Mostly Accidents Mom Confessions

1) In another edition of “ways to further rot the ceiling and grow mold,” during the daily 4:00 meltdown, the water dumping duo, James and Josie, snuck away and did something to the toilet’s hose, if that is even what it is called. Despite my Italian heritage, plumbing is not my thing, and how or why the toilet was springing out water every time they repeatedly flushed it as they tried to catch it in their shoes remains unknown, but should probably be investigated by a professional. In the season’s first Christmas miracle, my husband’s presence at home allowed me to avoid the upstairs watery clean up as well as the one leaking through the ceiling into the downstairs. And since nothing can be taken seriously when spoken with a speech impediment, the strict punishment remained so right up until bedtime prayers when Josie said, “I’m sorry Jesus for putting twolet wator in my shoe and frowing it.”

2) Additional reasons to call a plumber: maybe its because CrossFit is making me stronger or maybe its because I’m an idiot, but I turned my 1992 shower fixture too hard and it snapped, cracked, and popped right off, leaving the shower stuck in the freezing cold position and me in the screaming one. It ran for approximately way too many minutes more than I’m willing to admit before I learned how to use a wrench. And this event occurred many many days ago and every third day when I turn on the shower, a wrench is still involved.

3) In the first edition of shopping for Christmas, both parental units entered Sam’s club with super serious “let’s be simple and not spoil them,” attitudes and walked out with a trampoline.

4) Just in case Guardian Angels like reading blogs: we bought our accident/trouble prone children a trampoline for Christmas. Take a flight and stay forever. I need you!

5) In the saddest event of the evening, sweet baby Rita climbed into the bathtub and in pure curiosity cut her finger good. Without a cry or a quiver or even a frown she began to bleed generous amounts and I almost called an ambulance for her father. She looks super cool as a baby boxer with her bandage kept tight with a sock and I’m sure she’ll be fine, but a prayer or two for the husband, please.

6) As any mom knows at Christmas, the Advent wreath is the season’s best source of competition and dried spit. The possibility of being the child chosen to blow out the candles at the end of dinner is also the most effective source of “eat your vegetables!” this household has ever invented.  On one particular evening, with brussel sprouts and bacon as the culprit of James’ disgruntle, he attempted to gag no longer (I’m almost positive he has a tastebud disorder) and take matters into his own face. With one clumsy swoop, the smell signaled the dishwasher loading parents to run to the table and remove him and his burning hair, and I will forever smell burning hair every time I see a wreath and probably also feel the mom guilt attached to the memory. Hopefully in future Advents, I will be able to infuse the weekly virtues of hope, peace, joy, and love a little bit better so as to avoid future candle blowing brawls and the chance of my children lighting their faces on fire as they spew significant amounts of saliva across the table before his sister gets there first.

7) And in a lame parent announcement: We are wrapping an old TV remote without batteries and giving it to Rita for Christmas. It’s been the only thing on her list since she learned to grab things. With my mom as their Mammy, this house has roughly the same amount of toys as the North Pole, so new is very much unnecessary. Additionally, there is absolutely nothing as entertaining as watching Rita’s pure joy as she attempts to change the channel on her siblings during Curious George and the way they also think its funny until she actually does change the channel.

8) In the official “bad parent” statement of the evening: the Elf on the Shelf will be permanently returning to its box in the basement (or the North Pole, wherever) at the end of the season. I know parents and children love it, but so far it has taken one or two flights mostly out of pure laziness and lack of creativity and the one morning it was actually hanging in a creative spot, James said, “that is not a shelf mom.” Its also been played with like a toy because it is a toy and I just couldn’t get all hot and bothered about that because well, we throw toilet water here, and I think I should start there when addressing behavioral issues. And last Christmas when our Elf didn’t fly home like the boy’s did next door on Christmas and I said “ohhhh, its because he is staying until the Epiphany!” and was then forced into it for 12 days longer than necessary and made 6 boys think their Elf didn’t like them. Thus, before I ruin Christmas magic for all children, we quit.

I think its Monday still? Happy Monday.

A story about the grocery store.

The battle to put on coats had waged long and loud in the snowy grocery store parking lot and spirits sank low and grew cranky. “I’ll be a fun mom,” I thought as I picked the cart that is the hardest to steer and heaviest to push because its shaped like a race car and has wheels to steer and horns to beep. In a cost-benefit analysis, the built in imagination station seemed worth the sacrifice. Still shivering, they seemed content.

As I passed the flowers, I trampled over three poinsettias with the carts right side as its left knocked over a chocolate display.

The carts inertia then almost killed two old ladies holding hands and picking apples.

Next, Josie figured out how to unclasp the buckle.

“Stay seated,” I warned as we steered past the oranges. “Balls!” she said as she stood up and stretched her arms no longer constrained and one was thrown at Rita and another at an entertained stranger.

The fun continued near the Deli. Dozens of customers were waving tickets in the air begging for sliced turkey, and Josie believed them all to be hers. She made her claim known by standing and shouting, “Gib me dat tipkit!” to each of the shocked and scared perpetrators as they responded, “she should really be buckled, that’s quite dangerous.”

It wasn’t that I meant to appear indifferent about my standing 2 year old. Its just that I have a hard time hiding my emotions through facial expressions and the kid learned how to safely jump out of her crib at 15 months. I felt confident in her ability to stand and yell at strangers for their deli numbers.

The crimes of injustice continued as kind and generous Deli workers offered her a slice of broken cheese. She was both offended and hurt as they stared confused and bewildered. “She doesn’t like cheese?” they asked. I offered them my apology and engaged considerable hamstring strength to reengage the carts movement as Josie continued to unintelligibly (thankfully) and with a fully open mouth yell and cry “I hate broken cheese, stupid broken cheese, idiot.”

Rita enjoyed what Josie forcefully rejected for 20 seconds before Josie sobered up and noticed. The second greatest part about knowing how to unbuckle a safety feature is the new found opportunity to sit on your younger sister when she steals and eats the Deli cheese you reject and hate. The mostly squashed younger then pulled the hair of the still screaming older, the now angry crying older then slapped the revenged younger, and the bad female parent tried to hold back laughter. Have you ever seen a one year old pull hair with a grin and a giggle? Rescue came in the form of a shopping construction worker still wearing his hard hat who said, “Santa Claus is watching,” to which Josie asked, “Does the firefighter know Santa?” and all was good and merry.

I then filled my cart with nothing I put on my mental list.

As I parked to check out and noticed Josie’s possession of a rogue candy cane and her disgusting generosity in sharing it with Rita, the kindest young mother said, “your children are so well behaved,” to which I smiled and thought, “she’s probably hard of hearing, and quite possibly blind.” With the back turn of a mom to unload the lemons and parsley, Josie discovered the third best thing about being free from the buckle. She can almost reach the gum in the checkout aisle.

When I turned back around at the sound of “YOUR BABY!” an old woman wearing a Christmas birds nest hat (new to me as well) stood holding a smiling Josie who asked her, “Can you just get me that gum? The green one.”

In moments like this a mom should probably be mortified. Thankfully, the bird hat was too distracting, and it wouldn’t have been the first time we accidentally shoplifted gum.

“Very dangerous,” she said to me shaking her head and handing me my daughter.

“Thank you so much for catching her in mid air please have a Merry Christmas?” I tried.

“Merry Pissmas lady!” Josie exclaimed and off we ran to once again freeze in the parking lot.

Happy Thursday!


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Walk to Make a Difference

Saturday’s Shoe Feast

I escaped showered and in navy velvet patterned pants waving goodbye to a snow covered, yet shoeless James. The remnants of Josie’s all day candy “can” (e) feast made red sticky dots on her mouth, her hands, and several pieces of my furniture. Rita drank a bottle while wearing only her Santa hat, protecting a broken piece of rogue candy cane with the clenched baby death grip of her right hand. Jim climbed a ladder with tangled Christmas lights draped over his neck, and if Clark Griswald were a real person they would have had much to discuss.

Following 30 minutes of no tears driving and one very wrong turn and an awkward entrance into the United States Deportation office, I spotted the emerald green balloons and skipped my way into a showroom faster and with more spunk than Dorothy and friends entering the Emerald city. There it was: dawned with velvet and satin, crystals and bows, cupcakes and champagne, platforms and stilettos, flats for other people taller than me, suede and leather, ribbon and lace, happy girl after happy girl, one very nice male fiancé. Lots of places are referred to as “shoe heaven” and I AM CERTAIN that NONE of them remotely deserve it because this was the real thing.


I was lucky enough to receive and invitation to their Saturday Christmas Sale, and when I say it was the best day of my life, I’m only lying by 4 spots because I’m obligated to put my wedding and birth of my children before a shoe sale. But, one thing is for sure. I said, “this is the best day of my life,” tons of times.

I slipped off my unmatched socks in record time. Then, I removed one heart sticker and one partial buzz light year sticker from the bottoms of my feet. Next, I hogged each and every pair that I could reach, trying on all of them for 10-15 minutes longer than the rest of the shoppers would have liked.

Each was a one of a kind work of art, crafted in Italy, and made with generosity as its inspiration.

Meet Caitlyn and Sara.

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Caitlyn, SCHEÉ‘s founder and owner, didn’t want to just create a unique luxury footwear line of her very own just a few months out of college. NO! She wanted to create a footwear company that makes Charity its first cause and purpose. Fashion, Charity’s twin virtue, is created not just by the way a product looks, but also, by what it stands for. Each season the Schee team picks a cause and creates a superb line of shoes with 5% of the shoe’s purchase being donated to charity.


Go here for more of Caitlyn and Sara’s impressive story and company and while your reading stare at the beauty:

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At first, when Sara showed me this shoe I thought, “I would fall down the steps entirely too often with a shoe with two heels.” Even when my abnormal clumsiness is considered, I was wrong. They are so comfortable and insanely easy to walk in, even for a klutz.

And even though it pains me to say, as a Mom, I have had to hold back a bit more on my shoe purchases. The days of undamaged joints, I could wear heels all day and night day after day, but 3 bambinos and too many road races later, my feet hurt fast. So now, I try to stick to a little “keep the credit card inside the purse,” criteria. The shoe has to be COMFORTABLE without looking COMFORTABLE. And it has to be worth the price. I’m willing to drop some dollas if its worth it: if the shoes last, if they fit, if they are made of red patent leather with crystal flowers…

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Ok, ok, ok!! Maybe the red patent leather are not 100% appropriate for the sandbox. So I made up for it with these (sandbox appropriateness debatable but playground fashion just got better):

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They are a wedge. If I ever run a full marathon, I’m confident I could do it in a wedge. And THEY ARE LINED IN VELVET! As I placed my foot into this boot, I repeated the mantra “you already purchased, you already purchased, you already purchased,” and then, I felt the velvet, and the credit card literally splurged from my purse and so did I.

Better than an Ugg by 5 million points in comfort and 5 billion in fashion, and I usually don’t pay attention to these stories but I hear Uggs are really mean to sheep based on my Facebook feed.

I want these.

And if I wore flats I’d buy these.

Reminder: Every Mom is required to open a wrapped present on Christmas morning with her children, and what better thing to open than a brand new pair of shoes, further proving the fact that Christmas miracles do exist and St. Nicholas is real.

If you are rich and famous look at these. (I tried on all of them!) If you have a budget.

Shop Here

Buy for yourself, buy for a friend, buy for your mom, or your favorite blogger. Whomever.

Share this post and Walk to Make a Difference!!!

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(this post was sponsored only by my desire to splurge and share something that I think is amazing.)

Additional Disclaimer: 12 seconds into typing this post, Rita began protesting her nap and won. Like every good mother I gave her a Candy Cane and put her in her highchair. And earlier in the day I lost the daily lunch battle and ate three discarded sandwiches by myself as I stared at my kitchen’s white walls while my kids raced around the kitchen island chanting “PB&J is for losers.” I really needed the shoes 🙂

I believe in Santa Claus!

When I was younger, childless, and even dumber than I am now, I told my brother-in-law, Dan, that my children would know the truth about Santa Claus. The presentation of my position was most certainly communicated in a similar way to how any childless younger singleton presents an uneducated stance on how to raise children: Judgy McJudgy and sufficiently anti-North Pole. It was a warranted berating, and I’m willing to bet he’s super entertained by the Elf on the Shelf that the Spirit of St. Nicholas brought with him last night. But, if even a single post has been read on this blog, it’s clear that I could use all of the parenting tricks I can get. And Josie already climbed up two chairs to reach him and play with him, so toy it is.

Though, at the time of my original no fake Santa stance, I failed to recognize the insane amount of FUN inherent in a child’s experience of Christmas miracle magic, my concerns still echo my Santa Claus perspective today. Sure, I’ve threatened “if you continue to throw a tantrum because you aren’t permitted to cook your own scrambled eggs for a second more, Santa Claus won’t come here,” to my two-year old more times than I can count, and I am privy to biting each and every cookie baked (and partially burned) for Santa each and every Christmas eve, which might have more to do with my love of sugar than anything else. So maybe take this entire post with a few grains of sugar, and for your taste buds sake, I hope they are in the form of a freshly baked and not burned chocolate chip cookie.

Here’s my beef: there just seems to be so much great REAL stuff that we frost over, yet we fly right on over to a traveling elves, magic, and things that 8 year olds begin to realize don’t make any real sense. And before I’m forever labeled as a giant fun sucker, much like I was during the conversation with Dan, my fear is this: Teaching our children about faith is delicate, and as a newish parent, hands down my biggest fear is that my children will doubt how much God loves him as a result of my lack of it, poor teaching, bad example etc, etc, etc.

If I spend my time creating a belief in Santa, only to have it naturally questioned and burst by a sense of reason that I hope my children develop, what else will they begin to question and doubt?

What’s more is that there is no real reason, in my mind, to even go down this particular candy cane lane.

Fact: St. Nicholas: a very real person who lived in Asia Minor in the 300’s, was a wealthy man with compassion for the poor. When his friends and neighbors were on the brink of being sold into slavery and prostitution, in an effort to remain anonymous, he snuck down chimneys in the middle of the night and put gold in their shoes. He prayed for them and asked Catholics to help them. Eventually, he became a bishop and dressed with a hat and often wore red velvet because its cold. He donated his wealth to the poor. Sleigh rides were regular forms of transportation. If I continue telling the story the facts will begin to turn into “sounds nice but probably not historically accurate,” so go ahead and Wikipedia. But here’s one more thing I know: A thousand  and several hundred years of consumerism later, the idea of Santa Claus is often removed from the life of faith and placed into the aisles of stores 2-3 hours after Halloween trick or treating ends having very little to do with Jesus at all. And as a parent to three cute babies, let me be the first to say, ignore my baby, offend me forever. So if I were God, I’d be really annoyed at all of the Son of God dissing.

Today, the feast of St. Nicholas, is one of my favorite days to teach my kids about the real, and rich faith of our Church. I’m sure I’m doing it mostly wrong, and the 7 marshmallows consumed for breakfast this morning caused a giant behavioral crash beginning at 820 am and ending never. Hopefully, though my new to the number 4-year-old gets that good Old Kris Kringle is very much indeed a real man who loved God and helped the poor with his time and talent. And since communion with the saints is just a prayer away, his presence is alive and jolly as ever. And by his example we can be made better and more generous! Judging by James’ Christmas shopping experience this am, shopping for others is a struggle and his present for Josie is a golf ball that says #1 dad so I’ve got a lot of work to do and family members to help him identify.

I’m still working through why he comes back at Christmas, but so far I’ve gone with “because he loves Jesus so much he wants everyone to have a super fun party on his birthday” and birthday parties are my kids favorite, so its working.

I have yet to get a question about the north pole and his workshop but I think heaven should suffice as its location and its maintained by the saints, and headed by St. Nicholas for this particular Advent season.  And since my scatterbrain left the coolest life-size batman in the back of the car that was discovered in this morning’s pile in, it’s already pretty clear Mom helps with the presents. But believe me you, the Holy Spirit is very much involved in 99% of my incredible Marshall’s clearance finds so Christmas miracles are a plenty.

Its interesting and sad to me that as a parent I have to work so hard to come up with ways to help my kids understand how Jesus fits into Christmas, yet the world around them makes it quite confusing. Prayers for you for prayers for me.

I hope you all got a delicious treat in your boots. Happy Weekend, and Happy Feast Day!

Chocolate Money

Following much convincing and several lessons about what birthdays actually are, James has realized that being 4 years old can in fact last more than just one day and he will, in fact, never return to the days of being 3. Thankfully, his name will continue to start with J, his very favorite letter of the alphabet, and much to his dismay, no matter how many birthdays he has, Josie will also continue to begin with J, even on the very day of his actual birthday.

On his third full morning of his fourth year, he continued counting his gold candy money coins. Hidden in his the third drawer to the left in his bathroom, just underneath his toothpaste and seven toothbrushes, the candy element of his coin wealth remained undiscovered since Monday. And since we consumed enough sugar to fuel Santa’s whole workshop, I left that detail untold.

This morning while attempting to convince Josephine that it is absolutely inappropriate and she is prohibited from riding to drop off her brother at school without pants or a diaper, wearing only a flower tshirt, headband and socks, and rinsing a stale mixture of last night’s milk and speghetti from Rita’s sheets and hair discovered in her bed by her gagging mother as she sat happily undisturbed by the disgusting pungent bacteria crusting near her left eye, James discovered something incredible.

In the 30 seconds remaining before his arrival at school would be considered too late even for preschool, I scrambled to start the laundry and load them in as he excitedly interrupted, “MOM!!! MOM!!!!!!! THERE IS CHOCOLATE IN THIS MONEY!!!! WE ARE SO RICH!!”

May you find money growing on trees and may it be made of chocolate.


To James on his Birthday


May the force be with you,  I mean Happy Birthday!

4 years ago today, at exactly 12:37pm, everyone present in our Washington DC hospital birthing room held their ears for the first two minutes of your life as they adjusted to the new sound frequency of the room brought on by your strong temper and lungs. Just 39 hours and 3 false labors later, there you were, perfect, with my eyes and voice, and your father’s name and preference for television. 

Your patience with your new and clueless parents did not go unnoticed and it impresses me still. As I tried to once again remember how to sit down in between taking exams, your dad exchanged diapers for writing graduate school papers, bottles for a different type of bottle, sound sleep for “he’s like a lot louder than a normal baby isn’t he?”

It was a whole new world. 



This year has been a great one, and these moments are fast, just like your shoes. Tonight as I lit the store bought cake (better than yesterday’s pre birthday celebration when I neither baked it nor bought it- Thanks Uncle Will!)  I caught a glimpse of our family, next door neighbors included. I thought many things. First, “where are Josie’s pants and how is it possible that Rita already has chocolate all over her face when the cake is still in my hands?” Also, “Why is Patrick shaking his bum, did anyone feed baby Brendan, and this is surely the loudest two family combination in existence.” But most importantly, “how is my little baby suck a big boy, displaying gratitude and appreciation, generosity, and joy. Just yesterday, he only knew how to spit up and cry.”

Birthdays for me are a little bit (maybe a lot bit) emotional, and I find myself uber reflective and easily provoked to tears. It’s silly really, and the fact that you put on your own shoes probably shouldn’t have put tears in my eyes but you are the one who first made me a mom and I’m really very grateful. For your life and for your virtue, for your tantrums and your lack of virtue, for showing me almost exactly what I look like in God’s eyes and how silly he must find me, just like I find you, and for bringing me to my knees and closer to His heart. 

This year has been a great one:

I accidentally taught you how to appropriately swear.

You began real preschool with your best friend and cousin Bailey. 

You are already so in love that you promised me you are going to “kiss her on the lips.”

You still mainly eat cheese. Your birthday spread included proscuitto wrapped asparagas, bacon wrapped dates, balsamic chicken, fried goat cheese spinach salad, and gourmet pizza. After eating the cheese from your pizza, you headed straight for the cupcakes.

Today you promised me that if wolves (pronounced woofs) chased me in the woods you would throw your shoes at them.

When I asked you what you want to be when you grow up you responded “buzz light year.” 

You prefer Curious George but will settle for National Geographic coverage of wild life animal kills. 

When I told you that your grandmother prayed for your birthday, you wondered if she spoke with Florida Jesus or Pittsburgh Jesus. 

With the turning of your age, comes too, the turning of my stage as a mom. No longer am I balancing ages 3, 2, and 1, an age stat I announced with quite a bit of pride. 

Thank you for 4 great years, and may there be many more. I pray you continue to give God your heart and to do it with generosity. I hope your smile remains as joyful as it is today and that one day you acknowledge your sister Josie as more than “ew she’s in the middle.” 

We love you!