Spaghetti is the word

Who does this boy get these things from??

Last night we had the honor of attending our niece‘s baptism and then a dinner with family.  It was a beautiful event.  Everyone was looking very nice.  Our niece did the appropriate freak out when tilted upside down and rained on unexpectedly, followed by endless pictures afterword where said niece screamed her head off because she was done with the whole long-old-dress-getting-me-wet-with-my-clothes-on thing.

Next came the lovely family meal.  This was going rather uneventfully.  My moody, pre-teen daughter was being snippy at her brother but very pleasant to the rest of us.  My ‘look at me, look at me’ son was nicely playing catch in the yard with his cousin.  There was no fighting or bickering amongst the adults.  All was good.

We sat down to eat a delicious meal of salad, chicken, and spaghetti.  My son finished quickly and ran back outside to climb a tree to defend his base from the advancing enemy.  (I think this was pretend.  Imagination lives!)  He comes running inside, upset and rubbing his eye.  While hiding from the forces, he brushed the tree bark and got ‘yuck’ in his eye.  I take him in the bathroom to get it out and see the real problem isn’t the tree bark dust.  My son has spaghetti sauce from ear to ear, down the front of his shirt, on his collar and over his left shoulder.  OVER HIS LEFT SHOULDER!  Now I could accept this if he was one the two-year olds at the party.  But they did not look like this and he is 9.  I assist with the eye and then attempt to clean the sauce out of his clothing.  It’s a lost cause and I start mulling over how I will get this stain out.  Shaking my head, I send him on his way.

As I am sitting back down in front of my meal, my long hanging necklace drags through my spaghetti and, before I can catch it, smacks into my white shirt, dripping the familiar red sauce all down my front.

Oh, so this is where he gets it!

Happy (29 x 2) + 2 Birthday Mom!

My mom is younger than me.  Well not technically, but in her mind she is.  She is the true embodiment of 29 and holding.  And being 29 for her is quite a stretch.  The whole time I was growing up, she always used to say she was 21.  I confusing a great deal of elementary school peers when I would announce my mom was 21… ” Your mom is 21???  Mine is 32!”

Her 21st year lasted until my brother and I enter our college years and became ‘her age.’  Then she decided she could be 25.  Twenty-five lasted a few years, until I turned 25, then it was on to 29.  When I turned 29, I asked her if she was bumping up her age again and I got a firm NO.  And as I have trudged on into my 30s, my mom continues to live in ’29-year-old’ dream land.  Dad doesn’t complain too much.  Why would he?  Every year he gets to be married to an even younger woman!

Being stuck at 29 creates a challenge when decorating a birthday cake.  While my dad prefers to forge on ahead, line up those candles, and write her true age, I like to keep mom happy.  (I still live by the rule…  If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!)  So I prefer to give mom a special “29” birthday equation every year.  This year my mom turn the BIG (29 x 2) +2!!!  (For those crazy people who don’t like to do math equations for fun… Momma’s 60!)

Now I know my mom cringes at the idea of thinking she is getting old.  I know I’m biased, but I don’t see 60 when I look at her.  I just see the incredible person that she is.  She is that mom who has a beautiful smile that stretches ear to ear and a genuine laugh that warms the heart and brightens the room.  She is that warm, friendly, loving mom who still makes cookies for every holiday and tells you she loves you on every phone call.  She’s the mom that every one of your friends called mom and who made every one of your friends feel welcome in her home.  She the mom that would listen and truly hear you, and whether you knew you needed it or not, would offer you incredible words of wisdom, many of which I still use and pass on today.  Here are a few of my favorites:

1.  Because I’m that mom, that’s why.  When you’re the mom you can do what you want.

This was usually addressed at my brother or myself when we were given a direction and questioned why.  I could deal with it.  I knew my day to be mom would come.  My brother was a little more distressed by this.  He said once, “But I’ll never get to be the mom!”  To this, mom replied, “That’s right.  You’ll get married, have kids, she’ll be the mom, and she’ll tell you what to do.”  Poor, sad brother just dropped his head and walked away.

2.  19-year-old boys want things 16-year-old girls are not going to do!

My parents weren’t really the ‘talk about sex’ type of parents.  This was her subtle way of bringing up the topic and banning it without having to talk about it.

3. Nothing good happens after 10:30 that couldn’t have been done before 10:30

How right you are mom!  Everything after 10:30 is bore from stupid, boredom or stupid, drunken, boredom… either way, it was usually stupid and a really BAD idea.

4. Don’t you want  people to look back and think, “Kerry was a nice person.”

Now, I have to admit, this piece of advice used to make me think that my mom wanted me to be a doormat.  When I got older, I realized how wrong I was.  No one has every pushed my mom around or forced her to do anything.  She also does not sit quietly in the corner and agree with everyone.  She is willing to speak up for what she believes in and stand her ground, but she is never rude, crude, mean, demeaning, or hurtful to others in the process.  She is always nice, polite, and respectful.  She is always kind to others and people remember that about her and love her for it.  That’s definitely something to strive for.

I was blessed to be raised by such a loving, caring, and protective woman.  I am thankful everyday that my children have her and that I have the relationship I have with her.  If I can be half the mother to my own that she was to me, I’ll be doing OK.



Boys will be…forever scraped and bruised

Sunday….  A day of rest….  A day of relaxation…. A day of bandaging and icing my boy is more like it!

My son is 9 and has one speed, lighting fast.  He also has no fear, a competitive spirit and a need for everyone to watch him.  Oh, and he’s a ladies man.  No seriously.  He is.  At 5, he had 18-year-old lifeguards crowding around him  and rushing over each other to pick him up at the pool.  Two years ago he announced to me that he had three girlfriends at school.  Two nights ago, while my husband and I were playing softball, he flirted his way into sharing a blanket and getting an arm wrapped around him by a pretty, blonde 26-year-old while sitting in the dugout.  And now, it’s the cute girl who lives across the circle.

Today he was at said cute girl’s house, bouncing on the trampoline in her backyard.  They were there for a few hours, him showing off his ‘mad skills’ and her, giggling over his every word.  He was displaying is ability to bounce around the whole circumference of the trampoline when, with one slip of the toe, his left foot fell through an opening and he scraped it from ankle to knee, leaving cuts and deep bruises along the way.  He comes home to show me the damage.

As I’m cleaning him up, this conversation ensues:

“Did it hurt?”

“Yes, a lot!”

“Did you cry?”

“No, I didn’t want to cry in front of Cali, so I just took a bunch of deep breaths.”

“Oh, so do you like Cali?”

“Yes.  She likes me too.  She calls me her spider monkey.  ‘Oh, my spider monkey!!’ ” (Huge grin on his face!)


So I clean the boy up and send him back out.  He gets on his RipStik and decides to spin circles around Cali and the other neighborhood kids.  If you are not familiar with a RipStik, it’s like a skateboard and snowboard mix, having on two wheels that spin and the ability for the board to flex in the center.  He twists and circles them, the whole time talking, smiling, and showing off.  The scrapes and bruises of the trampoline a distant memory.  He then decides to talk to the group, which is now behind him, as he skates forward.  I bet you can guess what happens next.  The front wheel catches the edge of the driveway and he flips of the board, hitting his butt then head on the ground.  Ouch!  I scooped him up and felt the instant goose egg.  Dr. Mommy time number two of the afternoon.  Back in the house for an ice pack and a lecture about how the helmet is only effective if actually worn ON his head.

As I send him out of the house this time, I watch from the window as he reclines back in a chair, resting on his ice pack and  while Cali places her chin on the chair’s arm rest to watch ‘her spider monkey.’

Scrapes, blood, bruises, goose eggs, ice packs, and goo-goo eyed girls…. Spider Monkey’s Mom is in for a long ride!

I want to be at that party!

So I go to the store and get my meat and toilet seat.  (Meat and toilet seat, that rhymes!)  Even when you go to the store for two things, you never leave with just two things.  Can anyone guess the third item that made it to the check out???  (Insert Jeopardy theme music here.)  If you said protractor you would be correct!   Protractor, meat, toilet seat…a winning combination.

As we were making our way to the checkout, I passed a set of shoppers who will, in my humble opinion, come a close second to me in ‘odd combinations at the register’ competition.  They had a cart filled with four cases of different beers, two bottles of wine, eight rolls of yarn and I watched them add a plastic table cloth.

I LOVE THIS!  Now, I might be jumping to conclusions here, but I believe they are having a party, either that or Thursday nights mean a different thing in their house.  I am dying to know what type of event they are throwing.  A drunken night of quarters and knitting?  Some new style bridal shower?  Something involving the phrase, ‘what happens at the yarn party, stays at the yarn party.’  The possibilities are endless!

So what’s your best guess what ensued that fine evening?


I’ll be that lady!

So I make a weekly trip to the grocery store like most of America.  I loathe grocery shopping.  You put the item in the cart, take it out, put in on the register, put it in the bag, you load the bags in the cart, push to the car, put the bags in the car, take them out of the car, carry them in the house, take the food out and put it in your pantry.  I move the same item a gazillion times!  But I know it has to be done, so I try to be effiecient.

I prepare all week.  I have a system.  The list is on the refridgerator door.  We make notes of things we ran out of or extras we would like to have.  I go through the ads and find the price matches.  Yes, I’m that lady you don’t want to get behind so say, “That is .99 a pound at…”  I place all the price matches together in my cart and on the register belt to make it easier.  I presort my groceries by food, non-food, cans, boxes, cold, fruits, vegs, chips, and bread to make it easier for the poor person I’m going to inflict my massive haul on.  Oh, and I use recyclable bags, so I’m that lady too.

What I hate most about grocery shopping is that no matter how well you prepare, you always miss something.  Sometimes it was in your head, but not on the list, you run out of something important the minute you get home, you forgot a birthday or occassion, or something breaks.  Whatever the case, I find the mid-week trip back to the store usually creates a fairly embarrassing situation, because the two random things you go back to get are always an odd combition.  Today is case in point….

Thursdays I make hamburgers for my family.  There is usually always a sporting practice of some kind on Thursday night and hamburgers is something I can make and whoever is out can eat it when they get home.  I looked in the fridge this morning and I did not have hamburger to make patties.  I almost always have hamburger, so I didn’t get any.  Apparently there is NOT an endless supply of hamburger that magically appears in my freezer.  Then my husband sends this text…”Need toilet seat for the downstairs bathroom”. I don’t even want to know why we need a new toilet seat.

So now I’m going to be that lady.  That lady with the uncomfortable with hamburger and a toilet seat in the check out today.  I’ll be that lady the checkout girl talks about in the break room….  “And then this lady came through with hamburger and a toilet seat!”  Lucky me!

What is your funniest check out combination?

Conversations from my work…

Welcome to today’s installment of ‘conversations from my work.’   I have the pleasure to work with some great students who provide me with lots of great material for this here blog.  Here are a few of the conversations I had today.


Scene – Student attempting to correct me

Me – Yes, I know, they were trying to go smoke pot.

Student – No, it wasn’t pot.

Me – Ok, then what was it.

Student – It was weed. 


Scene – One student having a conversation with another

Student 1 – I have $19,000 in my savings account.  I might go buy an iPad.

Me – You could do that.

Student 2 – You could buy 2!


Scene – Student in my office, pulling at the fake tree I have.  I see him picking his nose.  Then I see him rip a fake stick off the fake tree.

Student – I’m going to stick this up my nose.

Me – I wouldn’t do that.

Student – (Sticks stick up his nose.)  Ooowwww!  It tickles!  (Then rips a fake leaf off of the tree and puts it in his mouth.) Hmmm, this doesn’t taste like a leaf.  It tastes like cloth!

Memories….Like the corner of my mind??

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband has an auto immune condition that wrecks havoc on his body.  Due to his immense physical pain, he experiences memory issues.  The way we have had it explained is that his body is working so hard to get through the day, that it doesn’t necessary “record” minor day-to-day incidents.  Sometimes he just drops off mid-sentence, like his thought hiccupped and the moment is lost.  He also is occasionally messes up  his time and place references, especially when he just wakes up.  Like he’s still trying to sleep to get some physical strength, so this brain doesn’t register it’s supposed to be awake.  As you can imagine, this makes for some funny exchanging and frustrating conversations.  I lovingly refer to them at “Ten second Ted” moments.

Here’s a small piece of my joy….


Me – So Trystan has batting practice at the cages from 12:30 – 1:30, then baseball practice at the field from 2:00 – 3:30. 

Him -OK

I leave to drop off, get back home. 

Him – Where were you?

Me -Taking Trystan to baseball practice.

Him – He has baseball practice?


Me – So do you still have for lunch on Friday?

Him – How can we have lunch?  You’re working on Friday.

Me – No, I have Friday off this week.

Him – You didn’t tell me that.

Me – Yes, we talked about it.  I’ve been talking about what I’ll do that day.

Him – No we didn’t.


Him – So those guys are going to…

Me – (Starring at him for a while) Are going to have to what? 

Him – What are you talking about?

Me – You were just saying ‘those guys are going to’ and then you dropped off

Him – Hmm, I don’t know.


Husband sleeping.  I went in at 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, and 6:40 to wake him up.  Each time he told me he needed more sleep.

6:45 – Me – Do you want to get up yet?

Him – What time is it?

Me – 6:45

Him – Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?

Me – I did….repeatedly.

Him – No you didn’t


The door blew open and broke a flower pot. 

Him – Great!  And I got you that for Mother’s Day.

Me – Yeah, I know.

Him – Wait, that was last year.  Have we had Mother’s Day yet this year?


Him (Ranting about something from work) – I don’t need to be talked to like that.  I’m 37.

Me – Ummm, you’re 38.

Him – I’m 38?!?!

Me – Yes

Him – What did I get for my birthday?



I’m the Queen and this is my Throne

Now before you get jealous, my throne is the toilet, specifically, the toilet in my children’s bathroom.  Every week it is encrusted with pee, and every week I scrub it shiny, making it fit for, well, a queen.  Then every week, it becomes a royal nightmare again.

My children are 11 and 9 and have been using said toilet for 9 1/2 and 7 1/2 years, respectfully.  (Yes, I potty trained them at 18 months, and yes, it was easy, but that’s another blog.)

You would think that by now that would have figured out how to get the majority of their business inside to bowl.  I secretly think they have a chart somewhere and give each other stars for messiness or unique displays.

Today I found urine on EVERY surface of the bowl from the lid down, the toilet brush holder, the trash can, the sink cabinet, and the floor.  After my scrubbing extraordinaire, the bowl is exceptional.  You could eat…. never mind.

My beautiful, wonderful, apparently aim-challenged son comes in the room and exclaims, “It smells different in here Mom.”

“That’s what clean smells like.”

“Oh, cool!”

Toilet clean I turn my attention to the sink.  How the #$%@* did they get toothpaste there?!?!?  Someone hold my crown, I’m going back in!

Ring, ring

There’s a double-edged sword of owing a cell phone. 1. You’re always accessible. 2. You’re always expected to be accessible.

Remember  when you first got a cell phone?  I’m old enough to remember not having one.  Old enough to remember not needing to be in constant contact with others.  Surprisingly we survived adolescence without our parents being able to text us.

But now that we all have them, we are all attached.  Going wireless has made us more trapped.  You can never get away.  You can try.  That’s what the ignore button is for.  Unfortunately, we all know when we’ve been ignored.

I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve had the “Why didn’t you take my call.  I know that thing is always attached to you.”argument.  We lived for years only calling people at their homes, not carrying if they didn’t answer.  Now we judge their feelings and intent on how many rings til they answer or how many minutes pass til they answer the text.  Instant contact may have made us more connected, but has it really?

Conversations from my work

(Just a reminder if you didn’t read my bio.  I’m a school social worker at a school for behaviorally disordered special education students.  My daily interactions and conversations are, shall we say, interesting.)

Here are a few conversations that I had or listened to at work this week.

1.  Scene – Teacher has given an assignment over cause and effect of air currents.

Student – “I can’t find the answer!!!!”

Teacher – “It’s in this paragraph.”

A few minutes later…. Student – “I still can’t find it.”

Teacher – “Read this sentence.”

A few minutes later…. Student – “I still can’t find it!!!”

Teacher – “The answer is the first sentence.”

Student puts pen to paper and writes ‘The first sentence.”

Teacher – “No, the answer is in the first sentence.”

Student – “Oh, so what is it?”


2. Scene – Staff member finds a quarter.

Staff member – “Hey look!  I found a quarter.”

Student – “It’s mine. I dropped it!”

Staff member – “Ok, whose picture is on it?”

Student – “I don’t know!”


3.  Scene – Student sitting in my office with me.

Student – “So are you full white?”


4. Scene – Student working on a worksheet from class.  The textbook is open in front of them.

Student – “I don’t know where to find these answers!”

Me – “If you read the section, you’ll find the answer.  The generally write the answers to those worksheet questions in the textbooks.”