Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Muffins and the True Meaning of Christmas

No one knows the exhaustion of the holidays more than a teacher in the days leading up to winter break (especially teachers of smaller children).

No one understands the anticipation and angst of Santa's arrival more than a Kindergarten teacher on Dec. 19.

No one can imagine the crazed excitement of the Christmas countdown more than teachers.

Contrary to the negatives, you can't possibly know the joy of watching those same children celebrate with a popsicle for breakfast while wearing their pajamas on jammie day, that last day before break. 

You can't comprehend the ecstatic nature of a classroom Christmas party in which they open presents and goodie bags from friends. 

No one can commiserate with the hugs and giggles of 25 littles when they come into the classroom and see the room decorated with lights and ornaments for the first time.

In the last few days, us teachers have smiled through our weary, exhausted days, keeping the Christmas spirit alive in our classrooms.  We all know that very little academic learning has been going on in those days leading up to break, but there has been learning taking place nonetheless.  In the last five days, we have taught the value of kindness and giving, caring for one another and sharing memories.

In those frazzled days of wrapping, finishing up handmade, glittered and painted projects created by little hands, we have toiled away at making sure that every boy and girl in our class has a nice holiday, even if we have to do it ourselves. 

We have stuffed gift bags, ordered books and written out Christmas cards to each and every one of our students.  We love them as our own children.  We care deeply about them and want to make sure that this holiday is magical and memorable for them.

In the last week, we have spent our own time and money preparing special treats, activities and special presents for those littles that make us cringe and smile all the same every day.

In the name of love and Christmas spirit, we have fretted and worried about the ones who won't have much of a Christmas once they leave school.  And for them, we go out of our way to make sure that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in the classroom.

We carefully decorate the room with lights and ornaments, maybe even a tree.  We hang every Christmas card that is created with markers, glitter, and crayon. 

We smile as we open the small treasures and gifts they proudly offer to us as they march through our classroom doors.  We quickly scratch out a thank you card for each treasured gift during our plan periods, even the one for the package of half-used post-it notes.  We do this because each one of those gifts was given with love, thoughtfulness and pride, even the used post-it notes. 

All of this Christmas spirit reminded me yesterday of a sweet little girl I had a few years ago, "Jazzy".  She was a sweet little girl with fiery red hair and a gentle disposition.  She was such a happy little girl and a good friend to many kids in my class.  She came from a family that struggled to make ends meet.  Although they didn't have a lot of money, she was loved and taken care of by her mom and dad. 

I will never forget the last day before winter break when she came waltzing in the classroom that morning proudly carrying a wrapped up package that she presented to me with a huge smile on her face.  It was obvious that she had wrapped the gift herself by the too-much tape stuck on all the sides. 

She gleamed ear to ear as she watched me open the gift.  I smiled and complimented the wrap job, "Oh, this is beautiful!  Did you wrap this yourself?"  She nodded and her eyes sparkled with pure delight and pride.

As I opened the gift, I nearly burst into tears (as I do now just thinking of it.)  She had wrapped up two packages of muffin mix for me.  As I gushed over how nice of a gift it was, she said, "I thought you could maybe make muffins for your kids on Christmas morning."

As I looked at her I was overwhelmed with the feeling that these two packages of muffin mix may have been destined for her own Christmas breakfast, but instead she chose to give them to me.  I hugged her and fought back the tears.  I thanked her over and over and repeated how excited I was to make those muffins on Christmas morning. 

It was obvious that even though she was not being raised in a household of money and material fortunes, she was being raised to understand the importance of taking care of one another.  She was learning the value of thoughtfulness and kindness. 

And quite honestly, isn't that more important than gift cards and coffee mugs?

So, as I made the Christmas muffins on Christmas morning, my own kids asked where the muffins came from and I told them the story.  They were impressed with the little girl's giving and thoughtfulness.  I remember Luci saying, "That was nice.  She got us a gift and she doesn't even know us."

I responded, "That's the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas."

If  you enjoyed this post follow Dalai Mama on Facebook and Twitter!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Target: Say Something, I'm Giving Up on You

Before I begin the upcoming rant, I wanted to share the different working titles that I came up with as I was thinking about and writing this next post.  The list is as follows:

F*&% You Target, You Selfish, Greedy Bitch!

Target Strips Away the Magic of Christmas

Relationship Status with Target: It's Complicated

How Target's Corporate Greed Ruined Christmas Magic for My Son

Let me begin in saying that Target and I have been in a semi-serious relationship for years now.  We have shared many good times, great laughs and funny stories. Hell, I have provided Target with a vast amount of free advertising just based on my blog posts about conversations I have overheard in Target. 

I have generated interest for their store with my many funny tales of Target adventures.  Not to mention that I have provided free advertising, targeting the male population of shoppers in my post about picking up female prostitutes in the lingerie section.   That alone should get me a free Starbucks or something!  But alas, Target has gone and done it.  They have exceeded the maximum capacity of my patience with them. 

Let me say that I am saddened and embarrassed that they have stooped to the level of ruining the 'magic' that is Elf on the Shelf for the monetary profits that this product generates. 

I will be the first to say that four years ago, when I first heard of Elf on the Shelf I was excited about the idea and I thought it was a darling family tradition.  I ran straight out and bought an Elf with the book.  At that time, the only place you could find the Elf was at small boutiques and specialty stores.  So after some searching, I found one.  I planned an elaborate entrance for our elf.  He would arrived wrapped in Christmas paper, dropped on our doorstep by none other than Santa himself!  It was a wonderful introduction that went off without a hitch!  The kids loved it, they bought it and so the tradition began. 

I will admit that the Elf actually became more of a pain in the ass than I had originally thought, but it was a tradition, nonetheless.  The kids looked forward to it and excitedly awaited his arrival each year...until Target released it's Wish List catalog this year. 

Two days ago, Ivan asked for some magazines that he could use to make a "All About Me" collage for Cub Scouts.  I gave him a few old magazines and the Target Holiday Wish List catalog to use. 

"There might be some good pictures of Legos or action figures that you like in there buddy."  I said, not knowing what was housed in the seemingly innocent toy catalog.

Fast forward to the next day, as I was walking in the door from a long day at work, I went to hang up my coat.  Ivan was sitting contently at the table working on his collage, flipping through the pages of the Target Wish List catalog.  As I closed the door to the coat closet, Ivan shouted "MOM!" 

As I spun around to see what was causing such alarm in his voice, he yelled, "THE ELF ON THE SHELF DOESN'T COME FROM THE NORTH POLE OR SANTA! IT COMES FROM TARGET!"

My heart immediately dropped into my stomach as I looked down to see the Target Wish List catalog sitting on the table with the Elf on the Shelf ad in the bottom corner, right next to the other books and videos.  Sonofabitch!

My head spun trying to come up with an explanation, an excuse.  I had nothing.  It was obvious that the delay in my reaction was proof enough that the Elf had indeed, not come the North Pole.  "Don't tell your sister,"  is all I could come up with. 

As he slumped in his chair and pounded his fist on the table in disgust, I felt equally disgusted with the marketing genius that decided that it would be a good idea to put the Elf on the Shelf product right in the catalog that children look at to make a Christmas wish list!  What in the world were they thinking!? 

If you are familiar with the story of the Elf on the Shelf, the book states that he comes from Santa himself and he returns to the North Pole each night to report to Santa.  Obviously, this marketing employee hasn't read the book or isn't familiar with the tradition enough to know that the book and Elf don't come from a store!  They come from Santa! 

Last year, I let it slide when Target put up a huge end-cap display of Elf on the Shelf directly across the isle from the toy section.  As I coaxed my kids in another direction, hoping that they didn't see the display, I sneered a little at the cluelessness of the location of the display.  Obviously, they don't realize that the Elf is supposed to be a "secret magical Elf from the North Pole."  In fact, we shouldn't even be talking about him because that, in fact, makes him lose his magic! 

I know it's not the end of the world and my kids still believe in Santa, but I was a little disappointed in Target for not being more sensitive to the audience that they target with their Wish List catalog.  I would have thought that they could exclude the Elf on the Shelf from the toy catalog as not to place any doubts as to the magic that is Elf on the Shelf. 

Maybe I shouldn't be mad at Target.  Maybe I should be mad at the publisher or author of the book, after all, they partnered with Target to be a distributor, right? 

Maybe I should be upset with myself for not previewing the catalog first. 

Maybe I should just be upset with the fact that my son is getting old enough that he is going to be figuring these things out sooner or later.  Maybe I'm not mad at Target but rather the fact that my boy is growing up too darn fast. 

Hopefully, Target and I can get past this little rough patch. After all, we've been through so much together.  I think for right now, I just need some time to think and be alone for a while.  Maybe after the holidays we can reconvene and hash things out.   

P.S.  If you would like to hear more about my funny, Target shopping episodes read :

 Prostitutes in Target:  The Time I Overheard a Craigslist Connection in Target

Blogher Featured :  A For-Real Conversation that I Heard in Target

Blogher Featured :  Christmas Brings Out All the Amateurs

My sister-in-law's attempt/fail at being a professional Target shopper. :  Amateurs Step Aside: A Target Story

If  you enjoyed this post check out Dalai Mama  on Facebook and Twitter


Sunday, November 2, 2014

No Shame November 2014

Last year, I set out on a mission to start a writing challenge for my readers.  I started No Shame November and I had quite a few really great submissions that I shared on Dalai Mama and I would love to do it again.
You can read last year's submissions:
Indeed, I want to hear from you, readers!   I know that you all have a story to tell and I can't tell you how much I love a story written in a letter form!
What I am wanting you to do is think about a pivotal point in your life.  Maybe it was when you met your spouse, had your first child, moved away from home, lost a loved one or made a major life choice.  Whatever your pivotal point is, I want you to write a letter to yourself at that point in your life. 
  • What would you say to yourself? 
  • What advice would you offer? 
  • What things would you change, or would you? 
  • Would you tell yourself to run fast the other way or would you pat yourself on the back for a job well done?
  • Would you offer words of encouragement or tell yourself to snap out of it?
We all have an important time in our lives where we could have taken a different path, done something differently or responded in a different manner.  Let us inspire one another with our stories. When you write your letter, I want you to be shameless in your delivery.  I want you to be brave and honest with yourself.  Tapping into what choices we have made and coming to terms with those choices can have a very healing and calming effect.  Trust me when I say that writing can be very therapeutic for the soul. 
So, women and men of all ages, I challenge you tap into your inner "Dalai Mama" and have a great conversation with yourself.  If you haven't done anything for yourself in a while, I challenge you.  After you put the kids to bed, finish your homework, or get off work, I challenge you to sit down and write yourself a letter.  I challenge you to write for just 5 minutes, to get started.  I promise that once you start, it will be hard to stop until you're finished.  
So here is how it is going to work:
You will dedicate some thoughtful reflection time to yourself and write your letter.  You can send your submission to me by emailing me at   I will be accepting submissions for your letter to your younger self from Sunday, Nov. 2 until Sunday, Nov. 30 at 10pm.  Once I have had time to review your submissions, I will post your letters on Dalai Mama throughout the month of November. 
If you choose to remain anonymous, I will respect that and your name and likeness will not be included.  If you are a fellow blogger, I will link back to your blog if you would like.  I will also share your posts on Facebook and Twitter. 
I can't wait to hear your letters.  I will be working on mine and it will be posted on Dalai Mama.  Now, get to writing!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The BROchure and the Awkward Joys of Parenting

A few weeks ago we got the letter. 

The letter from school. 

The letter from school explaining how they were going to be having the girls and boys and puberty presentation.

Oh boy.  I was NOT ready for this already.  Didn't I just bring this kid home from the hospital?  Wasn't he JUST learning how to walk and swing on the swings by himself?  Wasn't it just yesterday that he took off the water floaties and swam in the deep end all by himself?  Damn it if we're not talking about puberty already.  So I prepared myself.

Just weeks earlier, he had caught us in the act of sneaking the money under the pillow for the tooth fairy.  We were found out.  Although, he didn't ask any other questions, I'm sure it's coming.  My boy is not a baby anymore.  He's in this in-between area, stuck between boy and dude. 

So he came home from school that day and didn't say anything about the puberty presentation.  He must have said something to Dalai Dad and so I was curious what they talked about.

"How was school today?" I cautiously asked.
"Anything exciting happen?"
"Did they talk about the puberty stuff today?"
"Yeah.....they gave me a BROchure."

Just like that.  He said "BROchure."  I tried not to die laughing.  How fitting that he would interpret the hand-out that they gave him as the "BROchure." 

"Oh, cool."  I said.  "Did you learn anything new?  Anything you didn't know before?"
"No. Not really.  I'm gonna get hairy underarms and stuff."

And away he went.  Into his room, leaving the BROchure sitting on the table. 

Curious, I picked it up and started reading.  It had the usual stuff...your body is going through changes, yada, yada, yada.  You will be getting taller, your voice will change, your shoulders will get broader, you will get armpit hair and more body hair.  You will experience erections.  YIKES!  The BROchure had a diagram of a penis.  This was heavy duty stuff for my baby who had just found out about the Tooth Fairy!

As he emerged from his room, he caught me reading the BROchure.  "MOM!  You can't look at that!" he shouted at me as he ripped it from my hands. 
"Why not?  I wanted to know what you guys talked about today."
"Well, because.  You can't be reading the BROchure!  It's for dudes!"
"Well, it's fine.  I know all about the stuff in that BROchure anyways.  It's not new information to me."
"What? How do you know about all the stuff in the BROchure?"
I thought for a minute...."Because I'm a teacher.  And teachers have to learn about that stuff when they are doing child development classes and stuff.  It's ok."
"Oh, ok. But just don't be looking at my BROchure anymore, okay?"  He stomps off back to his room taking the BROchure with him. 

And that was that.  The BROchure showed up, made everything awkward and now he knows that I know all about penises.  Why does parenting have to be so complicated?

He and Dalai Dad had a good father/son camp out this weekend and hopefully they had a chance to talk about any dude stuff that, obviously, moms aren't supposed to know about. 

If  you enjoyed this post check out Dalai Mama on Facebook and Twitter! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

People Are Strange

Last week, I took my show on the road and went to New Orleans for five days.  Equipped with no less than three pairs of flip flops and three different purses, I was ready to take on the Big Easy.  My flip flops proved to be completely useless but fun was had regardless.

We were hardly out of the Illinois when the realization was made that this would prove to be a memorable trip.  I started a list of strange and/or interesting things that we encountered along the way. 

Here's my list (please note that once you are actually in New Orleans, strange weirdos are around every corner, so I kind of stopped keeping track at some point.): 

  • random diaper pin laying on the ground
  • hot airplane pilot
  • lady with too much Botox
  • an Asian man eating a tomato in the airport terminal
  • random tap dancing lady
  • a clown smoking a cigarette
  • a man in a gorilla suit (really, it was like 100 degrees!)
  • a dude wearing a skirt and tights with bright pink hair
  • a parade of women (and men) all wearing bridal gowns
  • my sister in law caught the bouquet!!
  • a stripper wearing her "uniform" on a public street at 4:30 pm
  • a chick with no top and pasties on a public street at 4:35pm
  • random calliope music everyday at 5:30pm (never did figure out where it was coming from)
  • a midget leprechaun wearing a loin cloth
  • lady with a rip in her undies (oops)
  • a lady painting her toenails on the sidewalk waiting for Payless Shoes to open
  • the smell of BO, hot garbage and piss
  • the Halloween costume shop that also doubled as an adult toy store (surprise!!)
  • two chicks dressed in dominatrix clothing, punishing their dude on a public street (I promise that was NOT me!)
  • Reverend Arby-B-Q preaching out in front of the Arby's
  • the hot dog cart guy cussing out the pedicab driver (yea, tell 'em!)
  • a guy dressed like Homer Simpson sitting on top of a garbage can
  • the grumpy croissant
  • dancing with a homeless man in the middle of Bourbon St. (I think at this point I became one of the strange, weirdos)
In addition to all these wonderful things, NOLA also provided many delicious things to eat.  We ate beignets....

We got to see beautiful architecture...


We visited historical sites and investigated points of interest....

We stumbled down the 'tricky' cobblestone streets of the French Quarter....

 We met many interesting people and animals, we made up fictional characters and told their stories, and we admired from afar...


We took in all the music, parades and art of New Orleans....

Altogether, I would say it was a trip that I will never forget! 


If  you enjoyed this post check out Dalai Mama on Facebook and Twitter! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Life Experienced: New Orleans

If you spend a significant amount of time anywhere things seem to become commonplace. For example, I have been in New Orleans for 24 hours and the first parade I saw was fascinating. After seeing so many now it's no big deal to see a parade of people dressed in tutus and glitter parading down the street to a full brass band.

While the stench of Bourbon St. was, at first, enough to turn my stomach, after a few days, I could notice that memorable smell as it wafted down side streets on the breeze.  It was still absolutely disgusting but a little less shocking, nonetheless.

In addition, after seeing so many strangely dressed people, not much is surprising. For instance, once you see a lady walking around with nothing on but a pair of short shorts and some pasties to cover her nips, seeing the lady with the ripped out hole in her pants with no undies was so passé.

Yesterday I happened upon a beautiful man sunbathing by the pool. That experience prepared me for the man passed out face down by the pool today.
The lesson here is that life experience can soften the blow for more extreme situations later on. Some lessons are best learned by life experience. You can quote me on that.

If  you enjoyed this post check out Dalai Mama on Facebook and Twitter! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The First Day of School

It was the first day.

It was the first day of second grade.

It was the first day of second grade and the first day of my fifth year of teaching.

The summer went too fast and the days were still too hot.  I wasn't quite ready to go back but I begrudgingly packed the lunches, picked out the clothes and got up too early.  Getting back into the routine was harder than I had ever anticipated.  As I chugged coffee, blurry eyed, I got my own children ready for their first day.  We had a good breakfast, took some pictures and I anxiously watched from the window as they got on the bus. 

As the bus pulled away, it sunk in that now it was my turn.  I finished getting ready and grabbed another cup of coffee and headed out the door.  As I drove the 15 minutes to my school, I thought about my incoming students.  I worried that some may not have all the supplies they need.  I wondered what they would be like.  I was curious about them and their families.  As I pulled in the parking lot, I waved to familiar faces; co-workers, friends and former students. 

Walking through the door on that first day, the smell of the school hit me.  I guess I did miss this place after all.  The floors were shiny and squeaky after having their summer coat of wax.  The staff members smiled with a renewed sense of gusto for the upcoming year.  I wondered how my own children were doing.  Did they find a friend to sit with on the bus?  Did they find their class ok?  Will the lunches I packed make it in the unreasonable heat?

As I entered my classroom, it all came rushing back.  The excitement I felt for being an educator.  All the worries of the morning slipped away as I passed out freshly sharpened pencils and a coloring page with a Welcome Back to School message.  Soon, my room would be full of seven year old kids that are just as tired, excited and nervous as I am. 

I smiled and proclaimed a Welcome to Second grade as they entered the room, eyes wide and faces full of wonder....

It was the first day.

It was the first day of second grade.

I didn't want to go but my mom said I had to.  The summer was so fun but I did miss my friends.  I wished that I could just have a few more days.  It was so hot outside and I really wanted to go swimming, not sit in school all day.  My mom woke me up early and made me breakfast. 

I put on my new outfit that grandma bought me.  My big brother helped me tie my new light up shoes.  Dad said that I need to learn how to tie my own shoes.

Before I knew it, it was time to head to the bus stop.  I saw a few friends from my street and we talked about our summer.  My friend, Sam went to Florida to see his uncle.  I'm jealous.  We didn't go anywhere except to the park a few times and that one time my mom took us to the city pool. 

The bus ride to school was so loud, I could hardly hear myself think!  Kids were jumping around, there were a few Kindergarteners crying and one kid looked like he was going to get sick.  When we got to school, I felt the butterflies in my stomach.  I knew I had a few friends in my class this year, but what if my teacher was mean?  What if she made me read out loud on the first day?  What if she didn't like me?

As we lined up with our class, I could feel the weight of all my new supplies in my backpack getting heavier and heavier.  It was really hot outside and I started sweating.  When the bell rang, we started walking in the building.  As I stepped through the door, the smell of the school hit me.  Maybe I did miss this place after all.  The floors were all shiny and new looking.  I could see the reflection of my light up shoes glowing on the floor.  That was cool.

We came around the corner and I could see my classroom down the hall.  The door was decorated with a bunch of space stuff.  There were planets, stars and moons.  It looked really cool.  There were stars with each of our names written on them. 

I took a deep breath and walked in the room.  There she was.  My teacher.  Standing in the doorway.  She was smiling, so she can't be all that bad....

As they cautiously walked in the room, I could feel their hesitation.  Some carefully avoided me altogether.  Some whispered good morning and went straight to their seats.  A few jubilantly exclaimed good morning! and put their things away. 

I could tell that I had a lot of different personalities right away.  While some engaged in conversation with me, others quietly avoided me like the plague.  As I made my way around the room, I helped them put their new supplies away.  I could see the excitement on their faces as they got out their brand new, sharp, pointy crayons for the first time.  I noticed one sniff the box.  New crayons always smell the best!

As we all settled in, I answered questions about how to order lunch, where to put important papers and "when is recess?"  As they quietly colored their paper, I though about my students from the previous year.  I wondered how they were doing in the room next to me.  Were they equally as nervous as my room was right now?  Did they have a great summer?  Did they all get the supplies they need?  I missed them.

But as I watched and talked to my new students, I realized that a year from now, I would be missing them.  I would be wondering how they are doing and wishing we had a few more days together.  I would be getting to know a whole new group of children that were apprehensive and scared of their teacher. 

I smiled and offered for them to come down to the carpet to read a story.  They gladly put their things away and made their way to our gathering area.  I read a book about the first day of school and how teachers are just as nervous as kids and they laughed.  I told them how it was tough to get out of bed this morning and I asked if they had a hard time too.  Most raised their hands and in that moment, we all realized that we had something in common.....

She looked nice enough, my new teacher.  But I know sometimes they try to trick you.  They start off all nice and then look out!  They switch it up and give you a ton of homework on the first day.  I hope she isn't one of those.  I whispered good morning and headed straight to my desk.  I started to unpack my things and my whole box of markers popped open and they all scattered to the floor.  Embarrassed, I reached down to pick them up and then she was there, my teacher.  She was kneeled down and helping pick up my markers.  She smiled as she handed them to me and said "Looks like you've got some cool colors to use.  After you finish unpacking, you can color your paper, ok?"  I shook my head and smiled.  Maybe she wasn't a tricky one,  maybe she's a nice teacher.

After I got all my stuff put away, I got out my brand new box of crayons to start my coloring page.  I love new crayons!  New crayons are probably the best part of the first day of school.  They smell so good.  Just a quick sniff and then I'll get started. 

My picture was looking really good and my day wasn't going as bad as I thought it would.  My friend from last year was in my class and picked a desk right next to me.  We were sharing his crayons because he got the big box with the sharpener on the back.  Lucky.

I was all finished with my coloring when my teacher invited us to come to the gathering area for a story.  I put all my stuff away.  Crayons back in the box, pointy side up, and sat down on the carpet next to my friends.  My teacher read us a book about the first day of school and, get this, teachers get nervous for the first day too!  I couldn't believe that!  When she was done, my teacher said how she didn't want to get up this morning either!  I laughed about that because I felt the same way and so did the other kids!  And in that moment, I realized that we all had something in common and it just might be a great school year after all!

If  you enjoyed this post check out Dalai Mama on Facebook and Twitter! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

30 Quick and Easy Steps to a Clean House

Is your house in need of a deep clean?

Are you having friends over and you need a solution for all those cleaning hassles?

Do your kids destroy the house on a daily basis?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, look no further, because have I got some tips for you! I have gathered quick and easy tips to cleaning that can eliminate all your household cleaning problems.   With my new (patent pending) system, you will experience proven, immediate results.* 

1.  Make a cup of coffee and crank some tunes.  You're going to need the motivation.

2.  Sip coffee or chug as needed. 

3.  Assess the situation.  Make a mental note of all the shit that needs done.

4.  Make another cup of coffee. You may need to add some liquor to it because laundry, that's why.

5.  Gather all the dirty clothes and throw them in a big pile in the MIDDLE of the laundry room floor. (This is an ancient secret kept in the cleaning community.  If the laundry is in the middle of the floor, it is a complete pain in the ass inconvience and you are sure to get it done just to get it out of the damn way.)

6.  Throw a few arms full of dirty clothes in the washer.  No need to separate them.  Just add some soap and push the button.  Done and done.

7.  What's next, what's next?  Oh yeah, you're feeling a little shaky from all the coffee and liquor, maybe should grab a snack.  Hmmmm.  What's in the fridge?

8.  Oh! Girl Scout Cookies!

9.  Eat half a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies.

10.  Quickly hide the cookie wrapper and deny to the children that you were indeed eating cookies. 

11.  Send them to clean their room.  Bribe them with cookies if they finish the job. 

12.  High five yourself because now the kids' rooms will be half-assed clean!

13.  Take a look at the kitchen counter that is piled high with bills, unread mail, school papers, yada, yada, yada.  Since time is of the essence, grab a box and shove all that shit in there. 

14.  Put the box in a closet, storage room, garage or basement.  No one will ever find it there.

15.  With the counter now clean, you can safely assess the rest of the house.  Seems that there might be a few piles of crap in the living that need dealt with.  Find another box, fill 'er up and repeat step 14.

16.  While going to get the vacuum cleaner, your jam comes one.  Crank that shit!

17.  Shuffle-dance-sing as you vacuum that disgusting kitchen and living room floor.

18.  Put the vacuum away but not in the closet that you stashed the boxes of clutter.  Maybe in your bedroom if need be.  You can always just close that door.  Nobody needs to go in there anyway.

19.  Washer just buzzed.  Go change out that load and cram another load in.  Again, no need to separate, just shovel, detergent, set it and forget it.

20.  There's a scuffle coming from the children's room.  Investigate. 

21.  Break up a sibling fight over who is the actual owner of the stuffed puffin.  Turns out, it's mine now, punks.

22.  Assess the kid's rooms while your in there and shout something about getting a garbage bag if this mess isn't cleaned up ASAP.

23.  On to the bathrooms.  Bleck.  The worst.  Grab some bathroom cleaner and just start spraying anything in front of you. 

24.  Squirt some toilet bowl cleaner in there and whoosh it around with the brush.  Shout at whoever can't keep aim and say some curse words under your breath. 

25.  Wipe down all the sinks, showers and bathtubs with a damp towel.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just so that it smells nice in there, they will think it's clean.

26.  Head back to the kitchen and start the dishes.  If you have a dishwasher, you are in luck.  This should be easy.  If you don't have a dishwasher, you're screwed, I guess.  Good luck with that.

27.  Washer/dryer buzzed again.  Empty the dryer by throwing all the items in a basket, plopping it in the middle of the living room floor and yelling, "KIDS!"

28.  Repeat step 19 as needed. 

29.  About this time, the coffee and alcohol have worn off and you are getting tired.  You have two choices.   You can either a.) re-caffinate or b.) pass out on the couch. 

30.  I recommend the latter.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment of a messy house.  Never disregard professional advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website.  Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional advice.  Ever.

Dalai Mama is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site.  You are encouraged to consult with your therapist with regard to this information contained on or through this website.  After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional cleaning personnel.

If  you enjoyed this post check out Dalai Mama on Facebook and Twitter! 

Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberry season is here! Whether you are finding fresh blueberries in your yard, at the farmer's market or on sale at the grocery store, there's no doubt that blueberry season brings about the best in fresh berries.

With blueberries in season, I was able to pick up a pint of blueberries at the store for $.99! You can't beat that! So with that, I found some great blueberry recipes and this was by-far my favorite.

I changed it a little bit from the original recipe by adding more blueberries and more banana than the original called for. Let me tell you that this bread turned out so moist and fluffy, it was more like cake than bread. In fact, my kids and I ate it as a dessert. Carpe diem and run out to get as many blueberries as you can while they are still plentiful.

This bread would also freeze beautifully, so you could easily stock up, bake a few loaves and freeze for later.  I refrigerate any leftovers and it should keep in the fridge for a few days, but I highly doubt that it will last that long at the rate we are munching on it.

Blueberry Banana Bread

 2 cups all purpose flour
 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
 1/4 tsp salt
 1 cup sugar
 3 tbsp vegetable oil
 3-4 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
 1 large egg
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 1 pint blueberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and mashed bananas until smooth.
Add in flour mixture and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in blueberries with a spoon or spatula, then pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.

Blueberry Banana Bread
Shout yo' mouth!
It's like heaven!

If  you enjoyed this post check out Dalai Mama on Facebook and Twitter!