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!






I renovated the *bleep* out of my bathroom…

And when I say *bleep* I am of course referring to wallpaper.

When we moved into our new house last August I was super excited. So excited, that I thought “I’m gonna rip the wallpaper out of that weird smelling basement bathroom and go all Fixer Upper in there!” So I got my jolly attitude all together, and started ripping off wall paper like a happy little Bathroom-Reno-Elf. Then I realized, “Oh no. No. No. No!” As it turned out, the wall paper and the dry wall had entered into a very traditional marriage of “till death do us part”. Every time I ripped off wallpaper, the dry wall would say “No! Don’t leave! I’m coming with you!” The walls ended up looking like we had an Old Western shoot out in there…and then had a karate class for the blind. So, as you can imagine, all of my Bathroom-Reno-Elf hopes and dreams died.

We ended up having to pay someone to basically re-do the walls in there. Good bye money, and hello Mr. Drywall man! The nice drywall man had to spend 2 and a half days in my windowless bathroom fixing the walls with all of his magical chemicals. He must have felt high as a kite by the time he finished, because that tiny bathroom fan can only suck out so much air.

But it really turned out nice, and Mark told me to please not rip anymore wallpaper down for a while (we’ll see).


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It was BOLD and FLOWERY! Very reminiscent of seasonal allergies.

And after…

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Its like being Claritin Clear! I am, of course, giving a thumbs up in the mirror because there is not a socially refined bone in my body. “Play it cool, never.” is my motto.

We would still like to change out the laminate flooring for…something else. But I think its probably best to spread out my DIY reno disasters.

Also, there is one part of the bathroom we are all still pretty dubious of…

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I don’t know what to call it. The toilet booth? The toilet of shame, maybe? It’s in the corner of the bathroom at the end of a narrow and claustrophobic hall. We all feel a little unsure about pottying there. It almost feels like a trap, as if you might go down there one day and never be seen again.

Really the above picture doesn’t do it justice. It feels more like this…

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I don’t need it *scared* out of me…

But we are trying to be positive about it…

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Just trying to make it seem welcoming. “Go ahead kids! I’m sure the troll who hides back there can be reasoned with.” ( Side note: Whenever I take pictures of myself I think “Oh geeze. That’s not flattering, let me try again…………………..nope. same thing.” )

Cheers, and happy DIY-ing to you!

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.

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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…

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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.