jdin348l     I cannot get it out of my head.  I think about it ALL the time, and I surf the net looking for it.  I want it so badly that it’s completely consumed me. Just the idea of it makes me tingly all over.  Oh, come on now — get your mind out of the gutter, you perverts!  I’m talking about getting a puppy! Yes, we are, in fact, about to bite the bullet and finally bring a dog into the Nucking Futs family.

     We always knew we’d get a family dog someday, because my husband and I both are HUGE dog lovers.  Plus, my daughter’s been bugging us to get a dog from the moment she learned to talk.  We have waited, though, until what we thought was just the right time, and now seems to be that time. With the kids getting ready to finally start a full day of school (versus that ridiculously short two and a half hours of kindergarten), I am starting to get really sad about the house being empty during the day.  I thought I’d be turning cartwheels and doing the happy dance once I finally got a whole day to myself.  But, as it turns out, I think I’m gonna be a little lonely without them.  I’m starting to think that having a furry little four-legged creature around during the day might be just what I need.  So, we are ready to take the plunge.

     Ever since we started talking about the prospect of actually getting a dog, I can’t help but be obsessed with them.  It’s like when you get a new car, and you’re constantly checking out every single car that passes you on the road. I find myself gawking over every dog in the neighborhood lately, trying to see what breeds seem to be good with kids and which ones seem to be a total pain in the ass.  (I most certainly don’t want one of those yippy yappy kinds that stand in the backyard and bark all night long.  You know who you are, you little suckers — you often prevent me from sleeping with the window open, thank you very much!)  I’ve also been googling the hell out of different breeds and asking Facebook friends for advice.  (By the way, asking friends about types of dogs is like asking them which baby name you should go with — it’s like opening a can of worms, and suddenly, everyone is a dog expert.)  After all the obsessing and relentless researching, I think we’ve finally found our puppy.  

     We will be bringing home the little dude mid-September, which is perfect timing with the start of school.  That will give us just the right amount of time to get back into a routine and prepare for our new family member.  The only drawback to this whole master plan, however, is that my son, for whatever reason, is not real crazy about dogs.  He really could do without them altogether, so I’m hoping that helping to raise his own puppy will help in that department.

     So, now, the countdown to dog day afternoon is on!  I’m not sure how I’m going to get my daughter to contain herself in the meantime, because she asks me every single day if today is the day we’re getting the dog.  In six and half weeks, I’ll finally be able to say yes, it is!


Kumbaya’s Way More Fun With Wine


     Last night, my husband and the kids and I rode our bikes over to watch a little outdoor kids’ concert on the lawn of our library. Families were encouraged to bring over a blanket and a picnic dinner to listen to some fun, interactive tunes.  I honestly had no idea what to expect and really didn’t have that high of hopes.  I mean, how good could a FREE concert at the library really be?  And, thank God I didn’t get too jazzed up about it, because it was one of those ear-screeching experiences that I couldn’t wait to end.    

     After gulping down our dinner, the kids were ready to boogy and get crazy.  Some of their friends had also shown up, which only added more fuel to their already hyper fire.  At first the singer was very lively, encouraging all the kids to join in with the hand motions to the songs and even to dance if they wanted.  There were a decent amount of people in attendance, so my kids and their buddies decided to dance their way on up to the front. They parked themselves front and center and truly had the time of their lives. They were jumping up and down and laughing and singing — all things you would think would be flattering to the performer, right? Well, not this lady.  She actually used the freaking microphone to ask them to sit down so that other kids could see!   Did I mention that this was a very informal outdoor KIDS’ CONCERT??!!  And do you recall that she did, in fact, invite the kids to join in??!!  I was thoroughly confused, as were the kids.

     From that point on, the whole mood of the concert changed.  She started singing really dark, loud songs about whining kids and temper tantrums. It was literally almost as if she was yelling at us.  Everyone just kinda sat there and stared at her in awe.  I think I only saw one kid toward the back of the crowd who was up and dancing, and that was only because he was too little to know any better.  The singer had managed to turn the whole thing into a major buzz kill.  She must’ve eventually picked up on this, because she then went into a whole “kumbaya” theme.  Hands were swaying, and there was talk of love and peace and rainbows.  I felt like I was at Woodstock for kids and was wondering when someone was gonna start passing around pixie sticks instead of joints. Were we supposed to get naked and roll around in the mud, too?  It was all just a little too hokey for me.

     All in all, the kids ended up having a good time, because, seriously, what do they know?  Did it really even phase them one bit that they were told to sit down and be duds?  No.  Did they care that they had just sat through a shrieking medley of sappy “one love” songs by a slightly off-tune performer? No.  They’re kids, and they know how to put the fun into just about anything.  Next time, I’ll remember to put my own fun into it by bringing some “adult” beverages with me….

Laundry Booty

2006-08-11     When I open the door to the washing machine after finishing a load, I’m never quite sure what I’ll find in addition to the clothes.  It seems that my family has a nasty habit of shoving things in their pockets and not removing them before putting them in the dirty clothes.  I have found all kinds of random stash, all of which most certainly does not belong inside a pile of clean clothes.

     My husband is usually guilty of a piggy bank’s worth of coins stuffed in his pants’ pockets.  My kids then fight over who is the so-called “finder-keeper” of the spare change.  He’s also been known to leave business cards and golf tees in his pockets, as well as the occasional piece of gum or candy. The one that probably infuriated me the most was when he left a tube of lip balm in his pants that later melted in the dryer, creating huge grease stains all over a pair of my Juicy sweatpants — SOOOOO NOT COOL.

     My daughter’s usual hoarded item is wadded up Kleenex.  As most of you know, the washer does a serious number on destroying these said tissues and picking off all the teensy, tiny pieces that get stuck to EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF CLOTHING is not really what I consider to be a good time. My son is even worse about cramming his pockets full of oddball little “treasures.”  I’ve found dead bugs, rocks, grass, seashells, crab apples, and remnants of what used to be leaves scattered throughout my washing machine.  

     I thought I’d seen it all, but yesterday, I found yet another foreigner in my otherwise clean load of clothes.  As I was transferring the wet clothes to the dryer, little berries kept tumbling out onto the floor.  They looked like little green peas and seemed to be multiplying right before my eyes.  Some of them were connected by a stem in a bunch, but many of them were just single berries that ended up covering my floor.  What the hell were these stupid things and where in the world did they come from?  My son, of course, played the oblivion card and acted like he’d never seen them before, but my daughter, little Miss Tattle-Tale herself, told me that he’d picked them from the park at camp and filled the pockets of his swim trunks with them to bring home.  And, lucky me, I got to spend the next twenty minutes picking them out of every crevice of my laundry room area.

     I know what you’re thinking — why the hell don’t you just check everybody’s pockets BEFORE you throw them in the wash, lady?  Are you nucking futs or what?   The answer, as you well know, is yes, I am!  But, also, in my defense, I have an unbearable amount of laundry to do on a daily basis and simply don’t have the time, or quite frankly, the desire to check every piece of clothing.  I’m just too tired for all that.  So, I guess I’ll continue to be surprised about the random pieces of crap that come flying out of my washing machine.  My world is just so full of wonder and awe, isn’t it??!!

25 Things I Love About Summer

2008-05-01     Unfortunately, where we live, the summer goes by in the blink of an eye. Cold, gloomy weather dominates much of the year for us, so we try to soak up the summer sun as much as we possibly can for the short amount of time that it’s with us.  I’m starting to get sad that it’s already halfway over! There are SO many things I love about this time of year, so, now, I proudly present to you…25 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT SUMMER:

1.  Chilling at the beach with other moms while the kids all run around in a little wolf-pack the whole afternoon.

2.  Lazy mornings where we stay in our pj’s till almost lunchtime, simply because we can.

3.  Grilling out — doesn’t EVERYTHING just taste better when it’s grilled?!

4.  Being able to run pretty much any and all errands in nothing but my swimsuit and cover-up.

5.  Having the kids eat dinner on the patio so that the squirrels can clean up all the dropped crumbs for a change instead of me.

6.  Watching my kids entertain themselves for hours in the backyard with nothing but a broken tree branch.

7.  Lemonade stands and seeing all the little neighborhood entrepreneurs hard at work.

8.  Being able to go for a run outside without having to wear a thousand different layers for warmth.

9.  Knowing that those filthy dirty little piggies on my kids’ feet at night are the result of a helluva lot of fun.

10.  Going for ice cream and watching the chocolate drip down my kids’ happy faces.

11.  Bike rides to the park, even if they result in bloody knees and even more band-aids.

12.  Driving with the windows down in the car and watching my kids howl with laughter while the wind whips their hair.

13.  The peaceful sound of the locusts in all the big trees we have around our house.

14.  Finally seeing all our neighbors out and about, who are, like me, usually hibernating all winter long.

15.  Our Fourth of July party in the backyard — exhausting but tons o’ fun.

16.  Eating my hubby’s homemade guacamole and drinking margaritas.

17.  Less sickness and viruses among my kids — so nice to have a break from all that.

18.  Picnic lunches — pb&j’s for everyone (me included)!

19.  Summer camps — hey, mama needs a break sometimes!

20.  Watching my kids’ faces light up like crazy when they run into one of their teachers, who really do have lives outside of school, much to the delight/confusion of my kids.

21.  Longer visits at Grammy’s house — more QT together is always a bonus.

22.  Chasing after my kids through the beauty that is the Botanic Gardens.

23.  Fresh blueberries — my memory needs all the help it can get!

24.  Flip-flops!  Need I say more?!

25.  Spending as much time as possible with my kids before they’re all grown up right before my very own eyes.



     My poor son has done it once again.  Over the weekend, he managed to add even more boo-boos to his already expansive collection of scrapes, cuts, and bruises.  How did he get this latest addition, you ask?  Well, even though it looks like he was in some type of horrible motorcycle accident, he actually got it by simply walking. Yes, walking.  I’m afraid that we’re eventually gonna have to start referring to him as “Scarface.”

     Late Saturday afternoon, we decided to take the kids over to the pool to swim for an hour before dinner.  (It seemed like such a harmless idea at the time.)  Shortly after we got there, I ran into another mom that I know and was deep in conversation with her, while my husband was keeping an eye on the kids at the waterslides.  As is usually the case, about ten minutes into the conversation, my husband made his way over to me with my screaming, bleeding son in his arms. I immediately stopped my chat to find out what in God’s name had happened now.  Visions of the emergency room were dancing in my head.

     Apparently, my son was walking on the pool deck, not paying a bit of attention to what might be in his pathway, and ran into another kid. I don’t know if his feet got tangled in his towel or what, but he ended up doing a nasty face plant right on the concrete.  Unfortunately, my husband didn’t see it happen either and had to get the choppy story from the few random mothers who did.  And through my son’s hysterical cries, it was hard to hear exactly what had actually transpired.  

     I scooped him up from my husband and made my way over to a chair so that I could better distribute some TLC.  I wanted to check the inside of his mouth to make sure he hadn’t broken a tooth, but he was so upset that he wouldn’t let me even attempt to pry open his upper lip.  He had scraped the skin off his forehead, nose, upper lip, chin and even his little shoulder. It broke my heart to just look at him. So, I decided to play it safe rather than sorry and carried him over to the lifeguard/first-aid station.

     Of course, it’s standard procedure to ask a bunch of questions about the incident, all of which I couldn’t answer, because neither my husband nor I saw it all go down.  Maybe it was just my own guilt playing tricks on me, but I suddenly felt like I was being judged as the worst parent around for being so clueless.  After a brief examination, we discovered that my son’s teeth did appear to be in tact, thank God. So, the lifeguards filled out their little forms, gave us an ice pack and band-aids and sent us on our way.

     After serving him his absolute favorite meal (breakfast for dinner), followed by ice cream with sprinkles, he had completely cheered up. We’ve been glopping the hell out of his boo-boos with Neosporin ever since, in hopes that he doesn’t scar.  I feel like it looks even worse with each passing day, though.  The poor little guy is just an accident waiting to happen. Just exactly how are you supposed to protect your child from tripping over his own feet?  I’ve said before that he desperately needs to wear body armor, so I guess that now I’m gonna have to search for some that’s also waterproof.

The Lunchbag Challenge


willworkforfood     I have all but given up on what to pack in my kids’ lunches.  They have to be two of the pickiest children EVER to walk the face of the earth.  I have tried packing things that I am certain they will eat, only to find them untouched in their lunch bag at the end of camp.  What’s a mama to do?

     Part of the challenge is this whole “nut-free” rule that every kid-related organization seems to have these days.  I fully understand and appreciate the reason for having to instill this policy, because some of my kids’ friends have siblings with severe nut allergies.  It can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening, and I would NEVER want to put any other child at risk.  However, when your kid won’t eat any type of lunch meat and whose only major source of protein often comes from peanut butter, it’s a struggle, let me just tell ya!  And this brings me to my next issue — where did all these food allergies originate in the first place?  I swear EVERYBODY brought pb&j sandwiches in their lunches when I was growing up.  I mean, seriously, it’s a kid staple, especially in my house. There are some days when I don’t have the energy to fight my kids, and they have pb&j for lunch AND dinner.  Why not?!  I don’t really remember any serious food allergies back when I was a kid, other than my one friend who got hives from milk products.  It makes me wonder what they’re doing to our food these days that’s creating all these horrible reactions — kinda scary.

     So, I’ve been forced to get creative with what I pack for my kids to eat. In addition to the “main dish” (as my kids call it), I try to put in things that I KNOW they’ll eat, like Goldfish, grapes, granola bar (the expensive kind that I’m sure have not been processed in a plant containing traces of tree nuts), etc.  And, nine times out of ten, they eat almost everything but the “main dish.”  For a while, I was packing bagels with cheese, which turned out to be a major waste.  One smooshed bagel seemed to be the only thing left in their lunchbag each time.  I then switched to cheese and crackers, which came home in a thousand tiny pieces that exploded onto the floor when I opened their lunchbags.  I then tried butter sandwiches, because my kids are crazy about butter.  Result = fail, once again.  Next, I tried adding some jelly to the butter, because what kid can resist jelly?  Apparently, MY kids can and did just that. Today, I’m going to try just jelly, no butter, and see what happens there.  I’m running out of combinations, so they may just end up getting a freaking bread sandwich if this doesn’t work!

     This next school year is going to be even more interesting, because I know they’re gonna want to take money to buy their lunch in the cafeteria since they’ll be big first graders.  I have no doubt that they’ll come home without a single dime and a growling belly.  So, I guess I’ll continue giving them my speech about other kids who’d give anything to eat those wasted butter sandwiches and keep popping them full of multi-vitamins at night. This too shall pass…right? RIGHT??!!

June Cleaver: You Can Kiss My Ass

cleaverx     Today is a day that I am seriously considering going on strike.  I swear I work my fingers to the bone around here, and you can’t tell a bit of a difference. I clean up one mess just in time to turn around and find another. How in the world did June Cleaver make it all look so easy with her plastered on smile and her sparkly pearls?  I am convinced that she was popping happy pills, because I don’t know a single stay at home mom who likes her job that much.

      Over the weekend, I spent a solid two hours organizing my daughter’s bedroom into some type of functioning order.  The child had completely trashed the place with doll clothes, stuffed animals, jewelry and books shoved into every conceivable space.  I even went out and bought yet another cute pink storage container from Pottery Barn Kids to try to control some of the clutter.  I had that room looking spic and span by the time I was finished with it.  But after spending some alone time in her room yesterday afternoon, my daughter had yet again managed to restore chaos to an otherwise peaceful environment.  I couldn’t believe how much damage she had done in such a short amount of time.  I was livid that all my hard work was apparently, a big, fat waste of time.  She was very upset to learn that she would not be getting her allowance this weekend. (Actually, I think I’m the one that should be getting the weekly allowance anyway!)

     My daughter is not the only person in this house with whom I have a bone to pick.  My husband, the world’s biggest piler, has once again accumulated an enormous stack of crap on the kitchen counter.  About a year ago, I bought a cute decorative box to keep his mail in, so that it wouldn’t take up countertop space.  Unfortunately, though, he has decided that the cute little decorative box is his own personal file cabinet.  He opens his mail and then shoves it back in the box again, never leaving room for the new bills that come.  So, I’m left with no other choice but to stack them up next to the box, thus defeating the whole purpose of the box! He promised me over the weekend that he would finally go through the box once and for all.  But by the time Sunday night rolled around, guess what was still sitting crammed full of crap, front and center on the kitchen countertop? Needless to say, I went to bed more than just a little irritated.  When I got up Monday morning, however, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the box was finally gone from the kitchen.  Hooray! He had actually listened and must’ve gone through the pile before leaving for work. Naturally, though, this feeling of relief didn’t last that long.  I later found the stupid box shoved under another pile of crap on my husband’s side of our closet upstairs!  Moving the jam-packed cute little decorative box to another location in the house is not really what I consider organizing.  I let him have it later that evening, but I noticed today that the box is still sitting in the closet — 3 days later!

     I’ve often thought about what they’d all do if I just gave up and let the house go.  Would anyone even notice?  Would they care that all their clothes were dirty or that the dust bunnies had turned into the size of real bunnies? Deep down, I already know the answer.  They probably wouldn’t really be bothered, and I am the one who would go crazy.  And, really, how much more nucking futs can I get??!!  Maybe Mrs. Cleaver could lend me some of her happy pills….