The ongoing conversation…

I’ve been writing here for coming up on ten (!!) years, and I can still count my very favorite posts on a single hand. That means either that those posts are beyond stupendous and/or meaningful, or that a lot of what I write here is utter drivel. Let’s not think about it too hard.

One of incidents that will always hold a special place of combined hilarity and horror in my mind was detailed in this post from seven years ago wherein my darling daughter discovered that the human body is terrifying and disgusting.

A lot of time has passed, and I still ever-awkward in my sharing of Information I Think You Need when it comes to my kids. Probably they will never forgive me. Nevertheless, over at Alpha Mom I’m tackling the age-old topic of teenage dating, and yes, my children still wish I would just shut up, already.

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Comments { 20 }

Sunrise, sunset, and the days in-between

This is where I tell you all of the fascinating things I’ve been doing lately which have kept me from writing here. If only I’d been leaping tall buildings in a single bound or rescuing kittens and babies from flaming buildings, or something.

In truth I find the days have been slipping away from me. Not in a bad way; after months of feeling like time was creeping by while I hated everyone and everything, I’m feeling better. Yay! And when I’m feeling better I cook and bake and volunteer at school and clean things and take the dog for walks. Good for living, not so interesting for writing, necessarily. (“We took the dog for a long sojourn. She seemed to enjoy pooping on the neighbor’s lawn, and then watching me carry a bag of her feces on our route.” POETRY!)

Today I tried a new cookie recipe and the cookies came out seriously ugly. But then my house filled up with teenagers and all of the cookies got eaten, and no one cared that they were ugly. Meanwhile I looked around and realized that some of these teenagers are mine and they’ll be leaving before I know it and then who will eat my ugly cookies? It’s enough to make a person want to write stories about carting around dog poop, instead.

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Comments { 11 }

I love abandoning my children

Last night, Otto and I had a date night. AS PEOPLE DO. “People” being “people other than us,” usually, because we are not always so super-fantastic about that whole “nurture your couple relationship” thing. It’s not that we don’t love each other (we do!) or enjoy each other’s company (he’s my favorite!), it is just that we’re old and tired and outnumbered by the other three sentient creatures in our household.

We don’t go on a lot of dates, is my point. But we’re working on it, because I hear this rumor that someday my children might grow up and move out of the house. I’m skeptical, but it’s what I hear, so who knows. Should they ever leave, the idea is that Otto and I need to make sure we still like each other.

So, last night: Date night! On a THURSDAY! Like the wild and crazy folks we are. A date on a school night; it must be that we really, really, REALLY needed this time to reconnect and get romantic. Or that we had the chance to see Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood perform. Either way. (more…)

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Comments { 21 }

Deft sleight of follicle

[This post is utter fluff with bonus terrible cell phone pictures. You've been warned.]

In addition to being taken to task for my comments about the unflattering wide-angle lens Otto used in this post, there were a couple of comments about how DIDN’T YOU LET YOUR HAIR GO GRAY? and I DON’T SEE ANY GRAY AT ALL YOU LYING LIARPANTS WITH PANTS AFLAME. (I may be paraphrasing.)

These comments made me laugh, and then they made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and then I sent each of you a pony as a thank-you.

You may remember there was some serious trepidation about disembarking from the Hair Dye express. After all, I’m so YOUNG (ha!) and VIBRANT (haaaaaaaa!) and really not ready to look like someone’s grandmother. On the other hand: lazy. So very lazy. And also I still have acne so hey, problem solved. Time to go gray!

But the thing is, I was sure my gray was really, really obvious because my natural hair color is just this side of black. I mean, my roots were SUPER-obvious while I was still coloring, so I never anticipated all of the comments I regularly get on photos about how my hair has hardly any gray at all. Turns out, I have a few things going for me here. (more…)

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Comments { 24 }

The more you know!

As promised earlier, here’s a handy-dandy FAQ I made for you to help in getting through this season of fundraising with good cheer.

Hint: Be nice to the kids who come knocking on your door, even if you’re not buying anything.

Also: Can I interest you in some grapefruit…?

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Comments { 12 }

A snippet to tide you over

A bit later today I’m going to have a super-useful piece up over at Alpha Mom—pinky swear—but in the meantime it occurs to me that I haven’t posted since last week, and sometimes that makes my father think that I am dead in a ditch somewhere.

(Hi, Dad! Not dead!)

Tuesday mornings are my favorite, because it’s the only morning when both kids have to get up and out around the same time. (It’s co-op day for Monkey. On regular homeschool days I just don’t bother getting him up until Chickadee leaves.) I love to eavesdrop on the two of them negotiating for counter space and such in the bathroom, because it seems to be the ONE time they consistently enjoy each other’s company. (I know. It’s weird.)

Overheard this morning:
Monkey: So you know how you used to have two kidneys?
Chickadee: I… STILL HAVE two kidneys…?
Monkey: Oh, yeah, well, I’ve been meaning to tell you something….

Later I reminded Chickie that people will come and go from her life, but her brother is forever. She kind of rolled her eyes, so I added, “There are worse people to be stuck with, you know.”

“I know,” she said. “… like you,” she added, with a smirk.

We were on our way to school, so I just slowed down a little and pushed her out of the car. I think that was fair.

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Comments { 11 }

Making memories, scarring bystanders

So before I forget, allow me to direct you to my latest recipe over at Alpha Mom, the perfect option if you kind of secretly love old-fashioned chicken casserole type things but are 1) gluten-free, 2) a fan of spices other than salt, and 3) religiously opposed to recipes that involve canned soup. This one is our alternative to chicken pot pie, but it’s topped with (gluten-free) cornbread. If you’re not gluten-free, make the cornbread with regular flour; I don’t judge.

Also, have you ever noticed that sometimes you ask me questions, or say “hey, can we see a picture of that?” and I don’t answer or produce? It’s very rare that this is intentional. It’s a lot less “no, you can’t have that” and a lot more “sure, let me just… oh, cookies!” And sometimes it’s more that someone says something like, “Oh, what oil-controlling moisturizer do you use?” and I realize that I hate my oil-controlling moisturizer and don’t want to recommend it to anyone. Stuff like that.

But when I mention Otto taking pictures of something, y’all KNOW there’s photographic evidence. And despite the fact that he’s an awesome photographer, I am not the most photogenic person in the world all the time. (TRY TO CONCEAL YOUR SHOCK.) Most of the time, I don’t share pictures. But sometimes, I guess I must. (more…)

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Comments { 47 }

Happy Halloween! Everybody sing!

She’s just a bill, yeah she’s only a bill…

(more…)

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Comments { 58 }

Meltdown City, population: me

I think one of the dirtiest little secrets of parenting is the parental meltdown. Sure, we all joke amongst ourselves about that time we got so mad that we yelled—pass that Mother of the Year trophy over here!—but the truth is that the really awful meltdowns don’t get talked about, much.

We’re too ashamed, too worried someone will point a finger and pass judgment.

Well,the advantage of really screwing up and knowing it is that there’s nothing anyone can say to you that you haven’t already said to yourself. (Silver lining, right there.) So come what may, today at Alpha Mom I’m coming clean about the giant tantrum I had this morning.

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Comments { 7 }

Highs and lows even out

Sometimes people ask me about the secret to success when it comes to a blended family, and usually I laugh and laugh and then ask them what they mean by “success,” and also, have they actually MET my family…?

But I think I’ve figured it out. The key is to make All Things Family mimic the child’s natural propensity for mood shifts. Even-tempered kid? Keep things on a nice, regular keel. Not-so-even-tempered kid? Hit the outlet mall.

Where else can you go where—when your mother inquires about where to find that shirt in the window, and when the sales associate informs her that that’s the last one, but she’s welcome to have it—you find yourself dying of embarrassment as your mother steps into the window in front of God and everyone and starts dismantling a mannequin? And then your stepfather moves in to take some pictures of your mother making ridiculous faces with a disembodied plastic arm draped around her shoulders?

But then just when you’ve determined you cannot possibly live under these sorts of conditions, that very same mother (with the shirt she ripped off the mannequin, thankyouverymuch) waits in line at Aeropostale for, like, 45 minutes just to buy you some cool jeans while your stepfather waits in the car (thank God).

There you go. Free of charge, the secret to blending your family (and also picky-teen-approved jeans for $6): The outlet mall.

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Comments { 12 }
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