Duct Tape for My Heart

As you may know, my middle son, Bency is a rip tail peeler (other people use that term to describe mischievous children right…or is it just my family?).

Bency's Kindergarten picture

Bency’s Kindergarten picture

He is the epitome of what this blog is about…finding the humor in parenting or else you would probably cry.

People often talk about the amount of money it costs to raise a child. Diapering, clothes, food and college tuition are a few items that are often mentioned but I never saw anyone mention the BREAKAGE or the LOSS.

Perhaps it’s because they never parented a Bency.

For Heavens to Betsy (or in this case, Bency) I have never seen so many things broken and lost this year. He started off this Kindergarten year armed with new clothes, shoes, backpack, lunchbox etc. Guess how many of those things made it through the year. None I tell you.

Well, actually, the backpack did make it through only because I duct taped it all over after it got ripped in many places.

this back pack is all duct taped up now!

this back pack is all duct taped up now!

He broke 3 lunch boxes, put holes in every pair of pants, broke the soles off of shoes and has lost 2 water bottles. He also lost several articles of winter apparel and was reduced to wearing two different mittens at the end of March.

Also in Kindergarten you have rest time which requires a rest mat that basically consists of foam that is covered in a nylon fabric. Guess who managed to break their rest mat and have it sent home several times. I refused to go buy a new one so I just kept duct taping up all of the holes where the foam was falling out. With 3 days left to go in the school year he is basically just sleeping on one big pile of duct tape!

Yesterday I sent Bency to school with an umbrella that has only been used 3 times. It came home broken because he said he tried to chop down a tree with it.

I don't think I can fix this with duct tape

I don’t think I can fix this with duct tape

He is a bundle of energy and is always racing through the house and being loud. The other day after a particularly rambunctious episode that left me feeling weary I told him to go sit down on the chair and not make a sound.

He replied with, “Okay mama, but please don’t get mad if I breathe. Sometimes it makes sounds when you breathe and you know we all need to breathe to stay alive.”

I sighed and answered with, “Yes, Bency. You can breathe. I would never get mad at you for breathing.”

And then I walked out of the room and chuckled.

There is something about that boy that makes me want to pull my hair out and laugh all at the same time.

We are about to embark on the celebration of his birthday this weekend. I expect him to break one more thing. My heart. It breaks my heart to see that boy grow older and there is no amount of duct tape to fix that.

Do I look like a rip tail peeler?

Do I look like a rip tail peeler?

Happy 6th Birthday Bency!

Friday the 13th Was One of the Luckiest Days of My Life

She entered our lives on Friday the 13th.

1 day old

1 day old

We gave her the name of Iris after the Greek Goddess of Rainbows. Her middle name, Hope, was her Great Grandma’s middle name.

I never took my eyes off of her. Her beauty captivated me.

1 month old

1 month old

Her personality started to shine through and she filled us all with laughs and happiness.

2 months old

2 months old

I couldn’t get enough of dressing her up and still do to this day!

3 months old

3 months old

She was so darn cute and I just wanted to eat her up. She was so chubby at 5 months that I think I could have taken a few nibbles out of her!

5 months old

5 months old

Iris has continued to delight and amaze us everyday. She is extremely thoughtful and generous. When she celebrated her 6th birthday in Kindergarten she was allowed to bring in 3 extra treats to hand out to favorite teachers. When she got home I asked which teachers she gave her extra cookies to. She listed about 12 different names. I asked her how this was possible and she said she just broke the cookies up into little pieces so she could give to more people.

Last year, Iris’s birthday fell on Mother’s Day for the first time.  Her spirit and love has been one of the most precious Mother Day gifts I have ever received.

It’s hard to believe she is finally at the age where she can start dating. Actually, it’s just dates with her Dad.

Iris and her Dad April 2013. All ready for a Father/Daughter dance

Iris and her Dad April 2013. All ready for a Father/Daughter dance


In just a bit our house will be filled with lots of little girls to help us celebrate Iris’s 8th birthday. The party theme this year is rainbows. Iris loves them. She is after all our Goddess of Rainbows.

Friday the 13th has proven to be one of the luckiest days of my life.

It brought me this sweet little girl named Iris.





Birthday Cake Extravaganza!!!

This past weekend we celebrated Cesar’s 2nd birthday!

I have always made my kid’s birthday cakes. The only time I didn’t was on my daughter’s 1st birthday. This was my first time throwing a birthday party and I was nervous. I hadn’t made a birthday cake in years and I wasn’t sure I could do it. In my quest to have the “perfect” birthday for her I bought the cake. Since then I have realized that it’s not about being “perfect” and it’s just about celebrating their life and showing them you love them.

I realize you don’t have to make a cake to show them you love them but it’s something I really have grown to like doing and it’s really not that hard and it doesn’t have to be PERFECT for them to love it!!!

This year I made Cesar a Cookie Monster cake. He actually doesn’t care for Cookie Monster as much as he does actual COOKIES!!! He’s obsessed with them so we are always calling him Cookie Monster!

Cesar’s 2nd birthday cake….Cookie Monster

I thought as a special tribute to birthdays I would share my past birthday cakes that I have made. You will notice my kids have made some strange requests and though I tried my best they weren’t always the best!! None the less my kids LOVED them and still reminisce about all their past cakes!

Iris’s 2nd birthday cake and my first attempt at a homemade birthday cake in years….Elmo!!!

Iris’s 3rd birthday cake. It’s a strawberry cake decorated with strawberries!

Iris’s 4th birthday cake. Iris was obsessed with Betty Boop and insisted on this cake!

Iris’s 5th birthday cake. She began her obsession with unicorns this year!!!

Iris’s 6th birthday cake. This was a real simple one as I also had to make princess and pirate cupcakes for a birthday party she had with her classmates!

Iris’s 7th birthday cake. She found this Barbie candle and wanted it on her cake. This was also a very simple cake because I had both of my little boys helping me with it!!!!

Bency’s 1st birthday cake. A layer cake decorated with M&M’s and animal crackers!

Bency’s 2nd birthday cake! He had just learned how to roar like a lion!!!

Bency’s 3rd birthday cake. The year he began his love and curiosity of dinosaurs!

Bency’s 4th birthday cake. This is the year he began his obsession with zebras! Notice I spelled birthday wrong!!!! Doh!!!

Bency’s 5th birthday cake. Bency loves rainbows due to his love of art and all colors!!

The inside of Bency’s 5th birthday cake!

Cesar’s 1st birthday cupcakes!!! He was drawn to monkeys at an early age!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the history of our birthday cakes!!! It is always fun to see what the kids are going to request and what I can come up with!!!

Birthday Decoration Head Shots

On Saturday we celebrated our youngest son, Cesar’s 2nd birthday! His actual birthday is this coming Thursday!

We had a great party at our house filled with our family and friends. Cesar doesn’t grasp the concept of birthdays yet but he had a blast and was in his element being surrounded by tons of people!

I think birthdays at this age are more for the parents than the kids anyway. It’s a time for us to reflect on the glorious memories that have been made this year and also a time to wipe our brow and say a blessing that we made it through another year of keeping this child safe!

Even though our family loves celebrating birthdays and throwing parties we don’t go “all out.” We keep things simple and keep to a low budget. We don’t do themes we just make things “festive.”

Here is one of the decorations I made for Cesar’s birthday that was simple to make and brought smiles to everyone’s face!

Our dining room wall filled with pictures of Cesar at various stages from the past two years!

To make this I picked some of my favorite photos and cropped and enlarged them to get only his face. I then cut out around his head. Next I took some scrapbook paper and drew and cut out triangles. Lastly I took a strip of tissue paper, scrunched it up and glued it to the bottom of the party hat triangle and then a little piece to the top of the triangle.

That’s it! All twelve heads took me about an hour to make!

A close up of one Cesar’s “heads”

Stay tuned this week for more glimpses into Cesar’s 2nd birthday bash!!!

The Lists

I am a perpetual worrier, planner, and a maker of lists. I make “To Do Lists,” grocery lists, budget lists, lists of things I want my husband to do and occasionally lists of lists I need to make. It helps to clear my head and makes room for more things…to make lists about.

I see so much of myself in my 7 year old daughter, Iris, but when she brought “her lists” out to my husband and me the other night, it very much solidified it.

Iris approached us in a very serious nature and stated she had compiled some ideas for us and we were to pick and choose as we pleased. The lists contained Birthday Party food and location suggestions. Keep in mind Iris will not be celebrating her birthday for another 10 months! Enjoy!

Where I Want to Go on My Birthday:

  • Magical Forest (this is where Iris believes unicorns live)
  • Farm
  • Cemetery
  • Nana & Papa’s house
  • Candy land (she believes this is a real place and not just a game)
  • Burger King
  • Mall
  • McDonald’s
  • Flower garden
  • Gallagher’s (local pizza restaurant)
  • Little Caesar’s Pizza
  • Sea World
  • Beach
  • Bay Beach (local amusement park)
  • Pet Store visit
  • Baby nursery
  • Library
  • Zoo
  • Legion Pool
  • Park
  • Kalahari Water Park

What Food and Drink I Want to Eat and Drink at My Birthday:

  • Little Caesar’s Pizza
  • Caesar salad
  • Cake
  • Cup cakes
  • Cotton candy
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Peas
  • Green Beans
  • Rhubarb sauce
  • Angry Bird cookies
  • Candy canes
  • Tootsie Pops
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Baby oranges
  • Slushies
  • Sprite
  • Orange juice
  • Trix cereal


This made me happy for so many reasons:

     a)      That she is making lists

     b)      She is a planner just like her Mom

     c)       As much as I would love to take her to Sea World for her 8th birthday, I am so happy we have   the option to take her to the library!

     d)      As much as I love making my kid’s birthday cakes it’s nice to know Trix cereal will suffice if I run  out of time!