Trash talk

I started this post last week, because last Monday I launched into the day in classy Monday fashion, by backing into my trashcans on the way to Mass.

Thankfully several people saw me, because no foolish move should go un-noted. It is kind of like the old philosophical thought experiment, “if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” which in this case would translate to: “if a Mary backs into her trash cans, sending them flailing into the street, and no one sees it, did it even happen?” Well, it happened all right, and my neighbors know it.


The trashcans survived and are working through their emotional recovery after the incident. The recycling bin, (the one on the left) obviously seems the most offended by my carelessness.

And in case you were wondering…


…Agent Doom survived as well. Not a dent on him….that wasn’t already there before. (Agent Doom has a lot of mysterious dents. We have only had him for about 2 years, and I think its safe to assume that if cars could talk, he would have a very enthralling life story to tell.)

But you can’t let one little moment of total embarrassment in front of people you are going to see again and again ruin your day. I forged onward and tried to avoid eye contact with the neighbors for the remainder of the week.

And I’m *sure* I redeemed myself when they looked out their windows on Sunday to see Mark taking pictures of me for My Sunday Best….


I can’t imagine how this activity wouldn’t reflect well on me… “Oh look honey, the reckless driver is outside taking pictures of herself now. What is she wearing? A man’s undershirt and a skirt? Her fashion sense seems to be on par with her driving…”

But just to be clear, I have NEVER backed into anything before. This was my first time….and only time, I hope. I like to think it was Mark’s fault for putting the trashcans there. I like to think everything is Mark’s fault in some way. (Love you, Mark!)





A Baker’s Dozen Anniversary

Since a bakers dozen is my favorite number of donuts, I am naturally presuming it will also be my favorite year of marriage. We’ll see.

Mark and I celebrated our 13th anniversary this summer. And by “celebrated” I mean I forgot our anniversary was coming up so I planned a trip to Colorado *without* Mark. Whoops! I guess its a good thing we aren’t hopeless romantics, or Mark might be crying in a pool of his own heart-shaped tears.

I gathered a few pictures from our professional photo album to share. It should be noted that we were married *juuuuuuust* before digital photography became the standard, so we got to enjoy all the perks of film photography. The part I miss most about film photography was how you could *click* *click* *click* all day long and then sit down at the end of the day and go “Well, I’ll be curious if any of those turned out…..wait, nope. I didn’t load the film correctly.”

Mark and I were really curious how the wedding pictures would turn out because we didn’t know our photographer all that well. As we were taking pictures there were poses that seemed pretty standard, and then there were plenty that left us feeling…weird? Mark and I like to think she must have been referring to a “Don’t be afraid to try something new” wedding pose book that said things like…

“If you encounter a short Groom, have him stand on your high heels so he can live his tall dreams through his wedding photos”…


Mark is the same height as me…but not when he’s wearing heels!!!!! I think we both had a hard time acting natural with Mark standing on our wedding photographers heels. It felt like a lie.

Then there was the “Have groom rub brides knuckles on his chin” picture…


I can most certainly guarantee that in all the years we have been together, we have never found ourselves naturally in this pose. Ever.

There was also a whole series of pictures that could be filed under “A Bride who only has eyes for her flowers”.


I seem more in love with the bouquet than I do with Mark. “Excuse me, can my flowers and I just have a few more moments together?”

The photographer took I don’t know how many pictures of me just staring at my flowers. If a stranger were to pick up our wedding album and flip through it he would think I was a clinically diagnosed narcissist.


My parents looking at me LOOKING AT MY FLOWERS.

The flower obsession culminated with the “Bride fires Bridesmaid’s. Drags flowers to altar by herself” pose…


Based on these pictures, how can we be certain I didn’t in fact marry my flowers? Am I even aware of the world around me?

In all seriousness, I did like my flowers, just not as much as the pictures might make you think. There are eventually pictures in the book where I am not in a flower coma.

In my pictures with my bridesmaids I managed to take my gaze off of my flowers, mostly because we were all trying to figure out what to do with the scarfs that came with the bridesmaid dresses. No one could seem to figure it out…


“Show me more leg!!!” is what the photographer kept saying to me. Apparently all of our scarf antics inspired her to tell me to pull up my dress. I felt weird about that. But I obliged. 

And I think the leggy scarf picture must have given the photographer the confidence she needed to throw her “comedian photographer hat” on in full force.


“Oh my goodness. WHAT time is it?!?!?!”

Followed by…


Mark trying to run away…only to be captured by the smiliest group of men who would force him into marrying a flower obsessed narcissist.

She totally nailed that comedy.

But maybe even better than her comedy was her ability to shoot unflattering action shots…


Was there an earth quake during the wedding? Is Mandy protecting me from an assassination attempt?

But I’ll tell you what, I’m sure she was just as perplexed by us as we were of her. Because this next picture was 100% our idea…


I know its traditional to have the groom get all handsy under the brides dress and pull out a garter, but we really thought that could make people uncomfortable…so we decided to have Mark take the garter off the best man instead. Because that won’t make anyone uncomfortable….

Happy belated 13th, Mark!!! I’d love to hire the same photographer for our *20th* Anniversary and do this all again!…buy maybe that’s just a pipe dream.

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!