The baby turned one last weekend with all the hurrah and fanfare that could be mustered up when your baby is sick, but you have invited 30 of your closest family and friends over for a party.

Birthdays are exciting! They are fun and festive, always involving awesome munchies and copious amounts of alcohol; At least in my house. Entertaining is always a bit stressful, having a house full of children adds to that stress, but with my youngest child being under the weather I think that was the part that had me the most on edge. I threw myself into the theory that having 20 sets of adult hands to help out would be the best idea possible. I mean, all he really wanted was cuddles and who better to serve that purpose than the grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles?

I immersed myself in the kitchen, glass of wine in hand, as our extended family began to trickle in. My heart swelled with happiness as I allowed myself to really absorb my good fortune. So many people don’t have the luxury of living near their family, being close to their family, having so many relatives in good health. While life with so many little ones is really difficult at times, we are truly blessed.

As my parents arrived with birthday presents for the baby my mother handed me a large bag. “Here’s your hostess gift!” she giggled as she walked off to give the birthday boy some one-year-old kisses.

“A hostess gift? How strange… unless it’s booze, then it’s completely appropriate,” I thought, as I opened the bag. Imagine my surprise when I found a slew of dish towels. Dish towels? Um, why? I put my present to the side as I continued to make appetizers.

Cooking gives my mind time to wander. As I chopped and diced, I started thinking about what my mother was thinking when she decided to buy me 30 dish towels… what did that even mean?

The epiphany hit me like a ton of bricks… Mom thinks my house is dirty.

Now, I wasn’t even offended. My house is dirty. Well, not like, call the Department of Children and Family Services dirty, but cluttered and messy. Shit, five people live here; Two of which still don’t wipe their own ass… Better Homes and Gardens this place isn’t. But dish towels? That’s a bit of a stretch.

Later on at the party my mom approached me, “How did you like your hostess gift?” she smiled.

“Umm, yeah, dish towels… Thanks?” I answered. “Mom, I know my house isn’t clean. It probably won’t be clean for many years.”

“That’s not why I gave them to you!” she retorted. She looked a bit offended by my twisted insight. “When we babysat last week, we couldn’t find extra dish towels… and Boy Wonder (who is 9) said he didn’t think you had any others.”

“Well, I do,” I replied. “Right under the sink. Like BW knows where anything is around here if it isn’t his iPad?” I mean seriously, the kid can’t find the toilet paper if the roll is empty. I wonder how he’ll ever survive the real world.

“New dish towels are like new underwear,” mom insisted.


As I stood there, in my dirty-ass kitchen, mushroom cap in one hand, crabmeat stuffing in the other, surrounded by my children, with nieces and nephews all running and playing, screaming and yelling, and laughing, lots of laughing… I examined my mother for obvious signs of mental illness. Her hair was still perfectly in place, her attire matched, while also matching her jewelry. She looked very much sane. Hmm, maybe I’m the crazy one? Have they started to sell dish towels at Victoria Secret while I’ve been stuck in the land of mom?

“Mom,” I questioned… “what, are you talking about?”

She continued, “They just dress everything up. You know, like new underwear.”

OMG… now it all made sense! It’s been over 35 years since my mom stood here; In the trenches. Her body and her kitchen have recovered. There are no Nutella handprints on her refrigerator door. No mud tracked onto her tile floor from a pair of cleats. She exercises, she eats smart, she has the time and energy to do those things. New underwear, or new dish towels can make the body or the room, feel better, prettier, dressier.


It won’t always be like this.

I won’t always be like this.

I hung my new dish towels on the handrail of my grimy, loved stove.

And made a promise to myself to buy some new underwear for my very neglected body.




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.



Although I was born in the mid 70’s, I was a child of the 80’s. If you watched MTV because they had music videos, understand locker jokes from You Can’t Do That on Television, and had a Trapper Keeper… I know you feel me. Legit, child of the 80’s, feels.

Having kids changes everything.


I had green hair in high school and wore 14 hole combat boots. Now?? I bake. Cookies, pies, brownies… you name it, I bake it. Betty “Fucking” Crocker ain’t got nothing on me, but I guess I’ve lost substantial street credit. Undoubtedly, motherhood changed me; changed my values, my habits, and my patterns. However, it also changed the way I view things. I noticed this substantial change recently as I watched some movies that were favorites in my youth; but now invoked totally different emotional responses from me. Here are my Top 7…

1. The Karate Kid

As a kid: I couldn’t imagine anything more fantastic than having an older man, whom I wasn’t related to, help me and teach me about karate.

As a mom: I would never let my sons hang out, ALONE, with an old, single man whom they are not related to. Are you kidding me? And why is he giving Daniel expensive gifts? A car? Jesus, that’s a red flag right there.

2. Stand By Me

As a kid: Besides the fact that River Phoenix was completely hot, the idea of an adventure, sans adults, with my friends was a hell yes.

As a mom: Holy shit. These kids could have gotten killed about 20 times in this movie. If not by the evil and disturbed Kiefer Sutherland character, then the train, or the junkyard dog, or the gun, or just wild animals, or if Teddy went mental. This whole movie was just 2 hours of an anxiety laden discontent. I’m still working through this one in therapy.

3. Beaches

As a kid: I loved Bette Midler. I loved the music. I loved daydreaming that I, too, would one day be on Broadway as a big star.

As a mom: The Barbara Hershey character dies. End of. {sob, sob, sob} I could never watch a second of this movie while pregnant. Not. One. Second.

4. Adventures in Babysitting

As a kid: Babysitting, hot guys from college, road trip with that funny and annoying Darryl kid, getting to catch your cheating, slimy ex-boyfriend. This movie had everything.

As a mom: This is the stuff that nightmares are made of. This is the reason I never leave the house childless {shiver}.

5. The Breakfast Club

As a kid: This movie was cutting edge. It was real, it was raw, it was AWESOME. We didn’t have cable so I watched this one with the horrible TV dialogue edits… “Hot beef injection” was changed to “Hot wild affection” and I didn’t even care. I had this one memorized. Word. For. Word. Actually I think I still know this movie by heart, yet I walk into the bathroom and can’t remember what I went there for.

As a mom: Why don’t schools offer shop classes anymore? Holy crap, I hope my gifted child isn’t so concerned with achieving, that he tries to hurt himself (with a flare gun). I can’t believe they smoked weed in the library. We never did anything like that. {cough, cough}.  John Bender is still totally hot. At least that hasn’t changed.

6. Back to the Future

As a kid: Doc Brown? The eccentric inventor was every kid’s dream as a BFF. Micheal J Fox was at the height of his popularity as Marty McFly. Even my mom swooned over him. Time travel, the DeLorean… an amazing cinematic superstar. I loved Back to the Future.

As a mom: Again with the old man/teenage boy thing. What was up with the 80’s? And the idea that my child would get to witness my high school self? Omigod, please no.

7. The Goonies

As a kid: The Goonies had it all! Adventure, romance, friendship. I mean, for Christ’s sake, they went on a TREASURE HUNT in underground caves. The Goonies was the tits.

As a mom: Where the FUCK did their parents think they were? I mean, really? By the time Chunk called the cops hadn’t there been an Amber Alert issued already? And instead the sheriff thinks he’s lying because he’s an eternal storyteller? And don’t think The Boy Who Cried Wolf reference was lost on me. Cave kissing? Being chased by the Fratellis and stuck in a freezer with a dead body? I. Just. Can’t.

Motherhood isn’t just what you do… it’s what you are.

You sleep it. You eat it. You breathe it. You own it.

It can’t be turned off or toned down.

I wonder if At the Movies was different for Gene Siskel after he had children.





So this is what it’s come to…


It’s almost as if my body has decided to revolt against me.

Menstruation after motherhood is straight up cruel.

I’m wearing a pair of leopard print, full bottom, granny panties to bed. Sayonara thong back. Why you ask? Oh the reason is ridiculous. After giving birth to 3 beautiful boys, I had a tubal ligation. A procedure I would do again in a heartbeat, because I know we are done having children. But I definitely would have thought twice about this decision if someone had warned me about what having my tubes tied would mean to my body, my menstrual cycle and my energy level.

The baby is 4 months and 3 weeks old. This is now the 6th time I’ve had my period since his birth. Crazy right? And this time, Aunt Flo decided to get here a week before she was scheduled. There is nothing worse than an unwanted and unexpected house guest when you have a family to think about.

Many family members act differently after you have another child. You can have jealous brothers and sisters, wishing that they too where adding children to their mix. Your own parents can either be supportive or think you have lost your damn mind, and usually, your other children are either pleased or disappointed by having a new sibling… but Aunt Flo? Aunt Flo had handled it the worst.

She never just walks in through the front door at lunchtime anymore… Nope, now her flight comes in at midnight or 2 am. You’re groggy and tired and well… bleeding like you’re dying. Aunt Flo can do that to you. Because you’ve known her a long damn time. You’re used to her bullshit. But after kids? Her bullshit has been magnified 10 times over. I really wouldn’t mind the old Aunt Flo, with her old ways. But the fact that she’s waking me up every 2 hours for clean underwear is incorrigible. I mean, the bitch has been in my life for 24 years. I should already know what’s up. Now she is no longer comfortable with the bedding I have, the towels I have, the tampons I have… now, after 24 years of “sisterhood” Aunt Flo needs pads again. Really?  What in the sweet fuck is that? Pads? I’m not 12.

Nope, not 12. The 3 children in front of me asking for fruit snacks and Slurpees are a daily reminder of my age. Sadly, Aunt Flo hasn’t gotten the memo. That bitch never checks her inbox. EVER! Honestly, after that last 5 months of the new Aunt Flo, I’m really starting to miss the first time Aunt Flo showed up unannounced.

It was a track meet in the 8th grade and I was 13. I was wearing green short shorts with gold trim (think 80’s) and my stomach hurt horribly. Of course I thought it was nerves. I had just finished a 100 yard dash and I was warming up for my long jumps. I was young. I was gangly. I was boobless. I thought I had years to go until I met Flo. That’s when Aunt Flo decided to sashay into the track meet. Decked out in a flowing red dress, red hat as if she was about to watch the Kentucky Derby, 6 inch stiletto heels and all. I left the track meet in pain and shame, dreading to tell my mother that we’d have to set up a room for my “unannounced visitor”.

I begged Mom not to tell my father. Although we were close I just didn’t think that “my” Aunt Flo was any of “his” business. Of course, he brought me home a dozen white roses and I cried. I didn’t want to have to hang out with Aunt Flo every 28 days. I didn’t want to be a “woman”. I was still just a girl.

Aunt Flo and I have never been besties. I mean, how could we be? Always wondering if she was coming… or going because Hubby had already come. Pregnancies were a lovely and wanted distraction from her monthly visits. But then our final son was born. And I guess Aunt Flo really missed me. Or she is now working with Tampax and the pad companies as a lobbyist… either way, she’s obviously teamed up with Lady Macbeth and they are, at present, playing a high stakes game of Texas Hold-em in my uterus.

Lady Macbeth just took the pot with a straight flush. I need to go lay down.

19 kids and counting? That Duggar woman is starting to seem like the smartest chick on earth.



Johnny 5’s got nothing on my kids when it comes to questions.

I almost cracked this morning.

Legit, straight jacket, get thee to a nunnery Ophelia, cracked.

I was depositing a check into the ATM at the bank, an action I have done countless times.  An action that, is so simple, a trained chimp can do it.  Shit, my 3-year-old can most definitely do it.

But there I was.

Depositing a check.

And the machine had so many questions. Pin number? Language choice? Deposit? Withdrawal?

Questions that should have been easy to answer. Answers that I use every day, but this morning, I sat there, dumbfounded. Shocked at the slow reaction time of my brain.

Then it happened.

I started to laugh. And not just a giggle, a full-on, no-holds-barred, belly laugh. I sat in my car laughing for at least 6 minutes. I laughed too long and so hard, I scared the baby.

After 3 consecutive days with all of my children, I am questioned out.

These kids are like little sponges, small but powerful and mighty super computers. They all are little Johnny 5’s yelling at me, “Input! Need more input! Input!!! INPUT!”

I am their Encyclopedia Britannica. The source of the start of all knowledge. And I am tapped out. I’m tired of talking. I’m tired of answering. I’m tired of questions.

Because there is a 5 year age difference between my oldest 2, I’m slowing discovering that the questions asked of me are on 2 different levels of my consciousness. The 3-year-old asks questions of evolution and general ideas about life and science…

“Where do lollipops grow?”

“Will I be big like Daddy one day?”

“Is Daddy your brother?”

“How your ‘gina (short for vagina) work?”

“Where did I grow?”

While the 9-year-old asks questions of fact…

“Do I have soccer tonight?”

“What did you pack me for lunch?”

“Do I have to read every day this week?”

“When does so-and-so get back from sleep away camp”

“Can I play with my cousin on Wednesday?”

This huge age difference forces me to recesses of my brain I didn’t know existed. If the average human only uses 10% of their brain, I’m pretty sure the average mom is forced to use more. Where the hell is Alex Trebek when you need him?

Of course, like every mom, I want my kids to be well-rounded, inquisitive and knowledgeable. I answer all their copious questions with as much of a straight face as I can keep and to the best of my knowledge based upon their level of understanding. But, MY GOD… I feel like I am on the longest job interview EVER!! And I don’t see the end in sight.

No one likes interviewing for a job. Personally, I’d rather have a root canal, it is quicker and less painful. If you are interviewing for a job that means one of two things… either you are out of work (in that case the job interview is really high pressure because you need a job) or you hate your current job and are looking for something else (in that case the dream job just seems to be right there. You can almost touch it… also very high stress).

But here’s the thing about the job interview that is Motherhood,


It’s mine.

My resume has been checked and is on file. Background check?  Done. You little animals have my DNA. References? Ask your father. And your grandma. Ask your other grandma. But the incessant questions will continue, no matter what.

They will always have questions for me.

Maybe about quantum physics or my past, or their future, or what color is made when you mix red and white? And no matter how much I’d like to hide in the closet with my headphones on listening to Prince’s Purple Rain album in its entirety, on repeat… I can’t.

At least not today.

Because they asked for Chicken and Dumplings for dinner and I’m gonna make it.

I just need to ask my mom for her recipe.



“Mama said they’ll be days like this…”

We all have “those days.”

I’m finding, when you have young children, you have more of the days my mama told me about. Lot’s more. Days where a glass of wine sounds like a good breakfast. Days where all you do is referee the most ridiculous fights (But he won’t stop looking at me {punch, kick} And he touched me first {headbutt} MOM!) but you don’t see the Don King “dolla dolla bills.” Days where you’re wondering how your college educated, brilliant mind, is scooping shit out of a size 5 pull-up. Days where you would pay good money to only have to do this 50% of the time.

Which brings me to my point.

Hubby and I spent our 20’s attending weddings. Everyone was getting married.

Then our 30’s at baby showers. Everyone was getting pregnant.

Now here we are, staring at 40, and EVERYONE is getting divorced.

The majority of my divorced and separated friends seem happy about it. They are out “doin’ it, and doin’ it, and doin’ it well” and I’m reading about it on Facebook while picking peanut butter out of my hair and finding dried snot on my shirt.

I love my family. I wouldn’t change a fucking thing about where I’m at right now. But, when I have an extra stressful day at home of repeating myself a trillion times to deaf little ears… I day-dream about having a weekend free from children.

‘Cause right now I’m on 100% of the time. My husband works 6 days a week and when he walks in the house at 7 pm, you’d think the Ringling Brothers circus just pulled up in the driveway. He’s the awesome novelty act while I am the warden.

“Daddy’s home!! DADDY!!! DADDY!!! DADDY!!”

{and they run to their Father and meet him before he even gets a foot in the door with hugs and kisses and stories about their day}

And I’m standing in the kitchen, making dinner, wearing the baby, hair stuffed into some off-kilter pony-tail.

I’m the Ogre that makes them wash their face, and “grab your backpack”, and “please sit on your bottom”, and “take your hand out of your pants”, and “STOP TOUCHING YOUR BROTHER!!”

And then I hear about all my divorced or separated friends who get their kids at a specific time, a time when they are well rested and the house is picked up, and they haven’t seen them in 5 days so they have super amazing trips planned, and “fun time” on the agenda. They get to have a different relationship with their children then I do.

I’m not gonna lie, sometimes… when I listen to their stories, I’m a twinge jealous.

I used to be super fucking fun.

Before kids, I was the person you called when you wanted to feel better. I was the one who had everyone’s stomach hurting with laughter. I would do stupid, reckless, and hilarious shit. I was a hoot.

But my kids don’t get to see that side of me because I’m too busy. And that kinda blows.

So at night, after an especially draining day and thankless unpaid hours of doing what I do because I have to… I’ll talk to a girlfriend who’s now a single mom. And she’ll tell me all the fantastic stories about the myriad of 22-year-olds she’s out kissing, and how she has her child this weekend and they are going to Disney or a movie or a concert… and I’ll be half listening to her while the other half of me is listening to the baby monitor… where in the other room, I overhear my husband reading a goodnight book to our 3-year-old, while the 9-year-old sits with his baby brother, who is cooing and giggling, and I think about how ridiculously lucky I am that I don’t ever have to share them, or worse yet… miss them.

Although they drive me batshitcrazy, I couldn’t even handle the emptiness I’d feel having to miss one fucking second of their lives.

Not one tear, not one poop, not a single moment.

Full-time Motherhood is a mind numbing siege.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the universe.