Tag Archives: I think about these things…

They Coulda’ Been Great: February-April 2016

THREE months later…we have a lot of catching up to do. (What is this? All answers are HERE.)


February 4

3:00 p.m.

Eleanor on choosing valentines for her class:

“I have to find some with candy so I don’t disappoint people with tattoos or something…”



February 5

4:41 p.m.

Epic fail on cross country skiing today. We drove almost 3 hours to WV and 20 minutes into the trail, we had to admit defeat. It was like a sheet of ice – terrible for kids learning how (not to mention their mom who was a novice the last time she skied over 10 years ago). Even Chris who loves it, fell on an easy hill. I actually spent an inordinate amount of time lying next to Oliver in the snow trying to teach him how to get up without letting his skis slide forward. On the upside, think I could now easily teach an advanced “getting up clinic.”

The rest was 100% damage control. George believes us that it will be better when there is more snow on the ground. Eleanor manages an unenthusiastic “skeptical.” Oliver thinks we’re full of it.

I took this picture right after we gave up, jokingly telling everyone to smile and say, “we love skiing!” Oliver refused to play and his face pretty much sums up the day.


pic ski fail

7:40 p.m.

George: So Dad – Spanish is written in English. It just means different things.

Me: Yes – Spanish and English are written with the same alphabet.

I speak fluent George.


February 11

6:18 p.m.

Oliver is working on valentines for his class, and every time he looks up the next name on the list it goes something like this…

“Okay…’Christopher’…hey! I know him!”

Every single time.

For Oliver, life is one long string of delightful surprises.


February 13

8:39 a.m.

8:30 a.m., nowhere to go and it’s freezing outside…

Me: Why are you putting on your coat?

Oliver: So I can be a mysterious figure.

Me: A mysterious figure?

Oliver: With gloves.

Well, obviously with gloves…


February 14

10:46 p.m.

Alex Tudor: I’m starting to notice lines on my forehead.

Me: I don’t see them.

Alex: Really?

Me: No – but this is when you start to get “fine lines”. I mean, before the they get really deep and obvious.

Eleanor: Yeah – like Mom’s.

And she’s not even being a smart ass! Trying really hard not to feel like an old hag… Also – Happy Valentine’s Day!


February 17

7:14 p.m.

Chris just sent me this picture. Takeaways:

1. If Chris stays home from work and I am out for the day, the bed will never be made.

2. Alice really knows how to make herself comfortable in an unmade bed.

3. Alice may be possessed.

pic alice


February 19

8:42 p.m.

“You guys – we should start a band.”

-overheard in the next room #‎9YearOldGirlRiteOfPassage


February 28

7:58 a.m.

Me: Look! There’s a cardinal outside!

Eleanor: I see it.

Me: Oh wait – that’s not the one I saw. That’s a female. The males are bright red. There was a bright red one there a second ago. I guess there are two of them.

Eleanor: Maybe they’re…

Me: …a couple.

Eleanor: Or just mating.

Well – HELLO, Miss Sophisticated!



February 28

8:58 a.m.

George: Mom – did you know that your stomach is the most powerful organ in your body?

Me: It is?

George: Yes. Because it produces acid, and acid can destroy anything.



March 1

12:05 p.m.

What a gorgeous day to get out and vote! Since the kids were home, Diane Cooper Gould and I took turns watching them outside. I had serious deja vu watching them play “throw the shoe” and realized that they did the same thing last time we voted. Also realized that I never actually asked them if they were throwing one of THEIR OWN shoes….and that they would make excellent child settlers out on the prairie. Who needs electronics when you can play catch with shoes or pig bladders or whatever.


March 4

5:58 p.m.

Friday happy hour at Diane Cooper Gould’s house and we (okay – Cathy Trocchia and I) just had a very animated (and completely serious) 20 minute discussion about vacuum cleaners. ‪#‎ThisIsMiddleAge‬ ‪#‎RetractableCords4Ever‬


March 7

8:25 a.m.

Look what I just found in George’s backpack….

How was he not “respecting each other and our teachers” and “controlling our bodies and our voices”?

“Slideing around the floor.”

What are some things he plans to do to make sure he continues to follow the “5 school rules”?

“Stop slide across the floor.”

My takeaway: how the hell does he know how to spell across?? It took me 10 years and auto-correct to master that particular C and S combination. Oh – and I’ll believe it when I see it.

pic school note


March 8

4:25 p.m.

Me: Sorry Oliver. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I’m just feeling frustrated.

Oliver: Don’t be frustrated. Be cheerful.

I’ve said it before…Oliver IS Buddy the Elf.


March 13

5:56 p.m.

My kind of party. And yes – it actually WAS a cat’s birthday party. Better yet? It wasn’t THAT cat’s birthday. It was a joint party for two other cats. Suburban night life is no joke. There has to be an Awkward Family Photos card in there…#‎HappyBirthdaytoSpike‬ ‪#‎HappyBirthdaytoHector‬ 

pic cat party


March 15

6:53 p.m.

George is in the corner watching YouTube videos…

George: “Kids react to Clash of Clans”??

Me: Is that an inappropriate video?

George: No Mom. It’s KIDS watching Clash of Clans. Not teenagers or adults or elders.

This put my mind at ease, as you know how inappropriate those “elders” can be…


March 17

12:49 p.m.

Finished watching the third season of House of Cards earlier this week, and haven’t been able to get the theme music out of my head. On the upside, it does add an element of drama to grocery shopping…


March 19

8:18 p.m.

If I had to write a book about my life right now, it would be titled, “I Don’t Love My New Vacuum – And Other First World Problems”.


March 20

11:10 a.m.

I really want to put away the snow pants, but the minute I do, we’ll get 3 feet of snow. ‪#‎NotTemptingFate


March 21

8:29 a.m.

Discussion while Eleanor and our five year old neighbor, Mary are making Easter cards…

Mary: When my brother was in my mother’s tummy, I wasn’t even invented yet.

Eleanor: Well, the name Mary was invented.

Mary: Yes! By the mother of God!

Me: That’s right! [Because in my house anything “cute” that comes out of a child’s mouth is automatically deemed true.]

Mary: Yeah – and a long time ago I used to talk to God every night.

Me: That’s nice.

Mary: Because I love him!

Me: Awwww.

Mary: Because he made cotton candy!

Not that this dialog is at all related our family’s heathen idolatry practice of worshiping chocolate bunnies….or wait – maybe it is…

9:32 a.m.

I’m trying to get some work done, but Mary (the five year old hanging out at my house) is bored. Eleanor is no help as she is now doing something very important on an electronic device…

Mary: I have nothing to do!

Me: [glancing up from the computer] Why don’t you practice sliding down the stairs on your tummy?

Eleanor: She’s already perfected that.

Mary: The rug burns on my stomach hurt.

Clearly, I missed my calling as a daycare service provider…


March 22

7:46 p.m.

George: Mom – can I ask you a question?

Me: Sure.

George: …No – wait. I’ll just tell you the answer.

I’m basically superfluous to our conversations.


March 26

1:13 p.m.

“Well – I’m not going to play into the drama…”

Things I say to nine year olds when I just don’t have the energy to come up with something age appropriate.


4:37 p.m.

Uncle Steve’s barn apartment/painting studio. AKA: one of the many living spaces I’m NOT responsible for cleaning this weekend. I love being a house guest…

pic barn

7:46 p.m.

My boys.

pic boys
8:42 p.m.

Uncle Steve gave the twins a painting lesson, but George had more answers than questions…

“French people use these.”

pic G painting


March 27

12:19 p.m.

Today after an Easter egg hunt in Uncle Steve’s barn apartment/painting studio I was looking at the art with George. I told him that I thought these two paintings (that happen to be in gold frames) are my favorites. So immediately, he exclaimed, “OH! Because they’re framed in GOLD.”

I started to reply, “well no – but now that you mention it…the frames do kind of confine them in a way that directs your focus to…” And he was already standing next to another painting, saying, “yeah – THIS baby needs a gold frame.”

George has this whole art thing figured out…#‎ItNeedsSomeBowsOrSomethin‬

pic gold frame 1

pic gold frame 2

1:56 p.m.

It’s after 1:00 on Easter and my boys are still in sweat pants. I assume there will be bribes/threats happening 10 minutes before company is due to arrive… Even then, Oliver will do something weird like insist on buttoning his polo shirt all the way up and George will still have THAT HAIR he has… It’s not easy being a girly, twirly-party-dress-wearing little girl at heart in this family.

pic boys easter

3:52 p.m.

First fancy Easter party in about 11 years!

pic kate


March 29

5:50 p.m.

Feeling very smug about not only remembering to take pictures this weekend, but actually handing the camera to someone else so I could be in a couple as well!

Did the Hood girls represent at the Fancy Easter Party?‪ #OHITHINKSO‬

pic girls


March 30

9:01 p.m.

Last week we were at some good friends’ house for their daughter’s birthday. There was ice cream cake and Oliver’s only complaint was that I wouldn’t let him have a second piece.

Eleanor was supposed to spend the night, but after a long day in DC, decided she wasn’t up to it. Her friend (also exhausted after a long day in DC) was crushed and needed some consoling. Oliver happened to be in the room where her mom brought her to talk. He asked what was wrong and the mom said, “well things aren’t turning out as she expected and she’s feeling a little sad.” My son said, “me too! I didn’t get another piece of cake.” From the other room I could hear low murmurs, and while the tears seemed to be slowing down, they hadn’t actually stopped. Then, during quiet pause, I heard Oliver offer some words of comfort: “well…I hope you get a pinata.”

If there are two things that boy loves on a birthday, it’s ice cream cake and a pinata. So that’s just what we did today after school for HIS ELEVENTH (someone pass the smelling salts) birthday. The kids on our block came over, and as soon as everyone scraped the last of the Carvel chocolate cookie crumbs from their plates, we pulled out the pinata.

Tonight after dinner, I let Oliver have a second piece of cake and decided that if I ever write a self help book, it will be titled, “I Hope You Get a Pinata.”

Happy birthday to my very first baby!

pic oliver


April 3

3:12 p.m.

This may be premature… But I’m starting to think that I MIGHT not win the 1 million dollars… #sadtrombone

pic mon

7:50 p.m.

This evening I got distracted by Facebook and burned the roast. To be categorized under “If social media existed in 1950’s sitcoms.”


April 5

7:46 a.m.

Some days, it’s hard to wake up. Other days, it’s hard to rise from the dead. Today would be the latter. No wonder zombies are so slow.


April 7

12:00 p.m.

Women my age look at pictures of ourselves from 25 years ago and say, “Oh my god! Look at how young I was! I was so pretty! Why did I think I was fat? I only wish I had that skin now…” Then other people look at those same pictures of us and say, “Oh my god! Look at your eyebrows!”

It’s all about the lens.


7:02 p.m.

Earlier today…

5 year old neighbor: Are you allergic to flowers?

Me: No. Why?

5 year old neighbor: [hands me a dandelion]

That kid says “your house smells bad,” to me on the regular…but she sure can be sweet sometimes.

8:00 p.m.

Eleanor is working on her math homework and it seems to involve figuring out patterns of numbers and placing them in boxes (it’s called “Magic Squares”)…

Chris: Hey that’s Sudoku.

Me: It is?

Chris: Yeah.

Me: So Sudoku is just math?

Chris: Yes.

Me: No wonder I never wanted to try Sudoku.

I fully embrace my gender stereotype…


April 13

10:38 a.m.

When something bad is about to happen in a book or movie you love, and every single time, you irrationally hope it won’t happen this time.


April 17

5:13 p.m.

Chris coaches George’s soccer team and they lost an important game today…

Eleanor: How was the game?

Chris: We lost.

Eleanor: What was the score?

Chris: 3:0

Eleanor: Eh. Pretty close.


6:52 p.m.

“So Mom…if I wasn’t in this body…then someone else would be controlling this body.”

-Existential conversations with George

9:02 p.m.

Earlier when the kids were brushing their teeth, I overheard Eleanor say, “remember to floss, boys.”

She’s raisin’ ’em right!


April 19

8:48 a.m.

Once George’s hair gets aerodynamic, I know it’s time to cut it.

pic G


April 20

6:39 p.m.

“We’re NOT late – you still have one minute to change.”

Another leisurely arrival at swim class! Hey – just doing my part. These kids’ anxiety issues aren’t going to create themselves…

6:53 p.m.

2 bottles of wine, a bag of Smart Food popcorn, a reusable water bottle (hidden) and a package of straws. In case you wanted to know what happens when I go shopping without a list…

pic shopping


April 22

8:46 a.m.

Since we’re all sharing Prince stories… I was once lucky enough to score two tickets to the Purple Rain concert. Meaning MY FATHER who worked in advertising and had radio station clients was able to score two tickets to the Purple Rain concert. Meaning, HE had to take me – a seventh grader at the time – to the Purple Rain concert. I’m sure he too has fond memories of the concert…especially that part where Sheila E., who opened for Prince pulled a man from the audience and simulated oral sex on him while singing Next Time Wipe the Lipstick Off Your Collar. #‎MagicalChildhoodMemories‬

pic prince


April 26

7:47 a.m.

Eleanor: Mom – do you think when I grow up, I’ll have E.T. hands like you?

It may be time to dial back the self deprecatory humor around my kids…


April 28

10:58 p.m.

Someday when it’s not relevant anymore, I will master emojis. But for now I just think, “why so much produce?” Is there really ever a text that calls for corn?


They Coulda’ Been Great: December 2015-January 2016

Running a little late with the TCBG…like a month late! At any rate, here is December/January! (What is this? All answers are HERE.)


December 1

6:17 p.m.

George: Mom – did you know that you can eat cardboard?

Me: What? No you can’t. Never eat cardboard.

George: No – Mom – it’s edible.

Me: Who told you that?

George: Mom! It really is – you can eat it. It’s made of fat.

Me: First of all – you can eat anything if you put it in your mouth and swallow it. But eating cardboard would probably make you very sick. Second – it’s not made of fat (which is totally gross as far as eating goes anyway). Cardboard is made of the same stuff as paper.

George: So you can eat it – but it will make you sick. BUT you CAN’T eat a raccoon.

Me: Well – technically, I guess you can if you cook it…

George: But you DEFINITELY can’t eat a live raccoon.

So glad we cleared this up.


December 2

9:16 p.m.

“So I believe in Santa and all that…but I don’t believe thw part about kids having to be good to get presents. I think that’s something parents made up.”

-George Hood – as cynical as it suits him


December 3

8:57 a.m.

Invention idea! Locks for coat zippers. Parents would pay big money for this…

4:31 p.m.

5 year old neighbor to other kids outside: Santa’s not real!

Me: [5yo’s name]! Don’t say that!

5yo: But he’s NOT real.

Me: Well – I’ll tell you something [5yo’s name]…when you stop believing in Santa? That’s when he stops bringing you presents.

5yo: Okay – I believe in Santa.



December 4

7:27 a.m.

George: Mom – do I have the brownest eyes in our family?

Me: Yes – actually, you do.

George: Yeah – because they’re REALLY dark brown. Maybe I could win the world record for dark eyes. Or MAYBE there isn’t one and I can start it!

All roads lead to the Guinness Book of World Records. If the brown eyes thing doesn’t work out, he’s told me about one involving putting 70 post it notes on his face. ‪#‎It‬‘sOn


December 6

4:23 p.m.

Weekend trip to see family with a day trip to NYC to check out the holiday sparkle. For the most part it was a lot of getting crushed in crowds – but I still loved being in my favorite city…

You can’t see the ice skaters in Rockefeller Center (and two of us are rocking the double chin look big time) but we’re ALL in the picture! #miracle

First actual train ride (NJ to NYC).


Rock Center tree.


You can’t see the ice skaters in Rockefeller Center – but we’re ALL in the picture.


Rock climbing in Central Park.



Q: Kids – what was your favorite thing about NYC today?

A: The rocks!


Naked Cowboy siting in Times Square.


Photo op on the walk back to Penn Station.



December 9

8:00 p.m.

I’ve decided that 85% of parenting involves explaining things that I barely understand myself.


December 10

6:15 p.m.

Some families treat a power outage as an opportunity to disconnect from electronics and social media and do fun group activities like playing board games by candlelight. My family panics and considers eating each other. So I guess we’re somewhat prepared for the zombie apocalypse…


December 12

10:13 a.m.

Power is out again – so obviously it’s time to play with the lantern. #‎HeIsET



December 14

8:24 p.m.

Epic #‎vantler fail. The twins and I bought them while Oliver was at his swim lesson and had them all set up for the ride home. While in the car, I noticed a whistling noise (they attach to the car windows) and pressed the button to make sure our front windows were as “up” as they could get. But I DIDN’T make them go up. I somehow made them GO DOWN [because I am a giant dork with no sense of direction, even when it comes to automatic windows]. At this moment our vantlers are lying in the road somewhere on Fairfax County Parkway. So of course I had to promise to buy a new set tomorrow. If you are at the Sterling Party City and see a white car with a big red Rudolf nose and no antlers, make sure to say hello.

No idea what vantlers are? Watch this.


December 15

4:13 p.m.

Back in business. #‎vantlers‬



December 16

10:54 a.m.

“I don’t want to jinx us, but this is the easiest tree we’ve ever had…no branch sawing…no hours of trying to make it look straight in the stand…” Then Chris said, “SHUT UP!”

But no – I could not be quiet in my own head. I marveled over how letting the kids help this year was far less painful than I expected (yes – they are 9-10 years old and I have never let them help before). I mean – it was a little panic inducing to see them putting the nicest, most breakable ornaments at the bottom and placing the heaviest ornaments at the veeeeery tippy tip of a branch. But I was able to stay on top of damage control and was so focused on maintaining some semblance of order that it seemed to take a lot less time than it usually does.

And it’s really a PERFECT tree. I was about to post about it earlier this morning, but then I heard, “um mom – look at the tree…” Of course, half the lights had blown out. Of course. Because of my Christmas tree hubris. Luckily, the kids had to leave for school shortly after that, so I only had to do deep breathing exercises for 15-20 minutes while they whirled around me in the usual morning frenzy. I found the problem strand and replaced it (after removing all of the ornaments in that section of the tree because I wrap the shit out of those branches!)

The world can now un-pause since our tree is back to it’s original glory. In fact – it’s even better! Here is a picture. Expect me to post about 500 more over the next week. Also – if you are into anthologies, I have an essay about my Christmas tree travails in Mom for the Holidays. Check it out if you like humorous stories about grinchy tree-hoarding mothers who are paid back big time with pretty much anything that could possibly go wrong with a Christmas tree…except fire. We’ve never experienced fire. Of course, now that I’ve said it…



December 18

2:20 p.m.

Two things people in Safeway heard me say to my three kids plus two friends:

“No wrestling in the wine aisle!”

“Why does everything have to be a penis?”

Then in response to the cashier who asked if they are all mine:

“Just this one and the two on the floor.”

We’re like a walking birth control ad.


December 21

9:38 a.m.

“Wait! So you don’t have to kiss ABOVE the mistletoe…”

-George Hood, always looking for loopholes

3:37 p.m.

I may actually be DONE with any and all holiday shopping. This is unprecedented. It’s also probably a cruel illusion that will be shattered December 24th when I realize I forgot something… In the meantime – happy holidays everyone!



December 24

1:17 p.m.

If being controlling about about how presents are placed under the tree and hiding the messy looking ones in the back is wrong…I don’t want to be right.


December 25

8:05 a.m.

Aging perk: Christmas is no longer about wanting things and looking for MY presents under the tree. It’s about making magic for my family. And eating my feelings.

Merry Christmas!


8:14 a.m.

George: Mom – what if you got a baby for Christmas?

Me: I don’t think it works that way, George. You have to be pregnant for a while first.

George: Okay – what if you were, but then during the night, Santa gave you surgery?



December 26

10:40 a.m.

I had two errands to run this morning: bring a silk blouse to the dry cleaner and exchange a defective talking Yoda head at Target. Ran into the dry cleaner first, but when when I tried to put my silk blouse on the counter, I found I was holding a talking Yoda head. #‎ChristmasHangover‬

12:57 p.m.

Just figured out how to get the ringer to work on this dinosaur for my Dad. Am genius.



December 30

10:04 p.m.

If the tree wasn’t a complete fire hazard by January 1…HELLSYEAH!



December 31

10:26 a.m.

For dogs, every day is Sunday.


10:20 p.m.

“Stop running!”
“Stop bumping into each other!”
“Stop pretending to be ‘fancy waiters’!”

-Things I yell at my sons when they carry plates of cookies to a neighborhood New Year’s party.


January 2

11:23 a.m.

Bye holiday season. Sniff sniff.



January 3

3:51 p.m.

Happy birthday to my amazing Mom! If there were a pageant for “Prettiest Pilgrim,” the 1972 crown surely would have been hers…



January 5

7:12 p.m.

“Mom! I made up a constellation. It’s a horse – but the feet are missing. I also made up a little face.”

-George Hood, stargazing


January 10

8:27 a.m.

“Hey! Let’s do human dominoes!”

-Things I overhear five minutes before bus pick up on Monday mornings…


January 11

8:53 p.m.

Being on social media means that you might be late for a doctor’s appointment because your friend tagged you in a post involving Liam Neeson and you had to google him to double check how old he was in Rob Roy so you could reply…or something.


January 13

7:20 p.m.

I’m not completely sure, but I think my laptop battery just died. OR my laptop just died. Either way – it’s my only home computer, so I guess work won’t be possible this evening [opens bottle of wine…]


January 14

6:10 p.m.

Leaving in three minutes for the Twins’ third grade strings concert. Oliver keeps calling it “the violin contest.” I keep picturing The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

If only…


January 21

3:49 p.m.

Some people get excited about big snow storms with school cancellations and fun filled days of sledding and baking cookies with their kids. I am not one of those people.

7:49 p.m.

Okay – I am coming to terms with this whole being buried under snow thing – but now I’m hearing about expected power outages. Seriously considering packing up the kids and checking into a hotel. I am not cut out for apocalyptic conditions…forget about zombies – once the power is gone, I’m out.


January 22

2:44 p.m.

Experiencing nostalgia for last weekend when not only were we not expecting to be trapped in our house for days, we actually skipped up to NJ to spend the long weekend with Aunt Jan. Liberty Science Center on Sunday and then NYC on Monday (American Museum of Natural History and then Central Park rocks – of course). Helps me not feel guilty for the last two days of depressive sloth. I’m now resigned to the idea of a snow storm – but for the next 48 hours I will be somewhat preoccupied, bending the universe to my will that we NOT LOSE POWER. As I have mentioned a time or 20, I’m not made for apocalyptic living. But back to my fond memories of last weekend…

Liberty Science Center

Wow! Fish! So exciting – almost like we’re at Petco or something!


This turtle was 100 times better at posing for photos than my children.


Rock walls are hard. For me. Not so much for Eleanor.


“Oliver – take off your hood!” “George – put on your coat!” “Eleanor – stop acting so grumpy!” No one ever listens to me…but this one was pretty cute. (In Eleanor’s defense – she claimed to have a cracker in her mouth and couldn’t smile. I’ll take it.)


Museum of Natural History

Night at the Museum star sighting. You can’t walk 10 feet in NYC without bumping into a celebrity…. — at American Museum of Natural History.




MORE dinosaurs! Travel tip: when you go to a museum, specifically to see dinosaur bones, make sure to see everything else first so that by the time you get to the bones, everyone is over it and wants to leave.


No really, Mom – can we leave now?
Also – I think George is giving me the finger.


Central Park

We found the bridge where the pigeon lady lived in Home Alone 2! It doesn’t get any more glamorous than this. #NYCBaby


Pigeon lady bridge take 2.


Race to the rocks! George got there first (top of the world, Ma!)


There is no such thing as too many rocks to climb…


She NEVER poses for me anymore (willingly)! Central Park bring out the best in us I guess. Also – where the f*#k are we? #intothewoods


Right before we realized we were on the wrong side of Central Park. #NoInternalGPS .


It’s getting darker (and colder) and it’s really time to leave the park. It will probably be a 20 minute walk across…so obviously time to wrestle and give piggy back rides.



January 23

10:57 a.m.

Thigh high snow and it’s not stopping until tonight…


11:19 a.m.

First thing you do when you go outside to play in the snow right? Epilogue: two seconds later, the snow plow arrived and sent them scrambling for the sidewalk (or where the sidewalk usually is).


11:24 a.m.

Alice waded out, but decided this was a bit beyond her frolicking abilities. #‎NoIditarodDreamsForThisMutt‬


4:44 p.m.

“Before you walk one step further, shake the snow off of your coat, pants and head!” #‎AbominableSnowOliver‬



January 29

10:51 a.m.

Oliver: Mom – I need some explosive materials.

Me: No more YouTube

Also – I really need them to go back to school…


January 30

8:08 p.m.

George: Eleanor – give me a scale of how many times you’ve coughed. 1:1 [one to one].

#‎statistics‬ ‪#‎somehowthismakessensetohim‬

They Coulda’ Been Great: November 2015

November was a blur – thank goodness I can look to Facebook for confirmation that it actually happened. Here are our recorded happenings… (What is this? All answers are HERE.)


November 3

10:58 a.m.

The other day, I tried to buy this lamp at Target. I need two but couldn’t find another. Figured I could pick #2 up at another Target or online – so I put it in my cart. At check out I was informed that I couldn’t purchase it because it was the floor model. They checked other stores and found one in Sterling, but nope – that’s also a floor model. None online either. So now there are two lamps I want within driving distance of my home, but I’m not allowed to buy either of them. And the Reston Target floor model continues to mock me every time I am there (pretty much every day). #‎ConsumerWorldProblems‬


7:47 p.m.

“No – you may not use a knife on an M&M.” And other bizarre things I hear myself saying to Oliver. It is time for the Halloween candy to BEGONE!


November 5

8:20 p.m.

The candy entitlement in this house is OUTOFCONTROL. At any moment, I expect to walk into a room and find them freebasing Kit Kats. Mass quantities are going to be disappeared tomorrow when the junkies are at school…and work (I’m looking at you Chris Hood). #‎HalloweenIsOvah‬


November 6

4:36 p.m.

When you drop your child off at an after school activity, and just as you slip into your car and open the windows to enjoy the early evening autumn air, every light in the parking lot illuminates as The Heat of the Moment starts on the radio.

Rock on suburbia.


November 7

5:41 p.m.

One week after Halloween and my dog is still pooping candy wrappers. #‎FunWithKidsAndDogs‬


November 12

4:40 p.m.

I both love and fear George’s self portrait.


November 13

8:29 p.m.

Just caught Oliver trying to put this in his backpack. Guess you never know when you’ll need a homemade water balloon…

11041578_10206839475960272_6976035370060497177_n10:16 p.m.

Feeling grateful for a boring night at home with children safe in their beds…wearing stuffed animal night caps.


November 14

3:31 p.m.

At George’s soccer game and only registered the sound of a car alarm when he yelled, “Mom! That’s OUR car!” from the field.

Worst sports mom ever.


November 16

9:09 p.m.

We were killing time at Party City earlier and the twins found those antlers people out on their cars. While we don’t have a minivan, I’ve called them “vantlers” since Stephanie Stearns Dulli’s hilarious Listen to Your Mother 2015 performance. And of course the “PLEASEMOMPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE” was deafening. Luckily, we had no time, as we had to dash off to pick up Oliver at his swim lesson. But sure enough – as soon as we all got back into our car…

George: Mom – can we PLEASE get the vantlers?

Me: Oh…you REALLY want the vantlers for Christmas?

Eleanor: YES! Wait..FOR Christmas?

Me: I mean for the Christmas season.

Oliver: We’re having FOUR Christmases??

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but we already have the holiday spirit…times four.



November 19

3:18 p.m.

Just found this little package wrapped with homemade holiday paper. Eleanor is getting an early start on her gifts this year… ‪#‎girls‬


November 20

8:25 a.m.

Just reminded Eleanor that it will be time to head out to the a school bus in 10 minutes and she still needs to get dressed and brush her hair.

So obviously, it’s time to practice the recorder.


5:23 p.m.

Me: I have to take Eleanor to acting.

Oliver: I can’t go to acting.

Me: No?

Oliver: Nah. I have a magic appointment.

Of course.


November 21

8:08 a.m.

Just another Saturday morning at Safeway.


November 23

9:03 a.m.

I know that book fairs are school fundraisers (so no regrets) but sometimes I wonder how I got suckered into spending $500 on Diary of a Wimpy Kid Mad Libs.


November 23

11:53 a.m.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the have to’s and didn’t have time to’s today… I’m going to take a moment to just feel thankful for…

My husband, who actually likes cooking and doesn’t expect me to produce an entire Thanksgiving meal by myself while he drinks beer and watches football. He even bakes bread!

My daughter, who wants to help me clean when everyone else disappears. She is everything I wished I was when I was her age, and she doesn’t (usually) sweat the small stuff. On Saturday, Eleanor was in a play and told me later that she forgot one of her lines, “but it was okay” – and it was. No one noticed. At her age – hell, at MY age – this would have plagued me for years (“why, why, WHY did I forget that line???”). She hasn’t mentioned it since. I’m taking note and trying to let the disappointments and failures (big and small) go.

My oldest son, who also likes to help sometimes. Particularly when it comes to cooking. He got up at the crack of dawn (which admittedly, he would have done anyway) and helped Chris bake bread. Then, while I was making an onion and cheese casserole, he stood next to me making screaming noises as I sliced the onions. Then he helped me grate the cheese. And made more screaming noises. His imagination is beyond anything I’ve ever seen. After Eleanor’s play about fairy tale characters, I asked if he thought she was a good “Dopey.” He said, “yes! And I was the evil king in the audience.” Yes you were, Oliver. I need to leave the sidelines and put myself in the story more often – thank you for the reminder.

My youngest son, who throws himself wholeheartedly into EVERYTHING. The other weekend, he was in a soccer tournament, and the coach gave them a pep talk before the first game. He said, “I want you all to remember that you are the best – it doesn’t matter if you start or not – I’m not putting the best players in first, because you are ALL the best. Now do you understand what I just said to you?” George answered, “yes – you said I’m the best.” This is hilarious – but that attitude takes him so far… When he started soccer last spring, he and Chris (who is an assistant coach) were talking about who their best players were. George listed the four he thought were at the top of the list – himself included of course. I looked at Chris and he discreetly shook his head, no. But two seasons in, he worked hard and made it to the all stars tournament. He reminds me that I need to just think I’m the best more often – because that’s the only way it’s ever going to happen.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


November 27

4:06 p.m.

At Target with Oliver getting supplies for gingerbread houses…

Me: I think that’s everything. Let’s go check out.

Oliver: Wait! What about my Santa hat?

Duh! I always forget something…

12301468_10206916341241856_5760499588060043876_n10:07 p.m.

Nightcap. #‎ChristmasIsComing‬



They Coulda’ Been Great: October 2015

October was a pretty big month for us – started with a road trip to Rhode Island for a wedding and ended with Halloween. Here is this, that, and everything in between. (What is this? All answers are HERE.)


October 2

7:18 p.m.

Leaving town with the kids for a road trip. Five minutes in, the subject of bucket lists comes up and I have to explain what they are…

George: Oh yeah – I have one of those. But I pretty much completed it.

Me: You did?

George: Except for one thing.

Me: What’s that?

George: Getting an iPad.

Oliver: And I want a big bag of Cheetos.

George: OH! And can I add going to Orlando? There is a Harry Potter roller coaster there that’s the best roller coaster in the world. Orlando: Home of the Best Roller Coasters.

We are simple folk with simple dreams…


October 3

10:14 p.m.

Settling in at our hotel after a rehearsal dinner (just the kids and me in RI this weekend)…

Me: That was a pretty long day.

Eleanor: Yeah – but it was fun.

Me: We all make a pretty good team, huh?

Eleanor: Eh.

Me: You don’t think so?

Eleanor: Oh Mom…you make it all happen.

Well Eleanor – that’s because I’m…



October 4

7:42 a.m.

George: Mom. You know, when I was sleeping? I think I got a glimpse of the future…

Epilogue – It ended up being something about Minecraft.

6:08 p.m.

“Am I holding this right?” We’re all fancy at weddings.

IMG_33166:49 p.m.

Okay ONE more picture. #‎flowergirl‬

IMG_33206:56 p.m.

Not 100% about the tie…



October 5

12:45 p.m.

Was running low on gas and when I looked to see what exit was coming up, it was New Rochelle and Pelham. So obviously…10 minutes later…

Where I lived in Pelham from age 2 to 8 (edited to mute the hideous blue/green color – used to be so much prettier!)

IMG_3348Our old pizza place around the corner from the Pelham house.



October 6

2:05 p.m.

Then and now (my old Pelham house). Sorry – feeling nostalgic.



October 10

1:43 p.m.

Dear whomever invented these festive 3-D foam crafts: there is a very special corner made of flimsy foam that collapses every five seconds reserved for you in HELL.



October 12

5:35 p.m.

I think I’m finally mastering emojis. It now takes me no more than 3 minutes to find one that applies to what I want to say. 😀 If you do not understand emojis – that one means “happy”. I think. Yay emojis!


October 14

10:37 p.m.

If you are not watching American Horror Story – Hotel, you should know that “skinny jeans are out, fringe is in and ponchos are forever.” New season is pretty good so far…


October 15

6:26 p.m.

George is doing a geography homework sheet on hemispheres…

George: Mom! Some people in my class aren’t going to be able to do this worksheet. It’s going to be too hard for them. Even their parents won’t be able to figure it out!

Me: Why?

George: Because they celebrate Hanukkah and other stuff and they don’t know about the North Pole!

Eleanor: Everyone knows about the North Pole George.

George: NO. Not everyone celebrates the same religions!

I tried to explain that just because Santa lives at the North Pole, it doesn’t mean that other people in the world who don’t celebrate Christmas wouldn’t know where it is. He’s still not buying it.

Also – it seems that Christmas is our heathen family’s “religion.” Please don’t judge.


October 18

5:43 p.m.

I just realized that the twins turned nine on October 9th and I said NOTHING about it on Facebook. That’s like the social media equivalent of disowning them, right? I’d post a picture from the day, but I DIDN’T TAKE ANY. Worst mom ever. Also guilty, so a belated happy birthday to my babies! I couldn’t adore them more.



October 19

11:30 a.m.

“Mom. This is my tactic for buying a house: not too good, because then you won’t have enough money. But not too bad, because then you won’t have a happy life.”

-George Hood, future realtor

8:27 p.m.

Eleanor got a microscope for her birthday…

Eleanor: Mom – what’s a paramysiam?

Me: What? Oh! You mean a paramecium?

Eleanor: Yeah! What is it?

Me: …um…something from Science?

So I’m basically worthless. #‎AskDaddy‬


October 20

12:24 p.m.

My Alex sent me this cropped image and begged (yes – actually begged) me to make it my profile. First I said, “hahaha. no.” But since I look like Tom Cruise from Risky Business, I’m going to take his friend, Booger’s advice (okay – that guy was Booger in Revenge of the Nerds – can’t remember his name in Risky Business) and say “What the F…”

12107049_10206712593948301_8044938428505835291_nThe resemblance is eerie…

12096284_10206712602708520_1353894722220645132_n7:07 p.m.

Waiting his turn for the barber. Oliver has “Lego hair” and tomorrow is picture day!



October 22

9:03 a.m.

It must be really annoying to be named Stan. People would always be saying “what’s the plan Stan?” to you. Feeling grateful to be named Kate. #‎blessed‬

7:04 p.m.

George is on my computer doing school stuff for fun! Chris looks over his shoulder and says, “cool map!” George says, “yeah – I’m working on a project with my friends.” Chris asks, “really? What about?” George says, “horrible disasters in the world.” Should I assume this is the precursor to his “goth phase”? Also – how talented is he, multi-tasking with that ice cream cone??



October 23

11:12 a.m.

Just looked at my phone, and realized that I’ve been wandering the aisles at Target for over an hour. Clearly, I have experienced lost time. What aliens put all of this crap in my cart??


October 24

1:36 p.m.

Me: Oliver – what are you doing?

Oliver: Oh – just talking to the chocolate.




October 27

8:59 p.m.

So cold that I’m wearing my matching fleece pajama bottoms and robe. I call it my winter tuxedo. Never goes out of style.


October 30

4:57 p.m.

At the advanced age of 43, I just carved my first pumpkin! Felt this level of smugness called for an Instagram post. ‪#‎instabrag‬



October 31

9:58 a.m.

Me: Oliver – what are you doing?

Oliver: I’m teaching my class. [see candy lined up on the left]

Never a dull moment, shopping with that one…

12115638_10206769964582531_4283789644141861244_n4:57 p.m.

Day of The Dead sugar skull twins have started to put on their faces. Countdown to candy time!

12189144_10206771895790810_7900730473156325675_n8:25 p.m.

Now that trick or treating is over, I have time to post a few pictures! First Oliver – who doesn’t look anything like himself with vampire makeup and fangs. Also – he’s a ridiculous ham.

DSC_1420DSC_1417DSC_14218:27 p.m.

George allowed me to drag him outside for a quick photo. Didn’t realize about the socks until after the fact. Pictures where you can’t see kids’ faces are always kind of weird.

DSC_1426DSC_14278:29 p.m.

Eleanor gets a gallery because the makeup Alex did was AMAZING. Love my Sugar Skill Twins!

DSC_1390DSC_1395DSC_1401DSC_1410DSC_1411DSC_1422DSC_1425DSC_1428DSC_1432DSC_1436DSC_1443DSC_1446DSC_14508:31 p.m.

And as usual – a group photo fail. But I’m posting it anyway. Goodnight Halloween!


Buyer AND Seller Beware… (Alternatively Titled: Who the ‘Eff ARE These People on Craig’s List??)

I have recently become just the tiniest bit obsessed with Craig’s List. I mean – it’s not like I wasn’t aware of Craig’s List before. I once purchased a double jog stroller from a Craig’s List seller. It was a steal for $75 and lasted a full month before the weight of my giant five year old son finally caused a wheel to break off.

I also used Craig’s List to unload a humongous French Provincial armoire I acquired through one of my Mom’s decorating clients. We used it as a TV cabinet in the kids’ playroom for years; but I had to get rid of it when they and their toys were old enough to be banished to the basement and the “playroom” could be transformed back into a dining room. Since it had suffered a bit of damage (doors broken by hanging toddlers) and weighed approximately five million pounds, I figured my best bet for speedy removal was to list it as “FREE.”

For the first time though, I’m actively stalking furniture listings in hopes of finding some sorely needed dining room chairs. There is nothing interesting about this. I only mention it as the reason why I’ve been checking Craig’s List so frequently that I’ve now added the “FREE” category to my daily search. While I don’t expect to find dining room chairs there, I can’t help but be curious about what useful stuff may pop up. Because people really do list things I may want at some point: free packing boxes, free firewood, free armchairs and couches, free office chairs (okay – maybe not those, but if I wanted to furnish an office, SCORE!), free mulch, free bricks from 1900…

But for every useful free item on Craig’s list, there are about 20 completely bizarre listings. And I have now spent an inordinate of time looking through these and thinking about WHO would actually list this shit!

Here are some of my favorites:


CL 1A CL 1BI was on the fence about that coaster holder…but since it’s a “nice one” it may be worth the drive. SO MANY awesome things in just one plastic laundry basket (which isn’t actually in the list – but I’m thinking I could possibly get them to throw it in for a couple bucks).

The weirdness of this is kind of mesmerizing. Admittedly a free stapler (with “staplers”!) is never a bad thing. But honestly, who on earth is going to pick up a laundry basket full of random crap like Koozies and 3D glasses? And more to the point – do you really want THAT person coming to your house?

[Confession: am marginally intrigued by the “Asian good luck amulet.”]


CL 2Are they really holding out hope that this office chair bottom will go to a good home? I mean, I checked pictures of all the other stuff they were giving away and there were definitely a lot of useful items that people might want. But the bottom of an office chair? You’d think that once they were left with a piece of a broken chair, they’d know that the party’s over and take down the listing…

Maybe this one of those Toy Story situations, where the seller is imagining that the office chair bottom has feelings and can’t bear to throw away something with so much potential to bring joy to another office chair user. Somewhere, there is an owner of a lonely office chair top – and with a little luck or divine inspiration, they just might check the “FREE” category on Craig’s List. YOU NEVER KNOW!


CL 31 CL 32You know that donation bag where you toss clothing that you don’t wear anymore? The one that gives you minor pangs of guilt because if you don’t want to wear a shirt with a mustard stain, it feels kind of elitist to assume that someone with less money would be less deserving of a stain-free shirt…? The bag you keep forgetting to drop off at Good Will or that clothing donation box at the Safeway? Apparently, this woman doesn’t have one of those.

In fact – not only does she think her nine year old white button down with “arm pit stains” is good enough for someone in need of a free shirt, SHE thinks that the buyer will be thrilled to provide their phone number and set an appointment time for pickup. But please understand, she’s not going to sit around waiting for you. If you don’t show up at the agreed upon time, she’ll just leave the shirt outside with a big “FREE” sign on it “meaning anyone else can take it.”

I’m sorry – did she forget to mention that this shirt has some kind of magical power like a cloak of invisibility or possibly the Asian good luck amulet from that other listing – something to warrant all of her effort? She took SEVEN pictures for this!

I can’t even imagine what it is like to make travel plans with this person…


CL 4She tried to make Larry’s porn go in the dumpster but he said, “No, no, no.”

Okay – it’s kind of funny. But REALLY Larry? You want people phoning you about your adult videos? Have you considered what KIND of people will want to discuss what you have on offer? I mean the “wife” mention gives us a hint that it’s of the hetero male variety; and the fact that you married someone who can’t stand to have adult videos in the house would make one assume that you aren’t into anything too deviant. I’m sure you imagine that you’ll be passing the porn torch to some nice frat boy. But you have now offered your personal phone number to pretty much anyone who 1. peruses the Craig’s List “FREE” section, and 2. would be willing to meet up with a stranger for some free porn videos. This just doesn’t seem like a promising combo. But hey – you did avoid all of that spam. So there’s that.

You do have to give him credit for not adding more trash (pun INtended) to his environmental footprint. And it’s not like he could donate those videos to the library or call Freecycle…


Do I think these listings are ridiculous and and a huge waste of time? Of course not! Well, maybe the shirt one – but other than that… There JUST MAY BE someone out there in search of a new base for their perfectly good chair seat. And who couldn’t use a little good luck? A potential buyer may think an “Asian” amulet is just the ticket. Even Larry with his porn nostalgia – there is absolutely a demand for adult videos of all kinds. I took a chance on Craig’s List when I didn’t want to move a heavy piece of furniture. So who am I to judge?

And on that note, I’ll leave you with this: If for any reason you want to go for a fancier parmesan cheese presentation at home, there’s a guy in Derwood who’s got your back.

CL 5

They Coulda’ Been Great: March 2015

Almost three weeks later…here are the Facebook highlights  from March! (What is this? All answers are HERE.)

March 1

10:26 a.m.

Eleanor: So yeah – Jade got her ears pierced.

Me: I guess YOU want to get your ears pierced?

Eleanor: [rolls eyes] Uh – yeah. ALL of my friends have pierced ears…except for Lucy…and Lily.

Me: Well – we had originally talked about waiting until you’re 12…

Eleanor: That’s when YOU got your ears pierced.

Me: I know – back in “the olden days…”

Eleanor: MOM! I don’t call it “olden.”

Me: What do you call it?

Eleanor: “Old.”

Of course. Also? George still tells me that I’m “in my future.”

11:18 a.m.

I just let my kids buy what looks to be ALL seasons of Sponge Bob On Demand. Not sure if this makes me the best mom in the world, the worst mom in the world or the most desperate mom in the world…

March 2

10:30 a.m.

“Mom – there are three people on your world.”

-Eleanor telling me I have three Facebook notifications.

10:39 a.m.

“Emory boards are for nails, not crayons!”

So that’s how our snow day is going so far…

2:29 p.m.

Visiting 10 year old boy: Can I use your phone?

Me: My cell phone?

V10YOB: Yeah.

Me: Why do you want to use my phone?

V10YOB: To call my mom.

Me: Why do you need to call her?

V10YOB: [whispers] It’s personal.

Me: OH. Well – okay, you can use my phone to call her.

V10YOB: [walking away] I hope she lets me get YouTube on my DS…

Epilogue: He is not using my phone.

7:00 p.m.

So we were driving to swim lessons and there was a commercial on the radio telling us to CALL NOW for a chance be on Austin & Ally or Dog with a Blog or some other Disney Programs and we lost our chance because I was driving and couldn’t make phone calls. This was hugely disappointing of course, and a very dejected George declared that he would “never be one of those people who get famous.”

I told him I’d try to help him figure something out. We’re leaning toward YouTube channel (my suggestion of a Twitter account was deemed “weird”). But he can’t get past the idea of being a video gamer YouTube sensation which I keep telling him is so DONE at this point (he totally missed his window). Time to crowd source ideas. So tell me Facebook – what would you like to see George do/discuss on YouTube? He could dispense advice? Give commentary on what is going on in the world? Thoughts?

8:12 p.m.

The Voice is on and when I expressed relief that a singer wasn’t left unchosen by anyone, Chris said, “you’re one of those people who makes everyone get a trophy at the end of the season.”

I’m sorry – is this news?

March 4

6:06 p.m.

You know what gets more depressing with each new year? Scrolling through a drop down box for the year you were born. Scrolling…scrolling…aaaaany minute now…

7:02 p.m.

Several years ago when I had hernia repair surgery (filed under: things your grandpa and I have in common!) the kids created little cut out drawings and designs to tape to my bedroom door. Since then, the paper creations have fallen off or been torn in half by wild small people hurtling past. Tonight the twins are playing with the old school spirographs I bought them for Christmas. George asked if he could tape their work to my bedroom walls “for decoration.” I suggested that they tape them to the door instead, as replacements for their fallen predecessors. They thought this was a great idea, but George said it might be better if I did the decorating myself: “because it’s your door – and you can do it with style.” This may be the first time anyone in my house has ever acknowledged that I do anything with style. But just so you know…I do ALL THE THINGS with style.

March 5

2:53 p.m.

Oliver just ate THREE rice cakes with peanut butter (and I’m not talking mini rice cakes here…) So I wasn’t surprised when he asked me for a glass of milk. Since we are running low (because SNOW DAY), I told him he’d have to settle for water. His response: “then can I have some Cheetos?” It’s like living with Andy from Parks and Rec.

3:37 p.m.

Eleanor: You know, we’ve basically been having winter break.

Me: Yes Eleanor – I NOTICED THAT TOO.


March 6

12:14 p.m.

George and I are having a heated debate. I believe we saw some men setting up flares on the street. George thinks dynamite. #‎AtAnImpasse‬

March 8

10:04 p.m.

I remembered to be the Tooth Fairy twice in three days. So I’m basically KILLING IT at parenting.

March 8

7:39 p.m.

Currently covered in dust. Why? Because my kids are changing after swim class and I just had to jump two feet in the air to retrieve George’s underwear from a dusty ledge. Obviously.

March 10

6:05 p.m.

Finally giving in and letting Eleanor get her ears pierced. And after some extensive crowd sourcing/research, I decided to take her to a tattoo parlor where the employees are certified and follow strict regulations for equipment sterilization. When I told the boys where we were going, their responses were…

Oliver: Do they have candy?

George: I want a tattoo!

So predictable…

9:22 p.m.

We (she) did it!





10:31 p.m.

Oh I’m sorry. Are you trying to watch that?


March 11

8:29 p.m.

Earlier, I told Oliver he could play a game on my phone. Then promptly forgot all about it. An embarrassingly long time later he showed up with a dead phone asking me to charge it for him. I said I thought that was enough electronics for the day. This news was not well received.

He informed me that if I didn’t let him use my phone, he would have to leave. I asked him where he would go. He said “New York.” I asked him who he would stay with there. He said “somebody else.”

Not only did this seem poorly planned…it was possibly first time my oldest son has ever expressed a desire to live somewhere without me (let alone with anyone else BUT me…in New York). I kissed him, then told him I loved him and would be so sad if he ever ran away to live in New York.

Ten minutes later, I heard the distinctive sound of a lightly packed carry on suitcase bumping down the stairs. Inside the suitcase? All of his stuffed animals. ‪#‎NewYorkorBust‬


March 12

9:30 a.m.

Earlier this morning…

Me: George – you’re flossing! Nice work.

George: Yeah – I did it all this morning…brushed my teeth, used mouth wash, flossed, ran in circles…


7:17 p.m.

Eleanor declining a snack I brought for her to eat in the car after gymnastics:

“I’m sorry Mom – I don’t really feel like eating now…just drinking.”


March 14

8:42 p.m.

Harlem Globe Trotters!





March 17

5:45 p.m.

Me: Oliver – how did your back get so wet?

Oliver: I ran into a snow drift.

With his back?


March 18

8:26 p.m.

George: Mom – are you bored?

Me: No! I’m with you. I’m never bored when I’m with my kids (minor lie).

George: It’s your first favorite thing?

Me: Yes – it’s my first favorite thing.

George: What’s your second favorite thing?

Me: Hanging out with Daddy? [sorry Chris – I was put on the spot]

George: What’s your third favorite thing?

Me: Oh I don’t know! I just like being with my family.

George: I know what your last favorite thing is.

Me: What is it?

George: Leaving us.

There aren’t enough hugs for that one.

March 19

5:27 p.m.

A good co-pilot always sleeps with one eye open.

11073397_10205210724562505_3478249783596976670_nMarch 20

12:09 p.m.

The hubris of buying a cute new doormat for spring…

20720_10205217690576651_6857116212456317947_nMarch 21

8:46 p.m.

Someone who has never really considered herself to be a “dog person” (or even an animal lover for that matter) realizes she’s a fully entrenched “dog owner” when she sees the dog lying on her bed and, in her best baby voice coos, “who’s a lazy dog? Are you a big old lazy dog? Yes you are! You good girl…you’re just a lazy doggie dog.” Or so I’ve heard….

March 22

5:14 p.m.

After a frustrating struggle with our can opener, Chris tossed it in the garbage and told me to buy a new one, “and buy an expensive one this time.”

We’re so fancy.

March 23

11:02 a.m.

Yesterday, I took the kids out with their bikes and suggested we go to the nearby Nature Center. When George heard the destination, he balked, “but that’s too far, and I’ll end up crying a lot.” While I did admire this self awareness and ability to identify his limits…I was pretty sure he could do it. With a little encouragement (i.e. “too bad so sad that’s what we’re doing), I was able to get him on board. And as it turned out – there was NO crying at all. He was always in the lead and informed me on the way back that his legs weren’t at all tired. I recognized a bit of a life lesson here: never underestimate yourself. You never know what you can accomplish until you try!

This morning on the walk to school, George complained that his eye hurt, then that it was too cold for the sweatshirt that he chose to wear, and finally that his legs hurt. And he cried the ENTIRE TIME. As I waved to him from the entrance with an ironic, “have a great day!” it occurred to me that my little boy just offered me another life lesson: everything tends to even out in the end.

7:27 p.m.

Waiting for swim lessons to start, I walked up to find Eleanor chatting with the front desk lady about the Easter decorations…

Lady: Oh yeah – we decorate for everything. Did you see all the shamrocks last week…and the hearts for Valentine’s Day?

Eleanor: Well, we couldn’t a come last week, but I remember the hearts. What do you put up for Fourth of July?

Lady: What do you think?

Eleanor: Pictures of fireworks?

Lady: No…what do we celebrate on July Fourth?

Eleanor: Jesus?

It’s true…my children are vaguely aware that when it comes to Christmas and Easter, Jesus is the reason for the season… But those little heathens are forever finding ways to call me out for lack of religious instruction when we’re in public.

March 25

11:46 a.m.

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband Chris Hood, who will never be on Facebook because he thinks it’s THISCLOSE to being Match.com for married people. So those of you who love him will just have to text. **throws confetti/blows party horn***

2:07 p.m.

Between the kids and the dog, I find the weirdest things on my bed. I’m calling that tennis ball Alice’s “Wilson.” A very angry Wilson…


March 26

5:50 p.m.

George and Oliver are in the back seat laughing and cheering. Finally turned around to see what they’re doing: placing popcorn on top of the window glass and pressing “up.” Who says kids need videos and gaming devices to stay entertained in the car!

March 29

5:54 p.m.

Cleaning out some shelves and just found a “brand new” 90-minute cassette tape (still in original packaging!) Any takers? Actually – I may let the kids play with it (because OF COURSE we still have a boom box with a “record” button). And yes – that is the infamous book my mother used to scar me for life when I was six. Why do I keep all the things?! #‎hoarders‬


7:52 p.m.

First concert! Just found the program from Prince’s Purple Rain tour. I was in 7th grade and my Dad took me. Sheila E. opened and he got to stand next to me as we watched her simulate oral sex on one of the men in the audience. You know – typical Norman Rockwell stuff.


March 30

9:27 a.m.

Ten years ago today, I was sitting in the hospital waiting to be induced with my one-week-late first born, Oliver. And all I could think was, “I wish it was tomorrow.” I wasn’t particularly psyched about the day of childbirth ahead… And sure enough, when I was holding my newborn baby and my mom asked what I thought of the experience, I said, “well…it wasn’t my *favorite* day…” I may not be fond of delivering 9 lb. babies with huge heads – but I sure am crazy about this boy with his big heart and and open mind. I often joke that he’s Buddy the Elf – and I’m pretty sure that he’ll believe in Santa forever. He never ceases to put life into perspective for me. I think I want to be Oliver when I grow up.

baby oliver

boy Oliver

2:47 p.m.

We invited some neighbors over for a last minute birthday party. And Oliver just informed me that he wants to go outside so we can all “surprise” him. I love that kid.

March 31

4:27 p.m.

Good thing they kept their helmets on – because sidewalk chalk is no joke.


My Life is a Mess

This morning I woke up full of anxiety.

This is not necessarily a new thing…the to do list is always long, and I feel like I can barely reach it past all of the laundry piling up in front of me…or the dog hair that needs to be vacuumed out of the corners…the dishes…the general grossness of cleaning up after children, pets and let’s face it – husbands (at least mine)…

But tomorrow is Easter. And we have family in town. And there is a hole in our living room ceiling that no handyman had time to fix last week. And I never did get much cleaning done over the past few days since SPRING BREAK. And…well, the house is just a mess. I’m kind of a mess. My life is extremely messy and it can feel so overwhelming…discouraging…

Then I remembered something my Dad wrote for me. I needed to read this today. And if you commiserated with my post title, then I’m guessing you do too…

Life As a Reflection of Its Priorities
by Terry Coveny

When I grow up…

I think I would most like to be like my daughter, Kate.

Kate, to me, best reflects the essence of a business conundrum that states your choices include good, fast and cheap. But you can choose only two.

As a mother of three young children, her choices are happy, tidy and timely. She chose happy and timely.

Think of it…something in life always has to be sacrificed. Even the rich have been known to sacrifice cheap.

As I sit in Kate’s living room at Christmas, I consciously stare at the beautifully decorated tree… ignoring the helter skelter chaos that surrounds me. But my ultimate pleasure is reflected in the eyes of my grandchildren who radiate the blessings of being well loved.

The crayon stains on the sofas may seem rather distressing (at least from an Archictectual Digest point of view)… but to me, here is the happiest place on earth.

Thinking back in time to my own immaculately maintained home, I wonder what sense of joie de vivre was sacrificed for the tidy perfection that was achieved. Thankfully, both children maintain only happy memories.

But…I wonder. What if I were as insightful as Kate? Would the happy memories have been happier?

What of your imperfect existence?

Which of your three choices are you sacrificing?

Choose wisely.


I rarely feel like I have time to choose anything. But I guess that’s not really true. Everyone has priorities that influence their choices. And if I choose to let the house – my life – get overwhelmingly messy because I prioritize happy children over the neat and tidy existence I desperately want…well, then I guess I’m doing okay.

IMG_1515This picture was taken of Oliver and me at a neighborhood party well after midnight. I guarantee that there were piles of laundry to be folded and dog hair dust bunnies rolling through every room back at my house… But I have a happily exhausted child passed out on my lap (and yes I know he has one hand down his pants) and I’m holding a glass of wine (and yes I know that I’m wearing a captain’s hat). Don’t mind the mess. We’re all JUST FINE.

Whatever you are celebrating this weekend – I hope it’s the best kind of messy.

They Coulda’ Been Great: February 2015

Without a hint of spring in sight…at least we made it through February. Here are the Facebook highlights. (What is this? All answers are HERE.)


February 1

7:04 p.m.

“So do you want to say hi to my mom, or are we still talking?”

-Eleanor’s way of saying she’s ready to get off the phone.

7:58 p.m.

Me: So what exactly is the “Puppy Bowl”?

Chris: WHAT?!?

Me: I mean, I’ve heard about it, but I don’t know what it is… Is it kids playing football? Or puppies…?


Apparently, I’m fired. (In my defense, I don’t watch the Super Bowl.)


February 3

3:04 p.m.

“Hello Mrs. Hood, this is Emily from Hunters Woods Elementary. Everything is fine, but I just wanted to let you know that George was in the infirmary a little while ago. He said that a globe fell on his head in his classroom. There isn’t a cut or anything but there is a faint red mark at his hairline. He had his ice and went back to class – I just wanted to to tell you what happened.”

I could have stopped listening at “a globe fell on his head.” Of course he’s fine and of course HE will tell me aaaaallll about “what happened” when he gets home…

4:54 p.m.

Eleanor: Mom! My 3-dimensional fox is going to be in the art show!

Me: Wow!

Eleanor: When we go, don’t look at the names. Just tell me which one is your favorite. Then I’ll tell you which one is mine.

SUPER plan…


February 4

7:37 p.m.

I’m helping George with math and one of the problems was:

33 – 18 =

This is the first time I’ve had to deal with 3 – 8 and had no idea how they’re doing this now… George didn’t know the strategy either, so I ultimately just had to teach him the method I learned in school (borrow a 1…3 becomes 2…13 – 8…then 2 – 1…)

I’M SURE there is a new strategy for this…so I circled the question and told George to explain to his teacher that I only know one way to do it and that she’ll have to walk him through anything new.

George’s response: “I’ll just tell her you showed me the ‘classic’ way to do it.”

Feeling very vintage…


February 6

6:38 p.m.

I’ve decided that if I had to write a memoir based on the chronic state of my house it would be titled, “My Life In Dog Hair.”


February 7

4:22 p.m.

Back at the Kennedy Center, waiting in line to get our Gigi poster signed because OF COURSE WE ARE. (No – we did not see the show a second time. I wish!)



9:27 p.m.

George: Mom – what do think is better: my brain or my teeth?

Me: Uh… Well, I’d say they’re both exceptional… But your BRAIN is responsible for all of your fantastic ideas.

George: So you pick brain.

Me: Fine. If I HAD to pick, I’d say brain.

George: So it’s okay if I never brush my teeth again.

Nice try.


February 8

7:34 p.m.

Working on what just may be the most repulsive “Valentimes” I’ve ever seen (gummy Krabby Patties – shudder).

IMG_13668:04 p.m.

I got to cuddle this today. (I mean the baby – not the sign.)

LTYM baby

February 17

8:55 a.m.

George: Mom! I just saw this commercial that said there are these cell phones that can save you a million dollars and I just don’t think that’s true.

Me: I don’t think so either.

George: Yeah. Because there’s ONLY a thousand dollars in the state.

Me: The state?

George: Of Virginia.

Me: Where did you come up with that number?

George: I researched it. In my brain.

Can’t imagine working with THAT card catalog. Assuming there is no Dewey Decimal System involved…

10:47 a.m.

Just saw the following subject line in my e-mail box:

“Blog Idea: Why Dirt is Critical to our Kid’s Health!”

Grammatical errors aside, I feel very validated. I KNEW there was a reason why Oliver is my healthiest child.


February 18

7:36 a.m.

Sometimes it really annoys me how these kids don’t get my Grease II references…

9:42 a.m.

George: Mom! You want to know what the C word means in a bad way?

Me: No.

George: No – I mean in a “bad way.”

Me: Still no.

George: But MOM…

Me: Fine – what does it mean?

George: Fart.

Me: What is the C word?

George: C-R-A-…

I really keep overestimating their knowledge of “bad words.”

1:53 p.m.

Eleanor has never heard the song, “I Got You Babe” before so I showed her this Sonny & Cher video on YouTube. Her response: “Can I watch All About that Base now?” #‎kidstoday‬

10:06 p.m.

The only thing that makes me feel older than witnessing the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live is remembering that I used to have the 15th recorded on a VHS tape.


February 19

5:21 p.m.

Current favorite thing: my kids singing, “this is that ice cold Michelle Pfeiffer that white gold.”

5:51 p.m.

George: Mom is there such a thing as cloud constellations?

Me: you mean cloud formations?

George: No – constellations. I see one out the window.

Me: You do?

George: Yes! It’s a crown. A girl wearing a crown on her head.

Me: That sounds pretty.

George: Yeah – but now it looks like a donkey chasing an egg.”



February 20

9:23 a.m.

This may just be the snow day cabin fever talking…but those Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies are pretty funny.

11:21 a.m.

There are boys running around my house playing some kind of hide and seek/chase game that I can’t figure out. Just heard the youngest yell, “I’m going to aim for the middle of the neck!”

I don’t even want to know…

11:53 a.m.

Officially beyond empty threats. Just halfheartedly yelling things like, “if I hear screaming, I’m going to be mad…” – then ignoring the screams. I’m pretty sure they know I’ve given up.

3:18 p.m.

Then I got this e-mail and decided to drastically limit the time George has access to my phone…


February 22

10:42 a.m.

Stephanie Stearns Dulli and I are so incredibly excited to announce the 2015 Listen to Your Mother DC cast! Mark your calendars for May 3rd!


February 24

12:45 p.m.

Co-pilot courtesy of Eleanor. #‎ThisCloseToSettingItFree‬

10991163_10205037202664566_2425962767072193292_n5:07 p.m.

Me: Eleanor – why don’t you start your homework?

Eleanor: I have a math worksheet, but I don’t think you’ll understand it. So I’m just going to do it with Ms. Edwards.

Me: I could look at it. I might understand it.

Eleanor: No – you definitely won’t understand it.

So I guess we’ll all in the know regarding my lack of math skillz…


February 26

8:10 a.m.

Oliver: Mom, can I have Girl Scout cookies?

Me: Oh…sure. It’s a snow day.

Oliver: Can I have two?

Me: Yes. [then seeing what he actually has in his hands…] Wait – no! Not two BOXES!


12:52 p.m.

In honor of the snow day, I’m having a glass of wine with my lunch. And by “lunch,” I mean cheese.


February 28

8:10 a.m.

Sometimes I wonder if the hermit crabs are happy. Sometimes I wonder when they’ll just die already. Mixed feelings about our hermit crabs…

3:55 p.m.

Making the bed, I can’t decide which annoys me more…Alice’s dirty paw prints on the coverlet or Chris’ sock lumps. #‎livingwithanimals‬


They Coulda’ Been Great: October 2014

And finally…our October on Facebook. Check back next month for November. (What is this? All answers are HERE.)

October 2

10:36 a.m.

George is having an 80’s moment.

IMG_03626:48 p.m.

Assembling Legos at the Knoxville Embassy Suites manager’s reception…

George: Can we stay here EVERY time we come to Tennessee?

#‎roadtrip‬ ‪#‎MemphisBaby‬!



October 3

5:17 p.m.

“Mom – no one is going to care about Dad’s shoes.”

And other things I say to my mother before rehearsal dinners…

8:07 p.m.

Party of 14. Five kids. My end of the table. And I love it. Also – the blue stuff is Flarp – not food.

IMG_05449:47 p.m.

It’s not a party until Eleanor’s shoe flies of her foot and lands on another table.


October 5

11:18 a.m.

Hey! My brother got married yesterday!

10712941_10203803630224393_235538733566603853_n12:57 p.m.

Talking about the big house where we attended a wedding yesterday…

George: Mom! I liked that house. I wish I lived there.

Me: Well I guess you’ll just have to settle for our little house…BUT our house is full of fun. And full of love.

George: Mmmmm….no. That house was more fun.

Eleanor: Yeah – it had a pool.

Oliver: Can we go home now?

I guess we all have our priorities…

4:20 p.m.

Sitting on the shoulder of a highway – cars flying by at 80 MPH on the left – calling for roadside assistance and explaining that no, we don’t need a tow truck…I just got distracted and didn’t notice that we were running out of gas.

From the back…

Eleanor: Mom! Why does the car shake when people pass us?

Oliver: Mom! Tell them that we’re near a bridge!

George: Mom! I just took a picture of my mole!

#‎teamwork‬ ‪#‎roadtrip‬

11:13 p.m.

My view from bed: It’s 10:00 p.m. and we are finally settling into our hotel for the night. So obviously it’s time to pull out the rainbow loom…



October 7

5:39 p.m.

George: What does that say?

Me: That’s my signature.

George: Is it in French?

Me: No – it’s just hard to read.

George: Why don’t you write it in English?

It’s true – I have the worst signature ever. A silver lining to remaining un-famous…


October 7

7:57 a.m.

Anyone have any good pictures of the blood moon? Getting up at 5:00 a.m. to check it out sounded interesting until it was actually 5:00 a.m….


October 8

4:30 p.m.

“If you find something at the playground, do NOT put it in your mouth.”

What would they do without me?


October 9


#TBT Happy eighth birthday to my George and Eleanor!









98:00 p.m.

Weekday birthdays are the best.

11:04 p.m.

Well that birthday sucked…





October 10

7:37 p.m.

George: Mom – you know why the world is running out of water?

Me: Why?

George: Because each and every second, someone is using a water fountain.

Me: The world is running out of water because each and every second someone is using a water fountain?

George: And toilets.

If he pursues a life of environmental activism, I can’t WAIT to see his protest signs.


October 11

9:05 a.m.

After asking the same question and hearing “no” about a billion times this morning…

Oliver: Mom – can we get doughnuts?

Me: Oliver – I already answered that question.

Oliver: But you didn’t say yes.


1:02 p.m.

Only on page 7 and cry-laughing in Starbuck’s (as it should be). “I didn’t tell Jonah I was a virgin, just that I hadn’t done it ‘that much.’ I was sure I had already broken my hymen in high school while crawling over a fence in Brooklyn in pursuit of a cat that didn’t want to be rescued.” Thank god for Oliver’s 1.5 hour social skills group.

IMG_0549October 12

8:09 p.m.

10625164_10204806658994861_4552835060305275142_n10:29 p.m.

My girl!



October 13

9:21 a.m.

“Mom – tomorrow, when I get home from school, I’m going to make a portal to hell.”

-George Hood, age 8


9:53 a.m.

Eleanor [working on a Lego Friends set]: Mom! I’m missing a piece!

Me [getting up from the computer to go help]: …Which is code for, “I can’t find a piece.”

Chris [to George]: Mom is freakishly good at finding Lego pieces.

George: Yeah – once I saw her do it in less than a second!

Chris: I don’t know how she does it…

Me [returning after finding the Lego piece in less than a second]: Hey – that’s a book.

Chris: That’s the title of a book?

Me: Yeah – but it’s not about a woman who’s good at finding Legos. It’s about a working mom who’s trying to do it all. Fictional…really funny… about the whole balancing act.

George: Balancing act? Can I see the video?

Because if you are eight years old in 2014, you can’t imagine that anything of relevance wouldn’t found in a YouTube video…


October 16

9:15 a.m.

Yesterday, one of the kids started singing at the table and Chris immediately went into stern table manners dad mode, barking, “no singing at the dinner table!” Since this wasn’t a family dinner (we do that on Sundays) and I was just feeding the kids a meal, I considered that dinner to be MINE and therefore subject to MY rules. And as far as I’m concerned, singing is absolutely allowed. In our subsequent discussion about this, Chris asked me to understand that when he was growing up, they would get in trouble for singing at the dinner table since it was considered bad manners. First of all, I have no idea when this scenario could possibly have played out as I have never heard any of them sing a single note – ever. But that observation aside, we agreed that if I’m okay with a little joyous singing during an informal meal at home – then it can be allowed.

The only thing that annoyed me was that he made one of his many comments about how I’m from “a musicals family” (meaning that my family is constantly singing and referring to show tunes which is complete hyperbole on his part). I was about to protest, but then remembered this little conversation during the walk home from the school bus that day:

Eleanor: Mom – you know we had a tornado warning today.

Me: I know – but it was lifted.

Eleanor: I was afraid there would be a twister.

Me: We’ve talked about this. While we get all of the wind from tornadoes, we don’t have flat enough land for those big twisters you saw on TV. Twisters happen in states with “plains” they can sweep through…places like Kansas…

George: And Oklahoma.

Me: YES, “where the wind comes sweeping down the plains!”

George: Yeah – and then the planes crash.

Me: Not planes like “airplanes” – plains like, “the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.”

Then I decided to let Chris’ comment go…


October 18

1:54 p.m.

Oliver just informed me that we really need to go to Party City for costume supplies since, “nobody has more Halloween for less.”



October 19

9:28 a.m.

Today, I’m taking the kids somewhere called The Land of Little Horses. And if that doesn’t make your inner eight year old girl swoon, then you didn’t hear what I just said because it’s THE LAND OF LITTLE HORSES. More on this later…

12:28 p.m.

The LITTLEST horses in the land.



October 21

8:10 p.m.

George: Mom – you know what our montray is at school?

Me: Your montray?

George: Yeah.

Me: What is a montray?

George: The montray is, “it’s not about me, it’s about us.”

Me: OH! Your mantra…

George: Yeah. Hey! Do you want to know what’s going on in the world?

Me: In the world?!

George: In minecraft.

Me: Of course I do.



October 22

4:45 p.m.

“It will have to be small. I’m not investing in expensive weaponry.”

“No you can’t have a fog machine.”

“I’m going to put that grave back if you don’t stop bashing it RIGHT NOW.”

And other things I just said to my children in the Halloween section of Target…


October 23

10:00 a.m.

#‎TBD This swing was in the backyard of the ONLY house I’ve ever lived in that HAD a backyard. 1974-1980…The golden years of almost but not quite braining myself on a huge tree trunk… I MEAN. I’m four years old in that picture and I clearly remember Dad pulling the swing back as faaaaar as it could go then WHEEEEE! #‎survivorofa70schildhood‬

(cool picture though when you consider that it was taken on film – no filters or fancy lens settings…)

swing6:15 p.m.

Another day that I wore exercise clothes with the intention of exercising…aaaand my heart rate never exceeded that of a napping snail…


October 26

7:58 a.m.

Oliver just dragged me all over the house in an impromptu dramatization of A Christmas Carol with a Halloween theme. I played a reluctant Scrooge while he did voice overs for three ghosts played by a small pumpkin, a sneaker and one of his fingers.

Hopefully – there will not be a sequel…

7:33 p.m.

Eleanor: George – what is you favorite part of your body?

Me: [holds breath]

George: My brain.

Me: [exhales]

Eleanor: What’s your SECOND favorite part of your body?

George: [big smile]

Me: [cringes]

George: [long considering pause]…My heart!

You KNOW what I thought he was going to say. Also? I love his brain. And his heart.


October 29

9:14 a.m.

George just made up my new favorite term for that moment you realize you’re in big trouble.

He and a couple of friends were playing outside, and when I went to call him in for dinner, they were gone. After wandering around the usual spots calling, “George! Dinner!” this evolved onto 3 sets of parents (including Chris who had just arrived home from work) frantically searching the neighborhood.

Approximately 20 minutes after my first. “George! Dinner!” Chris found the three boys several blocks away at a house where they “thought” their friend Charlie lived to “invite him to a show.” Apparently, they were walking around, handing out red carnival ride tickets for “Minecraft World.”

Later when George was tearfully telling me the whole story, he described the moment Chris discovered them as “and then bad words happened!”

I’m sure they did. And I’m sure “then bad words happened,” will be featured again in future stories like this one…

Epilogue: George is convinced that his friend’s “Minecraft World” tickets were real and has made it his mission to “apologize to everyone who got a ticket” about the show being cancelled.


October 30

7:40 a.m.

Then in a moment of severe Stockholm Syndrome I thought, “you know – Sponge Bob is actually pretty funny sometimes…”


October 31

8:24 a.m.

And if there was ever any question that Eleanor is MY daughter… This morning, she explained to me that she’s not afraid of volcanoes anymore, because even if there WAS one near us, she thinks we could easily outrun it: “Lava moves really slowly, and we can just jump in the car and drive away.”

Of course, MY childhood disaster plans always involved strategies for how to bring all of my stuff with me… They still do. Reason #673 why I wouldn’t survive the zombie apocalypse.

Happy Halloween!

9:05 p.m.

Every year I take fewer and fewer Halloween pictures (which means I’m ALLOWED to take fewer and fewer Halloween pictures…) Tonight I took FIVE. Here are two. George is not wearing shoes yet, you can’t even see Eleanor’s face and Oliver looks CRAZY with those teeth (love that he and Eleanor hammed it up a bit…if I had to give George’s image a title it would be “reluctant ninja”). Good haul. As soon as everyone goes to bed, I will collect my parental Halloween candy tithe…

halloween 2B


They Coulda’ Been Great: August-September 2014

Almost caught up on “They Coulda’ Been Great.” Here is our August and September on Facebook… (What is this? All answers are HERE.)


August 1

9:24 a.m.

“Hey Mom! Is it time to check my planters warts?”


9:45 a.m.

I’m now on Day 3 of putting on exercise clothes with the intention of exercising. Fingers crossed for Day 1 of actually exercising…

4:19 p.m.

The amount of time I spend texting with other mothers about where our children are in the neighborhood (“just left my house on bikes – are they at your house now?“) brings me back to my conference planner days spent running around an exhibit hall with a radio glued to my ear. I’m THISCLOSE to texting them stuff like, “Cathy – what’s your 20?

6:05 p.m.

Scene: Three mothers are talking while children play upstairs.

They hear dramatic shrieks.

Conversation stops as all freeze and tilt their heads prairie dog style to assess the quality of shrieks and what that might mean.

Mother #1: Sounds joyous…but possibly dangerous…

Mother #2 and #3: [Get up and go to check it out.]

Mother #1: Continues to drink wine.

End scene.

Pop quiz: Which mother am I?


August 2

12:43 p.m.

A few minutes ago, anyone who saw me in my car would assume that I was rocking out. Probably wondered why they couldn’t hear me through the window. Given the chance, I’d explain that I was actually whispering lyrics since “the singing police” in the back seat (Oliver) was ruining Jesse’s Girl for me with his complaints. WHO doesn’t sing along to Jesse’s Girl? I MEAN…


August 4

5:29 p.m.

Anyone ever deal with a missing hermit crab? A few hours ago, we noticed that Mr. Krabs escaped. Searched…but as of yet – he is still at large. Suggestions?


August 5

8:35 a.m.

Groupon keeps sending me e-mails about laser hair removal. It’s nice to know that someone out there really gets me…

6:15 p.m.

Q: What is, “what is approximately 10.”

A: The Jeopardy answer to, “the number of times each day Kate Googles something she sees on social media because she’s never heard of it before.”

Q: What is, “what is approximately 5.”

A: The Jeopardy answer to, “the number of times Kate tries to type ‘Jeopardy’ correctly before she finally gives up and consults Google.”

6:54 p.m.

So our dog, Alice has been having some stomach issues since we got back from the beach. The accidents have made me want to move, and what she does when we take her on walks make me vow to NEVER walk barefoot on grass again.

I was JUST thinking that it may be time for a visit to the vet, when Eleanor told me that she thought we should move a Costco-size bag of cheap dog food we bought a while back and then put in the basement when after two days we decided it made dog walks…unpleasant for those of us holding the plastic bag.

Eleanor told me that she saw Alice sniffing the discarded dog food bag earlier that day. So I picked it up and….LIGHT AS A FEATHER. Mystery Solved! And GROSS.


August 6

1:31 p.m.

Bumped into a friend I haven’t seen in a while at the YMCA. I told her she looked great and asked when her baby was due. She told me I look great and said she could tell I had been working out a lot this summer. I then explained that I haven’t been working out much at all this summer, it’s just that when you are 8 months pregnant, EVERYONE looks thin. #truth

3:54 p.m.

GOOD GOD but whenever George is talking it sounds like he’s holding a live grenade… #intensechild


August 8

11:24 p.m.

A few hours ago, the kids and I were walking home from “party night” at our neighbors’ house. Oliver was in front, and I could hear him saying something about a frog. But somehow my ears hearing “frog” and my eyes seeing the shadow in front of my feet just wasn’t enough to make the connection. Then a big bullfrog hopped across my feet. Then I jumped up and down, screaming, “OHMYGODOHMYGODJESUSCHRISTOHMYGOD!” Then my kids laughed at me, and it actually was pretty funny and I thought sometimes life isn’t so hard. Sometimes.


August 10

8:59 a.m.

Don’t forget to flush.
Don’t forget to wash your hands.
Don’t forget to put your underwear back on BEFORE you leave the bathroom.”

I’m thinking of having a plaque made… #boys

4:42 p.m.

Okay, let’s talk about Outlander. Just watched the premiere while folding laundry today. I decided to NOT compare the book and the mini-series too much because it’s impossible to recreate anything with that much detail. But I have to say, I thought it was REALLY good. Loved the actress who played Claire (and LOVED her wardrobe). In fact – I thought the casting worked really well if you didn’t get too caught up in how they looked…Jamie was just a little too pretty, Jack Randall wasn’t nearly pretty enough and WTF DOUGAL!?! Not nearly hot enough (but maybe that improves as the show goes on and he channels some Sean Connery older guy hotness? We’ll see…) Didn’t bother me at all that Jamie doesn’t show up until the last 20 minutes. The background of “present day” was necessary and well done. Who else laughed out lout at the Scots’ reaction when Claire asked for alcohol to dress a wound? Definitely a fun watch. Can’t wait for the next one!


August 11

2:16 p.m.

This may be my favorite picture of the summer. And whenever they are screaming at each other or crying about the injustice of him getting that or her having more, I will pull this up on my phone and stroke the screen saying, “pretty…so pretty…”

DSC_04504:38 p.m.

Is it just me, or does anyone else sometimes move their ships while playing Battleship so the kid can get more hits and the game will end faster?

7:03 p.m.

Playing Clue with Oliver is entertaining but not exactly fast paced. He’s far more interested in making the game pieces talk to each other than guessing “whodunit.”


August 13

8:12 a.m.

This morning – not for the first time – I noticed that my vitamin D pills come in a bottle that looks exactly like the Melatonin bottle. The actual tablets are also identical. This could end very badly for me one day…

9:21 a.m.

Eleanor has officially perfected her five syllable “Sto-o-o-o-op.” Flawless. I’m so proud.

11:26 a.m.

We’ve only been at the farm for ten minutes and I’ve already cleaned up an epic sunblock explosion in my backpack and retrieved George’s shoe from a gazebo roof. Auspicious beginnings…


August 15

9:18 a.m.

Just when we had given up hope, Mr. Krabs came back! Guess our crumb strewn floor provided whatever nourishment he needed. Finally – my slovenly housekeeping pays off!

1:18 p.m.

Today I have five kids at a farm with miniature golf. After 20 minutes of MY TURN! And YOU CHEATED! I think it’s safe to say that I have never in my life been so excited to feed goats.


August 16

1:15 p.m.

Doing something to the demolition derby track. I have no idea – but George sure is excited. The things I do for my children… #boys

IMG_97863:25 p.m.

Juuuuust cleared that height requirement.



August 17

9:32 a.m.

Just ate my weight in cheese grits. So I’m now ready for anything…that involves sleeping for 10 hours…

6:00 p.m.

George: Mom – can Ben and I have a play date?

Me: Weren’t you JUST telling me that he was being mean to you and telling you to go away when you were trying to talk to him and he WASN’T doing it in the kidding around voice?

George: Yeah. But then I did the right thing and apologized for being overly dramatic.

I doubt he will continue to “do the right thing” EVERY time he’s being overly dramatic… But this is a huge step forward for my INTENSE little boy.


August 18

8:59 p.m.

Me: Ready for bed?

George: [YAWN] No.

Eleanor: We’re never gonna “be ready for bed.”

Yes. I noticed.

10:07 p.m.

Earlier today, while trying to get the kids to stop running around the post office, I pointed out the track for a partition wall and asked them what they thought it was for….

George: I KNOW. They pull that out when there’s a tornado. Then everyone can stand behind it and not get caught in the twister.

Me: That’s an interesting idea…

Eleanor: Or maybe it’s for when they’re closed.

Me: Or that.



August 21

1:47 p.m.

On the way to the pool, George kept talking about all of the “swimming stuff” he was going to teach his younger friend. It was clear that the friend wasn’t liking this line of conversation so I intervened – suggesting that maybe his friend wasn’t interested in “learning stuff” today. George was having none of that…

George: [practically screaming with excitement] But I’m going to teach him how to jump off the diving board and swim to the side!

Friend: [mumbling] I want to go on the slide…

Me: [to a STILL talking, George] GEORGE! Maybe he doesn’t want a teacher. MAYBE he just wants a friend.

George: I could be a friendly teacher?


August 22

12:38 p.m.

One day late for #TBT. I think George was four… Decided to try out Oliver’s new bike.



August 22

5:05 p.m.

It was only a matter of time…



August 23

5:52 p.m.

Earlier today, our favorite babysitter (who is visiting for the weekend) was telling me a story about how her iphone was stolen. It began: “Well, it was my friend’s graduation party, and she was crying in her room – so you know, I had to take care of her…”

My first reaction was that it’s been a long time since I was at a party where the host was locked in her bedroom crying or where any of the guests had valuables stolen… Could not relate at all anymore.

My second (delayed) reaction, was that I could probably tell the exact same story, but it would begin: “Well, it was my daughter’s birthday party, and she was crying in her room – so you know, I had to take care of her…” And the iphone wouldn’t be stolen – it would be broken by children fighting over who had the next turn playing games on it. While none of this actually happened to me…it totally could.

So really, we’re practically leading parallel lives… #20something40somethingworldproblems


August 24

3:58 p.m.

Ren Fair baby!



August 25

10:03 a.m.

Flying our freak flag high at the grocery store today…



August 26

6:58 p.m.

Oliver was calling me from the other room. He needed HELP because he couldn’t find the TV channel he had been watching. The Home Shopping Network was on and I made him wait another five minutes before I found Sam & Cat because TRISH MCEVOY was on HSN. TRISH MCEVOY! Facial lines were being blurred with magic powder. There was SHIMMER. It was mesmerizing. I miss department store makeup…


August 28

3:13 p.m.

Walking past a garden on a street with no sidewalk…

Me: Hey guys – be careful not to step on the flowers.

George: Because they’re poisonous?

Me: No! Because they’re beautiful.


8:26 p.m.

It was open house (meet the teachers) at the kids’ Elementary school today and I’m really happy with placements. This will be the first year that all three have new teachers (George and Eleanor were in K-1 so they had the same teacher/classroom for the past two years). Both of their second grade teachers are great. I could just barely pry Eleanor out of her new classroom. George got Oliver’s teacher from last year (the strict one – as it should be); and when we left the classroom he said, “Mom, THIS year, I’m not going to be bad.” Fingers crossed for fewer trips to the principal’s office… The only downer was how SAD Oliver was that he had to leave his second grade teacher (when I told George he would have Mrs. T, Oliver said, “OH – George will be in MY class?!“) There were tears. He tried to barter with his new teacher for a “trade” which seemed to involve him doing a week in the new classroom and then switching back to his old one. I have no doubt that he’ll be FINE after a day or two. But that one just breaks my heart with his loyalty and desire to be “little” forever.





August 31

10:30 a.m.

Just BARELY managed to put back a K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s Greatest Hits CD after initially dropping it into my basket at Target. This perfectly exemplifies the dangerous level of my impulse shopper mentality…and my taste is music…


September 2

10:20 a.m.

The amount of time I am allotted for first day of school picture taking is well represented by the “best” shots from this morning. Oliver was practically jumping out of his skin with anxiety over his new classroom, so I’m surprised he isn’t a blur between his brother and sister…





September 3

11:23 a.m.

Nothing makes you feel more attractive than an annual visit to the dermatologist. Unless of course, “photo damage” and “acne scarring” don’t do it for you…

7:49 p.m.

I’m not good at explaining sciencey things.”

And other embarrassing answers I give my children when I’m tired…


September 4

8:49 a.m.

Eleanor: Hey Jonas! I got George!

George: No you didn’t! That was my thumb! Thumbs don’t count!

Me: Yes they do! Thumbs DO count.

Not that I have any idea what they’re talking about… But George is in second grade now, and it’s long since time he learned that thumbs totally count.

7:45 p.m.

Eleanor just went outside with Chris to walk the dog…

Eleanor: [running in the door] GEORGE! You HAVE to see this!

Me: What is it?

Eleanor: A SNAKE SKIN!

George: On our steps?!

Me: [horrified expression]

Eleanor: No.

Me: [relieved expression]

Chris: Well, almost on the steps.

Me: [Thinking, “time to move.”]

Eleanor: I touched it!

Me: [THISCLOSE to passing out.]

I miss the city.


September 5

7:11 p.m.

His lesbian friend totally wrote this for him.”

-Diane Cooper Gould’s cynical take on a Hey Cupid profile our single friend found promising… #HoorayforFridayNight


September 7

5:36 p.m.

I’m not much of an activist (unless having opinions and really caring counts…okay, so I’m not much of an activist). But I WILL say this. For men who feel like it’s only natural that they would want to see stolen pictures of female celebrities (or any women, really) in the nude simply because they are sexually attracted to women and would OBVIOUSLY want to get a peek…consider this: That may be someone else’s wife or girlfriend. What if it was your wife or girlfriend? That may be someone else’s MOTHER. What if it was your mother? That IS someone else’s daughter. Do I need to ask the obvious question?


September 11

9:50 p.m.

Arnebya, you had no idea that by not coming tonight, you’d be missing out on drinks at a Bayou Sports bar called Chasin’ Tails (get it?!) where they have both “red AND white” wine. My glass of “red” arrived in a brandy snifter.





September 12

8:11 a.m.

Me: Oliver, do you need underwear?

Oliver: No thanks.

Me: Let me rephrase that. Are you WEARING underwear?

Oliver: Uh….

That’s what I thought.

4:52 p.m.

Mulch is like the ground beef of wood. WHO KNOWS what’s in there. Also – my children are burying themselves in mulch.


September 15

9:06 a.m.

Those mornings I have to ask, “exactly WHO are the people in MY neighborhood?#‎SweetRide‬



September 15

6:42 p.m.

“We’ve built up enough immunities. It’s time to start hand washing.”


8:39 p.m.

Chris and I are out to dinner for our anniversary, and it was only when we were walking into the restaurant that I realized I forgot to put on my earrings. My hair is pulled back of course. We may as well just go home now. Night ruined.


September 17

6:56 p.m.

Eleanor: I have Ms. Gutierrez for Music – who do you have?

George: Mr. Robinson

Me: You have Mr. Robinson again?

Eleanor: Who do you like better – Mr. Robinson or Ms. Gutierrez?

George: Mr. Robinson!

Me: Why do you like Mr. Robinson better?

George: Because Ms. Gutierrez only gives two warnings and Mr. Robinson gives four.



September 18

10:01 a.m.

#TBT 2010

DSCN22267:37 p.m.

Eleanor is reading a book about horses…

Eleanor: It says, “Genghis Khan conquered Asia and eastern Europe with an army of a quarter of a million horsemen.” There used to be HORSEMEN?

Me: Yes…?

Eleanor: So they were half horse/half man?!

#1 – OF COURSE she didn’t know how to pronounce Genghis Khan! (Or “quarter”)

#2 – I kind of wish I could’ve said yes…because GEEK.


September 23

7:24 p.m.

Just now – George came inside after playing next door, hollering, “Mom! The moon is bleeding and strange things are happening!

Where does he hear about this stuff? Stuff I need to google…

moon7:53 p.m.

George: By the way – aliens aren’t even real. Only on other planets. Like Saturn. And Mercury.

So that’s good news…


September 24

6:42 p.m.

G-E-O-R-G-E stands for:

Grat (Great)
Emeralb (Emerald)
Osum (Awesome)
Roking (Rocking)
Gelles (Jealous – because “sometimes I’m jealous”)
Efletik (Athletic)



September 25

8:20 a.m.

#‎TBT October 2008 with my first true blogging BFF. Yesterday was my turn to write a review for ‪Rare Bird‬. This would be the blog that is covered with dust due to perpetual html woes… So you won’t find any pictures there (damn broken blog) but I made up for it with an alarming number of words.

camera 3424:44 p.m.

As I told my almost eight year old daughter that not only did I read her new library book when I was a kid, but that we also have OUR OWN copy of Where The Sidewalk Ends right here at home…it occurred to me that she is doing an excellent job of raising herself.



Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblin’s gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.

-Shel Silverstein


September 27

10:08 a.m.

And then I realized that all of those reminders from school that the 29th is a student holiday means that my children will ALL BE HOME, ALL DAY on Monday. I’m not mentally prepared for this…

3:31 p.m.

George: Mom! No one ever listens to me! And I’m mostly right.

Preaching to the choir, George…

3:49 p.m.

George: Mom? Should I get State Farm or Nationwide on your side?

Me: What?

George: When I grow up. What do you think? State Farm or Nationwide?

I think someone’s been watching too much TV…


I’ll post October this week and then we’ll be back to monthly posts. Then maybe I’ll start writing actual blog posts again…