If you come to my house and listen really carefully, here is what you will hear…







“Oh my God! Look what I just did!”

Feet running, joyous congratulatory screams.

A few jealous doubters, “You didn’t do that. You didn’t throw it from there.”

An act of solidarity, “He did! I saw him!”

An immediate reversal, “Really? Wow!  Move over! Let me try!”




Me, “You better not be pouring perfectly good water down the drain! Pour it into a cup and I’ll use it to make tea!! That water costs money!” (Oh my God! How OLD am I???)




Husband, “What is that sound?! Who keeps throwing things?!”

Me, “They aren’t throwing things. They are flipping things. But not random things…water bottles. They are flipping half full water bottles.”

Husband, “What? Why?”



Me, “Well, it’s like this thing they all do. At first I thought it was just them and I thought they had lost their minds, but it turns out it is everyone. Everywhere. All the time. They flip the bottle and try to get it to stand up.”



Husband, “Well tell them to stop.”

Me, (yelling into the other room) “You guys are making Dad crazy! Can you go flip those bottles somewhere else?”

Them, “Fine. Come on you guys, let’s go upstairs.”

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Husband, “NOW what are they doing?!”

Me, “Sounds like they are flipping the bottles down the stairs. Hey, guys…are you flipping the bottles down the stairs??”

One of Them, “Yes! I almost landed it!!”

Me, “Yup, they are flipping them down the stairs.”

Husband, “Well, tell them to stop.”

Me, “I can’t. They almost landed it. They are so close!”


One of Them, “We can’t! We almost landed it! We are so close!”

Me, “See?”

Husband, “As soon as you land ONE you have to stop flipping them down the stairs!”

Them, “Okay!”

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Flip…slosh…thunk thunk thunk…

Screams of joy!!!! They landed one!

Sounds of feet running down the hall as all children need proof that the bottle has landed upright.

It has indeed!

Back down the hall, away from the stairs.



One of Them, “I capped it!! I capped it!!! You have to come see this! I capped it!”

High fives all around. Hootin’ and hollerin’.

A reenactment to show just exactly how this miracle has occurred.

Husband, “What are they screaming about?”

Me, (out of breath from running up the stairs to see the reenactment) “One of them capped it! He threw it over his head like this…and it hit the wall just like this…and he totally thought it was going to fall over…but it didn’t! One of them thinks it shouldn’t count because the rug helped it stay upright, but it TOTALLY counts!”

It does, too. It totally counts.

That is the normal that you will hear at my house if you come over for a visit. Although, the past few days, if you are here and you are listening really carefully, in between the flip…slosh…thunk…high fives…celebrations…and reenactments, you’ll also hear them talking about clowns. Creeeeeeeepy!!!



Bathtime Should Be Easy

There are certain parts of parenthood that should be easy, but they’re not. Because there are a million components to every event that you don’t even think of, and that no one could possibly tell you to expect.

Things like bathtime, which should be effortless and relatively quick. Except that it’s not.

Like, ever.

The other night I wasn’t even planning to give anyone a bath, preferring instead to keep them as dirty as possible (or at least their hair as dirty as possible, because, remember, lice like clean hair) but they were rolling around in the leaves in the front yard and so, just, you know, there could have been a spider or something in their hair. I had to wash it. Plus, I kind of felt like it might be weird to send them to school the next day with little pieces of leaves and twigs and stuff tangled up in their hair. So fine. Up to the tub for a “quick” bath.

First things first, though, the obligatory fight over who “gets” to sit in the front of the tub and who “has” to sit in the back. (Somehow bathtime seating location is, apparently, a fight to-the-death, life-altering event.)

On the bright side, the laundry is in the bathroom with the tub so I was planning to bang out two birds with one stone. Except while I was paying attention to folding someone’s skivvies, my 4-year-old dumped the entire bottle of kid soap into the tub. The bottle that I just bought the day before. Sure the overflowing bubbles were kind of cool, but I knew that trying to rinse their bodies and hair clean was going to be a nightmare of epic proportions (like it was the last time she dumped the entire bottle into the tub.) Nightmare. But whatever. Wash, wash, wash. Rinse, rinse, rinse. Done. Quick fight over who gets the “good” towel and who gets the “crappy” towel. A little crying thrown in there for good measure…and MISSION COMPLETION. The quick 15 minute bath took 45 minutes, there is water everywhere, and removing the soap scum that is left over in the tub is most likely going to be the death of me.  But they are clean. Their hair is dry, their jammies are on, and they smell yummy. Except…except…wait…what was that? What did I just hear a little voice say down the hall? Did I just hear the words “hair” and “gel” in the same sentence? Oh hell no. No. Nooooo! Run back to the bathroom, but too late. The 4-year-old, who is usually quite normal when she isn’t dumping entire bottles of soap into the tub, and who was JUST standing on the stool admiring herself in the mirror, has decided that a little hair gel might be the way to go 5 minutes before bedtime. And if a little is good, a lot is GREAT. I’m talking a handful of hair gel in the front of her hair (just the front), which is parted in a weird way (and will now be shellacked in that wierdly parted way probably forever.) And just like that, the 45 minute bath was all for nothing. There is nothing to show for it except one clean 6-year-old in the other room, a trashed bathroom, and soap scum.  Tons of soap scum. Somehow bathtime has made even more work for me to do. Because EVERYTHING makes more work in the end. That’s the part of parenthood that no one tells you. *sigh* I should have just let her go to school with sticks in her hair.

Here she is in all her gelled-up glory. I assure you, she really is quite normal…


No, seriously. She is. Oh, and did I mention that she put eye black tattoos under her eyes? And I can’t get it off?





My head is itchy just writing the word.

Lice is going around my kids’ elementary school. Like wildfire. It goes around every year, it’s sorta par for the course. But this year seems worse. This year there are so many letters coming home. This year my kindergartner has to put her stuff into a plastic bag when she gets to school. I’m dying at the thought of lice hitching a ride on one of my kids’ heads and coming to my house. I’m taking measures to make sure that doesn’t happen. First of all, I heard that lice prefers clean hair. Done. No more screaming into the bathroom to make sure they wash their hair when they are in the shower. Now it’ll be like, “scrub your body from the neck down! Do NOT wash that hair! I’m going to smell it to make sure it is not clean!” My little ones will be happy because every time I try to wash their hair in the tub they act like I am trying to waterboard them. So at least bath time will be a little less stressful. Also, no one is leaving this house without their hair up in some sort of french braid, or french twist, or top knot, or chignon, or corn row. And then hairsprayed until it is a shellacked coat of armor. Sort of like an anti-lice hair helmet.

It’s not even having to delouse the kids that has me shaking in my boots. I actually love gross stuff, so that won’t be any problem. It’s having to delouse my entire house and everything in it that makes my heart pound and has me pacing the floors at night.

And with the amount of warning letters that are coming home from the school, it feels like it is only a matter of time. Dead men walking. Sitting ducks. And all that.

We haven’t had it yet. But if we do get it, I imagine that it will go down something like this:

From first letter home…to full blown lice infestation


first letter


second letter


okay Ill do it


nit picking


see the lice












it isnt fair






done cleaning


janis from friends






white room

Not hard to see why the horror of a lice infestation scares me like nothing else, right? If this were the year 2027 and we had smell-a-vision you would be able to smell my fear. But until then, just take my word for it. I’m fucking petrified.


Things That Sound Better in My Head, Part I

Halloween is in a few days, which marks the unofficial start to the season of Things That Sound Better on Paper. I’m talking things that sound really awesome and fun and “these are the things memories are made of” type of things…but that actually suck in real life.

Case in point: Coming up with, creating, and buying Halloween costumes. I’m going to call this post: Things that suck in real life but that sounded really good in my head, Part I.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I love Halloween. It’s so fun. I sort of have a running list of potential Halloween costumes in the back of my head all throughout the entire year. Which served me well for a while, until other people in my house started needing me to put all my Halloween costume energy into their Halloween costumes. Don’t even make me tell you about the time that my husband and I were going to a Halloween costume party and we spent every free minute for an entire WEEK creating his costume (which involved pvc pipe and expensively overnighted FedEx’d items) so that when it came time to create my own costume I had about four minutes to come up with something because the babysitter was already there and my husband was trying to hurry me up and so I had to go dressed like Charlie Chaplin.

Halloween 2012

See?! He looks like he is being carried around in a box by a butler and I look scarily like an actual man.

But I digress.

So now we have kids who are old enough to think about their Halloween costumes and I’m on the back burner. Whatever. I’m good with it. Because these are the things that memories are made of. Right? And it’s just so fun that the kids are all excited to pick out their Halloween costumes. So, yay! And I get completely caught up in the moment, and I totally lose my mind and (omigod) I decide to take them to Party City. Because for some weirdly bizarre reason, taking 4 of my 5 kids to Party City one week before Halloween sounds like an awesome idea. It really does. Not like in a sarcastic way, but really and truly. I actually really think that things are going to be great. So we go to Party City for a quick happy trip. Quick and happy. Happy and quick. Until this…


Holy hell! There are HOW many choices of Halloween costumes to overwhelm my kids with? And with 57,000 choices you would think that they would have at least one if not two Peppa Pig costumes to choose from. But nope. Not a one. Luckily they DID have the Monster High costume that my other daughter has been talking about since August.


Luckily it is only $34.99. (THAT was sarcastic) $34.99. Thirty. Four. Ninety. Nine.



This costume is under the 3-6 year old section. We won’t be getting the fish net stocking accessory. Thanks anyways.

The boys decide they want Morph suits. Okay, what are those, like $7? $10? Nope. $24.99. I shit you not. We need a blue size large and a red size large. They have blue. No red. Okay, we’ll take a large in green. No green large. How about a large in purple? Nope. White (shudder)? No. (phew) The only one that they have in large is tie-dye. Great. It’s $10 more. Of course it is.

A quick peruse around the store and I see that Party City isn’t just for kids. A sparkly Ninja Turtle bustier…


Oh God, I am already shuddering to imagine my girls trying to find Halloween costumes when they are older.


What the heck store am I in? They should have adult only shopping times because some of this stuff could be cute… if given the right situation. But no sparkly corset with booty pants and thigh highs will be purchased here today with my children in tow. Even if I wanted to, I can barely afford the costumes that we are already getting. Bread and water for dinner for the rest of the week kids…but you’ll look sooo cute in your $5,000 costumes so it will all be worth it.

And maybe this little number will be on sale when Halloween is over.




Nicely Played, Karma

Karma is a bitch.

A real byatch.

And it always comes at you when you least expect it. Right now karma is all over my ass in the form of TRESemme hairspray. Tres Two Spray #4 Extra Hold hairspray, to be precise. The one with the superior hold and touchable feel. That one.  That’s my middle schooler’s hair spray of choice. My middle school boy. BOY! I didn’t know boys even cared about their hair, let alone set their alarm clocks to wake up early for the specific reason that they wanted enough time to actually “do” their hair. Did 12 year old boys care this much about their hair when I was in middle school? I always thought that the boys just woke up, towel dried their mullets, and went off to school looking naturally good (“Good” being a relative term.) Is that NOT how it went down? Don’t even tell me that they styled their hair. Do NOT tell me that they looked in the mirror and gelled and hairsprayed it. Just don’t. I thought it was only us girls who paid attention to their middle school hair. After all, we were the ones with the banana clips, the side ponies, the scrunchies and the spiral perms. We had a lot going on. And what we had going on took time and skill to accomplish.

So the other day when I yelled (Screamed? Shrieked? Call it what you will.) up the stairs to my son that he better not be late for school because he was doing his hair, I knew that life had come full circle and was now laughing in my face. Because I can remember, like it was literally yesterday, my mother yelling (Screaming? Shrieking?) the exact same thing up the stairs to me when I would be getting ready for school. My mother was the master of wanting to kill me if I missed the bus because I was doing my hair. And I was the master of missing it anyways because I was trying to make my hair look hugely fabulous. I knew where my priorities lay.

And then there was this one day.

I’ll never forget it.

I was a sophmore in high school. It was drizzly outside. Not raining (which would have been okay), just a warm misty drizzle. Basically the worst weather ever for a girl with curly hair. So I’m in my room and I’m doing my hair and it’s getting to be later and later…and I hear my mother yell down the stairs “The bus will be here is 5 minutes, and you better not miss it just because you are doing your hair!” Yipes! 5 measly minutes. I start going for it with gusto. I’m brushing, and spraying, and teasing, and lifting, and flipping, and scrunching, and spraying some more, and then some more, and then some more just for good measure (because, like I said, it was all misty out so my hair needed to be like a shellacked coat of armour) and finally I was done and my hair looked perfect. (Seriously, it looked so good.) So I jumped up, grabbed my bag, and booked it to the front door…just in time to see the bus pull away. Shit! Shit! Shitshitshit!! Sure I probably could have run outside and chased the bus and it most likely would have stopped to pick me up…but, as I mentioned before, it was drizzly. And warm. And my hair looked too fab to ruin. So I decided to take my chances and just risk the wrath of my mother.

She was bull.

But, you know, whatever because my hair still looked so good that it was totally worth it. We rode to school in silence. When we took the left turn to drive up the LONG driveway to the school she most likely laid into me about my lack of respect for other people’s time. (Okay! Geez, don’t have a cow.) I can’t remember exactly, but all I know is that from the beginning of the long driveway to the end of the long driveway things went south fast. When she stopped the car in front of the school I attempted to get out in a huff (that would show her!) but she stopped me and said something along the lines of “What about a thank you for driving you to school?!” And I, in all my adolescent stupidity, looked at her and said,

“Thanks for NOTHING!” (cringe!!!)

And I got out of the car and started to walk away leaving the passenger side door open. OPEN! (OMG! I shudder to think about it now, because I don’t know how she didn’t jump out of the car and full body tackle me right there on the sidewalk.) But she didn’t. Do you know what she did? She laid on the horn. That’s right. My God! It was such a brilliant, bad ass move. She laid on the horn and one whole class full of kids ran to the window to see what the ruckus was. “Get back in the car” she said in a dangerously quiet voice. (Crap! I’m dead!!) So I got back in the car and she started to drive away. (What is this?) She drove away from the school and allllll the way down the looooong driveway (Is she taking me home?), and she stopped the car, turned to me and said, “Now get out and walk back.”

Mary and Joseph!!!

Was she kidding me? What was this madness?! It was clearly drizzly and misty and warm outside! Anyone could tell that my hair would be ruined if I had to walk up that long driveway! There was no amount of Aquanet in the world that could have saved me. Oh man oh man oh man!!! It was genius!!! My adult self wants to go back to that moment and high-five her. It was simply the most brilliant move any mother anywhere ever in the history of the world has ever done.

So it is pretty much a no-brainer why I am now being tortured in such a merciless way by my OWN child who drives me to the brink of madness almost every single day with his hair styling absurdity.

Nicely played, karma. Nicely played indeed.



He. Could. Go. All. The. Way!

Your son is not going to play in the NFL. He’s not. I know you think he is great and all…and I don’t want to burst your bubble, but your son in NOT going pro. I know it for almost an absolute fact. I’ve done a little research. Let me break it down for you: over a million kids play high school football, of those million kids there are approximately only 80,000 that go on to play college football, and of that 80,000 only 1 out of every 325 kids will get drafted to the NFL. Which means that basically only about 250 will even get the chance to TRY to be in the NFL. Those are some odds. Now just imagine the statistical improbability of two kids from the same town playing on the same youth football team BOTH getting drafted into the NFL…basically not going to happen. Right? Right. So, how do I know that your kid isn’t going pro? Because he is on the same team as my kid…and I think it’s pretty obvious that my extremely talented (not to mention, well-behaved) child most likely IS going pro. They can’t both go pro, now can they? Don’t be sad, this is actually good news for you. Now, instead of watching your kid play the game with stars in your eyes and grandiose ideas in your head about his “future professional football career” you can just relax and enjoy the game…just for the love of the game.

You’re welcome.

Like I said, I’ve done a bit of research. Here is how I know that my little pumpkin is going to make it to the big time.

First of all, he’s wicked cute. That right there should be all the proof that you need. I mean, look at Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Brett Favre (hubba hubba). All of them were cute kids, and grew up to be delightful eye candy. So my scrumptious little nugget is practically a shoe-in, based solely on his undeniable cuteness.

He also has an amazing arm. Seriously. He throws the football so straight and there’s a ton of power behind it. I should know because the other day he was like, “Think fast!” and he threw the ball at me. I didn’t think fast enough and the ball beaned me off the head. It was a real doozie. Ouch. I was so proud. Oh, and not only is his throwing impressive, but the ball practically spirals every single time. Every single time. Practically. QB 101 right there. You probably think your kid has a good arm, too. But…no.

My little dreamboat is also a good catcher. And kicker. And runner. And blocker. If we can get him to run a little faster he could just throw to himself. I’m pretty sure that the reason he isn’t in for every single solitary play during the game is because the coaches don’t want the other kids to feel bad when they watch him and his magical moves. So they just have him in there a regular amount, same as all the other kids, so as not to draw attention. (Big shout out to the coaches for that one. Way to go guys. We are clearly on the same page.)

Oh, and another reason why it is clear that he is going to the NFL is that all he thinks about is football. All the time. Except when he is thinking about Minecraft. And except when he is thinking about how to get out of doing his homework. And except when he is thinking about food, and riding his bike, and playing on his ipad, and watching silly video’s on YouTube. Other than that I am very certain that the only thing that is on his mind is football. I think. He says it’s not. But he’s probably just saying that. You know kids.

Listen, I’m not saying that my kid is better than your kid, because in all fairness I’ve never actually paid attention to your kid. I’m just saying that I’m pretty sure that my son is the best ever. I think if you watched him you would agree. How could you not? He is the fruit of my loins for god’s sake. I know extraordinary fabulousness when I see it, and this kid is truly extraordinarily fab.

And I do have to tell you that I find it to be a little creepy that you think that your OWN kid is so fantastic and perfect. Puh-leeze. Don’t tell me you are one of THOSE parents. Come on. Get a grip.


Where Were the Lazy Days of Summer?

that was summer vacation

The kids started school on Wednesday. A moment that I had been waiting for for quite some time. Yes, that’s right, I had a countdown going. 5 more days…4 more days… As the big day got closer I would find myself smiling for no reason. Little bursts of hysterical laughter would escape me as I imagined the joy of the big yellow school bus arriving. My kids thought I was going mental. “Why do you keep giggling?” they would innocently ask me. “No reason. No reason at all.” Suckas. The end of their summer vacation marked the end of my busy season. It marked the end of the every day craziness. It marked the end of the shit show. School starting meant I finally had a minute to breathe. And I couldn’t wait.

So the big day comes and I was up early with excited butterflies in my stomach and so much pent up nervous energy bursting out of me that I was practically walking into walls. It’s the big day. The BIG DAY! One by one the kids got ready for the day. One by one they gathered their things to walk out the door. One by one they got on the school bus. And one by one they drove away. (except for the youngest two, but whatevs. I can handle two measly kids with one hand tied behind my back. Easy.) I headed home from the bus stop humming a happy tune and waiting for the feelings of joy to wash over me. I got home, flopped on the couch and waited to be bombarded with all the amazing feelings I had anticipated feeling for so long. Freedom. Exhilaration. Relief. Delight. I could feel them all bubbling up inside me. Which one would make it to the surface first? Probably Delight. No, maybe joy. Oooh, I wonder if it will be exhilaration! That’d be nice. Here we go…I feel so…I feel so…I feel so crappy? Wait, what?! Oh my god, why do I feel crappy? What the heck? Why do I feel bad?

Am I sad that summer is over?

Can it be?

Oh no. I am. I’m sad that summer is over. Who am I? I don’t even like summer all that much. It’s too hot, and there are bugs everywhere, and my hair looks weird. But, still. Can it really be that summer is OVER? That was IT?  Where were the lazy days of summer that everybody talks about? Where was the lying on the grass and looking at the clouds? Where was catching dragonflies and fireflies? Where were s’mores over the firepit every night, drippy ice cream cones, and sitting in rockers on the front porch drinking lemonade? In the movies they make it look so nice and relaxing. And easy. And smiley and happy. That’s the summer vacation I wanted. Not the shit show that it actually was. I guess I just pictured the whole thing so much differently in my head. Next year we are going to do it right. Next year we are going to be relaxed and spontaneous and everyone is going to get along and no one is going to try to kill each other and we are going to make gimp bracelets. Sure, it’s going to take a lot of planning to be that easy breezy, but I’m up to the challenge. Next summer is going to be amazing! And I have a whole entire Pinterest-filled year to plan it out.

In the meantime, we are almost upon my absolute fave season: Hallothanksmas. I love it. Now THIS is a season of fabulousness. I can envision it now. There will be pumpkins being carved, pumpkin bread being made, perfect Halloween costumes created, turkeys being eaten, thanks being given, and Christmas presents bought early and on sale and without any of the crazy stress of last year’s holiday season. I’m pretty sure that it is all going to be exactly as I have it pictured in my head…