How long until spring break next year?

In an effort to not get a year behind on the life documentation that was once this blog, I cannot let a post about spring break go unwritten. (Feel free to click off and hunt for p0rn or up-to-the-minute Kardashian news if you are not a grandparent or one of the people with us on this trip.)

We were invited by some friends to come share a beach house with another family in Florida.

Ten kids.
Three moms.
No dads.
A week on the beach.

What could have been a recipe for mayhem was a recipe for success. We had SO. MUCH. FUN.

So much so, that midweek, I realized with horror that it wasn't actually summer, and that we'd have to return to a rainy, wet, Midwest and resume getting up early in the morning for school.

It was a depressing 45 seconds.

Then, I gave myself over to the gloriousness that was our time there and sucked the marrow from life.

As you should during a week-long beach vacay.

Chase begged to bring his newly-received raft, and I gave in with reservations. I worried that it would take up too much room and not get used by anyone.

Oh, I was sorely mistaken. I think the raft was probably the most-used item, second only to the showers. They played in it every day. At the beach. In the pool. Everywhere. And, clearly, all at once.


Also a hot commodity were the many iPads. Will my children ever appreciate the gadgets that are such a big part of their world? Will they ever understand how I survived a childhood without them?

And with the hours of silent entertainment they bring, do I really want them to?

I'm going with a resounding no.


Mindy wins the award for best sport. When she reached down to get something out of the pool, my evil instincts kicked in and before I could stop myself, I gave her tiny backside a push. She fell in head first, clothes and all, and came up laughing. I waited tentatively all week for her revenge, but she never once retaliated. THAT, peeps, is a good friend to have around.



Also exciting was sharing the city with several intoxicated college students, who were also on spring break. Notice the handsome fellow bravely wearing a bright yellow speedo in the background? TOTALLY Mindy's team. Given to her generously by Beckie and I. Because we're just kind like that.


Also awesome was the up close and personal lesson my children received on the down sides of alcohol. Watching a group of (I'll call them) kids beer bonging on the beach at 11 a.m. left a pretty bitter taste in the mouths of us un-drunk beach goers. Thank you, spring breakers, for showing my kids firsthand what I want them to avoid.




All in all, it was a dream week. Even puncutated by the usual trip to urgent care for our family, it was a vacation to remember. One I'm anxious to go back to right now.

At least he doesn't inhale

Last night we had our church Trunk-or-Treat party.

Which, as many of you know, is basically just 75 kids running around on a sugar high begging for that which they do not need: more candy.

As I watched my friend Beckie (whose son, Jack, is a diabetic) administer his nightly insulin shot, I asked her if we ought to maybe just give every kid that walked by a little dose with the insulin pen.

She thought it was an excellent idea, and a possible way out of ANY and all future church callings.

Instead, we handed out candy and opted NOT to drug other people's children.

I know. We're boring like that.

Today, as I'm trying to control my the kids' consumption of the candy we brought home, McKay introduced me to a middle school phenomenon known as smoking the smarties.

The theory behind it is that you crush up a tube of smarties until they resemble a fine powder, keeping the wrapper intact. Holding the smarties like a joint between your thumb and pointer finger, you open one end of the cigarette candy wrapper and suck some of the powder into your mouth. You then blow it out in a sugary, billowy smoke that, honestly, resembles something far more grown up and sinister than candy.

He tells me the key is to not inhale the smartie smoke, to just take a little bit in before blowing it out again. And that his new goal in life is to be able to make the smoke come out of his nose.

He also claims, "It's not bad for you. And it won't hurt you one bit."

Where have we heard that before, hmmm?

I am thinking that in 20 years, there will be Anti-Smartie campaigns and DARE to Keep Kids Off Smartie parties at school.

Anyone know of a good smartie cessation program out there? It's probably best to wean him now while he's still young and pliable.

We have nothing to fear does that go again?

The Real Bloody Mary, image via

As I mentioned a few days ago, we are in the middle of The Remodel. Now before any of you hunt off to search for free p0rn, I promise this post will not consist of any before and after photos. I do not intend to give a daily play-by-play of what is happening in my home.

Though I could.

But I'd be the only one left reading this blog inside of two hours, I am sure.

No, this story only relates to The Remodel as it is the reason my children are now sleeping in the basement.

Which, according to them, is evil, dark, spooky, and/or haunted.

It's been a bit of a battle, most especially with Hannah, to get them to willingly fall asleep down there.

You know, in our fully finished, well-lit, not haunted or evil, basement.

Last night, I sat down to watch a little television in the family room in the basement. It was like a moth to the flame - instantly, all three kids were at my side, attempting to snuggle on the couch. They simultaneously all pretended that I was beautiful and began petting me on the head while cooing words of love.

It was like a flash mob of sudden and really weird affection.

Not actually minding that much Being a total pushover, I told them they could have 30 minutes with me, and then it was time for bed. We put on an old Seinfeld re-run and settled in for a few laughs together.

In the middle of the show, a commercial came on. For this movie. When the "Bloody Mary" scene appeared (watch at the 57-second mark, if you're very, very brave) they all three crushed me in a vice grip of fear. I peeled their fingers and bodies off me and told them it was just a stupid commercial for a very stupid movie. I explained who Bloody Mary really was and that it was just a superstitious joke about a terrible Queen in British history.

I even went so far as to say her name three times in the mirror, just to show them the stupidity of it all.

Fortunately, she did not appear. That could have been awkward.

But later that night, I was upstairs getting ready to crawl into bed myself. I heard the sniffles before I saw the feet shuffle in sheepishly. His eyes wide with fear, Chase begged to sleep in my room. Eight seconds later, McKay was at his side making the same request. Before I could weigh a judgement, I looked down to find Hannah tucking herself and five stuffed animals into my bed.

With a sigh, I caved again -- threatening that it would only be this one time. After all, the Husband was out of town and it seemed harmless.

And it was.

Until Bloody Mary appeared and killed us all. Until about 11:30 p.m., when we were all still WIDE awake. And feeling very, very unhappy.

McKay was coughing.
Hannah was yelling at McKay because he was coughing.
I was yelling at Hannah because she was yelling at McKay.
Chase was apologizing for everyone because he was afraid I'd send them back downstairs to their graves.

It was a disaster.

In hindsight, it might have been better if Mary had appeared.

At 11:30 p.m. on a school night, my children would probably have had less to fear from her.

Testing my patience

Today's lesson in the culinary arts comes from Chase.

When you want to make a shake after a long, hard day at school, it is wise to remember one thing before starting:


Make sure the bottom is put on the blender BEFORE you pour the #!@$ milk and it runs all over the counter and floor.


Also of note: The blender is hereby off-limits to sixth grade boys pending further notice.

Adorable new smiles notwithstanding.

What I really meant to say was...

This morning, both my boys got up with their alarm clocks.

And by alarm clocks, I mean me tramping down the hall and telling them to get up.

They proceeded to cheerfully shower and get ready for school.

And by cheerfully, I mean fight about who had to take a shower first.

After much negotiation, they finally both had showers, and headed downstairs to quietly make themselves some breakfast.

And by quietly, I mean wake-the-dead-loud.

McKay is in a smoothie phase right now, and there's nothing I love more than hearing the blender crunch up ice at six in the morning.

And by love, I mean hate.

I hugged them both, handed out lunches, and waved as they went out the door. Then I promptly began to exercise.

And by exercise, I mean crawl back into bed and fall asleep.

An hour later, it was time to rouse the little Hannah. She woke up in her usual cheerful way.

And by cheerful, I mean hate-the-world-grumpy.

She quietly ate her breakfast while I made her lunch. She then calmly styled her hair and got dressed.

And by calmly, I mean with many tears. Her hair was "too fuzzy" (her words) to do anything with today. There might have been some silent cursing on her part.

And by silent, I mean slamming of doors and loud sighing.

I dried her tears, fixed her hair, and dropped her off at school with a bit of melancholy in my heart for the loss of her company.

And by melancholy, I mean joy.

I then plotted out my day and began my work ahead.

And by work, I do mean climbing back into bed yet again and ignoring it all.

Having the want to serve

This afternoon, my boys came begging to have a lemonade stand. Seeing as how we had zero lemons in the house, and I had zero desire to drive and buy the aforementioned lemons, that business idea fell flat on its lemony face.

Next they wanted to have a bakery.

Tragically, it was a half hour before dinner time. And since I am a complete OCD freak an organized household coordinator, I nipped that one in the bud, too.

You know.

Seeing as how treats take at least a half hour to bake, another half to cool, and a third half for me to stop eating them long enough for the kids to sell them to the maybe one person who would be wandering our street at that hour. Our neighborhood? Del Boca Vista. Everyone is sound asleep in bed around here by five o'clock.

Hearts heavy, and all the business acumen nearly drained from their souls, they thought of a third potential business venture.

Internet, I give you the Fall & Leaves Co. Which is apparently very strong in religious acts.


Interesting question to ponder (aside from how one goes about becoming very strong in religious acts) is exactly where the business plans to acquire two leaf blowers, a dozen rakes, and hundreds of leaf bags. Because I'm pretty sure that I own none of those things.

Seeing as how our neighborhood does most of our lawn care for us and all.

Details. Getting in the way of budding entrepreneurs every day.