Lotion Lunatic

Sweet holy mercy mother of pearl!

I swear by all that is precious, they're trying to break me.

On Friday I had neck surgery to try to get rid of the headaches still happening from the accident a year ago. You'd think my kids would want to take it easy on me, right? Right?!?

You would be wrong.

My kids spent the last two days hanging from my neck and leaping on my back from as far away as possible. I seriously feel like some kind of human ring-toss game. 

So when Sterling had school this morning, I looked forward to a little recovery time. Instead, she proceeded to hand me my ass in the hour after she came home. And not to be left out of the party, Bennett ramped his game up too.

So when nap time rolled around, the angels were singing.

As I skipped to the laundry room for clean jammies, I gratefully heard little feet tromping upstairs and mentally patted myself on the back. For once, I wouldn't have to finagle a way to lure them upstairs.

My back patting was premature. 

Shocker, I know.  

Yep. I should have known something was up when I didn't hear any giggling as I walked up the stairs. Somehow though, I missed the clue of ominous silence. 

Thus, I was COMPLETELY taken off guard when I walked into Bennett's room and found this. 

Homegirl had climbed up into his changing table, stripped down naked, and proceeded to empty a bottle of EXTREMELY expensive, organic, locally sourced baby cream that I got for Bennett's sensitive skin. 

The little wench had it smeared all over her body, on the walls, along the changing pad, on her stuffed animals and had rained squirts down onto the carpet. 

When she saw me, she gleefully announced "See momma, I got lotion!"  Uh, no shit kid. I couldn't help but notice, thanks. 

So yeah, rather than spending the next 20 minutes on my back with an ice pack on my neck like I should had, instead I was busy scrubbing essential oil lotion off of the floor. 


Dancing With Myself... In The Almond Milk

Ah yes, nothing like the sweet sound of "uh oh Momma, you got mess" to warm a mom's heart... or at least get her blood boiling. 

Last night, I was moving laundry from the washer into the dryer. Which means that although my kids were with me, they were not the sole focus of my attention for THREEFRIGGINSECONDS. 

They were about two feet away from me, which evidently is close enough to lull me into a false sense of security, but NOT close enough to prevent mayhem. 

See, you walk through my pantry to get to the mudroom where the washer and dryer are. 

I was in the mudroom. The kids were in the pantry. 

Not a major cause for concern, Bennett loves to putter in the pantry. When he partially shut the door between us, I thought nothing of it. I could still clearly see his little blue jammie feet under the door, which meant he wasn't climbing the shelves. 

In my mind, that was the biggest risk: him climbing up and falling off. 

I was wrong. 

A few seconds later, I heard the pitter patter of little feet dancing. Again, I thought nothing of it. 

It wasn't until I heard his muttered proclamation over MY mess that I suddenly got curious. 

When I peeked around the door, this is what I saw. 

The little bast... er, I mean BEAST had opened up a new carton of almond milk and was gleefully dancing in the growing puddle. 

And as I frantically scrambled to soak up the mess before it spread under the pantry shelves, he commenced to dancing in the mess again, splattering it all over me and the food on the lower shelves. 

Friggin. Awesome. 

He must have seen something scary in my eyes, because he took off running through my first floor, soggy little jammie feet leaving soggy little sticky almond milk footprints all over the place. 

Even. More. Friggin. Awesome. 

I finally wrangled him, stripped off the sticky jammies, mopped up the mess, and sat back with an exasperated sigh... just in time for Sterling to helpfully point out "Ben Ben makes messes, you need to watch him better". 

Grrrrrrrr, thanks kid. Thanks a whole hell of a lot. Next time, rather than watching while he makes said messes, you might want to stop him. Or at least let me know what's up. 

Just a thought. 

Messy Mayhem Monday

You ever have one of those days that makes you question every decision that got you to this point?

One of those days that you seriously consider chucking it all and running away from home?

Yep, I'm having one of those days right now.

It all started at about 6 a.m., two hours earlier than Bennett usually wakes up.

No worries, not the end of the world. But I knew that since he had woken up early, he would likely be grumpy today.

And he was.

I had a mountain of laundry to put away, so when we got Sterling up, I turned my back for three seconds while I filled her dresser drawers. Her dresser is still in her closet because she conducts holy mayhem on it, so yes, I had my back to the room.

But considering that I've been a parent for over 3 1/2 years, I also have senses that are hyper tuned to insane levels. So I thought that if Bennett or Sterling did anything naughty behind me, I would hear it.

I was wrong. Shocker, I know. 

Somehow, in the three seconds it took me to put away her pants, shirts and socks, Bennett opened the door to my bedroom, snagged my cell phone, crept downstairs to the mudroom and stashed it in a bag of things we were going to donate.

Sterling chatted pleasantly with me the entire time, so I'm guessing it was a team effort.

Once I realized it was missing, I turned to interrogation. Every time I asked Bennett where the phone was, he would cheerfully respond "phone go bye-bye". 

Then, when I went to find my iPad to locate the phone using Finder, the iPad was missing. One of our recent guests had helpfully relocated the iPad into the guest bedroom *cough* Nana and Pop Pop *cough*. 

I spent the entire morning tearing my house apart looking for either the phone, or the iPad. Finally John came home to help me find them, which was helpful because I was a *bit* frazzled.

After that, I was fully prepared to have an uneventful rest of the morning. Unfortunately, Bennett was not on board with that plan.

As I was preparing lunch, I heard a loud crash. I rushed into the dining room to discover he had pushed a large, rare heirloom begonia off of its perch and was dancing merrily around it yelling "boom". Then moment he saw me, he yelled "oh mama, oh no!" and ran as fast as his fat little legs would take him out of the room. 

Know what's awesome? About a gallon of damp potting soil ground into your white carpet by little dancing feet.


And Sterling spent the next 10 minutes helpfully pointing out my mess. 

I cleaned as much of it up as I could until the soil dries, when Bennett came trotting back in. 

He took one look at my work, wagged a finger at me and said "mess, no no no no no". 

I'm pretty certain today is officially Margarita Monday. Or Merlot Monday. Or Morgan Monday. I don't really give a shit what it is, as long as it helps me forget this morning…

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Super Hero? How About Super Turkey...

A few weeks ago, my kids got superhero capes as favors at a birthday party. 

Awesome, right?


Except Bennett doesn't yet realize that just because you have a cape, it does not make you an actual superhero…

He is already a master of the "screw with your older sister" art form. And usually he freely exercises his craft, within reasonable guidelines of course. 

But the moment homeboy slips on his cape? All reasonable sense of self preservation goes out the window. 

Suddenly, he is jacking with crap he KNOWS is going to send her straight into a flurry of rage. The sparkly pink tutu? Yep. The Hello Kitty backpack and it's collection of 14 ancillary purses? Why not! The "special" doll carriage and it's 4 babies? Hey man, go big or go home. 

Which means that my vigilance as a mom is being taxed to keep homeboy from being routinely clobbered for his unwise decisions. 

And it's not just in the sister arena that he feels the cape gives him special powers. 

Any time he has that puppy in his hand (yep, we take a loose stance on how exactly a super hero "wears" his cape), he does absurd things. Like jump off of the kitchen table. Or leap onto my back if I am walking down the stairs ahead of him. Or climb up the outside of the entryway stairwell. Or touch Momma's coffee. 

And I think we ALL know how poorly thought out that last choice is, you just don't jack with Momma's coffee. Unless you are fully prepared to deal with the repercussions. Which he never really is. 

But if nothing else, raising a boy helps me understand men a little better. 

It's not that they were dropped on their heads a few too many times as babies (in most cases). 

It's that somewhere along the way, they got their hands on a super hero cape... and never quite took it off. 

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The Frog And The Rat

Today, while I was making lunch for the kids, our cleaning lady Marisol let out a horrific screech. She was cleaning the balcony off of the kitchen and I looked out to see her dancing manically in a corner of the porch. 

I ran out to see what was up, and found that a little tree frog had scared the crap out of her. She hastily explained that she was terrified of frogs, so I scooped the terrified little guy, thinking it would be cool to show him off to the kids. 

Sterling had other ideas. Shrieking in a manner more than vaguely reminiscent of Marisol's battle cries, Sterling turned around and tried to climb Bennett. 

Bennett, seeing two ladies in distress, kicked into his manliest mode and started sobbing. 

I was the only one even remotely fascinated by our lovely little friend. 

I couldn't convince the little frog to climb back off of my hand into the trees off of the balcony, and it felt wrong to just fling him at them. So, trying to placate everyone, I took the little frog out to the front of the house and let him go.

I made sure he was well situated, then came back into the house. 

As I walked into the kitchen, I overheard Sterling helpfully explaining to Marisol "Sometimes my daddy is naked. It not good. Bennett has a penis too. They are boys. I have a 'gina. I a girl. Momma has boobs. And nipples."

Marisol nodded uncertainly at this, Sterling helpfully continued on. "Bennett a turkey boy. He so naughty. Momma is ornery. I not ornery. I cute."

Marisol smiled encouragingly, clearly hoping the conversation was taking a new route. But my girl wasn't done. "Momma poops in the potty. You poop in the potty Marisol?"

I could see poor Marisol literally struggling for the right response, and so I went to her rescue. 

"He is all taken care of Marisol, all good!" I cheerfully proclaimed. She looked at me in blank confusion, blinked a few times, then comprehension finally dawned on her. 

Yep, only my girl could come up with conversation subjects distracting enough to take Marisol's mind off of being attacked by a tree frog. 

Now I'm not *certain* Sterling planted the tree frog to have a few moments to rat out all our secrets to Marisol, but I wouldn't be surprised...

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The Day(s) The Monkeys Ran Away

My children have a charming and endearing habit as of late.

They run away. 

See, Sterling has gotten *just* tall enough to reach the deadbolt lock on our front door, and helpfully unlocks it for Bennett every chance she gets. 

And Bennett? Bennett is a runner. An incredibly fast one considering how short and stumpy his little legs are. 

I got all creative and found a way to secure the front door, so they then discovered the door off of the mudroom. 

Awesome part about that door? It's eerily quiet. It glides open and shut with hardly a noise. Which means I can't hear them making a break for it when I am emptying the dishwasher. Or filling the dishwasher. Or scrubbing peanut butter out of a pair of sandals. Or trying to get chocolate out of the carpet. Or... pretty much anytime I am even slightly occupied. 

Usually the only indicator I have is an ominous LACK of noise, followed by that sudden jarring realization that there is no slamming or crashing or screams. 

So yes, I have become an expert at the heart attack scramble, an undignified rush to the yard to figure out where their ornery little butts are TODAY. 

So far, the best adventure was the day that Bennett made it all the way to the stop sign about two blocks down the street, in his jammies. And I chased after him in what I later realized was an incredibly skimpy nightgown. 

Yep, pretty sure my neighbors love me...

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Dancing Queen

It's amazing how when you put a little Abba on the radio, this is what happens. 

Almost immediately after Dancing Queen came on, Bennett yanked on the pink tutu and started gyrating madly.  

I'm not certain whether he was embracing his Scottish heritage, doing a new spin on the classic Ace Vetura ensemble, or just needed a little more pink tulle in his day, but whatever inspired this outfit, it was freakin hilarious. 

Plus, now I have blackmail footage for when he is a teenager and being a pain in the ass.

Not that I would do that. Ever. But I AM definitely storing a hard copy of this photo in a secure location, just in case...

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One Down, One To Survive...

This week Sterling started back to preschool.

You would think that being down to one kid would mean I could get back to eating bonbons and working on my nails, right???

Yeah. You would be wrong. 

See, I am stuck alone with one of MY kids. And because it's one of my kids, the work actually goes up the fewer kids are around.

In my fantasy world, I eagerly looked forward to several days of solo time each week with Bennett to bond. I imagined us having tickle fights and snuggle fests and generally loving all the "just the two of us" time. 

In my real world, Bennett has sobbed listlessly for the entire three hours that Sterling is in preschool each day. It starts the moment he realizes we are leaving the preschool... and she is staying behind.

And it continues up until we pick her up again, THREE freakin hours later...

Yes, I am the mom whose kid's desolate screams echo hollowly down the hallways. The strange part is that it isn't Sterling screaming. She is perfectly content to stay at "New School" and play the day away. 

Nope, I am accompanied by the distinctive bellows of my hearty boy child. And no matter what octaves he manages to climb to, it is always with the delicacy of a fog horn. 

I took him to the mall today to walk since it was raining out. I walked 3.5 miles with him grousing the entire way about how much my company sucked. 

I bought him a sugar coated soft pretzel just to have something to stuff in his sweet little mouth to shut him the hell up. He whined the entire time that he mowed through that thing. 

I took him to the indoor playground hoping he would be distracted by that the frenetic energy and psychedelic toys that look like they are inspired by a bad acid trip. Or they would scare the shit out of him. Either way. As long as he stopped whining, I wasn't picky. 

Instead, he sat in my lap and whined for about 40 minutes, then suddenly scrambled down and took off running. 

I caught up with him right before he reached the automatic doors outside, but NOT before I got several "hey, is that your kid?"s. Yeah, hardly my first time at THAT rodeo. I honestly keep thinking I should switch to saying "nope, I don't know whose he is", but eventually the cops and CPS will track me down. 

Might as well own my ornery little monkey up front and save myself some unflattering air time on the local news. 

And besides, it is *almost* worth it to watch him jump up and down and clap his hands in glee when Sterling's teacher walks her out each day. Almost. 

He launches himself at her and covers her in slobbery kisses while gibbering unintelligibly, like a tween girl at a Bieber concert. I still can't decide whether it is incredibly cute or incredibly creepy, but it definitely shows how much he misses his buddy. 

I feel like I need to take video to use as blackmail when he is a teenager and behaving like an idiot. Or to just entertain myself when he brings his first girl home. 

Either one. 

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Turd On The Loose

I often wonder what the difference is between children and dogs. 


Like daily, if not hourly. 

After all, my kids bite, jump up on people, chew on furniture, chase balls, scratch themselves inappropriately in public, run and wimper in their sleep, and LOVE to dig holes and roll in filth. 

I mean seriously, are they not just naked little puppies?

This similarity was pretty much proven out the other day when Sterling proudly trotted up to me and proclaimed "hi Momma! I poop on the floor!"

And when I looked over, there indeed was a little turd nugget, sitting happily in the middle of the floor, taunting me. 

mean seriously! What kind of civilized creature DOES crap like that???

Even more impressively, she had somehow managed to squat, squeeze out a turd, and caper away... all while still fully clothed. My kid is either incredibly talented or freakin Houdini. 

Or both. 

So yeah, while at this point in parenthood, it takes *quite* a lot to surprise me, but mystery turds that suddenly appear on the floor? 

Yeah, that does the trick. 

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Chihuahua Confession

I have a confession to make. 

This is really hard for me to say and I don't know how you will take it, but here goes: I am a chihuahua. 

No, I'm not a canine, and I don't bark incessantly, and I don't bite (unless I am REALLY hungry). 

But I have absolutely NO idea of my true size. I am 5' 4". On a good day. 

Yet my close friends are usually at least 5'8", and in my mind, we are usually about the same height. It always leaves me a little confused when I see photos of us together.

All I can figure is that I must have the world's WORST track record for standing in a hole for group shots. 

And everyone says that I *seem* taller than I am. Which means I must actually BE taller than that, just that the stupid measurement system CLEARLY isn't accurate enough to effectively capture my true height. 

The photo is of my friend L giving life a try out at my altitude. She watched me struggle to see my kids over a wall, and then gave it a try for herself. 

I still don't see why she is stooping though...

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Planes, Trains, and LOTS of Taxis

About a month ago, I had a pretty traumatic experience, and it's taken me this whole time to process it. 

We spent a week in San Francisco on travel, but it was the trip home that really changed everything. 

Plainly put, the trip home was travel hell. And having two small children, I am familiar with travel hell. 

But this topped them all. 

It started when we checked in for our flight home and I overheard one of the gate personnel casually mention that the tarmac was "on fire". 

Knowing all the forest fires in Colorado, I assumed they were talking about Denver. My mind was mulling over my sadness in leaving the eucalyptus and pot fragranced air of San Francisco, so I wasn't really thinking about what they said. 

We waited patiently through check in and an oddly long security check. Insanely long. And the security personnel were strangely tense, but again, I thought nothing of it. 

We got to the airport super early, so we had a couple of hours to waste. I started people watching, and things got strange quickly. First, there was the guy running frantically back and forth, staring dazedly at the long bank of windows behind us. 

I looked over my shoulder, but all I could see was a long streak of gray fog. This WAS San Francisco, so I didn't think anything of it. 

The longer we sat there, the more people came over and looked out the window behind us. It was strange, and my curiosity was piqued.

Finally I heard someone say that you could see the crash better from a  window down at the end of the terminal. I glanced up at the board of flights, and saw a long list of cancellations.

I asked one of the people looking at the window what was up, and they said a flight had crashed onto the runway.  

At that moment, a voice came over the loud speaker and announced that all flights out of SFO were cancelled for the day. No mention of the crash. No suggestions for next steps. 

Cell data service immediately became nonexistent as everyone in the airport suddenly went for their cell phones. Trying to check the Internet for details was almost impossible. 

And I remembered a loud crash I had heard when we arrived at the airport, it had sounded like a large dump truck going over one of those metal plates they sometimes put on the road. 

Realizing I had likely heard the moment of impact really shook me. 

It was one of those surreal moments where it feels like you are simultaneously floating and slamming into a wall. An entire flight of people had been fighting of their lives as I had been reading my Cosmo, blissfully unaware. 

We then spent the next few hours trying to recover our luggage as the airlines dumped the luggage of multiple flights onto the few luggage carosels that there were, tracking down a hotel room, and finding a ride back to the city.

We searched nearby airports to see if there were alternative routes home, but everything within a 6 hour drive was booked solid. 

Several exhausting hours later, we sat in a hotel room, staring dazedly at one another. 

The entire day had a dreamlike quality, and somewhere along the way I started to think about how lucky I was to have this day. 

As more and more details came in and the casualties were reported, I was reminded again and again of how lucky I was to draw in each breath. 

Travel home the next day was hellacious.  We left the hotel at 8 a.m. to get to the airport early, just in case. Our gates repeatedly changed, our flights danced back and forth between dramatically delayed and arriving on time, we ran through airports to catch the next leg, and each step in the route was a struggle. 

But a struggle I was grateful to be able to engage in. 

We arrived back in Maryland at 3 a.m. and dazedly dragged our exhausted selves home. 

Over the next few days, I tried to process the entire experience. 

It was overwhelming. 

What it did do was prompt me to REALLY look at my life. Examine what was working for me, and what needed to be addressed. 

I told my friends how much I loved them, repaired some damaged friendships, hugged my babies especially tight, and made some major changes in my life. 

The biggest thing that I realized is just how short, how tenuous life is. Each day is a gift, and nothing is guaranteed. 

If you aren't living each day to its fullest, if your heart isn't full of joy, if your life isn't full of contentment, why isn't it?

What hard decisions have your been avoiding? What scary challenges are you shying away from? What changes should you make in your life TODAY to make sure that you are truly, honestly happy TOMORROW?

Because you only get one go at THIS life. And this moment is your only guarantee. 

None of us know what tomorrow will bring, but if you are living your life focused on the future and not appreciating the current, then you are missing out. 

So take the time today to look at your life. Really LOOK at it. What is working? What isn't? And what changes could you make today that might bring you even more happiness tomorrow?

Because every breath that you take which fuels unhappiness or discontentment is a wasted breath, a breath that those girls who died in the crash of Asiana Airlines flight 214 would be grateful for. 

Snail Trail Overachiever

Ahhhh, yes.

Nothing more touching than reaching up to rub away what you think is a particularly sloppy kiss from your sweet baby boy, and discovering that in fact, it was THE LONGEST SNAIL TRAIL OF SNOT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.

I capitalized that because its an official title and all.

Before I had children, I had NO idea just how many bodily secretions another person could wipe on you. 

Consider me officially schooled. 

Yes, motherhood is a beautiful, beautiful thing ;-)

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Taking The iPod Swimming

This may come as a surprise to you, but evidently iPods are not waterproof.

At this point, we have thoroughly tested that theory. Thoroughly.

The most recent one took a dip in a used toilet while my girl was "waitin' for the poopies to come out". I realized after about 30 minutes that she was just killing time watching Caillou to keep nap time at bay. When I asked for the iPod back, she threw a fit and tried to hide it behind her back. You can imagine how well that worked.  

And now that poor, poor iPod is showing the WHITE SCREEN OF DOOM (imagine that last piece in wavy lines, followed by a muahahahahahah and a crash of lightning). 

But considering that her absolutely favorite potty time companion is D-E-A-D, she has been remarkably unconcerned. So much so, that even my friends commented on it. 

Every time she told someone that her iPod took a dunk, it was very matter of fact. No emotion. Certainly no sadness. 

And today I found out why, in a simple discussion. 

S: You get my iPod Momma?
Me: Nope. Remember, you dropped it into the potty when you were having a tantrum?
S: It broken?
Me: Yep, it's broken. 
S: That's OK. 
Me: I'm glad you think so. 
S: Yep. You got money, you go Wal-Mart and get me new one. 
Me: Riiiiiiiiiight. That's not happening sister. 
S: Nana get one for me. 

Check and mate. Well played little girl, well played. 

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Hell On Wheels

Long car trips with small children?

Mercilessly painful. We usually try to time them over nap time in hopes that the kids will sleep along the way.  

That's pretty much an empty hope, but we still shoot for that goal. 

Our 3 hour trip today? It's going something like this:

S: Momma, what you doing?
B: Momma Momma Momma Momma Momma
Me: Shhhhhh, it's nap time.
S: Daddy, what you doing?
B: Dada Dada Dada Dada
Me: Shhhhhh, it's nap time. 
S: Momma, what you doing?
B: Momma Momma Momma Momma Momma
Me: Shhhhhh. 
S: MOMMA, what you doing?
B: Momma Momma Momma Momma MOMMA!
Me: Shhhhhh. 
S: Momma, you sleepin? Huh, you sleepin? WHAT YOU DOIN MOMMA????
Me: *dead silence*
S: Momma, you hear me now? Daddy, what Momma doing?
B: Momma Momma Momma Momma Momma
J: Shhhhhh, Momma is trying to take a nap. 
S: Momma, what you doing? No nap! NOOOOOOOO, no nap!
B: Momma Momma Momma Momma Momma
Me: *pretending to snore*
S: Momma, WAKE UP! You wake now? We party!
Me: I know! Let's play the quiet game. 
S: OK!
Me: OK, so here's how it goes. Whoever stops being quiet first, loses! so you have to be quiet to win, OK? Go!

*3 seconds lapse*

S: MOMMA, what you doing! You 'wake now???
S: Are you drivin?
Me: No. I'm riding. 
S: Are you drivin?
Me: No. 
S: Are you drivin?
Me: You are driving me. 
S: Are you drivin?
Me: MAN, you are ornery!
S: I not on-rey, I funny!

Advantage: toddler. 

So much for "quiet time". 

Now, how long after you arrive at a family reunion can you declare "happy hour" without being judged??!

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Mastering The Art Of Mayhem

Right now, I feel as if Bennett is doing his best to totally eradicate any standards for naughty that his sister Sterling ever set.

For example, B spends pretty much each and every play date abusing as many girls as he possibly can. Which is a lot. 

That picture above? Our good friend Liana. One of the sweetest, kindest, loviest little girls you will ever meet. So B decides to ride her like a pony while pulling her hair. Of course, right? How else would you treat a good friend!

And yes, Sterling was one that liked to take off running in public. B does that, but on a whole new level.

It seems as if any time we are out, I spend my entire time chasing after his incredibly fast little chunky butt as he gallops haphazardly away. 

And you would think that being in the safety of our home, it would help eliminate some of that issue. You would think. 

Actually, it does the exact opposite. It lulls me into a false sense of security. Over the last couple of days, Sterling has learned how to unlock our front door. Incredibly quietly, I might add.

The moment that door opens, B takes off like a thoroughbred out of the chute at a horserace. 

A little streak of blond hair and ornery giggles, he races as far as fast as he can from whoever's pursuing him.

Today it was my friends L and T who took turns chasing him. L caught him at the end of my street, which is quite a long run for a little turkey to take.

And it isn't just the parents who have been chasing him. We routinely employ the child labor of the older kids in the group to make certain we catch him. 

It's a group endeavor, which just makes him laugh that much harder. 

Yep. So far he is out mayheming the queen of the art form...

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Seriously Daddy, Are You Deaf???

I was luckily enough to overhear a lovely  father-son interaction the other night as John was putting Bennett to bed.

J: Night night buddy. 
B: Bye bye
J: Night night
B: Bye bye
J: N-Ight N-Ight 
B: Bye bye
J: Niiight Niiight 
B: Byyye Byyye 
J: No baby, listen. Niiiigghht Niiight. 
B: Byyyye Byyyye
J (starting to sound a little exasperated): Nnnnniiiiiiiigggghhhhttt Nnnnniiiiiiiigggghhhhttt 
B (sounding equally as exasperated): Bbbbbbyyyyeee Bbbbbbyyyyeee 
J: Niiight... Oh wait, are you saying Bye Bye?
I swear on all that is holy, I could hear Bennett roll his eyes from the other end of the house. 

If Bennett knew the word "moron", he likely would have used it. Our kids aren't ones to mince words. 

Consider daddy officially "schooled" :-)

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If I Drank Half As Often As I Talked About It, Crap Like This Would Be Funny

I know, I know, you are probably sick to DEATH of "Sterling tore apart her closet again" posts. 

And I say this because I am sick as hell of writing them!

But the less crap she has in her room, the more the mayhem escalates. 

Allow me to explain. You ever have one of those days where you just can't wait to get to the end? One of those days that tests your mettle as an adult?

You know the kind of day I'm talking about, one where you get in fights with people that you love, everything seems determined to piss you off, and it feels like you're constantly swimming upstream.

I had one of those today.

So when the kids finally went to bed, I sighed that universal "I survived it" sigh of relief... about 3 hours too early. 

My kids always go down fully awake, and then putter for a while until they fall sleep. So it's nothing it's new to hear Sterling chatting happily for a while.

What IS strange is to hear dead silence.

So when I heard exactly that tonight, I poked my head into her room in to inspect. 

And this is what I found.

All that furniture in the closet? That's stuffed in there because she's used it at some point to cause mayhem.

Now her room is a stripped bare toddler bunker. And her closet doors are firmly secured by a "child proof lock". I use the quote marks because Sterling regularly unlocks those damn doors. But usually I catch her before she has much time to do unholy mayhem. 


Not tonight though, tonight she had a solid three hours to dump drawers, take stuff off of hangers, and make a general nuisance of herself.

When I opened the door and said "what the hell are you doing", she happily responded "I being naughty Momma. I love you."

Not only is the child diabolical, but she's also incredibly smart.

I spent the next 30 minutes cleaning up the mess while trying to breathe deep so that I wouldn't lose my shit all over the place. And she spent that 30 minutes being as cute as a child can be while concealing their devil horns.

And thus, I drink...

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My Own Personal Chuckie...

Wonder what this is? I mean besides the child of your nightmares.

This my friends is what happens when a little boy gets tall enough to reach far back on the counter, and his parents don't realize it yet. 


Lemme explain. 

Sterling was being her general naughty self, and I was trying to wrangle her. She ran into the office and scampered up onto my desk, I followed with my camera out.

About three shots into it I felt this incredibly painful poke at the back of my leg. I looked down, and this is what I saw.

Bennett. Casually brandishing one of the incredibly sharp Wusthof knives that we had left drying at the back of the counter.  Evidently they were overpoweringly enticing to  a miniature Norman Bates. 

And he didn't settle for the first one he came to, my friends. No, he went all the way to the very back in order to get the big one.

Somewhere in the process he cut himself on the left hand and as he strolled in, he dripped blood EVERYWHERE. On the carpet. Down the walls. Across the floors. Everywhere. 

It looked just as gory as you would imagine little, bloody baby handprints to look. 

And yes, I'm fully aware that should CPS happen to read this, there is no way in hell they would think we were fit parents. 

Yep. I'm officially the parent that other parents look at and instantly feel better about themselves. 

I know I've said it before, but this is just more proof that my kids have it in for me. Because I didn't miss the fact that rather than running to the opposite end of the house like he usually does when he's being naughty, this time he came straight for me with that thing ready for business. 

I may never sleep again…

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The Final Straw

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Holy crap! 

Perhaps you've read before about my daughter's bedtime antics. This is hardly the first time they've been an issue.

Or even the first time they've been dangerous. In fact, until today the only piece of furniture left in Sterling's room was her bed.

But today, homegirl took danger to a whole new level. And we officially moved her mattress to the floor. No more bed slides. No more bed mayhem (hopefully). No more using the bed for anything other than jumping and sleeping in. 

See, I was talking on the phone during nap time, blissfully unaware of the mayhem happening in her room.

Thank God John was home, otherwise the story could've turned out very differently.

Evidently, he heard muffled screams coming from her room. He went in there, and she had removed all the slats from under her bed and was trapped underneath both the mattress and the box springs when they fell down on top of her.

Thankfully, he was able to lift it off of her before anything happened, but it terrifies me to imagine how differently this could have turned out. 

And the awesome part? There was no remorse or concern in her face. She smiled happily at both of us and said "Hi! We snuggle now?"

Uh, no kid. We binge drink now. And try to forget how insane your versions of "fun" are. 

Oh yeah, and we officially finish turning your room into an anti-fun kid cell, because all that gorgeous antique furniture is officially off limits until you are old enough to lift it of of yourself when you get trapped under it...

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A DIFFERENT Kind Of Naughty Table Dancer

So lately, I've been noticing little footprints all over my dining room table. But until today, I had never caught anyone in the act of making them.

As I said, until today. 

I was busy trying to keep this little turkey from pulling apart the pantry when I realized the other little turkey was missing.

When I went looking for her, this is what I found in the dining room. 

My girl was gyrating wildly around table, singing Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" quietly to herself.


When she made it around to the near end of the table, she looked up, saw me and jumped about a mile. She then smiled brightly at me. 

"Oh, hi Momma. I'm not doing nothin'. Just dancin'. See? Lots of shiny things. So pretty!"

Oh sure kid, just dancing. On my dining room table. Not doing nothin'.

Let's just hope she gets the table dancing out of her system now, and finds OTHER ways to pay her way through med school...

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The Mayhem School Of Driving Excellence

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I have a confession to make. Lately, I've been driving around with a bad influence.

Some people call them a "back seat driver". I call her "someone who won't be allowed to get her license until she is 30". 

Allow me to explain. 

It all started one day when I pulled up to a light that had just turned red. As I slowed down, Sterling started yelling "GO momma, GOOOOOO!!!"  

And I have to be honest, for all of 3 seconds I was tempted to put that pedal to the metal and Thelma And Louise it right through the light. I was woman, hear me roar!

Then I remembered I was a responsible mom with my two children in the car. And that my "voice of  guidance" was a 2.5 year old that routinely ran her toy four wheeler off of the ledge in the basement. Hardly a reliable source of driving advice. 

So I decided instead to educate her on the appropriate rules of the road. For the next few months, I patiently reiterated what the stoplight colors meant every time she would shrilly shriek from the backseat. Now she helpfully offers "red means stop momma. GOOOOOOO!"

Evidently, it wasn't that she didn't understand the traffic rules, she just refused to accept that they pertained to us. 

After answering each "why" (over and over and over and over again) with an explanation that red lights meant everyone got their fair turn, the only progress we made was that I began to question the validity of the system. After all, when you are stuck at a red light with two screaming kids, one of which is insisting she needs to "pee potty", you begin to feel like you deserve an exemption. Or a Valium. Either one. 

So lately, when she started helpfully urging that I "drive faster", I again initially was tempted to take her prompting. But that was before I realized that she had zero income to pay any speeding tickets we might incur. 

And her demands to "go past that truck, right now" are equally as unhelpful. Especially on little twisty, turny little back roads. 

No, about the only decent driving advice Sterling ever gives is when she inspects my park job to helpfully point out "Uh oh Momma, oh no. That not good. You fix it?"

Which she does every time I park. Every Damn. Time. 

And while some may not be ideal park jobs, I challenge you to do any better with Chatty Cathy The Driving Instructor constantly commentating from the back seat. 

I mean seriously, does this person look like she has ANY business giving driving advice???

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