Friday, August 12, 2016

Let's Face It. There's Really No Difference.

I may have had this conversation with myself today. Or I posted the whole thing on Twitter. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

But I DID have this real conversation with my kids today:

Me: Hey! Girls! I filled up the hand soap in your bathroom.
Kids: (crickets. nada.)
Me: Cleaned the toilet too.
Kids:(silence. uncommunicativeness.)
Me: Because I care about your hygiene.
Kids: (dead air. tumbleweeds.)

Just as I was starting to respond (in the high pitched annoying Snow White voice I use when my kids ignore me) my phone buzzed with this message from Twitter:

Awww! Those kids.... :) They do care!

And with such proper punctuation and grammar too!

Friday, July 22, 2016

If It Looks Like A Death Threat*....

Our landlady is doing some remodel work in our house this month. I try to stay out of her way by sitting in coffee shops.

For hours.

Drinking coffee.

And eating pastries.

I know, the sacrifices I have to make....

But, today? I came home and found a rusty ice pick and this picture on the kitchen table:


I don't know who you are, but, girl in the yellow dress? It might be time to do a runner.

To Antarctica.

So you can wear balaclavas on your face.

Because someone has designs on the one from 1985.

*It's probably not. Because I make things up. It's way more likely that she's now an undercover CIA agent and she's having all friends and acquaintances ice pick any photographic evidence of her with really really big hair. Because, dude, that was one embarrassing hairstyle**.

**I'm sorry, Girl in the Yellow Dress. I apologize. That came from dark place-full of preteen jealousy and an inability to wield a hairspray bottle with any skill.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I've Taken To Calling Everything The Kids Don't Want To Do An ADVENTURE!

Ellie is six.

Ellie has always been my little girl of rainbows and light and dancing and giggles and pink frosting cupcakes decorated with skulls. (Because "skeletons are really really interesting, Mommy".)


Ellie was that girl.

Until today.

When someone squashed the little girl inside Ellie.

Like Big Foot at a monster truck show.

Look. In my defense we were totally on a summer ADVENTURE! You know, the kind with pinwheels and bubbles and songs and stuff. But, in this case, substitute the bubbles and pinwheels with a forced march carrying 30% of her body weight in a backpack.

You know what? People have fun doing different things. Don't judge my parenting skills! Because, I'll just judge yours back. With my extra strong parental judge-y skills. For example: your kid's hair a....well, truthfully, it's cute, BUT! it'd look really stupid on a chihuahua.  Ye-ah. Talk to the hand, people. (Note to self: Improve parental judge-y skills. Maybe check out a book or something?)

Conversations I had with Ellie while walking home from the library, because I promised her a brownie at the bakery that happened to be half a mile outside the bus zone but they didn't have any-brownies that is-they totally had an oatmeal raisin cookie-WHICH I BOUGHT BECAUSE I'M A GOOD MOTHER. Besides, raisins are brown and brownies are brown, and both are full of sugar, so, like, total same sames here, people. Also, there were backpacks. Full of books. Because I have no control over my children at the library.

Ellie, walking out of the bakery: Wait. How are we getting home?
Me: WALKING! Because it's like half a mile to the nearest bus stop that could take us home, and at that distance we might as well...
Ellie: But, how far is it?
Me: Shhhhhhh....... (whispers) It's a surprise.
Ellie: Awwwww...... (Slumps. Literary curiosity seems so heavy now with no promise of a brownie raisin cookie in the future.)
Me: (Fist, pumped to the heavens! Because pumping your fist toward the heavens sounds more exciting than pumping it toward, like, a rock or a tree or something.) ADVENTURE!!


Me: Look! A bulldozer! (runs all the way up to the construction barrier) ELLIE!! COME ON! IT'S DIGGING DIRT! IN THE STREET! RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! (whispering) This is soooo cool.
Ellie: (shoulders slumped, under the weight of her own literary curiosity) The sidewalk is closed. Do we have to walk all the way back and around the block?
Ellie: No.


Me: (turning corner, Ellie trailing behind, like a grumpy baby duck.) Oh my gosh! WE NEED TO CROSS THE STREET NOW! There's this really cool spot up here, you'll love it! It's fun! Promise!
Ellie: (trudging, under the weight of her own literary curiosity) This isn't fun.
Me: What!?! Don't you see the giant hedge? We're WALKING PAST A HUGE HEDGE! It's like we're in one of those castle mazes with fairies and magic and stuff! WE CAN'T EVEN SEE OVER IT! THIS IS AWESOME! Ooo! Maybe there's a dragon around the corner. Wands out.
Ellie: Urrrg.


Me: (after zooming down a hill, like an airplane) That was fun! Did you like that downhill?
Ellie: (puffing behind, under the weight of her literary curiosity) Kind-
Me: GOOD! BECAUSE (turns corner) NOW WE GET TO GO UPHILL! Again. Yay! (cue jazz hands)


Me: (Pointing. Quietly. Yes. That's a real thing.) Look! A butterfly!
Ellie: (rolling her eyes, under the weight of her own literary curiosity) I don't care.

Oh man, step back, Willis.

And. That's when I stopped talking, people.

For the rest of the walk home.

Because, believe me, I know when my kids are teetering on the edge.

Mostly because I push them there know...often.

But only because it's fun!

You know? I should take a summer ADVENTURE with Katie tomorrow! Ooo! With bathroom sinks and laundry! She'll love it!

What ADVENTURES! do you have planned for the rest of the summer with your kids?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hints For Parents Traveling With School Age Children

Dudes. This year, the tradition of me walking down to the grocery store and buying my own birthday cake came to an end! Also ending this year was the tradition of Jon, staring June in the face, saying something like, "Hey! Isn't your birthday coming up?" Which means the end of the tradition of me rolling my eyes at Jon and mumbling something along the lines of, "Oh. My. Gosh. You totally ate that birthday cake. I bought. For myself."

It's sad when traditions die.

She said.


But this year! Jon remembered my birthday! And we celebrated! In Hawaii!

I know! I wouldn't believe myself either if I didn't have photographic evidence!

40. It hits you hard.

Oh. Oops. Wait. My bad. That was my 36th birthday. When we went out for pizza. I ordered a salad. That was a banner year.


THIS was my 40th:

I know! I'm totally getting prettier.
Just like Rodney Dangerfield in Iron Man*.
* Wait. Googlegooglegoogle. Oops.... That was Robert Downey Jr.
But, come onlet's face it,
my facial reference was spot on:

So, anyway, celebrity look alikes aside, there we all were, in Hawaii, swimming. In the hotel pool. For the third day in a row. When I realized, once again, that traveling with kids can be a challenge.

(And all the parents said, "Amen!")

Plus, come on, let's just face it people, most of the time it's not one of those good challenges. You know, like, running 13 miles so you can stuff waffles in your face! Waffles. Eaten. All day, people. All. Day. Yeah, traveling with children is soooo not that easy.

Traveling with children is more of a,'s a bad challenge.  You know, like, going to Zyggies Ice Cream Parlor with your friends and having Napoleon sit down and yell, "Non!" Then knock all your spoons away and eat the whole Ziggy Pig by himself.

That's what traveling with kids feels like. 

(And all the parents said, "Amen." Again. But sadder. Because they know it's true.)

But this trip! There I was sitting poolside, staring into the horizon, because someone told me that there was a real ocean out there, that people could swim in, children! Anyway, I looked over at the extra book Katie brought to the pool, you know, just in case, and I noticed that it had 870 pages. And she wasn't reading it. So I picked it up.





With your souls.

And your eyes.

But not your ears, because there's no audio file for this post.

Unless someone is reading it out loud to you, then, totally use your ears. Because otherwise you won't hear anything. And that'd be stupid.

But mostly listen with your souls, people.

Because listening with your souls sounds poetic.

No really. It does.



Fine. (Napoleon) 

I'll just use a soulless flow chart:

Dudes. I'm not even kidding. It was amazingly effective! I sat! I read! I metaphorically ate the Ziggy Pig! And whenever anyone tried to interrupt me I waggled Katie's book in the air and referenced this list:

Reference List of Handy Phrases to use while 
Traveling with School Age Children
  1. I'd pour you some cereal/make you a sandwich/get you a snack but then I'd have to stop.... (Raise book in air. Look sad.)
  2. I'd help you with your sunscreen but then I'd have to stop... (Raise book in air. Look sad.)
  3. I'm thirsty. I'll probably have to stop reading (Raise book in air. Look sad.) to go get it myself....
  4. Who thinks mommy is the prettiest ever? (Raise book in air. Look pointedly at child.)
  5. Coffee. Cold. Need more. (Raise book in air. Flip through pages still to read.)
  6. (Sounds of kids fighting) WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IF I HAVE TO COME IN THERE!?! (Slam book shut. Loudly.)
  7. Are you eating Cheez-Its? (Start to close book without a bookmark.)

And, like, the parental bonus points here?

You're totally teaching your children independence.

And self control.

And patience.

Mostly patience.

Lots and lots of patience.

What's on your summer reading list?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Are You A Redneck Parent Too?

The other day, as I yelled up the stairway, "Dude! Put the pedal to the metal, girls!" for, like, the billionth time that morning, I paused. Took another sip of my organic fair trade coffee, stared down at the butterflies on the toes of my running shoes and thought, "Huh. Jeff Foxworthy might be onto something here."

So I immediately sat right down at the kitchen table to write this list. While I finished my morning flax seed/chia seed/sesame seed/pumpkin seed/wheat germ/TVP/hemp seed oatmeal. Because, like mama says, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.


1. Put the pedal to the metal! 

This useful phrase is perfect for the morning routine when you've already climbed up the stairs three times in attempts to hurry people into their day clothes and you're tired of having to pause your NPR podcast. 

2. Get the lead out!

This one I save for the night time routine. Especially after I finish reading our bedtime story, Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon and the children have collapsed onto the floor. Too. Tired. To. Move. Themselves. Please. Carry. ME!

3. Quicker started, quicker done!

This is for homework time. Because it's the concise vision of perfection in one golden nugget of homily advice. Whispers: It's my favorite.

4. A little less talk, a little more action!

Especially useful during dinner times when your kids are negotiating exactly how many bites they need to take of the Mediterranean Tofu Chili you made for dinner. With artichoke hearts. 

5. Put a little trot in your giddiup!

I like to throw this one over my shoulder as I make my kids bike to school. Because, as Fancy Nancy: Everyday is Earth Day taught us, under a mile we ride in style and leave the Prius in the garage.

6. This is about as easy as herding organic, free range, antibiotic free chickens. 

My kids think this is a compliment.
That's because they're vegetarians. 

What are your favorite motivational Redneck parent sayings? 

Friday, May 13, 2016

There Is No Reason For This Post To Be Floating Out In The Internets.

Unless you have a computer.

And access to a free wi-fi network.

And you know how to spell words like, hat, baby, turtle and techno.

And you're a chicken.

In retrospect, I probably should have led with the whole "you're a chicken" thing....

Top 5 Best Chicken Videos Of All Time*!!!
Curated From The Internets!
Which I Already Alluded To.
In The Title Of This Post.
But, That's OK.
Because, Chickens? 
They Aren't All That Smart.

Video #1
Why walk when you can ride?

Video #2
Chickens need best friends too.

Video #3
Babies. They're hilarious!

Video #4
Fashion. Not just for Scarlet O'Hara anymore.

Video #5
Because it's Friday! Which means it's time to quit brooding around and shake those wattles like the total bantam you are.

I lied. There's a total reason for this post. And I set it to loop at 6am this morning and have been shaking my own bantam tail feathers to its beat ever since! (Don't judge me.)

*No real polling was done in the development of this statement. Unless you count me. Because I totally polled myself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DUDES! I'm Not Joshing You! This Is, Like, For Real!

All I can say, is that, Dudes, the power of prayer? It's freakishly strong.

Like, for reals.

And by reals, I mean really real reals, people.

I mean, like, stories for the family genealogical archives and everything reals!

Awwww....Yeah! The best kind of for reals: Historical for reals!

I've even archived the pictures!

Because serious family genealogy has to start somewhere.

And now, someday Katie and Ellie will be sitting at the matriarchal ends of the Thanksgiving table, passing around the vegan clam chowder, and the littlest great-great-grandchild, with pigtails bobbing and book hidden under the table, will confidently lisp, "Tell uth about Great Great Grandmama again, pleasth." And, because I prayed, Katie and Ellie will be able to dig out these pictures and tell them, once again, the story that proves I was a good and Godly woman.

Ooo! (claps hands, jumps up and down) Just like Bathsheba!


Not because of the whole adultery and murder thing!

But, because, the Girl Scout camp where I once worked had outdoor showers.

Oh gosh... I hope that was obvious....

Weeeeeellll... anyway-

This story is about...

a kitten!

On my deck!!

Who wants to cuddle with me!!!

While I drink coffee!!!!
 That's right, people.

God totally just gave me...

my own cat cafe!!!!!
Because I prayed for it.





With a holy need.





Deep down in my heart.

Ok, fine!

It's possible that maybe it was less like praying and more like whining. But, in my defense, It'd been a really crappy day.

And, sure, this may not actually be how prayer works-wait! Guys! UNLESS! GOD! IN HIS ALL POWERFUL POWERFULNESS WANTS IT TO!!

(cue bright light bulb over my head, heck, throw in some organ music for good measure)

Hey! God! How's it goin'? Goooood. Anyway! Have you seen this shower?

Because, God? I'm pretty sure that my Biblical Spirit Woman, Bathsheba, would totally want me to have it. 


Oops. Sorry. 

I mean, please.