Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Eat at McDonald's. Don't Judge Me.

(image from

Here's a strange conversation I had at my local Mickey D's.

McDonald's Counter Lady: Do you want some ketchup for your fries?
Me: No thanks. Could I have some salt?
MCL: How many?
Me: Two. If that's okay.
MCL: (hesitating) You know, the fries are already salted.
Me: I like a lot of salt.
MCL: That's not good for you.
Me: I know.
(We stare at each other a few minutes.)
MCL: (finally giving me the salt) Okay. Here you go.
Me: Thanks?

Okay. Seriously. I'm eating at MCDONALD'S. Do you think I want a lecture about healthy eating at this point? Come on!

And by the way, McDonald's, wouldn't you go out of BUSINESS if we all started caring about healthy eating? And then you, counter lady, would have no JOB!


I'm just saying....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's hard to gossip by yourself

Conversation between me and my 7th grade daughter:

Me: So I heard your friend's parents are getting a divorce.
GG: How did you hear that?
Me: Her mom put it on facebook.
GG: Oh.
Me: So do you know anything about it? Like why are they getting divorced?
GG: (silence)
Me: How are they doing? Are the kids okay?
GG: (silence)
Me: I mean I'm not being nosy. I just want to know if your friend is okay.
GG: (silence)
Me: Okay. I AM being nosy. Can you tell me anything? Anything at all?
GG: (silence)

Wow. She really shut me down.

Who's the adult here again?

(image from

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Traveling TP Incident

I was standing at the playground in my neighborhood watching the twins the other day when GG ran up to me and handed me half a roll of toilet paper.

That's it. That's all she did. She didn't explain anything. She just ran off.

I looked at the TP in my hand. Then I looked at the other mom I'd been talking to. She said, "Um.... was that your daughter?"

I considered denying the relationship, but it seemed pointless. I mean, as weird as it is for your kid to hand you a roll of TP, it's weirder for a stranger to do it.

So I said, "Yeah."

Then I continued to hold the TP until it was time to walk back home. After all, with five girls in the house, I can't afford to waste even half a roll.

When I got home, I asked GG what was up with the TP. She giggled uncontrollably, then explained that her older sister threw it at her, so she brought it to me.

Was that supposed to be some form of indirect tattling? I have no idea.

If so, it was wildly ineffective tattling, as no one got into trouble.

All that happened was, I looked really weird holding a roll of TP at the playground for an hour.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why did I volunteer for this again?

I have tendency to volunteer to do things without thinking it through all the way. And then regretting it.

So I've been trying to remember to ask myself before offering to do something: "Do I really want to do this?"

"Do I have time to do this?"

And more importantly, "Do I even know HOW to do this?"

Oddly enough, it's the last one that trips me up a lot. Yes, I have volunteered to do things that I don't actually know how to do. This is because I am stupid.

So his week I volunteered to make 100 candy bags to give away at a women's fair as a promotion for my Bible study group. Without thinking it through.

So, in my classic style of procrastination, I waited until the day of the fair to even start.

I had to make and cut out stickers with the group logo, and buy tiny bags, etc., that morning. I figured it would take me an hour or two to do all that and fill the bags.

Did I mention I'm really bad at estimating what exactly I have time to do, and how long it will take me to do it?

Since I seemed to be running behind, I skipped going to a separate store for candy, remembering that I had a jumbo bag of M-n-M's at home.

The problem was, it turned out that jumbo bag was half-empty. And it took forever to fill all the bags and put on the stickers. All in all, I DIDN'T THINK IT THROUGH.

So, for you ladies at the fair who only got three M-n-M's in your bag, or who got Skittles or Reese's Pieces instead, I apologize.

I hope you don't hold it against my group. Or report me to God.

(He already knows anyways....)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I have a confession to make....

The National Enquirer

I purchased a copy of the National Enquirer today.

Yep. I was standing there in line at the convenience store and I saw the headlines:




I just couldn't resist.

Also I was already buying a candy bar, a cinnamon roll, and a diet coke. I figured I can't look any more  trashy to the clerk.

Might as well go whole-hog and buy the Enquirer.

By the way, the cinnamon roll was awesome, I gave my daughter the candy bar, and the National Enquirer was full of insinautions, half-truths, and flat-out lies.

All in all, a fun purchase.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Schedule, Interrupted

So it's the second week of school here in paradise, and I've got my drop-off and pick-up schedule pretty much down.

(Oh, you can skip the schedule and go straight to the beginning of the actual story if you want. I just want to feel validated by writing out the boring junk I do all day so it looks like I'm really accomplishing something.)

(image from

Morning schedule:
7:05 Leave house
7:15 Drop ET and GG at their faraway bus stop
7:20 Bus picks up ET
7:25 Bus picks up GG
7:30 Drop Boo at the elementary school
8:00 Take the twins to preschool

Afternoon schedule:
12:30 Pick up the twins from preschool
1:45/1:55 Pick up ET at the high school
2:05 Pick up Boo at the elementary school
2:35 Pick up GG at the middle school

12:30 Pick up the twins from preschool
1:15 Pick up Boo at the elementary school
1:45 Pick up GG at the middle school
1:55 Pick up ET at the high school

12:30 Pick up the twins from preschool
2:05 Pick up Boo at the elementary school
2:35 Pick up GG at the middle school
2:40 Pick up ET at the high school

Yeah. I know, that was tedious to read through. Believe me, it's worse to LIVE through.


Wednesday, in only week TWO of school, my schedule already got messed up.

There was a big monkey wrench thrown in, called My Kids Forgot Stuff. Perhaps you other moms have also encountered this little snag in the day's schedule before.

We got to the elementary school, and Boo said, "I forgot my notebook."

I said cheerfully, "That's okay. We'll go back and get it. There's plenty of time."

We drove back home. On the way, my cell phone rang.

It was GG. "I forgot my school ID."

Since my oldest already went to the middle school I know this is a detention-punishable offense. So I said, still cheerful, "Okay. I'm going home anyways; I'll get it."

We got to the house and Boo ran in and got her notebook. I ran in also and looked on the hook where GG is supposed to hang her bag and ID.

The ID was not there.

Neither was it in the hallway, the bathroom, or the girls' bedroom.

I called GG and she didn't answer. I texted her. I gave up and left.
I took Boo back to school and my phone rang again. I pulled over in front of the school to explain to GG less-than-cheerfully that she needed to go to the office and tell them her ID was lost. Surely she is not the first seventh-grader who has forgotten her ID in the history of that school. They must have some provision for this situation.

While I was explaining this, a military policeman knocked on my window and informed me that I could not park there.

I said, in a non-cheerful way, that I was not parked. I hung up on GG and left.

Then I texted her:
You got me in trouble with the MP's.

She texted me:
Im sry
And yet ur still txting
niiiiice mom

I took the twins to preschool and walked them in, which takes about fifteen minutes since I have to make them hang up their backpacks, stow their lunchboxes, find the little turtles with their names, et cetera.

During that time GG informed me that I needed to bring her $5 for a new ID so that she would not get detention.

I seriously considered texting her back:
Im sry
And just moving on the the next item on my schedule: FREEDOM!

However my general policy is to allow a grace period for forgetfulness. That is, I will bring you your forgotten lunch/homework/whatever ONE TIME. If you forget again you are on your own. I am not your personal courier.

So I took her the five bucks.

I didn't get much gratitude for all this trouble. But I did get to resume my schedule.

I went on to... you guessed it!.. FREEDOM!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm going to be serious for one minute here

I know, I know. I said I was going to be funny.

But hey, it's my blog. If I want to hop up on my own personal soapbox, I can. (Don't worry. I'll hop back off quickly.)

A friend of mine recently dared to ask on facebook, "Do the rest of you stay-at-home moms get bored at home all day?"

She was rewarded for this bit of bold honesty with a barrage of Polly-Sunshine advice such as, "You should do school at home with the kids," and "I would clean or cook. Laundry alone takes so long!"

Other moms said helpful things like: "Really??? Are you kidding...I feel like there's NEVER a dull moment all day." and "Wow this question baffles me!  How I wish I were bored!"

Excuse me ladies, but I'm going to call BULL. You are all telling me that you are supremely fulfilled by wiping butts and noses all day?

You're telling a woman who is bored by the sameness and seeming nonproductiveness of her days with a small child to DO MORE WORK?

How about we tell the truth here. At least among ourselves?

Being a stay-at-home mother of small children is mind-numbingly boring. This is the truth no one wants to admit.

This job requires constant attention yet almost no engaging of your actual brain. It adds up to days boredom and frustration, for which you are occasionally rewarded with little moments of wonderful.

It's an important job. This is why we do it. But it's (gasp) not really all that fun.

But instead of admitting this, even to each other, we stay-at-home moms are apparently expected to pretend that we LOVE EVERY MINUTE.

God forbid we should tell the truth. "I love my kids, but they drive me nuts."

Now maybe you disagree. Maybe some of you mothers really are ecstatic every second of every day at home with your little darlings.

But for me personally, I love about ten seconds at a time.

I love that ten seconds when my little boy brings me a flower and says, "I love you Mommy." Before I realize the flower came off the neighbor's bush... which I told him not to touch.

I love that ten seconds when my daughter says to her sister, "You're my best friend." Before they start fighting again over something stupid.

I love that ten seconds when my little girl comes into my room in the morning and says, "I want to sleep with you Mommy." Before she starts wiggling and kicking me and generally making it impossible to sleep.

But these lovely little ten-second snippets are accompanied by hours and hours of everyday, not-so-fun, boring stuff. Your days are full of the dull stuff you have to slog through to get to that magic ten seconds.

And maybe that's why I really appreciate the good moments when they come.

Because it's worth it.

(For another take on this same subject, check out

Monday, August 6, 2012

A (Disturbing) Conversation With A Teenager

In the car, after picking up my oldest daughter from high school:

ET: You know, Mom, they have cell-phones with a built-in taser.
Me: NO.
ET: I didn't even ask anything! But it would be cool....
Me: NO.
ET: But what if I get attacked?!
GG: (from the backseat) Mom! She'll TASE me!!!
ET: I wouldn't!
Me: I said NO. You would tase your sisters.
ET: Well....
Me: You would! We all know it.
ET: Only once. Or twice.
Me: NO.

Friday, August 3, 2012

School starts early here in Hawaii

ICCE Illinois School Bus.jpgThat's right! It really is paradise.....

No seriously, school started this week and I for one am excited about it. (The kids, not so much...)

This year I've got five kids in school every day at four different schools. This is super great while they are all gone, but not a great when it's time to drop them all off (at the same time) and pick them all up (at different times.)

I envision spending a lot of time in the car again this year.

Why are they not riding the school bus, (photo from wikipedia) you may ask? Well, I admit that was my plan.

I even paid for the bus to pick up my oldest two daughters. (Yes, in Hawaii you have to PAY for the school bus. Paradise ain't cheap, folks!)

But...due to contsruction in my neighborhood, the bus can't get up the hill, and the stop has been moved to like a mile from my house.

Yes, I found that out AFTER I had paid. Grrrr....

Anyways, since all my facebook friends were posting First Day of School photos of their smiling offspring, I made my older three kids line up outside with their backpacks and take a picture.

Apparently they didn't get the memo about the SMILING part.

But we did get a nice picture when preschool started a few days later. The twins were excited about school starting.

As my older kids say, "Of COURSE they like school! In preschool all they do is color and play outside!" Then they predict darkly, "They'll figure it out later."

But who is happiest about the first day of school?