Tag Archives: mom problems

Snack-happy Son Goes to Costco

“I’m off to Costco! Any requests?”  I shout from the  family room.
Thump-thump-thump. Footsteps tread down the stairs.
“I’m goin’ with you, mom,” teen son informs me.
My eyes narrow, instantly suspicious. “Why?”
“I’m hungry. There’s no food in this house!”


Definition for no food: lack of munchies, microwaveable  fast food, and/or cans of chili.
Note: Vegetables, fruit, pasta, rice, and frozen meat products are available in refrigerator/freezer.

I hand son the keys and tell him to drive. Mmmm…it  will be nice for someone to push the 2-ton cart and load the heavy boxes into the car’s trunk.

Warning: Do not take a hungry teenager to Costco! Especially a ravenous son!

Our Costco conversation:

“We need another one,”  he says, pointing to the 8-pack in my hand.
“I am not buying 20 dollars worth of canned chili!”
“It’s my daily snack!” he hoists three 8-packs into the cart. “How ’bout these?”

He pulls a 12-pack of over-priced vegetable & fruit individual serving-size smoothies from cold storage. “I take these to class! Sis drinks them too! We need 2 cases.” Into the cart they go. “I’m so glad I came. You never get the good stuff.”

Good stuff= over-priced processed food/drink.

The packages and multi-packs are stacked high in the cart. My inner calculator has long since crashed. (10…20…15…12…14…oh, forget it.)

Son at costcoAt the register, he gleefully sets the grub on the conveyor belt. “I’m starving! Can I stop at the food court for lunch?”

As if spending a zillion dollars on food wasn’t enough, we wheel the cart to the snack bar outside where he orders a gigantic sandwich.

The Good: He loaded and unloaded our haul. And put the food in the cupboards.

The Bad: He bought a calorie-laden smoothie for me. I had to drink it.

The Ugly: My pantry is filled with cans of chili.

Related Posts: Sequestration at my houseQueen of T.PWanted: Food FairyImpatient Me: Life in the Fast Lane; Mom’s Smoke Signals

Pantry Pandemonium

pantry 2This bad-silly  poem is in response to a friend’s request.  Not the “badness”  mind you, but the topic. It’s a fearful subject for lots of moms.  The dreaded…the terrible…the pantry.

Open up the door and beware!
Look for ingredients if you dare!
These shelves are high and over full
always disorganized, it’s a house rule!


Cereal to the left, cans to the right
I swear ghosts visit in the middle of the night
to move the bags of pasta and the Tupperware
behind a box of Bisquick and cans of  pears.


I try, I do, to organize the space
everything in it’s own neat and tidy place.
with Martha Stewart’s baskets of wicker
and Target plastic with ugly stickers
and mini racks from Bed, Bath & Beyond
and –Forget it! I need Harry Potter’s wand.


“Put it back where you found it!” I beg and I plead.
“You promised, remember? We all agreed.”
Mom is tired, so tired of organizing these shelves
really wish I could just hire those cute Keebler elves.


Maybe if I label the shelves or color code
 it would  all stay neat, no need for mom to explode.
Then I could find the jam, the mustard, and the spices
Mom would be sooo happy, perhaps even nicer!


And if the honey dribbles down the side of the jar                                                                                                                              
wipe it off before it sticks like tar.
Tighten the lids, seal the bags                                                                                            Then mom won’t have to nag, nag, nag.

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 Note to readers: These beautifully arranged cupboards are courtesy of a friend who obviously has too much time on her hands.  Hugs, Diana!
Related Posts: Mom’s smoke signals; Sequestration at my house; Queen of T.P.; Wanted: Food Fairy; Impatient me: Life in the fast lane:

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Mom’s Smoke Signals

smokeConclave! Catholic Cardinals from around the globe are sequestered in a room until they decide on the next pope.  And how do they communicate their decision to the world? Everyone knows the answer! Black smoke means no pope chosen. White means “we have a pope.”

An effective method, yes? Antiquated, but efficient. Evident to everyone watching! Well, that got me to thinking…

Moms are responsible for many, many  decisions; our minds a tangle of stuff to worry and obsess over. What if moms used smoke signals to communicate to the outside world what was going on inside the house or inside their head? It might prevent a whole heap of trouble. Children would instantly know the mental state of mom. Hubby would understand what was in-store for him before he walked through the door.

Here’s my  list of smoke colors and their indications.

Black: Mom’s in a bad mood. Enter at your own risk. Do not–repeat–do not ask “What’s for dinner?”

White: Mom is feeling benevolent and at peace with the world. Maybe, she even baked cookies!

Blue: Mom is sad and needs a hug. A cup of tea might be nice, too.

Red: Enter at your own risk! Somebody did something or something happened to incur mom’s wrath.

Burgundy: Mom needs wine! Hubby should turn around and drive to store immediately! Chocolate makes a tasty accompaniment.

Pink: Mom feels pretty ( perhaps a visit to the salon or a new purchase is involved). Notice and compliment mom’s new hair/clothes/make-up.

Yellow: Like the biblical Judas Iscariot who is described as wearing a yellow cloak, someone is in deep doo-doo. If you suspect it might be you, confess immediately!

Brown: Dinner is burnt to a crispy crunch because mom was too busy writing her novel to notice the smell.

Green: Mom needs house or yard work done ASAP (lawn maintenance, rooms cleaned, trash out).  Be prepared for chores!

What if you don’t have a chimney or the chimney has never been used? No problem! Either send a text message or a picture of the color!

Smoke signals…good for mom…beneficial for the whole family!

Do you have any suggetions for colored smoke signals??

Related Posts: Sequestration at my house; Queen of T.P; Wanted: Food FairyImpatient Me: Life in the Fast Lane



Sequestration at My House

congressSequestration…sequestration…that’s all I’ve been hearing about for weeks! It’s all sequestration frustration!

While I drive to work, when I drive home, on the evening news. (No, I’m not telling you which channel I watch–I know better than to get involved in a political debate!)

I decide to look up the word as it applies to the government and the definition is VERY long, but extremely informative. I used  A Glossary of Political terms.

In a nutshell, sequestration refers to the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that result when Congress can’t reach a Budget resolution, EXCEPT on ALL those programs that are exempt. Which means, the non-exempt programs have to absorb the cuts of those  (mostly gigantic) exempt programs. I am positive I have oversimplified the definition waaaaaaaay too much.

So…this got me to thinking.  I need a little sequestration in my house. Some across-those-kitchen-cupboards spending cuts except on those necessities I deem vital to the household and my sanity.

coinsBudget Cuts:
  • ESPN channels 1 thru 500: Need I say more?
  • Green fees (sorry, hon)
  • Fast-food for teens too lazy to make a sandwich
  • Lawn service: good exercise for the men in the home
  • Snack foods that end with -itos ( Doritos, Fritos, Burritos, Cheetos, etc): no nutrituional value
  • Carbonated and/or flavored water: Try H2O + lemon= refreshment
  • Starbucks: Writers need coffee–it’s like a commandment or something. (Thou shalt drink over-priced coffee while writing.)
  • Wine: Provides many excellent health and emotional benefits
  • Chocolate: Mood enhancement
  • Manicures: Allows mom to feel pampered while she’s  working, slinging dinner, & writing

I’m going to announce my sequestration cuts today. I’m sure everyone will have no problem with the exempt “programs.”

And if the family doesn’t like it what are they gonna do? Vote me out?

Related Posts:Juror #1000; What Would George Washington Do; New Years Resolutions


Queen of T.P.

“We’re out of toilet paper, mom!”
“There’s no more toothpaste left, honey.”
“How come we don’t have any more paper towels?”tp

Sound familiar?

One of the joys of being a Mom is that ever so gradually–over the course of many years– you inherit a few choice titles and responsibilities as well–important monikers of distinction and honor. (Can  you hear the sarcasm?)

  1. Queen of Toilet Paper: Maintains TP inventory of all bathrooms in the home.
  2. Refrigerator Czar: Responsible for incoming and outgoing food; inside cleanliness; and defender of “I’m saving that” specialty items.
  3. Empress of the Iron: Specialist in ironing clothes that family members need in 2 minutes.
  4. Pantry Princess: Stocks and organizes all canned and dried goods.
  5. Monarch of the Mall: Knows exact GPS location of every single store and closest crownparking spot.
  6. Countess of Coordination: Organizes all important events so they fall on the exact same day
  7. Maharajah of Manners: Stand in for Emily Post or Miss Manners
  8. Tyrant of the Trash: Only person capable of identifying an overflowing trash can
  9. Dinnertime Dictator: Chooses time, location, availability, and menu of meals
  10. Duchess of Don’t: Repeats time-honored maxims: “Don’t throw the ball in the house;” “Don’t forget _____:” “Don’t give me attitude:”  “I don’t think so:”

royalDo you have any special royal titles?

Related Posts: Experienced Mom lesson #1; 20 Signs you’re an Adult; Gadget Girl; Countless Club Cards; The Refrigerator Blues:

Wardrobe Malfunctions

The 73rd Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsIs it me? Is it a girl thingThere was a time when I  pulled on a pair of pants, threw a top over my head and BAM! I was fashionable. No longer! The current fashion trends require some serious pre-planning to pull-off.

Here’s a few clothing choices with which I have difficulty:

  • Wispy see-thru blouses that are indecent and require a tank top
  • Loosely knit sweaters that have more holes than yarn! (thus, a sweater that is not warm–oh, the irony)
  • Crop tops requiring a lengthening layer underneath or fabulous abs ( have the layer, not the abs)
  • Tunic tops that only look good with skinny pants
  • Low rider jeans that make sitting without butt cleavage a challenge
  • Tops cut down to there! ( layering again)

Clothes are just too ambiguous these days!

There are:
  • skinny jeans as tight as  leggings
  • leggings that resemble jeans
  • pants that look like a skirt
  • dresses that are as short as tunics
  • skirts which look suspiciously like a tube top
  • skirts that double as either a skirt or dress
  • yoga pants that might as well be trousers

While shopping the other day I held up a filmy $300.00 piece of I-don’t-know-what and asked my daughter, “What’s this?”

“IDK,” ( she speaks in text )”but it’s marked off 60%.”

“It’s either a skirt or a top,” I say with great confidence.

“No, it’s a dress!” She shows me the little bralette insert at the top.

Well, I’l be damned. In addition to the price, manufacturers should include the type of clothing and how to wear it–you know, skirt, top, dress, pants. Wear with buttons in back—something like that.

I almost bought a sheer net A-line garment to wear over a dress or pants or pantsuit or skirt or…you get the picture.  Don’t know what I was thinking! It was just so pretty—and impractical…and another layer!

Hubby wonders why I stamp my feet in the closet.

“Look at all your clothes!” He sweeps his a hand across the row of filmly, diaphanous, knitted tops and wide, skinny, straight, pants/skirts.

“Yeah! But nothing goes! Achieving the bohemian-chic or hipster effortless look is too time-consuming!”

Related Posts: Fashionista Fanatic
Click  Amazon link for novels.

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Experienced Mom lesson #1

Baby. Toddler. Pre-schooler. Elementary  Pre-teen. Teen. Adult. Older Adult.
Ah, those were the days! Mom-solvable problems.

Ah, those were the days! Mom-solvable problems.

It doesn’t matter their age, each stage comes with its own set of unique problems, frustrations, and joys.

Last week during lunch break, a fellow teacher asked, “When does raising kids get easier?”

I had a choice. Lie. Or set her straight. A lie would make her feel better. The cold hard truth would be most upsetting.

I felt like a little drama that day.

“It doesn’t! It gets worse!” I had a big smile plastered on my face–part sympathy, part pity, part smug know-it-all.

“Worse? How can that be? I’ve been up all night with a sick kid, changing diapers, and cleaning vomit from the bedding and carpet!”

My grandfather used to say this: Little children, little problems. Big children, big problems.

I & AI didn’t know what he meant back then, but I do now. First hand experience! It’s a doozy!

(And when I call my mom to b**** about something, I remember that her kid problems haven’t ended either. My pain is her pain.)

Mom has her own saying: A mother is only as happy as her most miserable child.

Depressing, isn’t it?  But I didn’t go into that during our lunch hour– I mean, the woman had to teach for three more hours–so I couldn’t totally crush her spirit.

So instead, I gave her Experienced Mom lesson #1.

“It gets more difficult. The problems  and worries and aggravations change. There will be be boo-boos you can’t kiss to make feel better.Homework you aren’t able to help them with. Friends who are unknown to you. Failures you must let them experience on their own.

And sleeping through the night? Talk to any parent of a teenager and ask them how well they sleep knowing their teenager is driving a metallic death machine. Teen problems are extra angst-filled because there’s precious little a parent can do to change their child’s behavior. Time Outs don’t work. Teens like them! Cuz they don’t like us much anyway during those years. (And that’s putting it mildly.)

  • Teens are Masters of Hyperbole: “Everyone is going to the dance.” “The teacher hates me.” “I’ll die without my phone.”
  • Experts at Subterfuge. Classy to trashy attire switcheroos at a friend’s house. Secret trips to get a belly button piercing.
  • Excellent Liars: “I don’t have any homework.” “I was only holding the joint for a friend.” “Sex? No way.” “I swear I turned the essay in.” “Yes, I am enrolled full-time.” “They haven’t posted the grades yet.”
  • Specialists at Passive/Aggressive behavior: For example, there is no way a parent can make a child do homework or pay attention in class.

samYou don’t stop being a parent when your child is an adult either. There are still late night  interruptions and last minute surprises. Plans cut short because some kid needs you NOW.

No, rearing children doesn’t get any easier. Sorry.”

“But…but… something…something must get better…Something?”  my friend asked, horrified by my words.

“The frustrations get worse. But the joys become greater. That’s the good part.”

There’s a reason why parents cry at their children’s graduation, wedding, or birth of the first grandchild. There’s a lifetime of memories attached to those tears.

Bad. Sad. Good. Happy.

“I wouldn’t trade all those memories for anything!”


Wanted: Food Fairy

No joke! My daughter sent this text early in the  morning--she had no idea what today's post is about!

No joke! My daughter sent this text early in the morning–she had no idea what today’s post is about!

“Send somebody else to the grocery store!” my daughter suggests after I complain about my almost daily trips to the market–for food I don’t eat.

Seems every one in the house has 1) a car and 2) an appetite, 3) two hands, 4) 2 feet, 5) a brain, but everyone  expects  the fridge and pantry to magically fill itself–as if there’s some kind of Food Fairy.

I‘ve tried sending kiddos and Hubby to the grocery store–even gave them my pack of super saver cards and the magic plastic money card, but it never works out well.

I guess after all these years, I’m just tired of figuring out what everybody wants to eat. Oh, the basics are easy. Cheddar goldfish for daughter, cans of chili for son, but those won’t actually feed a family for a week.

Seems there’s several types of grocery items:
1.specific ingredients for meals
2. snacks
3. non food items

Once in a while, I tell kiddos and Hubby to “get food.”  I know, I know…vague.  I don’t even give them a list I just say, “figure it out.”  I mean  it’s not like they have to go into the forest to forage for berries or hunt for meat, so I don’t understand the groans.

“But what should I get?”  they ask, befuddled by my request.

I mean, they’ve only eaten like….everyday of their life!  “I don’t know.You decide.”  This grocery shopping will require higher level  thinking on their part, something they only do at work or school.

“Mom’s in one of her moods,” they mumble under their breath as they trudge out of the house.

  • Hubby’s haul:  meat, meat, meat, lettuce,and more meat
  • Daughter’s finds: make-up remover, mascara, Cheddar goldfish, candy, pretzels, face wash, ice cream, soy milk, Nutella
  • Son’s spoils: chocolate donuts, hot pockets, chips, cans of chili, frozen taquitos, razors
  • Grandmom’s loot (when she visits): triple cream brie, smoked salmon, capers, olives, vodka, diet club soda, gourmet crackers, wine ( actually she’s great at getting  the ingredients for an entire meal)

Several food groups are missing. Vegetables being the biggie.

Maybe they need more practice.

I might post this ad on Craig’s List, because you can get ANYTHING on that website.

WANTED: Food Fairy for hungry, snack-happy, unpredictable, impulsive, capricious  family who has many dietary needs.

 Food Fairy duties:
  • predicts what everyone will crave for the next 5 days
  • knows what food I’m running low on and which vegetables are rotting in the veggie bin
  • anticipates what I will have time or motivation to prepare
  • puts all the groceries away where they belong
  • throws out unidentifiable leftovers and wilted veggies

I can dream can’t I?

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Impatient Me ! Life in the Fast Lane

My family agrees!

My students as well. I can be a bit impatient. My students are used to me saying “let’s go, let’s go” as they shuffle paperwork forward or as I shoo them to their next class.

My family knows I absolutely, positively hate waiting in a line. I fidget, my brow furrows, my teeth clench. A fast moving line I can deal with. A slow-line, a what-the-heck-is-taking-so-long-with-that-order line sets me on edge. I wasn’t always this way. I used to be a patient person.

I blame my children. A mom of 4 children has a lot to get accomplished every day. Piles of laundry, diapers, dishes, grocery shopping, driving here and there for this and that.  I learned to do everything FAST!  Life demanded it!

My children’s pleas still echo in my ear: Hurry up! I’m gonna be late to (fill in event).

I had to throw groceries into the cart FAST before one of them 1) had to pee, 2) threw a tantrum, 3) knocked something from the shelf, 4) got cranky.

I learned to make dinner FAST before 1) I had to drive someone somewhere, 2) I needed to pick someone up, 3) someone got cranky, 4)  the baby woke up, 5) the baby had to be fed again.

Speed was important because with 4 children–you never knew what the next minute would bring. One minute everything would be great–the next, a child  might 1) fall and bust open their head, 2) stuff a snail into their mouth, 3) learn how to unlock the front door, 4) escape from the car seat, 5) start a fire in the kitchen,  7) escape from your grip to run across the parking lot…well, you get the picture.

Speed has served me well in a few areas of life. Not all–that’s where the no patience thing started. You might call it impatience, but I call it efficiency.

True story: An ex-husband used to tell me to “Hurry up and relax.”  Huh?

So when I found this video of John Pinette’s “Get out of the Line”  comedy routine, it became a favorite.
I was so glad to learn I was not the only one who has difficulty with people who get to the front of the line and then take forever to order or ask dumb questions about the menu!


Related Posts: Sequestration at my houseQueen of T.PWanted: Food Fairy; Moms Smoke signals; Pantry Pandemonium

The Refrigerator Blues

I got the cool–
those dual
Refrigerator blues
 Cuz, it’s true
I need to own two.
Twin places to keep yesterday’s stew
Double the storage for food that’s new.
Two times the space to fill with Tupperware
Of dinner leftovers or restaurant fare.
Mexican fajitas, Chinese take-out
Korean barbecue, half a jar of sauerkraut.


Limpy carrots, a rotten Portobello mushroom
This 2nd fridge is nothing more than a cold food tomb


Bottles of water and two cans of beer
are  carelessly shoved to the very rear
To make room for one pizza slice
 A carton of eggs and leftover rice.


The boxes, the cartons, the plastic wrapped food
Remain there quite nicely, until I’m in the mood
To clean out the 2nd fridge in my spare time.
Then, oh, dear, who knows what I might find!


Out of sight, out of mind,
That’s the well-known rhyme
If only I could remember just what’s inside
Before it rotted, dried out, or died
I would be ever so thrifty and clever
Knowing what I bought, forgetting never!


Then it hits me! It does! As I write this sad verse.
I pull the phone from out of my purse.
I open the fridge door, snap a picture, it’s true
Now I won’t have to guess, I will have a clue!
Once a week, I pledge, the photo I’ll update
The leftovers will be saved from their horrible fate!


In fact, that gives me another idea that’s grand
For trips to the store and super-sized land.
The insides of both refrigerators will I with camera snap
Then I won’t fall into the “do I have that” trap.


Riddle me this:
How can both refrigerator and pantry be stuffed with food
but Hubby and kiddos say we have nothing to eat?

freshest food is behind fridge door #1

who know what lurks behind fridge door #2

Related Posts: Treadmill Lament; My Closet; Wanted: Food Fairy; Gadget Girl; Smokin’ Good Times