Time to do the duty….

I found a draft in my blog posts with this title. I clicked on it, excited to find out where on earth I was going with a title like that, but sadly it had no content. Too bad, I’m sure that post was going to be a good one.

Anyway, I have a lot of laundry to put away, so I thought I would eat a twizzler and write a 7 quick takes post instead, because I like to be spontaneous.

Let’s see, where to begin…

1~ I have been in an enormous meal-making rut lately. Which is ridiculous, because I live in a first would country and have access to glutenous amounts of food 24 hours a day. But somehow when I am faced with the job of deciding what to make for dinner, I can only think of eggs…


I don’t even scramble the eggs, I just plop them in a skillet and carve them out when they’re done. I serve them elegantly with a side of toast and frozen peas…

2~ I do actually make things besides eggs for dinner, obviously. I don’t want you thinking the only thing I cook is lazily plopped eggs. But anytime I make a meal that isn’t hotdogs, I can pretty much count on at least 2 of my 6 kids gagging during dinner. (Worse than 33% on the gag-ometer, and I usually don’t make the meal again.) But it feels like I still have to see a lot of gagging.  What am I doing wrong? Should I just be resigned to keeping my eyes closed while the kids are eating?


The only thing ALL of my kids like on this plate is the okra. That is so weird. They like the slimiest, hairiest vegetable, but they won’t eat baked chicken.  I never ate okra as a kid (I like it now), but I’m willing to bet that if I had tried it, I wouldn’t have been crazy about it.

3. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I live vicariously through my children’s strait hair. Ann, in particular, has the hair I always wanted…


Her hair is long, not frizzy, and can be brushed without having to cut the brush out of her hair when she’s done.

4~ Also, I can braid her hair…


*My* hair looks like one giant dreadlock when I try and braid it. You can’t even make out the braid in all of the fuzz. But Ann’s hair on the other hand, looks dreamy. I am just fascinated by strait hair…

5~ Mary Claire has taken up store crying. It was never a consistent problem in the past, so I don’t know what is bringing on the waterworks now. Maybe she is just becoming more sentimental in her old age? Perhaps she is just filled with so much gratitude for being pushed around like a queen that she just can’t contain her emotions and wants to leap out of the cart for her unworthiness?  Maybe its the broken buckle in the cart that causes her to lament the poor quality of plastic products? Whatever the reason is, its loud.


This particular day the light bulb section was her undoing. Maybe the environmentalist in her couldn’t stand the sight of non-energy efficient light bulbs.

6~ But outside of store shopping, MC Hammer is pretty delightful.


So delightful in fact, that I didn’t see the sand she was clutching behind her back about to throw in my face…

7~ Lastly, and on a more serious note, you might consider sending up a few prayers for Rosie (who hosts My Sunday Best) and her little in-utero baby. It looks like her baby might be facing some unexpected challenges in the future (you can read about it here) and I am sure she would appreciate any prayers you have to offer. Many thanks!

Have a great Saturday night!




You heard that correctly.

I know I’m not being even remotely original here, but I am going to say it anyway…I don’t correct Mary Claire when she pronounces words incorrectly. As long as the word sounds cute, I just let it be. I know there are plenty of other degenerate parents out there who do this too, so I’m not blazing any new trails here.


I’m sure MC’s kindergarten teacher will correct her poor grammar. That’s what kindergarten is for, right? Kindergarten teachers reverse years of idiotic parental damage? Maybe I’m off here, but that’s what I was presuming…

When my older kids were toddlers I encouraged them to mispronounce words in a cute way too. And I’m happy to report that it hasn’t affected them negatively at all, they can make words real good for mostly. In fact. up until recently I really didn’t see any reason why I should stop doing this….

That is, until the day I offered a guest a glass of “wah-wee”. (I know it sounds bathroom related, but I assure you I just meant “water”). “Are you thirsty? Would you like a glass of wah-wee?” And that’s when it hit me, I’m regressing. Its becoming second nature for me to use baby talk like its actual, legit spoken English. I don’t even think about it. The weird words just spill out.


Eli likes to pick a book off our book shelf to take with him every time we leave the house. He can’t read, he just likes to carry a book around. He drags it into the store and everything. So I feel pretty confident that his choices in intellectual literature will help offset any moments where I might use the word “wah-wee”.

And believe me, “wah-wee” is only the tip of the iceberg. I shout out mispronounced animal names like its my job…


It’s a “hat”!!!! (It’s cute when Mary Claire calls a cat a “hat”, but when I say it people will think I’ve been day drinking.)

It’s the same thing with fish. I have been calling fish “bishey’s” for so long now that the actual word “fish” sounds weird to me.


My kids have always wanted to have a bishey for a pet…but *I* think bishey’s smell, so I haven’t said yes…yet. But maybe if Mary Claire requests a “bishey” I won’t be able to resist.

I’m sure when Mary Claire stops mispronouncing things, I will too (at least one would hope so). But until then, I have to admit, I kind of enjoy it.


There is something about the way “fludderfly” and “cheepies” just roll of the tongue.

Liar, Liar

When my oldest child, Gianna, was a toddler, Mark and I used to sneak ice cream out of the freezer in broad daylight. We had no intention of giving any to Gianna (because ice cream is not healthy…..for toddlers). We got away with this habit for a long time. But then one day, Mark was feeling a little over confident (not unusual) and he opened the freezer to get his ice cream without properly scanning the premises for toddlers. Gianna popped out from around the corner and said “WHAT are you doing???”, Mark thought fast and grabbed a bag of frozen vegetables and said “Just having some frozen veggies! Want some?”.

And that is the story of how our children began eating frozen vegetables like they were candy…….very very weird candy.

Their all time favorite frozen vegetable is peas….


Mary Claire is going to have some amazing diapers after the amount of frozen peas she ate last night.

Frozen corn is a close second. It just depends on which duped child you ask…


“Of course you can have a 5th serving of frozen peas, MC! This is totally normal!”

So what is the moral of this story? Well, I feel like there are several morals here, but if I had to pick just one it would be “As long as Pinocchio isn’t around to stick his nose into things, lying can have a positive effect on the amount of soluble fiber in a persons diet”.


Baby Gianna and the Liars (I feel like that would make a good band name) circa 2005. Also pictured here is me and my long time love affair with the Diaper Dude diaper bag. We were inseparable.



Unremarkable things.

(Linking up with Rosie, for My Sunday Best! Side note: It looks like Rosie is on a fun beachy vacation right now!)

As far as Sunday dress goes; don’t worry ye citizens who love a good predictable uniform, I wore the same thing again today!


Here’s an areal photo of my coffee and the giant marshmallow I gave Eli to keep him quiet during nap time. He responds very well to marshmallows. (My skirt is not the marshmallow, Eli is holding the marshmallow in his hand.)

On Saturday, Gianna (the oldest) asked if she could bake and decorate cookies. I love her, so I said yes. BUT, if you have read this blog before, you may already know that cooking alongside children is not my favorite. I don’t know if I’m just terrible with children or missing a piece of my heart, but in the end, I’m always left wanting to hogtie them and put them to bed for the night.

So yesterday I thought, “Mary, just buck up, lay down some rules, and make the *!%$# cookies.”. After some consideration I decided my rules were going to be “no talking, no touching ANYTHING, and no crying”; now don’t tell me that doesn’t sound like the first line in a book called “A Good Time”.


Eli was trying to pose like Ann. He is not the most detail oriented copycat.

In the end, the cookies were made and the kids had fun, but as you may have guessed, they broke all the rules and had to be hogtied and put to bed. The cookies were delicious though! We used this recipe. And the kids had such a good time watching me lose my mind that they requested baking cookies again today!


No kids. My kitchen patience was obliterated yesterday.

In other non-related kitchen news, I recently bought the most worthless pack of bacon. It would have been perfect if I was buying bacon solely for the purpose of making soap from lard, but sadly, we actually wanted to eat it.

Warning: if you are offended by pictures of naked, fatty, uncooked bacon, then scroll past quickly.


It think it was about 97% fat. We could have greased all the door hinges, clogged our arteries, AND made soap!

When I picked the bacon out at the store, I swear it looked fine…… though the tiny window on the package that only showed the meaty edges. That was so misleading. I demand a larger bacon viewing window!!!

Anyway, on to greener pastures. I think I have complained enough for one blog post, so I will try and leave off on a positive note.

Sometimes after the kids are all tucked into bed at night and the house is quiet, I am *deeply amused* by what I find laying around. I find these half finished “projects” that are like a little window into their minds. The window often leaves me more confused than anything else, but it’s amusing none the less. For example, the night I found some impromptu potato art. The kids were supposed to be packing their snack for school the next day, but apparently someone was struck with the undeniable compulsion to bring the potatoes to life.


Potato art; When you are packing a bag a pretzels but just can’t seem to shake that feeling that those straws and potatoes were made for something more. (I think I spy a very graceful looking potato giraffe in the back there.)

Well, I’ll leave off on that potato note and hope it inspires someone…. it probably won’t, but you never know.


A little pep in her step.


Last week I bought a coffee at Starbucks. It was my favorite, a venti iced coffee with vanilla and cream. “Venti” is the polite word for “A sh!& load of coffee”. I brought the delicious elephant-sized coffee home, and set it on the table. I also set Mary Claire at the table and went to start a load of laundry. You see where this is going, don’t you.


“Oh don’t mind me. You go do the laundry, mom, and I’ll just sit here playing on this heavily finger-printed iPad and drink HALF of your gluttonously large coffee beverage.”

When I came back from the laundry room, I found Smiley McHappy Face clutching my mostly gone coffee. After I yelled “Noooooooooo!”, I immediately began planning a funeral service for nap time, because nap time would most surely be dead.

But I’m happy to report that it really wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I was prepping for an apocalyptic scenario where Mary would take on the personality of a rabid squirrel…but she didn’t. She just ran. And ran, and ran, and ran. She ran around in a very happy mood, much like a normal toddler would, only she never stopped.


She seemed to enjoy her running even more with this bowl on her head.

I would have been happy to let her “run it off” at home and let that be the end of the story, but then I remembered I had promised Gabe (the kindergartner) that we would come eat lunch with him at school. “Perfect”, I thought, “This will probably be another the nail in the coffin for any dignity I have left”. BUT! She was actually pretty good. She never stopped running. She ran around the lunch table *the entire lunch* and every time she would pass by me she would squeak “Hi Mommy!”. But other than that, there were no horrific incidents.


Excited Gabe and his caffeinated-sister in the background.

Several adults commented “Wow, *she’s* got a lot of energy”, and all I could say was “Well, you know toddlers, you give ’em one large cup of coffee…..”.

We all laughed…….. but I laughed the most.

And nap time wasn’t dead after all! I attribute it to the (non-exaggerated) 2 hours of running.

Live and learn!






Just Enough Info

Alicia (from Sweeping Up Joy) was recklessly generous and invited me to join a link up she’s part of called “Just Enough Info”. If I understand correctly, its kind of a “get to know you” type link up, to help build some community on the internet. And I love building community on the internet, because the people I “talk to” can’t hear my children disobeying my every command in the background. So, if you don’t want to know anything about me, this would be a good time to throw your technological device and run screaming.

Each week there will be three questions to answer. The three questions for this week are:

1~ What is your best school memory from your childhood?

2~ Do you have any back to school family traditions?

3~ Markers or Colored pencils?


1~ What’s your best school memory from your childhood?

I will title this story: THE Best Memory.

I went to the SAME *small* Catholic school for 9 years. NINE YEARS!!! (kindergarten through 8th grade). On the day of my 8th grade “graduation” everyone was called up to receive their “diploma” (or sentimental milestone paper). I waited with great anticipation. I was so excited to “graduate”. I had been at this school for NINE years! My dad went here as a child, my grandmother went here as a child. When it was finally my turn the Principal called my name, “Mary ANN MEL–NICK”. I paused, confused……my name was “Mary ELLEN MALENK”. NINE YEARS! SAME SCHOOL! They didn’t even get my name right.

So many years building to that anticlimactic moment. It was deeply amusing. Such an entertaining memory.

But I can’t really blame them. When I looked back in my 8th grade year book I didn’t exactly do *them* any favors with *my* sentiments.

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My “best” memory then; volleyball. So deep. So thoughtful. So……Memorable. BUT, look how I wrote my “M’s” back then! *Pretty* cool. (Also, my hair is in a banana clip. I would be remiss not to point that out.)


2~ Do you have any back to school traditions?

No. We are so. boring. The closest we have come to a tradition is “being on time”. We have never been late on the first day of school. So I guess you could say “not late” is our tradition.

3~ Markers or colored pencils?

If we are talking about me; I prefer colored pencils. Its so much easier to control the color (not that I do all that much coloring these days….I do none, to be exact).

If we are talking about my children; neither. The danger of finding graffiti from a rouge colored pencil or marker is too high. But if I have to pick one or the other, colored pencils would win.

If you care to fall down a rabbit hole and read more of these types of posts you can go here.

Well, I have to go and pick up my older children from school now. Oh the superficial memories they are probably making right now as we speak.



My Sunday Best

Top ‘O the Sunday to you! Just thought I would do a quick Sunday blog check-in. Joining Rosie with My Sunday Best.

I got a new skirt! Its white… so we all saw that one coming.


I always think my head looks rather large, elongated, and deformed in cell phone mirror photos. This perspective may be influenced by the fact that I have a large, elongated, and deformed head? Who knows. That will just have to remain one of life’s great mysteries. (In case you are wondering, my ankles are not made of lumpy play dough. Those are finger prints on the mirror.)

Last week I took pictures of “my Sunday best”, but never blogged them (Yay! The internet was spared for a week!). But I’m going to post them now. Ha! You didn’t escape after all; gotcha!

The outfit I wore last Sunday was bold and daring. And I am happy to report that after almost 2 years since having Mary Claire I have  sort of/almost/kind of /maybe  gotten rid of my baby gut.


If I just suck it in, say a prayer, and act casual. (Pardon the finger prints on the mirror…that were apparently there last week…)

I’m sure I’d be a lot better off if I watched what I ate on a regular basis, but its going to take a lot more than vanity to stop me from putting heavy whipping cream in my coffee every day…sometimes more than once a day….ok, ok, almost *always* more than once a day.


Mmmmmm. Creamy. And fatty. All fat to be exact. The carton says “45 calories. 45 from fat”. Its very worth it.

I have a lot of things that I would like to blog about, like the standard “birthday’s, vacations, etc.” BUT! Most importantly, I also have a blogging commitment to fulfill.

My brother-in-law, Joel, wants to start a “Catholic Cinema Society” and have people link up and do movie reviews. He kindly and generously invited me to participate and I kindly accepted…. and then left on vacation. Twice. Never to be heard from again.

Until now!

I hope Joel forgives me for my negligence. (Although he may need to save up some of his forgiveness. That way he will have plenty of forgiveness left in his heart, when he reads my terrible movie reviews). If you have any interest in participating in this super society, you can read about it here or here or here.

And now, in addition to all my posts about outfits that are black or white, or my outfits that are white and black, you can look forward to my movie reviews! Which will probably turn out to just be a description about the experience of watching movies on a heavily fingerprinted television (why do they have to touch everything?!?!?!?), rather than an actual movie review.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and have a delightful dreaded Monday morning.