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.



“I’m Bored”

That’s the current trending statement in our house. And I can’t say that I disagree…which is why I’m linking up with Kelly again! Blog away the boredom I always say! (Which always prompts my children to point out they don’t know how to type…or have blogs.)

1~Gabe needs to start a support group for “Bored-aholics Anonymous”.  (Of course by posting this information on the internet, I might have made the anonymity part harder for him.) Of all my children, he is the most bored. He just came over and sat down and said “I’m bored”. So I took a picture of him, which made him mad. But hey! It cured the boredom for a minute! The first step, in the 12 step process for Bored-aholics; have your mother take a leggy picture of you in your gym shorts.


Each time I see a picture of our stairs with the picture hanging on the wall, I like to recall how Mark and I risked our lives to hang that picture. Hanging it involved multiple ladders, awkwardly placed at angles on the stairs.  I would hope that if we had indeed died in the process, that someone would have had the decency to make that picture into our headstone, with the words “Death by Decor” on it.

2~I would love to say that *I* am immune to boredom because “I’m just so busy raising 6 kids that I have NO TIME to be bored!”, but the truth is, I get bored a lot too. Sure. there’s no shortage of things to do, but those things are usually boring. Waking up? Boring. Mundane kitchen cleaning? Boring. Any game my children want me to play (which I do with plenty of enthusiasm because I love them)? Boring. I could name other obvious household chores (laundry?), but that would be BORING. It just serves as further proof that you can have a lot of crap…I mean things, but they won’t make you happy. Or in this case, they won’t cure your boredom.

3~Whenever the kids tell me “I’m bored! Nobody wants to play with me!”, I tell them “Nobody wants to play with you!!?? That’s a weak argument for being bored. I was an only child; I never had anyone to play with. I played alone all the time.” The kids never have any sympathy for me though. Which is why when I am helping Gabe come up with things to do by himself he says “Oh! I bet you did this a lot in your lonely life as a kid!”.


Gabe really doesn’t like having his picture taken. He was so mad when I wanted a picture of him after he fell on his face into a puddle of mud.  I am such a caring mother, “yah, yah, you’re mad. Now hold still so I can get this picture; you look hilarious.”  (I *only* demonstrated that last part with my actions, I probably did not say those words out loud.)

3~Good gracious! I’m getting bored-er (a word?) just reading about boredom. Let’s move on…

4~Kelly’s 7 Quick takes post today was really amusing. I know I already linked to it above, but I always enjoy beating a dead horse. Sometimes if you hit it just right, you can get one more good neighhhh out of it. (Too morbid? For the record, I only actually enjoy the neighing of a live horse.) Kelly’s dedication to taking pictures as visual aids is unmatched; I highly encourage you to take a moment to appreciate her work.  (See, neighhh!)

5~I veered from my normally mundane rotation of the same 7 meals, and made stromboli the other night. Its always delicious, and I think it is the kids favorite meal.  I don’t make it often….because it requires me to make bread…and because not only do I make bad jokes about dead horses, I can sometimes be lazy.  (Basically, I’m a terrible human being.)

Anyway, one of my favorite things to do when cooking is to find ways to cut corners (work smarter, not harder!) and I have found that when making bread, a person can cut corners like CRAZY! Unless you have invited an artisan bread maker from Italy over for dinner, your dinner guests probably won’t notice you cut corners…or at least they won’t tell you they noticed.

I always follow the standard recipe of warm water, yeast, blah blah blah, but then I leave the safe world of following directions, and become a bread-y rebel! I stab it with a spoon for a minute (or 2!), kneed it for a minute (or 2!), and then… I DON”T LET IT RISE! I just put the toppings on and bake it! (All of the seasoned bread makers are tearing their garments, lamenting my faux pas). But honestly, the lack of rising doesn’t make enough of a difference in the bread for me to care.


The spoon stabbing. A technical process.

6~ This picture makes it look like Mary Claire has a special gift.  Like, if we went to baseball game, we would not have to buy her one of those giant foam, “We’re #1” hands.


7~That’s all I’ve got for now (thank goodness)! Fairest of Fridays to you fine folk!

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!!!


My Sunday Best…on Monday….um, Tuesday?

A day late and a dollar short! (Actually, this is 2 days late and 2 dollars short because I wrote this on Monday, but then I got distracted and didn’t post it). But I’m going to share my Sunday best anyway. Linking up with Rosie again!

I’m going to cut right to the chase and show you the Sunday best in all of its bland glory…


White shirt and black skirt…”How does she come up with these edgy styles; by looking at Oreo cookies?!?!?!? What will she wear next?! A black shirt and a white skirt?!?! We’re all on the edge of our seats!”

But just so you don’t think I’m completely lame, the white shirt does have a lace front. Pretty daring, eh? (said in my best Canadian accent)


“Wow that lace is pretty zany! She must be a lot of fun.”

Perhaps it’s more interesting to note that I let Mary Claire sit on Eli’s head while I took these pictures?


He didn’t seem bothered, she was thrilled, and wow, I need to vacuum.

Aside from the wild time I had choosing the clothes I would wear for a total of 2 hours on Sunday, we had a fairly decent weekend. One of my favorite moments was when someone else’s child was having pretty spectacular tantrum at the store. This distracted *my* children from having their own Broadway performance of “I hate the checkout line”.  (Side note: Why did I ever let my kids watch that musical?  It has so many negative messages about grocery stores.)

Anyway, I briefly considered writing that other mom with the tantrum toddler a thank you note for distracting my children.


My children looked so mild and well mannered, but they were probably just taking notes.

We also went to a birthday party where Eli wore a mustache. So that was eventful.


He would blend right in as a Frenchman. He probably wouldn’t even need a passport! So if we ever need to flee the country this is my backup.

When we weren’t out and about doing wacky things like grocery shopping, I spent my time at home.  I spent a good part of one day just walking all over the house looking for my phone….which I was carrying in my hand THE WHOLE TIME. I love it when that happens; I get to see the fruits of my sleep deprivation and disorganized multitasking. It’s so rewarding to have something to show for it.

But don’t worry, I haven’t completely lost my mind. I’m still with-it enough to think of trivial things to complain about, and then write about those things on my blog. Like oatmeal…


Oatmeal is the booger of food. It has the same texture and clinging-ability of a booger. (Not trying to ruin oatmeal for anyone.  Its a perfectly delightful food… just boogery). The kids really like it, which should not surprise me, because they like to eat their own boogers.  Also, the kids probably like it just because they know that I really hate cleaning oatmeal up. It just keeps sticking to everything. I try and wipe it off the child’s face and clothes, and like a total jerk it just keeps sticking to new places. I curse and swear until I think I’ve got it all, and just when I let my guard down, and I think I’ve won the battle I’ll look down only to find “What the *bleep*!!! How did it get on my foot?!?!?” What is wrong with you oatmeal? Go home, you’re drunk. (I think this is the longest photo caption I have ever written. Setting new records everyday!)

But on the brighter side of things, I have a tooth-brushing technique for toddlers that I have been wanting to share for a while. I don’t want to brag, but its very effective. I just *gently* pin the toddler down with my legs , taking special care to make sure they can’t get their arms out. There may or may not be some crying involved with this, but don’t worry, just harden your heart and brush the teeth. Its better than cavities! I think….I do wonder which is more expensive: dentists now, or therapists in the future…we’ll just have to find out!

FullSizeRender (4)

I know this is an overwhelming picture of my man-ish thighs, but just look past that and focus on the technique. Mary Claire loves it. And actually, a little crying lets you get those back teeth nice and clean.

Well, we are having some company for dinner so I better go remove the note Mark left for me on the fridge…



I know what you’re thinking, and yes, we do keep our toilet paper in the fridge.  As my rich grandma from Paris would say, “You haven’t lived until you’ve used chilled toilet paper.” (Not really.  Other than the note, I made all that up.)

I have a lot more I could talk about, but I am already feeling excessive in my rambling, so I guess I will just have to write *another* blog post, to the horror of all humanity.

Have a happy slappy day!

Its drafty in here.

(I am joining Kelly again for 7 quick takes, per the usual)

Well look what the winds of May (2015) have blown in…an old blog post I never finished!

So I was going through my draft posts and I came across this one, which I wrote in MAY of LAST YEAR. Apparently, I went through all the trouble of uploading the pictures and writing words… and then let it die. Well, not anymore! Rise Lazarus!…and hopefully this post does not stinketh too much!

It’s really not *that* great of a post, but it did help remind me of when Gianna used to make me play the most painful games of charades with her. Martyr-parent over here; the early Christians would be so impressed. “Ravenous lions you say?! [me scoffing arrogantly.] Let me tell you about the 7 trials of childhood entertainment…”

So without any further martyrdom adieu, I give you:

7 things you can do this summer with your kids….

1. Sit on a roof. But just sit. It was dangerous enough climbing up there…

This activity normally only lasts about 5 minutes before sitting on the roof gets boring. So, try and have something planned for afterward.


2. Dress all your children alike. They like it. It makes them feel like something is happening. “Now that you’re dressed alike, you’ve earned the privilege of sitting on a couch!”  Yeahh!!!

Here are the kids in their traditional labor day outfits.


3. Yard trash; play with it! Not the broken beer bottles or old car batteries, but sticks or branches are great. I simultaneously file this one under “Creative Thrifty Toys” and “Lazy Parenting.”

Spinning in circles with a stick. Totally safe idea. What could possibly go wrong?


4. Have an Easter egg hunt. Its never too late.

If this picture were in an art exhibit I would title it “The Boxcar children in suburbia”…I don’t know, I guess they just look disheveled to me.


5. Play charades. Gianna (whom I love dearly, with my whole heart, really I do) does not excel at this game.  However, she loves the attention. Her clues are extremely unhelpful and she ALWAYS comes up with some overly-complicated thing to act out.

Here’s an example…a real life example:

(Gianna flailing on the floor)

Me: Your’re a scuba diver?

G: No.

Me: You’re choking?

G: No.

Me: You’re a turtle stuck on its back?

G: No, Mom! I’m a fairy godmother who just fell off a unicorn.

I’m not kidding. I did NOT make that up. Her ideas are always *totally* un-guessable. So many wanna be comedians in this family. Its an epidemic.

When you are trying to be funny, but end up looking like you are having a bowel movement. We’ve all been there, right? Right?!…..Please tell me you’ve been there.


6. Make blanket forts.

Good for creativity, but GREAT for starting violent physical arguments. Always the beginning of World War 4. (We’ve already had WWIII which started by riding in the car together).

“We’ll clean it up when we’re done, Mom! We promise!” -Liars


7. Lay down, and have your immediate family members come greet you one by one. This one might feel awkward at first for the teens in your family, but we all know they need attention too.

And she began to wonder if she would ever experience this mysterious “alone” people speak of…

And that’s the end. I would be flattered if someone wanted to submit this post to a Kansas summer travel magazine.


Go fly a kite…and while your at it, why don’t you push that camel through the eye of a needle.

Kite flying.  Its impossible.  The movie Mary Poppins is deceiving.  There is no way you can fly a kite on some congested street in London, 2 inches from the person next to you… who also happens to be flying a kite.  Most ridiculous of all, the movie would have you believe that not only can kites stay airborne, they can do so without getting tangled with the kites of other people who are entirely too close by.  My kids could be playing with their kites in two separate locked rooms and still get them tangled together.

I have tried so many times to fly a kite, running like a fool, only to have it lift a foot off the ground.  So, I have officially retired from kite flying.  There is no reason a 32 year old mother of five needs to be running while looking backward in a public place, unless I have entered some sort of ankle breaking contest where candy is given as prizes.  My kids, however, still long for kite flying and keep trying to build their own.

Gabe had no clue that kites *technically* should do more than just drag on the ground.

These particular kites were made by Gianna.  Its a piece of construction paper folded into a point at the top.   The Wright brothers should have taken notes from her.  It wasn’t terribly long before the kids (Gabe excluded) realized that the kites were not working as planned.

Confusion. Shouldn’t this be flying in the air?

I can’t remember, but Michael may have been yelling at his kite.  He takes after me.

This looks nothing like the scene from Mary Poppins. Note the great aviator Gabe still “flying” away.

The only good part about all of this was Gianna’s confidence.  Because when something doesn’t go as Gianna planned…you will find out that Gianna was apparently planning for it to not go as planned….so it all works out in the end.  Her utterly confident response to the non-flying kites probably went something like this,  “I didn’t actually want the kites to fly, I was just trying to find a good way to get the kids out in the fresh air.” (Gianna always talks like she in in charge).

If you just run fast enough…

I may be a kite flying failure, but Mark is a winner when it comes to doing things that look like a terrible idea.  Example, the game Gabe calls “tick-tock”.

I think this is a concussion waiting to happen.

But to give Mark credit, the kids love it.  He always comes up with games the kids love, which means he will always be the cooler parent, and that’s ok, because I have the cooler hair.

Gleeful Gabe.

Also, on a side note, when ever the kids say “tick tock!!!”, my brain immediately follows that up with “and you don’t stop”.  What 90’s rap song was that from anyway?  I can’t remember.

To all you kite flyers out there, I tip my hat to you.