Posture is everything, especially at bath time. Start ‘em off right with the Primo Infant Bath ($12). The best way to bathe your little one is with them sitting upright, and the Primo ensures they stay up without you having to prop them against the side of the sink. No bending over for you, either. Suction cups hold the base down, and the design offers full leg and arm support. Perfect posture, perfect bath.


"Come wipe my bum!" echoed through the house as I was just settling in at the computer to get some work done. There's something about these words that puts a little knot in my stomach. It's my least favorite thing to do... but I'm not exactly confident that I can relinquish this task to my soon to be 4 year old (as of tomorrow). So 3-4 times a day, I begrudgingly make the trek to have him "assume the position".

Taking a brief glance into the bowl, I saw something I have never seen before. It was a toilet phenomenon that defied all laws of the universe that I know of, and I had to share my findings with someone, but I surprised myself when I immediately brought it to Caleb's attention. We both stared, almost in awe, into the porcelain wonder. It wasn't until I caught myself giggling and pointing that I realized that I had completely violated the Code of Motherly Ethics by discussing such topics with my son, because surely such behavior would come back to haunt me.

Several days later, while walking through Walmart, something (still unknown to us all) triggered Caleb's memory of "The Bathroom Incident of August 21st", and he exclaimed loudly in the middle of the frozen food section, "Hey Mom, remember when my poop was standing up in the toilet all by itself?"

Yes, this was a moment that would make every mother proud.

Bedtime or Bust!

By 8:00 p.m., I'm done! All I want to do is curl up on the couch in the fetal position and watch a movie until I fall asleep and block out the events of the day. Although that rarely happens, as a result of dishes, laundry and kids that just won't tire, it's a goal of mine every single night!

Last night, there was thumping, bumping, crashing, banging, slamming and laughing for over an hour after said "bedtime". I am, however, grateful that there was no yelling, crying or tattling... but is it too much to ask for the boys to just lay their sleepy (or non sleepy) little heads down and close their eyes? Is it too much to ask to have some peace and quiet after a long, hard day? Because honestly, I don't feel like I get a break until they are passed out asleep!

I finally ventured upstairs to check out the damage, and found that Josh was in his bed, but Caleb was no where to be found. Suddenly he emerged from behind a mountain of clothes completely decked out in the best things the closet had to offer! I had to turn away to laugh because he looked hysterical. I kept looking at Josh, who had his chin propped up on his hands just observing the fashion show.

This is what I saw...
Introducing Caleb Trentadue... as the self-proclaimed, "Michael Curb!"

For my blog's sake, we recreated the "look", because I just didn't have the energy last night!


If you can actually get your husband to WEAR the diaper bag, then this truly is a Mommy Marvel!

Dad's Diaper Vests
This wearable diaper bag is the hottest innovation in parenting gear since the diaper bag itself. Combining comfort and style, you can change, feed, and entertain your child with ease and no one will be able to tell you are wearing your diaper bag. We have strategically placed pockets for all of the baby-care essentials that a diaper bag would hold. The Vest is constructed with high quality materials for ultimate durability and longevity. It is better looking than most fleece vests available in sporting goods stores but with specific functionality for carrying all of your essential dad gear!

What's a girl to do?

Today I spent 2 hours by myself wandering around Richmond. A good friend of mine watched all three kiddos so I could go and do something FUN all by my lonesome! It was wonderful! I went to a discount fabric store downtown, and got lost in thought gazing at upholstery fabric, imagining the possibilities! But despite the unusual silence in the store, I found it difficult to really focus, because as I wandered through the tiny isles with nothing in hand but my "too-small-to-hold-a-diaper" purse, I found myself calculating the space between each isle in order to estimate the approximate turning circumference of a stroller, as well as possible hiding places for toddlers, and mapping out the closest route to the exit in case of an emergency temper tantrum.

So, as enjoyable as it was to get a break... I guess it's difficult to separate the mom from the Mommy in just 2 hours. :)

Sand and Salt and everything icky...

That's what beaches are made of!

Yesterday our family drove 2 hours to Virginia Beach for the day! We... and when I say "we", I actually mean "I"... packed up the car with towels and snacks. After about two hours and seven "Are we there yet's" we found $5 parking and packed up the stroller for our 3 block trek to the beach.

I love the way the your feet burn as you trudge through the ankle deep sand pulling a stroller...and there's nothing like slathering sunscreen onto little bodies that feels more like a body scrub then lotion... you can't beat the grit in your teeth as you take a swig of luke warm water... or the salt on your lips when you bite into a sloppy peanut butter and jelly sandwich... I can hardly wait to go back and sit near the water's edge with my 10 month old as sand and shells wash through my swim suit... not to mention walking hand in hand, hunched over with a baby who can't walk yet... and to stare longingly into the mouth of baby to retrieve endless amounts of sand... and there's something about that stringy, wind-blown, knotty hair that makes my husband just want to run his fingers through it... and where else am I going to find a dirty, little hand to wipe sand out of my son's eyes... graceful seagulls swooping dangerously close to snatch up goldfish... seriously, this place is magical, not like any other place!

I think we might go back next week!


Eliminate milk moustaches, chocolate faces, sticky fingers, grease, dried food, latte foam, gas-pump grunge and mystery dirt. Its gentle blend and antimicrobial properties leave skin clean and fresh. It's not a sanitizer, it's MomSpit, the universal no-rinse cleanser. You wouldn't use sanitizer to remove ketchup from your child's face after they've gobbled fries in the backseat of your car. MomSpit cleans dirt and grime, leaving skin clean, moisturized and smelling yummy. Its scents are fresh and friendly. There's even unscented for those of you who love naked 'n' natural. It contains no alcohol, mousses brilliantly, absorbs quickly and feels great. It's soap and water sans le sink. Contains no human saliva... because that would be gross!


Snakes and Snails take on it: Just a few days ago, I resorted to using a little of my own spit to get some dried milk off the corner of my 7 year old's mouth. He was mortified! If only I had this stuff to whip out instead! What will they think of next??

Check back every Monday for the latest "Modern Mommy Marvels"! If YOU come across a Mommy Marvel, email me at: kalisijo@msn.com to have your find posted on My Three Snakes and Snails! I'm looking for new and unique items that make our jobs as Mommies so much easier!

Walmart... only slightly better then torture!

On Saturday, I took a trip to Walmart to take advantage of the "Tax Free School Supplies Weekend" in Virginia. Josh had a birthday party, so Caleb and Brooks were my little side kicks on this "adventure!" We wandered through the cram-packed isles looking for the 24 count box of Crayola crayons, the large glue sticks, fine tip markers - 10 count, large tip markers - 10 count, the Ziploc bags with the slider seal, the wipes in the round container, etc... Don't EVEN get me started on requirements for the school supplies.

Caleb was being very helpful picking out the colors that Josh would like, and Brooks was happy eating his Cheerios and flirting with strangers.

I spent 12 minutes burrowing through 2-pocket folders looking for anything that wasn't covered in fairies and kitties. There is always a plethora of girly things, and a shortage of boy things. This happens every year, so I don't know why I'm still shocked... but when I saw a little girl sporting a princess t-shirt and sparkly flip flops snatch up the 2nd to last "masculine" folder in the isle, I almost leaped over 3 carts ape-style, hollering like Sponge Bob when he goes jelly-fishing to pry that folder out of her little kung-fu grip! Seriously, there were mountains of folders... WHY DID SHE HAVE TO CHOOSE THE LAST PLAIN BLUE ONE! But I contained myself, and was left with only one puke green folder, when I was supposed to have five.

When I got to the check-out, and had put 3/4 of my items on the conveyor belt, I realized that I had left my checkbook in the car. Now for those of you who think I'm completely Old-School for using checks for anything other then paying fines at the library, let's rewind this story about 4 hours when I received a call from Bank of America stating that there had been fraudulent charges on my ATM card. Therefore, they needed to cancel my card and issue a new one, which I would have to pick up in person within the next 7 minutes before the bank closes on a Saturday. Yeah, that's not gonna happen. So you see, I was left with no other option but to write a check.

So back at the check-out stand, I made my confession to the cashier and she said I could run get it without a problem. So I grabbed Brooks out of the cart and clutched Caleb's hand, and booked it outside in 95 degree heat to retrieve the checkbook and book it back in. My timing was perfect, and I got there just in time to see the grand total. I scribbled out the check, she ran it through the machine and she asked to see my driver's license. I knew before I even opened my wallet that I would see an empty space where my license SHOULD have been, but I pretended to look anyway. Several days prior to this, I needed a photocopy of my license but had forgotten to put it back in my wallet. Right there in Walmart, I was envisioning my abandoned license nestled inside the copier at home.

Without going into the details of why I had continued to drive around Richmond without it, I begged the cashier to input other important numbers... social security number?... library card number?... temple recommend number?... ANYTHING?

After my options were explained to me, I watched as my cart full of Tax Free items was pushed to a lonely corner at Customer Service. There it would sit until I had the energy to go home to get my license, pick up Josh from the party, drive back to Walmart in the weekend traffic, unload all three kids, truck back into Walmart and stand in line again, load the kids and bags up, drive home, unload kids and bags, just in time for the dinner-time rush where there would surely be three hungry little mouths all screaming for food! I don't know if I had it in me. On the way home, I had decided that I would not go back into Walmart that day. I was willing to sacrifice 1 1/2 hours of my precious time to avoid all that extra work!

When I rounded the corner, I saw Mike's car in the driveway. A little shaft of light shone down through the clouds, and I swore I could hear a choir of heavenly angels singing praises! I made one more trip back to Walmart that day, but it was by myself. I picked up the school supplies and looked at my receipt. I had saved $5.00. You tell me, was it worth it?
Josh on the last day of school.

Sugar and Spice ...

Last night we had a weird phenomenon at the Trentadue Household. Maybe it was something in the water... maybe the "sickness" in the house has made everyone delusional. But it was definitely out of the norm.

It started out when Josh and Caleb were obsessed with doing HAIR-DOS! That's right... they spent about 20 minutes getting their hair wet and creating various sculptures out of their hair.

Josh ended up with a slicked back John Travolta look, and Caleb was sporting a faux-hawk! They even included Brooks who was innocently watching this whole thing from his high chair. Next thing I know he had a serious comb-over!

As the night went on, Caleb was going through the pantry to find some kind of treat. He exited triumphantly with a box of Strawberry Pink cake mix and frosting that he had meticulously chosen from the grocery store a few days earlier.

While all this was going on, I was talking to my sister in Iowa, on the phone. When I told her I had to go because we needed to make pink cupcakes, she asked, "You and the BOYS are making PINK cupcakes? I have a girl, and I haven't even made pink cupcakes!"

I have to admit, until she so bluntly pointed it out, I hadn't noticed the irony in all of this. And after thinking about it a little more, I can recall painting each of the boys' toenails at some point because they wanted to be like mommy... and on a couple occasions my rough and tumble boys have been knows to play My Little Ponies with their cousin... and they expressed the desire for a sister when I was pregnant with our 3rd boy! So maybe it's not just something in the water... maybe there's actually a little sugar and spice, and a little something nice inside of everything... including boys!

Is ignorance really bliss?

How do you know when to take kids to the doctor?

I ask this, not because I can't tell when my child is sick. I obviously know that my 10 month old is having trouble sleeping and he is not his normal self. And you obviously can't miss the stream of slime that continues to escape those miniature little nostrils every 2 minutes. I also know that Josh and Caleb both have deep sounding coughs, so they're not in tip-top shape either. But is it just a cold? or teething? or allergies?

My dilemma now is the possibility of something worse. A few days ago, my husband was sick... sore throat, achy, fatigued and tired. This morning, all three boys are showing similar symptoms, minus the fatigue. They're all as wild as ever! So it makes me want to get out of the house FAST... but do I risk infecting others as well?

H1M1 (aka Swine Flu) has been going around, so should I be proactive and get them tested and know for sure, and incur medical and prescription bills? Or do I just plead ignorant and let it run it's course, which so far seems to be fairly mild?

Another dilemma is whether or not I'm hallucinating, or if I'm really seeing the little germs spreading all over every surface, like you see on those Lysol commercials. Maybe they're there... maybe they're not! But sometimes it's comforting knowing what those little buggers are! Is it swine flu or not?

Ahhh, decisions! What's a mother to do?

The USPS just aggravated my PMS!

Putting a 10 month-old down for a nap has become a more cumbersome task. Brooks is especially nosy and likes to see what everyone else is doing, so drinking a bottle and settling into slumber is something that has to now be done one-on-one. I carefully planned to get Josh and Caleb occupied eating lunch, so that me and Brooks could disappear upstairs to start our "nap-time routine".

After only 2 oz. of bottle, Caleb crept in and said that someone he didn't know was at the door. I was seriously committed to my goal of getting Brooks to sleep within 10 minutes, so I was not going to allow any deviation from that schedule for just anybody. But this person was persistent. I could hear yelling from the other side of the door. I told Caleb that I couldn't come to the door, so to just ignore it.

A few minutes later, Caleb came up again and said it was the mail. I peeked down the stairs and could see that the main door was now open, but the glass storm door was still shut, and the woman was trying to convince my stunned little 3 year-old to open the door, while jiggling the handle. I wanted to tell Caleb to just shut the door in her face and come upstairs, but he was terrified. He stood there frozen, mumbling barely above a whisper, "I'm not supposed to open the door. My mom can't come downstairs." All the while, I could hear this woman asking loudly, "Is your mom in the bathroom? Where is your mom! Open the door, son!"

That's it! I knew I had to intervene. I immediately turned back to put the baby in the crib, when I heard a loud call from the door. "Hello?" She had opened the door and come inside my house! I stomped down the steps, in my nightshirt... OH, did I forget to mention that I wasn't dressed for the day at 1:00 p.m.? Yes, it was "one of those days." When she saw me, to her credit, she did look a tad embarrassed, but I'm not sure if it was because she realized she just walked in without being asked, or if it was because I wasn't dressed. But her response to my confused state was, "I'm sorry, but your children wouldn't open the door."

"Yes, I know", I tried to say politely, "As you can tell from the crying baby upstairs, I was unable to answer the door, and they are not allowed to open it for strangers."

She continued to ramble, "Well, I could hear them running around inside, so I knew someone was home, so I just wanted to make sure you weren't hurt or something... mail persons have been known to save people's lives ya know. That, and I just didn't want you to have to go pick up this certified letter from the post office... I thought I would save you a trip!"

WOW! Did she really think she was doing me a favor by yelling at my kids to open the door, then freak them out by coming inside the house, causing me to have a conversation with a complete stranger while wearing my pajamas, with a screaming baby upstairs, who was supposed to be asleep 5 minutes ago? Really?

Is this what the United States Postal Service is resorting to these days to keep us all satisfied with their service? Are they really that threatened by the nickname "Snail Mail", that they feel it necessary to prove otherwise by breaking and entering just to deliver the mail?

I think they should change their slogan. Instead of "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat of day, nor gloom of night"...

It should read, "Neither lock, nor bolt, nor chain-link fence, nor large watch dog, shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

He can be taught!

I came around the corner and saw this!

This is not something that I really wanted Brooks to learn right now, but his two big brothers like to show him the ropes. Is it wrong that I don't want to embrace this new skill?

The perfect tennis shoe?... Only a fantasy!

I know exactly what I need. I know the color, size, style. I can almost envision them in my mind. But I don't think they really exist! I'm talking about the perfect boys' tennis shoe.

Not long ago I went to JC Penny's to use up some gift certificates, and I was in the market for a new pair of shoes for Caleb. I cruised through the kids' isles in search of the perfect shoe. But lo, it is not on the displays, so I ask someone for help. A young male sales associate seems eager to assist, "Can I help you with something, Ma'am?" I started rattling off my requirements. "Size 10, dark colors... navy, black or even gray will do, only velcro closures, no lights of any kind, no comic book characters and it must 'look cool' to my 3 year old." He nodded, looking confident that he could find something to meet my needs, and disappeared to that mysterious back room for several minutes.

Meanwhile, Caleb proceeded to open every shoe box he could reach in search of his idea of the perfect shoe, including the wrong size. Josh was trying to entertain Brooks, but ended up tipping the stroller part way over before hitting his head on a chair. I was sweating through my shirt.

Our sales associate, let's call him Jeff, came back bearing a mountain of shoe boxes. He opened the first box... a white pair of Addidas. I immediately turned it down because of the color, or lack there of, but he insisted that we try it on just to check the fit. I knew it was too narrow, but I tried not to insult the shoe expert and humored him. We continued to try on several dubious choices with no luck. Eventually Jeff was joined by another associate, let's call him Jim. Jeff proceeded to inform Jim of my requirements, although he forgot to mention velcro closures and no lights. For every shoe they brought out, I would take one look and reject it politely. Jeff and Jim started to look as ragged as I was. After about the 18th pair, they asked how committed I was to the velcro. "Do I look like I have time to tie shoes?" I tried to force a little smile. They nodded and closed up the box and headed to the back room.

Unfortunately for Jeff and Jim, I didn't find the perfect pair of shoes at JC Penny's. But fortunately for me (and Josh, Caleb and Brooks), we did find a nice little pair of Sketcher's at Kohl's. But I'm still trying to block out the hour and a half of my life that I'll never get back inside that JC Penny's shoe department!

I need to loosen up!

The other day we were sitting at the table eating a healthy, well-balanced dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches, grapes, carrot sticks and chocolate milk. We were all enjoying interesting conversation of how a rabbit's legs look short, but in reality they are actually pretty long. Everyone was quiet and polite and well-behaved.

Suddenly, Josh inhaled chocolate milk down the wrong tube causing him to explode in an uncontrollable cough, which splattered chocolate milk over the entire table, up onto Caleb's plate, and across Caleb's face and arms. Caleb was frozen, probably in shock, with chocolate dripping from his chin. Josh looked up, desperate to see my reaction. Even Brooks was perfectly still just taking it all in.

I couldn't contain myself any longer! I immediately burst out laughing! Almost on cue, all three boys started laughing too! The more I laughed, the more they laughed! As soon as I would start to calm down, all I had to do was look at Caleb again, covered in chocolatey spit and I would lose it all over again! Things would start to calm down again, and Caleb would say, "Did you see that chocolate on my face?" and we would laugh even harder!

This was truly a fun family experience! But I couldn't help but think of their little faces 1 second after the SPLATTER occurred, and it was tinted with a bit of fear as they awaited my response. This made my heart ache! I didn't think I was that uptight, but their faces said otherwise. I know I have scolded them for playing around at the table, and for making messes on purpose. But this was an accident. Couldn't they tell the difference? I guess not.

Here's a couple of my favorite CHOCOLATE MOMENTS!
Josh - 1st Birthday

Caleb - 1st Birthday

Must-Haves For Mothers of Boys

Although it's only been 7 1/2 years since I became a mother of boys... I have found a few things that make my life a little easier. Here are my favorite "must-haves" that you simply can't live without! (for some reason, I can't get the websites to appear as a link... I'm still working out some kinks... so I apologize for the inconvenience.)

1. Legos - From age 3-100, Legos are a sure way to entertain boys of all ages! And sometimes they even entertain the Mom!

2. Race tracks - You don't need anything fancy... the most basic of tracks will do the job, because there is something about that sliding, racing motion that keeps them entranced. The key is to find a track that is easy to put together and take apart... and can accomidate everything from match box cars to balls to marbles. Check out the following site for a great one!

3. Zip ties - You don't have to spend 20 minutes tying a tie... and there's no uncomfortable clip that digs into their neck and causes constant whining. Just put it around their neck and ZIP! Dressed to impress!

4. Balls - From baseballs to bouncy balls to footballs to tennis balls... boys can be entertained for hours by balls! Keep an assortment on hand, and they will figure out what to do with them!

5. Anything yucky and sticky... oohey and gooey... disgusting and gross... Boys love it all! But for the "clean freak" in all of us... here are some ideas for some not-so-messy alternatives that will leave them begging for more!
Gak Recipe: Ingredients:
1 cup Elmer's glue
food coloring, your choice of color (optional: coloring can stain!)
1 cup liquid starch


This is just a start... but if you have any more ideas, (I know you do!) then PLEASE let us know. Post them in the comments section for everyone to enjoy and benefit from!

Pooper Scooper... caution this post may be too graphic for some readers...

I glanced out the window today, and I couldn't help but notice this woman walking through our neighborhood. In one hand, she carried 2-3 tied up plastic grocery bags, and sticking out of the back pocket of her slacks was at least 2-3 more empty plastic grocery bags. In her other hand, she kept a firm grip on a leash as she was being dragged (in her high-heeled shoes) down the street by a large, somewhat disobedient dog. Before she got out of sight, I was disgusted as I watched this beast of a dog turn in a familiar circle and hunch its back to relieve himself on the corner of another neighbor's yard (thank goodness). I was then horrified to watch this seemingly classy woman bend over and snatch up the still steaming pile using only her hand and a thin Walmart plastic bag. And if you didn't catch on when I said this was a large dog, I'll have to be more specific... This was a large poop as well! It took several swipes to get it all. And remember the 2-3 tied up bags dangling in her other hand?... and the 2-3 more empty bags in her pocket? Yes, this was a "multiple pooping dog" as well!

I sat there with my mouth open, staring, because it was too horrible to look away... wondering how someone could stoop to the level of picking up the poop of a dog!

I was pulled away from my repugnant trance by he sound of my almost 4 year-old son's voice echoing down the stairs from the bathroom, "Mom, come wipe my bum!" I ran upstairs and did the "duty", and then minutes later realized that my 10 month old was working on a project of his own. Instinctively, I scooped him up and hooked the edge of his diaper with my finger to peek in and check on his progress. I couldn't see anything at first, but I had to be sure, so I reached in a little further to do a quick sweep. In hind sight, this seems like an obvious mistake, but at the time, it seemed perfectly logical! (and I know that some of you have done this on at least one occasion, so don't be too critical!) My next few seconds were spent running to the nearest sink to disinfect myself of what I think was a piece of carrot on the end of my finger!

It was then that I came to a sudden awareness of the similarities between these 2 incidents. Do you see where I'm going with this? Wasn't I doing the exact same thing as the high-heeled woman walking her dog? Had I become so numb that I was barely phased by the possible consequences of plummeting my finger into a child's diaper without even the protection of a plastic bag?

I stood in the bathroom, still scrubbing my hands, and tried to justify my actions... and debated with myself...I'm taking care of a human, not a dog, so it makes perfect sense to clean up after a human... But some people love their dogs, and therefore treat them as children... I guess, If you love someone so much, you are even willing to pick up their poop with your almost bare hands, and plunge your finger into a diaper that is almost certainly filled with poop!

So, I'm proud to say that I'm embarrassed to admit that one of the roles as a mother of young children is "Glorified Pooper Scooper!" But maybe I can maintain a little more dignity if I do it while wearing heels!

Waking up 5 times in one night? Really?

It's as if they can sense how tired we are. Like they are trying to torture us, or get us back somehow. That's how I feel when my babies wake up during the night after they are truly capable of sleeping through it! Although I am partly to blame... I allowed myself to have a little fun yesterday and chose to forego the afternoon nap (of my 9 month old, not mine... although that was detrimental as well!) But I was trying to be flexible... to show that this baby has to roll with the punches in this family and do what we do. "Oh, you want a nap? Sorry, we're having a play date, you'll have to tough it out!"

Consequence of my actions: an over-tired baby... and an over-tired mamma.

Lesson learned: We must not leave the house between the hours of 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. (sigh.)

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