Monthly Archives: October 2010

Trick or Treat?

6:45 a.m. Halloween, 2006
Eileen 6, Aidan 4

Going Clubbin' | Halloween 2006

“MOM! Aidan’s room smells like a monkey house!” screams Eileen while holding her nose.

I walk in and my gag reflux starts to kick in. What the hell? And as only a mom who directly plants her nose in her baby’s butt to see if there’s poop, I sniff my way around his room trying to figure out where the awful stench was coming from. A sippy cup with old milk? Rotten chicken nuggets? Tom’s socks? A dead mouse? It was that bad. My eyes were watering.

I strip the bed, look under the dresser and search through the stuffed animals. Nothing to see, but plenty to smell. Finally, I move his bed and discover three fossilized turds. Seriously? I’ve heard of rolling craps but this was ridiculous!

Apparently, he had an accident and decided to hide the evidence. I couldn’t think of a better punishment than no candy. Yes, on Halloween.

We fumagated, tricked and treated. After dinner, Aidan gazed sadly at Eileen surrounded by her mountain of candy and announced, “I’m out!” and sent himself to bed.

Hope you don’t find any Baby Ruths this Halloween!



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And the Award for the Most Pathetic Costume Goes to…

Pikachu and Queen Kong, 2008

Let me bring you back to 2008: Aidan decided that he wanted to be Pikachu from Pokemon (the equivalent to Dungeons and Dragons to me). I found the costume online for $50 and assured him that we would have a great time making our own get-up. As you can tell, it turned out exactly like the store-bought costume. And Eileen — the diva who wore princess gowns and ballerina tutus 24/7 for six straight years — insisted on using a “vintage” nappy monkey costume that we had in the dress up box to be Queen Kong.  Fortunately, we trick or treated with a large group, so no one knew that those were my kids!

Here are some other spooky memories from Halloweens of yesteryear…

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What was your most embarrassing costume when you were a kid?

(More blogs about Halloween past are on SITS Girls.)


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For Better or For Worse

Nothing says “I love you, schmoopie” like being greeted at the bottom of the basement stairs by a plastic grocery bag crammed with my husband’s sweaty clothes from a lunchtime workout. Usually I trip over them the day after they were flung down the stairs, so the contents are nice and ripe and slimy. I go into Bomb Squad Mode, carefully pick up the plastic explosive and shake the contents into the poor washing machine. If I am really lucky, a Speed Stick will also fall into the machine and I have to dig it out with my hands while holding my breath.

As much as I love being the laundry wench, I have my limits. If the shirt goes into the hamper inside out, it gets folded inside out.  And I am not proud, but I do discriminate.  Aidan is still challenged when getting dressed and could care less when his pants are on backwards. I turn his clothes right side out. Eileen’s clothes are so small that they are easy to flip. Except the skinny jeans that my flabby arm gets stuck in. Those remain inside out.

Mine? It depends on how lazy I am that day. Often I dump the clean laundry in the middle of the basement hoping that it will fold itself. (In my husband’s defense, when I ask him to fold the laundry — without rolling my eyes or sighing — he will help. Often, Eileen’s days-of-the week underwear end up in my basket but I take it as a compliment that he believes my butt is that small. Or maybe he thinks I need reminders to change my drawers.)

When it comes to Tom, forget it. I gave up. How it ends up in the hamper/floor/Jewel bag is how it gets folded. (And before you go thinking that I am a total A-hole, I recently found several other gal pals who also are on strike and leave their husbands’ clothes inside out.) He’s a big dude (6’3”) and I am a borderline, card-carrying dwarf (5’), so I have to stand up to turn his clothes right side out. Besides, I figure that he will eventually get the hint to submit his clothes in the proper fashion.

Well, not so much. He recently wore his polo inside out at work until one of his coworkers brought it to his attention.

Awkward? Yes. Lesson learned? Nope!


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B.S. Detector

A rectal thermometer.

That was the recommendation when I asked my friends for a good B.S. detector that would let me know if my kids were faking sick.

“Threaten the rectal thermometer and they will skedaddle off to school.”

Yesterday, I had to wake Aidan from a sound sleep to get ready for school. “IT’S MONDAY? I’M TOO TIRED! I WANT TO STAY IN BED!” (That was Aidan. Although I had a similar tantrum a half hour earlier. Tom has been out of town for the past five days, I am pooped.) I drag Aidan’s butt downstairs and sit him in front of a bowl of cereal. He insists that his stomach hurts and that he is way too tired to do anything. I check, and there’s no fever. I tell him he’s going to school. He starts a litany of every time I didn’t believe he was sick or hurt when he really was.

“Remember when I told you my stomach hurt and you told me to eat a Tums and I threw up in on the rug? And do you remember when I said my foot hurt in my ice skates and you made me skate and my ankle had blisters and I was bleeding? And do you remember…” Okay, punk. I got your point. Go back to bed. No TV. No video games. Sleep, books and coloring.

One hour later, the kid comes down and whines how there is nothing to do and starts spinning on my office chair. “Why can’t I play Lego or watch TV? This is so booooooooooring!”

I called B.S., packed him up and brought him to school where he wouldn’t be so bored.

Fast forward to 3 o’clock. Aidan runs out of school, tackles his buddies and heads off to a friend’s house while I get ready to help shuttle our Girl Scout troop off to a field trip. All but one of our 27 girls are assembled outside waiting to caravan to the Nature Center. The missing kid: mine. So we wait. And wait. And wait.  (Eileen is notorious for being unorganized and disheveled, so packing up her backpack can be an ordeal.) My blood starts to boil and I am losing my patience. Ten minutes go by and she finally hops out of the school, sobbing, “I fell and hurt my ankle!”

“Oh, you’re fine,” says the B.S. detector.

“It REALLY hurts! I just want to go home!”

I clench my teeth and reply, “I have a car full of girls that I am driving to this field trip that we are running late for. We are going. I have ice in the car for your snacks that we will put on your ankle.”

At this point, my friend and co-leader Maureen steps in as the Nice Caring Mom that I should have been in that moment. “Okay, let’s take off the extra weight,” she says calmly as she removes my kid’s backpack. “Then let’s get you off of your feet,” and she heroically picks up my kid like the scene from An Officer and a Gentleman. (Well, except for the part where Richard Gere has a gerbil up his butt.)

“Um, thanks Maureen,” I mumble. “You can just bring her to the curb and I’ll pull the van up.”

“Leave her by the curb? I got this.” And she walks down the block, carrying Eileen in her arms.

Really? I couldn’t do that for my own kid? Was the Nature Center going to explode if we were five minutes late? Couldn’t I relate to a hurt ankle considering that I just did the same thing a few weeks ago? Where do I sign up for Compassion Lessons? Why do I ask so many questions?

I suck. I should be fired.

We get to the Nature Center that involved a hike, so Eileen and I sat that part out. She then hopped around for the rest of the event and I whisked her off to her four-hour play practice while she ate a PB&J in the car. Fortunately, another Nice Caring Mom noticed her hopping into rehearsal and offered to run home and bring back crutches. So, Eileen hobbled through the rehearsal, three costume changes and a few dance numbers — tripping her fellow cast-mates with her serious crutch skills. She falls into pieces during the car ride home over the disappointment of hurting herself right before the play opens.

This morning, it was still painful for her to stand. I resist the urge to say, “Are you sure?” and bring her to the doc for x-rays. She has a sprain and needs to stay on crutches until it doesn’t hurt. I joked (kinda) with the doctor about injecting her with steroid or cortisone so she can be crutch-free for the play this weekend. For some reason, he said no. She’ll still be able to perform on crutches, but it definitely impedes any Jazz Hand movements.

My poor kid.

Whoever coined the phrase “Break a leg!” before a show should have a crutch shoved up his keyster. Like a rectal thermometer.

If you liked this post about my broken Bullshit Detector, then you’ll love this past post about my husband’s kidney stones!


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1000 Words


Red-Headed Step Sister and Price Charming, 2003


Thought I’d share my all-time favorite picture that I would run back into my burning house to save!

(Although to this day, I still notice the red mark on Aidan’s chest where I accidentally pinched him with the car seat buckle. Oh, the guilt.)


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Serving Up Humble Pie and Excuses

6th Grade Class Picture, 1979

“Okay Karen, I will be the first to admit I thought this blog was going to be more mommy bullshit. Seriously, pass the Tena Lady, I’m peeing myself. It’s so freaking hilarious.”

Just over a month ago, I threw this blog out to the masses and thanks to the power of amazing friends, supportive family and this new fad called the World Wide Web, the word is spreading like bedbugs. The response has been beyond overwhelming and I just can’t thank you enough for reading. Or for even giving a rat’s ass!

It’s been surreal. People are saying nice things to my face, posting links on Facebook and forwarding emails to their friends. Thanks to your kind efforts, the site has over 6400 hits from around the world. Many faithful followers are among the most elite graduates of Harvard. (Illinois.) And now I am even controversial! This blog has been blocked from the employee web server of a national hotel chain thanks to my foul language. My parents are so proud!

I am truly humbled, flattered and also scared out of my pants that my family will become normal and I will run out of material.  Even Eileen asked, “Are you going to do this when you retire? Because we won’t be funny when we are older.”

Speaking of, many have asked, “Aren’t you worried about your kids reading this online some day?” There have been a few implications that I am exploiting my kids for my own gain. Hey, I’m no Kate Gosselin. The only thing we have in common is the desire for a tummy tuck. And the similarities end there. (She got one and I am still the owner of a deflated tire around my waist.)

My kids knew what they were signing up for when they were born: I am a blabber mouth. They are used to their embarrassing stories being shared by anyone who looks in my direction. It builds character and just may have them think twice about being boneheads. For example, a few weeks ago, I busted Aidan taking a whiz in a Diet Coke bottle while sitting in our van parked in front of his grandma’s house. After delivering the riot act, his response was, “Hey mom, can we just keep this one between the two of us?” Sure buddy, no problem.

I’ve also been asked, “Why are you taking so long to write another post?” (Mainly by my husband who thinks I can fart out prose between loads of laundry. At least he believes in me, right?) The truth is I received such a positive response from Eileen’s Project Runway story that I gave myself writer’s block. I was beyond nervous that I reached my peak in week three and the next post would Jump the Shark. You know that moment when your favorite TV show tries too hard, takes a dive and drifts off to Cancellation City. (Impress your friends: The term “Jump the Shark” is named after that Happy Days’ episode when Fonzie jumps the shark while water skiing — probably in a Tommy Barlett Water Show in the Dells.) It usually happens when they introduce a little kid to a show. Oliver in Brady Bunch. The “That’s So Raven” chick in the Cosby Show. That blond kid with the bowl haircut in Family Ties. Or when Kimberly from Melrose Place came back from the dead and ripped off her wig to reveal her scar from brain surgery. (How I can remember that and not what I had for dinner last night scares me.)

Aaay! Fonzie Jumps The Shark

Anyway, besides writer’s block which I found can be cured with two vodka lemonades slammed down during a disastrous “fun family dinner at a restaurant,” regular life stuff got in the way of posting. Eileen was home sick for four days while my poor dad was installing recessed lighting in my kitchen. A real bitch of a job considering that all of the old wiring is white (GODDAMMIT) and I am paying him in Oreos and coffee. Also, for the past two weeks, I practiced Safe Sanding by wrapping all the cabinets and appliances in prophylactics so the dust doesn’t get into every frickin’ crevice. Each day, I would forget to pull out (no pun intended) the peanut butter or cereal necessary to feed the people. Eileen created a snot cave in the basement that was only accessible by leaving through the front door, walking around the house and going down the side door since there wasn’t any kitchen access. I really don’t know how anyone survives real construction. I am such a wimp.

Fun with Saran Wrap

While Eileen was sick, I was scheduled to help during her play rehearsal (without her) to make sure the kids behaved. These are drama kids: lots of touching and loving and singing and talking. And me shhh-ing. At one point, the director needs me to do Eileen’s part because the staging is so complicated and they want to make sure the whole cast is in place. I am hardly shy, but I was soaked in nervous flop sweat, cheating off the kid next to me because I had no idea the difference between stage left, a pivot step and jazz hands. This went on for two hours to learn a five-minute song — and I still didn’t catch on! At the end, the director sends in the parents to show off what the kids learned and there I am doing a square dance, mouthing the words and looking like a complete jackass. (Hopefully they thought I was a puffy version of my kid.) But like the blog, the show must go on.

(Oh, also the entire time Eileen was sick, she complained about Aidan constantly hugging her. “It’s not out of the goodness of his heart! He said that he wants to be sick and stay home to watch TV.” Then I found out that he never unpacked his toothbrush from an overnight trip and was “brushing” his teeth — twice a day, mind you — with his finger. For a week. Was probably flossing with his big toe, too.)

A few days later, I was racing back and forth from play rehearsal (Eileen’s, not mine this time) and Aidan’s soccer practice that are conveniently located on opposite ends of town. I was running late to get Aidan, rolled a stop sign and spotted the cherries in my rear view mirror. I plead soccer mom insanity, but the cop doesn’t buy it. He goes back to the squad car and writes a ticket for the next 90 minutes. In the meantime, my cell rings and it’s Tom asking when I am going to be home. “Well, I don’t know. I am pulled over right now.” No lie, at that exact moment, he responds, “Yeah, I see you,” and drives past me! At least he was able to get Aidan as I hung my head in shame and accepted the $120 ticket. Ouch.

Now that I got that pile of thank yous and excuses out of the way, we will return your regularly scheduled blog about penises and poop and puke.


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