The day before Halloween

With Halloween tomorrow night, I thought now might be a good time to review this:

Kids – don’t take candy from strangers.

Uhhh….unless it’s Halloween.  And THEN you can take candy from strangers.  As much as you want.

But before you eat your free-candy-gotten-from-strangers-in-exchange-for-dressing-oddly, let me look at it, because I need to see if it’s been tampered with and contains razor blades and/or poison.  Because I have so much experience with razor blades and poison???

So, to sum up, this healthy approach to candy has now been passed down to a new generation.

And thus ends our lesson.


Just wanted to quickly update you on my week-end.

I know, I know.  The week-end is outside of stay at home mom blog territory, but in this instance, I’m particularly proud of this data point so wanted to share…

Sonny (My son.  No, not actually named Sonny, just named Sonny HERE for the purposes of this blog and so as to protect his anonymity) and I went to a Mother/Son dance this week-end.  Not just any dance.  A ho-down!

Being a stay at home mom and all, I had time last week to go to the fabric store, get a $3.50 remnant of (crappy, constantly shedding) faux cowhide and make us matching vests!  Yes, matching vests!!  Super cute?  (Or bordering on TMFFT* Crazy Town?!)

Anyway…we both wore black pants, jean shirts, red bandannas and cowboy hats all culled from our closets and…….our matching vests!  Oh – also – unbeknownst to me, Sonny carried a pair of handcuffs (?!), a toy gun, and a sack of rocks(?!??!?!).  Nothing says ho-down like a sack of rocks.  Am I right?  Or am I right?!

I am proud to announce that…wait for it…wait for it…

WE WON!  There was a “best theme dressed” contest and we won.  2-$25 gift cards.  Best ROI of my life.  $50 gain in exchange for an investment of $3.50 on a fabric remnant?  Or should that be ROF?!

Nicely done, stay at home mom!

*Please see previous blog wherein I referred to TMFFT as an abbreviation for Too Much Flippin Free Time.

Chinese food

My daughter and I were preparing dinner.  Chinese food.  I was making chicken lettuce wraps and she was using toothpicks to make little fruit kabobs comprised of canned pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries (totally traditional Chinese fare, right?).  At which point I came up with the idea of serving the whole meal on the coffee table in the family room.

“Come on!  It’ll be fun!!” I said.  “We’ll sit on the ground and be a regular Chinese family tonight!”


then my daughter says “have you always wanted to be a Chinese family??” as if, with my fun-Friday-night approach to dinner, I was actually expressing some deep seated, Toni-Morrison-The-Bluest-Eye desire to be something I never would or could be. (full disclosure at this point – I’m not Chinese, but you probably already knew that from my fruit kabob description)

“Of course not, honey!  I’ve always wanted to be the family we are,” was my immediate reply.

But the question deserves some consideration.  I mean, despite frequently channeling the obsessive and frantic Tiger Mom persona of my Chinese sisters, would I really want to BE one of them??

Let’s see.  They’re probably way better cooks.  And the newscasts make it seem like they have tiny houses to clean.  [plus]

But their everyday-wear seems to all be in grays and browns.  Not my best colors.  [minus]

And the women seem exceptionally slender.  And petite.  [plus again]

But the deciding factor in not wanting to be a Chinese mother would really have to be…that I wouldn’t have been able to spend a cold, snowy Colorado school-day-off with the people I love most in the world cooking Chinese food and sitting at a coffee table eating it.

God bless the USA.  And God bless us.

Addams Family Values

With Halloween coming up, we’ve been watching Addams Family Values.  Along with being a remake of a good (if creepy) t.v. show, it’s a totally stupid – and actually quite horrible – movie.  But something the mother (Morticia Addams) said to her husband, Gomez, really resonated with me:

“I’m just like any modern woman trying to have it all. Loving husband, a family. It’s just, I wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.”

Yeah.  What she said.  Except maybe that last part.


Saw a bumper sticker the other day…

“Every mother is a working woman.”

Just to level-set, let’s define someone who “works” as someone who gets paid for what they do.  So in that context, is every mother a working woman??  No.

And it’s that kind of “well…uh…I…uh…’work’ [winky wink]….uh…” drivel, made up by stay at home moms, that drives me ape.  I just don’t get it.  You’ve got a super sweet gig, Girlfriend!  Why trivialize it by acting and sounding all defensive about being a “working” woman?!

It does NOT make you sound empowered and happy with your lot in life.  Rather, you sound bitter and like-you-would-have-made-a-different-choice-if-you-could.  And that “I’m the CEO of the XYZ Family” is just nonsense.  So stop.

If you don’t know what it’s like to work AND be a mom, just stop.  I’m serious.  This has got me all riled up!  Can you tell?!

To be the traditional bread-winner (like the husbands from the 50’s) AND to be the mother (like Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days) all-in-one-person is really, really, REALLY hard.   Unless you’ve done it, you cannot possibly comprehend how hard it is and what a high level of anxiety you constantly function within.

Being two…two…two people in one – is it harder than being (just) a stay at home mom?!  Perhaps.  Is it easier??  Absolutely not!  So don’t denigrate it.  My mother always said: You don’t build yourself up by tearing someone else down.

So, if you’re a stay at home mom by hook or by crook – stand proud.  Enough with the silly bumper stickers!  Don’t try to minimize what the working women do, and perhaps they won’t try to minimize what you (we?) do.

This reminds me of a song from my college/sorority days…”we’re all good sisters, each one the other’s friend, and we’ll be good sisters ’til all the world shall end.  CHUG!!!”

Halloween Costume

At what point do you realize you’ve become a parody of yourself?  Well – your 16 year-old-self that is.  When someone dresses like you for Halloween??  Or maybe it’s less parody-of-yourself and more made-it-to-the-big-time?!

My daughter is going to be an 80’s Girl for Halloween this year.  I explained to her that we wore those neon mesh (fingerless) gloves because they deflected bullets since we were secretly crime-fighting superheroes.

One eye-roll and a drawn out “MooooOOOOOMMMMM!” later and the gig was up.  No, not crime-fighters.  Just wacky dressers.  But that was the STYLE!

And now it’s a Halloween costume.

So this is how all those witches and vampires feel.  Or the grim reaper.  (That’s who my son is going to be this year.  He mainly got the costume because of the sickle weapon thing.  The label actually says “Child Scythe adds a finishing touch to any costume!”  Why yes, yes it does.  Finishing touch indeed!)

This is all new to me, but those witches and vampires and the grim reaper see mini-thems running around on fright-night every year.  Do they feel kindof flattered?  Kindof…but not really?!

And how ’bout them stay at home moms?  Or working mothers??  Never have seen a kid dressed up on Halloween like one of them yet!  Maybe we just need to give it another 30 years.

Shot through the heart

[NOTE: So as to preserve anonymity, I will be referring to my son as ‘Sonny’ throughout this blog.  I just didn’t want you to think I actually NAMED him Sonny.  I’m wacky.  But not that wacky.]

I was at Kohl’s yesterday (What?  Don’t look at me like that!  I had to buy Sonny a jacket and was using Kohl’s Cash to do it.  STOP  IT!  I said don’t look at me like that!!!) and I ran into my sister-in-law (who works full-time and always has in addition to being a mother of two).  She was shopping on her lunch hour.

ME:  Well…hello!

HER:  Hi!  What are you doing here?!

ME:  Getting a jacket for Sonny.  See?  [holding up awesome jacket chosen by awesome mom]

HER:  Ooooh – he’s gonna love it!  So…is this what you do now?

ME:  Hey!  I spent the morning dusting and vacuuming.  I deserve to spend an hour at Kohl’s shopping!

HER:  So, be honest.  How are you liking the stay at home mom thing?

ME:  I am totally, totally loving it!  Totally.

HER:  Good.  And it sounds like the kids are loving it too.  When I was talking to Sonny last week at dinner he was telling me that he’s so happy you’re a stay at home mom now.  I asked him why and he said, ” ’cause now I don’t have to go to school if I’m sick.”


As always, her aim is perfect.  Right through the heart.

But on the plus side, I finally have a point!  Stay at home mom me finally has a point!!!  And I didn’t really even have to do anything to earn it.  Well – except take that shot through the heart in the middle of Kohl’s.  A little blood got on the Kohl’s Cash.  Speaking of which, I did end up spending a teeeeensy bit more than the Kohl’s Cash covered.  On a shirt for myself.  To cover up that gaping wound in my chest.  And unless you’re looking at the blood seeping through my new shirt, you better STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!!!!

Stay at home mom – 1.  Working woman – 0.

What a Waste!

When we were younger, my sisters and I used a term to describe priests who were cute (and therefore should have been out among “us” and not off-the-market and all “dedicated to God” and stuff).  We called them “Father What a Waste.”

Lately I kindof feel like a “Stay at Home Mom What a Waste.”  And not just because I’m cute.  I mean, I’ve got some mad skillzzz.  I am eminently employable and could be out there, among the rest of you, earning six figures!  Instead, I bake cookies, vacuum floors, clean bathrooms (poorly I might add) and run nonsensical errands all while contributing nothing to the family income.

Also, I did the stay at home mom thing the wrong way around.  I didn’t do it when the kids were babies.  I did the requisite FMLA leave of 3 months then dusted off my hands, hitched my breast pump over my shoulder and headed out!  It would have made more sense to have done the stay at home mom gig THEN rather than NOW!

(on the plus side, I can always liven up a party by trotting out the most-embarrassing-usage-of-a-breast-pump-while-on-a-business-trip story you’ve EVER heard!)

But now?  Now – I just rattle around all day in my constantly-dirty-house avoiding Kohl’s and their ever-beguiling “cash” (cash my a$$ – I should just drive by their store periodically and throw a $20 out the car window) trying to come up with craft projects and volunteer jobs to fill my time.

Gheesh.  What a waste.

Just Practicing

We were headed out the other day and everything was going wrong in the back seat of the car.  My son couldn’t open the door to get in.  Once finally in, he couldn’t close the door.  Stuff was falling all over the floor.  He couldn’t put on his seatbelt.  And on and on and on.

Me:  “What’s going on back there, Buddy?  Why are you having such a hard time?”

Him: “Oh, I’m just practicing.”

Me: “Practicing?!  Practicing for what?”

Him: “Just in case I lose all my fingers and only have my pinkies left, I’m practicing for that.”

Me:  [out loud] “Well…just get buckled already.”  [in my head] “Best.  Idea.  EVER!”

I mean, come on!  Isn’t he right?!

We should all be “practicing” for obscure, most-likely-won’t-happen life events because who knows what the future holds.   If we are left to function with only pinkies (please, God, no), are we ready?  Or – as is the case with me – if we are thrust into a role that we never in a million years thought would be ours, have we “practiced” enough??

Yep.  Turns out, this whole time I should have been pretending I might one day be unemployed.  Or at least a stay at home mom.  Because NOW?  Now I’m totally unprepared.  Should have practiced more.

The Battle of the Bowls

My husband got toilet bowl cleaner for me the other day.  (I know, I know.  I’m not doing anything ELSE…so why would my husband get the toilet bowl cleaner, right?!  But he was at the store and hey!  He ASKED if I needed anything while he was there.  He’ll learn to keep his big mouth shut next time, won’t he?  Hi, Honey!  Luv ya!!!)  So he got the cleaner.  But it has bleach in it.

Which prompted visions of me skulking from bathroom to bathroom, carrying a wet scrubby-brush-thingie…and leaving a trail of drips behind.  Then, like some demented (dirty bathroom) version of Hansel and Gretel, you would always be able to find your way back to me by following the bleach spots on the carpet.  So I quickly nixed the toilet bowl cleaner with bleach idea.

Instead I went to the store and got two different kinds of toilet bowl cleaner without bleach.  And I’m gonna see which one works best.  I’m gonna do a bake off.  Except with toilet bowl cleaners.  And I promise to keep you posted because I know how important this sort of thing is to all of us.

First up is a disinfectant toilet bowl cleaner that also removes rust, lime scale and hard water stains.  Yes.  This is a problem.  I clean the toilet but due to (I’m assuming slash hoping) hardwater stains immediately afterwards it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned.  So what’s the point of cleaning it, right?  Or maybe I haven’t been cleaning the toilets and instead have just been claiming I have but those dratted hardwater stains always make them look dirty!  (mwa ha ha…insert evil bathroom cleaning laugh here)

There’s no bleach in this cleaner and in fact it doesn’t want anything to do with bleach since on the back it (very firmly) states that I shouldn’t mix it with bleach.  This has to be a good sign that nothing bad will come of this.  Although I have to admit that the “warning” is a little off-putting.  As is the entire list of first-aid approaches and “what to do” should you get it: in your eyes, on your skin, in your throat, in your nose.  “What to do” basically consists of clawing off the contaminated part and going to the hospital.  Good Heavens – they don’t pay me enough to do this!  I should get time-and-a-half AND hazard pay!!!

The second cleaner I’m planning to try promises a “complete” clean (yeah – ’cause mostly I’ve been doing the half-a$$ed clean and really, where is that getting me?!).  In addition to killing 99.9% of all viruses and bacteria in the world, it cleans “organic soil” stains.  What?!??  Gaaack!  gaaaAAACCKKKK!!!  Is that a euphemism for what I think it is??  Oh boy.  I am NOT making enough money doing this.  But really, that’s a no-brainer because that’s what I’m TRYING to clean when I clean the toilet.  Organic soil stains.  Gag.

But on the bright side, it doesn’t contain bleach.  So we’re good.  Instead it contains hydrochloric acid.  That’s totally fine, right?  But why am I now thinking of mad scientists handling bubbling beakers of noxious liquids?  Wearing safety glasses??  Which is what it says I should be doing when I clean the toilet using this product.  Oh – and I shouldn’t use the toilet after cleaning the toilet without first cleaning my hands.  Phew!  I’m glad we got that cleared up.