, you win!" my husband announced. "You have skills."

But eventually everything comes out, so really, patience is my best skill. The next morning while blow drying Rio's hair he couldn't help it.

"Mom, yesterday after we went to Best Buy, we went to Tilly's, and everyone, even Grandma, was spraying perfume..." Rio realized who he was speaking to and slowly looked up at me. "Oh, no..." he dropped his head then shook it. "Oh, no...."

"It's okay buddy, I didn't hear anything."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hot Dog!

Our dog has been on his last stretch of life for a while now. Instead of buying him healthier food and treats we make sure every night he gets some kind of delicious left-over mixed in with his kibble. I'm convinced this is what keeps him going.

The other night it was Rio's turn to feed Max. He added a heaping amount of dog kibble to the bowl then opened the fridge to find a suitable left over.

"Dad!" Rio screamed hanging from inside the open fridge door. "We don't have anything for Max! Amaya ate all the left-overs!" he accused.

"I was hungry," Amaya shouted from her room.

My husband walked into the kitchen and peered into the fridge over Rio, shuffling food items around.

"Here, give him a hot dog," my husband suggested.

"A hot dog!" Rio's eyes wide with disbelief. "You can't feed a dog, DOG!" Rio uttered in disgust.

My husband laughed, "'s okay. Hot dogs aren't made from dogs."

"They're not?" Rio questioned. "What are they made from then?" he asked.

"Different processed meats," my husband told him.

"Oh, okay," Rio said. "Slice it up."

I don't know what's more disturbing. The idea of feeding a dog: DOG. or that Rio has been okay with eating DOG all this time.

Friday, September 23, 2011


There are two types of parents regarding allowances: There are the ones that pay, and there are the ones that don't. I refuse to pay my children for doing things that they are already expected to do. Rio and Amaya do not receive an allowance. They view this as a huge injustice.

"Amaya go clean your room!" I demanded.

"How much will you pay me?" she asked.

"Excuse me? No one pays me to clean my room," I reminded her.

"All of my friends get allowances for doing their chores," she complained.

"And what chores do you have that you think you should be paid for?" I asked.

"Ummm...I clean my room...I rinse my dish...I make my bed...I take my showers..."

I laughed, "I'm not going to pay you to take a shower! If you don't want to take showers, you can stink! Let me know how that works out for you."

"I didn't mean showers," she corrected, "I couldn't think of anything else."

"You can't think of anything, because you don't do anything, Amaya," I stated the facts slowly. "If anyone should get paid in this house, it's me. Where's my allowance?"

"Dad says he gives you all of his money," Rio answered.

Heavy sarcasm, " that what he tells you..."

Kids 1/ Mom 0

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fury Soccer

Soccer has once again taken over our lives. How did this happen this time you might ask? I have only myself to blame.

"Hello," my husband answered his cell phone. Followed by a period of silence.

" would love to...but um, I just don't have the time this year," he tried to come up with a believable excuse. "I could be an assistant coach though," he offered the next best thing.

"You can't talk on the cell phone!" I snapped my fingers. "You're driving! Here give me your phone, I'll talk to them for you."

"Hold on, I'm talk to my wife," he said as I pried the phone from his ear.

The Coaches Coordinator informed me that the U-9 Boys division was short 4 coaches this season. So if my husband didn't coach, who knows what kind of a team Rio would be placed on.

I couldn't help myself. "Okay he'll do it," I volunteered him.

The Coaches Coordinator was pleased. We worked out a few minor details and I hung up the phone.

"Really Babe?" my husband teased.

"Don't pretend like you don't want to," I poked him in his side. "And, hey...there's at least four other teams in our same position," I said. "It evens the playing field."

"If I'm coaching, you're managing," he told me. "Don't pretend like you don't want to."

So we agreed, and pledged our full commitment to our new team.

Here's to eating out of a Crockpot for the next 12 weeks. Go Fury!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


My husband and I booked our two free personal training sessions back to back. When we arrived, the sports club couldn't find our appointments, but were kind enough to squeeze us in for an hour of high pressure sales.

To help us more efficiently we were handed two forms. The trainer had us fill in privileged information such as height, weight, age, gender, and fitness goals. Then he used the information to calculate our BMI's with what looked like a high tech PS3 controller. I was 1% over normal.

"So...Nikki, what is your fitness goal?" the trainer asked.

"I'm going to loose 1% body fat this month," I responded.

"Impossible, that will take 6-8 weeks," he replied.

"Want to bet?" I challenged.

"What are we betting?" he asked.

"The satisfaction of being right," I presented the extremely high stakes.

"Okay, but you're not gonna win. If you could lose 1% in a'd be the poster child for fitness," he warned me.

"We'll see," I answered. My confidence unwavering.

Later that night my husband questioned the wager.

"You know, there's a possibility you might be wrong on this one," my husband warned me. "That guy is personal trainer, he probably knows what he's talking about."

"That guy doesn't know anything," I barked back.

My husband raised his eyebrows at me.

"Okay, so I might of added 15 pound to the weight I wrote down," I filled him in on my tiny white lie.

"You're nuts...who does that?" he laughed.

I also wrote that I'm 29. Who says cheaters never win.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Here Ye! Here Ye!

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Birthdays are a BIG DEAL!  Rio's party wasn't any exception. 

Remember the party idea that stemmed from the following conversation...

"Mom the small wooden sword is only twenty dollars," Rio pleaded.
"Only...twenty dollars? I can make you that sword for one dollar," I stated the obvious.

Well...after 4 months of planning, an 18 foot long table, 25 gold plates with lids, 25 goblets, 1 dragon pinata, 6 capes, 15 halos, 1 cake, 1 castle bounce house, 1 dragon bounce house, 20 medieval props, over 150 yards of fabric, and of course 24 wooden swords later... it all came to together.

The King and a few of his Royal Subjects

It was a party fit for a King! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birthday Cake for Breakfast

Rio is eight years old today. I know this because yesterday he reminded me at least 50 times.

"Mom, tomorrow's my BIRTHDAY, not my Birthday Party, but my actual BIRTHDAY,"  he spoke slow so I would understand.

"Yes I know," I answered. "I was there when you were born," I reminded him.

Throughout the day he also wanted to know the date, or the time, or the day of the week. He repeatedly checked the calender on the fridge for proof that I hadn't somehow passed the 26th of July and not told him. All sneaky tactics he's learned from his sister to remind me in a round about way that an important event is approaching.

All of this birthday anticipation leads to one very important birthday tradition in our house.

BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR BREAKFAST!  Is there really anything sweeter?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cowboy Landscaping, Kind of?

There was a pathetic knock at the door, so I answered it. A young man dressed in a tan cowboy hat, dark blue jeans, and scuffed cowboy boots wanted me to pay him to mow my lawn.

I looked over his left shoulder and evaluated the length of my grass. It didn't need to be mowed, it needed to be watered and fertilized. Too bad he didn't specialize in crabgrass.

"What about your backyard?" he desperately added before I could say no. Followed by his failed grass cutting aspirations. I could almost hear sad violins playing to the sound of neighbors slamming their doors in his face.

I asked him to come back, but he sniveled that the block he had to push his ratty lawn mower was too far for that. While his sales skills were lacking he had guilt down pat.

He finished mowing my front lawn, and returned to the front door. I paid him twenty dollars for the entire five minutes it took him to pretend to cut the grass.


"The slant of your yard broke my lawn mower," he accused after the money was in his hand.

"I'm sorry," was all I could muster up.

"No really! Do you want to see?" he insisted. "The wheel broke off!"

"No...I believe you..." I told him.

He stood in front of me in an awkward silence. "I guess I'll have to try and push it home," he finally spoke when it was apparent I wasn't offering up any more dough. "I can't mow any more lawns now," he complained as he clanked down the street.

I'd like to think my slanted yard did that cowboy a favor.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Free Two Week Trial Gimmick

I am now the proud owner of a twelve month family gym membership. How did I get suckered into such a thing you might wonder.  Five words: free two week trial gimmick.

The first mistake was letting my husband get the mail. The second mistake was letting him make an appointment. The third mistake was attending the sports club.

After our tour, it was time to listen to the sales pitch. We were informed that a membership includes use of a pool, racquetball courts, a sauna, all exercise classes, cardio equipment, weights, locker room, and a kids club. All for one low monthly price.

I looked over at my husband who lost all sense of negotiation. He was sold the second he received the coupon in the mail. He wanted it bad and it was all over his face.

"Each time we've had a membership somewhere, we never use it," I stated our usual good intentions.

"I promise I'll come every day," he pleaded. "It will be fun! And this is something we can do together."

"Ugh..." I sighed. "This was supposed to be a free two weeks, not a year contract," I reminded.

"This can be my birthday present then," he suggested.

"Your birthday's not 'til October," I harked back.

He sat next to me and put his most pathetic face.

"Fine, Happy Birthday!"

 I'll even the score when I take him car shopping.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to Clean a Cell Phone

When my husband comes home from work he leaves a trail throughout the house. His keys are abandoned in the front planter, his shoes are shoved in the corner of the entry way, one sock is dropped in the hall, the other sock is thrown in our room, and his dirty work clothes are left in a pile on the bathroom floor. This is all in addition to the drywall crumbs that he's left in his path so he can find his way back to wherever it was he came from.

Out of habit, picking up after two sloppy kids all day, I collected the evidence he left behind and put everything I found back where it belongs. If I didn't, I would get a question like, hey babe have you seen my keys? At 4 in the morning.

What didn't occur to me, is that his cell phone wasn't among the other items in his daily route.

"Hey Babe...have you seen my phone?" my husband asked.

"No, call it," I told him as I continued picking up after everyone.

"Maybe it's in my truck?" he scratched his head as he walked out of the front door.

No luck. It wasn't in his truck, the office, the kitchen, our room, or the planter.

"Where are my work pants?" he asked exiting the bathroom.

"Oh, no!" My eyes widened.

"What?" he questioned.

"I threw them in the wash," I admitted. "Twenty minutes ago." was a goner!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Got Beer?

My husband came home from work to our kids swimming with their cousins in the front yard.  That's right, you read correctly. We have a fifteen foot pop-up pool in our courtyard. My brother was waiting for him with beer.

"Do you have enough beer?" I asked my brother as he walked up the side stairs entering the courtyard.

"Well, I figured you never let Orlando buy any, so I brought him some," he teased.

"Yeah, sorry. It's a vitamin water household," I told him. "No room in the fridge for beer."

Seems the word has traveled around the neighborhood. 
Poor Orlando...his wife never buys beer.

My husband disappears to get the mail from our box up the street, then returns an hour later with a beer can, courtesy of house number four. If he has to run to the bank, he returns with a cocktail, courtesy of house number six. 

"I don't know what's taking Orlando so long?" I complained to my friend over the phone, who lives around the corner. "He only went to buy dog food."

"He's not at the store, he's with my husband," she laughs. "They're in the garage having a beer!"

Am I missing something here?  Oh yeah, BEER!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Memories Giveaway

I know, lately my blog posts have been sporadic. More sporadic than usual that is. I've been busy! Busy playing with my new Digital Scrapbooking software.  It's awesome!  I may never pick up scissors or use double stick tape again. 

I have over 8,000 photos organized in storage bins, shoved in the back of my closet, waiting to be put into albums. Crazy, right? Worse I have over 20,000 photos waiting to be downloaded off memory cards.  I mean really...who has the time?

This scrapbooking software is fast, simple, easy, affordable, and most important it has saved me a ton of time!

So far I've made four albums, two wall photos; complete with inspirational sayings, and invitations for Rio's Birthday party.  However, I'm most proud of the Disney Character autograph book I made for my kids for our next trip to Disneyland. The My Memories Suite 2 is by far the most user friendly software I have installed on my computer. Check out my project below.

And guess what! My Memories gave me Digital Scrapbooking Software to give away to one of my lucky followers. FOR FREE!

How 2 Enter

To enter Giveaway you MUST follow THIS blog via Google Friend Connect.  Click the "Follow" button on my side bar to get started. Then leave a comment on this post telling me how far behind you are with your photos. Because misery loves company. That's it!

Want 5 Extra Chances to Win?

Extra Entry 1: Visit then come back here and tell me which digital paper pack was your favorite.
Extra Entry 2: Follow me on Twitter, @rsnmarshmallows
Extra Entry 3: Share this post on Facebook
Extra Entry 4: Blog about this Giveaway
Extra Entry 5: Share this post on Twitter

It's all in the DETAILS!

~Leave a separate comment for each entry.

~Winner will be drawn June 30th, 2011 @ 9:00pm PST

~If I can't reach you through your GFC email, check back here on Friday, July 1st. You'll have 72 hours to claim your prize. 

Added Bonus!

My Memories is also offering my readers a $10 discount on their purchase of My Memories Suite v2 Software! Copy and paste the promo code STMMMS85042 in the promotional code field on the shopping cart page. The software also comes with another $10 coupon for downloads. That's $20 in discounts! This offer will expire in 10 days.

Megan You Won!
winner chosen through

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Aside from swimming at our house every single day this summer, my kids have managed to hit up two other neighbors and use their pools.

Rio shows off his acrobatic water skills, by jumping, flipping and diving. While Amaya cheers him on swimming a stroke we have deemed The Drowning Porpoise.

"Swimming is the best part of summer!" Amaya shared while we were walking home from a neighbor's house late last night. "I love it!"

"I'm swimming again tomorrow. As soon as I wake up!" Rio declared.

That is...if he ever wakes up.

It's 10:30am and Rio is still asleep.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good Trade

Little boys are messy. I think it's in their nature to be complete slobs. Or maybe it's just Rio. Either way, cleaning his room turns into quite the scavenger hunt.

There are three things I am guaranteed to find while inspecting the room he swore he cleaned. Dried out apple cores decomposing under his bed, sunflower seeds hidden inside his pillow case, and half chewed up foam darts scattered on the floor. Sometimes I think he's really a puppy.

Rio insisted there's too much stuff, and he doesn't know where to put it. So in attempts to give him more space I made an offer he couldn't refuse.

"Rio, why don't you get rid of some of your Buzz Lightyears?" I asked.

He looked at me and shook his head, "No way, Mom!"

"They look pretty beat up," I tried to persuade him, while examining his toys. "How about this," I offered, "I'll trade you."

"Trade me for what?" His interest was triggered.

"If you throw out the old ones...I'll buy you a brand new one," I bartered.

It worked out better than I planned.

I have a feeling my tactics are not going to be received as well in Amaya's room.