While watching TV the other night, my oldest child discovered a variety show where the current attraction was a man spinning plates on many sticks. Usually, the 9-year-old is a constant channel flipper, always skipping from program to program, but he stopped on this channel, intently watching a tuxedo clad man, jump around the stage like a maniac, setting up plates upon top of sticks and setting them into motion. “Mom, you see this?” he said… “That looks so hard!” I was finishing up the dinner dishes while the Hubby had the younger boys in the bath. “That’s what I do.” I said while looking at the TV. “Mom… You. Can’t. Spin. Plates. You can’t even juggle.” And he’s right, I cannot, literally pass multiple balls through my hands in the air, or put plates on sticks and make them spin, but metaphorically? Metaphorically this whole world of motherhood is a gigantic plate spinning act… and my performance will not get me a spot on Ed Sullivan. “What? You don’t think taking care of you guys is just as complicated as spinning plates?” He seemed to think about that while he was watching the show.

I’m actually kind of envious of the plate spinning guy. He’s obviously had time to practice his craft, and is probably using plates from The Dollar Store that he can afford to break and try again. But with motherhood, my plates are the finest china, balancing the lives of little human beings, and it’s always a side thought in my mind that when it comes to their safety, I won’t get a second chance. Then there is the timing to it all, the balancing act where everything needs to happen at a certain time. I can lie to myself all I want about the fact that I don’t care what other people think, but when it comes to my kids, I want them to have the best. Am I the best?

Putting the fear of accidents to the side, then there’s all the extra stuff that comes with school-aged kids… the homework, the lunches, the doctors appointments, the inoculation schedules, the sports practices, the religious school, the games… I haven’t even broached birthday parties and holidays yet, and housework and meals… Plates are falling from the sky as I write this, I’m gonna need to buy more plates. Another thing to add to the shopping list.

The craziest part is that I really am doing the best I can, and I don’t think they notice when I neglect one spinning plate and tend to the one that’s about to drop with more intensity. Once that plate is okay I jump to the next one that’s about to fall.

I’m now judging the balance with small victories. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t remember if I’d pack the lunches the night before… I had. I remembered show-and-tell for the 3-year-old today that had to start with the letter B. The oldest’s soccer uniform is washed and ready for the upcoming game. The baby’s diaper is currently clean… seems that my plates are spinning is unison, along with my head, but at least it still on top of my shoulders.

That is until I picked the preschooler up from school today… as we walked out the door his teacher reminded us, “Remember, wear the color of the day for everyday next week, Monday is orange.”

Color of the day?

I’m gonna need more plates.




School starts in a week.

One more little week until we can get back into the groove. Seven more days until my oldest sons get back to it. Real life. Now, just in case my trusty calendar wasn’t on hand with big black X’s reminding me of the slow torturous moments ticking by with the speed of a slug, I’d still know summer was almost over. You wanna know how? Because my kids are about to kill each other.

Like… really, murder each other.


We aren’t talking about kids with a normal streak of violence either. Normally, the boys are pretty sweet… but currently, they are OVER spending time together.

My whole job as a parent has changed drastically in the last 5 days. I’ve gone from making lunches and playing board games to being the most underpaid referee in the boxing world. I read somewhere that Mills Lane (the court Judge turned boxing referee) earned a million dollars every time he uttered the catchphrase “Let’s get it on”. A MILLION DOLLARS for one stinking sentence. After I let that sink in I realized… I’m thinking about these brotherly fights all wrong. Why is it a bad thing that they want to clean each other’s clocks? Why is it wrong that my children want to fight to the death? Maybe we could use this Lord of the Flies mentality to pay for college? Maybe these ingrates need a little Fight Club up in this bitch. Here are my money-making and energy burning ideas inspired by my children’s need for blood-letting. Hell, if cock-fighting pays then there must be money in kid fights. Right?

Sumo Suits

Have you ever seen those inflatable Sumo Suits that are worn for Halloween? What if I get a couple of those and let these boys go a couple of rounds? It’s sure to exhaust them and I can charge a ticket price to make some money on the side. Shoe money. Money for a babysitter… and a facial, or a childless trip for Hubby and I to a place that harbors American fugitives (because I’m sure kid fighting is as illegal as dog fighting). The options are endless.

Cage Match

Everyone loves a good cage match. Hubby could build it and we could just chuck those guys in there and walk away. At least we’d know where they were. Yup, cage match is a definite possibility.

Hunger Games style for the use of the iPad

We only have one iPad. It belongs to my oldest son and sometimes, sometimes… when he’s feeling very benevolent, he allows his brother to use it. That is happening less and less as he wishes his bother lived somewhere else. I think this idea speaks for itself. A fight, for the iPad.


My kids are soccer players. They play soccer all year round. I’m sure they could figure out how to easily do a roundhouse. I mean, how hard could it really be? Here you go buddy, you want to hurt your brother? Pretend his head is the ball. You’re welcome.

Princess Bride style: To the pain

If you’ve never seen The Princess Bride?? I’m sorry. You should probably go back to the rock you’ve been living under. If you have, then you know. “To the pain” leaves you wallowing in your freakish misery forever. I have a feeling both boys would be keen on this. They would love to be the victor in a task where all you get to keep are your perfect ears. Touché

Oh shit, I just realized… By writing this I’ve broken the first rule of Fight Club. “You don’t talk about Fight Club.” Damn.


Running Away and Joining the Circus.

“Oh Bozo, I never knew it could be like this.”

The circus always freaked me out inside. On the outside, I was fine. “Yay, circus… as long as I can eat peanuts.” But not on the inside. My inside was all, “Shit, the damn circus.”

It wasn’t the clowns. Everyone is always bitching about the clowns. I have no beef with clowns. Mimes, yes. Mimes are super freaky. Why are you in a box? Why are you holding a flower but everything else is expressed through gestures and accompanied by music? Yikes. Clowns, whatever. Unless we are talking about the clown from It, and I don’t think we are.

The circus freaked me out for many reasons. The complete “freak show” of it all was a big part of it, and I’m not talking the “bearded lady” or the “tattooed man”… that was never part of the circus I grew up with. Now that I live in Florida that is the crazy shit you see at the fair. I’d never been to a fair in New York. The fair is a completely different post. The freak show part of the circus (for me) was that it was a stage show, not like Shakespeare in the Park or My Fair Lady, those are actual stage shows; but that it had all of these animals and performers looking like they belonged somewhere else. I cannot think of a single thing stranger than seeing an elephant in the same place I have seen a hockey game. That’s just fucking ridiculous. I’m not even a huge animal rights advocate but at 7 years old, when my grandmother took me to the circus, I knew it didn’t fit.

As a Stay-At-Home-Mom I’m with my kids all day, every day.


If you’re not a Stay-At-Home-Parent just let that resonate a little bit. Let it marinate in your brain until you feel it. Do you feel it? Good. If you are at home, like me, know this, I FEEL YOU!

On Sunday, my husband doesn’t work, and under normal circumstances I usually get some sort of reprieve from my band of merry men. I don’t get mani’s or pedi’s or massages or facials. Usually, I just leave the house for an hour. 60 minutes where I don’t have to do shit for anyone else. That is 1 hour for me out of the 168 for everyone else. Boom.

Until recently.

Hubby has been coaching a soccer team and they have had tournaments on Sunday for the last couple of weeks.

Today was the first Sunday Hubby had been home in a long while.


As I grabbed my purse and keys to “go to the store” I said, “Are you sure you’re going to be okay? I’m gonna take my sweet ass time.” He smiled and nodded as I sprinted out the door like a teenager heading to a kegger.

As I put the key in the ignition I actually thought of just GOING…

Driving. Driving away. Far, far, away. Going to Key West… Or Miami… or joining the circus.

And that, my friends, THAT, is how batshit fucking crazy these kids can make you. They can drive you to the brink. Screw that, they can push you way beyond the brink. Screw that, I’m at the point where I don’t even recognize the brink. The brink? What brink? The fact that I even considered (just for one hot minute) running away to join the circus (an entity that I’ve always loathed in its entirety) as a happily ever after from my current home life situation says volumes in itself.

Besides, I don’t have nearly enough tattoos.



Photo credit:  Ringling Circus clown Lou Jacobs with Carla Wallenda: Sarasota, Florida




So your baby is ready… or your pediatrician says your baby is ready for solid food.  If you’re a first time parent… Yay!

If you’re like me, and this ain’t your first rodeo.. not so much.


Starting a baby on solid food is a milestone for sure, it’s also a huge, fat, pain in the ass.  It takes babies much longer to eat solids then it does for them to drink a bottle.  They (and their little intestines) have just gotten used to processing breast-milk or formula… now lets chuck some processed vegetables or fruit into their GI tract, or, if you’re really balls-to-the-wall daring, meat.  As you can imagine, since it’s only taken anywhere from 4-6 months to get to this point, I’m sure it’s going to be a cakewalk.  Keep dreaming, John Lennon.  You will end up with something on your face, but it won’t be cake.

Step 1, Dress the part

I have loads of my friends who do Tough Mudders, Color Runs and the like.  They wear spandex and tutu’s and they are ready to get dirty and look pretty.  Here we concentrate on the former not the latter.  You are going to get dirty, pretty… not so much.  Be prepared.  Be prepared like a Wilderness Girl at the annual jamboree with Phyllis Nefler at the helm.  And I don’t mean Gucci bitches… I mean a shirt you hate and comfy pants, maybe even just underwear. But don’t forget some sneakers in case you need to make a fast getaway from a baby about to projectile vomit.  New textures can do that to a baby.  This is one of the infinite number of reasons every shirt I own is stained with something.

Step 2, Mind your Peas

Some people say cereal first, some say cereal never.  Since I’m on my third and the other 2 have no food allergies my doctor said to start him on vegetables.  On my 2nd child I thought it would be easier and more cost-effective to make my own baby food.  In the end it was neither, and I could never get the consistency right. Just another waste of time to add to the time suck.  This time around I didn’t even try that route.  We began with peas.  Who doesn’t love peas?  Let me take that back, lots of kids hate peas when they are growing up because they are green and similarly named to number 1 in the bathroom.  But babies?  Babies love peas.  Although peas are usually a hit with taste, they also look like the dirtiest food to pass from your spoon into your baby’s diaper.  And that is gross.  You’ll be in hell for the first bowel movement post peas, but they usually eat them up just fine.

Step 3, Have the proper equipment

You need the proper tools to successfully feed a baby solids.  A bib is a must (unless you have them shirtless, which I rarely ever do).  You’ll need one of those little spoons with the a plastic tip (trust me on this) and you’ll need a 5 point harness of some kind as baby is probably not able to fully sit up by himself.  Now you might even want to make sure you have a bucket or garbage can right next to you (especially if you are already pregnant again) while feeding little Johnny because watching him eat, and spit out, and re-eat the spit out, can make anyone nauseous.  If you have a really queasy stomach you might want to have Hubby do all the solid feeding and hide in the bathroom with a bottle glass of wine until it’s over.  It’s not pretty.

Step 4, Know your audience

Okay, so you’ve feed little Johnny twice and he’s done really well.  Next time you are sure to be over ambitious and schedule a meal when other people are going to watch him.  Do not do this.  I repeat, do not walk down the path to show off to the Jones’, Grandma, or even your own older children.  This will not go over well.  Unless you consider Exorcist as movie with a good ending.  Just know your role, stay in your lane and keep feeding time under wraps and during down moments until he’s been doing it for months.  Then you can try to show off.  But I can pretty much guarantee that his first time in front of an audience he will sneeze peas all over grandma, barf on older brother or just refuse anything you offer him outright (thus making a liar out of you).  And as cute as it can be to watch him eat, it’s just not worth the aggravation.

Step 5, Expect failure and deal

Solids will start off bad.  He’ll spit them out, he’ll cry, he won’t want them. But, like it says on the bottle… Lather, rinse, repeat.  Eventually, at some point in his life…. he will be a good eater.  Or at least an eater.  He’s going to get big and learn that he needs food to survive.  Hopefully he chooses something other than chicken nuggets and french fries, but lets not worry about that just yet.  Right now, it’s your job to just keep shoveling things, lots of different things, into his mouth, and take the massive time-suck that introducing solids is, and make it your bitch.

Best of luck moms! Happy Feeding!