Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review


Bumpa had a birthday.  So did Sara.  We learned that Jack did not, in fact, have reflux.  I was relieved when the holiday break was over and the kids went back to school.  I disappointed everyone with pie that wasn't pie.  I discovered Pinterest and the house was never clean again.  I had an existential crisis.  Jack learned to walk, finally.  I got my first phone call from the school nurse, because a kid bit MG's head.  


We made our last payment on Jack and decided to keep him, but we still hadn't decided whether or not to keep Penny.  I acquired the nickname Vanilla Ice.  We threw Grandpa Bob under the sugar bus.  I got loud about sexual politics.  Jack said "thank you."  We got our first look at pretty cousin Baby Kate.


We were affected by the full moon.  I figured out how to DIY Starbucks' Cinnamon Dolce Lattes.  Mary Grace and I collected money for tornado victims in Southern Indiana.

Claire had reservations about turning 5, but in the end she did it anyway.  We seriously considered building a castle.  I told you how to start a meal co-op.


The girls learned what happens when they go too far.

We got our first look at the mole.  Foreshadowing.  I didn't buy a house while BJ was on a business trip, and I still regret it.  We made our second trip to urgent care/ER for a bead up Claire's nose.  We enjoyed our first stomach flu of the year.  Sadly it wasn't our last.  I turned 36.  We went to Florida and I took about 1000 pictures, and posted them one at a time.


We chilled with our friends.

...and our new niece/cousin...

Jack weaned himself and got his first haircut, and it was bittersweet.  I tried belly dancing, and sucked at it.  Claire graduated from preschool.

BJ took the girls to the Indy 500.  We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.


We put a hole in the house.  I started repainting the porch (it's still not done).  BJ turned 36.  I took over the neighborhood.  BJ's grandmother died at age 100.  I had to shoo boys away from the girls' bedroom window.  Jack turned 18 months old.  I raged at the local drive-in movie theater for inappropriate previews during kids' movies, and they apologized and stopped showing that trailer!  The girls did Theater Camp with Owen.


Pinterest proved unreliable.  I got a little bit silly about childproofing.  We debated about sleepovers.  Brian and Jen got married.  Uncle Chuck and Aunt Sara got married. 


We went to the state fair.  Mary Grace turned 7.  Claire started Kindergarten and Mary Grace started First Grade.  Penny and I killed the mole.  It was epic enough that I posted about it three times.

BJ made sushi.  I listed all my jobs and then had to take a nap.


We saw 1995, the Musical.  I decided to attend BlogHer '13 in Chicago.  I got loud about Health Care.  I started my career as a Girl Scout Leader.  Mary Grace became interested in archery.  I was funny.  Claire got her first celebrity crush and I was named Best Mommy EVER!  We went to the movies.


(It took me this many months before I figured out how to do the "heading" thing correctly for the names of the months.  Oy.)  I decorated our bedroom, finally, after living here for 10 years.  I had my first cavity filled.  My tooth still hurts.  It didn't hurt before.  Claire went on a fieldtrip to a school that was on lockdown because of a bank robber the same day that Free Range Kids and I collaborated on an article about writing emergency letters to kids.  I wrote a sappy post for Karen.  We took our first Girl Scouts field trip with me in a leadership position.  I didn't lose anyone.  But I did have to take a scout to urgent care later that week. 

We went to Chicago with Grandmother and made a new friend.  

I met Bev.  We dressed up as Star Wars characters for Halloween, of course.  


I found a new favorite app.  Karen and her kids got in a car accident, but they're ok.  Obama won, thank goodness.  I pre-ordered this cool thing.  We got another flu.  We were thankful for the new washer & dryer.


I was creeped out by Elves on Shelves.  I'm in the Jury Pool for next year.  We partied with Santa.  Jack turned two.  We made a figgy pudding (it wasn't something that I would demand from people).  I wrote about gun control.  Monica took this fantastic picture of Jack.

It's been a good year, overall, for the pretty babies.  Can't believe it'll be 2013 tomorrow.  Crazy.

Thank you for spending part of your year with me.  Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


This blog is about to undergo an overhaul.  I've wanted to change the name (which started out cute because this blog was just for my far-flung family, but now is oh-so-annoying) since BlogHer '09.  I need to change the design.  I'll probably move over to WordPress.  I talked about it today with Monica and Craig, and they wanted to know what I want to say - what's my unifying theme?

That's a hard question.  Have you noticed that there are unifying themes in peoples' lives?  Sometimes you'll meet someone, and you'll learn their story, and it's completely obvious to you that they're going to be stuck in the same groove in their record (and everyone who is under 30 is going, "The what in their what?") until they figure out that that's their groove and they learn how to stop skipping.  I knew a girl who was promiscuous - not because she wanted to have sex or even because she liked the guys she was having it with - but because she didn't know how to experience love any other way.  And it was so stupidly obvious to me that she was going to keep repeating the same pattern over and over and over until she learned to have a more meaningful type of interaction, until she learned to value her partners and value herself...  But she never saw.  That was a lifetime ago, before husband, before kids, and no, Freudians, I am not talking about myself...

If I look carefully at my life, I can see some patterns that repeat.  They're hard to articulate, because they're mine, but I'll try.  One is that if I try too hard to plan things they all get screwed up, but if I just go with the flow the most amazing things happen.  Another has to do with expectations - it's kind of Buddhist.  Basically I'm happy when I don't have any expectations because everything is a pleasant surprise, but when I start expecting things to go a certain way and they inevitably don't I get all annoyed and sad.  This one, I can see this one over and over and over in so many ways.  So many of my stories boil down to, "everything would have been fine if she had just let go of her plans and her expectations, but she had to try to make things live up to some ideal or archetype of the way it should be, and it all went horribly wrong."

To be honest, though, not much goes horribly wrong with me.  My life is pretty charmed.  Sometimes that makes me feel guilty.

None of these ideas lend themselves to a pithy two or three word blog title.

I'm finding that as I get older, all the things I thought I knew are getting blurry.  The things I used to think were SO important seem kind of pointless.  For example, I used to have a lot of ideas about childbirth and baby feeding and all that crunchy granola crap, and you know what?  My kids have been in school for a couple of years now and no one has ever asked me how I fed them as infants or whether or not I had an epidural.  It just doesn't matter anymore.  It makes me hesitate to presume to know anything now, because what if I look back 5 or 7 years from now and that, too, is pointless?

Then I started thinking about some of the major blog categories, other than "mommyblog," and whether or not I'd fit into one of those.  I'm not a chef, I'm not at all crafty, I suck at decorating, I'm not a photographer, I'm not even an expert mother (the jury will be out on whether or not I'm even a reasonably successful mother for another 20 years or so), I'm not religious, I can't give advice...  Heck, half the time when I write about something I'm trying to work out how I feel about it as I'm writing it.  I'll start with a general idea of what I want to talk about and where I want to go, but I never quite know where I'm going to end up.

What do I do here?

I tell stories about my kids, things I want to remember someday when they're grown and I've forgotten the details.  I try to be real about what motherhood is really like - not the made-for-TV version that we're sold by Hallmark but the real deal, and I struggle to do that in such a way that it won't embarrass my kids later.  I share my opinions about things that are going on.  Sometimes I write crazy Dr. Seussy poems or songs.

I can't think of a thing.  Not a single thing.  Can you?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Megan and I ran to Southlake Mall, the mall of our misspent youth, to check out the sale at Gymboree. Meg got a great deal on a coat for Kate.

We were on the escalator and the teenaged girl behind us said to her friends that she was afraid of escalators. I turned around and said "oh my God me too! I was on one once that broke and I was stuck for hours!" She was like, "oh my God, that gives me nightmares!" But her friend said, "wait a minute..." And Megan and I just laughed our heads off.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thoughts on Guns

Picture Credit
The debate about gun control has been raging on Facebook, and I've written a lot of my ideas out there, but I want to pull them all together in one cohesive essay. That way when the gun control threads start, I can just link back here and save myself a lot of time. Who knows, maybe someone with some power to implement these ideas will do something with them?

It seems like there are four kinds of people who are pro-guns.

1) There are hunters. I honestly don't have a problem with hunting, as long as you eat what you kill. I think that's more honest, in many ways, than buying meat at the grocery store (which is an artificially sanitary way of eating flesh that makes it easy to forget that the flesh used to be alive). I know a lot of families rely on the meat that they obtain through hunting. These people shouldn't worry that anyone is trying to take away their guns. Except maybe PETA. They'd probably take away your guns, and your furs, and your leather jacket, and your cheeseburger... I like cheeseburgers.

2) Then there are the Evangelical Constitutionalists, who seem to think that God himself came down from on high and wrote the Bill of Rights, and that the 2nd amendment is the be-all-end-all of rights. They tend to forget that there is a process for amending the Constitution because the Founding Fathers knew that they weren't God, and that the world would change. Let's all think for a moment about the 18th amendment (prohibition of alcohol) and the 21st amendment that repealed it. The Constitution is meant to be a living document. Anyone who thinks that the Founding Fathers could have imagined that semi-automatic weapons would be cheap and easily available at Walmart 24 hours a day is crazy. These are people who had muskets, not machine guns. As far as I'm concerned, you have the right to bear muskets (see above re: hunting) and anything beyond that is up for debate.

3) There are the self-defense gun owners, who honestly believe that their gun makes them safer from crime. I'll swing back around to them later when I talk about the true risks of gun ownership according to research.

4) The fourth group is the group that thinks that it's their responsibility to have guns so that they can either overthrow the American government or so that they can fight off invading armies. They'll say things like, "I'll bet the Native Americans wish they'd had guns..." (No, the Native Americans had guns.  They wish they'd been immune to Small Pox, but anyway...).  They tend to forget two things.  a) there are two large oceans on either side of the U.S. that have protected us from land-based invasions for 200 years, and b) any organization large enough to attempt to invade the U.S., including the U.S. military itself, has weapons, like Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles and nukes, that are completely immune to your guns.

The reality is that Pandora has opened the box.  Like it or not, the U.S. population is armed, and if we outlaw guns (forcing people to turn them in at the police station or something) it is true that the criminals will keep their guns.  I've thought about a "cash for clunkers" style program to buy back guns, but that probably would just make the NRA folks insane.  Just like there has been an uptick in gun sales since Sandy Hook, because the pro-gun contingent thinks that the anti-gun contingent is going to take guns away, if any sort of a buyback program were to happen, it would increase weapons stockpiling.

It does no good to imagine a world where guns don't exist, or to imagine a world where everyone is armed everywhere at all times, because both of those scenarios are impossible.

So what CAN we do to make our society safer?

Well, that's when I started thinking about other things that kill people.  I started thinking about cigarettes.  I started thinking about drunk driving.  How have we reduced the number of deaths from those killers over my lifetime?  We've done it with public safety campaigns.

Let's spend some time, money, and effort on educating people about the following:

1) Gun safety.  How to safely handle and store guns.

2) Teaching children what to do if they find a gun accidentally (run, tell).

3) The true risks of having firearms in the home. (In a nutshell, you and your children are more likely to die a violent death if you have a gun.  Research proves this.  It is not arguable.)

4) Suicide education and prevention.  Mental health initiatives.  Increased public awareness of the nation's Crisis Hotline System.  Increased publication of resources for those who are suffering from mental illness, and where they can get sliding-scale fee help.

That's step one.  Now step two is a little more complex, and it's going to piss people off, but we need to get semi-automatic and automatic weapons out of the hands of private citizens.  There is no legitimate use for those sorts of weapons that can't be fulfilled by non-automatic weapons.  The argument about invading armies is invalid.  I would support a buyback program for these weapons - to get them out of the hands of citizens and into the hands of the military and the police.  True, criminals won't turn them in, but can't we stop the manufacture of ammunition for this sort of weapon, or stop the sale of it to anyone other than military and police?  I honestly don't know enough about the different sorts of bullets to know if this is feasible - I'm asking.

Step three is legislative.  We need to make laws about how weapons are stored, and we need to enforce them.  This isn't going to be easy - but if someone commits a crime with my gun, and it can be proven that I didn't have it properly stored and secured, I should be liable.  I should be punished.  We also need to make the penalties for crimes committed with automatic weapons (whether they're fired or simply brandished) extremely severe.  Basically, if someone robs a bank with a machine gun in his hand, I want him put away for life, whether he kills someone or not.  Maybe then the criminals will think twice about having them.  Maybe not, but it's better than doing nothing.

We need to close the purchasing loopholes that exist - gun shows being just one example.  People should have to have a clean criminal background in order to buy a gun, and there needs to be a waiting period - nationwide.  And there needs to exist some kind of fingerprinting technology, so that if you commit a crime with a gun that I purchased, I can be held responsible, too.

Finally, I think we need to focus on the message that guns don't truly make you safer.  All the research shows that a gun in the home is much more likely to kill you and your kids than it is to kill an intruder.  It is a false sense of security.  There is proof of this in research, and we need to publicize the hell out of that research in a way that people will 1) understand, and 2) trust.

One more thing...  The reason that the 26 deaths at Sandy Hook horrify us, but the hundreds of deaths that have happened in the intervening week barely register with most people is because it is our nature to "otherize" the victims of gun violence.  We read a news article about someone getting shot, and we unconsciously and automatically start looking for the differences between that person and ourselves.  "He lived in a dangerous neighborhood. I don't."  "She hung out with criminals. I don't."  "He isn't like me.  She isn't like me."  It's how we cope with living in an inherently dangerous world.  It's the thousands of little lies we tell ourselves every day, so that we can function and not be terrified of all the risks we face in our day-to-day lives.  40,000 people a year die in car accidents in the U.S., but who thinks about that when they drive to work?

With Sandy Hook, though, we can't "otherize" those deaths.  They were just kids, just like our kids, who went to school.  They were just teachers.  We all know teachers.  We all care about at least one teacher.  We can't just make them into an "other" because they were just like us - just going about their everyday life, and they were killed in a way that they had almost no control over.  (Why do we retell the stories of the teachers who saved their kids by locking them into a bathroom or a closet?  They comfort us - they give us a way of thinking that if something like that happened to us or our kids, we, too, might cleverly avoid being murdered.)

In the coming weeks, it will be important to not revert back to the habit of "otherizing" gun violence again.  We have to remind ourselves and each other that any one of us could be shot and killed - at work, at school, at the mall, at the movie theater, in our own homes.  And if we want to be safer from guns, we need to start educating people - just like we have with smoking and second hand smoke, just like we have with drunk driving.  Sure, just as there will still be people who smoke and there will still be people who drive drunk, there will always be people who die from gun violence in the U.S.  But maybe with careful initiatives we can bring that number down.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to hearing your ideas.  Let's try to keep it civil and reasonable.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It has been a very difficult few days.

Aside from Jack's birthday post, which is tradition, I haven't really known what to say here.  Our usual silly little stories seemed frivolous and disrespectful.  Yet I really don't have anything novel to say about any of what happened in Connecticut that hasn't been said a dozen times already.

Debates rage on Facebook about gun control, (mental) health care reform, who's at fault, who's to blame... and I grow so weary.  I just want to hug the families, the friends, the community.  I want to weep with them and tell them how sorry I am that this unthinkable horror occurred.

Eight of the little girls killed were Daisy scouts.  Two of the boys had sisters in Girl Scouts.  As a Girl Scout mom and leader, that hit me hard.  Eight just happens to also be the number of little ones in my kindergarten troop.  I'm sending a trefoil on behalf of my kindergarten troop, even though I won't be talking to my little Daisies about it.  We had a moment of silence tonight at Mary Grace's Investiture and Rededication Ceremony.  We told the parents what it was for, in the program, but not the children.

That's been the big choice for parents and teachers, especially those with kids who are 5, 6, 7...  whether or not to tell them what happened.  BJ and I chose not to, for a variety of reasons.  First, we don't watch broadcast TV or 24 hour news channels in the house when they're awake, so they're unlikely to see coverage of it at home.  Second, the school was not planning to bring it up with the kids (although of course they will respond to questions, concerns, anxiety on a one-on-one basis).  Third, while there's a chance that they won't hear about it at all if we don't tell them, there's no chance that they won't hear about it if we do.  And if they hear it elsewhere first, we still will have the opportunity to explain it to them after the fact (as if there's anything about it that we can explain away).  Finally, they're just not old enough to understand.  Claire, at 5, barely understands death...  And Mary Grace is so sensitive that she freaked out during the movie Tangled when the mother turned back into a crone.  She can't handle the reality of this.  Not yet.

I've quizzed them carefully every day after school - "Did you hear any funny stories today?  Any sad stories?  Anything that made you happy?  Anything that worried you?" and so far, the only reply I've gotten is, "It might snow!"

For just a little while longer, we can maintain their illusion that the world is safe and happy, and so that's what we chose.  A lot of parents chose other paths, and I respect that decision.  There are no right answers, and a lot of it depends on how old your kids are, how "plugged in" they are, and their personalities.

We received beautiful emails from both of the kids' teachers, basically saying, "I love your kids and I will protect them."  I am in awe of all the teachers and school staff who dried their tears and went to school this week, who did their jobs with a smile in spite of what happened.  They are heroes, every single one.

I'll try to get back to more regular posting around here eventually, but know that my heart is heavy.  When I start telling cute stories and posting pictures again, it'll be because I think it's important to celebrate life, especially when we mourn.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Choo Choos!!!

At the Whistle Stop museum and cafe for Jack's special birthday lunch. He is freaking out over all the choo choos! Cute!!

Happy 2nd Birthday Jack!

Dear Jack,

You are getting so big!

We had your birthday party yesterday, and it was warm enough for all the kids to play outside.  That was so much fun.  We had a Thomas cake and Thomas balloons and you got a lot of Thomas presents, and it was a very Thomas birthday!

Your silly Mommy has lost her good camera, and the pictures on my phone didn't turn out very well (Mommy has too many chins) so you'll have to trust me when I say that they exist but I'm not putting them on the internet.  Sorry, buddy.

Your language is coming along nicely.  You're not as talkative as some of your girlfriends, but I understand that that's to be expected with boys.  You can say everything important, "Choo choo, apple, num!"  You manage to get your point across and we always know what you want!

You absolutely love trucks and trains and anything with wheels.  One of your favorite activities this summer was pushing your big dump truck up and down the street.  You also love your dog, and spend lots of time wrestling with her, Daddy, and your sisters.

Your smile lights up the world, and you have a wonderful laugh.  You love to read books.  You have several favorites that we rotate through.  One of those is Little Quack.  You like to do what he does - kick your feet to "paddle on the water," sniff the water, touch the water with your foot.  We also have a book about the moon and you like to find the things in it by pointing to them.  I'll say, "Find the bear," and you'll point to it, and so on.  Your sisters just love reading that one to you.  I love the way the three of you play together and encourage each other.

You have a really special relationship with Papa.  He says that it's because you two are the same age.  

Your favorite toy for playing is:  trains trains trains

Your favorite toy for snuggling is:  trains.  It doesn't matter that they're hard, you snuggle with them at night.  We got you a soft Thomas for your birthday - hopefully that will replace the others at night. 

Your favorite food is: apple

Your favorite book is: Little Quack

Your favorite activity is: playing trains

Your favorite place to go is: our PIT class on Fridays

Your best friend is: your "Rah Rahs" (sisters)

Something new that you're doing: talking, finally!

Something you've mastered: flirting

Something people say about you: you're handsome and well behaved

Something that you're saying is: hot dog, uh oh, mine, no

Something Dad and I are proud of you for: you are a good listener

Something surprising about you: you love babies, and especially love playing with Lexi when Erin brings her over
I am so proud of you!  You are so special, and your dad, your sisters, and I just think that you're the best boy in the whole world.  I am really lucky to be your mom.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Better now

My chicks are back in the nest.

School Shooting in Connecticut

Few things can chill a mother's blood like reading about a school shooting.  But a school shooting in an elementary school is unthinkable.  The terrified faces of the children in the pictures.  I just can't imagine.  I want to hug my kids, and I can't, because they're at school.

We just have to do something about guns in this country.

And I have to figure out how to put it all aside and get back to work.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sandy Eggo

Mary Grace's buddy moved to San Diego and she has been really sad. They talked tonight on FaceTime and I heard her say, "What's it like there? Is it sandy?"


Monday, December 10, 2012

Dinner with Santa

I would love to show you pictures of our kids from dinner with Santa, but they're on Karen's camera.  I could show you pictures of Colleen's kids, except I don't have a card reader for our camera, and the cable is at the office...  So you're just going to have to imagine it.

Colleen's girls were all wearing emerald green dresses with white fur trim.  They looked like the Something Sisters from the 1930s, but I can't remember the name of the group.  Who knows what I mean?

I do have a picture of us from before we left.

I need to figure out a way to get those bows to stay in their hair for the party at Mom's on Wednesday.

There were 10 families in our group!  Of course, we couldn't all sit at one enormous table, so we were at several enormous tables.  I think we knew around 50 of the people there, plus 4 more who were at the second seating that we didn't get to see ( :( ).  It was SO MUCH FUN to see the kids with their little buddies, dancing and talking and eating and being merry!

It went the way it goes every year - sit with Santa for a picture, do a craft, eat a buffet-style supper, talk, sing carols, dance, do a crazy conga thing around the restaurant to "Feliz Navidad."  It was so fun to share a favorite tradition with so many of our friends.

Monica took this picture of Jack as she was leaving:

She said he looks like a toy in a shop window.  I love it that he brought red and green trains to match the Christmas theme!  And wasn't it good planning that the carpet and the paint match the whole Christmas red-and-green too?

When I asked the kids what they liked best about the Santa dinner this year, Claire said, "Everything!" and she went on to say something profound along the lines of, "That's what Christmas is!  It's being with your family!"

Our friends are family to her, and to me.  Love that.

Previous Santa Dinner posts can be found herehereherehere, and there.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wrong Number

Today we drove to Fishers to ride on the "Polar Bear Express" - not to be confused with the Polar Express (tm).  It was nice, but there were about 100 ways they could have made it better, and IMHO it wasn't worth the money we paid to do it.  Grinchy McGrincherson has spoken.

I did get a couple of great pictures for the Christmas card, though, so all was not lost.  I'll post them after our Christmas cards go out.

Anywho, that's not what I'm here to tell you about.  I'm here to tell you about the hilarious phone call I got while we were getting gas.  It was an 812 area code, but a number I didn't recognize.

"Hello?"  I said.

"Where do I find some fake snow?" said an older-sounding lady.

"Hmmmm...  I would guess Hobby Lobby, but they're closed today because it's Sunday.  Maybe Michael's?" I replied.

"Oh right.  Well, where's Michael's?"

"Where are you now?" I asked.


"Ok, do you know where K-mart is?" I asked.


"It's in the same strip mall, over by Pet Smart," I said.

"Ok."  She paused.  "Is this Larissa?"

"No, this is Amy."

"Amy?  I was trying to reach my son."

"Well, you called my cell phone.  I don't know your son."

"Oh, well thank you for being so helpful, Amy!"

"You bet, ma'am.  Merry Christmas!"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

WTF Snail Mail of the Day

Lucky me - I got selected for the jury pool in my county for next year.

I can hardly contain my enthusiasm.

I received a questionnaire that says it must be completed and returned within 7 days, and I must affirm that my answers are correct.  Ok...

It started out pretty standard, but then I flipped the page and got to the following questions:
Do you have a computer in your home?  Desktop or Laptop?  Do you have internet access?  Dial-up, DSL, Cable, or Satellite?  Do you have a cell phone?  How long have you had it?  Is it a smartphone?  Do you have email access from it?  Do you text message?  How often?  Do you have email?  How often do you check it?  Do you use other personal electronic devices (iPod, iPad, GPS, etc.) that you use daily?  Do you visit social media websites?  How many times per day?  Do you have an account on those sites?  How often do you use it?  How many hours a week do you spend online?  Please list your three favorite TV shows.  What is your favorite hobby?  What types of books or magazines do you like to read?  
What the screaming heck is this?  Why do they care?  Am I wrong to feel a little creepy about being compelled to give this information?  What, exactly, are they trying to learn about me, and for what purpose?  I mean, I don't want to act paranoid but this makes me feel paranoid.

I served on a jury once, when I was pregnant with Claire.  Here are some questions that I think are much more relevant to jury fitness.

* Do you get the shakes if you can't check your phone or your email at least twice an hour? (My answer - yes)

* Do you have any experience with logic and/or reason?  Please describe.

* Are you able to answer questions without completely making up answers?

* Can you keep your mouth shut, listen, and pay attention for hours at a time without being allowed to say anything?  (My answer - no.)

* Do you watch too many shows like CSI?  Are you not going to be convinced if there's anything less than DNA evidence linking the accused to the crime?  Do you realize that DNA testing is expensive and that you live in Podunk, Indiana, where we can't just take hair samples from every bad guy and run them through the lab?

* Are you able to go without a bathroom break for 4 hours?

* Are you able to sit in an extremely uncomfortable chair for 4 - 8 hours?

* Are you picky about being able to eat and drink what you want, when you want?

* Do you have excellent personal hygiene habits?  Do you use deodorant and toothpaste?  After all, you're going to be confined with 11 other people for a long period of time, and no one likes to sit next to someone who stinks.

Seriously, someone at the courthouse needs to give me a job.

Things I Don't Understand - Christmas Edition

What is up with the Elf on the Shelf thing??  I am so confused.

Image from's old coloring book
So it is my understanding, mainly from Pinterest, that the elf is supposed to sit on the shelf and watch the children (creepy!) and report back to Santa (gah!) but only for December.  Seems like he should be there all year, to truly be effective, unless the sins committed in October don't count toward the naughty or nice list.

Ok, I'm with you so far, even though I think it's important to teach kids to be good for the sake of being good, because it's the right thing to do, and not because there is some material reward at the end of the year for not being a brat, I have been known to say, "Santa is watching!" when one of my kids is just being a pain in the butt for no reason.  (If Santa rewards run-on sentences, I'm gonna get a pony!)

And I get the part about moving the elf every night, because he jet-sets up to the North Pole to tell Santa what you've been up to all day.  Also, it's less creepy if the elf isn't watching you while you sleep, or do other... cough... bedroom things.  Amiright?

I think we need to agree, as a culture, that the sleep-watching thing is CREEPY
But if the elf is supposed to be at the North Pole all night, talking to Santa, and if he's supposed to be the judge of whether behavior is good or bad, why is he getting up to no good in the night while the kids are asleep??

Now, granted, most of my knowledge of this phenomenon comes from Pinterest, but look at these elves...  Why would Santa trust their judgment???

But MOM!  It was funny when Gumdrop Sparklehead did it!  Why are you mad at me?
Can you say, "Ants"?  I knew you could!
I was gonna put it in the Salvation Army bucket, I swear!
He sees you when you're crapping...  He knows whether you wipe!
I find this potty theme disturbing.
Mr. Jinglepants needs to see a urologist.
Oh my God, he peed in the milk!  BARF!
Face it.  Your elf is an asshole.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cute for a Reason


Dear Jack,

Most of the time I like you. You're cute, you're funny, you're generally easygoing and pleasant... But you and your stupid dog got up at 4 am today and failed to go back to sleep. I gave up and made coffee after two HOURS of rubbing your back and saying Shhhh. It's 6ish now. It's cold and dark and I don't like anyone or anything (except coffee).

You're on notice, mister. You get a pass this time because you're sick and because I can take a nap with you later... But if this becomes a habit I may have to join the circus.

Don't make me do that. I'm afraid of clowns.


Dear Coffee,

Words can't describe how grateful I am for you today.


Dear Girl Scout Cookies,

Don't make me regret selling you. All the forms and websites and money are REALLY intimidating. I suppose if I can handle government contracting accounting, though, I can probably handle you.

Government contracting rarely involved prizes or chocolate, though, so there's that.


Dear Local Drivers,

While I am grateful that none of you hit me, I am irritated that I got caught in your post-accident traffic aftermath twice yesterday. Unacceptably high for a small town. Let's all be a wee bit more careful today, shall we?


Dear Weather,

While it is delightful to be able to comfortably run around in a t-shirt in December in Indiana, you're starting to freak me out. Also, a hard freeze would kill some germs and maybe we could stop being sick around here.

Let it snow,

Confidential to D.F. - glad everything went smoothly yesterday and that you're feeling better.

Monday, December 3, 2012

#101 since 2007

Babble just announced their top 100 Mommybloggers and I am, once again, not listed.

It's hard not to feel a bit bitter, even as I read the names of bloggers I admire, bloggers I've had playdates with, bloggers I've slept with*, and I'm so happy for them...  I really am.

Sometimes, though, my grapes get a little sour, because I know I can write.  I know I'm funny.  I know I'm controversial and thought provoking.  Maybe I'm just doing this social networking thing wrong...  Am I?

But then I run into my neighbor Sydney at our kids' school, and she says, "You are SO funny!" and she tells me which of my recent blog posts made her laugh out loud and feel less alone, and I think, "Ok, so maybe I'm not in Babble's top 100, but I'm in Sydney's top 100, and that's awesome."

As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather have 100 Sydneys.

Thanks for the perspective today, neighbor!  XOXOXO

* completely innocently as roommates at BlogHer '09.  :)