Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Someone Needs To...Go

I have a friend. Her name is Scooby.

As in Doo.

(Note: That was foreshadowing. Like in the Harry Potter books with the Bezoar-but with less character development on my part. *Spoiler: She's just as awesome as Hermione*.)


The other day Scooby. Doo. Sent me this text:
There's a new Canadian restaurant specializing in dessert. Shaped like poo. It's true!

And after the obligatory Google check and a few well placed poop puns exchanged via text-waves, I remembered that once we had a conversation about an Epic East Coast Road Trip! when I was thinking about hauling the kids cross country for a visit:

Me: Dude. (dramatic pause, because when something is epic, it needs dramatic pauses)People keep telling me that everything on the east coast is only like a 2 hour drive away. Is that true?
Scooby. Doo.: Um, I guess so. There's a lot that's pretty close to where we are in Phila-
Me: Jersey Coast?
Scooby. Doo.: Yeah.
Me: New York?
Scooby. Doo.: Sure we could get-
Me: Ooo! DC! And all the museums!
Scooby. Doo.: Yeah, although we haven't been there sin-
Me: Boston! To visit Paul Revere!
Scooby. Doo.: Well, no, and he's dea-
Me: St. Luis!
Scooby. Doo.: Ok. Look. Do you know where-
Me: NIAGARA FALLS! Wait! The Great Lakes! No-Chicago!
Scooby. Doo.: You do know, just because it's east of Colorado doesn't mean it's two hours away.
Me: (not listening because I'm now planning the world's most Epic weekend road trip EV (dramatic pause) ER!)

SCOOBY! (Doo) Guess what I'm adding to that Epic East Coast Road Trip I have planned?
You'll never guess!!

But we'll smile when we wear ours.

While sitting on our toilets

Eating desserts out of urinals.

At The Poop Cafe.

Because it's only a two hour drive from your house.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sound Bites Of The Summer. But Not Real Sound Bites, Because That Would Be Cruel*.

From the TSA line we've stood in for over an hour and a half:

Agent: M'am? Is this your bag? I'm going to have to look through it.
Me: (closing eyes, needing to count to 10, but only have time to count to three) Okfine.Butcanwebequickplease?I'm late!
Agent: (puts down my bag, looks me in the eye) Why are you in such a hurry, m'am? Is something wrong? What are you late for?
Me: (Finishes the count from 4-10, because apparently I have to explain what happens when you miss a flight to an airline employee.)

Eavesdropping, Solidarity Sister Style, in the bathroom at Target:

Kid in stall: Mom! Mom! Did you you hear that toot!?!
Mother leaning against stall door: (closes eyes) No. Sweetie. (takes breath) I did not hear that toot.
Kid in stall: Yeah! Because that was how quiet I was tooting!

From the Family Reunion:

Random Family Member, possibly more than one of them, at different times: You're a... vegetarian? But. It's just you, though, right?
Me: Yes.... And these two. (gestures toward Katie and Ellie) That I made. With my uterus.

In the living room, at 9:58 pm:

Me: Ellie? Why are you out of bed?
Ellie: Remember? Miniature trash can. (picks up plastic cup from tea set, goes back upstairs)
Me: (thinking, counting pages to end of book, deciding) Nope. Not worth it. (settling back into couch)

Climbing into bed:

Me: (contented sigh) It's nice having a guest room. I like to think of our guests all filed away, nice and tidy like, down in the basement.
Jon: Um, that's creepy, Martha. (pause) You know that's creepy, right?

Looking up from weeding in the front yard:

Me: (whispering, to myself, inside my head, because you shouldn't point out naked men to the children) Hedges: the landscaping choice that makes neighbors wonder if the new guy in the neighborhood is a nudist or just enjoying a shirtless summer Seattle day....

Biking Around The Neighborhood:

Ellie: (singing) I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river in my soul!
I've got love like an ocean, I've got love like an ocean,
I've got love like an ocean in my soul.
I've got joy like a fountain,
I've got joy like a fountain,
I've got joy like a fountain in my sooooooooooouuuuullll!
Me: (rudely, under my breath, because this is not the first round of this song) Jazz hands!
Ellie: Mommy, you know what? When I sing the words it makes me feel that way in my SOUL! (resuming song) I've got peace like a-
Me: (interrupting) NEW VERSE!
I've got patience like a creek now,
I've got patience like a creek now,
I've got patience like a creak now in my-
Ellie: No. Mommy. I don't feel that in my soul.
Me: Neither do I little one. Neither. Do. I.

Reading through the packing list for church camp:

Letter: No pants with writing on the backside.
Me: Wait. Are they serious? (yelling, loudly) Hey! Jon! You know what I can't bring to camp? My yoga pants printed with John 3:16 across the butt and my t-shirt that says "Bathsheba Is My Spirit Woman" spelled out in rhinestones!
Jon: (exasperated sigh) Do you even own those clothes?
Me: (tsk) Noooo. But now I want to. There is a serious hole in the whole Jesus wear market.

*The title of this post was inspired by Bare Naked Ladies. And, yes, I find saying things like that very entertaining.

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?