HJ needs to be entertained.  All.The.Time.  He is always looking for something to do.  If he is ever bored, all I have to do is say, “On your mark!”

And it gets his attention.

Then I shout, “GET SET!”

He is in full runners stance by this point.


And holy crap, he is off.  The kid loves running.  I feel as if I have a track super star on my hands. (which is great, because most boys sports scare the bejesus out of me)

Other times, I actually act like a good mom and come up with activities.

A few weeks back, HJ had a friend over.  I suggested we strip them down to diapers and let them finger paint in the driveway.

(I didn’t want to post his friend without her parent’s permission, but trust me when I say she is a doll)

HJ was really into the red paint that night.

When I told him he could even make footprints, he got really excited.

There were little HJ footprints all over the driveway for a few weeks until it rained.  It made me smile every time I pulled into the driveway.

Then came a rainy day.  One where we couldn’t paint outside.  We had been out running errands that morning and came across tiny finger puppet angry birds for $2/piece.

HJ loves angry birds.  He somehow even made it appear on the main screen of my phone.  He was so proud of himself for that, I haven’t had the heart to remove it.

Here are the finger puppets:

We built towers out of blocks.

And knocked them down with the flying birds (no sling shot though).

And then we would pick them up.  I would build lovely little towers, and BAM!  Within seconds they were strewn about the kitchen floor.  This was not my favorite activity…neat freaks beware.

What boredom busters have you tried with toddlers?

Locally, we don’t have a zoo.  We do however have a petting zoo.  The other weekend, my lovely friend B and I decided to take the kids.  It ended up being one of those beautiful days where it wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t humid, it was PERFECT out.  That is pretty hard to come by in Iowa during the summer!

HJ loves animals.  He isn’t afraid of them in the least.  And he loved running around saying hello to every little animal there.

There were lots of ducks that HJ and his buddy liked to throw food at.

And feed carrots to the horses.

We got to hold kitties named “binky”.

And act like chickens.

There were lots of goats and bunnies and even a ferret.

It is not a huge place, so we were ready to go after an hour and a half.  HJ and I thought we should get a new pet…

Boy did he love this kitty!

The petting zoo was run by children involved with the local 4-H and was free for us to enjoy!

We followed up our petting zoo adventure with a trip to a local Mexican restaurant where the kids acted nuts!

***And on the note of our free fun, I know, I have been avoiding my budget blogs.  Because I suck at budgets and have no control over my finances.  UGH.

I officially got a phone call that our child support case has been referred to interstate.  What does this mean exactly?  From what I can tell, it is a very long, drawn out process that does not guarantee anything.

Our new case worker called to tell me the news.  She said with-in a few weeks I would receive an affidavit in the mail.  If I sign this, it means that DB (HJ’s father sperm donor) will not have access to our address.  He will know that we still live in Iowa, but that is it.  Once she receives the signed form, it will have to go before a Nevada judge and be approved.  This can take around 3 months to complete.  And, this part is not mandatory, but I WILL do it.  While I do not think DB would ever do anything, I would rather not have him know where we live.  What if his family/gf were to find out he has a son?  It might make him snap.

After that, I will have to fill out paperwork on my employment status, income, etc.  CS office will work with Nevada CS office to insure paperwork is getting complete.  Nevada has 60 days to file the paperwork.

About 6-8 months from the start of this process, DB will finally receive paperwork letting him know what is going on.  He then has 60 days to fill out the paperwork and get the support amount changed.

Then if he begins paying, nothing happens.  If he doesn’t the state of Nevada could find him in contempt of court.

Here are my thoughts:

-The process takes about a year.  I am guaranteed to not get any money until then.  Really?  Something seems wrong with that.

-Once the new amount is set, he only has to pay that amount.  All the back owed support is still due at some point in time.  Shouldn’t the Child Support Office enforce a payment plan on back owed support?  Making sure it is paid in a timely matter?

-He isn’t working.  He doesn’t need to.  His gf supports him.  If he doesn’t have a job, he doesn’t have to pay.
I wish all my bills magically disappeared if I stopped working.

-He mentioned he had sold his company back in Iowa.  Shouldn’t some of that money go to pay of his debt?  Why wasn’t that an option?


-Why do I know things, like he owns  rental property, yet the state can’t figure that out?

Basically, the whole process just gets more and more frustrating.  He is oblivious to what is going on.  He has no responsibilities in this matter.

Does anyone have experience with interstate cases?  I could you some advice on how to handle everything!


Can you tell I was not quite sure how to title this post?  That is because last Monday night was one of those ridiculously crazy nights.  My child didn’t even stop JUMPING on the bed until 11pm.  He was nuts.  Here is how it all went down…

On Monday nights, my mom (Nana) usually comes to our house to watch HJ while I go to a work out class.  Last Monday, I was thinking of all the things on my to-do list and did NOT want to go.  But I did.  I got ready, drove to class started walking in the building, and was stopped by the instructor informing me class was cancelled.  I may have “WOOHOO’ed”, she may have given me a strange glance.

I skipped back to my car making a mental list of everything I needed at Target (wipes, diapers, crayons, etc.).  I called Nana to tell her my change of plans.  She answered saying, “Um, I did something.”

Now what the hell does that mean?

“I told HJ if he gets rid of his binkys, he can get a fish.”

We have tried every tactic in the book to get rid of the b’s (yes, they were called b’s at our house).  Nothing worked.  I cut of the tip, he found more.  We gave it to a new baby, he had stashed others under his bed.  We went to the circus and got an elephant, he flipped sh*t.

Recently, I had come to terms with the fact that he might have a b at his high school graduation.  I was cool with that.

But apparently, he was all about this fish.  So I ran home and we searched high and low for every binky in the house and put them in a bag.  They got in the car to HJ chattering away about getting a fish named shark and it was going to be HUGE!  Nana and HJ then brought the 5 b’s down the road to Wal-Mart.  I stayed home and took the dog on a jog (ok, a walk, don’t judge).

Then my little monkey pulled in the driveway with the biggest grin on his face.

Apparently he handed his bag of binkys over to the Wal-Mart lady without hesitating.  The lady hesitated though.  She asked Nana if she would like them back.  Nana followed my instructions of “NO, GET RID OF THEM!”

HJ was so excited!  He was bouncing up and down holding the fish (poor lil fish).  We brought him inside to get him all set up.

We officially named him Binky the Shark.  That way when HJ said “Where’s my b?” I could say “Oh, your fish?” (it has worked!)

The fish bowl also has a light, so we decided to put it on his nightstand to help keep the monsters away.

HJ thanked Nana for his new fish and sat on his bed watching Binky the Shark for a long time.  I curled up next to him to tell him how proud of him I was and how he is becoming such a big boy.

And then the fire alarms started BLARING.

In our house, the fire alarms are all connected.  If one goes off, they all go off.  There is also a lady’s voice yelling “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!”

HJ starts jumping on the bed screaming, the dog is running around barking and I am trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

I run around the house looking for smoke, not seeing or smelling anything, but the alarms WON’T STOP.  I decide its best to get everyone out of the house just in case…and because I want HJ to know if he hears that, to get outside.

But then, I can’t find HJ.  Or the dog.  They got scared and both hid.

I finally tracked them down at totally opposite sides of the house.  At this time, I determined we need to work on emergency evacuation plans.  If this had been an actual fire, we would have been doomed.  It took us almost 10 minutes to get outside.

Unsure of what to do, I left HJ and the dog with the neighbor and walked back in the house.  Because that’s what you should do in case of a fire, right?

Then I called 911.  I told them there was no smoke, but they wanted to send a truck out just in case.

Not only did they send out 1 fire truck, they sent out 3.  Plus 2 cop cars.  Sirens blaring.

You want to know how to make sure your child is not tired right before bedtime?  Call in fire trucks.

He was doing somersaults and jumping jacks and running laps and pretending to fall down and yelling at trucks and firefighters.

And I am hoping my house isn’t too messy as 3 hot firefighters start walking through my house.  The rest of the firefighters decided to stand outside and laugh at my crazy son and panicked dog.  Neighbors were running over.  And texting.  And calling.

After about 30 minutes, they determined it was an electrical issue.  And would probably happen again.

By this town, every kid in the neighborhood was in our yard and they all wanted to see Binky the Shark…so everyone came inside.

Finally, about 9:30, everyone was gone.  I was trying to get HJ to calm down, but we were both pretty wired.

At 11, I finally got him to lay down in bed.  I figured he must be exhausted.  He did not mention the binky at all.  And was excited about his fish tank as a nightlight.  I kissed him goodnight and shut his door.

Then I heard “MOM!”

I peeked my head back in.



We strategically placed a stuffed animal so that Binky the Shark could no longer “stare” at HJ, and he finally crashed.

Also, he had buyer’s remorse.





This past weekend, our house was invaded by monsters.  I don’t know how it happened.  I haven’t actually seen them.  But HJ did.  And he is terrified.

Friday night he woke up a few times telling me there were monsters in my room.  I responded with letting him know that there is no such thing.  They aren’t real.  Not to be scared.

By Saturday night, it was clear he didn’t believe me.  He was sobbing and visibly shaking over the monsters.  My heart broke.  And I was flipping tired.  I spent the whole night consoling him.  By 4:30 am I gave up all hope of sleeping and we turned on a movie in the living room (and no, it didn’t have monsters).

The next morning, we ran to home depot.  HJ and I asked a worker there is she knew where the night lights were.  While she was directing us, I asked if she knew of any night lights that were good at keeping monsters away.

And bless her heart, she played along.

“Oh yeah!  This one is great.  I have heard that the monsters all disappear right away with this one.” She said without skipping a beat.  She handed HJ a nightlight and he had the biggest smile.  He said “OH YEAH!” and gave her a high-five.  We ran home and plugged the night-light in right away to rid the room of any and all monsters.

When HJ laid down for bed that night he said, “look mom, no monsters!  The light works!”.

He only woke up twice that night.  Once around 10:30 to tell me he was scared (but we searched the room high and low and found no monsters) and again around 4am (which he then curled up in my bed).

Hopefully it keeps working!

Anyone else have tricks they use to keep monsters away?  My facebook friends had some good ideas like monster spray, a magic bubble and wrestling them out of the room.

I did it again.  I know I have complained about online dating before, but here I am again.The only reason I am trying online dating again is because how else can single parents meet people?!!

It’s not like I have free nights where I hit up the town with friends.  And if I do, I am not out to try to meet people.  I am enjoying my friends company.

If I go somewhere…like the grocery store…HJ is with me.  That makes it hard to “meet” people.  So I hit up the internet.  Again.

This time I am trying eHarmony.  The first few days it seemed okay.  Unlike most dating sites, you can’t search people.  They send you a few matches of people you are compatible with and those are the only ones you can connect with.  Seems great, huh?  It did eliminate quite a few “oh hell no” moments.   However, after a week, the matches stopped coming.

Either I am really difficult to date or there just aren’t a lot of men, ages 25-40, in little old small town, Iowa.

Seriously, I haven’t had a match emailed to me since week one passed.

And, when I signed up, I had to pay for 3 months of service (that was the smallest membership possible.

So I kind of feel like they ripped me off.

And I don’t mean to be rude, but most of the matches are not people I would even give a second glance to.  Unless it was a glance to make sure they weren’t following me.

I did chat with one seemingly nice guy.  We might actually be meeting soon.  But the thing is, we already knew each other. (thank you small town)

Has anyone been having luck with online sites, or should I give them up once and for all?  I was kind of hoping trying it again might bring a few dates my way…not just one with someone I know!