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.


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!

Wanted: Food Taster. Possibility of poisoning…high.

A few months ago I went to El Starbucks and got a coffee. It was a delicious White Chocolate Mocha, which I’m certain is low calorie and very healthy, (I set lofty health standards for myself over here). I brought it home, drank it (riveting details, I know,) then I went about my usual house-cleaning/yelling-at-children routine.

When I came back to the kitchen, I threw a handful of Sour Patch kids in my mouth, picked up the coffee cup only to find that “Hey, there’s a little coffee left in here! That’s a fantastic surprise! I thought I drank it all!” So I took a drink of the coffee, AND IT TASTED TERRIBLE. Like, we are talking, “Oh-my-goodness, get-this-taste-out-of-my-mouth-right-now-before-I’m-forced-to-surgically-remove-my-own-tongue,” terrible. I was so confused. Why did my taste buds turn against me!!?? Then I thought, “Oh! Maybe its those sour patch kids I ate! They are probably making the coffee taste weird”. So I cleansed my palette by eating a cookie, (as one does). I took another drink and it STILL tasted terrible, AND now I was starting to feel unwell.  However, I was just so confused, I decided I better take just *one* more drink before I give up on my White Chocolate Mocha. Maybe if I swish it around a bit it would taste better? NOPE. The taste still made me want to die a swift death.

I was so weirded-out, I thought I better go tell my tale of woe to Mark, and see if he could figure anything out. I started to tell him about it when I saw that look in his eyes. He stares at you with the most serious face like he is really listening, but if you look closely you can see the very corner of his lips turn *ever* so slightly up into a smile (its almost undetectable to the untrained eye). And that’s when I knew.  You see, Mark likes to “poison” my drinks, but he does it so infrequently (biannually) that I forget.  My taste buds had not betrayed me; my husband had.  It was Soy sauce. I had taken three hearty chugs of soy sauce.

I can NOT recommend taking a drink of soy sauce to anyone, and I most CERTAINLY do not recommend taking THREE drinks of soy sauce.


He thinks he’s sooooo funny. I bet Mr. Funny doesn’t know I put Nair in his shampoo….

Walmart buns are the worst.

Here I am just stalking Kelly’s blog again and linking up with 7 Quick Takes!…

1~I am currently in the middle of several projects which include the yard, chalk painting a desk, finishing off a minor bathroom reno, and switching out my children’s clothes to the appropriate size/season (all the very firsts of first world problems). So obviously I’m blogging right now, just excited to share all sorts of things no one besides me could possibly care about…

2~Recently I sent Mark to the store to grab some buns (sounds inappropriate, but its not) for our exquisite hot dog dinner. The job turned out to be somewhat…confusing?…


Should we blindly trust the label and suppress any memory we have of the shape of a hot dog? Did someone bump a lever with their elbow at the Walmart hot dog bun factory?  …Whatever, let’s just eat ’em – they’re enriched!

I have so many questions about that bun situation, but Walmart offered no explanation. They could have at least put a sign out that said “Sorry! There was a mishap at the Bun Factory. I guess we shouldn’t have had the ‘Wear a blindfold day’ during spirit week.”…….I’m not even certain Walmart knows this occurred. Also, the shelf looks fairly empty.  How many Walmart shoppers bought these and either A.) didn’t notice or care about the label, or B.) thought, “I don’t remember hot dogs being patty shaped, but then again, I also sometimes forget where I put my car keys…”

3~I share this next picture because I am quite sure I am the first parent ever to take a picture of their children wearing sunglasses.


Set them on a piano bench next to Stevie Wonder and they would blend right in…

4~Not too long ago Gabe came up to me very proud of his attire and said “Take my picture!”


Then he said “These are for picking up poop!”…. (?!?!?!?!?!? Cue my interior panic attack about what poop, and where, and WHY ON EARTH IS HE PICKING IT UP?!?!?!?!?!) Thankfully it was just Lego poop (????) Such an enthusiastic smile, for such a questionable activity.

5~Sometimes when I don’t have time to make a list to go grocery shopping I just take pictures of my pantry and refrigerator on my phone and try to wing it (I think I saw this idea on Pinterest? Though it doesn’t seem like a very Pinteresty idea)…


Please don’t judge my potatoes….

Its definitely not as effective as planning ahead and making a list (go figure, I was shocked too,) but its leagues better than just using my memory. The only draw-back is if your phone dies, which is exactly what happened to me yesterday when I used the remainder of my battery up taking pictures of this….



He is the first of my children to attempt applying mascara without permission. He was very concerned with the mascara on his hands.  If only he knew….

I didn’t want to have to run back to the house to clean him off so I tried removing it with wipes. The wipes got most of it off. It just left him looking like he was wearing heavy eye liner.  I will tell you what, grocery shopping with a miniature Jack Sparrow feels weird. (I briefly considered asking my nephew, Alex, to Photoshop Eli into a picture of Jack Sparrow because he did such a good job photo-shopping these Johnathan Taylor Thomas curtains into my kitchen to go along with this post…)


7~I’m going to go ahead and give you a break here and spare you a #7. Go forth and live all the joy of a Friday night spent yelling at each other around the dinner table, frantically throwing kids in and out of a bath tub, and (if you are Mary Claire) running around with no pants on…




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.


Um, “scream like a banshee” was not one of the multiple choice options I provided…

Lately, one of my children has decided to start acting out emotions that are not on the pre-approved mood list I have given my kids.  (My approved mood options include: happy, content, satisfied, joyful, asleep, and going away to college.)  Since you probably know that my other children stopped listening to me long ago, I am of course referring here to Mary Claire, also known as MC Hammer, which is her preferred nickname. (She told me.)

Any how, Hammer Pants has totally lost her mind recently, and is now officially starting to develop opinions of her own.  Brainwashed children are so much cuter.  This turn of events is sad, but it doesn’t really surprise me. After all, this isn’t my first rodeo… Its my 6th rodeo, and I have been promoted from clown *outside* the barrel to clown *inside* the barrel. It’s an amazing promotion, let me tell you. (In full disclosure, I only got the promotion because I tricked Mark into thinking that the clowns outside the barrel are more special, and he could hear the crowd cheering better if he traded places with me.)

Now let’s take a moment to remember Mary Claire before she started having an opinion…

Remember when she used to do cute things, like pretend to talk on the phone and NOT bite me afterwards...

Hello cute baby without an opinion. You certainly would never bite me!


But look who’s singing a different tune now!


I wouldn’t give her an eclair. She apparently has a strong affinity for chocolate covered pastries. (And yes, that is my wrist, and yes I did take time to hold her at arms-length while snapping this picture. I was just upset it came out blurry)

But eclairs aren’t the only thing she will burst a blood vessel for…

Her other STRONG opinions include: Wanting to be on the stairs all day OR thinking its appropriate to CRY about not being able to be on the stairs all day.  (Don’t even try and tell her she shouldn’t be crying about this.  I used to have two working ear drums before attempting that logic session with her.) Further strong opinions: Wanting unlimited access to anything in the pantry (she will have completed her bucket list when she can dump the entire bag of sugar out) OR thinking its normal to scream about not having unlimited access to the pantry. She also strongly believes I should hold her all day (when she is not on the stairs.) I don’t think she wants to be held because she likes me; she is just entertained watching me do everything one-handed. I think she is particularly amused by watching me chop an onion with one hand, empty the dishwasher with one hand, or pretend to be a pirate with one hand. (At least sometimes her sense of humor is well-adjusted.)

But I think her most favorite hobby of all is just screaming until she produces enough phlegm to make a gurgling noise in the back of her throat.

Oh, and occasional biting…but thankfully just occasionally.

And I am sure you are all wondering about *my* welfare during all of this (you’re not, but pretend you are). Well, I am fairing just fine. When I see the rodeo start up, I just climb into my little clown barrel, tell Mark something exciting is about to come his way, and ride it out…

And thus ends this overly dramatic post about a toddler.

Oh! One more thing! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you have a great day…Just don’t eat too much cabbage or you will be spending the rest of the day flying around like a balloon letting out air. Or as my grandmother would say “The spirit of the Irish has you all a flutter!” (she didn’t really say that)





You can’t make this stuff up…or can you?

Listen, I will read a LOT of useless dribble to my children because it makes them happy. You want to read Blues Clues again and figure out what Blue wants to make for lunch using a tomato, a bowl, and a soup pot? Fine, I’ll read it and pretend like its the hardest puzzle known to man. You want to read another Amelia Bedila book where for some reason Mr. and Mrs. Rogers give her yet *another* job to do that she will completely screw up for her total lack of understanding of the english language? Fine.

BUT, I put my foot down at Bubble Guppies. Seriously Nickelodeon, you have lost your marbles.

Am I the only one who see’s a problem here?…..


Firefighter Gill????? YOU LIVE UNDER WATER!!!!!!!!!

But please, don’t run away in anger and frustration…yet.

The whole story centers around Gill and his bubble puppy GETTING STUCK IN A TREE…..UNDER WATER!!!!


I don’t mean to be disrespectful, Gill, but can’t you just, I don’t know, SWIM DOWN?!!!!

Gill goes on to learn all about Firefighters.

Sure, you guys know all about how to put a fire out...but can you START one?

Sure, you guys know all about how to put a fire *out*…but can you START one? (note the little tiny crab on the right page, showing his expertise in hooking up the fire hose to the fire hydrant UNDER WATER).

The story really goes out with a bang when *Gill* saves the Firefighters who also (somehow???) get stuck in a tree!


What is the matter with you underwater creatures?!?! SWIM for goodness sake! SWIM!

I would say that you can’t make this stuff up…but you can…because someone did.