7 quick Mom Confessions

7 quick Mom Confessions

1. The baby can safely make it down the steps alone. The way in which I found out this little piece of dangerous information is only because I found her on stair 6 or 7 after taking an extra 2-3 seconds to button my pants. Also, my two-year old can unlock my master bedroom door. And evidently, the best way to lure a baby to a staircase is by opening a door and saying “here Rita, Rita, Rita.”

2. This morning I spent a solid 60-70 minutes killing imaginary dinosaurs and, their friends, the bears from the woods. Death to them was warranted by their vicious attacks on the family’s toothbrush supply. Even though each princess/superhero brush was locked safely in James’ Lightening McQueen lunchbox, two toothbrushes were sacrificed in the waging dental hygiene war and nearly flushed down the toilet when Mom was too busy sword fighting the Velociraptor and his friend Care Bear. Things turned a bit too real when baby sister Rita was suspected of transforming into a baby Tyrannosaurus Rex and the weapon of choice became a pillow and suffocation the almost inadvertent course of death.

3. And speaking of death by suffocation, plastic garbage bags are now hidden much higher than their already high above a toddler’s reach position. It was one of those “only on the news or in scare tactics used to makes moms crazy paranoid but don’t actually happen in real life” actual real life moments. In an effort to wipe a counter, I turned a corner. A friendly giggle, giggle among the 3, 2, and 1-year-old turned a bit to jovial just as the actual surface of the granite began poking through. I took three steps towards the family room anticipating to catch a purposeful spill or mess being made in action only to find three children covered in plastic bags pretending to be ghosts while playing the piano (irony? Foreshadowing?)

4. My crazy started showing pretty clearly when getting into the car in a parking lot after an unsuccessful school pants run to Target and James telling me, “don’t worry mom I will go super fast so nobody gets us.” I did buy glitter nail polish and new pajamas, so not all was lost.

5. And somewhere in between James refusing to hug me on his way to school because “he would be late for work,” and Josie’s decision to only wear high heels, Rita started walking. She usually wobbles her way right to the spice rack and then into the cabinet underneath the fish tank and then to the garbage. It’s a pretty busy schedule.

6. I gave Josie a Popsicle as bribery for a shower. It had been three days of sweat and grease pile up and Rita was napping and she wanted no part of “too hot and speamy” shower, but I needed every part of one, and before I knew it she was sitting on the floor gleaming in skills and manipulation enjoying a delicious treat and I lathered thinking, “is popsicle bribery really the only way towards cleanliness?”

7. I brought my own chicken to McDonald’s. I know, I know, what is the point and how crazy can I get? And if there is ever a reason to pass the politically incorrect judgment card over my way, this one deserves it. It was leftover from a “but I don’t like chipkin” dinner the night before and packed up in the car on the way home from a weekend getaway. It was dinner time and we were driving and before I knew it we were at the golden arches and the last time we tried fast food I had spit out chipkin all over my car and I put the leftover in my purse and when Jim was in line ordering I tricked everyone and fed them “special chicken nuggets!!” And everyone ate it and loved it and I felt sort of like a genius.

May all of your weekends be lovely and long!

Go to Clan Donaldson for more! and as always, ConversionDiary for the best blog.

10 things to waste your time ;)

(This blogging hiatus brought to you mainly by the three years late discovery of Downton Abbey. And having caught up, I’m now (WTswearword!) mourning my two favorite characters and ready to blog about the trivial during my childfree moments once again.)

Here are some not blog worthy things…

1. I brought baby wipes to Mumford and Sons. Its just that sometimes I can’t escape my essence as a mother for even a moment, and when I saw the pack of baby wipes on my car floor, I put them in my purse out of habit. But, since they are the greatest invention of all time, they very much came to the rescue on several occasions none of which had to do with wiping an infant. Spilled beer? I’ve got it. Portapottys been used too many times? Allow me. French fry grease making you slimy? Here you go. Every time I pulled out a wipe, I reminded my husband of their use and my genius. If only baby wipes could help with “post- best- concert- of- my- adult- life- accidental- kids- don’t- know- what- a hangover- is- and- are- so- unsympathetic- about- it….

2. I went to Mumford and Sons!!!!!! Only once was my pearl wearing group called “White Trailer Trash,” by a stranger who, apparently, likes quiet concerts.


3. We put a birthday hat on Mary, again. It’s a Mary’s birthday tradition. My sister and I head to our church playground, stuff our faces with pizza and carrot cake, and watch as the nine children wreak havoc well, as they generally do. We sing happy birthday as the little ones attempt to catch the fish in the pond next to her statue. We swing at a Mexican piñata, in honor of Our lady of Guadalupe, as the crawling kids experience candy raining, making all future thunderstorms disappointing. I’m pretty much positive that the Mom of all Moms finds it both entertaining and endearing.


4. Maria and I ran a 5k together, and once again, she proved faster and more determined. Before I go all “Ashley Simpson living in Jessica’s shadow” on you, she only beat me by 15 seconds, which I choose to blame entirely on the two more inches her legs have on mine. I came up with a formula. Two inches = 5 seconds per mile. 5 seconds per mile X 3.1 miles = we finished at the exact same time. The feelings of inadequacy began as I crossed the finish in the fastest recorded three point one miles of my life, feeling good and proud and sweating and hyperventilating. She, however, was already there, not panting or sweating, and saying things like, “I wanted to finish faster. I’m so disappointed I never reached ‘throw up’ speed.” I consider “throw up speed” to mean “slow down!!!!” Running in the shadow.


5. On one particular 5:45 am wake up call, I calmly explained “it’s too early for a Saturday, please go back to bed.” He did! And then he began calmly playing with toys as Jim and I slept. Is it beginning to sound too perfect yet? Because he changed his sister’s #2 diaper all by himself, too.

6. I learned that riding carousal at a place called Rib Fest brings about similar symptoms to those of “throw up speed.” Rib Fest is one of my favorite weekends of the whole year. But, I do not recommend trying every rib in the fest times 2 or maybe 3, and then spinning repeatedly while staring at weird looking circus animals moving up and down while also trying to balance two dizzy children sliding off of said animals because they ate too many ribs, too.


7. I had this conversation recently: James: “Mom I’m going to buy you something really nice.” Me: “Oh yea?” James: “Yea, a lightsaber,” he said with the proudest and widest grin and glimmer in his eye. “But, if you hit me with it, I’m taking it back.”

8. We went to Mass on a Wednesday night. Jim forgot to mention that Josie was wearing underpants, and Josie, seemingly, forgot as well. The font wasn’t the only liquid puddle.

9. Fish food is now #2 on my “all time worst mess list.” Poop is holding strong at #1.

10. Saw this Ray Romano quote. “Having children is like living in a frat house – nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” May your Pee Sigma Poop chapter be running smoothly.

Hump Day Confessions with a side of blood soaked soapy zucchini bread

One Morning, 5 confessions, Happy Hump

Confessions of a Teenage Looking Drama Mom through which you can forget about that homemade cork board on Pinterest and feel better about yourself at my expense.

Pardon the typos as my fingers are bloody and dawning band aids with teddy bear and hearts, which are quite literally my two least favorite objects on the face of the planet but picking out band aids is a childhood privilege.

1. The morning began with aspirations higher than the laundry pile so I began there. As I folded tiny shirts and tinier dresses, the oldest requested my assistance with toilet paper and his derriere. The girls playing wildly with items too clean for their hands seemed occupied well enough to walk 5 steps for approximately 30-35 seconds to help their big brother with his toddler problem. James explained that he “pooped a lot, just like a big horse,” an image that aided my coffee and cereal to digest with ease and comfort. As the toilet flushed the baby’s left foot disappeared into the dryer as Josie attempted to shut the door with a giggle and a wave. We practiced saying “no put Rita in the dryer,” approximately 5 billion times after that.

2. Step two of attempted productivity: clean the master bath. Events included Rita biting off the head of the duck soap, Josie dipping her head into the toilet, the entire contents of every single feminine product being dumped and thrown and stacked and as they asked, “but what are these for and why cant we eat them?” The good news is I salvaged most of the soap from the baby’s mouth.

3. As we continued to de-clutter in the family room, James confidently studded in my general direction holding a chewed up tomato found in between the couch cushions. “Do you think we should throw this away, Mom?” he asked. How long had it been there? Years for all I know.

4. After discarding of what I’m guessing Josie thought was a ball of red candy, I began to grate zucchini to make bread. While cooking with toddlers is usually full of organization and cleanliness, it becomes much worse when the mother begins to bleed a generous amount from two fingers on her right hand. The grater and me = a bad mix of clumsiness and blades.

It was there in the baking process that I should have seen green zucchini turned red and stopped. Alas, I taped up my fingers with bad images of fake romance (explained above) and braved the teaspoon holding toddlers hands on baking lesson. Moments later, tired of a dash of cinnamon here and a help mommy pour the flour there, a few too many ounces of dish soap was happily poured into the wet ingredients as she exclaimed, “blue!!!!” At least I didn’t accidentally burn it?

5. I believe I’ve already confessed about the language issues in this household, namely the phrase “damn it,” being used by James at appropriate times and with emphatic intonation. I have, in all sincerity, attempted to remediate my bad habit, but sometimes, swearing happens just like something else also best described with use of a bad word. Well, the bad habit has been successfully passed on to the younger one, who happened to exclaim not only “damn it!” but also attached “Josie!” to the phrase on three separate occasions this morning, which had to with the bloody fingers, the tomato, and the soap, revealing the most frequent use and word grouping used by those that love her most.


Happy Mothering!

Sedation: Sometimes Mothering and Dental exams should have the same Solution

Sedation: Sometimes Mothering and Dental exams have the same Solution.

Linking up with Honest Mom!

The decision began somewhere in between generous sips of a summer Indian pale ale and my sixth or seventh plate of eggplant parmesan. “I made an appointment with your dad to get my teeth cleaned,” he said. The statement translates into my Italian cultural heritage used conveniently at my disposal more accurately as, “why don’t we go to the dentist as a family tomorrow to ease the stress of potential cavities and drown out the sound of the drill as a group.”

As we traveled across the bridge cries and tired eyes ineffectively distracted me from my armpits made sweaty and my cuticles made bloody from nervously picking and pealing at the thought of the mouth doctor formally known as my father.  Jim looked at me shaking his smarter brain and said, “you realize this is the worst idea you’ve ever had?” as thoughts of flying dental tools and spraying water and maybe even blood flooded his imagination as a likely probability given the three individuals screaming in the backseat wishing they were in their beds for their naps rather than being used as a way to comfort their mother’s fear of their grandfather’s profession and all of its tools.

I find the dental chair about as inviting as the stirrups at the lady doctor or the ring of fire at centimeter 10.

“It’s just that I thought I was going alone and now it’s a circus and it’s a doctor’s office with tools and other people and this is going to drive your Dad crazy…”

As I thought of a response to calm my husband, thoughts of their Pappy teaching each of them to throw food and spit water at me coupled with memories of innapropriate jokes and embarrassing remarks during teenage years, I was provided with enough visual and memory data to utter, “he deserves it” with confidence.

We arrived to his office mostly clothed and with only one person missing shoes. The oldest knocked off approximately 6-10 framed pictures off the wall and said, “I’m not in these.”

Middle child sensed correctly and stood in the corner with fear until she found something to squirt and something else to break.

Baby girl played with a toothbrush in her car seat, unknowing of the gifts of only having 4 teeth.

I only hit the doctor 5 times and batted his hand away another 9-57 times. No cavities, 3 pounds of sweat lost, 4,876 toys handed out by dental assistants to occupy my children and possibly my husband during my extended dental exam due to poor patient behavior and attitude, Josie’s inheritance of my fear depicted. I would take full responsibility if I didn’t view it as completely rational.



Floods, styrofoam, shaving cream oh my!


Last night I went to bed after reading the “Childfree Life,” Time Magazine’s recent article about the choice not to have children. I’m all for free choice within the natural order of things, but I couldn’t help but fall asleep saddened by the possibility of so many people refusing to have children because, as many say in the article, “they aren’t sure if they want to give it all,” and beyond the social “pressures” and “conventions” that equate motherhood with womanhood, maybe the case for kids isn’t so great after all? Facebook has already developed a baby picture blocking app to prevent viewing people like me from posting pictures of their babies drenched in spaghetti sauce, peeing in the grass, or playing dress up in hats. And if there were ever a day where I would dream about basking in the sunlight, kid-less, but definitely without the matching bathing suits worn by these models, it probably would be today.

The fiasco of the morning routine began before the 6 made it to the big hand of the clock with nursing and a fully dressed James saying, “um, Josie is doing something with these things that look like rice krispies and all of my clothes.”

As responsible adults we reluctantly dragged ourselves out of bed to be greeted by static and Styrofoam in each an every corner of the children’s room, and most certainly in crazy baby’s hair. Master mess maker Josephine, maybe plotting and ploying since 3am?, found an unopened light fixture to be saved for a time I decide to decorate, and dissected the entire contents of the wrapping material along with James’ closet, quietly and undetected by all for unknown, but clearly long period of time. Both of us called “not it,” and having already nursed, my excuse to be preoccupied with those younger and unable to latch to anyone else was of no avail. And the first many minutes of the morning were spent as a family playing “who has the most static electricity? Looks like it’s Daddy.”

Minutes later, as I scrambled eggs and spoon fed yogurt, coffee yet to touch my lips, we heard water running only to catch her on top of the sink “making a waterfall” on the mirror.

Moments after that, Rita, decided to play in the fireplace in the exact moment that Josie wanted to play with knives, and James couldn’t get his dinosaur to roar. I made up for the roaring just fine as I picked up fire hazard baby only to find a leaking diaper of the brown color. Into the laundry room I sought refuge and wipes only to find approximately two inches of water and a spewing, soapy, washing machine making sounds also similar to a dinosaur.

Step one of poorly handling it: I closed the door and ran upstairs screaming.

Step two: I changed the dripping feces diaper and put Rita in her crib, banking on the situation being better handled without a baby in arms.

Step three: I called three people and asked for help in between breaths of hysterical laughing and each said “turn the washer off and get some towels.” My sister, with sympathy said, “I’d come over to help but 5/6 boys just peed in my garage because they noticed the drain.”

It may have been easy advice, but the thought of unfolding all those towels freshly put away and washed was a difficult one, and turning the washer off meant going back in that room with the flood.

I offered Tweedle Josie and Tweedle James some bubbles and said please be good, and they were and they even patted me on the back and said, “im sorry that wondry thingy is breaking and puking.”

Towels may have been a great thought but my linen closet was approximately 400 too short. The smell was of barf and poop mixed together. The feeling of the water on my feet was of soggy grossness. The 7 calls to my husband went mostly unanswered because he told me not to wash the bedspread that James spilled green smoothie all over in our dying washing machine purchased in 1985, maybe 87, and flood insurance does not cover “idiocy.” (he totally was on his way home from work early to help me clean all of it and told me to go to Marshalls to replace the ruined area rugs and forget about it, so he’s still the best. Since there weren’t area rugs, I bought a sweet pair of open toed black booties with a gold buckle, which was clearly the most reasonable trade off.)

3 hours later I think I cleaned it, and water damage is minimal, and my washer might get me through a few more loads of laundry. Only one time did I find the three kids doing something horrible during the cleaning time and I’m pretty sure she won’t ever brush her teeth with shaving cream ever again.

So while all the kid-less people enjoy their sunbathing and handholding at the beach, I hope those sunglasses block the sand being thrown because even though they didn’t bring chaos, I did, and I’m really happy about it through floods, and fireplace cinders, Styrofoam and shaving cream, and I’d say poop, but… that part is the worst.

Weekend Update

Weekend Update

Training Camp

One thing about marrying a man who at one time dumped me to try on a cassock is that he knows a lot of priests, in a way that scores VIP passes to Steeler Training Camp. Sometimes following God’s will leads you to the sidelines of preseason professional football practice to be nearly knocked over by Emmanuel Sanders as your pulling your distracted three year old by the collar of his Troy Palamalu jersey because football players run extremely fast while chasing a football in the air down the field as your baby eats mud in pink pajamas and your toddler girl yells “run faster!” to men running at the same speed as cars. I’ve never actually seen a professional athlete so nervous upon almost crushing a mom and three children.  Thankfully, I got out of the way in time, which as Jim reminds me, was a really good thing, not for my own safety but because “the entire city of Pittsburgh would have hated (me) had Sanders injured himself trying to avoid injuring you and the kids.”

A special thanks to Father Paul for his friendship and his dedication as spiritual leader to his team and college.

The Case of Josie’s missing blanky

Potato was the word and 897,987 is the number of times she said it at varying volumes and syllable emphasis, each and every utterance heard as sensitively as possible by me, her mother, as her mouth pressed up perfectly against my ear somewhere around 6am Saturday morning. I thought maybe if I continued to lay there quietly she would somehow do the same, but, alas, a fascination with repeating the name of the starchy vegetable that caused the famine of her cultural heritage home it was, over and over again for reasons that will remain unknown to me forever. And since this is the same young child who breaks out of her crib to chew and spit out gum and uncooked spaghetti, I’m leaning towards ‘I’ll never know’.

Anyway, at some point during her spud speak but before she woke up Rita approximately 2 hours earlier than I would have liked, her baby blanket went missing. I expected tears and tantrums at its disappearance but there were none from her. Her detachment to anything but the very moment in which she lives pooping on the carpet or eating yogurt with her fingers is truly awe inspiring. For nearly 36 hours I searched the house high and low, in the most frantic and emotionally unstable way imaginable.

“She doesn’t really care,” Jim nonchalantly reminded revealing the genetic source of her happy playing in the midst of the lost treasure. “Keep looking!!” James joined me. As the first born, I believe James, understood my stress intuitively. What would I sleep with when she goes to college? How would we make a speech at her rehearsal dinner without showing her wedding attendants the transitional objects on which she clung?

“Do you think a reindeer ate it?” he asked, “or maybe a leprechaun?” And just when I was about to believe it was a Yedi, after praying the handy dandiest “Jesus, Jesus, Lost and Found, show me where to look around,” I spotted it tangled in the drape in a room there would never be a reason for her to enter. The relief was released with sighs and tears because I’m a crazy, crazy mom who couldn’t bear the thought of never again seeing the blanket in which she was wrapped upon coming home from the hospital. She was happy, I guess, but hippies, even as babies, tend to be unattached, I’m learning.

Rita gets an A

I went to Mass with just one baby by myself. With the exception of three very loud raptor yells at the end due to my taking the car keys from her baby death grip, she was perfect. She even sang along and clapped at the end of songs. Three old people said, “You have your hands full,” even when I had one free one.

And in the midst of a political atmosphere that tends to villianize wealth, I hope this week’s Gospel is read with some concentration and a good and healthy dose of the Holy Spirit. May the wealth of the person, whether financial or other wise, be used for good according to the free conscience of the individual, devoid of guilt, judgement, or jealousy. May we all remember that we can’t take it with us, and although Dave Matthews is great, eat drink and being merry is a terrible philosophy for life.


Vacations Rule.

Confessions of a Mom on Vacation

1. My Children Find it Peculiarly Uncomfortable in a Clean Car

He sat in the same position as he does at home, in the center car seat, of a minivan we do not own, that several families use in this Florida paradise. His eyes spoke confusion, his brow once again burrowed with a non-standard operating procedure question, the stress indicated by the slight scream in his voice and sporadic kicking of his legs. His eyes looked down to the floor below him, “Mom!!! There is no mess on this floor!!!!!”

2. Clichés Exist in All Languages, including Broken English

We happily played on the beach. James through sinking rockets into the waves scrambling to retrieve each on within .5 seconds of throwing it. Josie ran in and out of the ocean insisting, “I’m swimmin! Watch me, watch me!” on repeat. Rita ate her weight plus Jim’s in sand, using a shell as her spoon, unaware that the whole food version was the utensil. Jim and I stood, soaking it in, enjoying the occupation of each happy kid. A middle age couple walking the beach wearing suits indicating a foreign country, most likely European, but maybe Brazilian, origin. He looked at us, counting with his hand, pointing to each child. He waved his hand and gestured strange things. The French accent was immediately apparent, offering full discloser to the swimsuit fashion. “You!” he began, “you have…” “how you say?…hands!! yes, hands. Your hands, uh, um, they are very, uh uh FULL!”

3. The Best Vacation Plan is to Bring as Many Grandmothers as Possible, Even if Only for a Few Days.

There were three of them. It was glorious. They said things Moms dream of: “Can I hold her?” “Please let me feed her.” “Why are you up so early, its only 8:45, go back to bed, the kids are so good!” “How about I watch them and you go for a run?” “I think you and your husband should walk the beach and go to dinner tonight alone.” “I would love to change a diaper.” “They seem like best friends.” “Your children are so well behaved.” “What would you like for lunch?” “I’ll make dinner, you sit.” Relation to your children is irrevelant. Grandmothers of all kinds are wonderful Additions to a beach vaca.

4. Swim Diapers are a Bigger Sham than Diaper Genies

They quite literally do nothing but make a number 2 vomit inducing, and with so many fish in the ocean, does it really matter?

5. Bathing has taken a Vacation, too.

I hear salt water is almost as good as soap, or maybe that’s my imagination giving me hope, whatever, they seem very clean.

6. When most of the city’s inhabitants average age is above 78, children in Mass can pretty much do whatever they want.

Josie grabbed a strange old lady’s cane, Rita pooped everywhere, everyone was still so adorable to an old person.


Happy Swimming!

Womb Service

Im almost ten months not pregnant, so I’m not sure if I should be linking to this party, but, the phrase “womb service” made me giggle  and think about my crazy cravings and 4,876,876 trips to Old Town, Alexandria’s Chipotle while pregnant with baby numero uno.

Baby #1: James Carey  images

I spent most of the first 16 weeks sprawled on my bathroom floor, getting to know way too much about porcelain. Monday of week 17 I braved the grocery store, solo. That Whole Foods and I had some rough encounters, especially in its sea food section. I walked past the alcohol aisle, then the whole bean coffee, my envy brewing. In an attempt to choose peanut butter, it happened: my first craving. In my previous 22 non pregnant years, I thought cravings and morning sickness were a bunch of BS. Yet, there I stood, with a burning desire to devour mounds and mounds of a food I had never before eaten: CHICKPEAS. The need was immediate, impulsive, and ravenous. To the salad bar I fled…

I ate approximately 8 million chickpeas during that pregnancy. Humus sufficed, but the pure bean was king. After chickpeas, I wanted a grape fruit, and then I went to Chipotle and ate two salads with everything they served but the beans. Pregnancy has enough wind all by itself.

Baby #2: Josephine MarieUnknown

I made it to about 22 weeks before the crazy.

“Where are you?” I panted.

“What’s the matter?” he asked with concern.

“I need ice. Now. Go to the gas station. Or the beer distributor. I want the crunchy kind. With the holes. And make sure its soft enough so I can bite it.”

Everyday I “ate” somewhere around what could melt into 6 gallons of water. And then I made blueberry pancakes, for breakfast, elevensies, lunch, foursies, dinner, and pm elevensies. In fact, for the last 6 weeks of her gestational career, Josephine packed on all seven of her pounds with the sole help of blueberry pancakes.

Baby #3: Rita Therese  images-1

Rita, unlike her sister, craved Omega 3s, probably because her older siblings sucked all the good ones out of me before she got there. It was, actually, the first nicest thing she did for me. At this point of her 9 month life, she’s done a lot more of those. Her in-utero existence gave a resurgence for my once 3-5 times a week  love for salmon. My healthy addiction had been ruined on a 17 hour flight to Australia, during which I threw up roughly 34 times, as they served the most repugnant smell to a girl with full fledge baby in the tummy throw ups: farmed salmon, steamed with peas and some sort of fake rice. If you could see my face as I type, its grimacing in disgust by the memory.

One fine day during week 18, I got hungry and only Salmon would do that day and everyday for the rest of her pregnancy. Smoked salmon is what I really wanted, but I do believe its frowned upon for preggos. I rejoiced and still rejoice, because its healthy and I missed it so.

I also ate 8 billion pounds of peanut butter m&m’s, and 8-10 gallons of would be melted water daily, and wanted roughly 4-6 pints of Guinness because its good and my two other kids were often bad. I settled on sipping my husbands.

And I will have you know that each of the foods I craved are each of their favorites. Its science.

You all did want to know that, right?

Happy Weekend and silly blogging to you!

When Dad’s away, Mom makes bad parenting (and driving) choices.

1. On Saturday Evening, I fulfilled my 2011 Lenten promise. I’ve been a member of my parish since then, and it didn’t take long to notice the music volunteers are few and far from natural hair color. I’m not knocking the level of talent, I’m simply noting the need for a few more of us without white hair to step up sing before the silver grey peaks through. My singing ability is sort like my writing; it might not be the worst on the internet, but I’m still very unsure of the way I just used that semicolon. I thought for sure, I retired as a cantor at 19, until that pesky little conscience of mine creeped and nagged and nagged some more every week since I made the commitment to sign up to help just a few short years ago. I’d like to blame the delay on pregnancy, like I do for most things, but, one thing about pregnancy symptoms is that they tend not to affect my vocal chords. Two Lents later, I got around to sending a “do you need any more singers?” email, to which I received a “yes!!!!” response in approximately 32.1 seconds. That email was sent 5 months ago. After dodging two requests, and 17 emails, I finally committed to stepping up to that scary mic this past Saturday, July 6. The reason? Jim would be away fishing, thus, shielding me from his ever encouraging, “you sounded great!” when I would rather wallow in drama and  reject each and every form of comment or criticism regardless of his authenticity because I’m a brat. 

Believe me, you few internet readers, scheduling anything when husband is away and you are a mother of three is a very bad idea, unless there is a babysitter lined up weeks in advance, which I had not. 

As a result, there I sat at Mass, sweaty, clammy, and mousy voiced, and nervous, with a perfect view of my three angels banging on the glass of the cry room as they stood screaming and crying begging for me to stop singing immediately, and return to their beck and very loud calls. My mom was generous, and crazy enough to watch all of them in the cry room, a name they took quite seriously, but it would have taken an army of saints to quiet their cries. 

And what did I think the entire Mass? “I really wish Jim was here to help me and listen to me cry because I’m so nervous and the kids are so loud, why oh why did I do such a thing when he is out of town, I’m so silly, Jesus help me, shoot that was the wrong note! Damn! No swearing, you are at church.”

As a side note, the readings were very much about nursing mothers, to which I laughed and identified, until the word “abundant” was used as a descriptor for breast. 

And I even though there is no linkup to Grace for Mass Grades….

Me: F


Josie: F+

Rita: F. It pains me because she is nice, but, that baby threw her neck back looking for nursing at least 400 times and cried a lot, maybe she was paying too much attention to the readings. 

My Mom: A for effort, F for giving each child a new toy and their own bag of M&M’s, including the 9 month old.

2. And what is a post traumatic new and rusty cantor to do after wrangling three shell-shocked children? Taylor Swift, not-obviously. 

In between moments of child wrangling and incessant church music humming, I spent the rest of my Saturday hoping and praying that sweet Taylor had finally moved on from that Drew character because that song was the worst, and if music writing is any indication of the man behind the song, so was he. 

Luckily for me, she no longer sings songs circa 2008. It wasn’t terrible, accept it also was. Eight year old girls screamed at pitches that made me desire parenting through a three person tantrum at 6am. Her singing was good, costumes- cool and only one was sort of slutty, dancing- interesting, eight year olds screaming- horrible. 

BUT! It was a wonderful evening with all of my sisters, in laws and blood! 

And as the second concert of the week, the first being the TREMENDOUS and hilarious!! Steve Martin with his banjo band, Taylor was most certainly the lesser. I’m sorry, sweet eternal teenager- please don’t write a song about me. 

3. After begging my sister to please drive to TS, she refused, and little sisters obey. As my head’s pulse reached borderline pound, I put on my sunglasses and popped a Tylenol. On day three of parenting solo, some sort of migraine was bound to creep into my big head. It generously came on the way to hang out with 67,000 screaming little girls. In anticipation of a difficult parking situation, I circled around as my sister gave me the direction go-ahead. 

I asked again, “are you sure this is the right way?”

“I don’t know, it looks right,” said ambivalent big sister. 

And onto the BUS LANE I drove. 

As we laughed hysterically, we also feared for our lives, unsure of which direction the buses were traveling at that particular moment of the evening. Additionally, bus lanes lack exits, turn arounds, or any other sort of ‘do-over.” Twenty minutes of driving later, we turned around near the adult book store and sped away shaken and still laughing. 

In my top 5 list of things I’m worst at, navigation and sense of direction is most certainly my #1.  

4. As my last bad decision of the weekend sans husband and parenting partner fo life, I took my kids to a movie, without researching, knowing subject matter, or feeding them dinner. 

I hear good things, but, I didn’t check, and neither did my fellow mom friend. But, on day 4 of fishing Jim, the rain came, and we needed out. The two younger sat enjoying the colors and growls and other funny monster things, as James, my number one sponge, sucked in all of the “bad, evil teacher” signs and signals the movie had to offer.  

Parenting, may or may not be my #2 on the list of worst skills.Image

Jim’s trip was wonderful and peaceful, just like a fishing trip should be, and only received one crazy/frantic “why haven’t you called me,” call from me. 

Moms at the Playground with Three or More Children

Prompt: Describe a subculture of which you belong.

Regina Donahue
Subculture, Assignment 2

Moms at the park with three children or more

I park close to grass, and far away from cars both moving and still. I examine new wrinkles and pimples, wondering how they can exist at the same time. I’m thankful rearview mirrors are small enough to conceal the mix of yogurt and avocado spread generously on my shirt. I’m in need of confidence, and last night’s mascara doesn’t look all that bad. I turn to offer a vigorous time-table warning, reminding also of what to do in a parking lot, and Toddler Codes of Ethics. I call on Pavlov, promising suckers in exchange for good behavior, knowing full well rules will be broken, with giggles and smiles, from both them and me. Each of them, still, in their three carseats across, will enjoy a sucker as we travel back home, because my sleeping children don’t transfer, and today’s nap time is booked, and maybe its me that needs to be conditioned.

I step out of the car, cell-phone in back pocket, keys in left hand, right hand ready to unbuckle and balance with the help of my left hip and thigh. We make a train and he holds on to my purse, and the sound of “Choo choooooo” doesn’t at all embarrass. I wish their outfits were matching, because its cute and maybe impressive, but, I’m thankful they have clothes on at all, even if they wore it yesterday and probably will again tomorrow.

I peak into my purse, wondering why I chose to check my face rather than its contents in that silly little mirror. Twenty-Seven snacks should be fine, 6 diapers should suffice, but I am low on baby-wipes, so “Nobody poop!”

It takes roughly twelve minutes to walk those twenty steps, with 6 tiny legs, and shoes on the wrong feet. I see ladies running, childless and free, in Lululemon and spandex. I envy their use of babysitters remembering to make time for squats.

I greet the ones I know, counting heads between the periods and exclamations, thankful for the ellipsis, and sometimes forgetting punctuation altogether. I hope they understand the scatter in my brain, the stains, and the grease. Its just that catching kids on slides, pushing swings, creating barricades near ponds, serving juice boxes and goldfish while breaking up fist fights, and conversing with attention, or any comprehension, is sort of a lofty ambition on three hours of sleep and a baby on my breast.

“Im, sorry. What?”

We chat and share strategies of discipline and sanity, and I think I offer very little, as I watch him push and smack.

“I think its time for naps,” I scurry, but not too quickly because she’s cutting teeth and not quite finished eating, and the third baby is really asked a lot.

I warn, and punish, and pinch a little too. It takes about an hour, to make it to the car.

“Who wants a sucker?” I say, before I put it in reverse.