• Parenting

    The Sound of Silence

    ‘Knock, knock.’ “Mom, Nick. Are you guys awake?” Blurry eyed, I stumble down to the kitchen pulling my ratty house sweater on and I greet each of my overly awake children with a mumbled ‘Good morning.’ I make coffee through sleep infested eyes, then wander the house looking for my slippers. Found, I make my way to the garage to let the pup out to potty. It’s colder than I thought and I stand shivering on the front porch while the pup takes her dear sweet time sniffing the skiff of snow that fell overnight. I wander back inside and hear the cacophony of sound that is our home when…

  • Parenting

    What Nobody Tells You About Raising Teenagers

    When my kids were all little, I looked forward to their teenage years about as much as I looked forward to a root canal. It’s one thing to make a six-year-old eat his broccoli, but it’s quite another to navigate puberty, high-school drama, and the myriad other minefields that are allsthings raising teenagers into contributing members of society. Remember those What to Expect books? There’s a reason they didn’t write one for teenagers. There’s not much of a manual for small humans, but I could impart various wisdoms on topics such as how the hell to get a kid to not completely destroy the house while you shower. I could…

  • Tomatoes in pot
    Parenting

    Mushrooms & Chicken Legs…or the Great Dinner Battle

    “What’s for dinner” is the worst thing a kid can ask. Ever. Moms all over the world hate that question. But what they hate even more is answering it. “Mushrooms in mushroom sauce over chicken legs with broccoli on top,” I say. “Nuh uh! What’s REALLY for dinner?” My favorite way to answer is with all of their least favorite foods mushed into one grotesque sounding meal. Because I’m cool like that. It’s basically the right of every mother to answer as ambiguously as possible, mostly because SOMEONE will object. And when you have 9 kiddos…it’s a good night if ONLY 1 kid objects. One of the biggest hurdles of…

  • Parenting

    Step-parenting 101

    Step 1: Read all the books. Step 2: Worry about how to be a good step-parent. Step 3: Fret. Step 4: Realize that no one really knows. It’s just like regular parenting only with the addition of worrying about both of your ex-spouses too. I’ve never felt as though I’m good with other people’s children. I can be tolerant for a short time, but more often than not, I find them to be annoying. (This is why I have mad respect for teachers.) I have a higher tolerance for my nieces and nephews, but if I’m being honest, they drive me a little crazy too. When becoming a step-mom became…

  • Parenting

    Sticky

    I walk into the kitchen after dropping off the littles at school and go to set down my purse only to realize the bottom is sticky. THIS must be the culprit behind my sticky arm. And my sticky armrest in the car. And the sticky something on my shorts. “Why is everything sticky?” I say out loud to an empty house. I look around at my you-can-tell-the-kids-cleaned-it kitchen and discover the source. Syrup on the kitchen table. I’m hit with a small familiar wave of overwhelm. That anxiety-ridden thought cycle I’ve had to learn to undo. It goes something like this: Everything is ALWAYS a mess Why are the kids…

  • Parenting

    To my daughter on her 18th birthday

    Mothers always want to tell their daughters a million things. Things like, you are beautiful. You are talented. You are smart. Most of the time we don’t because we understand why those things are met with rolled eyes and lots of “whatevers.” Here’s the thing. They are all true. 18 is a big deal. It’s the beginning of the next part of your life journey. It’s a time when you are in the great In Between. In between childhood and adulthood. It’s a time of self-discovery and learning and so many life choices. It’s glorious. And terrifying. And we are here for you. We are here to be your soft…

  • Coffee Mug
    Parenting

    A Cup of Coffee

    I sit at the kitchen table at 7:04 a.m. (the a.m. is important), sipping the glorious dark liquid that breathes life into me every day out of my mug that declares me to be “Queen of Everything” while chaos swirls around me. I “only” have 4 children to scoot out the door this morning. Yet somehow those 4 often create the most amount of drama. How tiny humans can be so dramatic about things like their favorite cereal being gone is beyond me. It’s as if they were completely absent in the consumption of the cereal. This morning we have to also concern ourselves with curling hair because… school pictures.…

  • YouTube
    Parenting

    YouTube is not for little kids and the reasons we banned it

    “Why did you sleep with your sister last night?” “Because I was scared Slenderman was going to come get me.” “What the hell is Slenderman and where did you hear about that?” “I saw it on YouTube.” Ugh. I will state emphatically…YouTube is NOT for little kids. This is not the first time we’ve dealt with the boogeyman from YouTube. For months, 3 of the kids couldn’t shower with the door closed and I had to buy a see-through shower curtain. Thanks, YouTube. As if parenting isn’t hard enough. I saw a meme floating around the book of faces the other day that talked about how we old moms win…