all images © Meghan Boyer Photography

Saturday, December 31, 2011


We terrorized six homes, five gas station bathrooms, three restaurants, two museums, and countless friends and family, all in less than a week.  Our first stop was nanny and pop-pop's house, it's December 23rd.  Before we leave our house, Grady decides to pee on the potty.   As his feet dangle over the edge he looks up at me. So innocent and wide eyed.  He says very seriously,  "Daddy has a big penis."  Come on!  Really?  Is he paying you to say that?  Daddy is not allowed to babysit anymore.  In the van, we blast the music.  Lil and I belt out our favorite eighties songs.  Madonna comes on and she wants to know what a Material Girl is.  We talk about having material things compared to spending time with our family and friends.  Lil says, "So tell me about this material girl again...she spent all her money at Chuck-e-Cheese and McDonald's?"  Well...something like that.

On Christmas Eve we arrive at Aunt Emma and Uncle Chris's.   They have less than five monthes to go before their house is overtaken by offspring.  We decide to start breaking them in.  Grady teasingly rattles thier Taiwanese tea set and shoves the plunger into the toilet a few times for good measure. Emma often wonders if the fact that she and Chris are Grady's godparents is some kind of sign of what's in store for them.  I think she'd better start putting some big bucks into the offertory basket on Sundays.  At least he's cute. You could have an ugly kid.  Later that night we visit the great grandparents. When you get there and half the party leaves or has already come and gone, you start to sniff your armpits but then you remember you have kids.  You blame it on them. 

On Christmas morning Lillian manhandles my stocking.  She takes a deep breath. "Mom," she tells me, "don't cry, but there's nothin' in your stocking."  Well thats because my Santa Claus is your father.  You want stocking stuffers after you get married?  Kill off Mrs. Claus and marry Santa.  I can see her mind working. We load up three kids, a hundred pound dog, a load of crap and shuffle off  to Buffalo.  We have many places yet to bless.

Wouldn't you know it.  That big, fat, super jerk followed us to Buffalo.  Two days after Christmas, we're on our way to the science museum with four kids packed into the van.  Our fourth is Conor.  Conor is the seven year old uncle to Lillian, Grady, and Dempsey.  He's Sean's youngest brother and our godson.  Sean and I were married for five years before Lillian was born.  His parents got tired of waiting for a grandchild so they had their own. Warning. They are professionals.  Do not try this at home.  Our first stop was Ted's for hotdogs.  After lots of stares, flying french fries, uneaten hot dogs, and Grady's swan dive into the gallon of lemonade they dumped on the floor, it was time to take our four terrorists elsewhere.  Back on the road, Sean was cut off by a big, fat, super jerk.  Those weren't the exact words that he chose but we knew what he meant.  Lil was curious, "Is that the same jerk?"  Nope, not the same one. That is the Buffalo, big, fat, super jerk.  Conor shared his own story about a jerk he came to know while driving with his dad.  His jerk was a  guy on a motorcycle, riding on the sidewalk. Conor named him 'jerk ferk'.   Lillian thought about it,  "Now we have three jerks!"  She was daydreaming about her own jerk and not listening to Conor's story.    She got real excited and blurted out,  "I'm going to call up your dad and call him 'jerk ferk'."  "Noooo!" Conor said "the other guy was the jerk ferk!" Poor Grandpa. 

The following day the aquarium is lucky to have us.  Lillian takes one look at the lobster and asks, "Is that lobster as old as you Grandma?"  Poor Grandma. The fish are committing fishicide.  They are petrified of Grady. Conor's fish must have sent the glub glub memo.  The night before Grady had tossed his paci, some legos. a ping pong paddle, and an entire container of food into Conor's fish tank.  Poor fish.  On the way home Lil and Conor talk about the overfed fish.  Conor is curious,  "Do you feel bad for me?"  Lil nods adamently, "I would want to kill him."  She keeps going, "I hope they didn't die while we were gone.  Don't you hope they didn't die?  I feel bad for Grady and the fish.  You might have to get new fish.  They might be dead.  When we get home let's run upstairs real quick and see if they're dead."  She talks too much.  Last week she killed off the big, fat, super jerk, and now it's her brother and the fish.  Talk about a terrorist.  And I told her to rid the world of Mrs. Claus in exchange for stocking stuffers.  At least Madonna is just making bad money decisions.  Bad mommy.  Who wants to invite Lil to their sleep over party?

Later the conversation turns to Lil's new American Girl Bitty Baby, Molly.  She's squealing, "Guess who's going to baptize my baby?"  I really have no idea and I'm afraid to ask. "Grady!" she smiles proudly.  Lord help us.  She does love that little terrorist.  She squeezes a plastic tube into Molly's mouth.  "I'm giving my baby medicine because I dropped her on her head and now she has a headache."  Lil complains,  "She's still crying."  Welcome to my world sister. Sean tells her maybe Molly is hungry.  She thinks about it, "But my boobies are under my shirt and I can't get to my shirt!"  Damn carseat buckle.  Blocks those boobies every time.

We are finally back home.  All homes, gas stations, restaurants, and museums have recovered. Madonna is still working on her financial issues.  Emma and Chris are having a girl.  The jerk didn't follow us home.  Mrs. Claus and Grady are alive and well.  Molly recovered from her head injury and eventually stopped crying.  The fish are fine, thier New Year's resolution is to lose weight.  We really miss our Buffalo family.  And Sean has a really big...heart.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Locked In

Last night I tuck Lil and Grady into their bunk beds.  We read books, sing songs, have tickle tortures, airplane rides, and I hug and kiss each one.  We recite our prayer, "Dear God, thank you for the wonderful day that we had, help us to have another one tomorrow.  God bless mommy, daddy, Lillian, Grady, Dempsey, Finn, all my grandparents, all my friends and relatives, and please help my mommy and daddy to cope with me."  I say "Don't let the bed bugs bite."  And  Lil's nightly response is "But if they do, hit them with a shoe!" Nightlight on, lights off.  Who doesn't love bedtime?  It's right up there with naptime.   Then the children are supposed to sleep soundly and sweetly and the parents snuggle and cuddle by the fireplace, drinking heavily spiked egg nog, discussing their day right?  That must be the neighbors. Jerks.

Two minutes later, "Moooom, Grady pooooped!" Lillian sings to me.  Must stop singing songs at bedtime.  Will teach her how to hold her nose tomorrow.  I run upstairs, change Grady, and plop him back in bed.  Soon after, I hear noises. I'm back up the stairs to find Grady wacking away at the tea party with a blow up bat.  Should have deflated bat yesterday.  Go back downstairs.  More sounds.  Back upstairs.  Grady is pulling a plank of wood off the bunk bed and dragging it out the door.  Must get wood glue.  Back downstairs.  I hear galloping.  Back upstairs.  Grady is galavanting down the hallway on his stick horse.  Take horse into our room.  Back downstairs.  Stuff is falling.  Back upstairs.  Grady is on the floor reading a book.  Grady... reading is bad...get back into bed.  Lillian announces that all of our talking is bothering her when she is trying to sleep.  Such an angel.  She probably has a secret stash of pops in her bed and  doesn't want me up there long enough to discover it.  Back downstairs.  Furniture is moving.  Back upstairs.  Grady has dragged over his miniature chair to Dempsey's bedroom door, he needs an accomplice.  Back downstairs, with chair in tow.  Their bedroom light is shining bright.  Back upstairs.  Remove all lightbulbs, five if you're counting, from the room.  Lillian lets out an exaggerated yawn, "Mom is that you?"  Oh what a dear.  She's probably personally directing this whole debacle and allowing Grady to take all the credit.  What else are big sister's for?  Minutes later Grady is in the kitchen digging for flashlights.  I haul him back up the steps.  I pull out the big guns.  I am locking this door!  Go to bed now! 

When we moved into our house, over two years ago, we transitioned Lil from her crib to a bed.  She pulled the same stunts as Grady.  Must be in the genes.  I blame Sean.  I reversed the knob on her door so it would lock from the outside.  Not my finest parenting moment, I know.  I kept a stash of bobby pins in her room for the times she locked me in.  (Disclaimer... I always unlock the door...eventually.  Please do not report me to the Department of Social Services.  I worked for them before, they already know me.   And if you do, I will come to your house, steal all your bobby pins, and lock you in your bedroom.)  One day she was supposed to be taking a nap.  Instead she was banging down the door with her feet, shouting, "You home home?" 

My mommy guilt is setting in...I have locked my children in their bedroom.  This is horrible.  I must do better tomorrow.  There has got to be a better way.  Some people dream of beaches and far away lands.  I dream of this...  I gather up all the bobby pins in our bedroom and throw them in the kitchen trash can.  I dash to the basement, grab the screwdriver, and head back upstairs to our room.  I reverse the knob, push the button, pull the door closed...and lock myself in.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Big, Fat, Super Jerk

On Saturday, Little Red Riding Hood (Lillian), her two sidekick woodland creatures (Grady and Dempsey), and I set off for grandmother's house (nanny's).  We were merging onto the forest path (Interstate 895) when the wolf (dump truck driver), tried to eat us alive.  There was swerving and beeping and I'm not sure exactly what I said, but 'jerk' must have been inserted in there somewhere.  I could have said way worse right? I will never live this down.

Lillian's carseat driving tirade... "Mom, why did that big, fat, jerk give you like, this much room?" she wants to know, holding her index finger and thumb only a half an inch apart.  "We should tell nan about that jerk.  She's not going to like it!" Yes, because nanny is very intimidating, she will certainly scare him away with her nanniness.  Lillian apparently got a good look.  "I looked up and he looked down and he sorta had a mean face. That big jerk.  He was old.  Not like me and Dempsey and Grady and you and daddy." So glad she doesn't think I'm old.  "He was being a super, big jerk.  You should call the police!"   We travel farther down the road and she nods to a car on her right, "At least he's not being a jerk."  Another truck comes by "I hope that's not the big jerk."

It had been a long day.  Sean was flying on a trip.  By the time he called at 9am, I had mistakenly thought it was 9pm and way past bedtime.  I called nanny and begged her to let us sleep over.  The night before, Grady had scribbled all over his face with a blue pen and told me,  "Me want that on my face."  I hadn't even bothered to wash it off.  It'll rub off on the pillow I reasoned.  Plus, the soap will just dry out his ornery sweet, two year old skin.  I must have jinxed myself because that morning he scaled our closet shelves to nab my mascara.  Soon after it was all over his face...blending right into the leftover pen marks.  I tried to explain that black and navy blue just don't go together but he just didn't get it.  So much for his fashion school scholarship to FIT.  The rest of the day went something like this.  By noon, Lillian had given birth to our new baby, she and Grady had eaten the last of the gumdrops off the gingerbread house, with Finn lending her big chompers for the gingerbread men. Dempsey climbed into the Christmas tree and was full of sap, the boys dumped over Finn's water bowl and used our floor as a slip and slide, and half the sand from the sandbox was all over the dining room.  Then Lillian invented a new use for the Alpha Omega Elite/Luxe Deluxe 3-In-1 box so she could watch Sponge Bob.  The quality preschool programming that it is.  Grady had some how decoded the lock box on the house for sale in our cul-de-sac and stolen the key,  and I lost Grady at least once in the front yard, only to find him in the shed.  Grady and Lil were arguing because he wouldn't pass her the soccer ball.  Lil complained, "I don't like Grady."  Grady disagreed, "Yes you do like me!"  We have to get to nanny's now!  So maybe I was in a bit of a hurry.  Maybe there wasn't as much merging space on the forest path as I thought. 

Leaving nanny's house the next day we drove by a church and Lillian spots the headstones.  "Mom, what are those places called again?"  I tell her it's a cemetery.  We talk about dead bodies like we talk about poop.  "And everyone will die?"  she asks.  "Even that big jerk?"  Great, my four year old is killing off the big, fat, super jerk.  Not really the Beaver Cleaver upbringing I was hoping for.  But then again I'm not June Cleaver. 

Tonight I'm cooking dinner and hear Lillian from downstairs, "GRADY, PULL UP YOUR PANTS AND PULL UP YOUR DIAPER!" I'm not sure I even want to go look...but I suppose I have to. Grady is in the bathroom...pants down...poopy butt...and a poopy diaper in the trash can. At least he threw it away.  Gotta love that kid, he's obsessed with trash cans, he throws away everything.  Dempsey is standing up, holding onto the toilet bowl, swishing his hand around in the pee and toilet paper that Lil forgot to flush. Who wants to eat?   At least he didn't drink it...well at least from what I can tell.  That is Finn's job after all.  How kind of Dempsey.  I congratulate myself for raising such thoughtful children.  And he's not even a year old yet!  Goooo mom!  They are watching Cars 2, an early Christmas gift from their great aunt and uncle.   Nasty Fransesco is on the screen.  Lil turns to me,  "Mom, is he a jerk?" 

You know what? I think I like that big, fat, super jerk.  He makes me smile. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mom Versus The Alpha Omega Elite/Luxe Deluxe 3-In-1

I hate carseats.  I always tell Lillian not to use the word hate, but I am the mom after all, so I'll say it... I hate carseats.  Why can't we just go back to the 80's when it was perfectly acceptable to lay your newborn across the backseat and pray that daddy didn't slam into the Ford Thunderbird in front of you.  Back in those days daddies drove through yellow lights like Mario Andretti, trying to avoid any abrupt stops.  I relish the days of my baby poop yellow booster seat. It had the bumpy texture of a popcorn ceiling and left imprints on the backs of my thighs in the summertime.  It doubled as my booster seat at the dinner table (unless of course my mom was too tired to bring it in from the car and just used the Yellow Pages instead).  You could choose to sit higher or lower with a simple flip of the seat.  If your toddler had a diaper explosion or barfed on your ten hour ride to the beach you could just hose it off.  No one was reading pages 47 and 48 of the owner's maual trying to figure out how to remove the seat pad for cleaning.  There were no seat pads.  No five point restraints,  LATCH systems, cup holders, rotating armrests, locking clips or headrests.  You just sat  on it and used the vehicle issued seat belt.  Except the adult sized seat belt felt like it was cutting your head off, so you'd just put it behind your back.  Perfect.  Now I have to start putting children in the van an hour before we go anywhere.  I pull out the scale and weigh each one, and cross reference their birth date with the calendar to see how how old they are.  With that information I determine if today they should be fully reclined or partially reclined, forward facing or rear facing, or if they're old enough to ride on the roof rack yet.

Dempsey got a new carseat today. An Alpha Omega Elite/Luxe Deluxe 3-In-1.  I'm impressed.  It sounds like a jet plane.  I decide to install the carseat before driving to preschool this morning.  I should know better.  I glance at the instructions, how hard can it be?  It certainly seems easy enough. I consider myself pretty efficient with carseats.  Sometimes when I'm bored at night, I time myself on removal and installation.  I have it down to two minutes and thirteen seconds per seat.  I put Lil and Grady in the van at 8:15...we don't need to be at school until 9 and it's only a five minute drive.  Plenty of time.  I set the seat to the fully reclined position, place it in, rear facing, and hook the two anchor straps.  I tighten like I've never tightened before.  Looks good to me, this baby's not going anywere.  Even the fire department would approve.  I sprint back into the house, grab that lucky baby, and buckle him in.  He looks like he's bent over trying to tie his shoe..if he knew how to tie a shoe.  Hmmm...this doesn't seem quite right.  Then I see the dreaded level line.  Apparently this line is supposed to be parallel to the's perpendicular.  The line is laughing at me.  No problem, I'm still cool as a cucumber.  It must not be fully reclined...I'll just loosen the straps, recline, and I'm good to go.  Except  the release button won't work. I press for 20 minutes.  I go back in the house,  snatch up various tools and jab at the release button.  The tools are laughing at me and so is that damn button.  I want to cry.  I am crying.  The neighbors are watching...they think I'm crazy.  I'm sweating my ass off and have to put on the air conditioning. The seat is stuck, there is no where else for Dempsey to sit, and today is Christmas Party day at school.  I strap him in and pray that none of the other mothers glance into the van at drop off.  Maybe I'll just keep his sliding door closed when I unbuckle him and sneak out the other side.  At least I know that seat isn't going anywhere.

I spend the rest of the day, working in 15 minute increments, trying to dislodge that seat.  I send Sean a lengthy text.  The audacity of him to be at work, instead of at home with me, crying over the car seat.  Jerk.  And those nervy kids actually want to eat lunch and play games.  Are you crazy?  Mommy has important work to do!  Don't you understand that Toys 'R' Us visits are at stake?  This is serious business!  I hear Sean come in the door.  I run downstairs and he's sitting at the dining room table talking with Lillian about their day.  Seriously?  You two have nothing better to do?  Why aren't you out there dealing with this catastrophic event!  We are just going to have to cut those straps right off!  That thing is never coming out!  We better start thinking about how we're going to trade in a vehicle that  has a permanent car seat in it!  We'll never get another car! WE WILL SPEND THE REST OF OUR LIVES DRIVING A MINIVAN!   Dempsey will be forever hunched over!  He'll never get into college and he'll never get married!  He'll never have children!  What is wrong with you?

Sean goes out to take a look.  The carseat is out and reinstalled within two minutes and thirteen seconds.  So maybe we'll be happy grandparents after all.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ten Reasons Why Alcohol Should be Served at Preschool Christmas Programs

Tonight was Lillian's preschool Christmas program.  She's been practicing for weeks.  Shooshing baby Jesus, cloping like a donkey's feet, nodding like Mary's tired head.  I should have been practicing too.  Honing my mommy skills. Sean was coaching his middle school basketball team tonight.  It was mom versus the triple threat.  Chasing three kids in the midst of the witching hour, tracking down four sippy cups before the black mold sets in, changing two poopy diapers, wiping Lil's butt after she poops on a toilet (I know, pooping on a toilet, it's the new fad), looking for stray poop in the family room after Grady removed his own diaper ( I won't tell you which couch in case you ever visit), ironing a dress, preventing Dempsey from chewing on the iron cord,  sitting on Dempsey in the outside chance he'll let me wipe his nose, shooing Grady out of every bathroom in the house, nursing one child, preparing edible food for all three, brushing Lil's hair into her requested side ponytail (for which I can only blame my own 80's obsession), slicking down Grady's cowlick, dispensing Benadryl to Dempsey (wishing I could justify giving it to the others), undoing Lillian's make up job, dressing myself and three kids in clothes free of snot and poop, then drying Grady's shirt after he took a 'bath' in the sink, and figuring out where the milk went after I found an empty gallon jug in Lil and Grady's bedroom (they blamed each other and Sean claimed the kids said I let them have it). By the time we were all buckled into the van, I just wanted to go back into the house and guzzle a beer...or five.  While I should have been paying attention to my rock star daughter and her motley crew of wailing classmates, I was instead coming up with my top ten reasons why alcohol should be served at preschool Christmas programs.

  1. The singing would have hurt less
  2. No one would mind that Grady was drinking the Holy Water.  It didn't do any good in case you   were wondering.
  3. The wine is already there, it'll go bad by Sunday anyway. 
  4. When Dempsey climbed onto the alter the other parents would have mistook him for baby Jesus instead of shooting me death glares for screwing up their photo op
  5. Because I really needed a beer 
Reasons 6 through 10...see below

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Christmas Story

The grocery store is always an adventure.  Today, we went to a different store than we normally do.  They only have the "old fashioned" carts.  No football field length carts with cars on the end.  No giant green lizard shaped carts.   And certainly not their all time favorite... the cartoon carts that show Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  We have to rough it.  Dempsey in the Bjorn, Grady in the seat (with the fake buckle that never actually works), and Lil hanging off the back end.  Battle #1 is over cheese balls.  I feel like I can't even say cheese balls just doesn't even sound appropriate.  Lillian wants cheese balls, Grady wants cheese puffs, and I want something that didn't cost $4.99 for a 12 oz package of puffed orange air.  Lillian wins.  Battle #2 is over who gets to hold the bag.  Grady wins.  Lil sobs.  Tonight she tells me, "And today I wasn't in a good mood because I was cryin' about those Cheetos."

In the van on the way home from the store I hear Lillian telling Dempsey a story, reading it from a blank notebook.  The only bits I can capture is something about Joseph kissing Mary and the dinosaurs and dragons gathering around baby Jesus.  This whole Catholic education thing really isn't working out for our family.  At Mass on Sunday Lil was singing "Lamb of God, you take away the seeds of the world."  And Grady was standing on the kneeler gyrating to My Soul In Stillness Waits.  Grady is already on the naughty list after trying to steal Santa's purple decorative present at the mall display.  He had done his duty and asked Santa for a gift and figured he should get one.  Lillian stands in front of our Christmas tree and farts for a full 30 seconds today.  She laughs so hard she falls over.  I'm sure there has to be some commandment out there, "Thou shall not fart on one's own Christmas tree."  But who knows, she may be in the clear.  She did comment, "Christmas is the best year of my life."  When Santa visited our neighborhood on the fire truck, Dempsey pulled his beard off.  They are all getting coal.

I really have to hear this Christmas story.  I ask Lillian if she will please read it to me.  She's annoyed, "Moooom, didn't you hear me tell it to Demsey?  It's like twenty pages long!"  She relents.  Maybe I shouldn't have asked...

A Christmas Story
By:  Lillian Barnum (in her own words)

"The Life of Joseph"
This is what actually happened in Heaven.  One day Joseph went to the desert.  Joseph saw a beautiful woman and he said, "What is your name?"  And she said, "It is Mary."  And Mary was about to have a baby Jesus.  The donkeys and the cows and the sheep all gathered around to see baby Jesus.  One day Mary went lookin' for Joseph and Mary found Joseph.  All the sisters and all the brothers came to the ball to see Mary and Joseph marry each other.  The two step sisters didn't even like that Mary and Joseph were gettin' married.  Santa was watchin' those stepsisters.  Then a superhero came and he put those step sisters into jail, even the step mother.  And they lived happily ever after.  Then Mary said, "Oh no!  It's midnight!" and her glass slipper fell off.  Joseph said, "I'll find this owner to the glass slipper."  And he went lookin' and they lived happily ever after.  The end.  The shepards and the wisemen all stayed at the stable to watch baby Jesus.  Then Mary saw her prince with the glass slipper and Joseph put the slipper on and it fit.  When Mary and Joseph came back from the ball, Jesus was all growed up.  And they lived happily ever after.  The end.

Pray for us.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Welcome Filiberto!

I get online this morning to manage the kids' savings accounts.  I'm patting myself on the back for being so highly organized (anal and controlling) and pull out my handy dandy notebook.  A slip of paper contains all the information I need.  My account number, customer ID, identifying image, and three word phrase that corresponds to the image.  I also have the answers to my four security questions.  Because really...who can remember which response they gave for 'What color did you paint your big toe on the second Wednesday of the month, in March of '87?'  For each child I have a customer number, account number, and pin.  I'm a little confused as to why I have a customer ID and not a customer number like the kids and why I have no pin.  But whatever.  Obviously these bank people know things.

Sorry kids, you can't go to college because mommy can't remember whether she chose a dartboard or a tulip for the super secret image or if she picked 'shoot me now' or 'shoot me later' for the corresponding phrase. But that's okay right? I'm sure the nice lady at the bank will give you a free lollipop for your generous donation. She may even let you pick the color. Lil...pop-pop always said you'd grow up to be a pole dancer right?  Now is your opportunity!  Isn't this great?  Don't look at me like I'm stupid!  Do you remember what color shoes Dora was wearing on episode 987?  The one you watched on Saturday, December 10th, 2011?  Ha!  It's a trick question! Dora always wears the same shoes!  Nanny nanny boo boo!

The login pops up and I enter my account number.  The next screen reads  'Welcome Filiberto!'  I double check my paper to make sure there wasn't an alias option...nope, didn't write it down.  Hmmm, I go back and start over.  This time I punch the numbers extra hard.  Didn't punch hard enough.  It still shows 'Welcome Filiberto!' and it continues 'If you are not Filiberto, pat your head and rub your belly and call 1-800-you're-a-loser.'   I call the number.  I tell my very nice customer service representative about my predicament.  She tells me she will put me on hold and when I hear the beep to enter my pin.  Well I don't have a pin!  She says I have three tries.  Or what, the phone explodes?  I don't know, so I give it my best shot.  No luck.  I am completely unable to guess a random six to ten digit number.  She gets back on the phone.  She ask me to enter what I have written down as my account number.   It works, it works!  I win!  I'm the winner! I AM IN!  I want to jump through the phone and make out with her.  It turns out what I thought was my account number is actually my pin! I totally wrote something down wrong...I'm not anal and controlling after all!  So long Filiberto!

Now, she says, comes the next step.  That other number I have, the customer ID?   Well now I get to go back and swap that out for a SAVER ID.  So now I won't need to remember the customer ID because I can make up my own, really easy Saver ID?  Oh no, no, no.  I'll still have my customer ID but now I'll have a Saver ID TOO!...Isn't that exciting?

Bank lady would like to help me start a 'grown up' account.   Well sure but I'd like to close my savings account with my other bank first.  You think I can do that online or over the phone?  She recommends I go right to the bank and take care of it in person.  You are right...they are sure to close my account when I roll in with the triple threat.  I'll be lucky if I can fit through the door with my double wide stroller.  I will be saving them by kindly vacating their premises.  They will probably throw in an extra twenty bucks if I switch.  At this point Grady is squealing for me to locate his beloved blankie and Lillian yells from the bathroom, "Mooooom, can you come wipe me?"  I think nice service represenative lady is done with me.  "Thank you again for choosing our bank...have I answered all of your questions today?"  Actually no, 'What was the name of your best friend's favorite animal's best friend when you lived on that street named after your mother's brother?'


Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Would Mother Say

I'm talking to my mom on the phone tonight and she says to me, "Lisa Marie...your children are sniffing each other's butts...please...when writing this blog just remember, WWMS...What Would Mother Say?"  I usually try not to think about what my mother would say as I go about my day.  She would be mortified.  While I'm on the phone with her, Dempsey is pulling up on my pant leg...jerking down my kid stained pants in the process.  Grady, who is supposed to only have his paci at bedtime, is yanking me over to one side and shoving said paci down my shirt, telling me "I don't have to go to bed now, right mom?" And Lillian is laying on the floor running her foot up my leg, the only one that Dempsey doesn't have a death grip on, while singing "Let's celebrate Kwanzaa."  This reminds me I need to shave.  I'm being molested by my children Mom!  What does my mother have to say about this scene?  "Lisa Marie...don't put that out there!"

Last night we were celebrating St. Nicholas a day late.  Lillian learned about St. Nicholas at school.  She wants to put her and Grady's shoes outside the bedroom door with the hopes that St. Nicholas will leave treats.  Grady takes the shoes from the hallway, placing them on the wrong feet, one velcro navy blue sneaker (his) and one purple patent leather mary jane (hers), and dances to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, booty style, on his bed.   What would mother say?   "Lisa Marie...those shoes are filthy, don't let him on the bed with those!"

Yesterday, after the boys and I picked Lil up from preschool we went to the library. The first thing we do is stop in the bathroom and I change both boys' diapers. We head to the kids section. All three scatter to play with toys and swipe books and dvd's from their shelves. In the time it takes Dempsey to topple over a chair, Grady has pooped.  This will be a short visit. I'm waiting for the other library patrons to start dropping dead from the fumes at any minute. At the check out I ask Grady to please sit down in the stroller. He looks at me pleadingly "Poop in my butt" he informs me. Thanks for telling us, I had no idea. The librarian thinks it's funny, she laughs. But doesn't volunteer to change his diaper. Time to change libraries. What would mother say? She would remind me of our visit to her library last month. Lil and Grady's uproarious puppet show full of sound effects and puppets flying over book shelves. Dempsey gnawing the paint (non toxic I'm sure) off of three puzzle pieces and knocking the remaining parts of nineteen puzzles onto the floor. The librarian comes over to reprimand us. My mom may not be allowed back. That's okay she would say, she never really liked books anyway.

Lillian spotted a stink bug on the bathroom ceiling this morning.  I climb up onto the vanity to grab it with a tissue and tell her "Don't ever do this."  That's what my mother would have said to me.  I try to grab it and it falls...onto the handle of the red toothbrush sitting on the counter.  Lil looks up at me and says "Mom, I'll use the green toothbrush."  Smart girl.  What would mother say?  She would say "Lisa Marie,  that is DISGUSTING...throw out BOTH toothbrushes.  And get a new ceiling"

At the end of each of my days what would my mother say?  I know what she would say because she says it everyday.  "Lisa're doing a great job... and I love you more than all the tea in China."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Sunday was spent at a Christmas parade.  Upon arriving home the first thing I did, (after schlepping into the house enough gear to outfit the whole Duggar family) was go up to my bedroom to change clothes.  I kick off my shoes and swap out my long sleeve shirt for a tank top hanging from the back of our linen closet.  Feeling very Mister Roger like, I can't help but turn to Finn and ask "Won't you be my neighbor?" She doesn't talk back.  I'm winning. I pull off my jeans, look down, and'll never guess...never in a million years.  Stuck to the front of my underwear is a maple leaf.   Held on by some unidentified sticky substance.  In the boys' diapers I've found a variety of foods and toys...never a maple leaf.  This is pretty cool.  No idea how it got there and probably don't want to know.  Maybe I should play the lottery today.

I once found a naked Barbie doll straddling a singing cow on wheels. Sean was at work so I texted him the picture. He texts me back "Did you pose them like that?" I would never think of such a thing! It obviously was one of your perverted children! I dismantle the toys and pray for Barbie.

Yesterday I come down to the kitchen to find Grady standing on top of our stainless steel trashcan.  He quickly returns to the counter an empty beer bottle from the night before.  "Drink beer"  he tells me.  Great.

Today I was bringing a pile of clean clothes into Lil's bedroom.  I walk in and find her perched up high on the top bunk...completely naked.  Sloppy, lopsided buns sticking out of each side of her head.  "Mom, I'm pretending to be a super hero...I need those pink polka dot pants."  Then she turns to Grady and offers "Grady, you can be my super hero helper and help me fight bad guys!"  To which he politely responds, "No thank you."

Later, I follow Grady into the bathroom to find balled up Christmas window clings.  Dempsey is napping but usually those two are partners in crime when it comes to window clings of any season.  They do not discriminate. Grady pulls them off the window and Dempsey eats them.  I hear they taste just like chicken.  I ask Lillian to put them back on the window.  She looks up at me and says "It's your responsibility, you're the mom."  Really?  Because I'm pretty sure there is nothing in the mommy handbook about window clings.  Plus you seem to forget I know you can't read it.

At the end of the day when I think of all the things I've found,  I can't help but smile. Hope you find something great today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dirty Birdies

I'm running the nightly bath all the while thinking....bathing is way overrated.  Those dirty birdies are just going to be filthy again the minute their feet hit dry ground, so what's the point?  I sort of remember the pediatrician telling me it dries out their skin to bathe everyday anyway.  Maybe that was for a newborn.  Newborn, schmuborn.  Isn't the term "newborn" relative anyway.  If I was one hundred years old and you were four...I would consider you "new born".   I really should be paying better attention at these well child visits instead of being so preoccupied with what naughty mommy habit Lillian is going to blurt out at any given moment.   Earning me a big, fat frown from my children's doctor, and possibly jeopordizing my mommy of the year award.   Oh darn. 

On this particular night after Lil and Grady jump Geronimo style into the tub,  I run to make sure Dempsey isn't biting off the outlet covers again. (I swear I only left the bathroom for one nanosecond...bye bye award).   Before even one bucket of water is dumped on the floor I hear Lillian say "Sniff my butt Grady!"  Bath time just got interesting.  I look in and what do you know...he's actually doing it.  Lillian is sticking her butt out, laughing so hard she cries.  Grady is leaning in, making big exaggerated sniffing sounds.  He's laughing too.  Great.  I hope the child psychologist has People in the waiting room.

FINN!  Your babysitting days are OVER!  You have set a terrible example!  We've been way over paying you anyway... you're going to have to find a new way to fund your pig ear habit.

This is just terrible. What a mean sister.  She could have at least washed her butt before she made her poor, defenseless, innocent baby brother smell it.  Grady!  Really?  Haven't we taught you better?  She's crazy!  Don't do anything she tells you!  And Lillian!  Keep your stinky butt to yourself!   

Moral of the story.  Don't be a dirty birdie butt sniffer.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Adventures

So my bad mommy secret is out...I let the kids open their Advent calendars as soon as they wake up in the morning.  All eight of them...calendars...not kids.  And I let them eat the chocolates right then and there.  Yes, we have three children and eight Advent calendars.  Our family is fabulous, that's where they all came from.  All but one.

One came from a little friend at Grady's Mom's Morning Out group at our church.  This kind child brought a calendar for each person in the class.  My dear Grady was so thankful he threw a full on, blow out tantrum right there on the classroom floor.  It was so bad his teachers were trying to bribe him with a Christmas Oreo cookie.  They couldn't have known that Grady could care less about those things.  He just licks the cream out then feeds the cookie remnants to our dog Finn.  And obviously Finn wasn't there to help him out.  

He wanted to open that calendar immediately.  Who wouldn't?  He can sniff out chocolate like no woman can.  "No, no, no"  I tell him sweetly..."It's only November have to wait until tomorrow...December 1st."  You know...thirty days hath September... April, June, and November? haven't learned that yet?  What kind of school is this?   He bolts out of the room, said calendar in his hot little hands and flings it across the hallway floor as we quietly and patiently wait the fifteen minutes for Lil's class to finish up.   Why are the other two year olds not acting this way?  My child is quite advanced.  Those other children must not know there is chocolate lurking behind those sealed up little doors.

For God's sake Grady...we are in a church!   You can have chocolate TOMORROW...doesn't that make it all better?   Duh! Why can't you understand that?    See... Dempsey's crawling on the floor away from the calendar...he gets it..he's headed straight for Harvard...he's going right towards that puddle on the bathroom floor...that is much more acceptable.  You just hold onto that calendar until tomorrow and look at the pictures.

Happy "two chocolates in" day.  Or in our case, sixteen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


"WATCH MOVIE"  Am I hearing things again?...wait no...that's a real child...wait are you sure? could just be those child like voices again.  I decide to take a peek.  When what to my wondering eyes should appear.  I will tell you this, it was not a minature sleigh hauled by eight tiny reindeer. It was Grady, paci in mouth, blankie in hand.

"WATCH MOVIE" he repeats in his muffled paci voice. Where the heck am I?...oh there's Sean...I must be in my bed....wasn't I just nursing someone on a couch like two minutes ago? did I get here?

 "Oh no buddy" I try to explain. " It's still the middle of the night" I whisper (it is 6 a.m. after all). "'s still dark outside....I'll come lay with you in your bed."  Hey, why not, I haven't slept in that bed yet in the past 6 hours.  I stumble and Grady weeble wobbles into the room he shares with Lillian.  We crawl into his bed...the bottom bunk. This is the warmest, softest, most comfortable bed in the house....why does our two year old have it? Note to self, discuss this with husband later.  

"See...we'll just sleep here a little while longer...then we'll watch a movie"  I try to be convincing.

"WAAAAA"  what the heck. 

"Mooooom...Dempsey's awake." I look up to see Lillian's upside down face hanging over the edge of the top bunk.   I give up...."Who wants to watch Cailou?"