Tuesday, March 26, 2013

you’re two. and you’re terrified


So I sat on this for awhile.

You know… with that totally illogical fear that by the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, the person you are writing about will stumble upon your little blog, recognize themselves, and be totally ticked off at you?


But this is eating at me.


I’m not really offended by people who might call me a helicopter parent.

One: it takes someone who has experienced years of infertility (who WANTS a baby) to understand what it is like to suddenly have a huge miracle laying in your arms.

Two:  It takes someone who is deaf to understand that my eyes are my ears… and if I can’t see or hear my child, your imagination doesn’t do justice to the guilt I feel when he IS hurt and I cannot find him.


And since most of you probably aren’t two for two on those, I don’t feel all that terrible if you roll your eyes at the tight Itty Bit radar I keep when we are out in public places :)




A very busy children’s museum during the weekend.  Chaotic would best describe it, so my job was simply to not lose track of my kid.



Who suddenly had to pee.

(of course… remember his public restrooms quest?)


Insert Helicopter Mom:  there is no way the kid was going to go to the men’s room by himself in a very crowded public space.

So I ushered him into the women’s restroom – which was uncharacteristically empty.


Except for one little boy.


Insert six degrees of Kevin Bacon (or person who I’m going to tick off)

I knew this little boy.


He was two years old.

And he was crying.  Frightened sobs.


Tearfully trying to shake a stall door open with real fear in his eyes.

Mama Mama Mama Mamamamamamamamamamama.


I saw his mother’s shoes behind the stall door and suddenly realized that she had intentionally locked him out.


I was stunned.


I immediately stooped down and reassured him over and over that his mommy would be right back.  I tried to keep the shock off my face as I wondered why the stall door didn’t fly open for Mama Bear to check who was talking to her little one.

Somehow, the fact that he was still a breastfed little one made him seem all the more vulnerable; and the situation all the more confusing.


Recall what my kiddo looked like at two years old?





He looks so teeny.  Now picture him crying his head off because he’s scared, been left alone, and now some woman he doesn’t recognize is talking to him in a strange bathroom.






The poor kid had tears and I was absolutely helpless.


I got Itty Bit into a stall and I kept an eye on the abandoned little one.

Another woman entered the restroom and sympathetically looked at the distraught toddler.

And as overly-careful as I can be accused of being, I was still trying to figure out why someone would trust a huge building full of strangers with her beautiful defenseless boy.



Call me paranoid, but as someone who has firsthand experience in vetting criminal histories for people who target these kind of places… one time is too many.


I feel ill even writing this. 

And quite possibly there will be backlash in real life – depending on who reads this.  I hope they know this was written in genuine concern. 


What do you do?


Would you have handled this differently?

At what age do you send your son into the boy’s restroom by himself?


Am I paranoid?




(and for the record, I’m not a mean mom who takes pictures of her kid crying :)  here’s the original blog post about his little freak out)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

and the winner…


of the free Shutterfly 8x8 photobook is…




Please check your email Sharon – Shutterfly will be getting in touch!

Thanks to Shutterfly for offering these great giveaways.  Thanks to everyone who played along.  It was cool to see how many great teachers you guys had.  My personal favorite was my chem/phys teacher that was so good at his job that the Pentagon tapped him to come work for them.


And… because we can’t end a blog post without something humorous:


(you’re welcome for being that friend)



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Take it from me


When they tell you to cut brownies with a plastic knife…

to make them all presentable like

you know

instead of looking like something I planted my vegetable garden in…


…they LIE!



Despite my near flawless record for “cooking by neighbor notification”

(ie: when the smoke alarm freaks out the horses next door and the owners come tell me),

I don’t mess around with brownies.



So I tried my darndest to follow those display-worthy serving tips.

I removed the brownies from the oven (without burning myself, hallelujah!), and set to work cutting neat rows with tiny sawing motions of the prescribed plastic knife.











What dingdong waits for a brownie to cool off before dishing it out?

The ice cream won’t get soft otherwise.


Stoopid diet wasn’t working anyway.





For a foolproof and zero-calorie treat, head on over to the Shutterfly photobook giveaway!  Low entries and lots of ways to enter.  And just so’s you know?  You can tweet each day for two entries, and you can pick any kind of photobook… not just their new yearbook.  And I pretty much wish I could give y’all one.  Enter here.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

the one where I don’t embarrass my husband again


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day y’all!

(That is what happens when you have an Irish grandmother and a mother born in Texas.  Holla!)


I figured I’d jump in and talk about saving you some GREEN!


I nearly fainted, when I opened an email from Shutterfly asking if we’d want to join their Shutterfly Yearbooks campaign this year.

Y’all remembered last time they tempted fate and I pulled out my husband’s yearbooks, right?  And posted that really awesomesauce picture of him in hot pants basketball shorts that very nearly revealed his manly bits.  I could be really mean and post that picture here again – especially since I owe the dude some retaliation for his Urgent Care Toe Yoga ninja picture that he hacked my blog with recently.


But Shutterfly forgave the hot pants picture and invited us to try out their yearbook for free – as well as offer one of you guys one too!




I would never do a sponsored post unless I believed in the product and Shutterfly has been my go-to for years.  But in this case, Shutterfly really hits the nail on the head:

Make it a school year to remember.  Shutterfly Yearbooks are the easiest way to preserve school memories.


Emphasis on EASY.


Shutterfly accounts are ideal to share in secure groups – perfect for parents to add photos of school events because an “official school photographer” isn’t always around for those moments.  (You know, when you’re chaperoning the group of crazy boys at the zoo and catch that shot of all four of them picking their noses at the otter exhibit?  Yeah)


You know how I usually like to kind of put our own Miracle spin on stuff? Yeah, I’m sure you guys remember the Christmas Card Debacle of 2012, right?


flourished vintage wishes holiday card



I could totally picture this working for our little school.  So I substituted a few of our wee family members for some students to show you the kinds of easy pages they have to just “fill in the blanks”.  Waaay easier than scrapbooking and this way all the families can enjoy it.






field trip






So here’s my twist on it… I think homeschoolers can get slighted when it comes to yearbooks.  This would also be an ultimate way to capture your homeschooling adventure each year.  Come on, it would rock, right?


Shutterfly has included Yearbook Shortcuts & Ideas (good stuff, it explains how you can tailor each yearbook to each class), and you can order them here.


Now for the giveaway deets!  Winner takes home their own 20 page 8x8 photobook!  You’ve already captured the memories.  They’re sitting in your computer lonely waiting to be shared.  Shutterfly can even dump them all into pages for you once you’ve uploaded them… then you can mix them around how you like.

Just to be clear… you can pick any 8x8 photobook – it doesn’t have to be a yearbook style (hint hint… all you friends with new babies!)


No going to the craft store and buying eleventy hundred cute embellishments that will make a 10” thick scrapbook that those eleventy hundred embellishments will ultimately fall out of.  (Hardy scrapbookers of the world, I salute you!) Seriously, y’all remember what happened to me when I took my kid to Michaels, right?  Craft paint purgatory.


So do yourself a favor and get yourself in the mix to win one of these books.  Prize includes shipping!

Giveaway closes March 21st.



Oh… and I totally changed my mind.


Look at the cute guy with the knee injury  ;)








a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 10, 2013

what not to do in other people’s houses


more specifically… what not to do in someone’s HOUSE FOR SALE.


I would be impressed if you guys remembered the last time we went house hunting, and how we walked into a farmhouse where they had a fairly inebriated game of poker going on and dirty dishes and beer bottles piled throughout the kitchen.

I would be super impressed if you remember that epic moment our realtor went to show us the bathroom and our entourage walked in on a man (ahem) going number two.


(The most surreal part was that the dude didn’t even look surprised.  Never said a word.  Disturbing on so many levels).


Well, we are back into house-hunting and more mortifying experiences.  Except… yours truly was the unintended victim of bathroom trauma.


And get this?  The SAME realtor.


(We have to keep her forever and ever… she knows too much.)


So we happily start exploring this no-dirty-dishes-no-beer-bottles beautiful space when Mr. Daddy hears nature’s call.  He heads for the bathroom while the rest of us chase a manic Itty Bit through the house.

(seriously… what is it with kids and empty houses?)


After another half hour of real-estate talk, I realize that there is no way I can make the drive home without a bladder emergency.

So I head for the same bathroom without a second thought.

I was missing several important observations.


1.  There was no doorknob.  This meant that anyone could see me.



2.  There were no handles on the sink.  No washy-the-hands = eww.


3.  The water was shut off.


Of course, all of these things were duly noted much too late.  I prayed no one would walk past the see-through door as I peed in record time.

Then I thanked the good Lord there was a random roll of toilet paper on the counter.

Then I zipped up at warp speed and turned to flush.




No stirring of the waters.  No sucketh the tinkle away.

Four squares of toilet paper floated in absolute stillness… mocking me.





I closed the lid and begged forgiveness of the next house hunters.


And reached for the sink handle.

sink handles


Which… only existed in my assumptions.


So I finally gave up… 1000% disgusted that I was leaving a beautiful on-the-market home after desecrating it in such a fashion… and with bathroom hands to boot!  UNCLEAN!  UNCLEAN!


I snorted in frustration and reached to open the door.


Except… that it was exactly like the unnoticed item #1.



It had a mechanism that actually latched.


As in: one that I had no idea how to UN-latch.


Cue panic.


I MacGyvered that thing every way I could think of.  And several long moments later, I was accepting the mortification that I would have to try to either somehow escape from a second story window, or holler for the realtor to rescue me.


Y’all remember what happened last time I climbed out a second story window, right?




I had visions of Mr. Daddy unscrewing the hinges off the door to get me out, and I blanched at the thought of the endless Facebook and blog fodder that would give him.

I gave one last try and finally pinched together Part 13P2 and Part Z194 and the latch gave slightly.

It was enough!


I ran down the stairs and tasted sweet freedom and congratulated myself for escaping another family legend in the making.


Except… Mr. Daddy was smirking.






“So… did you see there was no doorknob?

And anyone could look in?”


“Umm… yeah.  I saw it too late”.


“Ha!  How’d you get out?”


“Ohmygosh – I had to try eleventy things until it opened.  Freaked me out.  I was about to yell for you guys, but…”


“Ha ha!  Did you flush?”


“Umm, no.  The water was off.”


“Yeah… you have to turn the water back on…”


“WHAT?  You can turn the water on?!?”


“Yeah, it’s the little thing by the floor.”


“Seriously?  I didn’t know that.”


“Yeah… I turned it on and flushed, then turned it off again.”


“UGH!  I didn’t know that!”


“You mean… you didn’t flush?”


“Well… no.  I couldn’t.”


“HA HA HA HA HA!  Go flush!”


“I can’t, the house is locked up now.”




I may or may not have put Ex-Lax in his coffee when we got home.




Sunday, March 03, 2013

Urgent Care Yoga and other ridiculousness


So last week my husband hacked in and posted a very attractive picture of his wife.

This was obviously one of the better recent pictures of me, and it triggered some apparent confusion.


Was I biting my toenails?

Was I doing yoga?

In the ER?


urgent care1


No worries y’all.  The picture was just proof that I can be considerate of others occasionally.  And my husband pulled a photo ninja on me and used his powers for evil.


Ironically, this story probably started almost two decades ago.  Back when these were my footwear of choice:




I’d managed to escape most of the disfigurement caused by the body saying, “Seriously… GET OFF YOUR TOES”.

Except… for one tiny baby toe that had a wee crack where the nail had tried to divorce itself.  It was so teeny that I usually just tugged the sliver of a nail out with a pair of tweezers instead of duking it out with clippers.

Until that fateful day when my body forgot to be grateful that I was no longer subjecting my metatarsals to my entire bodily weight, and instead objected to the darn tweezers.


Dumb dumb dumb.  Within days my crybaby pinky toe was angry red and screaming with every step.  After three days of limping, I finally caved and went to Urgent Care.

They sent us back to a room where we appeared to be forgotten for an entire hour. 

In which time my husband had plenty of opportunity to mock my predicament and to remark on the questionable state of lower appendage scent.

Mortified, I gave a rousing defense of my daily shower regimen and immediately went to confirm that my bare foot was indeed inoffensive to the medical staff’s olfactory senses.

See?  Considerate!


Seriously y’all… I should have smelled the trap.  Pun totally intended.

Faster than a speeding shutter click… I was doomed.

Mr. Daddy started laughing so hard the racket prompted the medical staff to check in.

Thankfully, my new yoga pose was nowhere to be seen, so I didn’t risk on-site embarrassment.


He left that all for you guys.



Well… until the words “digital block” were uttered.  But that’s a story for another day.