Bring Back My Pumpkin Coffee


The Dunkin Donuts down the street from me no longer has Pumpkin Spice Swirl Coffee. I found this out the hard way when I went through the drive-thru to get me some of that magical elixir (and one for my friend, Jen) and they told me that they no longer had it. The conversation went something like this:

Me (a smile in my voice): I’ll have a medium hot pumpkin swirl coffee.

Them: We no longer have pumpkin swirl.

Me (confusion in my voice): Like, you’re out of it today?

Them: No, we no longer have it.

Me (desperation creeping into my voice): Like, I should come back tomorrow if I want it?

Them: No, we are done for the season.

Me (shock heavy in my words): You mean done for the WEEK?

Them: No. The season.

Me (voice heavy with unshed tears): The ENTIRE season? Like, that’s it?

Them: Yes

Me (OMG, am I crying?): It’s over?

Them: Yes. It’s over. There is no more this season.

WHAAATTT?! What are they talking about “done for the season”? What season? The Winter season? Is that the season to which they are referring? Because last time I checked we are thick in the middle of “the season.” I wait all year for the Pumpkin Spice Swirl Season. ALL YEAR. I start getting it in my iced coffee in September when it is certainly far too hot out to be drinking a hot coffee (but if they only offered it in hot coffee then I would order a hot coffee because THAT is how much I love it. I would burn my tongue and scorch my insides voluntarily for that sweet. sweet coffee.) Who decided that January ends “the season”? It’s the dead of Winter. The days are still short. It’s still dark out at 5:00.  It’s freezing! Well, maybe it is not freezing THIS year, but it was freezing last year. And it will probably be freezing next year. This year is a fluke. A one off. An unseasonably warm Winter. But so what? So my entire coffee drinking experience has to be ruined? What about February? The shortest yet possibly coldest month of the year? What am I supposed to drink then? REGULAR coffee? Like I’m some sort of animal? As if I’m so desperate for a warm beverage that I will drink virtually ANYTHING?! I don’t think so. Regular coffee can kiss my ass.

The real kicker is that I decided long ago that beverages do not count towards my daily calorie intake. Basically I could put down two Pumpkin Swirls a day and I would bat nary an eye. NARY AN EYE I TELL YOU!

If there is no Pumpkin Spice Swirl then there is no Pumpkin Spice Swirl. Fine. I’m sure with some heavy duty counseling I will eventually get over it. But next year I’m going to arrange a meeting with my Dunkin Donuts friends and see if we can’t work out some sort of Pumpkin Spice Swirl arrangement.

Until then I will be slowly working through the five stages of grief (I am currently in the anger phase.)

And drinking freaking tea.

mad face


The Phases of a Snow Day…

spirit fingers

There is supposed to be a big snowstorm this weekend! I’m super psyched! (I’m totally doing spirit fingers right now…) To me there is nothing better than the first big storm of the season. And even though I know that snow days go from awesome sauce to shit show pretty rapidly, I still can’t help loving them.

Here are the 12 phases of a snow day. (Yes, 12… So clear your schedule, find a comfortable reading spot, and let’s get started.)


Phase I starts out magical. It snowed! Look outside! They said it was going to snow, and it did! How much snow do you think we have? 5 inches? 6 inches? Someone get the ruler and let’s measure. This is so fun! (Insert merry talk of snow forts and snow tunnels and snow angels.) Let’s go get all our snow stuff on! Let’s spend the whole day outside! Phase I is awesome. I’m still doing spirit fingers in Phase I.


Where are my boots?! She’s wearing my hat! Why are there no matching gloves? (Seriously, where the hell are all the gloves? Where did they go? They were here yesterday when we didn’t need them. Where are they now?)  Can we have hot chocolate when we come in? Don’t go out without me!! Then hurry up!! I can’t get my boots on! I can’t find my other boots so I’m wearing my sneakers outside. (Fine. Five minutes ago I would have said no way, but things have gone rapidly downhill, so now I’m saying fine. Fine.) Let’s have a snowball fight! Yes!!! (No!!) Boys against girls! (No!!) Fight to the death!! (oh, hell no!!) Phase II begins the descent. But they are so excited that I can’t help doing spirit fingers still with one hand.


There are no spirit fingers in phase III. Phase III starts with a snow covered child busting thru the back door (even though I told them to use the side door) crying because someone threw a snowball at her. ON PURPOSE. A quick reminder yelled outside that not everyone wants to be part of the epic snowball fight (i.e. stop throwing snow at your sister who is just trying to build a little snow castle for her barbie doll to live in), a quick reminder to the crying child that if she doesn’t want to be part of the snowball fight she shouldn’t be building her castle in the MIDDLE OF THE SNOWBALL FIGHT AREA. And off she goes leaving a huge watery snowy puddle in her wake. Phase III is when I remember that a snowy day means I’m going to need a gazillion towels to mop up the floor constantly. Phase III has me searching for towels.


Snow is cold. Real cold. And everyone is freezing. And someone thinks they may have frostbite. And everyone wants to come in. And suddenly there are snow covered hats, and gloves, and snow pants, and boots, and scarfs, and jackets EVERYWHERE (except on the towels that I so loving laid out.) The door is left open behind them as the mass undressing occurs. The arctic air is blowing in. The “one who cries” is crying again. But wait, where is the 4-year-old? She’s outside, she doesn’t want to come in yet. She can’t stay out by herself, and no one is willing to suit back up to go out with her. Phase IV has me wrapped in a blanket, freezing to death while I sit on the front porch and keep an eye on my 4-year-old daughter (who has long since discarded  her hat and her coat and is merrily frolicking in the snow as if snow is, in fact, not cold at all.)


We’re finally all in the house. The wet snow clothes are in the dryer. Everyone is snuggled on the couch drinking hot chocolate. I’m making them lunch. They are happy. (I’d be happy, too if someone were waiting on me hand and foot.) Life is good for them. On the other hand, I’ve been up since 5 am. I haven’t sat down once. I had potato chips for breakfast. I’m still wearing my pajamas because I haven’t had a chance to change out of them yet. My hair is standing on end, yesterday’s mascara is smudged under my eyes,  and every time I put on a dry pair of socks I step in a puddle of wet snow that someone didn’t mop up. Suddenly I overhear murmured talk from the other room about going outside again. I start searching the cabinets for alcohol. (Don’t we have anything stronger than wine in this house?!)


The next phases are just a repeat of all the previous phases (except the first phase where I was still doing spirit fingers. There are no spirit fingers in the later phases.) There are kids suiting up, going out, coming in, tracking snow everywhere, crying, laughing, fighting, and claiming frostbite and starvation. Repeat, repeat, repeat.


Phase XI has me curled up in the fetal position in the corner of the room with my phone in my hand as I frantically and obsessively check the weather report for the coming days. I only stop checking long enough to do two things: pray the rosary and ask God for a sudden and quick, snow-melting warm up, and refill my glass.


I have no actual proof that phase XII really exists. But I’m pretty sure it does, and I’m pretty sure it involves magical amnesia powder being sprinkled on me by mother nature while I slumber. Because even though I have been through these eleven stages of snow storm hell (and believe me, I’ve been through them a LOT at this point) I still can’t help but be weirdly excited every time there is talk of a big snow storm coming. And I can’t stop the spirit fingers when I see all the snow first thing in the morning. I just can’t.




The Fart in the Jar

For some reason I’m obsessed with collecting jars.

I don’t know why.

I just have this feeling that I may need a jar some day to do a Pinterest craft. That day hasn’t come up yet, so I keep adding to my collection of empty olive jars, and pasta sauce jars, and baby food jars, etc. Something is clearly wrong with me and I will most likely be getting an official diagnosis soon. But in the meantime…

There is this one jar.

the jar

It looks like any other jar in my collection under the sink. If you didn’t know it was different, you wouldn’t know. But it is different. It’s very different. Because my 9-year-old son farted in it. So now it is no longer a jar sitting under my sink waiting to be turned into a snazzy Pinterest craft. Now it is a fart jar.

A simple, no good, fart jar.

My 9-year-old spent the better part of New Year’s Eve day chasing various family members around the house trying to force them to smell the fart jar. He almost got himself killed. A couple of times he was wrestled to the ground and had to “tap out” to save himself. When forcing people to take a whiff didn’t work, he decided to change his tactic…he  started daring people to take a whiff. Not many of us fell for it. Most of us know better than to accept a dare. Except my 4-year-old daughter. For her there was something oddly intriguing about being dared to smell a fart in a jar. I kept trying to save her from her brother’s dares by yelling various empty threats at them. But in the end she just couldn’t help herself. In the end she dared HERSELF to smell it, and so smell it she did.

cassie smelling jar

Omigod! Look at her little smile of satisfaction. She is really getting her nose right in there.

And so that is my parenting lesson for today. You can try to protect your kids as best you can. But you simply cannot save them from themselves. If they want to smell the fart in the jar, they are going to smell the fart in the jar. It’s as simple as that. The best you can do is warn them of the dangers of smelling farts in jars. And explain to them that even if all their friends are smelling farts in jars they shouldn’t smell them, too. But then, you just have to step back and let them face these situations themselves, and just hope that you’ve raised them with enough smarts not to smell farts in jars. Which, clearly, I have not.


Is This the Flu?


You know how sometimes you wake up at 3:30 in the morning…but you think it’s really 5:30 in the morning (because the clock is way across the room and all the numbers sort of blur together when you first wake up.) So you start to slowly wrench yourself out of bed, even though (for some reason) it’s really hard because (for some reason) you are so much more tired than you usually are at 5:30 in the morning. And even though every part of you is begging to just stay in bed, you get up anyways (because you’re sort of a rock star like that) and you start getting some laundry going (because laundry knows no time.)

But you notice that your head is kind of foggy, and your arms feel like they are made of lead, and you’re just like, what is going on? And it suddenly strikes you that (oh my GOD!) you must be sick. Is it the flu? You must have the flu. Yes, that’s it, the FLU! You are feeling sort of hot and cold at the same time, now that you think about it. How could this be happening?! The influenza virus has found you. It was only a matter of time, really.

So you move slowly and carefully, in your highly-fevered state (what is it, 102.5? 103? You don’t even want to know) and you make your way back to bed. So sick. So so sick. And you grab the remote (even though you are so weak you can barely even lift it) and start to flick through the channels. But (for some odd reason) all you can find are infomercials about things like getting rid of the crepey skin around your knees and cooking an entire pot roast in under 5 minutes in some sort of weird pressure cooker (that you totally are going to buy once you have regained your health.) So you focus your eyes as best you can and you look at the clock and realize that it isn’t 5:30, it’s 3:30! You’re not sick, you’re just tired. And you don’t have a fever, you’re just cold. And you feel totally healthy and great and happy because you get two more whole hours to sleep. But you can’t sleep. So you think that maybe (since you are awake anyways) you should go downstairs and do one of the BeachBody DVDs that you have (and really start the day off right.) But then you laugh and mentally high-five yourself because even though you are tired and have just recovered from the imaginary flu you are still (wicked) funny. So you roll over, and snuggle up, and fall blissfully asleep to the sound of the guy on tv talking about the wonders of the rxNutriBullet (which you are totally going to get once you wake up.)