Monday, October 29, 2012


I hate puzzles.  I hate the ever loving shit out of puzzles. 

You’ll notice I swore nice and early in this entry.  That’s how strongly I feel about those damn things.

I was not a puzzle do-er in my youth.  They never appealed to me.  Mostly because I have no patience. 

At all. 


And now as a mom my patience level with them is at an historic all-time low.  It’s frustrating enough not being able to put the pieces together yourself…but watching someone else struggle with this task?  It’s excruciating.

Here are some examples of things that give me the same feeling as when I watch the boys do puzzles:

-Getting lemon juice in a paper cut

-Cold ice cream on a sensitive tooth

-Stubbing your toe over and over in the same place

-Being water boarded

Those wooden ones where you put the wooden alligator piece on top of the picture of the alligator are ok.  I’m down with those.  But jigsaw puzzles? 

“Oh my GOD…are you kidding me?  That piece isn’t even the same COLOR as the piece you’re repeatedly trying to match it up with.  The sticky out pieces have to go INTO the holes.  You can just JAM two sticky out pieces together!  Don’t you know you have to do the edge first?  Turn the piece around…no…the other way…keep going…TURN IT AROUND!  What are you, 2? Just let me do it…”

I sometimes think that doing puzzles with the kids is a good idea.  Then again I sometimes think having twenty margaritas in one sitting is a good idea.  Turns out, neither of those things ever ends up being a good idea. 

The other day I got a few new puzzles and was determined to put in an effort.

At first the kids were excited because it was something new and different.  You can only play with the laundry baskets and the vacuum attachments for so long before you seek alternate forms of entertainment.

The first one we tackled was shaped like a T-Rex. 

“Boys!  Let’s do this dinosaur puzzle!”

“Yay!  Ok!”

5 minutes later…

“Mom I don’t like this puzzle, we’re gonna go play trucks.”

Wow, kids.  Way to follow things through and not be quitters.  Your work ethic amazes me. 

I refused to let them quit.  You would have thought I refused to give them food and shelter.  Cause they reacted the same way.  They screamed and cried as I forced them to sit there and endlessly match up pieces of dinosaur. I actually wanted to join them but it didn’t seem like the adult thing to do…so I swore instead.

“I fucking hate puzzles!”

“You don’t say fucking, Mama.”


At this point they were just done.  And after I searched through 58 all green pieces before I found the exact all green piece that I was looking for, I was done as well. 

I think TV was invented by someone with an aversion to puzzles.  And I’d like to buy that person a drink. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Walk

Hello friends!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day here in New England!  October is my favorite month; the leaves are at their peak and everything looks and smells and feels divine. 

Today is perfect.  Not too cold, not too hot.  It’s one of those days where you think “Hey! I’m gonna surprise my kids and walk them home from school! And it will be so fun because we can crunch the leaves together and take in the sunshine and enjoy the day!”

I decided to bring our dog Toby with me. I was so proud of myself.  I thought: “Wow!  Look at me!  I’m a mom walking with her dog to pick her kids up from school on this beautiful day.  Is this is straight out of Parents magazine or what?!?!”

Well, I left the house a little later than expected and ended up having a jog the last leg…up a big hill.  So I arrived late and dripping with sweat.  But no problem, I still made a point to mention to all the teachers that we would be walking home that afternoon.  I expected to receive some sort of parenting medal for my intentions but all I got was “Oh that’s nice”. 

Whatever people, I know you’re impressed by my efforts.  Maybe you just don’t want to make all the parents who DROVE here feel badly.  I understand. 

I grabbed the boys from their classrooms and headed outside.  A few of the kids wanted to pat Toby so I stood there a little while before I realized…my children were missing.  They were literally almost to the end of the street without me.  I got them back quickly because I think they take away your “I walked my kids home from school” award if you lose them in the process.

Ok, everyone get the dog petting over with?  Great.  We’re off. 

We started on our fun, fun walk home but then a car turned the corner and it was…my husband.  He was running errands during his lunch break and was in the neighborhood.  Naturally the kids thought it was so awesome that Dad was picking them up.  Only that wasn’t the plan.  The plan was to walk.  Guess who now hated that plan?  EVERYONE!

Mike then got to drive away leaving me with both kids screaming “We want Daddy!” and Grant literally crumpled in a heap on the side walk. 

Thanks for the visit, hun!

At least I got to throw their backpacks in his car so I didn’t have to carry them…

After we had been walking/dragging Grant for a few minutes Carter announced that he was tired.  And thirsty.  But I had planned ahead for this and brought water…which was in the backpacks…which I had just put in Mike’s car. 

It was at this point that the intense and uninterrupted whining began: I want to be the leader! No, I do! We don’t want to walk.  We want lunch.  Carry me.  I want to hold your hand.  I don’t want to hold your hand.  WE WANT TO BOTH HOLD YOUR SAME HAND!

This was clearly not what I had pictured when I made the fateful decision to take this walk.  Come to think of it, you can’t even see the sidewalk cause of these friggin’ leaves.  And the sun is too hot.  I’m melting.  Stupid sunshine.

We were almost home when Carter started wheezing.  He’s asthmatic.  But it was ok because I foresaw this happening and had brought his inhaler.  And put it in the backpack.


Alright kids, let’s keep moving.  I can SEE the house.  Surely nothing more can go wrong before we reach our front door.  (OMG Danielle!  WHY did you just say that!  That's like the horror movie equivalent of someone saying "I'll be right back".)

“Mom!  I have to go poop!”

Seriously, Grant?  I don’t even have words to express how much I want you to be kidding.  The thing about Grant is that he holds everything in until it’s an emergency.  The look on his face told me it was an emergency.  And turns out I was right.

He did it.  He did it right there, 50 feet from our house.  And then naturally he couldn’t just WALK like that.  He had to move around and scream and cry until…it fell out his pant leg. 
I am now officially the mother who's kid pooped on the sidewalk. 

But it’s ok, cause I had brought a bag for Toby just in case.  And I had put it…


I hate walks.  If anyone needs me later I’ll be diving into a glass of Shiraz and doing a few laps.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Dear Mom,

I thought it was time we had a little chat.  I know for a fact that people in the workplace receive performance reviews from time to time and I don’t see why we shouldn’t start applying that policy to our home. 

You’ve been employed here for 4 years and overall I think your efforts are satisfactory.  There is, however, one area where I feel there is room for improvement…and that is time management. 

I frequently hear you state that you don’t have time to complete your tasks, that there aren’t enough hours in the day, that you can’t “drop everything” to meet my demands.  This attitude is simply unacceptable. 

When I make a request there needs to be nothing more important going on in your life.  It’s not my fault that you’re in the middle of doing the dishes or folding the laundry.  Those are tasks that need to be completed on “your time”.  When you’re on my time I expect efficiency. 

When I say “I want a snack” that is what I want.  I don’t see how I can be any more clear.   I didn’t say I want a snack “when you’re done” or “when you get around to it”, did I?  The number of times I have to repeat myself in order to be heard is ridiculous.  How can we run a household with such a lack of respect for each other?  When you go to the hospital do the doctors say “I’ll save your life…when I get a chance”?  No.  They do not.  And this is the exact same scenario. 

Remember that time I needed the TV louder and you were using the potty?  And I had to literally bang on the door and scream for, like, two whole minutes until you did what I asked?  These are the kind of situations that I’m talking about.  If you had better time management skills you would have been able to pee and turn up the volume simultaneously. 

Now, I know you are a big fan of this “patience” thing.  You keep asking for it to be implemented in our day to day operations here at the house.  I don’t know what your previous employer’s policies were regarding this issue but I can tell you right off the bat we don’t operate like that here.  Stop sending out memos about it as they are simply ignored. 

And for the record, you are not allowed to punish your children for taking matters into our own hands.  Take this morning, for example.  I know you heard Grant’s request for Cheerios but you were just “too busy” taking a shower to comply.  So you can’t be surprised to learn that I took care it for you.  To be honest, I’m getting a little sick of picking up the slack around here.

I could reach the cereal and I could reach the spoons.  If you want us to eat out of bowls then you'll have to be more attentive now won't you?

So to sum things up: It would be greatly appreciated if you could find a way to meet all requests at the exact moment they are made.  Now means now, after all.  And that is when I want things.  Now.  Right now.   

Glad we had this talk.

The Management

Monday, October 15, 2012


Yay! My sister is married!

It was an absolutely amazing and beautiful day.  She looked gorgeous.  I didn’t look too bad either. 

My boys were both ring bearers.  I was excited to see them in their little tuxes…which, by the way, Men’s Warehouse tried to charge me $140 for.  EACH!  What is it about weddings that make vendors have to assault you?  Anyway, I told them to screw.  Thank you eBay!

Like any parent of two young children I was basically expecting the worst. 

I figured there was little to no chance of them actually making it down the aisle with all of those people there.  I pictured tears, screaming, and melt downs.  But in the back of my mind I was also picturing another thing…I was picturing the fantastic blog post any of those actions on their part would yield. 

Clearly I wasn’t HOPING for the worst, just preparing for it.  See the great lengths I’m willing to go to keep you people entertained?  You’re welcome.

I considered it a really bad sign when we walked into the church for the rehearsal and the first thing Carter asked was:

“Can I leap frog down the aisle?

Which he then proceeded to do. I actually thought it was one of his best ideas yet…until he had his next breakthrough:

“OH! Grant let’s log roll down the aisle!”

So they did.  They log rolled the entire length of the church.  Down on their bellies and everything.  If I had to vote for walking, leaping or rolling I probably would have picked rolling.  That was my favorite.

They also raced their matchbox cars through the pews a bunch.  This behavior led my grandmother to look at them disapprovingly and tell them “This is God’s house!”

I imagine they were thinking: “Who is this God person and why is he such a buzz kill!”

I have to work on becoming a better Catholic…

Well, cut to Saturday afternoon.  The wedding got started and when it came to their turn they…walked down beautifully!  No log rolling (bummer).  They did great.  I was super proud.

In fact, they were so comfortable that when they were walking back up the aisle Carter kept stopping to smile and wave at people.  This kid is a born politician. 

They were even good while being announced into the reception!  I was shocked, you guys are probably disappointed.  I apologize, I really, really expected them to screw up!  I don’t know what happened.

But one thing I do know is that at some point in the night Carter discovered the photo booth:
Guess he didn't know how to work it at first. 
( Anyone else think this picture could be an advertisement for a 'creepy kid' type movie.  "This little boy keeps appearing in my pictures...")

He eventually got the hang of it though.  He went in like five times. 
He's so artistic with the black and whites.  Oh and hey!  The top of Grant's head made it in too.
So congrats to my sister and her new hubby.  And sorry about the uneventful blog post.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Time I Cut off Carter's Foot

This morning Carter was walking in the upstairs hallway when he suddenly started screaming.


The decibel level of his scream had to have set some sort of record. 

And as I suspected, it was the absolute worst possible thing that can happen in a young boy’s life…he had a splinter.

“Let me see it…you have to let me see it…stop moving or I can’t help you.”

The whole not moving thing was not happening.  Turns out when you are that distraught and your world is ending and your foot is falling off the last thing you want to do it let someone touch it. I decided to throw him into the tub to soak it and see where we could go from there.

The tub did NOT help and the screaming continued.  But I obviously had to get it out so I got out my chainsaw:
Chainsaw, tweezers, no difference in the mind of a 4 year old with a splinter...

I tried to hold his leg still while I worked but remember that time I put him in the tub?

Screaming + Thrashing + Water = WHY THE HELL DID I PUT HIM IN THE TUB!

At this point Grant had discovered what was going on and was busy jumping on my back and screaming “He doesn’t like that!”

It’s nice that you’re defending your brother, but piss off kid. 

I tried to get Carter out of the tub but turns out he couldn’t walk.  I know this because he screamed it in my face for five minutes straight: “I can’t walk…I can’t even WALK!”

My next move was what I think any rational, loving mother would do…I threatened to take him to the hospital so they could cut off his foot. 

“But then I won’t be able to walk.”

“Well, you just said you can’t do that anyway.  So it will be absolutely no different. Let’s go.”


I was apparently wrong when I said that his original scream was a record setter…

I had now officially gotten to the point where I could no longer deal with the situation.  So I did a very mature and grown-up thing…I called my Mommy.

She came over and retold the whole “a doctor will have to cut your foot off” story only she also added:

“And they’ll have to hold you down and use a big knife.”

Anyone still confused as to where I picked up my parenting skills?

Well, we finally managed to bribe him/threaten him/wrangle him into letting us remove the splinter.  That little shit piece of wood consumed my whole morning (and I’m now part deaf in my left ear).  I think it would have in fact been easier to remove his foot. 

That’s the route I’m taking next time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Heart Target

I don’t do a lot of shopping. 

There are two reasons for this:

1) I don’t have any money with which to do said shopping and

 2) Shopping during the day requires taking the kids with me and shopping at night requires more energy than those  life-sucking monsters I gave birth to leave me with after they go to bed. 

So, if I ever do have a chance to run out I have to go somewhere that offers the most bang for my buck.  As in, I have to go to one place that has multiple categories of crap available for purchase.  Because I always need items from several different crap categories and I’m unwilling to spend my time driving all over town to get them. 

With these store qualifications laid out I think we all know where I’m going to end up (and if you are on the edge of your seat waiting for the answer don’t reread the title of the post; it contains a spoiler and I want you to be surprised.)


Oh how I love me some Target.  You can go to Target 5 times a day and always find something else that you can’t live without.

No sentence on this earth scares my husband more than when I say “Hey hun, I’m gonna run to Target.”

I’m pretty sure when he hears those words come out of my mouth I immediately transform into a giant dollar sign that kind of, sort of resembles his wife. 

No, don’t worry.  See?  I show him my list: spray cleaner, dog treats, batteries, socks.

This is why Target is so amazing…where else can you go and get all of those things under one roof?  They really should change the name of the store to “God’s Gift to Mothers”.  It would be a more accurate description of the riches contained within.  But I digress…

Ok, so we have me holding a list with four things on it and my husband cowering under a table in fear.  Target.

I would love to say that I’m a responsible Target shopper and that his fears are unwarranted, buuuut…that’s not entirely true.  Actually, it’s not even remotely true.

I go in with my list of things that should cost me around $25.  Yet somehow at checkout my total is closer to…well…not $25. 

How does this happen?  This is a growing epidemic among moms everywhere.  I know because every single person I talk to has this experience.  Every time.  You’d think going in we’d know what to expect and then change our behavior accordingly but the learning curve does not apply to shopping at Target. 

Because, as I stated earlier, you can always find something you need at Target.  You NEED it.  Neeeeeeed it!
"OMG that shirt is so perfect...I'm almost out of body wash...If you shut up right now I'll buy you a matchbox car...Clearance?  It will EVENTUALLY be summer again and I'll obviously need a bathing suit...Do we have another tube of toothpaste? Better pick it up to be safe...I've been totally meaning to read that book."

If you are a person who can go into Target, get what’s on your list and not find anything additional that you need then…never mind!  That doesn’t ever happen.  You probably aren’t even in Target to begin with.  Go outside and check the sign on the building. 

So yeah, I go to Target a lot.  My kids know all about Target.  In fact, this happened today:
Me: "I have to run to the store."

Carter: “To Target or to the liquor store?”

Those are the only two stores that he ever hears me say I’m going to so logically those are the only two stores he thinks exist.

And to be perfectly honest, if that were the case, I’d be totally and completely ok with it.