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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass


Author: toni

~ 11/27/13

Okay. I know I haven’t posted in a while. Weeks in fact. I plan on getting back to the keyboard soon. But in the meantime, I couldn’t let a Thanksgiving go by with offering up the greatest Thanksgiving gift of all. The thing for which I am most, well close to most, thankful.

My brother John’s Thanksgiving Song. It’s historical and hysterical. My favorite combo.

Watch. Enjoy. Share. And Happy Thanksgiving, my MAMMAKAZES!

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Author: toni

~ 02/18/11

Those of you who follow MAMMAKAZE read all about the over-the-top Harry Potter party I threw for my kid’s 8th birthday last year.

Well, not to be outdone by myself, we followed that extravaganza with a Pirates of the Caribbean party for her 9th Birthday this year. And while Pirates don’t hold the same charm for me as kid wizards, I still (with the help of MAMMAKAZES Jennie, Angelica, Zadrina and Gloria) put my heart and soul into turning our garage into a pirates’ lair worthy of any Disney imagineer (on a mommy budget that is).

Though some of the pictures are brightly lit, imagine the whole party in low light, which is how it actually was!

ARRGH! JULIA, TONI & RANDY THE PERFEKT HUSBAND

 

SETTING THE MOOD WITH A PIRATE TABLE FULL OF JEWELS, COINS, GOBLETS & OTHER ILL-GOTTEN ITEMS

 

SKULLS, RATS, GOBLETS, COINS & JEWELS, OH MY!

 

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

 

OL’ UNLUCKY LUKE IN THE PIRATE QUEEN’S CHAIR. HE’S HOLDING THE BASKET OF PIRATE SKULL NECKLACES (EACH MATEY GOT ON INITIATION) & A BASKET OF PIRATE INSULTS FOR THE PIRATE INSULT GAME!

 

ALAS, POOR YORICK! OH WAIT. WRONG TALE… 

 

EACH TABLE REPRESENTED A DIFFERENT SHIP:

DAUNTLESS, INTERCEPTOR, FLYING DUTCHMAN &  BLACK PEARL

 

TABLE SETTINGS: OLD NETTING, BATTERY-OPERATED CANDLES, COMPASSES, COINS, JEWELS, RATS & MAPS

 

PLACEMATS. I DOWNLOADED A PIRATE MAP, PERSONALIZED IT WITH THINGS LIKE “TESORO DE JULIA” & BURNED THE EDGES TO MAKE IT LOOK AUTHENTIC. YEP, MY HOUSE SMELLED LIKE  A FIREPLACE FOR DAYS!

 

THE PIRATE QUEEN & HER BOOTY. PROPS COURTESY OF AL & ZADRINA!

 

THE CAKE. I DOWNLOADED THE PICTURE FROM ONLINE. ADDED THE WORDS IN PIRATE FONT. EMAILED IT TO A CAKE PLACE FOR THE CAKE ART. AND HAD COSTCO PUT IT ON TOP OF ONE OF THEIR CAKES! A BARGAIN!

 

 

MATEYS! Thanks for getting into the spirit of the party Wayne, Cheri, Cathy, Claire & John! (Jennie too but I have no pic of her!)

 

COMING SOON. A STEP-BY-STEP ON HOW TO THROW YOUR OWN PIRATE PARTY!

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Author: toni

~ 01/01/11

 

Well, here it is. Another year. And no matter how I try to stop time, it simply refuses to bend to my will. Everything around me is changing. Lines form around the eyes. Parents get older. My kid starts asking the difficult questions like “Where did the legend of Dracula start and why does garlic gross him out?”  

I kid you not. I spent a good part of yesterday while we were shopping/returning  telling her the history of Vlad the Impaler which then led to a whole discussion of how the fear of the atomic bomb influenced 1950s filmmaking resulting in movies about giant spiders and the like. She was shocked to learn that the original “duck and cover” was a safety drill in case of an A-Bomb attack  and not prep for the big earthquake.

Anyway, it’s little milestones like my kid asking me if the Egyptians believed in mummys coming to life or if it was more of a  20th century idea that makes me keenly aware of  the infernal passage of time.

Thing is. I don’t FEEL like I’m getting older. Well, except when I have to bend to get the tupperware out from under the cabinet where I put it when my knees where 6 years younger. And it’s not so much that my knees hurt or anything when I bend to get it. It’s more that I SIMPLY DON’T HAVE THE DESIRE to bend.

I think that’s where it starts. The whole aging thing. It affects the desire first. Then it moves on from there. I’m noticing I’m having a lot less desire for a lot of things I used to eagerly do. Like jumping out of bed and exercising first thing in the morning. Or cleaning out the crumbs from the corners of my kitchen drawers. Or lying on my back on the grass on a chilly night to watch a meteor shower. Or staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Yeah. I stayed up. But only because my kid did. It’s still a big deal to her. She’s only 8. SHE STILL HAS THE DESIRE.

Truth is. She’s what’s keeping me young. She’s the reason I stroll Disneyland for 14 hours at a pop. Heck, she’s the reason I go to Disneyland at all. She helps me to see things the way I used to. With the excitement and awe of a newbie. I owe a lot to her.

For the other things in my life for which she cannot inspire the DESIRE, I shall have to find it on my own. And that brings me to my New Year’s Resolution.

I resolve to rediscover my desire.

My desire to engage. To laugh. To enjoy. To see things in a fresh way. My desire to better myself. To continue to learn new things. My desire to see the glass half full instead of empty. My desire to work everyday to make everything around me better. My life. My marriage. My friendships. My earth.

The thing I know about desire. Is that while it may not be evident. It is there. Sometimes buried under a pile of work, or laundry or exhaustion. But if you make the effort to find it, it quickly reawakens. And then you wonder why you don’t make the effort more often. Because desire feels good! And so do its results.

So this year, more desire!

But first… a quick nap!

HAPPY NEW YEAR MAMMAKAZES!

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Author: toni

~ 12/28/10

 

NOTE: BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND (AND ALSO BECAUSE I’VE BEEN TOO DANG BUSY TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING ORIGINAL – HERE IS A POST I WROTE LAST CHRISTMAS. IF YOU’VE NEVER READ IT BEFORE, ENJOY. IF YOU HAVE, ENJOY AGAIN. OR NOT. HAPPY HOLIDAYS MY MAMMAKAZES!

Okay. Last year we bought this advent calendar in the shape of a Santa at Target’s after Christmas clearance. And this year we began a “tradition”  where every night on the 25 days of December leading up to Christmas, the elves come and bring Julia a little something.

I know I know. Over-indulgence.  Believe you me, I wouldn’t have started this lovely tradition except my friend JENNIE does this every year with her two boys JAKE and ZACH. And last Christmas every day on the way to school Julia was privvy to their excited ramblings about what the elves brought them the night before. Naturally, she wanted to know why the heck the elves came to them but not to such a nice, well-behaved young lady as herself. Being a tale-spinner from way back, I tried to spin some tale about different families and different holiday traditions starting hundreds of years ago. But she wasn’t having any of it. And thus, a tradition was born.

As if I didn’t have enough to do prepping for the holidays. Now I also have to come up with something clever every night for 25 nights for the elves to bring! And since Julia is up at the crack of dawn and sometimes she falls asleep AFTER me, I’ve often had to tip-toe downstairs at 4 am to put something in the #$%@# calendar.

Anyway, one of the things the elves bring is money. Coins. Quarters, dimes, nickels. And since we have started this tradition (three weeks ago now)  Julia has been like a magpie and squirreled away everything she’s gotten from the elves in a shoebox that she calls her “trinket box”. Even the chocolates. Don’t ask me why. It’s probably that same gene that (when I was a kid) made my Halloween candy last from October until May (much to the dismay of my brothers who downed theirs in a day).

That was a whole big preface to what happened this weekend.

So we got back from errands and while I went to wrap gifts with my newly acquired wrapping paper, Julia made a beeline for the potty. Right on schedule as she’d had her Saturday morning donut and milk just an hour before. She’s nothing if not regular.

Anyway. suddenly, mid-wrap I hear a blood-curdling SCREAM come from the bathroom. My mommy mind immediately went to all manner of horrific scenarios including one in which she somehow managed to slip off the potty into the tub, cracking her head on the faucet. “I knew it was too soon to take the rubber polar bear faucet cover off!” I thought as I raced to the bathroom.

I FLUNG open the door. She stood there, bare butted, in front of the toilet SOBBING.

ME: Jules! What’s wrong?!

JULIA: My nickel. It fell in the toilet!

ME: What are you talking about? What nickel?

JULIA: My nickel from the elves!

Sure enough, she was holding her “trinket box” full of chocolates and coins and wind-up Santas.

TONI: What were you doing looking at your trinket box while you were going potty?

JULIA: I don’t know. I just was. Mom! You HAVE to get it!

ME: Honey. It’s just a nickel.

JULIA: No. The ELVES brought it! It’s special!

Ah yes. The “special” nickel. What have I wrought?

I looked down in the toilet. I saw a LOT of stuff but no nickel.

ME: Uh, I don’t see it. Maybe it didn’t fall in there.

JULIA: It did! It did! Get it mamma! Pleeeeeease!

I love my kid. And I’ll do almost anything for her. And I have gone through great lengths to impress upon her the importance of saving money and not being wasteful. But there’s waste and then there’s WASTE.

I drew the line. And by drawing the line, I mean I lied.

ME:  Julia. I’m sure you didn’t lose a nickel in there.  I’m sure it’s on the floor.

JULIA: (calming down) Really?

ME: I’m positive.

Knowing it probably wasn’t on the floor, I planned on planting a substitute somewhere on the floor when she wasn’t looking.

ME: Now pull up your pants and then I’ll help you look.

JULIA: Okay.

As she pulled up her pants, I flushed the toilet. And as I did… the loud CLINK CLINK CLINKING of metal being swished around the porcelain bowl could distinctly be heard. And we both saw a flash of silver just before the bowl emptied with a rush of water.

JULIA: AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!

Sigh. Guess tomorrow calls for an extra  special gift from the elves. Maybe a Webkinz? Thanks a lot Jennie.

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Author: toni

~ 11/21/10

 

Okay, let’s dispense with the reality up front. Yes, of course I am most thankful for my family, our good health, the fortunate life we lead, yadda yadda yadda. That goes without saying, well except that I felt I had to say it. You know, to make sure you all know that I’m not a complete, superficial jerk.

However, I am woman enough to admit that there are some things, yes….some superficial things, for which I am also grateful.

Oh come on. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.  You have them too. Well, here are mine. Not in any particular order because, well, that takes too much thought.  And the holidays are coming and you’re lucky I’m posting anything at all!

TOP TEN SUPERFICIAL THINGS FOR WHICH I AM GRATEFUL

1. Hair color.

2. Friends who are professional hair stylists and work out of their garage so they have no overhead and can therefore cover my grays add shine and shimmer to my locks at a discounted rate (thanks Patrice!)

3. Simply put… Coffee

4. Two-ply toilet paper that doesn’t pill – yeah, you ladies know what I’m talkin’ about.

5. The REMOVE button on Facebook

6. Trader Joes – healthy food, not much thinking, ‘nuf said.

7. Juice It Up Smoothies – the only way I can get fruit into my kid.  Thanks Terry and Zorka!

8. Digital cameras with endless memory so I can chronicle every second of my kid’s existence without paying the big $$$$$$$ on developing like we did the generation before us did in the stone ages.

9. Flip Flops – Like Linus on “Peanuts” who goes crazy when he becomes aware of his tongue, I LOATHE the “awareness” of my toes jammed into dark, cramped spaces.

10. All those studies that say dark chocolate is good for you.

11. Waxed dental floss

12. Molded bras – Man, the twins get cold! Also, a good solution for assymetry, uh, not that I need it.

13. Netflix on demand – A nice way to immediately satisfy my jones for “Zombieland” and “The Young Victoria” in one sitting!

14. Sting/ Sheryl Crow and that Train song about the lipstick stain on the front lobe of his left side brain.

15. The pitch shifter on the karaoke machine – my family and neighbors… also thankful.

16. Those Mr. Clean Magic sponges. They’re freaking magic!

17. Kids Eat Free coupons.

18. Caller ID… I won’t go into details on whom I am screening… in case they’re reading this…

19. A husband in the bedroom with bad eyesight… until he gets lasik in which case I am now grateful for….

20.  ….the lowest setting on the three-way bulb in the bedside table lamp.

 

 

And there you have it. And now you know what zombies and Queen Victoria have in common. Me!

Wishing all you MAMMAKAZES a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving filled with love and family and kids and all the good things in life.

And thank you for your continued support of my website.

 

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Author: toni

~ 11/03/10

 

Well, unless you’re from another country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween, you probably spent the last weekend scrambling for costumes for your little ones – or maybe even yourself!

I’ll admit, Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. It’s just the right combination of gruesome and charming to satisfy my sensibilities. And I do go a little all-out. Not as much as some people mind you. I mean, I really admire those folks who erect entire haunted houses in their garages, complete with that fake- looking scarecrow sitting in a chair that turns out to be real when you walk by. BOO!

When I was younger and living in KC, every Halloween my friends and I would go haunted housing and back then they were AWESOME! That was before all the safety laws that prohibited carefully hidden slides that would unexpectedly send you plummeting to a lower level or kept “performers” from touching people and scaring the bejeezus out of them. I blame this on Personal Injury attorneys and hairline fractures. They’ve taken the fun out of Halloween. A different kind of Boo!

So now I focus my spooky energies on my kid, who has inherited my love for all things fanciful, dramatic and, well, over-the-top. So naturally when she decided the day after Halloween last year (and she ALWAYS decides her costume a year in advance) that she wanted to be a GLAM VAMPIRE for this Halloween, we hit the after Halloween clearance sales and stocked up on all that was glitzy, gruesome and glamorous. And we got it at 50 to 75% off!

And this is what we came up with. Yeah, she won her 3rd grade costume contest and managed to put a fright in multiple parents who saw the ghost of teenagers future (specifically their teens) when they looked at her. And they could be right. The fake lip ring and nose piercing was my kid’s idea. She also picked the costume, the hairdo and the rhinestones. We decided on the design together. I drew it. Oh, and the little rhinestone bite marks on her neck were my idea.

Amazing what cheap rhinestones, eyeliner pencil and eyelash glue can do, huh?  The cost of the whole get-up, including the dress? Less than $20 bucks. Sure it took over an hour to apply all those rhinestones TWICE (once for her school’s Halloween Festival and once for Halloween). But it was worth it. My kid was happy and I got to channel my creative energies on my favorite holiday of the year!

Mommies need creative outlets too.

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