Friday, December 31, 2010

sweating the small stuff

have you ever been so busy
worrying about day to day junk,
that you don't even notice that
someone close to you is hurting?

you sit in your house
thinking about how your kids
don't eat enough vegetables,
and should drink more water,
and how are they doing in school,
which is elementary school for goodness sake,
when suddenly you realize that it's all
small potatoes.

ridiculously small potatoes,
that you couldn't even make into
a decent soup.

and you realize that this other person,
this person close to you,
may have needed a shoulder,
may have tried to talk to you,
and you probably said something dumb
about how much laundry you had to do.
or how stressed out you are about
nothing in particular.

and there probably isn't anything you could have done,
but man, you could have listened better.
read the neon signs.
been more aware.
been more, well, just there.

how did you fix it?
no reason.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the game of life

schooled in the game of life...

m chose a career.
i chose college.
i'll show her.

i finished college.
graduated with $125,000 debt.
had to buy $5,000 worth of books.
became a doctor.
i'll show her.

while i was in college,
m became a pro athlete!?!
she collected two paydays,
got married,
no debt.

i got married,
had twin girls,
paid taxes.
i got sued for $100,000 -
lost my job.
became a lawyer.
ha - i'll show her.

m bought a double wide,
and an rv.
i bought a modest victorian.
we both got raises.
i got sued for $100,000 -

i bought some art,
sent two kids to college,
$50,000 -
per kid.
hired a butler/maid service,
retired, received some money
from the twins as a present.
not nearly enough after all i've done for them!
paid my college debt.
finished the game with a little over a million dollars.
i'll show her.

m retired,
finished the game with 2.5 million dollars.

well played, game of life,
well played.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

mystery product

discovered at the bottom of our christmas mess.
sure wish i knew which "product"...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a day off

everyone needs a day off.
every now and then.
yesterday was mine.

mm got the kids ready for school.
i slept in.
he addressed the christmas cards.
i took a nap.
he made a trip to the post office,
took k to lunch,
made dinner for the kids,
drove m to gymnastics
and g to basketball.
i relaxed.

it was a fine day off.
well, aside from the violent
puking every few hours,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

draft #5 - w.w.d.d.

as i move closer to 500 posts,
i thought i'd look through my drafts
and see what didn't make it to the
"publish" stage.

yes, i watch that show.
the couple
with the forty bajillion kids.
and i love it.

i particularly love the mom.
her voice never wavers.
she never yells.
it is amazing.

sometimes when i'm having
a crazy moment,
i think to myself,
"what would duggar do?"

this is as far as i got.
i envisioned a multiple choice quiz.
but seriously,

Monday, December 13, 2010

draft #4 - nervous breakdown

as i move closer to 500 posts,
i thought i'd look through my drafts
and see what didn't make it to the
"publish" stage.

i don't know why i didn't publish this one.
i think it's because i couldn't get the wording right.

i was talking with my maw-maw,
who had six children.
she was asking about our kids,
and i was telling her all the crazy stuff
that happens around here,
sometimes all in a span of five minutes.
it is non-stop.

i told her i didn't know how
she managed with six.
i have always respected her for this,
and even more so now that i have three.

she laughed, a really good laugh, and said,
"oh lord, you know this one time
i had a breakdown and
ended up in the nervous hospital,
i had to take pills and everything!"

then she said, with a far-away look,
"they sure don't stay little long at all."

it was such a revealing moment.
it made me respect her even more if that's possible.
i appreciated her honesty.
it made me feel better about my crazy life.
and i really wanted to know if there are still
nervous hospitals.
sign me up.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

draft #3 - her cavalier

as i move closer to 500 posts,
i thought i'd look through my drafts
and see what didn't make it to the
"publish" stage.

last year about this time,
m and i went to see the nutcracker -
in pittsburgh with the girl scouts.
we even got a back stage tour,
and i wondered why i ever gave up ballet.
then i remembered that i like to talk.
a lot.
way too much for ballet.

anyway, when i got home i wrote a post.
about the sugar plum fairy
and her cavalier.

how he stands behind her,
lifts her up,
makes her look fabulous,
when, in fact, he may actually
be the better dancer.
but he lets her shine.

this was analogy about me
and mm.

it is quite possibly
the cheesiest post ever
i can't even believe i wrote it.
so it will remain unpublished.
the end.

Friday, December 10, 2010

draft #2 - the one with the pee

as i move closer to 500 posts,
i thought i'd look through my drafts
and see what didn't make it to the
"publish" stage.

this is one that i actually did publish.
for a few hours.
at the time,
i probably had about two readers total,
and uh, still do.

i won't repost it here,
but it was basically a post about how tired
i was of cleaning pee from around the bottom
of the toilet.
oh, and the back of the toilet,
the wall, and the baseboards.
from g missing his mark,

it made me crazy,
super crazy.
almost two years later,
i am still saying,
"g, go to the bathroom,
pee into the water.
use the force, g."

it is much better these days.
thankfully the whole thing
was just a phase.

mm has never said much about my blog.
but he did not like this post at all.
so i removed it.
but when i read it,
i still think it's pretty funny.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

draft #1 - painted horses

as i move closer to 500 posts,
i thought i'd look through my drafts
and see what didn't make it to the
"publish" stage.

the first one i found is from long ago...
i had almost forgotten what i meant to write.
there was a title, a bit of text.

our family spent the day with the dinosaurs
at the museum of natural history in pittsburgh.
it was a great day.

there was a special exhibit of horses upstairs,
and outside the exhibit was a table
with a horsey craft.
color the horse,
then make it into a puppet.

the kids got to work.
then it happened.

m colored her horse -
all those markers in front of her!
the choices!  the possibilities!
and my rainbow, glitter, ever-colorful child,
picked brown.

"yes mommy, horses are brown,"

"what about pink? or purple? or polka-dots?"
"no, brown, mrs. said horses are brown."

"but your horse can be whatever color you imagine it to be."
"brown, mommy."

it was such a small moment.
but it was so sad to me.
it's probably why i didn't post it.
she was growing up.
i never wanted to homeschool more in my life.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

sunday confession

how come when no one is sick,
i'm all,

"do you need a tissue?"
"here - a tissue!"
"gah!  please use a tissue!"

and then when someone is sick,
i'm all,

"jeez!  how many tissues do you need?"
"stop with the tissues!"
"seriously!  these things cost like a dollar a box!"

i think i have tissue issues.

what's your sunday confession?
the confessional is open.

Friday, December 3, 2010

to knit or not to knit

i bought this sweater for 25 cents
at a woman's club rummage sale
in west virginia.

yes, a quarter.
because i happen to know the president.
(of the club)

i brought it home and washed it.

now, what to do?
i originally thought i'd take it apart
and make something else.

what do ya'll think?
anyone need a scarf?
or a snuggie?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

safe zone

"you cannot possibly be afraid to go downstairs/
brush your teeth/
get a drink/
take a shower/
etc, etc etc.
all of our lights are on.
our house is so small,
i can hear you the whole time.
there is no one here but us.
and the cat.
our house is a safe zone,
nothing can get in without us knowing."

"but what about the tooth fairy?"

"well, except for the tooth fairy."

"what about santa claus?"

"oh yeah, and santa."

"and what about the easter bunny?"

"and the easter bunny."

"doesn't sound very safe to me."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

sunday confession

this morning i ate* a donut.
but i couldn't finish it
because it was


what's your sunday confession?
the confessional is open.

*i used to eat at least two.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

totally worth it

getting up at 6:30am.
driving 4 hours to
fayetteville, wv.
in the pouring rain.

helping to
set the table,
put out the food,
clean up,
wash dishes,

all while your kids play
at maw-maw's house.
in the perfect weather.

laughing with aunts and uncles,
grandmother and papa,
eating way too much
peanut butter fudge
and homemade banana pudding.

piling in the car again
after a fabulous
thanksgiving meal.

driving 4 hours home
to pittsburgh.
in the dark.

no leftovers.
well, this last part kinda stinks,
but the rest,

totally worth it.
happy thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

baby you

dear k,

you are five years old.
i really don't believe it,
but there were five candles
on your cake.
i counted them.
you blew them out in one try.
so it must be true.

your doctor told me once,
not to baby you.
the last kid.
i assured him that could never happen.
he said it would be tempting.
i said whatever.

but we do.
baby you.
i still carry you around

you have redefined our lives.
you bring the crazy.
and we love it.
you keep us young.

you hold your own so well
with the big kids,
sometimes i forget you are not
a big kid.

you are easy-going
and high-maintenance
all at the same time.
i'm not sure how this is possible,
but there it is.

you choose your own path,
you pick your own clothes,
you get our jokes.
that is cool.

so now that you are five,
could you just stop growing
for a little while?
because i really miss my baby.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

sunday confession

today is my baby's 5th birthday.
and i am not handling it well.
at all.

what's your sunday confession?
the confessional is open.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

wordless wednesday

yes, she picked this outfit.
why do you ask?

Monday, November 15, 2010



after you show him three times in disney world,
and then again at home,
tell him you noticed a sale price,
and free shipping,
ask him twice a day if he has placed an order,
look up his log-in name,
his password,
and a promo code for yet another discount,
fill in the order form except for his credit card number,
which you could do from memory,
but that would be overstepping a bit,
leave the tab open on his computer,
so he can fill in the info at his leisure,
leaving him little to do except
press "order" -

you get exactly what you want for your anniversary.

this is how true love works.
the end.

Friday, November 12, 2010

16 treasures older than my marriage

cigar box from the day i was born.
come to think of it, it's not really that old.

nesting doll my father
brought home from the ussr!

book my grandma b. gave me on my 10th birthday.
i still read it.  often.

coal mining sticker collection. 
don't ask.
my class ring. 
black hills gold, yo.

because mary lou could call at any second.

whistle my aunt brenda gave me.
to wear at college.
for protection.
from what, exactly?

hard rock cafe jean jacket. 
should be back in style soon.

my first mickey watch.

this arrived for my 16th birthday.
from my grandma b.
she had passed away a month earlier.

the sheep sweater.
from england.
should be back in style soon.
snakeskin boots. 
you probably don't want to know.

my violin. 
yes.  it is framed.

my american girl doll, samantha.

my wedding shoes.
i really should wear these today.
and the sixpence from my shoe.
i will wear this today.

happy 16th anniversary mm!
you are my most favorite treasure.
except for the sheep sweater.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

sweet sixteen

just doing some 16th wedding anniversary research.
no reason.

"the 16th wedding anniversary does not have
any traditional materials
or symbols associated with it."

"this wedding anniversary does not have
any flowers associated with it."

what the hell?

Monday, November 8, 2010

happy parents aren't perfect

every now and again i pick up
a parenting book at the library.
i know.

usually i don't like what i read.
truth hurts, maybe?
but i kind of liked this one.
parts of it, anyway.
"are we having fun yet?"
16 secrets to happy parenting.

i especially loved this part,

"take time to lay each brick the right way -
one at a time.
if you miss a brick -
there will be a gaping hole.
if it goes in crooked,
not only will it look awful,
but it could weaken the wall.
if your wall is wobbly,
it won't stand up to the elements."
~kay willis

happy monday, fellow bricklayers!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

sunday confession

confession - i may have a slight obsession.

can you tell which is the oldest?
the newest?

what's your sunday confession? 
the confessional is open.

Friday, November 5, 2010

things i learned

in disney.
(applies to regular life as well, me thinks)

1.  after a week, 75 pounds of
perfectly coordinated outfits
still magically turns into
75 pounds of dirty laundry.
(try not to think about this)
2.  save yourself some trouble,
just let your kids touch - whatever -
ground, walls, parade confetti, line ropes,
benches, bathrooms, etc, etc, etc.
(i learned this after day two)
3.  speaking of the ground -
just let your kids sit on it.
or lay down, whatever works.
(heck, try it yourself a couple of times)
4.  turns out your kids can eat
chicken at every meal for a week.
(you'll just have to trust me on this)
5.  old school games like rock, paper, scissors,
or "stand like a statue" - work well in a pinch.
(try it at the grocery store too)
6.  instead of yelling, try distracting,
"oh look, ice cream!"
"hey, is that mickey?"
"who wants some popcorn?"
(also works on mm - "look!  beer!  and lobster rolls!")
7.  remember to ride some kid rides.
that's why you are there/here.
(and it is a small world after all)
8.  take time to swim.
9.  take time to smell the roses.
(or pick up a lizard, scare a squirrel, etc.)
10. stand with one leg on the ground.
stretch the other out behind you.
reach out one hand as far as it will go.
make sure you have a kid seated under you.
you are now ready to cover the sensor
in the bathroom stall so it doesn't flush
automatically and freak a sister out.
(repeat every hour or so, for a week)
11. dessert first can count as a meal.
(you'll just have to trust me on this)
12. if you see something you want,
just buy the darn thing,
you'll never walk all the way back to get it.
(and no, you won't see it at the next store)
13. watch for "magical moments" -
when something heartwarming that happens
or someone does something ultra nice for you.
(choose wisely)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

truly terrifying

m was a bride for halloween.
and she rocked it.
truly terrifying.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

the last pumpkinbender

i believe that aang can save the world.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

professional shopper

k and i share a webkin account.
in the past, it was really just me,
playing goober's lab.
i amassed a small fortune.
$22000 give or take.

k has recently taken over the account.
she currently has $816.

the end.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


"mommy, can i smagze your feet?"
"yes, but what's a smagze?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

really, you shouldn't have

"mommy, this ring is for you!"
"thanks, k, i love it."
(put on finger)
"wherever did you get it?"

"oh, i just found it, in the parking lot."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

sunday confession

add to the list of items
that annoy the ****
out of me.

#42 - balloon
attached to a rubber band
that can be punched/bounced
over and over and over again.

who knew?
but there it is.

what's your sunday confession?
the confessional is open.

Friday, October 22, 2010

on my mind

you tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
by the very manner in which you speak,
by the way you employ your leisure time,
by the use you make of dollar and dime.

you tell what you are by the things you wear,
by the spirit in which you your burdens bear,
by the kind of things at which you laugh,
by the records you play on the phonograph.

you tell what you are by the way you walk,
by the things of which you delight to talk,
by the manner in which you bear defeat,
by so simple a thing as how you eat.

by the books you choose from the well-filled shelf:
in these ways and more, you tell on yourself.
~jamie sidwell~

have a great weekend!
btw - i listened to cher, kiss, and captain & tennille.
(on my phonograph)
how about you?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

wordless thursday

strangely comforting yet slightly horrifying
all at the same time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

precious gems

precious gems

a few weeks ago, we finally got around to trying gem jars at our house.  i first ripped out the article here - filed it away and forgot about it.  then the traveling circus started hers up, and i got inspired to put some jars into action.

by pure coincidence, these cups hold 100 gems.  filling up a cup will net you $10.  so that makes each gem worth 10 cents.  the kids can earn up to 5 gems a day.  one for making up their bed, one for clearing dishes from the table, one for keeping shoes in closet, one for hanging up their coat, and one for putting dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.

it doesn't sound like much, but it really is a big help to me.  the first few days i mindlessly picked up the clothes anyway, and the kids got all upset.  or i would automatically pick up the dishes, or the shoes, coats, etc.  i had to force myself to NOT pick up.  weird.

they have only lost a few gems for fighting or not listening.  usually the threat of "i'm taking a gem" is enough.  at some point i expect them to realize that getting into trouble only costs 10 cents, and in some cases might be totally worth it.  in fact, i'll be a little disappointed if they don't.  by that time i hope these chores will be habits and we won't have to worry so much about the gems.  now we just have to come up with $10s!

all in all, this is working in our house.
the kids have already cashed in for $10,
and are working on their second $10.
they wasted it all away on junk from five below.
surprise, not.

the other day we gave them each 5 gems
to clean up the playroom.
it was done in record time.
bribery?  maybe.  but it worked.

and k, the youngest, is by far the best at this system.
she reminds everyone else.

what works in your house?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

sunday confession

you know how i usually eat 20-30 mini musketeers?
well, i'm trying a different approach this halloween.

what's your sunday confession?
the confessional is open.

Friday, October 15, 2010

friday not so funny

i started packing.
for the kids.
3 swimsuits,
3 sweatshirts,
3 pajamas,

all in neat little rows.

when i walked by a few hours later,
the clothes were gone.

"where are all the clothes i put here?"

"i put them away."

"you put them away?"

"yes, i saw clean laundry, so i put it away."


Thursday, October 14, 2010

wordless thursday

our new rug.
spot clean only.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


last night i finished angry birds...
anyone want an iphone?

Monday, October 11, 2010


k, at her first 3D movie, whispers,
"daddy, i think these glasses make me look like a nerd."
(the r sounds more like a w, norwd)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

sunday confession

when i was little my dad
took my brother for a haircut.
he took him to the barber,
and my brother came home
with the shortest haircut possible.

after that my mom wouldn't let my dad
take my brother for a haircut anymore.
which is pretty much what my dad wanted.

when we were first married,
mm told me that i made the best
kool-aid ever.
he just couldn't mix it as good as me.
so i made it, because i was the best, after all.

which is pretty much what mm wanted.

last week i started going
to the grocery again after a long hiatus.
i bought tons of stuff.
but then we didn't have anything for dinner.
i didn't buy any meat.
only a couple of packages of waffles.
i forgot about meals.
but we have a lot of snacks.
and paper products.
and desserts.

but maybe, just maybe,
mm won't make me go back to that place!

which is pretty much what i wanted.
fingers crossed.

what's your sunday confession?
the confessional is open.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

wordless thursday

last preschool hayride.