Happy Halloween Suckas.

31 October 2012 | 11 Comments

Get it?  Suckas.  Because you get suckers on Halloween.  Ha.  Ahem.

Moving on.

My sister Lyndsey and I used to go trick or treating, then come home and dump our candies out and sort them into piles.  The sorting was serious business.  There was the premium chocolate pile, things like Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, & Kit Kats.  The fruity pile, Skittles, Sweet Tarts, and Starburst.  The miscellaneous pile had Milk Duds, Suckers, & Double Bubble.  I mean yeah, it wasn’t our first choice, but it WAS candy. 

Right after we had my mom check everything for open packages, RAZOR BLADES!  NEEDLES!  SCARY THINGS!  PENNIES! she always traded me anything with nuts in it for anything like Smarties or Sweet Tarts.  I could get like thirty snicker bars for a handful of Smarties and a big Chewy Sweet Tart. 

It was a beautiful thing.

This video made me laugh my ass off. 

Happy Halloween!


30 October 2012 | 5 Comments

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I will be painting for the rest of my days, but it looks so pretty that I don’t even know what to do with myself.  I can’t wait to show you all. 

It started on Wednesday night when we started taking everything out of the room, we started sanding the woodwork and painted some huge color swatches on the walls.  By midnight, we were exhausted and thinking that maybe this wasn’t the best idea.  Dave looked over at me and said, “HOW did you talk me into this?  I should know better by now.”  And we laughed because really, he should know better, but by then, we were past the point of no return.

Now we just keep chanting, “It’s almost over,” even though we don’t believe it.  Until that happens, you’ll find us covered in paint, back aching, and rocking out to ridiculous music.

The next time I get the brilliant idea to paint something, I want one of you sweet people to slap the shit out of me a la Moonstruck and yell, “SNAP OUT OF IT!”


DIY Peacock Costume.

29 October 2012 | 16 Comments

I wanted to make Tate’s costume this year.  Nothing like getting all of my crazy costumes in while she is still too little to object. 

I mentioned something on Facebook {if you don’t hang out with us over there, you really should, it’s a loud obnoxious fun bunch} and you all had tons of brilliant ideas.  My friend Susie is the QUEEN of costumes and she and I chatted about some ideas.  I settled on a peacock because it involved no sewing {famous last words} and it looked do-able enough for me to attempt.  Susie turned over more tulle rolls than I ever would need {in the PERFECT colors!} and told me to get to work.


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Susie gave me two different colors of turquoise, a navy, a lime green, an emerald green, and a light yellow gold.  I used the blues the most with the greens and yellows as accents.  I wanted the back to be huge like a real peacock.  I tied three layers of tulle, just grabbing three colors randomly.  Then I took shorter strips and tied them to the loop for extra pouf.  I picked up the peacock feathers at Michaels, they came on wire, so I just wrapped those into the loops also and snipped off the extra wire.  For the front, I used shorter strips and only used two colors at a time to make it less poufy.  There are tons of tulle skirt tutorials on the web, if you google you can find one.  A friend made one for Tate when she was younger, so I just copied hers and used ‘no roll’ elastic rather than the ribbon that Nikki used. 

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I was planning on making her a headband with a few peacock feathers glued on.  Then, we figured it might just be freezing, so my mother in law offered got conned into making a fleece hat for her to wear. 

I found a bunch of patterns online, but what worked best was taking one of her existing hats over for Sue to copy.  I found an ADORABLE knitted peacock hat at Pretty Prissy Baby and figured we might be able to do something similar in fleece for Tate’s costume.  I cut the white eyes out of glittery felt, then she sewed two buttons on top of each other for the pupils.  The orange nose was cut out of orange felt in a loose heart shape and I asked her to just stitch along the sides of the heart so it stuck out a bit.  Then, she added the peacock feathers in the top of the hat and sewed a little piece of felt on the inside so nothing poked Tate.  She absolutely outdid herself on this hat, she even made the feathers removable so Tate can wear it after Halloween.  

If you are a non-sewer like me and you don’t have a SueSue of your own, you could easily find a plain fleece hat and just use fabric glue to make the eyes and beak.   

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I picked up the turquoise long sleeve bodysuit and the stripey tights at H&M Kids.  For Halloween she has an orange stripey pair rather than the off white.


It looks so funny with her walking around, she gets the biggest kick out of it.  The tail is pretty big, but she has no problems wearing it since the tulle is so light.


25 October 2012 | 9 Comments


I am a starter.

A big ideas girl.

The finishing of things?  Not so much.

I need an assistant that can be my finisher.  My details person.  I could probably pay them in smiles and hugs and snarky asides when people are annoying them.  I’d be an awesome boss.

I have a million things undone right now and it’s making me nuts. 

What is a girl to do?  Start a NEW project which involves tearing apart the living room and painting everything.  Woodwork.  Fireplace brick.  Walls.  Ceiling.  Madness?  Probably.  Just wait until you see it.

That bed up there all pretty and made?  Don’t let it fool you.  It’s the only thing put together in the room.  Just at the foot of the bed is two baskets of laundry that needs put away, a box of books that Tate has strewn everywhere, and a dresser piled high with stuff.  That print?  It’s the only thing currently hung.  Did I mention the bedroom remodel was two years ago?  But this spot is a happy place.  It makes me smile.

It’s a start.   Now who wants to be my finisher?

This Kid.

24 October 2012 | 9 Comments

Yesterday, he told me that I was the best Mama. He was buttering me up because he wants to buy his lunch. Don’t you go thinking that it’s all sunshine and roses over here. I called him Eddie Haskell and yes, of course, I let him buy his lunch. I’ll take those best Mama comments any way I can get them.

He is a total freak of nature and I can’t get him to be serious for anything.

He tries my patience on a daily basis. Always, always, always pushing. Testing. Using logic to try to get the outcome he’s looking for.

The tooth fairy stopped at our house and brought five gold dollar coins. The rest of his teeth are only valued at one dollar each, the first is special. She made this very clear in the note she left and told him not to eat too much candy.

He wears a tie at least once a week with his uniform, not one other boy in his class does.  OK, it’s because he wants to be like the FBI agent on White Collar. 

He sings things like Call Me Maybe and makes up words to songs that he only knows the melody to. Tate dances along and he sings louder. I put on Jay-Z or Justin Timberlake {yes, that is my ridiculous music of choice} and he dances his ass off with me in the kitchen.

He makes us laugh when we should be stern.

Weeks of us showing him how to tie his shoes and him watching, trying it and getting frustrated. Then, one day, he sits down all on his own and just does it. He just says, “I tied my shoe,” like it was no big deal as I sit there mouth agape.

This age is really, really cool. And maddening. And frustrating. He’s becoming his own person, this kid.

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22 October 2012 | 7 Comments

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Today, my sister Rachael is moving half way across the world.

To Palestine.

I’ve  been holding off writing about this because well, it isn’t really mine to tell.

Not going to lie, it has been hard. For everyone. For her mom. My dad.  Her dad. Our siblings. For Rach especially. It’s not a decision that she thought she would be making and not one she took lightly by any means. Moving to another country is difficult.  When it isn’t a westernized culture, you don’t speak the language, and it’s an occupied territory, it’s even harder.  She is fearless, that sister of mine.  She is leaping with both feet, smile on her face, knowing she will be caught on the other end. 

I, on the other hand? Did the ugly cry.

Oh yes, yes, she’ll be back for visits.  {OFTEN, I hope.} It just won’t be the same without her, she is irreplaceable.

She is loved, that Roo of ours. SO loved.

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Friday Notes.

19 October 2012 | 4 Comments

If you are married, thinking about it, or just committed, you should read this.     

Dear Davester, Does your suit fit properly?

Want to know what to do with all those orchard picking spoils?  Apple crumble.

An oldie, but a goodie.  Everyone should start their day like this:

And do you guys watch Scandal?  We were late to the party, we started watching it over the summer, but we are HOOKED. 

Hope you have a great weekend!


17 October 2012 | 9 Comments

I was going to talk debate, but I think I’m going to just let it be.  Instead, here are {rare} pictures of my kids getting along.

Finn wanted to get Tate dressed for the day.  He picked out her clothes and save for a little assistance with her socks, he did just that.  It was really funny watching them.  Tate kept looking at him with curiosity, like she couldn’t quite figure out why her buddy was getting her dressed.  She didn’t make things easy for him either, she was a little pissed that she had to put a shirt on.  He was so serious about the whole thing, making sure everything was just right. 

There are so many days when she ‘annoys’ him and he just gets so frustrated with having a little sister, but then there are days like this.

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Let There Be Light.

15 October 2012 | 6 Comments

Almost two years ago, we {Dave} gutted our bedroom while I was VERY pregnant with Tate.  Ever since then, I’ve been using a flashlight in my closet.  Yeah.  That’s right.  A flashlight.  Until tonight, when Dave, LOVE OF MY LIFE, went and bought me a fancy new $10 light and installed it.

He even remembered the light bulbs.

It’s the little things, Peeps.   


Note to Self:  Clean out closet.


12 October 2012 | 8 Comments

{We were discussing sentences because they were talking about them at school.}

Finn:  I bake pies.  I eat cookies.  That is two sentences.

Me:  Yep.

Finn:  I don’t eat liver.  That is another sentence. 

Me:  Exactly.

Finn:  I DID have a liver in my finger once.

Me:  *perplexed look* 

Finn:  Remember?  It’s a small piece of wood.

Me:  Um, not exactly. 


Finn:  Do Smarties pops change colors?

Me:  No

Finn:  Well do Smarties pops make you smart?  Let’s see…. 9 plus 9 equalssssss….

Me:  ::blink::  ::blink::

Finn:  Uhh… what is 9 plus 9?


Dave:  Tell Mom what George {I totally changed the kid’s name} told you at school.

Finn:  He got bit by a crocodile AND a poisonous snake.

Me:  Not true.

Dave:  That’s what I told him!

Finn:  Well, George said it was REALLY true.  Like true, true.  And a grown up got bit by an alligator and it ripped his skin off and he had to go to the hospital and get bandages.

Dave:  Um.  WHAT?

Finn:  And apes took over the world.


Finn:  Mom, do you know what Ryan does?

Me:  He is a politician.

Finn:  No, but do you know what he does?  Something that isn’t good.

Dave:  What?

Finn:  He and Romney were doing things like cutting taxes and jobs.  It wasn’t good.  That is what Good Morning America said.

Dave:  Well, we have to listen to all of the information.  Sometimes people don’t tell the truth.  You do some reading and figure out for yourself who you think is telling the truth and then you make your decision about who to vote for.

Finn:  I want to vote for Obama.

Dave:  *dirty look at me*

Ferguson. Apples. and Phlegm.

10 October 2012 | 7 Comments

I’m making sweet sweet love to my Advil Cold & Sinus today.  I will rue the day this ever goes off the market.  {Seriously Advil, if you ever decide to get rid of it give me a heads up, I’d be buying meth levels and hoarding it for future colds.}

Monday, I woke up with what can only be described as face stabbing pain behind my eye balls and cheek bones, coupled with the chills.  Which?  Is a great start to a Monday morning.  Luckily, the Davester came to my rescue and worked from home.  He took Finn to school and sent me straight to bed to sleep off whatever this stupid junk is.  I was a nasal irrigating, C&S popping fool and now I feel much more human today.

I’m blaming last Friday.

Oh yes, some may say it was just a field trip, but we all know what it really was.  Forty disease vectors + me in a small enclosed space = recipe for crud. 

Enough about the resulting phlegm, let’s talk apples!

We started our morning off with a sprint through that W-store {the only thing open} for rain boots because it was supposed to pour and we were going to be walking through a muddy apple orchard.  Doesn’t that sound like the best time ever?  I forgot to pack a lunch for him, down the deli aisle we went.  Lunchables are a rare treat in our house, so needless to say Finn thought he was having the winningest Friday ever.

We made it to school in the nick of time as I am pulling off his shoes and handing him boots.  Two of the other moms in Finn’s class and I were supposed to ride together while the kids rode the bus, so I’m chucking his stinky sneaks into the way back out of the way.  The Davester even swept out my car the night before so they didn’t have to sit on stale Annie’s Bunny Crackers.  A quiet drive filled with adult talk and coffee drinking and all around awesomeness before the chaos of wrangling pint sized punks.

Incidentally, kindergarten teachers are fucking saints.  I only had three to wrangle and one was my own.  I have no idea how she does it every day with twenty of them when she doesn’t have the power of withholding Angry Birds or Wild Kratts.  I am pretty sure she’s made of magic. 

We were all assigned our three children and walked them to the door.  When half the class had loaded on, she said a few adults could go on next, then the rest of the class, then the rest of the adults.


That was SO not the plan.

I wasn’t sure if I should raise my hand or just get in my car and scream peace out from the open sunroof.  I figure that *might* not be behavior becoming of a room mom, but I thought about it.

First, have you ever been on a school bus as an adult?  I’m only 5’3” tall and even my knees were pressing into the back of the mom in front of me.  You can see, that as the midget I am, this is a rare problem for me to encounter.

As in, it has never happened ever.

Thank God for my friend Karri because my anxiety level was at an eleven.

We also had a surly driver who, in the span of five minutes, made age inappropriate comments, told us he was mostly over his pneumonia, explained which button we should push if he passes out and/or slumps over while driving, AND that we were to kick the windows out if he crashes the bus.  Then he called my Finn, Ferguson… which made me a little less than confident in his eyesight and simultaneously amused at his new nickname.  He also *might* have hollered something about the other bus driver needing to step on the gas if she was going to keep up with HIS lead.

There are approximately ZERO seatbelts, so you can see how my conviction in his ability is a little low at this point?

And then it started…  The bouncing and the rocking and the lurching.  I’m getting a little vommy just thinking about it. 

His parting words as we exited into our fun morning at the orchard?  “Remember bus #123 or you’ll NEVER get back to Toledo.”

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I signed up to chaperone and all I got was this lousy t-shirt typhoid.


08 October 2012 | 8 Comments

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04 October 2012 | 24 Comments

I wanted to write about the first Presidential debate last night.  Then I started thinking about the fact that some of you might not share my views {and that is totally completely ok with me, even my own husband doesn’t and we manage to still like each other a lot} and I thought, well really, would talking about the debate change anyone’s views?  Probably not.  But changing your views or you changing mine isn’t the point.

Just like Dave telling me that ketchup belongs on hashbrowns isn’t going to have me reaching for the Heinz.  Because, EW.

Before we get to the debate chat, here is what I see, the vast majority of my friends are fed up.  On both sides.  We’re tired of the ridiculous bi-partisanship of the whole lot of you and we wish you would get your shit together.  We are paying you all stupid amounts of cash to go to Washington and act like a bunch of fools. 

Eventually, someone is going to have to be the bigger person.

Do you have to like your boss or your co-workers?  Hell no you don’t, but you do have to work together because guess what... SO DO THE REST OF US.  Believe me, have you ever tried to reason with a 16 month old?  My working conditions are not always ideal either and I don’t even have the perk of a giant salary.

Jim Lehrer, whom I normally have a lot of respect for, just let all hell break loose on the format.  They looked like my sister and I as kids going round and round with a “no, you are.”  “No, YOU are.”  “I’m not toucccching yooooou.”  “Oh yeah?  I’m not touching YOU!”

I thought the President looked tired last night, he wasn’t being concise or matter of fact enough.  He looked like he was really exasperated at best and fucking annoyed at worst.  I wish he would have called out some of the things that were said.  Frankly, and it pains me a little to say this, but Mitt just looked better last night by contrast.  Watching the debate made me miss the Obama of 2008 who was idealistic and hopeful and let’s face it a tad na├»ve.  The one who didn’t know the reality of what the Presidency of the United States will do to you.  Kind of like those idealistic new parents that have no idea what is coming.  That he still wants this job, wants to work his ass off to make this country and its citizens better off, is nothing short of a miracle. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you want to share, just keep things civil or I will delete your comment.  Did you watch the debate?  Are you and your significant other on the same page politically?  Does ketchup belong on hashbrowns?

Potty Break?

02 October 2012 | 8 Comments

It was a car full of college aged guys, of course.  

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01 October 2012 | 8 Comments

I really hope no one smells my armpits this morning because I ran out of deodorant.  Oh, don’t worry, I didn’t go without, I’m not that insane, I just borrowed Dave’s and I smell like a man.  My eighty-eight year old Meme totally hates the word ‘pits’ she thinks it is totally vulgar for some reason.  Anytime I think about my pits, I think of her. 

Thankfully, she doesn’t know how to use the internet or she’d call me this morning and say, “Oh, Shel, I can’t believe you said pits on the internet.”

She’d probably feel that way about a lot of what I post here, I’m guessing.  Hey, guess what?  Now I’m going to appall my mother too!

In case you’re new here, I’m a terrible housekeeper.  Terrible.  My mother finds this to be a fate worse than death that her daughter isn’t a neat freak.  Her nickname when we were growing up was Joan.  As in Crawford.  No she didn’t beat us with wire hangers, she just liked to wake us up at 7 am on a Saturday morning blasting the Ohio State fight song, to clean the house.  Our friends NEVER spent the night on Friday because she’d blast them out of bed too.  Then she’d make Lyndsey march around and dot the i. 

Are you getting a picture of why I am so weird?

She comes over to my house to babysit and folds my laundry while she’s here.   I can not be the only person in the world with perpetual baskets of clean laundry sitting around waiting to be folded.  Oh, but not for Janet, she pulls everything out of the dryer, folds it, and puts it away before the warning bell even dings on her fancy front loader. 

Don’t misunderstand, we are not straight Hoarder’s level by any means, but there is always chaos.  Always.  We clean the kitchen, we cook a meal for eight and use every pan in the house.  We clean the kids’ room, well… you can see where this is going, can’t you? 

I clean the same stack of toys 10 times a day, but it always always looks like a tornado has hit the living room.  When Tate is not into her toys, she’s pulling stacks of books out and not reading them.  Oh no, we only read Cinder the Bubble Blowing Dragon {close to probably ten times a day} but she likes to pull out all of the other books and taunt me with them anyway. 

Look at that book you haven’t read a million times Mom… doesn’t that story look intriguing?  Oh yeah, well, here is Cinder… again this time do it with your eyes closed, from memory.

So I’m not really a spring cleaner, per se but in the fall, there’s something about the prospect of cold weather and being stuck in the house.  It makes me want to clear out and go through stuff.  I have stacks of baby clothes to send to my cousin.  Another pile of stuff for the boys.  Last night I cleaned off our dumping ground desk.  Last week I cleaned the kids’ room.  It’s like winter is coming, everything must be organized right now.  Right now!

Or maybe it’s just a Pavlovian response to hearing the Ohio State fight song.

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