Why does it smell like a fish hatchery?

“Why does it smell like a fish hatchery in here?”

Ever since the first morning we came into the kitchen to find Josie crawling on the kitchen table, we knew she was part baby ninja-magician. The cheerios provided to keep her busy and happy in her highchair while I ran up the steps to retrieve her older brother, dulled in comparison to the bacon and eggs waiting for the rest of the solid food eating family. So when she began hopping out of the crib and to the tippy top of the pantry long before her second birthday, I couldn’t help but say, “I guess I saw it coming,” but pretty please go back to sleep and stop eating entire bags of candy from the top shelf at 5am. Nonetheless, despite the warning signs of her Houdini-esque skills, yesterday’s events will forever top the list of the most repugnant.

It all started with an avocado. Rita ate an entire one the night before. Naturally, it was a pamper bomb of hiroshima proportions. I carried her messy chunky bum to the changing table and began. LIke every good ninja, Josie noticed my weakness and distance. James was occupied with the hose per usual, so she knew his laughter would be of no alarm. Chair pushed, counter climbed, cabinet opened, vitamins found, Omega 3 fish oils targeted. I tend not to worry about the vitamins all too much because they are child proof and she is two. And maybe I should contemplate discontinuing the astute brain pills because it seems like she’s a little smarter than I would like her to be already (this is a joke, i would never). Onto the story… she somehow finagled her little fingers and pop! hundreds of tiny strawberry flavored cod liver oil gel balls blanketed my floor like algae on our tank. I heard the giggle from the table. Its more of a “sound of something bad” than laughter, and I’m confident Simon and Garfunkel could write a good song about it if they spent 10 minutes with her. I slapped on a diaper and ran to find her ingesting so many of them!! I put Rita down (huge mistake!) and tried to clean them up as fast as possible. I asked James to help (also a mistake!) who began to laugh so hard i feared he would accidentally induce vomiting. I frantically raced to get them in the bottle, the garbage can, out of Rita’s hand, into the dustpan, out of her hands, out of Rita’s mouth!!! The cookie monster had nothing on her eating growl, and James’ full body laughing hysterical fit only fueled her rampage. Before I called poison control, I read the bottle and calmed down. No side effects, other than THE WORST SIDE EFFECT OF ALL (other than something that actually could have harmed her).

It began slowly. We went to the pool and I noticed something other than a chlorine stench. Hmm I thought, maybe its an imaginary sea air because we are swimming? In the car, it grew. Maybe its the trash outside? After her nap it was clear that the strawberry flavor to mask the taste does absolutely nothing to mask the horrendous smell that came oozing out of each and every sweat gland in her body. I tried a bath. No, she still reeked. We went outside. Worse than bait. As Jim entered the house, I saw him sniffle from afar. He walked in confused, looked at the stove to see if I was cooking the ocean, and then, turning to me, said “why does it smell like a fish hatchery?” I explained, and he was repulsed. And for the rest of the evening we did what any good parent would do: we took her to our siblings, and parents, and out for ice cream just so everyone else could smell her too.


**this picture was not taken during the event described, although it is an accurate display of her skill, determination, and general lack of interest in rules.

Do you have any smelly stories to share? Nothing like a good old stink bomb to start the weekend!

Mom Confessions

Mom Confessions

The little trick Josie pulls off to hop out of cribs is also the trick she attempts at church to hop over pews and run away. I turned around to find her straddling the back pew giggling, saying “horsy, horsy, I ride horsy.” She hopped right on over to the other side before I could put the baby down to stop her. Through the doors and into the back she went, worrying little as to if anyone would follow. I thought about letting her go until I saw the faces of those around me: eyes wide, jaws dropped. To the back of church I went to retrieve my hippie daughter.

We went to Red Lobster for Dinner. 6 adults, 9 children. My father requested, and since it was the continued celebration of the day dedicated to dad’s, we piled in, and ate out. The hostess was less than amused, and the waiter asked for two helpers. They stuck us in a back room as far away from the other patrons as the restaurant layout allowed. 4, 376, 346 crayons covered the table. 4, 376, 347 cheese biscuits were consumed within a 36 second time frame. James wanted them all and cried because 8 others said no. Josie told the waitress to bring her macaroni and ice cream as soon as we sat down. Rita grabbed a cheese biscuit and squeezed it to death out of excitement. Jay grabbed a hold of a live lobster. James asked if that’s the one that they would eat. I tried to explain that Red Lobster doesn’t really work that way, but, I realized I was being a giant fun sucker. My mom sang happy birthday to my brother who lives 3,000 miles across the country and videotaped it to a text message. The concept of a birthday celebration by proxy was confusing to most present, but, I do believe the free ice cream deal still counts. My apologies to whomever is in charge of sweeping. And I do believe James and Josie explain what its like to eat at a Red Lobster best with “I’m going to poop in the car!!” all the way home. Ceaser salad, no dressing was a good choice.

And speaking of healthy eating, as I write this, I’m drinking Brooklyn Brown Ale with a side of mini chocolate peanut butter cups and Frosted Flakes.

I thought maybe I heard something upstairs, but I decided I was crazy because they wouldn’t dare get out of bed again, not after the 100th time, when I was sure they were so super tired. When I went up to wake up James from nap, I began to hear the giggling whispers from two children who were supposed to be sleeping. I paused and took a deep breath. As I opened the door, I encounters a flood of Noah proportions, and I froze. Their eyes had a small amount of fear in their wideness, but, mostly, there was just too much pride gleaming for the 35 minutes they had successfully made a mess without me finding out. I breathed again. In and out. I turned off the water, and took away the bucket, Then, I left, for their safety, and my own. When JIm received the “almost as bad as poop in the basement” text, he knew, and understood why I sat staring with my knees tucked inside my sweatshirt, and head buried. I’m not sure how he handled it or what he did, but, I’m pretty sure they won’t ever do it again.

When I first heard about my father in law’s strategy of using a neck tie to tie the little ones in bed, I thought “that’s crazy, I could never do that.” In a moment of desperation, I tried it. He’s a smart man, and I’m entirely too judgemental.

James confused having a tick with being murdered. It took 4 adults other than me to hold him down to get it out. I was in charge of the bum area. By the end of the removal, I was sore and sweating. Either its one strong bum, or one weak mom. Jury is still out.

And this is what most of my afternoons look like.


Grace at Camp Patton pointed me towards, “At least my belly hides my cankles” by Paige Kellerman, a fellow confessing mom who also loves Jane Austen,  and it really made me laugh.


May your naptimes be long and your tantrums short.



Parenting Advice

Parenting Advice

1) Don”t drive to an amusement park and turn around because its too crowded when your children are already aware that you are driving to an amusement park.

2) Try your best to not blame the police as to why the amusement park is no longer a viable option. Its confusing and too difficult to explain. Its also mean.

3) Never leave the pressure washer attachment on the hose when six-nine children are present at a playdate, or at any time at all.

4) Don’t stay 10 extra minutes at the bar when the babysitter says “Rita is awake and so is Josie” and its already past midnight.

5) Its best to not expose your two year old to the fountain outside of the restaurant before she eats her dinner, or after dinner, unless you plan on staying at said fountain for 3-6 hours with a hungry toddler.

6) Be sure to bring extra diapers, or even just one extra diaper, when its hot and humid and you are on a crowded incline ride and your 8 month old poops and it noticeably smells.

7) Never need a nap when your kids are protesting naps. Nobody sleeps and everybody cries.

8) When nap time seems to be going a bit too well, it might mean your toddler daughter is stuck underneath your other toddler’s bed.

9) If u plan on having a tree cut down in your yard, and if the process is visible to your 2 and 3 year old, maybe try and explain it ahead of time. Otherwise, get your trauma counseling skills out and ready because there will be a dead tree in your yard and two kids who think it is murdered and bleeding.

10) If there is a question as to whether or not your two year old is too tired to go out to dinner, she is, and you probably shouldn’t take her, unless you like tantrums and outbursts in a public place that has glass and knives on the table.

confessions, mostly.

Its been a week of firsts, lasts, and a lot of spilled milk; I only cried once.


Josie turned two.

We spent the morning at the zoo, where the sun was shining, and her dinosaur impression roaring. The baby sea lion made her giggle, as did the camel. James, generously and loudly, shared his knowledge that a “two hump camel makes a two hump poop,” thanks to books about potty training. Both James and Josie almost got kicked by a goat, and I was forced by the birthday girl to look at snakes and spiders. We had pizza and birthday cake at the playground, and Josie revelled in free access to the several half full water bottles the adults left within reach and un-capped. Happy Birthday, baby girl.

Rita ate hummus.
As I tried to put the groceries away within 5 minutes, I called on Josie for assistance. Sometimes (always) new two year olds drop things. Rita was thankful.

Josie figured out the microwave.
I noticed Josie’s preoccupation with her milk straw. It seemed like the perfect time to put Rita down for a nap and use the bathroom without a little one unrolling all of the toilet paper. It actually wasn’t a good time to do any of that. As I walked down the steps, I heard the beeping, and cursed the neat toilet paper roll. She stood on the chair, plastic toy spatula in one hand, the entire contents of the brand new bag of tortillas now covered in milk and half eaten in the other. “Cook,” she said. “With sauce,” the explanation continued as she pointed to the milk. I re-introduced her to the toy kitchen she received for her first birthday, and instead of blaming myself for being a bad chef and wondering why she thinks the microwave is a place for cooking and making sauce out of milk, I realized that the beeping microwave is a much better alternative to the gas stove.

Rita shoplifted.
I went to Marshalls with the girls while James was at school. I realized, quickly, that I was going to be able to buy nothing, because there is very little room in a shopping cart when two children are in it. I perused, and played imaginary retail therapy where I made a list of things in my head that would be nice to have and why it would be nice to have them. Interestingly, it was relatively effective for my psyche, and, it saved a lot of money. Maybe she was aided by Josie’s love of dinosaurs, or maybe imaginary retail therapy just doesn’t satisfy her need to repeatedly fold tiny pieces of paper into prehistoric origami figures. Whatever her reason, I found the box tucked away neatly in her car seat when I got home. I’m positive I did not pay for it, and even more positive that origami is a big fat frustrating waste of my time, but, thanks to Rita, not my money.

Rita is running on all fours.
Her crawl became a lot more serious this week. She’s got places to be, and hummus to eat.


I took Rita out of her baby carrier for preschool pickup.
I thought maybe it would be easier for my bicep, and I thought it was time for Rita to finally get out of that thing. It is, in fact, much harder to chase small, but, fast people in a parking lot with a still-sort-of- wobbly baby in my arms, and I’m sorry Rita, but you need to stay in it a little longer.

I left the candy unattended and within reach.
I couldn’t cope with knowing how many M&M’s she had managed to eat on the third shelf in the pantry in the dark and by herself in the time it took me to wipe his bum, so I decided not to look into the bag to discover its level of emptiness.

I kept talking on the phone when I knew it was too quiet.
Next time I’m tempted to continue talking to my sister who lives next door, on the phone, instead of checking on the kid who is being just a bit too quiet in the bathroom, I’ll remember that my plumbing bill is worth more than the conversation I’m having with the person I see most in my life.

I went upstairs to pee by myself because all of the toilets are broken downstairs.
See “Josie figured out the microwave” and “I kept talking when I knew it was too quiet.

I forgot to cut Josie’s nails.
Exhibit A: James’ very scratched and bloody arm. Three carseats across is a battle for everyone, and Josie has to defend herself, somehow.

I ran a half-marathon without training.
No one bought my bib, and I figured it couldn’t be worse than labor or crashing my bike on mile 3 of 25 during a very flat triathlon course. I was right, it was not worse, but next time, I’m training.

I didn’t immediately clean up the breakfast bowls.
See “a lot of spilled milk.”



Definitely not the last time:

I called Maria crying asking her to tell me that three- three and under is the hardest age combination there is. She said no such thing, but she did make me feel better.

The kids ran away from me in the parking lot.

An old man smiled at me and said “looks like you have your hands full.”

An old woman at the grocery store called Rita a “he” even when she was in the same exact dress at Josie.


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Gang up on Mom Day

Things I said to my kids on Gang up on Mommy (and Rita)  Day (enthusiastically celebrated on May 3)

Get out of Rita’s crib

Go outside

Put down the baby

No throwing footballs at Rita

Go outside

Clean up the cereal

Don’t you dare throw that chair

Rita is not a football

You aren’t allowed to make Rice Krispie treats by yourselves

Go outside

Pull up your pants

Get my jewelry out of the toilet

Makeup is not food

We can’t climb the apple tree until you put on your pants

Stop mooning our neighbors

Get out of the tree, you are naked

No dancing on the table


Don’t touch that, its poop

Take the blanket off of Rita’s face

Go outside

That’s too much hair spray

Rita can’t eat marshmallows yet

Get away from the street

Its not safe to chase cars

Rocks are not for throwing

Its nap time.

May Resolutions

May Resolutions:

1) I will never again run at the high school track during school hours, or maybe, I will still.

Yesterday, I took advantage of my mom’s nap time babysitting availability and ran to the track and then on the track in my last desperate attempt to begin training for Sunday’s half marathon. It was 2pm, directly in the middle of a lame looking gym class. There was a group of non-participators sitting on the bleachers. The gym teacher was leading a group of lazy looking butterfly stretchers on the field, while the bleacher crew rebelled from doing any athletic activity whatsoever. “Leah!!!” they called to me. I looked at them confused and borderline dumbfounded. It was surely impossible. They couldn’t actually be confusing me for one of their friends. Yes, actually, they could be. “Leah!! Come sit with us!!” I apologized for my not being Leah, and ran on convincing myself that it was just a fluke and they had probably been smoking pot in the bathroom. Approximately, thirty minutes later, after gym class had been dismissed, and after school sports had commenced, I suddenly found myself with a side by side, and uninvited teenage boy running buddy. “Hey,” he said. “Hi?” I replied.

“So what grade are you in?”

My mortification prevented me from responding right away. I began to shake my head and squint my eyes in disbelief. “My kids are in preschool!!!” I blurted as I began to sprint as fast as I could right off of the track never to ever ever return during school hours, unless accompanied by another person who actually looks like an adult ever again. Then again, I’m sure I’ll be there next week. Maybe, by then, I will finally hit puberty.

2) My kids are no longer allowed to go to Marshall’s during lunch time.

Its a common issue among all moms. We make rules, we abide by them, and grandma’s do whatever they want. Thus, every time I go to a store alone, all packages of food, unless I’ve packed my own snack, remain closed until I buy them. My mom has a different philosophy called “I give my grandchildren any kind of treat they want at all times no matter what.” Its generous, actually. On Monday, our emergency Marshall’s trip to find a new pair of half-price crocs for Josie’s birthday, ran slightly into the beginning of quessadilla time. James happened to be in Mammy’s cart because Marshall’s carts are too small for three small people, and she’s way more fun than I am. He ate an entire bag of something out of the Marshalls gourmet treat section. He shared one or two crumbs with Josie. I didn’t think all that much about it. Then, today, upon finishing playing at the park, we began heading home for lunch. “I want to go to Marshalls,” James said. Josie cheered along too. I was excited and impressed. Marshalls, my very favorite place to shop, next to TJ Maxx, is also a child fan favorite. I rejoiced in my parenting thrift shopping success. “No, kids, we are going home.” “But I’m hungry!!!! I want to go to Marshalls!!!!!”

3) I’ll keep my “tacky” ideas to myself, or maybe I will say them louder, because a Pittsburgh mall is not Project Runway and you don’t really look like Michael Kors, and definitely not like Heidi Klum.

It was a dream somewhat true. I made it to the mall for the first time in ages, and while it would have been particularly nice to be without a stroller, I only had one kid with me. Somehow, I still elicited several “you have your hands full,” even though they weren’t. Sometimes, like when I pick up or drop off James from school, I deserve that remark. Other times, when I’m at the mall and Josie is behaving perfectly and even offering impressive fashion advice (she always chooses the brighter color) I don’t. Maybe it was the stroller that screamed tacky. I’m not sure. I asked if a particular higher end store sold matching or coordinating family outfits. The fashion enthusiast male employee answered, “we would never recommend that an entire family match. I can only in good conscience point you to our window fashion stories so that you can gain inspiration to tell a relevant family fashion story with our clothes.” I wished Rita had been present in the same exact outfit that Josie was wearing, grabbed two perfectly matching father-son shirts and headed to the counter to enjoy the 25% off of all purchases in full defiance. Matching outfits are adorable!

4). I’ll hide the candy. (No, I won’t, stop judging).

In the same store, 2 minutes after I was denied help, I handed Josie a sucker because, as already mentioned, she was being perfect, and our style preference had just been insulted. She was finishing her broccoli baby food pouch, that somehow she still chooses to enjoy.

“Juice and candy at the same time?” the young woman said behind me with a staggeringly condescending tone .

In her defense, the vegetable pouch could be confused with a juice box. But, it wasn’t a juice box. Then again, who cares if it were? With my mall high deflated, I walked out of the store with two matching shirts in my bag and two big insults on my shoulders, and headed to the ice cream counter.(I didn’t really. I actually went to Bebe and bought the cutest little romper in all of stores in which mom’s of three should probably stop shopping (maybe soon). It is interesting to me how quickly we pass judgement and voice it, though.) I sort of wished all three kids were there so I could have smiled off a “have you ever heard of birth control?”, “are you done having kids yet?” or “get it out of the way while you are still young.”

5) I’ll remember to bring in my credit card, or try to remember, I have a lot of people to move.

It was our weekly Tuesday Target trip to stock up on baby food pouches so that I can endure more public insults regarding my kids sugar intake, and other household essentials, like dinosaur birthday pinatas. I piled my cart high and wide, Rita made friends with strangers (as always) and Josie threw her shoes at other unsuspecting strangers because she thinks its funny and she’s sort of right. Upon checking out and bagging all of the bags into the cart, I realized my wallet was not with me, but in the car. Since it was my first ever offense at this sort of thing, and with full confidence that I will probably do it again several times, I wasn’t too hard on myself. The store clerk had other opinions. I de-bagged my cart as she suspended my order and non-purposefully annoyed her to the brim by “taking all of her space.” I ran out as fast as a mom with two kids in a shopping cart bigger than a car could go. When I came back, I paid, and apologized, trying to make light of it and thanked her for her patience that she didn’t actually have, but hoped, in saying it, that maybe she would start having some. The jokes fell on annoyed ears and rolled eyes. My patience talk just seemed to irritate her more as evidenced by her asking a young man to “please assist this young woman to her car. She seems to need some extra assistance.” I accepted, and hoped she wasn’t further offended by how funny I found the situation to be.

How is your week going? Any one else gone running and been confused with a 15 year old?

Mom confessions.

1) This morning it took me 47 minutes to run 3 miles. It’s not that I’m that slow of a runner, Josie is just that obsessed with putting toys in toilets and flushing.

2) Last night eating dinner took 60 minutes and produced 4 billion tears. Even when asparagus is wrapped in bacon, its still not cheese.

3) Apparently, I have been entirely too liberal with my justification “if you can’t make it to the bathroom when we are playing outside, it’s ok to pee in the grass.” Today, during preschool pickup, after hearing 8 people say “wow, looks like you have your hands full,” as well as, “can I help you carry someone?” James announced, “I have to pee.” I took a deep breath full of frustration, as the burn in my left bicep grew stronger from carrying the baby seat that weighs 400 lbs, at least, for too many minutes. We had gone inside 3 different times. The first time was to get his backpack. The second time, he forgot his homemade kite. The third time, he wanted a cookie and there was a whole table full of them displayed for all the children to see just before lunchtime. Just as I was about to open the door to go back inside yet again, he said, “it’s ok mommy,” and proceeded to pull down his pants.

4) And speaking of pee, who makes the best plastic sheets? We need some.

5) I was asked to make eggplant parmesan for a gathering this evening. Josie decided she wanted to help mid greek yogurt snack. The thing about Josie is one minute she’s happily sitting perfectly and quietly eating neat spoonfuls of a high protein dairy snack. In the next second, as I turned around from manning the stove, she’s on the counter with a handful of already breaded eggplant in her very creamy yogurt drenched hand. My apologies to all of the party-goers.

6) For some reason, I have a hard time paying attention to the actual temperature of one day to the next. On Tuesday, I saw the sun, and put shorts and tshirts on all of my kids and myself, because its almost May, and I already put the coats away. Tuesday morning was actually cold, and the hats and coats on every single kid at James’ school quickly drew my attention to my lack of it.

7) A few weeks ago, there was an incident with Rita, a grocery cart, a parking lot, and the wind. Guardian angels are real.

8) The first place commenter on this blog is…my mom.

Play Date Lessons

Play-date Lessons Learned

1) When toddler boys use chalk on the patio they are not simply drawing haphazard blue lines. The intensity with which the chalk repeatedly and steadily hits the pavement and the iron clad clenching grip is actually an indication of a vividly clear and rather violent imagination. Although they have yet to be able to draw figures to clearly express their mental visions to the limited imaginations of adults, the chalk drawing theme was a shared understanding, and far from politically correct.

“Mine is a bad guy,” Bailey said.
“Yea, mine is a bad guy too. This (line that looks like all of the other lines) is his gun,” said James.
“Wow, that’s a good gun.”
“Yea, it is.”

And the implications of early exposure to Darth Vador ensue…

2) Even if breakfast occurs 45 minutes before the scheduled playdate, if snack time is initiated by an adult, 6 children 3 and under will demolish 12 smoothies and a container of peanut butter pretzels before I can get my baby up from her morning nap.

3) Children are ready for the pool as soon as the sun shines for more than 5 minutes. And when the oldest child takes after his mother’s dego side, he will be dripping sweat from his hairline to his toes with cheeks so very bright red and slightly swollen within 45 seconds of sun/heat exposure (referring to my son as “dego,” isn’t actually derogatory because according to urban dictionary “dego” originated from the spanish/italian name for James. Appropriate name if I ever heard of one.)

4) Three year olds and almost three year olds are terrible at sharing. This is an especially relevant lesson in regards to my three year old. He was an awful kind of terrible. My apologies to all playmate participants from today until he leaves for college.

5) My son is not nice to girls yet. Whip lash pushing, ramming riding cars into fences, stealing objects out of hands, hoarding entire bowls of grapes, etc, etc, etc. He will probably apologize once he realizes that befriending his girl cousins will greatly behoove his high school social life. Until that day, however, the carpet on the time-out step is going to wear rather quickly from being sat on so frequently.

6) At a play-date, announcing “I have to Poop” is perfectly appropriate and acceptable behavior. Such an announcement is actually appreciated by the mother as she in charge of wiping, and poop surprises are the worst kind.

7) The first time James said, “I’m nervous,” and thats the reason ” I hit/pushed/was terrible all day” was slightly impressive. He identified his feelings using a descriptive word. The 10th time he said it, however, is only an indication, that I, his mother, was well worked by toddler manipulation and should have kept to “stay in time-out until you are ready to play nice.” From now on, I realize “I’m nervous,” should be put into the same category as “I’m too busy,” “My back hurts,” “My feet are swollen,” and “I have a headache,” as things James says when he wants to get out of doing other things that he heard his mother say first to get out of things she doesn’t want to do and makes Jim do instead.

8) The self sufficiency of Josie and Rita is awesome. Rita pretty much lays down anywhere she is put, and Josie asks for nothing and cleans up granola bars and glasses left on the patio. Josie’s post-play date decision to learn how to open locked doors when she is napping, however, is not appreciated, and if someone, anyone could tell me how to keep her in bed I’d maybe remain sane!!!

9) Play-dates with other moms who put their crawling babies on dirty floors, and don’t care about messes/pushing/hitting/high sugar intake are the only ones I should ever attend or host. They are also the most fun.

10) Children (my children) most want to have a play-date once it is over. While playing with other children who don’t live next door remains an option, its all “she stole my toy, I’m so nervous.” As they are piling in the mini-van ready to go home, its “stay, I want to play, you are my friend, smile/giggle/smile/giggle” Grass is always greener, even when you are three.

Mom confessions

1) We ran family errands on Thursday. Stop one: charcoal for our grill. The destination is entirely too far for three year olds still learning how to wear underpants. But, when you buy your husband a Big Green Egg grill, you agree to joining a weird grill cult in which there is only one place to buy charcoal and its really far away. Stop two: Jim “forgot” to eat breakfast. He insisted Wendy’s was our only choice. I have literally never heard my back seat more quiet. I called a “not it” on diaper duty and let it go. Stop three: The health food grocery store. It seemed like the most reasonable of destinations after a visit to the Redhead’s. It had so much great stuff to equalize the french-fry binge, and minus the few hipsters sipping coffee in between bites of kale, it was completely empty. My excitement began to dissipate when everyone started screaming (except Rita of course). James demanded dairy free ice cream (I’m positive he would have spit it out). Josie threw asparagus, James threw some weird type of sausage, Rita laughed at hipsters who looked at her like an alien making them so so so uncomfortable, and Jim’s frustration grew with the number of items I put in my cart. It was most definitely the most children and teary mucus the store had ever seen, and we are most most most definitely never wanted back (shopping carts in those places are small for a multiple baby-carrier not welcome reason.)

2) After a few promising trips to the bathroom, Josie received underpants in her Easter basket. Tonight, I learned, the hard- bacteria filled mess- way, that she is not even a little bit ready for them.

3) This evening marked a very special occasion for the family. We played our very first family boring game: Candy Land. The Lord of the LIcorice is just as terrifying as he used to be. And I am entirely too competitive to ever ever play a game with two toddlers and a baby.

4) I thought that filling our Easter Eggs with agave nectar jelly beans would make the all day candy fest less disgusting/sickening/too many diaper bombs. It makes absolutely no difference.

5) The Easter bunny (the Easter bunny sucks, why isn’t Jesus enough?!) brought us terrible head colds. Today, I fell asleep for 35-45 seconds on the couch while the kids were playing/spreading snot everywhere. I woke up to James and Josie stuffing jelly beans in Rita’s mouth. When I sternly said (loudly yelled at them) “you will make her choke,” James told me, “It’s ok mom, I already chewed them for her.”

6) I’ve known for a while that my youth is dying or is already dead. Today’s friend’s birthday/Easter celebratory trip to Sephora offered further confirmation. When asked, “which free product would you like?” I responded, after counsel from my friend, “the wrinkle cream.”

7) Additional dying youth evidence: I recently bought a new vacuum and was excited about it.

8) And in other vacuum news, the anti-1950’s housewife feminists are really missing out on a few things. Vacuuming is, in fact, much more fun when wearing fancy jewelry and heels.

9) Regardless of my excitement over my new vacuum and discovery of high fashion cleaning, my floors are still really, really dirty.

Mom Confessions

1) In the latest issue of “Adventures in Potty Training,” James escaped his white porcelain nemesis with stealth creativity yet again. As I stood for what seemed like hours feeding Rita a never ending bowl of smashed green goo, he knew my attention was focused on things other than his Buzz Light Year underpants. Out of the kitchen window I spotted him. He stood steady and confident, bare-bummed, with a golden stream shooting across the porch, his face grinning and eyes gleaming with pride and success.

2) In honor of the spring snow day, I made pancakes for breakfast. Josie ate seven. When I told her eight was six too many, she cried. Her belly was protruding and syrup drenched every part of her and my kitchen (what else is new). I take full responsibility. I ate blueberry pancakes three times a day everyday for the last 6 weeks of her gestation. It matters.

3) There has been an almost full size basketball hoop in my kitchen for 6 days.

4) Last week I turned 27. The kids, unable to tell the difference between their birthday and someone else’s, were crushed when they suspected that I did not bake a birthday cake for myself. Explaining that not baking is the best present of all, especially on a day on which drinking Guinness is the only appropriate activity, fell on refusal to listen ears. I took a cookie that Josie had already bit and decided she hated, covered it in Nutella and stuck in a candle. It was the happiest of all birthday cakes.

5) I mentioned to my sister that James has learned “Damn it,” with appropriate usage and timing. As a mother of 6, she’s learned a thing or two. “Did you lie to him?” she asked. “Yes, millions of times, but I’m not sure what you are saying.” “Regina, it’s SLAM IT!” Works like a charm-swearing eraser.

6) Last week I went out to dinner with friends. Jim was in charge of bed-time. He thinks its funny to dress our baby girls in James’ old clothes. I don’t know why its funny to him, but this is the same guy who has been saving his baby teeth for 19 years to prove to his parents that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist. When Rita was still wearing the blue-football pajamas at 3pm when the delivery men arrived to set up a piece of furniture, things got real confusing, real fast. I said one thing, James said another, they were noticeably uncomfortable.