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 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!






My Sunday Best

Good Sunday to all of you! I’m joining Rosie again for My Sunday Best! Rosie is trying for a “pants-free July” (meaning she’ll wear skirts, not be pantsless). In this hot humid weather, that sounds so nice and airy!

I don’t have anything too exciting to report on the Sunday clothing front. I wore the same thing that I wore that other Sunday. Surprise, surprise.


My outfit is probably at least a year old- 100% Target. Not that anyone cares. Michael is in the background knocking water off the canvas canopy in the back yard.

We got 5-ish inches of rain here yesterday in our neck of the woods, (or plains? I guess here in Kansas most of the necks are plains). We have had a LOT of rain lately. Which only makes Mark and I a tad nervous since our new house is IN A FLOOD PLAIN! We should probably get more serious about investing in pool inflatables as furniture. Oh well, if the house floats away it will make for good blogging material.

Let’s see, what other exciting things can I tell you? We went to a later mass this morning, so there were no donuts. The kids had a lot of trouble processing that reality. “No donuts? There are no (???) donuts?”. I am confident that they will heal in time.


Michael invited himself into the picture from the *other side* of the double sided fire place.

Mark and I left the house today (!!!) and spent the afternoon at Panera. We met up with his brother and sister-in-law for coffee. (We weren’t just loitering aimlessly, in case that is what you were thinking.  We save up all our loitering time for the candy store on free sample day.). I ended up drinking too much coffee without eating substantial food.  This always leaves me feeling the same way I assume jack hammer operators must feel at the end of a long day. I never learn my lesson.

We finished off the day by going to the park where Eli and Mary Claire found markers (???) on the ground. I thought they were pretending to draw with rocks. (And no, I have never seen skinny, cylinder shaped-rocks labeled “Crayola” but I thought these might be a first.)  Anyways, I was wrong. They were not rocks, and unfortunately I only started paying close attention to what they were doing, *after* MC Hammer had drawn on her dress.

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Whomever left those markers at the playground deserves a spanking. Mary Claire looks suspiciously guilty; lucky for her she’s too cute for spankings.

At any rate, its late. I should go to sleep. Happy almost 4th of July (or actual 4th of July if you are reading this tomorrow)! Y’all be careful now, and leave a generous amount of space between your sparkler and the person next to you.

I’m starting to loose my resolve. My Sunday Best.

Linking up with Rose again! Or is it Rosie? Do you have a preference Rose-ie?

Well, would it surprise any of you fine readers to know that I wore the same thing to mass today, that I wore last week…and the week before?! No? I didn’t think so. I am just as bored of this outfit as you are.


We call this the tree of shame in our backyard.  Unrepentant fashionista-failures are sent here to think things over. (Full disclosure, this is obviously the first time the tree has been used.)

Though I am bored of my outfit, I am clearly not bored enough to do anything about it! Rose is probably going to add another ground rule to the link-up called “Mary, go buy another shirt.”

I’m going to try and reclaim a little bit of my dignity by pointing out that after church I did change into a pair of shorts and different shoes. Now you can sleep better knowing that I own at least 5 items of clothing…


Why am I looking suspiciously out of the corner of my eye? I don’t know. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

By the way, I suppose I should take a moment to point out the elephant in the room, also called “the golf ball sized bump on my left arm”.

I normally forget the old elephants there…until the light shines on it  *just right* (like in the picture above) illuminating it in all of its golf ball-ish grandeur. So, in the event that anyone noticed it (and if you didn’t before, you are now!), there is nothing to be concerned about. Its just a lipoma, also endearingly known as “a lump of fat cells”.

Its weird, I know. I didn’t always have it. It started growing when I had my first child and it just keeps growing a *little* more during each pregnancy because of the pregnancy hormones.  A lipoma can be surgically removed, but it is not covered by insurance…so, I’m just going to have a golf ball sized bump on my arm until we want to spring for that vanity surgery!!! Yay!

Now that I’m done talking about my sparse clothing selection and over sharing about my arm bump, I will leave you with one last Sunday detail. 12 years ago when we had our first child, (and I started incubating an elephant on my arm,) I swore I would never let any toddler of mine bring any of those unholy cheerios into church to keep them quiet. And up until this year I held strong. But desperation struck, and she goes by the name of Mary Claire, and I have crumbled under pressure. I am now one of those parents who lets their 18 month old baby eat their rambunctious feelings during mass. But! I’m not giving her cheerios…its Captain Crunch. Captain Crunch is square shaped, so it can’t roll away from me when it falls. My thoughtfulness is a little bit redeeming, right? Maybe?

Well, its getting late, and I am tired after making a meal that wasn’t waffles.

A glorious Sunday to all, and to all a goodnight!!!


How did I not see that coming???

I’m going to start this post off by offering a small but important health warning for anyone (like me,) who is starting to think they are not so young anymore.  My warning: Being young at *heart* is WAY different than actually *being* young.

This realization came to me mid-cartwheel about 2 days ago. (Now I know what you’re thinking, “Wow! How young and fun of you to do cartwheels! You must be in great shape!!”…but my lower back would tell you ,”Um, no I am not.”). I was perfectly fine pre-cartwheel, and I probably would have been fine if I had just done a lack-luster uncommitted cartwheel. But no, I had to do the full starfish cartwheel, and stick the landing with both feet. How did I not see the back injury coming? The lesson here is: “if you haven’t wildly flailed your limbs around in over a decade…you should probably ease into it OR just describe the process to your children with out modeling it.”

So now my lower back has a little bit of an *ouch.* But no worries, I’m sure I will be right back in middle-aged shape again in no time!

In better news, the limo ride we took last night went fantastically. As I mentioned yesterday I went dressed in my Huckleberry Finn pants and a striped shirt and Mark went as a Tampa, Florida retiree…


In this picture I am protecting the dignity of our fellow passengers (who may not want to claim to know us,) by not showing their faces…unless of course you are an expert in knee identification…and in that case, “Yes, that is Taylor Swift’s hairy white knee!!!”

Some facts you might be interested in (probably not) about the limo ride:

1~The limo drivers name was Floyd.


2~Floyd was jovial but odd.

3~It has just come to my attention that people might also refer to *me* as jovial and odd….hmmm.

4~I felt like Floyd sometimes took the turns too sharp.

5~There has to be a better way to get to the back of the limo…conveyor belt maybe?

A series of unfortunate events…

The unfortunate events which I shall describe in overly-dramatic fashion today are:

1~(why do I always have to number things?  Is there something wrong with me? I have three possible reasons for my numbering tendencies….opps, never mind.) Yesterday, I was in the kitchen when I heard a series of interesting plopping noises. They sounded so soft and harmless that I was almost certain an angel must have been blowing kisses from heaven……..but unfortunately it was actually Mary Claire murdering a dozen eggs. I had just come back from grocery shopping and left one of the grocery bags on the floor. While I put the other stuff away, our little assasin took advantage of the moment to put a hit on the Chickleoni family.

I now have no eggs…so don’t come knocking on my door for an omelet. I only wish I could have seen the look on her face when she realized the dozen eggs were solely her’s for the smashing. She has had her greedy little eyes set on getting a carton of eggs for months now, patiently waiting for me to make a mistake.


Look at her, so innocently watching Gabe trim the grass with scissors. Little did I know , in her head she was probably plotting the demise of my groceries. Don’t think for a second that eggs have been her only victim, loaves of bread shudder at the sight of her…

2~It is that time of year again! Graduation celebrations coming out of every orifice! Toot! Toot! Nary a life accomplishment can be left unheralded! Which is how we found ourselves at Eli’s preschool graduation program…even though he is not graduating preschool…since he is only 3 and a half.  He is merely graduating into the next year of preschool… Yay?!

Mark, myself, my Dad, Gabe, and Mary Claire went to his school with our hopes high, ready to see the stunning performance by the “graduating” 3-4-5 year olds. Everyone expects to see a few tears shed at these monumental life events…but I don’t think anyone was anticipating the screaming that Eli ended up producing.

He did fine for a few minutes, but then I guess his nerves got the better of him.  He subtlety signaled his apprehension by doing a total melt down, in mid-song. By Eli’s reaction you would have thought they were being lined up for execution.   I ended up crawling on my hands and knees in front of the audience (so as to not block any of the photographs with my flowing mane) and proudly retrieved my little “graduate.”  The other kids were able to respectably finish their performance of “Going on a bear hunt,” but there was no turning back for Eli. He has definitely removed Broadway performer from his future career possibilities.

Eli graduation 006

This picture was taken right before he decided to scream in horror at this traumatic experience.  Perhaps he thought they were literally getting ready to go on a Bear Hunt?

Thankfully they had reserved seating just for these type of events…

Eli grad

Congratulations, Eli!

3~Our lawnmower exploded. It just really, actually exploded. We had been warned the motor was dying. The lawnmower repair man said to Mark “There’s nothing more we can do, just use it till’ the motor explodes and then get a new one”. Mark thought he was speaking figuratively, and actually laughed out loud when the man used the word “explodes.” But, as it turns out, he was honestly speaking quite literally.

No people were harmed, (just the mower,) And now we have a shiny new mower…


I can actually hear our savings account crying when I look at this picture.

4~ Lastly, and most entertainingly, the hydraulics on our car trunk stopped working. So now when I load the trunk with groceries, I have to hold the hatch up with my head or my back.  It’s a very natural, graceful and breathtaking process; like a giraffe balancing laundry on its head while fumbling their hooves awkwardly for their car keys…you know, that kind of natural.  I am sure I leave no strangers questioning what on earth is wrong with me.  I’m gonna try and fix this problem sooner than later…

And thus ends my tales of woe, from Midwestern Suburbia.

Good weekend to you and good luck.

State of the Pregnant Address. 40 weeks…I am sure you were hoping these would have ended by now.

Wellllll…..I am still pregnant. Which is uncomfortable, but other wise fine.

I can’t say birthing is my favorite part of being a parent.  My tendency to procrastinate unpleasant things has probably sent subsonconsious signals to this child, which are causing him/her to consider permenant residency in my womb.  I am putting my foot down if the child starts picking out furniture though, mostly because I wouldn’t know how that would be possible.

Below is a picture from the front, just to give you a new bit of awkwardness. Here are my photo disclaimers:

#1. I don’t know how to take a non-grainy iphone photo in the mirror (someone please enlighten me)

#2. I wear regular pants in public (jeans) but change immediately to stretchy work out pants at home. All of my maternity pants fall down, (because the maternity fashion industry hates me) and no one needs to see that pregnancy blooper. It would be horrifying.

#3. The previously mentioned boxes with photos remain.

I’m just trying to instill confidence in every pregnant woman with that face. Also note I still wear my leopard print, mid-life-crisis shoes…even with my yoga pants. Help me…

And because I just can’t help myself, here is a side view (grainy again,) and the wall turned a weird color of green.

Remind me not to hold the baby belly from underneath…its…weird. Since you can’t really see my right arm, it kind of looks like  I am just  wearing my favorite maternity sash, with a buckle made of  human fingers…

In other news, I have a large stack of papers, (kids papers, copies of bills, receipts, fan mail from the bored lady in Antarctica that reads my blog, etc.) that I need to file that I have been avoiding working on.  I have a feeling that the baby isn’t going to come out until I do that. I was really hoping to use the birth of my child as an excuse to put that off longer.  If pregnancy can’t get you out of work, then what is it good for?!  90% of the reason I became pregnant was so that I would not have to file those papers or move the box of pictures in my bedroom!

I am also now becoming suspicious that this baby might be a boy. My girls always came early, and I am currently 1 day past the due date. You failed me due date!!! We have a girls name chosen now, but not a boys name. I don’t like any of the boys name options. So, if its a boy, the name will be Mark’s fault.

In other news, Eli is preparing for the child by…

#1. Delicately feeding cabbage patch dolls LEGO food.

Got my finger in that shot. Rookie photographer.  Also, in this picture, Eli strikes me as a prison gaurd pinning this  child against a wall…”you WILL try these jelly donuts!”

#2. Getting the last few “Pots and Pan’s” band practices in…

They can hit it loud, but they will never hit it big. Never.

#3. Making leaf soup. Mmmmm.

Leaf soup takes a long time to make. Its a great babysitter…I mean activity.

AND #4. Adoring his beloved fly swatter.


My parents came into town to wait for the current occupant of my uterus to make an exit.  While they are of course excited to meet their new grandchild , they will also be required to take care of the other minions when the grand exit does happen.  That is the other 10% of the reason I got pregnant; when I am in labor at least I get to have a babysitter for my horde of children.

Today I used my father’s 70th birthday (which was on October 2nd) as an excuse to go eat the most delicious brunch in Wichita-land: Legend’s restaurant champagne brunch.


I wanted to take a picture of just my mom and dad, but because I married Mark Arnold, and because he knew that was my plan, it came out like this…

Third wheel.


Before I leave you, I present to you a list of names we could use on our soon-to-be-born child; please feel free to vote for your favorite:

Eusebius Constantine (to ensure the child is not too popular)

MarJoerie Robert (my wonderful cousin Billy gets the credit here, he pointed out that “MarJoerie” would honor both my parents, Marge and Joe)

Sasafras Bosco (because you don’t hear enough folks using good ol western sounding names.)


Now here is the fun part: Of the six names listed above, one of the above names is being seriously advocated by my husband. Your mind is spinning, I know. Expect the unexpected, and if you feel so inclined you can try to guess which one it is.


Lastly, I leave you with this picture I tried to take of my exstatic children wishing my Dad a happy birthday.

The joy and excitement can hardly be contained. Someone calm this party down!

Hope you have a good week and it is more exciting than the children above had!