Letting it all hang out


I’m not that parent who would allow our children to sleep in our bed.  My son never really tried.  He prefers his own bed and his own space.  My daughter on the other hand….

Paige tried about every hour to get permission to jump in and snuggle up, or more correctly, take over.  If Paige had just crawled in and went nighty-night, I might have considered it, but she tossed, turned, flailed, and flipped herself horizontally across the bed.  Sorry sweetheart, you’re cute, but you’re not sleeping in here.

Our peaceful, spacious sleeping arrangements were going so well….then we bought a puppy.  When the puppy was brand new, we closed her into our room, so that she couldn’t roam the house getting into things while we were sleeping or leave us unwanted surprises on the floors.

At first, she’d lay on the floor, looking up at the gigantic bed that her 3 pound frame couldn’t get up on…yet.  She quickly learned to channel her puppy power energy and leap up on top, finding its plush softness more appealing to the cold hard floor.

Bit by bit, she inched herself up from sleeping by my feet , to curling up in the crook of my legs, to this…

Please, by all means, make yourself at home.


All’s not quiet on the western front

There are times in my life when I have momentary lapses in sanity and judgement.  I had one of those two weeks ago.

My beautiful, adoring son came home as excited as possible.  They had a visitor come to class to talk to them about band and he wanted to join and play the trumpet.  Yeah!  I was excited.  (See, I really was delusional.  My first thought was that this was a good idea.)

I have a philosophy with my children, if they want to try something, I let them try it.  Over the course of their childhoods, I have signed up for, paid for, transported to and from, and cheered for the following activities:  soccer, ballet, tap, flag football, gymnastics, boy scouts, girl scouts, piano, karate, baseball, softball, swimming, basketball and football.  I’ve bought shirts, uniforms, and pictures; sold bread, cookies, and popcorn.  You name it, we’ve done, and for the most part, I haven’t minded.  I am a firm believe in kids needing to be part of teams and/or activities.  They need to have commitments and people they are responsible too.  They need to have loves, hobbies, and passions and how else are they going to discover what those are if they don’t go out and try everything.

It only makes sense that one of them would take a whirl at band.  Plus, he looked so cute when he was jumping up and down saying, “Please, please, please!”  Man, I’m a sucker.

First step, get over the shock of the price tag for band.  (Holy Moly!  He better really like this!)  Step two, lecture child about how, after I pay for band, he is not allowed, under any circumstances to quit.  Son does all but promise me is first-born, in an attempt to reassure me, that he will stick with it.  Step three, find a trumpet.  Step four, get over shock of the price of a freakin’ trumpet.  (He better really, really like band AND stick with it because I don’t see ‘used, discarded trumpet’ fitting into my current decorating scheme.)  Step five, praise the lord eBay was invented so that I don’t need to take out a second mortgage to pay for said trumpet.  Step six, sit back and wait for the arrival of the trumpet and for my life and ears to be forever changed.

Today was TD-Day…Trumpet Delivery day.  I have to admit, I was nervous.  I’ve never bought a musical instrument over the internet, sight unseen, from a stranger, so I was worried.  Plus, it was only $108.00, so I was extra worried that it wouldn’t be as promised when it arrived.  My fears were put to rest when I opened the package and found this…

Yeah!  It’s a real trumpet.

Trystan was so excited, I think he was about to burst.  He quickly unwrapped everything, pushed in the mouth piece and gave it a blow.

My nerves went back on full alert!  You know that sound you hear when you think of a fog horn or a Tin Lizzie?  Imagine that, times 20, directly in your ear…..Wowzer!

Because I’m a mom and a darn good one, I quickly put on my “that was awesome-sause” face and high-fived my future Louis Armstrong.  After all, this may end up being this thing.  Until we know one way or the other, I’ll be cheering him on, driving to and from recitals, grinning through practice times, and investing heavily in the ear plug market!


On the right side of the dirt

I love my birthday.  I think it’s the best day in the world.  Better than Christmas.  Better than Easter.  Better than the first day of the football season…and that’s saying a lot.

I turned 37 yesterday.  It’s all good.  I really don’t have an issue with aging…yet.  I do have an issue with still getting zits in my late 30s and when I figure out what department I can file that complaint with, I will, in triplicate.

Presents are the best part of birthdays.  One might say cake, but they’d be wrong.  You can get cake any day you want.  You can’t always make people buy you something.  I’m a lucky girl.  I have a group of people who really know me, really pay attention, and buy presents that really hit the mark.

We have four award winners this year.

My husband gets the award for listening.  He usually has my daughter ask me what I want, but then sometimes goes rouge from the list.  This year, he stayed on track.  I wanted a white Green Bay Packers hat.

Well done honey, well done.

The most awesome goes to my mom, well my parents, but we all know that mom does the shopping! 😉  My parents have gone to giving cash, so you can go shopping for yourself, but my mom has to have something for you to open or it wouldn’t be your birthday.  I don’t know how, but she always finds something incredible that you didn’t know existed.  Behold the newest member of my game day family…

Frozen tundra piggy!  It’s he awesome!!

My brother and sister-in-law get the award for paying attention and hitting the mark.  It has been a rough start to the school year and the edited version is this.  So far I’ve chased students, called the cops, been drooled on, creeped out, had my hair petted, and been kicked and punched.  Is it May yet??  This is what my loving bro and sis got me.

PERFECT!  Peanut M&Ms because I’ve literally put out daily stress calls for them.  Clorox wipes for the next time a student pets my hair and braids it into hers.  (Yes that happened.  Yes it totally grossed me out.)  Pumpkin coffee for that needed caffeine kick. Therapeutic bath salts for either aches and pains if I get kicked again or stress and tension relief if it’s one of those days.  And the piece de resistance, the thermal coffee mug that will keep hot things hot for 5 hours and cold things cold for 9 hours.  Whoever invented this is a genius!

But the ultimate “reality check” winner goes to my son.  He make this homemade card.

I like that he promised to walk the dog.  I’m bringing this out daily to remind him.  I am a little concerned that only him, I and the dog are in the card….

But the reason he wins is for the packaging.

Congrats to me!  I’m not in the obits this year!

A gentle reminder that I’m still on this side of the dirt and that it could always be worse.

Like Son, Like Father


I’m making the rounds this morning picking up all the stray dishes that have been abandoned around the house during the week and cursing my maid under my breath for her sloppy job this week, when I realize, I don’t have a maid.  Crap.  I don’t have a maid.  Why don’t I have a maid.  There would be someone to blame for this mess.  Now I just have to be mad at myself for the state of my house.  Dirty dish failure.  Add that to the list of things to talk to my therapist about.  Crap!  I don’t have  therapist either!  What has my life come to?

Anyhoo….I’m in my husband’s office when I find this.

What the….  Apparently growing mold is a family trait and my son gets his winning fungi abilities from his father.  Lucky me!


It’s a good thing she’s cute

As I was finishing getting ready the morning, I arrived at the shoe stage of the dressing process and decided to take full advantage of the high 70s weather we were forecast for the day.  If Nebraska is going to hand me a beautiful day like this, I’m going to let my toes out to enjoy it.  Open toe shoes it is!

One problem.  My toes were not display ready, and I had no time to run out for a pedicure.  Since I picked a pretty purple shirt to wear, I decided to throw a coat of dark purple on the piggies and hope no one looked too closely at them.

I had just finished the second stroke of polish on my first big toe, when my all too excited and way too full of energy puppy came bounding into my room.  She took one leap up, coming straight down on my freshly painted toe.  Then took a second leap up, leaving a purple puppy paw print on my dress pants.


Did you know that finger nail polish remover works on puppy paws?  It does not work on dress pants.  It ruins dress pants.

I’m sure these things happen in your life all the time…right??

It’s a good thing she’s cute, because if she wasn’t she’d be looking for a new home tonight!

And the winner is


Good teachers are hard to come by.  I should know because I switched my children’s school for just that reason.  I feel like I hit the jackpot when I put them at their current school.  It seems like each teacher was born to teach the grade they are in and challenges the kids to reach their full potential.

My son is in 5th grade and has the holy grail of teachers…. a loving, caring teacher who knows her material and her students well.  She has 25 years of experience and wisdom, understanding that she can push students to successes they didn’t know were possible.  She still believes in high expectations and high accountability.  She knows how to prepare kids for the upcoming challenges for middle school and high school, all the while growing their self-confidence.  If I haven’t made it clear enough yet, she is awesome-sauce!!!

Mrs. Mixan is one of those teachers who blends the latest technology and good ol’ hands on experiment into her lessons to really drive home the learning.

The latest science lesson was over bacteria, so of course the students dove into the text book, reading, taking notes, and making study guides.  They searched the internet and watched videos where super slo-mo was used to show the spray and projectile of a sneeze.  (If only the boy had seen it years ago!  Good news, he is finally covering his mouth and nose when he sneezes!)

Next, onto the hands on phase of learning.   Mrs. Mixan asked the students to put a piece of cheese, a piece of bread, slices of a tomato, and a cracked egg in a jar with a tablespoon of water, then seal it for a week.

Day 1

Here goes nothing.

Day 4

Ok. Not too bad.  I can see a few green spores.  Lots of humidity in there.

Day 8



Day 10


Ok, that is seriously gross!  The upside to this???  When Mrs. Mixan opened the jar and took samples of the mold spores for the microscope, my son had grown the most bacteria and was the classroom winner…of the most disgusting and smelliest creation.

Anyone out there suffering from strep throat???  I can save you the cost of a prescription.

My son was so proud of himself for his accomplishment.  I know the really winner was me and the rest of the parents who understand how incredible of an education he is getting and what a spectacular teacher he has guiding him on his way!



As I’ve mentioned before, I loathe text lingo.  My pre-teen-nearly teen-don’t remind me how old she’s getting daughter is rambling on about something of major importance in the seventh grade world.  I’m half listening, half making my mental list of evening activities when I hear her  saying, “OMJ!  OMJ!”

“OMJ?  Paige, it’s OMG,” I say as I shake off that disgusting slimy feeling from actually having to have vocalized OMG.

“No mom, I meant OMJ.  It’s better than OMG!

Not wanting to miss out on the newest coolness and knowing the importance of keeping up with what the kids are doing these day, I bite and ask, “Awesome Paige!  What does OMJ stand for then?”

Oh My Golly!!”, she says, smiling proudly of her witty creation.

“Um, ok….Honey….that’s still OMG.”  Dammit, why must I having to use lingo. Make it stop.

May beautiful daughter rolls her eyes at me.  “NOOOOO!  I said Oh My Golly… it’s O-M-J!”

“Noooo…Golly is G-O-L-L-Y.  Still OMG.”

“NOOOO!  Oh My Golly is O-M-J….whatever the other letters you said.”

OMJ…what am I going to do with this girl???

One of those days…

It didn’t look like it would be one of those days when I rolled out of bed.  If I had known what was in store for me, I might have just stayed under the covers.

I started the day in a hole, digging out from the paperwork I abandoned the previous day when I went running for the hills at quitting time.  As I began to scribble on a few pieces of paperwork when…


WHAT!?!?!  That can’t be the start of the day bell, I’m not caught up yet.  Great.  This better not be a sign.  As I walked to the door, I heard the familiar voice of a student making demands.  No hello, no how are you…just demands.  Man I wish I had worn my armor and closed toes shoes today.

This isn’t my first day at the rodeo, so I strapped in and prepared for the roller coaster ride that I knew was about to become my whole day.  I’ll spare you the details and cut straight to the cliffs notes.

Today I was..

– Called the following names: F*#^ing C*#!  / P*#@y / B^&#% / Stupid A&*$h#@e / Dumbo (clean and funny) / You A#* / Stupid C*#! / F*#^ing A&*$h#@e.  (I quickly realized that we need more swear words in our vernacular, as the student had to keep changing up the combinations so as not to repeat insults.)

-Pushed, grabbed, pulled, picked up, run into and flailed at by flying body parts.

-Insulted and threatened repeatedly.

-A witness to my office be torn up and my desk attempted to be ransacked. (Ha Ha!! I lock that baby everyday for a reason!)  Good luck I’ve played a fair amount of dodgeball and can move away from flying objects.

-A lightning quick magician who wrestled scissors away from angry hands.

-The luck recipient of a milk shower.  Yes, as a finally thank you from my student I wore the milk from their lunch.

Finally, 5 and 1/2 hours later, the dismissal bell rang (why does it sound oddly like a tap out bell?) and I was free to put my angel on a bus and begin my endless phone calls and paperwork.  Crap!  I still have yesterday’s paperwork.

As if I wasn’t already drained and living on one frayed nerve, I received a personal phone call telling me a medical procedure we were waiting for approval on is delayed.  Awesomeness!  Because if my professional life is going to blow up, might as well have a personal crisis join the party.  Sweet!

Last nerve officially gone.

I wanted to put my head down and cry.  (I think I might have a for a little bit, but don’t tell anyone.)

I set my mind on auto pilot, sped through my phone calls, packed up my paperwork to finish at home and made a beeline for the door.

When I got home, I switched into mom mood, hoping I could muster enough strength to push through to bedtime.  I was knee-deep in homework and getting ready to start the sports taxi when it happened.  The universe began its work to even itself out.

Not knowing how much I needed a boost today, a neighbor read my ‘cry for M&MsFacebook post and snuck a package onto my porch.  I opened my door and saw this.

I instantly smiled, laughed, and cried.  She could not have known how terrible my day was.  She could not have known how low I was feeling.  She could not have known how much I needed that.

Thank you Caryn.



Nice Try!

Some people have kids to love, cuddle, and cherish.  I had mine to make sure I have someone to spoon feed me, change my pants, and let me live in their basement in my golden years.  No really!  And you have to have at least two.  One might be a screw up who refuses to be guilted into taking you in.  It’s too much of a risk.  A side bonus to bringing these crazy kiddos into the world, is their ability to provide an endless stream of blog material for me to put out into the universe to, hopefully, entertain the masses.

These two conversations happened within minutes of each other this afternoon.

While I was correcting my kids homework, I called Paige over to look at one of her math problems.  As I’m asking her a question, she leans in breathes on me.   Luckily, I was already sitting down or I might have fainted from the smell.

Me – “Whoa!  Um, you need to brush your teeth.”

Paige – “I did!”

Me – “Apparently not good enough.”

Paige – “Well…. I did have gym today.”

Me – “Yeah, that’s not how that works.”

Nice try Paige.

Then within a matter of minutes, Paige reaches into her backpack, pulls out a dollar, and announces, “Hey! I found a dollar!”

Trystan – “If it has George Washington on it, it’s mine.”

Nice try Trystan.


Keep dreaming sweetheart

In an attempt to get a jump-start on my weekend laundry adventure, (I know I’m stuck doing it.  I might as well give it the best title possible!) I put out an all call in the house.  All laundry report to the washing machine for proper sorting and load assignment, STAT!

The kids hauled theirs down right away, then came up to offer help with mine.  (Quarters still working!)

As we walked into my bedroom, I said to Paige.  “Hey, grab your dad’s pile of clothes, put it with the stuff in the hamper, and take it all downstairs.”

Paige – “Ok Mom, but why doesn’t Dad just put his clothes in the hamper?  It’s right there!”

Me – “I don’t know Paige.  He just doesn’t.  None of them do.”

Paige – “Oh, the man I marry will use the hamper!”

Me – “Sure Paige.  Good luck with that.”

Oh the optimism of youth!