Thursday, May 26, 2022


 Hard to believe I let this poor, neglected blog sit for so long.  I don't even know if people read blogs anymore.  I know I don't.  So pretty much this is for me, because I am currently a big fat sack of happiness, wistfulness, pride, and a little bit of sadness.

Things have changed so much since the last post in 2014.  The boys have grown up so much, and the middle kid graduated high school and is getting ready to spread his wings this Fall and head to college.  The oldest turned 30 last year, and the baby is six-damn-teen.

I miss the house that had crazy, funny, loud little boys in and out ("shut the door!").  I miss sweaty-headed little guys napping in the cool house after playing outside on the Slip and Slide or pushing Tonka trucks around the yard.  I miss stepping over endless miles of wooden train tracks built all over the house. I miss chubby-armed hugs and having to reach down to pick a little boy up.  There were bugs, caterpillars, wormeries, Thomas the Tank Engine, cars, and endless shows on Noggin.  There were loads of laundry with tiny pairs of shorts and little socks that seemed to always be missing a mate out of the dryer.  The days could be long sometimes, but D and I would hit the pillow every night, so thankful and usually laughing about something that had happened with the boys that day.  Some days tired, some days stressed, but always, always thankful.

When the oldest kid grew up, moved out, got married (to the sweetest girl, omg), finished college and got his degree, I was able to move through those stages alongside him with so much pride and so much wonder and love, always knowing in the back of my mind that I had two more little guys "to go" and it felt like I would have all the time in the world.  I guess we were so busy living that I didn't realize how fast that time was whizzing past.  Now I have to reach up for those hugs.  I am doing laundry for grown men.  There are hairy legs and size 15 shoes in this house. There are research papers, AP exams, Driver's Licenses, and girlfriends.  And I love every second of it.  While I miss my little guys, holy shit do I feel a fierce love and admiration for these young men that they are now.   It is a precious moment when one of my boys wraps his arms around me, leans down, and kisses my forehead. All three of my guys are just really good people.  They are kind, smart, and empathetic creatures.  They love at 100 percent, and are loyal and helpful.  I know we all think our kids are the shiniest diamond, the blackest crow... but the difference here is that I'm right.  :)

To say they are all perfect would be a straight-up lie, so make no mistake, I am not saying that at all. I have had my share of frustrations and they could be right boogers sometimes.  But these boys to men have been the greatest gift of my life.  While each stage they move through makes me sad, it also brings me so much joy.  Like the song says, "every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." It's bittersweet.  But light on the bitter, heavy on the sweet.  I can't wait to see the things they will do, the places they'll go (both metaphorically and physically), and the people they will become.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Educating the spawn

(a.k.a.  Doing my part to warp the next generation.)

I'd like to think that my boys will look back fondly at their childhoods and remember things Mom taught them like how to read, how to plant and raise veggies in the garden, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. 

I look back on lessons my parents taught me and my mind goes to the importance of eating dinner together every night, manners, and being kind.

My fear is that my kids will one day be adults and only reflect on the really important stuff I have taught them.  Things like...

How to effectively ninja fart in your brother's face.

How to armpit fart.

How to armpit fart using the backs of your knees.

How to crop dust vs. atom bomb fart. When each are appropriate.

(You'll note a theme here.  Clearly, I have all boys.)

How to beatbox. (Boots and cats, y'all.  Boots and cats.)

The lyrics to Double Dutch Bus and Ice, Ice Baby.

Why Double Dutch Bus is acceptable to sing in public and Ice, Ice Baby, not so much.

How to booty pop.

Burping the song "Mahna Manah"  (Because burping the alphabet is soooo juvenile.)

Why Beastie Boys and 2 Live Crew were trailblazers in rap...and to that vein, Why 80's rap is the only rap.

How to half-ass load the dishwasher...and leave the pots to soak indefinitely in the sink.

So far, I have raised one out of three....and that kid is working at a homeless shelter, going to college for Psychology, and wants to work with at-risk kids.  So far so good.

And he can do a mean knee fart.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Elfin magic

It's that time again!  And it dawns on me in planning this year's shenanigans that I never added pictures from last year's Elf on the Shelf.  Some nights, of course, he just hid in different places, playing Elf and Seek.  Other nights, he got a little more creative :)

He is always waiting for us when we get home from our annual vacation:

Does a little artwork while in town:

Plays a little cowboy:

And Minecraft with some friends:

He left a little note one night:

Along with some special seeds and magic dust:

In the morning, the seeds had grown some treats:

He likes to play chef:

Does some laundry:

Pretends to be a snow globe:

Plays engineer on the Lionel trains:

Hides out in the tree:

Gets naughty with crepe paper:

Makes a bed out of undies and socks:

Does a little ziplining:

Catches some rays, always remembering sunblock, especially on his nose:

After playing cowboy, you have to play Native American elf:

Wants to be fancy:

Writes a little note in jingle bells:

Spidey got him!

Ahoy, matey!

Likes to unwind with a nice bubble bath:

Hides out in the curio cabinet with the angels:

Gives out kisses:

Likes to play superhero:

Then all too soon, it is time to say goodbye.  Adios until next year!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

For the Running Snobs

So I have been doing this running thing for about a year now...of course, adjusting for when it is waaay too hot or waaaaay too cold.  I am not that  crazy hardcore.  And I won't do treadmill running.  I loathe it.  I will be running for, well, forEVER and then I look at the time and it is about three minutes.  So no thanks on that bad boy.  I also figured out the reason I hate treadmills is that because of my bad balance/vertigo, I have a hard time staying within the track.  So I have to hold the bar for balance.  So I look like a doofus.

Plus, I just like to be outside when I run.  I run in my neighborhood, up and down the streets.  I know where the challenging hills are and which roads are going to be my easy ones.  I get that time for me.  Just me and my music... although my playlist is completely bipolar and needs work. I can go from Queen to a Johnny Cash gospel song in a flash.  Nothing takes the wind out of my sails like running along and "Were You There When They Crucified My Lord" comes on.  Blam.

But running is nice, y'all.  It really is.  I mean, don't get me wrong, a part of me is that shirt above and a big part of me is this one:

But all in all, I find that running really is great.  It is super great once I am done, that is for sure.  I am not running marathons, or hell half marathons, even.  But I have a couple of 5Ks under my belt and I never thought I would get there.  Who knew the fireplug girl with big boobs and stumpy legs would ever RUN?  I never wanted to sweat, never wanted to get out of breath.  Running?  Not unless I was being chased...or maybe chasing Alexander Skarsgard.  But I did it, little by little.  And I am still doing it, little by little.  I tried the Couch to 5K thing, but all of that timing just was too distracting for me.  My method was this:  get good shoes, get some music, run until I was about to throw up my pancreas, walk it out, run again, repeat.  I wanted to be able to run 5K, but never thought I would actually run a 5K.

This is me, after my first 5K.  Victory!

And starting this little journey has given me confidence to do lots of other things I never, ever (like ever) thought I would do.  I have done a mud run and am getting ready to do a second one, signed up for Color Me Rad, and recently did a zipline and obstacle course.  Yes, that same fireplug, big boobed, stumpy legged girl.

I have recently heard of and read some opinions of what I call Running Snobs.  You know those who turn up their noses at the "fun" 5Ks like the mud and color runs.  Look, I get it.  You run 26.2 miles like it is a stroll at the park.  I think that is AMAAAAAZING.  Seriously, running 3.1 is very eye-opening as to how long a mile actually is.  The thought of 26.2 makes my ass leak.  But, hey, any of these fun runs that motivate someone to get off of said ass are phenomenal in my book.  So, please, Running Snobs, try and give a little credit here.  Maybe it starts with a fun 5K.  Maybe then we move to running one more street in our neighborhoods, maybe up to ten miles....a half....a marathon some day.  Who knows?  But you have to start somewhere.  

Maybe it is better to be encouraging to those who are getting their feet wet with the fun 5Ks.  I have a couple of friends who are serious runners who never, ever poo-poo the runs I do.  And you know what?  That motivates me to move my ass and do a little better each time.

Right now, 5Ks.  In two weeks, the next Dirty Girl Mud Run.  A month out from there, Color Me Rad.  Someday, maybe a marathon, but if not, that is okay.  I am still a runner. And it still sometimes sucks.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fun with Hermie Elfis

With the approach of Fall, I start to get excited about the upcoming holiday season.  I have been meaning for the last 9-ish months to get all of these pictures loaded onto my blog, per a request or two.  So here it is!

Along with eleventy billion other families in the world, we had an addition to our family a couple of years ago; our Elf on a Shelf.  The kids named him Hermie Elfis. 

He's so cheeky.
Hermie shows up while we are on our annual beach and NC Thanksgiving vacation.  He usually is hanging from the kids' chalkboard with a "Welcome Home" message.  Then the fun begins...

The first couple of years, he mainly just hid in different places in the house; dining room chandelier, bookshelf, peeking from behind the sofa...  But last year, he stepped it up a bit.

He made a marshmallow snowman...

Edible markers...you can find them at craft stores

Graffiti-ed up a couple of the boys' pictures...

That's a fifty dollar fine, pal.

Had a poker night with some buddies...

Leonardo needs to work on perfecting his "poker face".

Roasted some marshmallows...

Kumbaya, my Lord....kumbaya...

Had some fun ziplining...


Made himself a dandy bed from a Kleenex box...

Guess he actually did get a hippopatamus for Christmas.

Borrowed Mom's readers and made himself a cup of tea...

Guess he's over 40, too.

Had a "snowball" fight with the Puffin...

Booyah, Puffin.  In yo face.  (Or on your head...)

Suited up in his bomber jacket and goggles for a little ride...

Flight ELF to control tower...over...

Made some paper snowflakes...

Bet he consulted a tutorial online.  Just a guess.

Made himself some chocolate milk, sans milk...

His brother, Buddy, prefers straight syrup.

Went on a skiing holiday...

The Bounty slopes ain't for sissies.

Got into his engineer uniform and hopped aboard the Christmas train...

Don't all engineers wear this to work?

Made a TP banner with a countdown to Christmas Day...

Lovely penmanship for an elf.

Spent an evening playing dragon-slayer...

Tefchnically, that's no noble steed.  Nice ass, Hermie.

And he wrapped up his busy season of shenanigans with a well-deserved bubble bath...


So, now the pressure is ON.  What will he do this year?  I am excited to find out!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Making a lucky clover globe

Fun activity for you and your crumb-snatchers for St. Patty's Day!

Bear in mind, these pics were taken with a crappy cell phone camera, but if you are like me, directions are clearer along with text. :)

I got this idea from Family Fun magazine and tweaked it a smidge.

First, you will need clear glass ornaments. Since it is late February and Christmas decorations are hard to find, I dug out some old glass balls that were red. I remember stripping color from glass balls when I was younger, so I went the route I knew. Submerge in bleach and water (making sure the solution gets inside the balls as well. Let 'em soak.

I discovered after the red paint was gone that the balls were also coated in silver on the inside, and instead of leaving them clear, they had a gray cast. I braced the balls on top of Mason jars and filled them halfway with ammonia. You want to swish it around a bit and then fill to the top with ammonia. Let them sit.

Now that the balls are clear, you will need the following for your mini-terrarium:
  • 1 Tbs Green fishtank gravel
  • Activated carbon (for fishtanks)
  • damp soil
  • clover (or seeds...but I wasn't patient enough for that!) You can dig up clover patches in your yard.
  • Chopsticks
  • Ribbon
You might also want to recruit a couple of cute little Leprechauns.

Layer one: Carbon. Leprechaun #1 and I made a little paper funnel to get the carbon in the ball with limited mess. Straighten out the layer with your chopstick.

Next, layer in some fishtank gravel. Try to keep the layers separate. We just dropped these in one or two at a time.

The next layer is pretty messy, but that is part of the fun! We put it in in clumps at the top, and pushed it into the ball with a chopstick. When the dirt is in (1 or 1 Tbs), poke a hole in the center of the dirt with your chopstick. This is where you will place the clover.

The clover went in the same way, gently through the top, guided into the hole in the soil with the chopstick. A ribbon through the ornament holder completed the project. Voila!

You may want to glue the top on as the ball could be a little heavy, depending on how much soil, gravel, etc. you put in it.
Bain sult!