Building a dream house (spons)


For years I have been on the edge of buying Vivien a doll house.  I think they are so pretty.  They are usually pricey and that’s before you house all the miniature furnishings.  In the end, Vivien has saved me the money because when I ask her if she wants one she says no.  Okay, back to mommy’s retirement fund.

But, last spring when I was asked if I would take Viv to a Barbie Dream house event and that part of the pay for going would be a Dream house Vivien was jumping up and down.  Isn’t it a doll house? I guess not. It’s a dream house

I was in Spain that weekend, so my sister Cecily took her with Rex and my niece Lily.There were crafts. They got some good Barbie swag and Rex fell asleep on the grass.  Now, it’s months later.  Perhaps the house had been just a…a.. a dream?  But, we return from our most recent trip and what is waiting for us… wait for it… yes, the Dream House.  It’s a large box, but I easily took it upstairs to her room.

“Can we please put it together now mommy?”  She asked. Rex was equally excited.

“We just drove 7 hours, I haven’t had dinner, we’ve been gone for two weeks, I’m not touching that till I eat and sleep.”  Which I did.

It’s quite impressive. All furniture and fixtures included.    What we would call a “Santa Present”.  I noted that it’s close to her bday so she would think this was her big present from her parents. The next day when we tackled it there were some tears.  Mostly Rex’s as Vivien scolded him,  “No, it doesn’t go there.”    Stuff like that.  I took her aside.  “Viv, can you imagine for a minute if we came home and there was a big toy present waiting for Rex, just Rex.  Nothing for you.  And you only wanted to help him with his toy and when you did he yelled out you.  How would you feel?”  She got it and little brother was let back in the room. I was the general saying “we have to put it together in the sequence of the directions.”

We’ve snapped most of it together, though I will say that the elevator eludes me. There is a string / pulley thing. I so wish that my brother Jeff did not live in Australia.  He was working with pulleys before he could speak.  I’m thinking of standing on a street with a sign, “please put Barbie elevator together for me.  Will feed you.”

Note: the string in the middle, I got that far with the elevator

Even with non ADA compliancy Vivien does love her Dream house.

They are avail at Walmart (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $184.99) This is a sponsored post from One2One Network and Mattel. All opinions stated are my own.



the amazing summer get along of 2013

I’d like to take credit for the diminished rancor from my children.  But, not sure I can.  Sure, there are still dust ups, but this summer these guys are getting along better, for longer periods of time than I can remember.

Maybe school is bad for their relationship?

sibling rivalry

our topic of the day is sibling relationships with my experts Rex and Vivien.  They are also part of a blended family.  Under our roof right now we have off spring aged nearly 4, 7, and 27 with visits from a 19 year old.

In my mind I’m hosting a show with a large reach and today my guests are the two youngest kids in the house about how they feel about getting along with their siblings.

Let’s hear what these little pixies have to say!

Second Baby

Oh, we have special guest today: a brand new baby!!! My dear Cool Mom producer is taking some time off to care for her new, second baby, Paz. She dropped by and I had to ask her how things were going and to meet the lovely baby. He was inside her while she helped me create the last several months of Cool Mom vids. Rex missed Michelle so he was happy to see her.

Why do we forget when our own babies were that tiny?

Kids playing

I don’t usually lounge around the house in a cocktail dress, but dang, I think I should!  Looks better than some of the cotton smock tops I trundle around in.  I had just finished taping Real Mom Red Carpet when I said, “Hey, camera man, get me talking with the kids in the background.” I had been wanting to talk about this subject and then they were showing it all happening.

I love them so much…and I love my Trina Turk dress, not equally, but you know.

fiesty girl

Really, this is suppose to be a video driven site, but gosh, still having some technical issues. They are coming…I hope. In the meantime, let’s talk about my fiesty gal.
Vivien is a nice girl, but like all kids she can have her moments. She is very sweet to her little brother, most of the time. But, when her beloved older cousin Charlie comes over she doesn’t want to share him with Rex. At 12 Charlie is a sport about playing a 4 and half year old. They had started a game of pirate ship using her pop up princess castle when Rex crawled in. He loves being where Vivien is and loves climbing in and out of the castle. But, shiver me timbers, Vivien ejected Rex from the castle like he was a drunk hanging out after last call.

For her friends’ party this weekend for the time EVER she asked to have her hair put in pony tails. I was so excited and she looked so cute. I had visions of cute little girl dos.

But, as we were getting the two of them ready for bed last night Vivien was left alone in her bathroom for a few minutes. I saw a chunk of her hair on the floor.
“Vivien, what have you done?”
“nothing” she looked scared.
“Where are the scissors?”
“no where.”

I opened the drawer to the vanity. Little did I know she had smuggled in a small pair of scissors. I ran my fingers through her hair and more chunks came out.
“oh, Vivien”. I didn’t handle it with good humor. More like, “oh,no, your pretty hair!”
She started to cry and Mark ran in and kept saying, “it’s fine, it’s fine” as I commanded him to put all scissors to higher ground.
He admonished me later that I made to much of it.
This morning I see that she kind of has a shag….sort of. Maybe if I leave the scissors out she can finish it off and have a full Suzi Quatro look.

I Missed My Stepson

Yes, the one who looks just like Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, and Sunday he came back for 24 hours. This is the month where he is taking many groovy trips, so Sunday was our only day with him. He had been gone a week before I realized I missed him. A friend’s mom said, “You miss a 14-year-old?”  Well, yeah, he may not always be Chatty Cathy, but he is no drama and we feel like more of a family when he is here. I do love him, even if I can’t be as demonstrative with him as I would my daughter.

Nick Jonas

When he walked through the front door, I wished I had had my camera ready. Vivien gave his legs a big bear hug, her head barely rising above his knees. My husband mentioned that Oliver hadn’t seen her new play equipment, so Vivien and Oliver walked out toward the back hand-in-hand and it was a microcosm of male/ female relationships.

Vivien: “Oliver, do you like my new dress?”

Oliver: “Huh, what?”

Vivien: “Oliver, do you like my new dress?”

Oliver: “Oh, yeah.”

He is always more interactive and involved with her if I back off. Funny how me rushing in the room saying, “Please love each other!!!” doesn’t seem to foster closeness the way hiding in the kitchen does. I keep one ear or eye out to take in the charm of their teasing and cuddling. I want to join in, but I know if I do, I clamp him down. I think she is so lucky to have a big brother, so I stay back. Maybe that’s what all parents have to do, not just step parents.

[Image: Kevin Winter, Getty Images]